Last month, we introduced the most recent step we're taking with our yellow Project TJ. The well-equipped '01 Jeep Wrangler was going under the knife at Off Road Evolution in Fullerton, California, to receive AEV's Brute pickup conversion kit. With the complete kit in place, we'll gain a 117.4-inch wheelbase and a heavy-duty, 14-gauge, stamped-steel pickup bed that measures 72x59x17 inches.
Although AEV indicated that we should expect a good two weeks of labor time just to get the rig to the painter, we had a different finish-date goal in mind since we planned on taking the freshly completed (and painted) Brute to the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab less than two weeks after we'd begin the conversion. We had our work cut out for us, but it wasn't an impossible feat. Check out the details of the conversion in the following photos and captions, and check out the next couple of issues of 4WD&SU as we complete our Brute project and put it to the test on trails from California to Utah.