ACT clutch

Broader Perspective

As I was talking with Matt Grimes & the crew from CCOR, we stumbled into a conversation about how the best all-around builds usually ended up being a healthy mix of aftermarket parts ENHANCED with clever custom application.

See it’s all about a broader perspective.

Someone with skills, tools, and creativity can piecemeal together anything, from a hotrod to a Honda. They can raid junkyards, backyards, and Craigslist… & custom fabricate brackets, mounting points, brakes, flares, etc. You get the idea; they can create something cool. Something that gets attention, and deserves attention. We’re not knocking it.

But the reality is: There’s a fine line between ‘attention’ and actual bonafide ‘performance capability’.

No Ceiling

There’s also a fine line between a hobby, versus an industry. A hobbyist builds something in the garage for his own needs. Meanwhile the aftermarket industry creates innovative & improved products… and then SELLS those products to a hungry customer base, giving the enthusiast wider & better range of options.

Any chassis with strong aftermarket support, will be solidified as a strong chassis.

I mention this here, because Jeep has the strongest aftermarket of any vehicle on the planet. And as such, there is literally no ceiling as to where you can take one.

Matt Grimes from CCOR

This jeep came to us as a vehicle that had been built a couple of different times, and wheeled hard. After looking her over, it was clear that we had a good, solid platform at the core, but most-all of it had to go. We reused what we could.. and upgraded the rest.

The goal was to keep a low center of gravity, so we designed a low-profile cage, and stretched the suspension. We also used high-clearance fenders & corners to allow an even amount of up/down travel, and ensure an excellent ride quality both ON the trail… and TO/FROM the trail.

It’s a well thought out machine.

And while there is a ton of custom fabrication wrapped up in the build… the strategy was to buy as much store-bought aftermarket stuff as possible… and then COMBINE it with our knowledge of off-road performance & custom fab. Basically to use what is tried, true, and tested… and then make it even better for this particular application.

And even with something that came out looking this good, if asked of it, it would qualify & be highly competitive within its class. Next on the list is an LS engine and 480 transmission!

2004 Jeep TJ – 2.4L 4-cylinder engine w/ 5-speed transmission


Rock Krawler 5in X Factor long arm lift kit – with 5in rear stretch

Currie Dana 44 front axle

Currie Dana 60 RockJock rear axle (both axles with ARB lockers)

Currie 1-ton steering upgrade

Currie front Antilock sway bar kit

Custom front & rear driveshafts upgraded to 1350 u-joints by Carolina Driveline

West Texas Off Road hydro assist for the steering and box

Advance Adapters Atlas II 5.0:1 transfer case

FOX 2.0 adjustable reservoir shocks on all 4 corners


GenRight corner guard blanks (custom modified to incorporate original rock sliders and MetalCloak rear rub rails)

MetalCloak Overline front tube fenders

Incorporated the rock sliders and corner guards and added rub rail to the rock sliders

-Tied all into frame

Incorporated a rollover hoop & brush guard hoop to existing front bumper

Full 9-point tie-in custom roll cage with integrated seat mounts & shock mounts, making it a fully encapsulated cage (safety first, then fun!)

Corbeau JP front seats in black vinyl and 5-point latch and link harnesses

PRP Premier lite rear seat (for the little ones – can be used for youth)

Rugged Ridge grab handles front & rear

Aluminum roof

Removable & adjustable high-clearance swing down tire carrier that can accommodate 35” up to a 40” custom fabricated by CCOR (triple bronze powdercoat)

Custom fabricated side mirror by CCOR

Custom fabricated Yeti cooler mount & tie-down fabricated by CCOR

Triple bronze powdercoating by Classic Powdercoating and Ceramics in Winterville, GA

Custom pinstriping by David Piatek of Athens, GA

Warn Powerplant winch & TrailGear 3×30 strap for recovery


Raceline TR232 Monster beadlocks with custom triple bronze rings painted by CCOR

Interco SuperSwamper 36×13.50-17LT Irok tires


(2) 20” Rough Country single-row light bars

Rough Country rear flush-mount reverse lights

Rough Country rock lights

Poison Spyder LED taillights

Poison Spyder A-Pillars for the custom cage

Poison Spyder hood louver for venting


RCI aluminum fuel cell & custom fuel cell mount – fabricated by CCOR

-Custom fuel system. Incorporated OE sending unit and retrofit with RCI system, so all dash gauges could be utilized.

-Routed all lines and used AN fitting

-Plumbed the fuel system with 2 fuel filters. One late-80s Corvette filter after the fuel pump, and one out of a 1988 K5 blazer before the pump. The Corvette filter has a high pressure return diaphragm, allowing us to use an aftermarket fuel cell & not inhibit fuel delivery (to and from).

-Incorporated original fuel lines with OE disconnect lines for ease of maintenance

Custom exhaust by Stephen Epps of Lord’s Exhaust in Commerce, GA

Text by Wooley & Matt Grimes   Photos by Wooley