As we prepare to deliver our popular Project Vandal 7.3L HEMI to its new owner, we thought it only appropriate to launch a new HEMI build in the high horsepower, big tire, unique build section of our RubiTrux shop. When our regular customer, enduring supporter and RubiTrux friend, Mark, heard the chatter, he came up with a brilliant idea. Mark asked us to to build his dream Brute Double Cab. Of course, we were honored and thrilled.
We spent a few days bouncing ideas back and forth to determine the direction of this custom Jeep build. We knew Mark wanted plenty of power. And we knew his extraordinary taste for premium quality and unique design elements to make his vehicles really stand out. Aside from that, he left all the specific design-build choices up to us. We think it’s safe to say, “We nailed it!”
Stock Wrangler JKU to Double Cab: What A Stretch!
The process started at AEV’s conversion shop in Wixom, Michigan. A brand new stock Wrangler JKU is stripped down and ready for the conversion process. The added sections in the frame stretch the wheelbase an astounding 23 inches, from a 116-inch wheelbase to a 139-inch wheelbase. AEV then adds a custom cab enclosure, hard top, and stamped composite bed measuring 61 inches long by 60 inches wide.
Every Double Cab conversion comes standard with an AEV DC350 build package, meaning a 3.5-inch lift and 35-inches tall tires. The conversion process usually takes around 9 months to complete from order to delivery and starts at $41,589 for the conversion alone, not including the Jeep itself.
We started with AEV’s DC350 build Package as a base; 3.5” DualSport SC suspension, 35x12.50x17 BFG KM2 Mud Terrain Tires, AEV Pintler Wheels, and AEV Premium front and rear bumpers. While it looks incredible, stretching the wheelbase and adding larger tires does have one downfall... Power.
The HEMI Swap Unleashed A Monster.
Even the mighty 3.6L Pentastar engine starts to lose some power with the added upgrades. Mark knew this so our first item on the build sheet was a 6.4L HEMI. Knowing Mark’s taste, we knew it wouldn’t stop there.
You may remember the 7.3L stroker HEMI from Project Vandal, built by our friends at Arrington Performance in Martinsville, Virginia. Arrington is THE go-to performance shop for all things HEMI. We were unsuccessful at convincing Mark to go with a 7.3L stroker, but we did plan out an upgrade for the 392.
What kind of power does this add? Glad you asked. The stock 6.4L HEMI makes around 470 HP at the crank with the AEV HEMI Conversion kit. With the added upgrades, this unleashed monster now makes around 650 HP at the crank and an incredible 590 lb-ft of torque!
External Upgrades For A Heavenly Highway Experience.
After the HEMI swap we focused on exterior upgrades. We swapped out the 3.5 inch DualSport SC suspension to the 4.5-inch DualSport SC suspension. This, of course, made more room for a bigger tire. While our normal combination is a 4.5-inch lift paired with a 37-inch tall tire, we wanted to push the limits with a 38-inch tall tire. It doesn’t seem like much, but a one-inch taller tire makes a huge difference.
We chose a 38x13.50r18 Toyo Open Country MT paired with a Fuel 18 x 9 inch Anza wheel. We feel this combination is a match made in heaven. The tires don’t look too big, nor too small. They fill the wheel well proportionately.
To help turn the massive tires, we chose a 4.56 gear ratio to make it jump right off the line, even with 38s! We could have considered 4.88s. But with all the highway driving this Jeep will experience, plus the HEMI, the 4.56 ratio fits the bill best for both application and performance.
Dressed For Success! Small Details Make A Big Difference.
We always take pride in small details, and this build is no different! We completely outfitted the interior. We started with custom Alea F-1 leather. Then we added the Alpine X009-WRA Restyle Head Unit.
For an easy in-and-out experience in a Jeep this tall, we installed Carolina Metal Masters Billet Front Grab Handles, paired with AMP Research Power Steps.
We upgraded lighting with Vision X Vortex LED Headlights, JW Speaker Fog Lights, and a full Recon lighting package which includes turn signals, fender markers and tail lights -- all in a smoke and black. We installed ARB 32 Intensity LED lights for a tasteful touch of color and more forward projecting light.
If you didn’t catch it on Facebook, here’s a quick glimpse at Mark's new beastie, but beautiful, custom Double Cab conversion. (Stay tuned for a more detailed video posting soon.)
Want a custom Double Cab of your own? If you can dream it, we can build it. Give us a call and let’s get started.
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