In order to clear the toughest of obstacles, 37x12.50R15LT Goodyear Wrangler MTRs were mounted on 15x8-inch Center Line Hellcat wheels with Champion bead locks, John used his custom-triangulated four-bar Currie rear suspension with 14-inch travel Sway-A-Way coilovers and wrap-under, long, lower rear arms. Up front, the custom long wrap-under lower arms were also used, and we can report they work beautifully. Twelve-inch travel coilovers from Sway-A-Way were also used.
The original steering column was burned to a crisp, so John installed a polished stainless column and steering shaft from Flaming River. An extra-tough 1.25x.500-inch chrome-moly tie rod and a drag link with Heim ends were fabricated to ensure that the common problem of tie rod or drag link failure didn't happen to the Fire Ant.
For rock protection, the body was mounted 1 inch higher on the frame by using modified and cut body mounts. Currie Enterprises rocker guards and front and rear Rock Crawler bumpers also keep the rocks at bay. Underneath, custom 5/16-inch aluminum skidplates act as the crossmember and also protect the transmission and the engine oil pan. A Warn XD9000i with a Master Pull winch rope was installed to keep everything moving in a pinch.
To protect the occupants, James Gang Racing was recruited to build a beautiful full rollcage with Spotter Bars to keep the spotter in contact with the Jeep. The cage was reinforced after a nasty roll showed a couple of weak spots. The interior of the Wrangler is enhanced with Beard Super Seats with S-line seatbelts and a custom dash with Auto Meter gauges from James Gang Racing. The stock shifter from the Grand Cherokee was retained, and John reports that it works quite well. A 1/3hp Currie 12-volt compressor and battery cutoff switch were installed under the front passenger seat.
The Fire Ant is a testament to the quality of work Currie Enterprises is able to do. It's extremely clean and well thought out. When all is said and done, the final test is whether a 4x4 works in extreme conditions. And the Fire Ant works very well, indeed. Be careful, though. This Fire Ant can painfully sting its competition in the extreme backcountry.
|Owner/hometown ||: ||John Currie/Anaheim Hills, California |
|Make/model ||: ||'01 Jeep TJ Wrangler |
|Engine ||: ||4.7L Jeep Power Tech OHC V-8 |
|Induction ||: ||Multiport sequential fuel injection |
|Transmission ||: ||Grand Cherokee five-speed automatic |
|Transfer case ||: ||3.01:1 Atlas II |
|Frontend ||: ||63-inch-wide Currie High Pinion 9-inch with |
|1-ton knuckles, 35-spline axles, a Detroit |
|Locker, Wilwood brakes, and Warn locking hubs |
|Rearend ||: ||63-inch-wide Currie High Pinion 9-inch with |
|35-spline axles, a Detroit Locker, and Wilwood |
|disc brakes |
|Ring-and-pinion ||: ||4.56:1 |
|Suspension ||: ||Custom Currie long control arms with Sway-A- |
|Way coilover front, and triangulated rear with |
|Sway-A-Way coilovers and long wrap-under |
|control arms |
|Tires/wheels ||: ||37x12.50R15LT Goodyear Wrangler |
|MTRs/15x8-inch Center Line Hellcats with |
|Champion bead locks |
|Estimated value ||: ||$125,000 |
1480 N. Tustin Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807