JK8: Mopar's New Build-Your-Own Jeep Pickup Kit
If you're a true Jeep nut, chances are you've longed for a modern Wrangler-based pickup at some time or another. Jeep may not be ready to build such a vehicle, but with some help from Chrysler's Mopar accessories division, you can build your own...
As previewed by the JK8 Independence concept shown here, Mopar plans on rolling out a pickup conversion kit for the JK Wrangler by the end of the year. Patterned after the military-spec J8 Wrangler pickup that's been teased to us over the years (remember the JT and Sarge concepts?), the conversion kit allows anyone to transform a four-door 2007-2011 Wrangler Unlimited into what Mopar calls the JK8: a two-door pickup with a 50-inch long cargo bed.
Each JK8 kit includes a new bulkhead, removable half hard top (you'll need to keep the front panels from the Wrangler's optional Freedom Top), along with steel bed floor, inner and outer panels borrowed from the actual J8. Mopar plans on offering two versions of the kit -- the one shown here requires the installer to actually weld the panels in place.
The other, however, secures the panels and floor with a series of bolts. Mopar reps tell us the bolt-on conversion can easily be accomplished in the span of a weekend, provided you're handy with both a sawzall (you'll need to trim both sheetmetal and the rollbar) and grinder. You won't, however, need to section and lengthen the frame, a tedious task that was required with American Expedition Vehicles' TJ Wrangler pickup conversion.
So, how much does this all cost? Jim Sassarossi, Mopar's director of sales and marketing, insists it's far too early to discuss pricing, but without a doubt, a JK8 conversion will ring in far beneath the $50,000 required to buy an actual J8 through AEV. Look for finalized pricing to be announced this fall, when the kit is formally added to Mopar's catalog.