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Monthly Archives: July 2016

  • HyperGreen JKU - Part 1

    2016-hypergreen-hyper-green-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-stockThis week we're taking a look at another one of our builds, and while you may be used to seeing our traditional AEV build with either a 3.5" or 4.5" lift and 35's or 37's, we're taking this Jeep in a whole new direction! We wanted to try something fitting for this color, which you probably noticed right off the bat. Unlike the other new colors such as Rhino, Mojave Sand, and Sarge Green, introduced for the 2016 year model, Hypergreen is a bright attention-grabber. While dull colors like greens, black, or billet look great on Jeep Wranglers, sometimes you gotta go all the way with a unique color like Amp'd, Copperhead Pearl, or in this case, Hypergreen.2016-hypergreen-hyper-green-jeep-wrangler-exterior-rse-rock-slide-engineering-front-bumper-toyo-all-terrain-salta-wheel-passenger-side-front-angleWhile the Hypergreen color may look like a yellow highlighter on the official Jeep website, it's actually a shade darker in person, and goes great with black accents and the OEM interior. With such a unique color, we couldn't just keep the stock-ish look that many lifted Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited's retain. While the clean "cookie-cutter" build is certainly a popular choice with our customers, with a color like Hypergreen, the aftermarket accessories need to be just as attention grabbing and off the beaten path as the color itself!2016-hypergreen-hyper-green-jeep-wrangler-jk-unlimited-rubicon-exterior-front-passenger-sideFirst up, the suspension. Not much has changed here from our traditional build as we retained the usual AEV suspension, but with good reason! AEV provides great performance both on and off-road, and while a long arm such as a RockKrawler would be great for the more hardcore off-roader, an AEV suspension provides the more balanced on and off-road package. While the wheels pictured here are the AEV Salta, we are changing these out for some MOPAR Beadlocks on the final build, so stay tuned!2016-hypergreen-hyper-green-jeep-wrangler-exterior-rse-rock-slide-engineering-front-bumper-grille-shotThe tires we chose for this build differ from our standard JKU's in that we used Toyo Open Country R/T's instead of Toyo Open Country M/T's. Although we love the Toyo Open Country M/T, this hybrid M/T and A/T tire gives the perfect balance between on and off-road performance, and will go well with the MOPAR beadlocks.2016-hypergreen-hyper-green-jeep-wrangler-rse-rock-slide-engineering-front-bumper-stubby-warn-winchAlthough this build is still in progress, we've already mounted the front bumper. A Rock-Slide Engineering Stubby was chosen for improved approach angles. This bumper also protects the front of the JKU and the Warn winch mounted inside. In addition, there are two D-ring mounts if the new owner needs more recovery options! As of now, an RSE rear bumper and tire carrier are also slated for this vehicle as well.2016-hypergreen-hyper-green-jeep-wrangler-jk-unlimited-rubicon-interior-driver-seatTo go along with the stubby bumper, the OEM stock fenders will be replaced with Metalcloak Overland Fenders, similar to some of our Tank builds from last year (see below). This will give the Hypergreen JKU more room to run the 37" tires with the 3.5" AEV Lift Kit, making for a great LCOG (Low Center of Gravity) Jeep!2016-hypergreen-hyper-green-jeep-wrangler-jk-unlimited-rubicon-interiorRight now the interior remains stock, aside from the Alpine In-Dash Restyle system. This system will give the driver a large, 9" screen with which to use GPS and radio controls while on the road, and can also monitor vehicle functions and engine codes! The Jeep dashboard now sports a unique and high-end look with this kit, but still retains the general OEM feel, with the Alpine unit looking as if it could have been a MOPAR factory add-on itself!2016-hypergreen-hyper-green-jeep-wrangler-interior-alpine-restyle-kit-dashFor now, check out our prior Overland and LCOG style Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited builds below, and stay tuned for the completed Hypergreen build, coming soon; it's sure to turn some heads - Don't forget to let us know what you think!2015-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-rubicon-aev-poison-spyder-roof-rack-driver-three-quarter2015-canyon-brown-pearl-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-pass-three-quartercustom-2015-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-unilimited-tank-poison-spyder-rigid-lightscustom-jeep-wrangler-red-105514-dramatic-high

  • 4.6L Brute - Part 3

    pair-of-brute-jeep-conversion-black-blue-hemi-inline-6-build-in-progressWe've had the 4.6L Brute back from paint for about a week or so now, and have made headway with many of the aftermarket accessories, including the wheels and tires, winch, bumpers, etc. The rollcage is still at paint and the vehicle itself is getting ready to leave for Line-X soon, for the truck bed interior, but you can see from these images that this project is on the home stretch!2006-jeep-wrangler-brute-tj-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-front-grille-led-jw-speaker-headlights-37-bfgoodrich-all-terrain-tires-snorkel-poison-spyder-trail-cage2006-jeep-wrangler-brute-tj-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-lift-and-tires-snorkel2006-jeep-wrangler-brute-tj-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-bfgoodrich-tires-37-raceline-wheels-bajaThe paint and body shop did an awesome job with this 4.6L Brute, and the black factory coded paint goes well with the aftermarket accessories, much of which are black as well. First up, we've got the 37" BFGoodrich All-Terrain Tires (above); while some offroad enthusiasts advocate a good mud terrain, this Brute's new home will be in the desert, and with an all-terrain winning over an M/T in the sand any day, the new KO2's were a no brainer. These 37" tires are mounted to a nice set of Raceline wheels, which go well with the blacked out look of this 'rig.2006-jeep-wrangler-brute-tj-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-snorkel-wheelwell-bfgoodrich-all-terrain-tires2006-jeep-wrangler-brute-tj-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-interior-poison-spyder-trail-cage-snorkelA Safari snorkel ensures that the 4.6L gets plenty of fresh air; a must have in the desert. A Poison Spyder trail cage protects the occupants, and LED headlights and smoked turn signals give the Brute a sleek, modern look. As far as bumpers go, this Brute gets an ARB front bumper, which houses a Warn winch in case recovery becomes an issue. In the images below, you can also see the TeraFlex '60 axles, perfect for the 37" tires and 4.6L engine.2006-jeep-wrangler-brute-tj-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-rear-bed-view-raceline-wheels-bfgoodrich-tires-37-nth-long-arm2006-inline-6-jeep-wrangler-tj-brute-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-arb-bumper-snorkel-teraflex-axles-front-passenger-side-angleAs mentioned above the 4.6L Brute is about to leave for the Line-X bed treatment, so stay tuned for our next update where we'll install the final touches such as the interior, fender flares, tailgate, and bed 'cage, and don't forget to let us know what you think!2006-inline-6-jeep-wrangler-tj-brute-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-arb-bumper-snorkel-teraflex-axles

  • 2006 HEMI Brute - Part 4

    2006-jeep-wrangler-lj-rubitrux-hemi-brute-conversion-ready-to-paint-passenger-sideYou may remember our Brute build that was sent to paint awhile back; well, it's returned after a long hiatus and we've begun work on the long arm kit! When complete, this Brute will be ready for the toughest trails around. First up lets check out the Nth Degree long arm suspension kit! The Nth Degree long-arm kit was chosen because it provides higher ground clearance than other long-arm kits on the market. This will ensure that the underside of the Brute doesn't get caught on any rocks or obstacles on the trail, especially with it's long wheelbase (LWB). The Brute as it returned from paint.2006-jeep-brute-pickup-trailer-blue-shopAfter the new Brute is pulled into the garage, the Rubicon Dana-44 axles are removed from the vehicle. This will allow easy access to the control arms and underside of the Jeep for the Nth Degree long arm install. Below, a jack supports the weight of the transmission, as the transmission skid has been dropped as well.2006-jeep-wrangler-brute-conversion-hemi-long-arm-upgrade-lift-shop2006-jeep-wrangler-brute-conversion-hemi-long-arm-upgrade-lift-shop-linkage-adjustment-transmission-motor-skid-removedWith the stock control arms and mounts removed from the vehicle, the new long arm mounts and arms are added. The rear axle housing is reinstalled, along with the new Bilstein shocks. The rear axle is then regeared to 4.88 and a shiny new American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) differential cover is added. The rear differential also gets a skid plate and third arm, shown below as well. As this kit was designed for the LJ, the crossmember connecting the third arm to the rear axle had to be modified; more on this later.jeep-wrangler-hemi-v8-brute-conversion-488-gear-install-rear-suspension-long-armjeep-wrangler-lj-hemi-v8-brute-conversion-rear-axle-american-expedition-vehicles-diff-cover-painted-shocks-n-springs-bilsteinsjeep-wrangler-lj-hemi-v8-brute-conversion-rear-suspension-diff-guard-skid-tri-linkBelow we have the new transmission skid plate and mount. You may notice how high up this skid plate is in relation to the frame; other long arm kits feature a much lower skid compared to the Nth Degree kit. As ground clearance was something that couldn't be sacrificed on this build, especially with the length of the Brute, the Nth Degree skid design will certainly come in handy!jeep-wrangler-hemi-v8-brute-conversion-aev-american-expedition-vehicles-transmission-skid-mountThe front axle is shown here - Chris Minnich elected to do the gear and truss install while the axle was out of the vehicle, as this allows easy access for welding the truss. The front axle will also get an identical AEV differential cover to the rear. In addition to the truss, regear and diff cover, the front axle shafts will be swapped out for some RCV shafts, to increase the durability over that of a conventional U-joint.jeep-wrangler-lj-hemi-v8-brute-conversion-front-axle-gear-installAfter the front axle was regeared and the truss installed, the Jeep (now with the front long-arms in place) is lowered back onto the axle, and the axle is bolted up. The shocks, springs, sway bar links and track-bar are also attached at this point. Note the track bar bracket from the driver's side of the frame extending to the frame just in front of the passenger spring. This Nth degree bracket comes with the lift kit and allows the track-bar to retain the OEM geometry, resulting in an improved ride over that of an adjustable track-bar.jeep-wrangler-lj-v8-hemi-brute-unlimited-conversion-long-arm-kitjeep-wrangler-lj-v8-hemi-brute-unlimited-front-axle-install-driver-sidejeep-wrangler-lj-rubicon-brute-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-front-axle-suspension-in-place-liftBack to the rear axle; as mentioned the kit is designed for a Jeep LJ. While the Jeep LJ features a longer wheelbase than the Jeep TJ, it is still shorter than a Brute. On a stock LJ the third arm crossmember bolts up directly behind the transfercase/transmission skid plate. However, with the Brute frame extension this leaves the third arm short. Simply moving the crossmember towards the rear of the vehicle won't work, as it will hit the driveshaft. The solution is to build a custom bracket that both attaches to the transmission skid and driver's side frame rail, shown below.jeep-wrangler-lj-rubicon-brute-conversion-tri-link-customTo build this custom bracket, the original cross-member is first cut down and test fit to the Brute. Next up, supports and a mount connecting the transmission skid plate are built to the crossmember. Once this design is roughed out and test fit, it is removed, plated over and painted. Below, you can see the third link angle and finished product.2006-jeep-hemi-brute-new-custom-crossmember-tri-linkNext, the Brute is lowered and the steering setup and "rollers" are installed so it can be pulled out of the garage bay. Rollers are often worn out tires that are used simply for moving the vehicle from one side of the lot to another, or to pull the vehicle in or out of a garage bay. In this case, we reused the 33" BFGoodrich tires that were already on the vehicle during it's life as a HEMI powered LJ. Soon, this build will get a new set of shoes, but for now, these 33's will do.2006-hemi-brute-conversion-american-expedition-vehicles-in-progressThe HEMI Brute is then pulled out of the garage bay to make way for another build. We're currently waiting on a few last minute parts, so stay tuned for further updates! If you remember the other Brute build with the Inline-6, it's here as well, having also returned from paint. Both Brute 'rigs will be getting 37" tires in addition to the Nth Degree long arm kits and more. Let us know what you think, and if you're interested in a Brute of your own give us a call at 828-406-3031!pair-of-brute-jeep-conversion-black-blue-hemi-inline-6-build-in-progress

     

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