AEV's Take On The New Wrangler
In the summer of 1997, David Harriton of American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) launched an idea that in effect went on to spawn the creation of one of the most unique mass-production vehicles ever: the '04 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.The original idea was to stretch the wheelbase of a standard Jeep TJ, and it eventually evolved into two AEV vehicle offerings:the 104-inch-wheelbase Wrangler and the 112-inch-wheelbase Wrangler. Since the introduction of the Unlimited, however, the company has replaced these models with the factory Jeep version and now offers a new package called the AEV Unlimited TJ-D.
As with all AEV's vehicle conversions, a number of options and upgrades exist to ensure that the customer can achieve the level of desired off-road performance. The base-model AEV Unlimited conversion includes many entry-level components to increase its trail capability. For those eager to seek out more extreme terrain, AEV can outfit a rig just as shown with all the bells and whistles and ready to conquer any trail.
In developing this particular Unlimited conversion, AEV took a number of steps to improve its off-road prowess. The first step was to equip the rig with a set of Dana 44 axles with ARB Air Lockers and 4.11 gearing. The suspension was addressed next with the addition of a 4-inch Old Man Emu lift system. The new suspension was complemented with a Stinger torque arm and a Tummy Tucker skidplate from Nth Degree Mobility. As a result, enough space was created beneath the fenders for a set of 315/75R16 Goodyear M/TR tires mounted to AEV's silver-finish alloy wheels. The company also settled into the Power Tech 4.0L I-6 engine, equipping it with an Avenger Supercharger and ARB Safari Snorkel. The engine further maintains its optimum operating temperature through the use of AEV's all-steel heat-reduction hood.
While a number of comfort and safety enhancing interior options exist for all AEV's conversion vehicles, Harriton elected to focus primarily on the exterior of this particular model, leaving the interior stock. A rear swing-away tire carrier and bumper from Currie Enterprises was installed along with an ARB Bull Bar front bumper and Warn 9500ti winch. The company went on to install AEV Rocker Guards and a full complement of IPF lighting systems.
With its extra cargo space, towing capacity, and enhanced off-road ability, the AEV Unlimited Conversion is certainly a vehicle we'd elect to hit the trails in. The longer wheelbase offers a smoother and more stable ride than standard-wheelbase Wranglers, and the AEV modifications are exactly what's needed to take the new Unlimited to the next level. It's a matter of choice, really. But with AEV and Jeep, the choices are seemingly unlimited.
|Year/make/model:||'04 Jeep Wrangler |
|Owner/hometown:||American Expedition |
|Suspension:||4-inch Old Man Emu|
|Tires/wheels:||315/75R16 Goodyear M/TRs |
/16x8-inch AEV alloys