Beep, Beep. Ever since 1948, when Chuck Jones created the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote for Warner Brothers, the familiar sound of the Road Runner has been heard coming from televisions, movies, and … Plymouth Road Runners. When Mark Turner, CEO of Daystar, started to build his '11 JK Wrangler, he knew it was going to be fast and live in the desert. What better name to hang on it than Road Runner?
In order to live up to its name, the Wrangler needed V-8 power. The OE 3.8L V-6 was replaced by a '11 5.7L VVT Hemi truck V-8 and a 545RFE five-speed automatic transmission via an installation perfected by Burnsville West. The 5.7L Hemi truck engines have an engine-driven fan, which helps keep them cool in the desert heat.
Road Runners need good legs for reliability, so the JK has high-pinion G2 Rock 60 front and rear ends with 5.38 Yukon gears and ARB Air Lockers for traction.
Daystar offers an economical 3-inch lift kit that doesn't compromise factory ride or load-carrying capacity. Lift height is achieved by Daystar's ComfortRide coil spring spacer kit coupled with their Scorpion shock absorbers. These kits are made of high-density progressive polyurethane and will allow fitment of tires up to 35 inches in diameter. As Mark wanted the Road Runner to run 37x12.50R17LT BFGoodrich KM2 tires on 17x8.5 Hutchinson bead lock wheels, he also installed a Daystar 1-inch body lift kit. The tires clear and the Scorpion shocks keep the added unsprung weight under control. Is the suspension comparable with a complete long-arm upgrade? No. It is a cost- effective way for JK owners to lift their Wranglers for less money.
Burnsville West made sure...
Burnsville West made sure the 5.7L VVT Hemi V-8 and 545RFE five-speed automatic transmission integrated seamlessly with Road Runner’s CANbus. The truck 5.7L Hemi comes with an engine-driven fan that, along with another electric pusher fan in front of the aluminum Burnsville radiator, keeps the mill cool on the hottest Phoenix summer days. Dual Optima Yellow Top batteries supply 12-volt power. PSC’s new reservoir is clean and leak-free.
The G2 Rock 60 frontend features...
The G2 Rock 60 frontend features 5.38 Yukon gears and an ARB Air Locker. PSC hydraulic ram assist steering enables the Road Runner to make tight turns when being chased by the Coyote. A JKS adjustable track bar keeps lateral movement to a minimum.
An original “Beep, Beep” horn...
An original “Beep, Beep” horn from a Plymouth Road Runner gives the Road Runner JK its voice.
Krusty applied the Periwinkle Blue paint to the JK.
There's much more from Daystar and other manufacturers on the Road Runner JK, so check out the photos and captions.
In the short time we had with Mark and his Jeep, we were impressed by the suspension's performance, as well as the power of the Hemi that makes the Road Runner JK faster than Wile E. Coyote will ever be, even with help from Acme.
Beep, Beep. On the other hand, maybe we should say Jeep, Jeep.
||2011 Jeep JK Wrangler
||Mark Turner/Litchfield Park, Arizona
||2011 5.7L Hemi VVT V-8
||545RFE five-speed automatic
|Transfer case/low range ratio:
||G2 Rock 60
||G2 Rock 60
|Ring and Pinion:
||5.38 Yukon gears
||ARB Air Locker
||ARB Air Locker
||Daystar 3-inch spacers with Scorpion shock absorbers
||37x12.50R17LT BFGoodrich KM2 Mud Terrain
||17x8.5 Hutchinson/ 4.63 inches
Off-Road Only’s SwayLOC dual...
Off-Road Only’s SwayLOC dual rate swaybar affords perfect control on the pavement or in the dirt. Daystar’s 3-inch lift kit includes ComfortRide coil spring spacers.
Surprisingly, the OE JK coils...
Surprisingly, the OE JK coils work fine with the added unsprung weight because of the Scorpion shocks’ valving. Daystar Shock Armor protects the shocks from harm.
The Jeep 241J transfer case...
The Jeep 241J transfer case has a 2.72:1 low-range ratio—low enough in this Jeep with the Hemi’s torque coupled with 5.38 gears.
Daystar adjustable control...
Daystar adjustable control arms feature their new, squeak-free urethane. In our opinion, adjustable arms should be used any time a Wrangler is lifted over 2 inches.
Burnsville’s TMD nostril hood...
Burnsville’s TMD nostril hood allows air to flow through the engine bay.