Every year brings another Ultimate Adventure, our weeklong off-road expedition, and with it a new official vehicle. In 2012 that’s a brand-new Jeep JK Wrangler. The current Wrangler is the best yet, with more power, a stronger chassis, and resilient axles like no open-topped Jeep in history. These attributes are helping Jeep sell more Wranglers than ever before, and the demand isn’t waning. We had the unique opportunity to visit the Jeep factory in Toledo, where every Wrangler is built. They were pumping JKs off the line at 41 per hour, with plans to up that rate to 45. In fact, Toledo has been the home of the Jeep since Willys began building Jeeps there in the 1940s to lead the charge in World War II. OJ, as our orange Jeep quickly became known, started life as a pile of parts in a bustling factory on the outskirts of Toledo. The body hit the line at 9 a.m. coated in Orange Crush paint. The first step involved some internal wiring harnesses and new Rubicon hood stickers.OJ, as our orange Jeep quickly became known, started life as a pile of parts in a bustling Worldwide demand for the iconic vehicle is booming, and we are excited to build one for four-wheeling like you’ve never seen before. We have some harebrained ideas to keep it light and super-nimble. Imagine a JK-based rock buggy that will still run down the highway all powered by the new 3.6L Pentastar V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission, just like the Jeep you could buy at the local dealer. Next month we’ll start the insane transformation. This month we’ll show you how Jeep builds a Jeep. Watch It happen Visit our company’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/motortrend and watch the video of our Jeep being built. 17 minutes later the doors are removed and the new dash is dropped in place. While the body progresses on one line, the doors go off to be fitted with panels, handles, and glass.17 minutes later the doors are removed and the new dash is dropped in place. While the bod 24 minutes into the build the grille is attached. With it come the headlights, turn signals, radiator, A/C condenser, and transmission cooler. The brake master cylinder, lines, and firewall insulation also go in, as does the underhood wiring harness.24 minutes into the build the grille is attached. With it come the headlights, turn signal 48 minutes since OJ hit the line and the windshield glass is getting glued in. The windshield is set in place by hand, but the glue is applied by a giant robotic arm for perfect application.48 minutes since OJ hit the line and the windshield glass is getting glued in. The windshi 59 minutes from the start and the carpet and cage wrap are going on. Notice how the body platform raises and lowers for optimal ergonomics and ease of installation of parts.59 minutes from the start and the carpet and cage wrap are going on. Notice how the body p Notice her flashlight and mirror? Continuous quality inspection occurs on the line to make sure every Jeep is built smoothly and correct. If there is a problem the line stops until it’s quickly rectified.Notice her flashlight and mirror? Continuous quality inspection occurs on the line to make 1 hour 20 minutes into its life and OJ’s tub is connected to the frame and powertrain. The new Pentastar V-6, five-speed auto, Rocktrac 4-to-1 transfer case, and locked Rubicon Dana 44 axles were installed on the chassis previously.1 hour 20 minutes into its life and OJ’s tub is connected to the frame and powertrain. The 1 hour 48 minutes since the body dropped and the doors are getting glass and rubber seals. We fully expect OJ to be windows-down and top-off for the UA, but it’s nice to have the enclosed option should we go snow wheeling later on.1 hour 48 minutes since the body dropped and the doors are getting glass and rubber seals. OJ did its first hill descent 1 hour 54 minutes into the build. There will be many more climbs and descents in this Jeep’s future.OJ did its first hill descent 1 hour 54 minutes into the build. There will be many more cl This is really cool. This giant arm swings down above the engine bay and fills up the A/C system, coolant system, and brakes. Then it bleeds them via vacuum. Once finished it retracts and sends the Jeep on its way. 2 hours 43 minutes since the process began, including a coffee break.This is really cool. This giant arm swings down above the engine bay and fills up the A/C The seats going in OJ are top-of-the-line black leather (yes, we splurged, we can’t deny it). They help showcase the world-class manufacturing system Jeep employs at the Toledo plant. Instead of a giant pile of seats waiting to be installed, the seats arrive from suppliers in the order of the vehicles being built. This means no extra parts in the way and the proper seats lined up to drop in quickly and efficiently. The same strategy is used for everything from tires to door panels.The seats going in OJ are top-of-the-line black leather (yes, we splurged, we can’t deny i We opted for a soft top on this UA Jeep because our build plans make a hard top unrealistic (you’ll learn more about that next time). The clear top windows are heated up before installation so they are more easily zipped into place. Time into build: 3 hours 16 minutes.We opted for a soft top on this UA Jeep because our build plans make a hard top unrealisti 3 hours 21 minutes: OJ looks naked. 3 hours 29 minutes: OJ is dress up with new BFG knobbies and 17-inch rims. Another inspection, and this one is by the Official Old Jeep Guy. OOJG looks over OJ with a critical eye, looking for unplugged wires, loose screws, crooked stickers, and missing lug nuts. OJ passes with flying colors at 3 hours 45 minutes since the start.Another inspection, and this one is by the Official Old Jeep Guy. OOJG looks over OJ with Next a quick dyno run to make sure everything spins good and true. Lights go on and off? Check. Brakes stop? Check.Next a quick dyno run to make sure everything spins good and true. Lights go on and off? C You can just see the striped shirt of the underbelly inspector as OJ rolls over his grease pit. This guy looks for leaks, taps on parts to be sure they’re tight, and verifies that everything is in the right place.You can just see the striped shirt of the underbelly inspector as OJ rolls over his grease 4 hours 22 minutes into the process our UA Jeep hits its first monsoon—man-made monsoon, that is. This spray booth looks for leaks around the top, up through the floor, and anywhere that might infringe on driver comfort or electrical wellbeing. We didn’t have the heart to tell them that we’ll probably be driving it top-down through a mud pit some day.4 hours 22 minutes into the process our UA Jeep hits its first monsoon—man-made monsoon, t After more inspection OJ hits a short test track. This rutted road, weaving course, and stop/start test is the final inspection for every Jeep leaving the plant. Total build time was 4 hours 30 minutes, but that is just for one Jeep. The Toledo plant builds between 41 and 45 Wranglers and Libertys an hour in two 10-hours shifts per day. That’s roughly 720 to 900 Jeeps a day. The plant has 1,800 employees, and all the ones we met seemed extremely proud of the vehicle they’re building—and with good reason. Jeep JK Wranglers are cool and in demand. The 1.9-million-square-foot factory makes Wranglers in 10 colors, in two- or four-door configurations, and both U.S. and export models (even foreign diesel variants!). The demand for the Jeep Wrangler has this plant running near capacity, with 180,000 units per year currently and striving for 190,000 to 200,000 in the future. Watch the build happen at www.youtube.com/motortrend.After more inspection OJ hits a short test track. This rutted road, weaving course, and st SOURCES Hazzard Fabworx 509-995-1176 Warn Industries 12900 S.E. Capps Road Clackamas OR 97015 800-910-1122 www.warn.com Off-Road Power Products 866-379-8685 http://www.offroadpowerproducts.com Nitto Tire 6021 Katella Avenue Suite 250 Cypress CA 90630 877-565-8448 www.nittotire.com Zone Offroad Products 888-998-ZONE GenRight Off-Road 1816 Angus Avenue Unit A Simi Valley CA 93063 805-584-8635 www.genright.com Jeep N/A AK 877-426-5337 www.jeep.com Offroad Design 484 County Road 113 Carbondale CO 81623 970-945-7777 http://www.offroaddesign.com/ Bubba Rope 310 W Melody Lane Casselberry FL 32707 N/A www.bubbarope.com Spidertrax Off-Road 7510 Hygiene Road Longmont CO 80503 800-286-0898 www.spidertrax.com Synergy Suspension 870 Industrial Way San Luis Obispo CA 93401 1-805-242-0397 http://www.synergysuspension.com By Fred Williams Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!