Hardcore builds are fun, but sometimes there's no need to use dynamite to swat a fly. Poison Spyder's latest JK shares the hardcore heritage of other Spyder builds, but does so in a package that calls on ready-made products from Poison Spyder and other industry luminaries.
Thirty-seven-inch BFG Mud-Terrain...
Thirty-seven-inch BFG Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires mounted to 18-inch Trailready beadlocks work great in a variety of trail conditions. The Crusher flares look like steel, but they’re part of the growing line of aluminum body armor from Poison Spyder. If you’re constantly rubbing rocks, Poison Spyder still recommends steel body armor, but if you’re trying to save vehicle weight and still have a trail-armored rig, aluminum is the way to go.
"We wanted to do a build that was more like what the average JK owner would do," Poison Spyder's Larry McRae said. "The last JK we did was aimed at hardcore rock crawling, with parts like Dana 60 axles and an Atlas II transfer case. Those are awesome parts and there are definitely JK owners, including us, who push their vehicles hard, but we're aiming at the middle of the road this time."
The Dozer Orange 2012 JK Rubicon Unlimited on these pages might best be characterized as a "triple purpose" machine. First, it's got Jeep's new 2012 drive train, and serves as a rolling development lab for Poison Spyder's latest JK products. Second, Cheri McRae needed a new daily driver. Finally, this JK will see action on trails and at 4x4 shows and events all over the country.
Once home from the dealer, the trip from stock to stunning took a mere two months, thanks to the Poison Spyder shop crew and a smart selection of JK-specific parts. R&D was involved, but one-off custom parts were not. Cheri admits she thought the color was too "school bus-y" at first. Not anymore. With the Spyder parts from stem to stern, the Rock Krawler/Fox suspension, a set of 37-inch BFG Mud Terrain KM2s, and custom graphics to tie it all together, this Dozer Orange JK grabs and holds your attention for all the right reasons. This Poison Spyder Jeep is, quite appropriately, called "Venomous."
The Crusher corners are made...
The Crusher corners are made from 1/8-inch steel and are formed along the compound curves of the JK’s body lines.
Of course, when Poison Spyder aims for the middle of the road, you've got to consider the source and remember Poison Spyder's heritage in hardcore. This JK might not have Dana 60s, an Atlas II, or custom fabrication, but 37s and a smart selection of ready-made parts are still going to take this JK over trails that lesser vehicles fear to tread. "Middle of the hardcore road" seems like a more accurate characterization.
This may have been a quick build, but it produced a capable JK that will go the distance. It makes perfect Spyder sense to us.
All corners of Cheri’s Venomous...
All corners of Cheri’s Venomous JK are well-protected, thanks to a pair of aluminum rear Crusher flares and rear Crusher corners.
||2012 Jeep JK Unlimited Rubicon
||Cheri McRae/Banning, California
||3.6L Pentastar V-6
||new-generation give-speed automatic (note: this transmission plays a major role int he 2012 JK's newfound acceleration, as parasitic power loss is much less compared to the old automatic.)
|Transfer case/low range ratio:
||OEM Dana 44
||OEM Dana 44
|Ring and Pinion:
||Rock Krawler X-Factor long-arm front and rear systems with 2.5-inch lift coils and Fox Shox Performance Series 2.0 shocks
||37x12.50R18 BFG Mud-Terrain T/A KM2
||18-inch TrailReady HD-series beadlocks
The oval holes in the aluminum...
The oval holes in the aluminum Poison Spyder Brawler Rockers add a touch of distinctive class to the rocker armor, and allow access to mounting bolts during installation. The Brawler Rockers’ two-piece design tucks up high to reduce hang-ups in nasty terrain, and ties into the body mounts for additional strength. Both steel and aluminum versions are available. For weight savings, aluminum is best. For abusive use, steel is optimal.
Poison Spyder’s rear bumper...
Poison Spyder’s rear bumper line now includes the RockBrawler. Like the BFH (Built for the Hammers) bumper that came before it, the RockBrawler offers rugged construction and pleasing aesthetics.
Between the J.E. Reel driveshaft...
Between the J.E. Reel driveshaft and the Dynomax muffler, you can see the Poison Spyder skidplate over the factory EVAP canister. The EVAP canister is vulnerable as well as extremely expensive to replace. Do yourself a favor and protect it from the get-go.
The RockBrawler does not require...
The RockBrawler does not require frame rail modifications for installation. Venomous is also equipped with Poison Spyder’s optional spare tire carrier, which pivots on a pair of Timken bearings in a precision housing. Note the way the RockBrawler allows use of the OEM trailer hitch receiver, which is safety rated for towing and is removable for extra ground clearance on the trail.
The front of the Venomous...
The front of the Venomous JK is protected by a Poison Spyder Brawler Lite bumper equipped with a prototype stinger bar. Below the Brawler Lite bumper is a Brawler Lite skid plate that perfectly complements the bumper’s function and style. The Warn VR10000 winch is spooled with Master-Pull Superline, which feeds through Poison Spyder’s Hawse fairlead mount and matching aluminum Hawse fairlead.
In addition to body armor,...
In addition to body armor, Poison Spyder offers a line of low-profile, high-intensity LED lights that perfectly integrate into Crusher Corners and Brawler bumpers. When you replace halogen lights with LED models, you usually have to add a resistor so that the turn signals will blink at the same speed as before. As expected, Poison Spyder offers all the necessary resistors and wiring required to make the LED’s work seamlessly.
Thanks to the tire clearance...
Thanks to the tire clearance delivered by the Crusher flares, maintaining a low lift height was possible. Rock Krawler’s X-Factor long-arm front and rear suspension systems completely replace the factory control arms in favor of a three-link system that flexes more easily than the factory four-link. Both the factory and the Rock Krawler systems use track bars to laterally locate the axles under the vehicle.
Custom fabrication isn’t required...
Custom fabrication isn’t required to install the Rock Krawler system, but cutting and welding is. Fox Shox Performance Series 2.0 shocks boast Baja-bred performance at a sportsman-level price. The factory Dana 44 differentials are well-protected behind Poison Spyder’s Bombshell diff covers.
The custom Poison Spyder vinyl...
The custom Poison Spyder vinyl graphics are subtle, but still make a statement. The “O” in “Rubicon” has been cleverly replaced with a Spyder logo.
Jeep’s new 3.6L Pentastar...
Jeep’s new 3.6L Pentastar V-6 isn’t a Hemi-killer, but it’s got a whopping 40 percent more horsepower than the outdated 3.8L that used to come in JKs. Considering the excellence of the rest of the JK platform, a better engine was the missing link in the perfection chain. It’s arrived.
The stock Jeep interior is...
The stock Jeep interior is very comfortable.
Poison Spyder grab handles...
Poison Spyder grab handles wrap around the factory sport bar and make ingress and egress that much easier, especially when used with the stepping surface atop the Brawler Rockers.
Adding electrical accessories...
Adding electrical accessories to a newer vehicle can be a daunting task with factory electronics to deal with. Using an sPod wiring harness lets you completely circumvent the factory wiring, including the fuse box. The sPod makes adding electrical add-ons much easier. You can’t see the whole sPod system here, but you can see the aircraft-grade sPod switch panel between the flip-down visors.
Venomous lights up the night....
Venomous lights up the night. The Rigid Industries LED lights are bright even in the daylight. Poison Spyder’s light bar mounts bolt to the windshield A-pillars and make it easy to install a 50-inch Rigid light bar across the top and a pair of Rigid light pods to the lower A-pillars.
The winch’s fairlead offers...
The winch’s fairlead offers an opportunity to mount another Rigid LED bar, so Poison Spyder developed an LED bar mount for that location, too. Winching after dark is common, so a few extra lumens on the ground are a big help.