• Apr 22nd 2011 at 9:22AM
  • 8
Jeep fans have long clamored for a Wrangler with a pickup bed (ever since the CJ-8 Scrambler, that is), and Mopar appears to have come through with the introduction of the JK-8 Pickup conversion kit. The kit comes in one of two flavors; a show car spec that needs plenty of welding and a high degree of technical acumen and a bolt-on kit for the weekend warrior.

The truck nuts at Pickuptrucks.com were pretty excited about taking a spin in the JK-8 Independence, so they headed to Moab for the annual Easter Jeep Safari. The modded-up Wrangler truck features the JK-8 kit, along with new wheels and tires, a 4.5-inch lift kit and a Dana 44 front axle. The truck site found the Independence to have some awkward proportions, and writer Mark Williams was a bit dismayed that the 50-inch pickup bed didn't feature stronger coil springs to accommodate additional payload capacity.

After some rock-crawling and other activities, Levine and company came away with the impression that the JK-8 Independence handles itself much the same as the Wrangler Unlimited. In other words, the bedded Wrangler acquitted itself off the beaten path just fine. Head over to Pickuptrucks.com to read the full account.

Gallery photos copyright ©2011 Chris Shunk / AOL

[Source: Pickuptrucks | Image: Mark Williams for PickupTrucks.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      If this is what Marchionne meant when he said there will be a new Jeep truck, this is definitely not what we wanted. Not that this isn't cool or anything, but it would be very expensive, and you can't just pick one up at the dealership. Same reason why I don't see those "Ram Runner" kits becoming very successful. This is how I see the argument at ChryCo Dodge (erm ram): No Jeep, you can't have a pickup a small capable pickup will steal buyers from our huge thirsty Half-tons. Jeep: Fine, well you can't have a Raptor fighting Ram because it will steal buyers away from the wrangler. Marchionne: Ok ok I've got it, We will sell off road kits for the ram, and pickup conversions for the Wrangler, but not actually produce any. (Everyone loses)
        • 4 Years Ago
        It does feel like Chrysler is using Mopar as a way to "give people what they want" without actually having to do it, which is a shame. I can almost see not wanting to do a production Ram Runner, but a Jeep pickup - this needs to happen.
      Snark McGee
      • 4 Years Ago
      "handles itself much the same as the Wrangler Unlimited." so, you bolt a truck bed to the back of a jeep, and somehow expect it to drive differently? *confused*
      • 4 Years Ago
      too much space behind seats and or too short a bed. Either would fix this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does anyone realize how easy it is to build a $60,000 Wrangler? This just adds to the pain for some.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, the good stuff adds up quick! A 6.1L Hemi conversion from AEV adds $26,500.00 to the price of your new Wrangler!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess they came up with this kit for the Wrangler so people that already have a Wrangler can make it into a so called truck. They need to just build the Jeep truck Gladiator or bring back a revised version of the Comanachee. In it's time it was the best mid-size truck out there.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have a slight feeling that if this does well enough Chrysler will finally bite the bullet and make a legit Jeep truck. Chrysler seems very nervous entering into territory that seems to be a no brainer sadly.
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