1991 Jeep Wranger Renegade
|Now all 4x4's have to answer to a higher power.
--Jeep ad, 1991
- 1991 Jeep Wrangle Renegade (Renegade Decor Package and other upgrades over a standard YJ)
- 4.0 Liter (242 cid) Inline 6
- 5-Speed Manual Transmission
- Power Steering, Power Brakes
- Hard top and full steel doors (3 aftermarket soft tops, full, half cab and fastback)
- 3 inch spring lift, upgraded shocks, transfer case lowered, Revolver shackles
- 33x10.5 BF Goodrich Radial All Terrain Tires
- 15x8 (yes 8) Wheels (These are Jeep originals, with proper offset)
- Custom front and rear bumpers
- Heated seats
- 100 watt off-road lights on front bumper
- Custom built dashboard
- Dual batteries
On a trail with the fastback softtop installed
Purchase and early history
In 1991, I was driving my 1987 Jeep Wrangler, when I saw my first Wrangler Renegade. I stopped right on Broadway (a very busy street) and turned into the dealership to check it out. Right away I was hooked. And they only came in three colors: Black, White and Red. As probably every Mopar nut knows that was also the colors of the original Chrysler 300! Too cool, I needed one.
I wanted another softtop Jeep, but my then girlfriend (now wife) wanted no part of another softtop Jeep as she had been rained on and snowed on enough by the fourth year of our relationship - a hard top was necessary.
In late September of 1991, I started visiting dealerships to find a Renegade. Seemed that everybody had black ones, a few red ones showed up, but white was hard to find. Finally, after several weeks of looking, I located a white Renegade. I called the dealership and told them I'd be right over so start the paperwork. Of course, being a car dealership I was blown off entirely and we had to wait while they did all the paperwork (Here I was, ready to buy and the jerks try to piss me off). I traded my red 1987 Wrangler and bought the Renegade without even driving it. It had 15 miles on the clock, and I wanted to put all the rest on myself, as an owner.
Instantly, the differences between the 258 straight six from my 1987 Wrangler and the new to the Wrangler 4.0 Liter straight six were apparent. The 4.0 didn't launch quite as fast as the 258, but it ran better at 55 and was so smooth at 65. Wow, there was even power to pass at 70. All in all, it was a nice ride home.
With 27 miles on the odometer, my new Renegade and I left for our first 4wheeling adventure - Kelly Flats. Any 4wheeler who has been to Kelly Flats will tell you that the name is poorly chosen as there is nothing flat on this trail. Quickly, my new Renegade had its first trail induced body work as the rear bumper guard (what are those things called anyway?) was ripped off by a rock that didn't care for my Renegade's styling. Once home, this plate was removed and while it sits on a shelf in my garage, has never been reattached.
Since then, the Renegade has been on many trails in Colorado and has been modified. The idea with the modifications has been to keep the Renegade looking stock, that is until it's parked next to another Wrangler and you can see it is 3 to 4 inches higher. The wheels and tires don't stick out as the Renegade came with 8 inch wide mag wheels from Jeep originally. Many thanks to John Crump, without whom I could not have participated in modifying my own Jeep for the first couple of years.
The Renegade now has a 40 channel CB radio and a 3 inch lift from new springs. Its front sway bar has been removed as well as the front and rear track bars. Further, all four leafs now have the added benefit of revolver shackles, which allow droop sort of like a buggy spring, and allow the leaf springs to move in an eccentric. These changes give more suspension articulation than a stock Wrangler suspension does. The Renegade now wears 33x10.50 BFG Radial All Terrain tires in place of the original Goodyear Wrangler ATs that came on the Jeep. A chrome grill covers the original painted grill. And in the summer, a gray softtop replaces the hardtop.
The original fog lights in the front fenders have been replaced with 100 watt driving lights and still utilize the stock wiring. This wasn't as easy as it may seem as the search for driving lights that would fit in the stock openings took two months! The Renegade also runs with a K&N Air Filter and has had the transfer skid/mounting plate lowered an inch to reduce the driveshaft angles.