DaimlerChrysler has a secret build facility that most people are not aware of. Every now and then, the company turns out some really incredible vehicles with the help of a few aftermarket manufacturers. The '04 Jeep KJ "Liberator" Liberty was built with the purpose of testing out some new prototype components and also creating a showcase Jeep Liberty to hit the trails of Moab and beyond. We spotted the Liberator recently at the Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) in Moab, Utah, this past April and had to stop for a closer inspection.
Climbing into the cab of the Jeep, we found a tree of control gauges located on the A-pillar of the vehicle. The Banks gauges monitor exhaust temperatures, transmission temperatures, and turbo boost. Knowing what's going on under your rig at all times can be a life saver. A VUZ four-camera system has been added along with an Alpine monitor so occupants can see all four corners of the vehicle when wheeling. The rear bench seat has also been removed and replaced with matching bucket seats, and the rear tire that normally sits underneath the Jeep is now located in the cargo area.
The Jeep Liberty 2.8L CRD turbodiesel engine is such a nice powerplant that we've already seen it swapped into a few Wrangler-based rigs. A prototype Banks 3-inch stainless steel exhaust system has also been added for a little more rumble and some extra ponies. The transmission that was chosen for this rig is a 45RFE four-speed automatic with a Command-Trac transfer case.
You are probably wondering what color this Jeep is and why you can't get it. PPG 301327 Pewter paint was used for this custom paintjob, giving the Liberator a mean look. Also note the custom-made door handles and gas inlet. Prototype styling completely encompasses this KJ. In order to keep the wheelbase optimum, the rear axle was relocated rearward 3 inches. This allowed for the clearance of much larger 35-inch Goodyear MT/R tires. This would prove to be enough to conquer the trails of Moab. The rear axle of the Liberator is a Dana 44 straight from Venezuela containing an air locker out of a Jeep TJ Rubicon.
|2004 Jeep Liberty KJ |
|DaimlerChrysler, Auburn Hills, MI |
|2.8L CRD four-cylinderturbodiesel |
|45RFE four-speed automatic |
|Superlift 4-inch prototype |
|35-inchGoodyear MT/Rs/Wrangler Rubicon "Moab"-edition with |
Getting the Jeep a little...
Getting the Jeep a little higher in the air is a custom prototype Superlift 4-inch suspension system.
Wrangler Rubicon "Moab"-edition...
Wrangler Rubicon "Moab"-edition wheels have been equipped with Champion beadlocks and wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear MT/R rubber. The addition of the beadlocks allowed us to run all the way down to 5 psi without blowing a bead all day long.
The custom front bumper holds...
The custom front bumper holds a Warn 9.5ti winch for recovery and allows for a much larger foglamp than that which comes with the standard Liberty model.
The engineers who constructed...
The engineers who constructed this machine carved in a much larger sunroof, providing aerial views for all passengers. Covering that new opening is a Webasto full-length canvas sunroof cover.
In back, we found a custom...
In back, we found a custom rear bumper with a section cut out to accommodate the 3-inch chrome exhaust tip coming from the Banks exhaust system.