For a good majority of people in the world, a vehicle is simply a tool to get from point A to point B. When we asked what exactly does Austin Berendes use his 2018 Jeep JLU Rubicon for whether it be a daily driver, a weekend warrior, overland vehicle, or adventures he confidently answered all the above.
Austin says, “I currently daily drive it about 100 miles every day for work. Every weekend I try to go to Big Bear and run some trail and just have a good time with friends whiling enjoying the outdoors. I would probably say the best trail I have ever been on was Turkey claw over in Johnson Valley. It was the first time I’ve been out there, first time the Jeep was on 40s and happened to be the same time as King of Hammers. The amount of people that were around and the energy was something to remember. That was definitely an adventure I can’t wait till next year to go back and try and run chocolate thunder.”
Wrapped in those thick Nitto Trail Grapplers you’ll find Method Race Wheels 106 Race Series beadlock wheels that was developed for the serious off-road enthusiast. They have extra wide bead seats, in fact 17% bigger to accommodate the largest of tires and boasts a 3600 lbs. load rating. The Nitto and Method Race Wheels combo also happens to be Austin’s favorite part of the Jeep. He says, “Changing something as simple as just that on a Jeep will completely transform the look, really showing off your personality and what you like to do with it. No other modifications as simple as that can transfer the way a car, truck or Jeep looks.
In addition to the exterior Austin dresses it with Genright fenders and inner fenders, a Motobuilt bull bar front bumper and a spare tire delete rear bumper. For suspension Austin opted for MetalCloak Gamechanger 6Pak shocks, Rock Crawler 4.5 springs, RPM steering 2.5 ton tie rod and drag link, King steering stabilizer, Syner Sector shaft track bar brace and a Rock Jock anti rocks with forged arms in the front and rear.
In the interior you’ll find PRP custom seat covers and Diamond Audio marine speakers with 10 inch SSV subwoofer inclosure. Other accessories include a 67 Designed iPhone and iPad mount, Taser JL mini and an I-drive throttle controller.
He admits that his project is still not done. He says, “When you say you’re done that just means you’re saving up for something big.” Austin’s main goal was to keep it something clean and usable. Nothing irritates him more than seeing a beautiful build on the web that never gets used. He’s looking to build the poster Jeep and wheel it like a buggy.
There’s one thing that Austin also uses the Jeep for—pure enjoyment. He concludes, “Everyday when I get in it to go to work and back, I can’t help myself but say, ‘Damn that’s mine.’ and then smile. I’m very thankful that I am able to achieve having something like this in my life and use it how I want to. I also try to go wheeling with it every weekend. It doesn’t matter where, most of the time I have no idea where I’m going till I get there. We think that applies to all of us. Check out more of the 106 Race Series wheel that Austin is rolling on below.
- Developed for the serious off-road enthusiast
- Solid A356 aluminum with T6 heat treatment construction
- Tough 6 windowed point design with debossed METHOD logos
- Reinforced inner lip provides extreme strength and durability
- Extra wide bead seat is 17% bigger to accommodate largest tires
- Forged 6061 aluminum V.3 beadlock ring is 53% thicker and reduces deflection
- Recessed hardware has 360 degree protection to prevent bolt head shearing
- American made Grade 8 zinc-plated beadlock hardware kit included
- Redundant sets of threaded beadlock hardware holes machined into wheel
- Bolt-on center cap with embossed METHOD logo
- Super strong 3600 lbs. load rating
- Hub centric fitments for common applications
- Custom bolt drilled bolt patterns and hub openings available
Owner: Austin Berendes/ @granite_jl
Wheels: 106 Race Series beadlock wheels
Axles: RCV 300mm front axle shafts with disconnect, 300mm rear axle shafts; Dana diff covers; Adams 1350 front and rear driveshafts
Exterior: Genright fenders, inner fenders; Best Top Trektop; Motobuilt crusher with bull bar front bumper, spare tire delete rear bumper, spare tire delete license plate holder; Smitty Built XO20 12k winch; Factor 55 flat link; 10-inch light bar mounted on the fair lead
Interior: PRP custom seat covers; Diamond Audio marine speakers with 10 inch SSV subwoofer enclosure; 67 Designed Phone and iPad mount; Taser JL mini; i-drive throttle controller; Switch pros sp-9100; 24 high beam off-road rgb/white rock lights; Innovation JK underseat twin arb, air up down kit
Suspension: Metal Cloak Gamechanger with 6Pak shocks; Rock Crawler 4.5 springs; RPM steering 2.5 tone tie rod and drag link; King steering stabilizer; Synergy Sector shaft track bar brace; Rock Jock anti-rocks with forged arms front and rear
Tires: Nitto Trail Grappler