If you go over the river & deep through the woods, you just might run into a guy in a silver Jeep named Russ Watkins, aka Adventuruss. But it wasn’t always that way. Russ used to hail from… Orlando. And he would drive all the way from Orlando just to wheel with us up in the North Georgia mountains. That’s about an 8 hour drive if you don’t already know… each way. I think he connected with our buddy, Jeepin Bubba, through some of the Jeepin Bubba / Black Bear Off-Road posts and/or Youtube videos… and basically just asked if he could tag along next time. Hey – the more the merrier! So Russ would basically drive from Orlando up to the mountains any chance he got. He became ‘a regular’ so to speak. I always thought that was equal parts admirable… and nuts lol. But for Russ & his wife Carrie, they were magnetically drawn to the mountains of North Georgia & North Carolina. It’s wild, but… Adventuruss Jeep

Distance or inconvenience doesn’t matter to Russ… 

Not when compared to the experience, the adventure, and the friendships that are made. Russ is the kind of guy that’ll drive 3 hours… just to meet-up for tacos. He’ll cross state lines… to come jump-start your car if you need him. And that’s awesome. In fact, it’s contagious – it brings out the best in you too. There’s not a lot of people like that left in the world… but you’ll still find some in the Jeep community for sure.  Anyway, back in those earlier days of traveling from Orlando, this was a fairly basic Jeep with fairly basic bolt-ons. But the bug bit him big-time. The mountains + Jeep camaraderie had such an impact on Russ & Carrie, that they relocated to Asheville, NC. At which point, Russ’s obsession with wheeling & exploring every inch of the great outdoors… just intensified. Jeep jk falcon shocks

His Jeep followed suit…

With an Gen-5 LT1 swap (from an SS Camaro or C7 Vette), Teraflex axles, 40’s… the whole shebang. You could say things got a little serious. And when you start counting up the dollars, it’ll make you sweat. But as a fellow JK owner, it was Russ’s thought process behind his Jeep’s transformation really stuck with me. Russ explained it like this…

His JK was finally paid off…

Freedom! Now – Russ could do what most people do, and inevitably end up trading it in on a new JL or Gladdy. And essentially repeat the cycle of mild bolt-ons. OR – he could spend that ‘JL money’ making his JK a total beast! Yeah, the JK has a few more seasons under its belt. But with all the complication-nightmares of modern vehicles (especially within the last 5 years or so), do you even need or want all the amenities, sensors, and circuit boards that you’re forced to pay for in a new JL? That’s totally up to you boo. But Russ decided his JK would suit him better… IF it was shipped out to MoTech in Vegas for a gen-5 LT1 swap & 10-speed transmission. MoTech performs turn-key, OEM-quality swaps with all new components & warranties.

LT swapped jeep JK

To prepare his JK Jeep for that kind of power transplant…

Russ took it to the man the myth the bearded legend, Jeepin Bubba at Black Bear Off-Road in Buford, GA (as previously mentioned). There at Black Bear, they graced the Jeep with a brand new set of TeraFlex 1-ton axles, as well as a TeraFlex longarm kit for 4.5-inches of lift. The axles (Tera60HD front & CRD60 rear) are 3-inches wider than stock. They’re also a hi-pinion design, with 4.88 gears and ARB lockers. And they could be yours for the low price of a nice C5 Z06.

The 40-inch Mickey Thompson tires are monsters. Russ loves the 40s for their look and capability to tackle more challenging stuff. But he might eventually drop back down to 37s… on account of the 40s just being drastically heavier. Not only are they taller, but they’re wider, and there’s just a lot more rubber & rotating mass. Not that this Jeep is slow on 40s by any means… but it’s a rocket on 37s. We’ll see though. I’m not sure you can really ever ‘go back’ from glorious 40s. In short though… Jeep on 40 tires

Russ is one of the most down-to-earth, helpful guys around…

If you want to reach out and/or see more of this Jeep, Russ has a YouTube channel called Adventuruss. The channel covers this build, as well as his outings & explorations. What’s more – any monetization from the YT channel is donated to charities associated with off-road/outdoor culture. So rest assured… you’re watching a good guy for a good cause lol.

2015 Jeep Wrangler JKU


Smittybilt XRC Gen II front & rear bumpers

KBD narrow JK fenders 

Cavfab HD tire carrier 

ACE engineering front aluminum inner fenders

Warn VR10-s winch with synthetic line

Factor 55 flatlink

JW Speaker fog lights & J2 headlights

KC C-Series C3 pillar lights (flood pattern) & C2 area lights (on roof rack)

Rhino Rack JK Backbone system with Pioneer Platform roof rack

Smittybilt Atlas door hinge steps

HighBeam Off-Road Cobra LED taillights

Jeep Teraflex lift

Wheels / Tires

TeraFlex Olympus beadlocks 17×9

Mickey Thompson Baja Boss MT 40×13.5

Jeep on 40s

Axles / Suspension

Front axle – TeraFlex wide Tera60 HD hi-pinion front axle w/ 4.88 gears & ARB air locker 

Rear axle – TeraFlex wide CRD60 hi-pinion rear axle w/ 4.88 gears & ARB air locker

Falcon Nexus EF 2.1 steering stabilizer

TeraFlex HD drag link, forged track bar (front & rear), and HD tie rod with forged ends and HD balljoints 

Powerstop Z36 brake kit

TeraFlex Alpine IR longarm suspension w/ bump stops, speed bumps and Falcon series 3.3 adjustable piggyback shocks

35-spline chromoly axle shafts front & rear

Double-Cardan drive shafts with 1350 u-joints front & rear

Antirock front sway bar

Jeep teraflex axles


Gen-5 LT1 engine swap, mated to 10L-90 transmission from GM Performance

Swap performed by MoTech in Las Vegas

PSC Big Bore XDII steering box with reservoir, pump and anti-splash kit

Rough Country MLC-6 switch controller

Jeep 40 inch tires


Vector Offroad JK E-Dock system

67 designs accessory mounts

RAM Mount I-Pad x-grip

Goose-Gear 60% seat delete bracket

DIY sleeping platform 

Costway 55qt fridge