Great Jeeps aren’t bought, they’re built – Project Rubicon X

Transforming Project Rubicon X into a War Machine.

Photo Caption: This is my 2014 Rubicon X as it rolls right now.  Time for Change… 

There’s an old saying that goes: Great Jeeps aren’t bought, they’re built.   Evidence of this can be found at any Jeep event. Events like the All Breeds Jeep Show , the Bantam Heritage Jeep Festival or a Sunday morning Quadratec Jeeps and Java, you’ll find amazingly creative Jeep builds from the basic to extreme.  

My Anvil colored Rubicon X Unlimited is coming up on 4 years of ownership.  The first 4 years and 20,000 miles saw lots of moderate trailing and a round of upgrades to the Jeep.  These included: 4″ of Teraflex lift, a set of 35×12.50R17 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 Mud Tires, some cool Maximus-3 upgrades to the Rubicon X package, a 9500 Warn Winch, and numerous smaller upgrades.  All of these modifications were a vast improvement in performance and appearance to the Rubicon X package.  But if you’re like me, you get tired of the same thing all the time and eventually, you know its time for a change. We’re going to make some changes to the appearance and performance of this 2014 Rubicon X.  I’ll give you the run-down on what we plan to do below.

The current setup: 

Rear View: 35×12.50R17 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3, Maximus-3 Rear Tire Carrier, GSI Sliders/side-steps, rear LED backup light.

The Jeep JK sits on about 4 inches of combined Teraflex lift.  The lift rides nice and the height is decent for offroad but it could stand a few more inches for appearance and elevation over traffic and the terrain.  More on that later.  

The Jeep also rides better with the assistance of AEV Geometric Correction Brackets, which smooth out the bumps.

The Rubicon sits upon 35×12.50R17 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 Mud Tires have approximately 18,000 miles on them and I’m quite happy about lack of wear on the tread.  At this rate, these tire will either be the last set of Mud Tires I buy for this JK or I’ll be selling a used set of MTZ’s with lots of tire tread left on them.

The MTZ’s are mounted on the stock Rubicon X rims that are in turn mounted on a set of Spidertrax wheel adapters to prevent the rear tires from rubbing on the rear swaybar.  As a side note, the Spidertrax wheel adapters have been a trouble-free method to keep the stock OEM Rubicon X front wheels on the Jeep.  While the 35″ MTZ’s have been squeezed a little by the stock 7.5″ rim, cupping has been minor and with the wear being negligible over the past three years, there haven’t been any issues with the tread wearing oddly.  I try to rotate them at every oil change including rotating in the spare and that the seems to help keep the lugs worn evenly.

If you have a 10th Anniversary, Rubicon X, or Hard Rock Edition Jeep, Maximus-3 out of Detroit Michigan has produced some great add-on modifications to the stock special edition bumpers.

The Maximus-3 Modifications to the front bumper are documented here on and include the Winch Plate, D-ring hangers, the Hoop and the winch rope hooks, all a nice compliment to the Mopar bumper and the red accents on the Jeep.

I also used the Maximus-3 Rear Tire Carrier.  This simple, cleverly designed rear tire carrier takes the weight of the rear tire off the rear door, all 95 lbs of it, and puts the weight on the body, at the hinges where the body is stronger.  The tire carrier is connected to a cam arm and to the door so they open and close together.


GSI Body Side Armor Rocker Guard Rock Sliders w/ Step

A few other mods include a set of Rocker Guard Rock Sliders (pictured above), rear LED backup lighting and a slew of smaller upgrades.  

The plans are to transform the JK into having a more militarized appearance without breaking the bank.  Again, if you’re like me, you don’t have an endless flow of cash to throw at your Jeep (how nice would that be?) and you may even be a hands-on guy like myself but you don’t have a lot of time to install your modifications.  that’s where I hope these write-ups help you because I know paying someone to install upgrades can be as expensive as buying the upgrade.   So installing upgrades yourself can save a lot of money.  Which leaves more money for other things.  Like more Jeep parts!   

Project Rubicon X Phase Two

We plan on going with a militarized theme.  More on what we plan to do with Project Rubicon X to come in a day or two so bookmark the page and check back!  




  1. I own a Rubicon Recon which is pretty much the same thing and your mods are exactly what I’m planning. Great article by the way.

    • Thanks Juan. I have a lot of plans for the JK before the Bantam Jeep Festival in June. Hope to get it all done and up on the site before then. Hey. shoot me an email of a few pics of your Recon. Love that model. It would be cool to see some pics of your Recon up on before and after your upgrades. I’m an editor on the site, we’d love to follow and post the build here on the site. Shoot me an email ralph@offroaders,com

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