Extreme Terrain‘s recent collaboration with the Make-A-Wish Foundation resulted in an epic Jeep for a New England teen. The teenager, 18-year-old Earl of Yardley, Pennsylvania, was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and hoped to have a Jeep he could be proud of and drive once he got his license. It was up to Extreme Terrain to deliver, and this was how the company did it.
As explained by Extreme Terrain’s Ryan Huck, the TJ was in decent condition upon first glance, but needed a thorough examination nonetheless, seeing as it was a “Rust Belt” survivor. The team tore the Jeep down to its barest form, and did the paint and bedlining on the body before discovering that the frame had multiple soft spots. This required a brand new frame, which the ET team took care of.
In this disassembled form, addressing the drivetrain was much easier than normal. The team took care of the 4.0-liter inline six, giving it new paint and parts. The axles were rebuilt and given 4.56:1 gears, and the stock brakes were swapped out for a disc brake kit from Black Magic Brakes.
The suspension was easily one of the biggest upgrades on the Jeep. Here, the team went with a Teraflex five-inch Pro LCG suspension system with shocks. Being a long-arm kit, it required extensive modifications to install, and removed the rear trac bar in favor of a triangulated four-linked system.
From here, the build took on all the remaining external upgrades in relatively quick succession. The team went with Barricade fenders and rock sliders to give the TJ some defense against the elements. The bumpers are Poison Spyder units, with the front equipped with a Rugged Ridge 9,500-pound winch. Wheels and tires are 16-inch Fuel Revolvers and 35-inch Mickey Thompson Baja MTZP3s, respectively; they’ll definitely help with moving forward when the going gets rough.
Lighting is improved thanks to a massive 50-inch KC HiLiTES C-Series light bar over the windshield, and a smaller 20-inch light bar on top of the hood. As for regular nighttime use, that duty falls on the Axial LED halo headlights; the rear features an LED tail light set and a Rugged Ridge accessory brake light LED ring. Turn signals and marker lights were courtesy of Poison Spyder 3/4-inch amber LEDs. And just for fun, the team added a set of Oracle Bluetooth Colorshift lights to the underbody.
Probably the coolest feature of Earl’s revamped Jeep is its soft top. You might think, why would a soft top be cool? And the answer to that is – it’s a motorized Mytop convertible soft top! It rolls up and down with the push of a button, no longer requiring the manual labor involved in deploying and retracting. It makes being inside the Jeep that much more plush and awesome. Speaking of which, Earl now has the benefit of power locks and windows, as well as new speakers, a subwoofer, and an amplifier.
So how did Earl react when seeing his new Jeep? Understandably, he was overwhelmed with joy. To see his tired, old TJ be transformed into a shining, aggressive TJ was something he was all to happy to see. It was a terrific project for Extreme Terrain to take on and do their best work with, while showcasing all of the awesome parts they have available in their catalog.