Jeep JK-8 Independence kit finally turns your Wrangler into a pickup truck

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence pickup truck - Click above for high-res image gallery

We've seen Jeep Wrangler pickup trucks before that never had a chance at production. They're the kind of teasing that many die-hard Wrangler lovers just can't handle, so the folks at Mopar are giving owners of the four-door Unlimited a chance to make their own Jeep pickup.

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence pickup truck bedThe Wrangler JK-8 Independence is a new Mopar kit that provides a 50-inch pickup truck bed with 44 inches of width between the wheel wells. The folks at Mopar aren't ready to talk price just yet, but they promised two variants of the kit. One is a weld-free bolt-on setup that mechanically inclined Jeep owners can put together "over a weekend." The second is a show-ready kit that can be fitted at the dealership or a specialty body shop. The parts for both kits will reportedly cost about the same, but labor costs for the show truck version will cost extra. The kit will reportedly be available in every color that you can currently get the Wrangler Unlimited.

In all, Mopar tells us the kit includes a bed floor, all the necessary body panels, the fiberglass cap and a new bulkhead. To build your own JK-8 Independence, you'll need to remove all the interior parts behind the front seats. The new body panels will cover the second row entrance, and a short fiberglass cap provides enough covered space for your gear.

The bright yellow JK-8 show truck, which is based off of a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, features a Mopar/Dynatrac ProRock 44 front axle and a stock 44 rear axle with 4.88 gears. Thirty-seven inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2 tires and a 4.5-inch long-arm suspension kit make sure this makeshift truck doesn't get stuck even in the most inhospitable terrain. Special off-road capable bumpers round out the modifications, and all of the above modifications are available straight from the Mopar catalog.

Click on the gallery below to check out the official Jeep Wrangler pickup truck that you've all been waiting for.

Photos copyright ©2011 Chris Shunk / AOL

[Source: Chrysler]
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Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence
Taking cues from the popular Jeep Scrambler CJ-8 from the 1980's, Mopar has designed a kit for do-it-yourselfers that converts a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited into a pickup truck. The bed length is 50 inches and the width between wheel wells is 44 inches. The team created body panels to cover the second-row entrance and removed all of the interior parts behind the front seats-transforming the vehicle into a two-seater with just enough room for gear inside, and a pickup style bed to be used for outside cargo.

The JK-8 drivetrain is fitted with a Mopar/Dynatrac ProRock 44 front axle and stock Dana 44 rear axle, both spun with 4.88 gears. Linking the axles to the frame is a 4.5-inch long-arm suspension kit and 37-inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2 tires make the connection to the ground. A fresh coat of yellow paint and Mopar's off-road bumpers for the front and rear were utilized along with a new fuel door and slush mats.

The JK-8 kit includes bed floor, inner/outer body panels, half hard top (works with Freedom Top panels), and a new bulkhead.

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