First in Europe we had the honor to test the new Wrangler JL and always first we photographed the first JL modified by Dynatrac. In this article we will reveal all the secrets of Code 1.
Pictures and text by Paolo Baraldi
In several areas, America anticipates fashions and tendencies that arrive in Europe only at a later time. In offroad preparations and especially regarding Jeeps, the country with Stars and Stripes is a real beacon to which reference and from which to take inspiration. Dynatrac, a well-known Californian company leader in offroad axles, anticipated everyone by preparing for first the new Wrangler JL. It was not a soft intervention but a set-up that, as we shall see, placed the bar of the work so high that all those who want to try to do something with the new Wrangler will have to keep in mind the work done at Huntington Beach . What's even more interesting is that all the changes, and they are not few, were made in just seven days. There were many challenges to achieving Code 1; the main difficulty was that of having to deal with a new and completely different vehicle from the predecessor JK and secondly the absence of accessories and dedicated parts. For this, however, Dynatrac had an ace up his sleeve and that is the new purchase in his staff Anthony Carvallo who was one of five engineers who developed the Wrangler JL for FCA.
So let's start from the beginning of this story: the name. In Dynatrac, Code 1 was chosen to indicate the beginning of a series of preparations that will see the new Wrangler JL as protagonists. Once chosen the name, the crucial decision was to set the project and here is the full personality of Carvallo that a true fan of rock crawling and outdoor life wanted this vehicle to reflect his personality without however forget that the Code 1 should be a Dynatrac showcar for its axles. The starting model was a Wrangler JL Sport, for the works was not necessary the four-door Rubicon, the first delivered to a private, with 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that have 285 horsepower and 352 Nm of torque equipped with the 8-speed automatic transmission. In order to deal with the demanding rocky trails, the Dynatrac ProRockXD60 axle have been installed for the front and for the rear the ProRock80. Both axles expressly designed for the new JL. The impressive 42" tires provide a large space under the differentials. The appearance of camping and pleinair life, whose interior fittings (lockers, bed, etc.) are under construction while you are reading and was designed by eliminating the two rear doors, resulting in the construction of the new sides, to get behind the two front seats a large space available. The soft top has been completely replaced with a new one in pick-up style, made by Bestop technicians. As was the case for the soft top, in Dynatrac for all aspects of the works not directly related to them, they took advantage of the support of the technicians of the most important companies in the sector who worked at the company's headquarters under the supervision of Tony Carvallo . For example, the suspension and the bumpers were made by EVO, Off Road Evolution, by Mel Wade. The shock absorbers from Fox and the fenders from Mopar.
The end result is impressive! The already aggressive look of the new Wrangler has been made even more combative thanks to the choice of the huge Maxxis tires that combined with the suspension by more than 4 inches make this vehicle immeasurable. Tried on a Johnson Valley trail, the strong axles do not fear big rocks and mobility is excellent even if in the most extreme cases the tires interfere slightly with the fenders. We tried this Code 1 on the streets of Huntington Beach to get to the beach, and surprisingly the driving was very pleasant and comfortable thanks to the good calibration of the springs and shock absorbers. If we were to find a flaw in this work, we would have liked the beautiful hood of the Rubicon series to replace the more linear version of the Sport version. To Dynatrac and to Anthony Carvallo, our compliments goes for the excellent work done in such a short time and we are sure that this Code 1 will do for a long time a school for the following preparations on the Wrangler JL.