Backcountry 4x4 Project GRIZZLYCON Jeep JK Unlimited

Of all the vehicles I have tested over the years, including some high performance
exotics, no vehicle has attracted as much attention or comments as our Backcountry
4x4 Project Jeep Unlimited JK Rubicon. It’s the Gecko paint. Most love it, some hate
hate it but everyone notices it.
One purpose of this project is to try new projects and look for the best combination of
daily drive and 4 wheeler that can tackle any trail in our backyard, the San Bernardino
National Forest and surrounding desert areas. We’re not too concerned about the
extreme trails like the Hammers in Johnson Valley, but there are many challenging
trails that we want to explore and the JK with 35" tires and a mild lift should get the job
We still have to install a lift, but with the stock height, we have several mods and we
have several 33" tires to test, starting with the Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ mud terrain
tires on the stock Rubicon wheels.
The Backcountry 4x4 Jeep was purchased from Loren Campbell at Redlands Jeep 4x4.
The other modifications undertaken so far are covered in the photos and captions.

The Hanson Rocker
Slides are easy to install,
bullet proof and stylish.

Great Products!! We use the
BOLT Spare Tire Lock and a 6’
cable lock on gear attached to
the spare tire. Simply insert
Jeep’s ignition key into the
BOLT lock, turn it once and the
lock mechanically learns the
key code. BOLT Series of locks
lets you set all your Jeep locks
to work with your ignition key!

We are using the Hanson
JK fullsize Fenderbar
Front Bumper which
accommodate the stock
JK driving lights, a
winch and shackles. The
steering skid plate is also

We are using a 15 pound
PowerTank system for
airing up. This is the
fastest way to air up that
we have found and is
very easy to use!

These billet door stops
hold the JK front doors
in an open position.
Great if you are in
parking lot or on a
slope. From Armadillo

Quadratec makes a great
CB antenna mount for the
spare tire carrier on a JK.
(below) They also have a
cool quick release mount
for the Firestik Firefly CB
antenna we are using for
better range.

Also for extra storage, we
installed the SmittyBilt
G.E.A.R. Tailgate Cover.
These storage bags use
the GEAR attaching
system, are portable.

A Hi-Lift Jack is mandatory
for the JK. We are using the
Xtreme version and carry
the Off Road Kit, Jack Base
and Wheel Mate, as well as
the Handle-All Accessory
bag. The jack mount is from
Rugged Ridge. A Trasharoo
is used for hauling trash or
other bulky items. For
extra storage of recovery
and misc gear, we are using
the BESTOP RoughRider
Organizer. Lots of room,
easy to install and

The Superwinch Talon 9.5 winch replaces the 9.5 EPi winch in the
premium winch line. Having used the Epi 9.5 for several years in 100s of vehicle
recoverys and classes, expectations were very high for the first test of the Talon. The
EPi performed flawlessly in all conditions. Some pulls really tested the limits of the

The sealed 5.2 and 6.0 HP motors deliver a quick but safe 62 FPM line speed at a low
75 amp draw. Heat sink-styled motor cap maintains low temperatures under the
heaviest loads. The solenoid will keep out water, mud, snow, and dust and has a
patented venting feature that allows the contacts to resist water and release contact
damaging internal condensation. The VS4 Solenoid (Vented, Submersible, and
Stabilized with Sealed Socket) is located inside a modern-styled rugged enclosure
making this a truly sealed vehicle recovery winch assembly. All seals on the entire
winch meet the IP67 standard, from the outermost end of the high performance motor
and groundbreaking solenoid to the 2-stage planetary and 2-stage spur gearbox. The
innovative "Dual-stop" 100% load holding brake design provides zero drag on cable in
and is located inside the gearbox away from the drum to eliminate heat transfer to the
synthetic rope. A special steel drum is constructed with high tensile strength material
to resist the unique loading characteristic of the optional synthetic 3/8" x 80' rope rated
at 17,600 lbs ensures a safe pull. There's an ergonomically shaped hand-held sealed
remote with brilliant LED light for assisting in night-time winching.

Our first test of the Talon mounted on a Hanson JK fullsize Fenderbar Front Bumper
was a simple, straight pull up a 35 degree slope in soft dirt. We estimated the
maximum load at about 5000 pounds, well under the capacity of the winch . The pull
was easy for the Talon, as we expected. The remote was easy to use and the gear in
the winching accessory kit includes gloves, a tree saver, two haeavy duty shackles, a
snatch block (20,000 lb) and gloves in a nylon bag.. We also used the line damper.
First impression is that the Talon will outperform the EPi. We will undertake more
strenuous testing over the next few months. Watch the video of the test at www. or scan the QR Code below. For more on the Talon go to:
Don Alexander

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