When you search for “restorod,” it’s always muscle cars with LS-swaps. Synergy Manufacturing did more than a swap with Jeep’s original muscle car.
Life for this 1971 Jeepster Commando wasn’t easy. Dave Schlossberg – President and CEO of Synergy Manufacturing – came across it when he was searching CraigsList for a new project. He wanted to showcase their products and purchased it for $2500. Unfortunately, it needed a lot of work to make it look passable.
That’s when he and his team over at Synergy came up with a plan: remove the cancer, work the body, and install a brand-new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK frame. No, this frame didn’t come from another wrecked JK nor did they salvage one. They called up their local dealer and ordered a frame straight from Jeep. You can do this, too, just be prepared to shell out about $1200 or more. Your mileage may vary.
It would have been awesome if you could just plop a brand new JK frame under an old Jeep, let alone a Jeepster Commando. However, they needed to shorten it to fit the 101-inch wheelbase. Even as you crawl under it, you can’t tell how it was done. Well, if you’re not a JK enthusiast, anyway.
Once the body was finished, it was sent to San Luis Autobody in San Luis Obispo, California and sprayed in Firecracker Red.
The Finished Product
Restorod Worthy Engine
The engine was basically refreshed on the inside by Roslan’s Performance, but the heads were replaced by a better flowing set from Texas Speed and Performance. Rocking their valve springs open is a Tooley Racing camshaft and the Hooker Headers send those spent gasses through a custom, side-exit exhaust system.
In front of the Optima Redtop Battery is a Switch Pros SP8100 system to control the lights, fridge, Accuair on-board air compressor, and other switchable components.
Stock JK Rubicon Dana 44 axles are used both front and rear, even retaining the stock electronic lockers with 4.10 gears, but are upgraded to handle the abuse like a proper off-road truck should. The front axle has a Synergy Manufacturing truss spanning to each spring seat. A Nitro Gear front cover adds strength over the original Dana 44 front cover.
A set of RCV Axles axle shafts offer more steering angle and strength over the Dana set. Torque is sent from the transfer case through a pair of JE Reel drive shafts.
Under Body Armor
Moving to the back – while also admiring the custom Wheels Vintiques and Nitto Tires – we find another stock Rubicon Dana 44 and Synergy Truss System. The Synergy Stage Three kit includes an adjustable track bar and relocated mount for the axle. Heavy-duty shock mounts also allow the longer Fox Racing 2.5 shocks to fit properly under the modified JK frame and Dana axle. You’ll also find another Nitro Gear differential cover and just see the Synergy gas tank skid plate protecting the custom fuel tank from Tanks, Inc.
It’s The Definition of RestoRod
While Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers, and even the odd Model T will get the restorod treatment, it’s great to see something different. The truck and Jeep worlds need more builds like this. While the ratrod desert truck and overbuilt mall crawler are cool, old trucks with off-road and hot rod modifications like the Synergy Jeepster Commando deserve the same attention.
I think the world needs more builds like this and hopefully we’ll see more.
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