AEV Brute Double Cab Scales Utah's Extreme Trails

AEVa Brute DC II

By Mark Williams

Whether you're mountain biking, hiking a trail, soft-roading or doing extreme four-wheeling, much of the most beautiful country in the U.S. is away, often far away, from a paved road. That's why we love Moab, Utah, and that's why we've always said if you love the backcountry, you have to get there and explore it at least once in your lifetime. As luck would have it, the founders of American Expedition Vehicles invited us to drive their latest creation, the AEV Brute Double Cab four-door Jeep 4x4 pickup truck.

You may have seen this four-wheeler in our past Specialty Equipment Marketing Association coverage or on adventure TV shows. When we were offered the chance to get behind the wheel of AEV's latest creation on some of the most treacherous trails in Utah's four-wheeling heaven, we had to say yes.

We should start by noting that AEV is not just another Jeep parts maker looking to help Jeep nuts do crazy things. The company is more than 15 years old and has survived by creating well-engineered products to improve the strength, durability and capability of Jeep Wranglers.

What put AEV on the map was the TJ Brute conversion kits that transformed the previous-generation Wrangler into a highly capable Jeep pickup for about $9,000. Unfortunately, the TJ Brute kit could only be used for two-door models, and it limited interior storage space. All that has changed with the introduction of AEV's four-door Brute Double Cab model. It adds 23 inches to the wheelbase of a Wrangler Unlimited platform and another 16 inches to the rear of the frame rails to create a decently sized short pickup bed.

Hitting the Trails

We met the AEV folks at 5:30 a.m. outside Moab along with about 15 other hard-core Jeep fans and AEV customers. Each of them had a story about their modified Jeeps. We were there to try out the three Brute DCs on the trails. One of the three was a fully outfitted Pearl White Brute DC with a 6.4-liter V-8 Hemi, 35-inch BFG Mud-Terrains and just about every heavy-duty option that AEV offers. The other two Brute DCs (one red, one green) were more realistically modified with engine and simple, light suspension upgrades.

AEVb Brute DC 2 II

We started on Poison Spider Mesa Trail, which gave us a spectacular view of Moab once we climbed to the valley's edge, a trip of about three miles of hard-core four-wheeling. Before day's end we also ran a section of the famous Golden Spike Trail and the tail end of the Gemini Bridges Trail.

Most of our time was spent behind the wheel of AEV's loaded white Brute DC which, believe it or not, drives like a stock Wrangler Unlimited behind the wheel. In fact, a good part of AEV's mission is to keep the ride and feel of every vehicle it builds as close to the stock drive settings and geometry as possible. This particular characteristic seems important to Dave Harriton, president and founder of AEV.

"I want our company to be as close to an OEM [original equipment manufacturer] as possible - all our products are the best we can make, specifically made to work together with our other parts," Harriton said. As a result, AEV doesn't have a bunch of suspension kits to mix and match with other parts, so its parts list is relatively small.

AEV tests and engineers its suspension lift with its wheels to match its steering kit; the same is true with its performance pieces. The result is a balanced and impressively neutral ride and handling experience, very much like a stock Wrangler Unlimited. However, the white Brute DC was anything but stock.

It runs on 35-inch BFG Mud-Terrains with 17-inch alloy AEV rims. The 6-inch lift gives the big wheel and tire combination a chance to flex quite a bit inside the fender wells. When building Brutes, AEV starts with a Rubicon Wrangler Unlimited option package because it can get the 4:1 low-range ratio in the transfer case as well as front and rear sway bar disconnects. We're told that many hours of road and simulator testing allowed AEV to get ride and handling characteristics on pavement "as close to a factory steering feel as you'll ever see in a Jeep around Moab," Harriton said.

Extreme Off-Road Testing

AEVc Brute climb II

We wanted to see how the Brute DC did on difficult trails; after all, this is what this Jeep pickup was made for. We were told ascending the rocky cliffs just yards off the trailhead of Poison Spider Mesa would show us what all the extra ground clearance was for. To start, we aired down each tire to between 12 and 15 pounds per square inch to give them more "grabbing" surface area. It didn't take long to be thankful that AEV created huge approach and departure angles in this vehicle, especially when crawling over and around the boulders and rock shelves. Once up the shelves and cliffs we found ourselves navigating trails over large rock faces that looked more like darkened staircases than a trail we should be driving up.

Our DC had plenty of rumbling torque when in 1st gear, mostly because the 6.4-liter V-8 Hemi was under the hood. On the more extreme climbs, dropping the transfer case into the 4:1 low range had us clawing and elevating up and over rock walls. We're guessing the extra weight of the engine up front didn't hurt, as it seemed to give the front tires a touch more grip when scaling the indigenous slick rock.

This particular Double Cab had two beefed-up axles from master axle builders Dynatrac (with its ProRock Series) that had 4.10:1 gears inside. The combination of the engine working with the tires and axles with the impressive crawling gear was like sitting in an orchestra pit surrounded by musicians making amazing classical music. In fact, everything seemed to conspire to make this extreme trail seem like a rather boring experience.

We hopped up on rocks and idled our way over nasty shelves and steep hill climbs; all the while we were impressed with how much grip the BFG Mud-Terrains had through the loose shale, but especially with their performance on the sandpaper-like rock faces. Certain portions of the Golden Spike Trail run up and down giant rock surfaces that don't look navigable even on foot, but our Brutes crawled up and down the walls without so much as a slipped tire.

Our guides told us that punishing temperatures and heavy rains have made the trail surfaces in the Moab area more like 50-grit sandpaper than worn-down rock. As a consequence, the combination of amazing low-end torque and malleable rubber (not to mention plenty of skid plating) made for an almost unstoppable Jeep. Additionally, the angles we put our vehicles in were unnerving much of the time.

There's Always a Price

AEVe Brute scrapes II

Our white Brute Double Cab had several pricey "factory" (from AEV) options of note:

  • The 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 motor from AEV runs about $25,000.
  • The heavy-duty, specially designed Dynatrac ProRock axles (your choice of 60 or 44) are another $20,000.
  • A vented hood, snorkel, front and rear bumpers, tire carrier and roof rack take the total package somewhere north of $100,000.

No doubt the arguments about whether this truck is worth that kind of money will rage for quite a while, but you don't have to add all the options. That's the beauty of the AEV approach; you can buy exactly what you want (or need) and feel confident that each part you've ordered has been matched and engineered to work as closely to factory specs as possible. We think there's value in that, and from the results of our trail ride, we're guessing the costs (for some enthusiasts) would be completely justifiable.

Certainly this pricing makes AEV more of a boutique builder rather than a mass producer. We like that Jeep still has plenty of room to make a lower-cost, midsized four-wheeling pickup, possibly also based off the same Wrangler Unlimited platform that AEV selected. The trick will be making it capable, reasonably priced and functionally practical for mainstream Jeep buyers.

We hope Jeep doesn't wait too much longer before it decides to make the jump. But until then, we've got AEV.

And if you want to see more photos of the AEV on the trails we ran and a photo gallery of all the cool trucks we saw while in Moab, just go to our PUTC Facebook page for all the images.

AEVd Brute hill descent II

AEVf Group II

Comments

That is nice.

To make it better off road a VM V6 diesel option?

@DWFields
There's your Jeep pickup.

Wonder what it cost with just the bed/frame modifacation? Plus how big is the bed?

@Dafish: The bed looks to be about 5 feet. I'm just guessing based on the inside width of the bed (a Jeep Wrangler's stock interior width is 58 inches), and the fact that the bed looks pretty square.

I would love to see a double cab Jeep mid-size pickup based on this, as well as a regular cab with about a 7.5' box, and an extended cab / 6' box based on the Jeep Gladiator concept. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.

Interesting but I can't imagine spending all that money for that. You could get more utility and capability for half the money - $35k half ton pickup, $16k Wildcat or Rzr, $2500 utility trailer.

So their website lists the bed size as 61" x 60", does anyone have the dimensions for the length between the wheel wells? This conversion is way too rich for my blood, but if Jeep (or someone else) would make this truck or something approaching this truck I think it would sell like hotcakes.

I don't know the official dimensions of this conversion, but going off the Jeep Wrangler's stock dimensions, the width between the wheel arches is 44.7 inches. Not enough to slide in a 4' sheet of plywood, but the narrower footprint is better for offroading.

I got the dimensions off various websites. If I'm wrong, correct me, please.

For my tase, I could skip the fancy bed in favor of an aluminum service body or flat bed.
@Dafish- cost is around $20k over and above whatever else you have them do to a Wrangler.
Around $35k for an Unilited Rubi
add another $20k parts and labor for the conversion
another $3k to get one of their (very nice) suspensions put on.
dont forget $2500 for wheels and tires
plus whatever you want in bumpers, winches , and skid-plates....
you're in the mid 60's. The sad part is that Chrysler could build the vehicle for about the same money as a redular Unlimited.

Moab Looks beautiful! It's a paradise for off roading.

Nothing a raptor can't do for 1/2 the price.

I highly recommend checking out AEV's web page about the DCBrute; they have several options starting at about $10K for a base conversion to roughly $20K for a total conversion--engine, tranny and all. I've been following the work on this model ever since they announced their intention and in general really like what I see. However, we also see one of the drawbacks of the pickup conversion with the one rear-bumper shot where the departure angle wasn't quite enough. Then again, I don't think I'd be hard-core rock crawling quite as much as they did since I don't live anywhere near Moab.

Of course, one thing I like is that a relatively-local Jeep dealer has an agreement with AEV and often special-orders AEV-equipped Jeeps effectively straight out of the factory--having the new Wranglers drop-shipped to AEV before they ever reach his showroom floor. As such, I expect to see a new DC Brute in my area before too much longer. My only complaint? The price gets automatically jacked up to between $43K to $55K which puts it in Raptor territory price-wise. Not willing to pay that much.

What AEV isn't doing here is creating a slightly shorter, "extended cab" version, probably due to the fact that the '05 Gladiator concept already had that and is a likely base for whatever Jeep itself decides to do for a factory pickup. Since I don't really need a 4-door (though I now find out my wife is more curious about them) I'd be happier with a Gladiator priced at about what we paid for our Wrangler.

@nip: Don't you mean, "Nothing the Raptor can't do for the SAME price"?

The DC Brute still has a narrower track, so might squeeze between things the Raptor has to go around.

Allow me to shortcut some of my detractors. It does seem AEV has upped the price when including the labor--but keep in mind that anyone who already owns their own JK Wrangler doesn't have to buy a new one to get the mods. Said mods work on any '07 to current 4-door Wrangler and you don't even have to swap out engines--they've got a supercharger for that.

This article is a bit misleading because the $100K Brute 4-door is the price with every bell and whistle. You can have one of these in the driveway for the same cost as a new Raptor or Power Wagon.

This is, the JK Brute is lighter and narrower and has a lower crawl ratio and better departure/breakover/approach angles so for the outdoor enthusiast this truck will walk circles around anything else on the market.

Just a Wrangler and a $300 Harbor Freight trailer does the same thing. Thank you though.

But wait... you'll NEED the trailer to haul anything with it anyway. The AEV Brute Double cab is already 1000s of lbs OVER its max 5,500 GVWR 'BEFORE' you add fluids!

It only has the better crawl ratio if it is a rubicon with the 4.10 gears, the only vehicle i have been able to find in the states with a better crawl ration than a Raptor which also uses 4.10 gears is the manual rubicon, Jeep doesn't have the numbers for automatics published, the extra witdth of the raptor makes it more stable on the road than a jeep, but in some areas the width could be a factor. and remeber that ford has taken stock raptors through moab before.

100,000 for a modified Jeep? If you can afford that you can afford the 6 wheel drive Mercedes AMG G63 pickup.

Without Chrysler making the Dakota anymore, they really need to get with the program and start making a Jeep pickup! I would love to be able to buy a reg cab with a 6'+ bed, or even the 4dr like they have here would be cool, and I an see all the Sierra Club types having a cow because of all the rubber worn rocks!!!

@DWFields
Explanation of what happened to the Jeep Pickups and the Egytian Jeep Pickup.
http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2011/commercial/jeep/wrangler/jeep-australia-to-introduce-wrangler-ute-26041
The last ute Jeep sold in Australia was the CJ-10 available between 1982 and 1985. Powered by a 3.3-litre Nissan diesel engine it was distinguished by rectangular headlights.
"It was primarily an export vehicle for Jeep at the time (although the US military did take delivery of some CJ-10s) but GLOBAL DEMAND WAS WEAK and the model was dropped. Jeep builds a Wrangler-based ute IN EGYPT but that vehicle, the J8, is not engineered for RHD markets

@Robert Ryan: An interesting point and for Australia maybe a deal killer. However, the standard JK 4-door is built right hand drive even for American use (US Postal service especially) and I don't see how it would be impossible to have the mods performed by American Expedition Vehicles before shipping to Oz. Granted, shipping costs are probably killer, but the Brute Double Cab could probably be wrangled in easily enough. As I stated earlier, at least some Jeep dealerships do direct business with AEV for different Jeep mods straight out of the factory.

That $100,000 for the Brute is an extreme example; the typical Rubicon only costs about $33K-35K from the factory and AEV adds another $30K to $40K to convert the rig as it stands to a truck depending on just how extensive a set of mods you choose for it. Of course, tossing in a bigger engine and ALL the bells and whistles will make it more expensive. That said, at 300 hp or so, the base Rubi rig still has more than enough power to handle most of the work and honestly? The changes to the frame throw the old GVWR right out the window; they don't mention what the new GVWR is and it's obvious that they change quite a few of the suspension components to beef it up. Still, I'm not willing to pay $60K for any pickup, no matter what brand or how it's equipped.

@DWF - No, AEV can not legally or otherwise, change the GVWR on a truck. Maybe Oxy could, but it's not just about the frame. Brakes? Suspension? Steering component/links? Curb weight?

Payload is GVWR minus curb weight. This is a mid-size truck with the static weight of a well equipped 1/2 ton or greater than a base 3/4 ton 4X4. That equals 'negative payload', or legally "overloaded", empty.

I don't want to spoil anybody's fun, but just so you know, it's the owner's responsibility to know these things. And keep things safe.

Jeeps are really, really good off-road but really, really awful ON-road.
And I couldn't help but notice none of those pics show hauling any gear.

Luckily we have toyota tacomas which offer good performance both on and off road and have room to haul some camping gear, dirt bikes, etc.

Then how do people change the GVWR on cars / SUVs converted to limos??

@TRX-4 Tom:

I'm guessing limousines have special licenses.

Also, notice how you almost never see them on the interstate? Cadillac One, for instance (aka, The Beast), has a top speed of 60 mph.

An Excursion or an Expedition/Navigator can tow a fair amount, but when was the last time you saw an Excursion limo pulling anything?

@Carilloskis: You talk of crawl ratio; you should have 45.13, 44.14 is the 3.55 geared 4.71 1st gear of the Ram 8 speed, and the 8 speed with 3.92 gears (yeah, they make them) 48.74.

The 2008 shootout the Ram got gigged for crawl ratio, no more! Of course, the 3.55 is close enough for me, if I bought an 8 speed, and has enough low engine speed to make mileage on the highway at 65 plus (not at 45-55) with the 8 speed.

@David I don't see them much on the interstate, but considering that Springfield Missouri has a place making limos, and they are barely a block off the intersate, I would bet they go there. THe intersates are made to hold more weight, as opposed to some state roads with lesser weight limits.

I suspect that if a company puts out the money to have SAE certified Engineers to re-certify/re-rate a modified chassis, you might be able to change the GVWR.

@Lou,
They do the same here for companies offering improved GVM for a 6 X 6 conversion.

@TRX-4 Tom: Oh! When I mentioned the interstate, I was referring to the fact that with all that extra weight, it would take a lot more than a stock engine to propel it at highway speeds. I wasn't even thinking about the effect of a limo's weight on the road itself.

Do you know if the conversion company there in Springfield drives any of their limos to their destinations, or do they just put them on a truck?

"The Brute Double Cab is not designed to be a replacement for a traditional pickup truck. The Brute Double Cab is designed for overland travel. The Brute Double Cab utilizes the factory trailer hitch, therefore retaining the Jeep Wrangler’s 3,500lb max towing capacity. Since there is no standardized test for determining payload capacity, we recommend following Chrysler’s suggested payload capacity of 892-1,000lbs (weight varies depending on trim level)."

"A base package Brute Double Cab DC350 weighs 5,400lbs. This weight will slightly vary depending on the base Wrangler you start with and what additional options are selected."

http://www.aev-conversions.com/education/frequently-asked-questions/357

What AEV is telling you (in not so many words), is you've got 48 lbs of payload to work with. That's fluids, passengers and gear. ie, pack lightly. EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEMELY lightly...

http://autos.yahoo.com/jeep/wrangler-unlimited/2013/rubicon/specifications.html

@Denver|||Mike - interesting point.

That means that if the truck uses the industry standard 150 lb driver, you'd better be one skinny little f--ker. If you are more "average" you'd better have no friends and be able to survive out in the bush with nothing but a smile.

Terrible value for the money and people wonder why mid-size trucks stop selling. It's not the updates. It's the market stupid.

I get what you are saying, David. I don't know, next time I am up that way I might ask.

@MaXx: Have you driven any of the JK 4-door Jeeps for any length of time? I think you'd be quite surprised because the JK rides much MUCH better than the TJ and older models.

I'm going to agree with TRX-4 Tom about the GVWR simply due to the fact that the limo versions that he offers as an example weigh A LOT more than the GVWR of the original vehicle. You ask about brakes, suspension, steering, etc and AEV very specifically states that they do everything they can to give the converted model the same road and trail manners as the original--despite the changes made to frame and body. These things aren't riding on fully stock suspensions, so their GVWR WILL change.

@DWF - Maybe you don't understand what "GVWR" means. It's not a number you can guesstimate based on adding beefier components (Hey, Oxy!). It's a legal designation and SAE certification. The only way to legally increase "payload" is to remove weight from a vehicle.

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/12/can-you-boost-your-payload-ratings.html

The AEV Brute pictured above is ILLEGAL on the street (after topping off with fluids/fuel and driver). Dropping a V8 in it wouldn't 'help' your case. As long as you're never involved in an accident, you'll probably be fine... (Or fined?) Even then, most cops won't know what they're looking at. But just letting you know where you would stand legally, against a decent plaintiff's lawyer.

Limousines based on Lincoln or Cadillac passenger cars are NOT built on normal production autos. These have special "heavy duty" packages not available to the general public. Similar to an "ambulance package". Both of their respective "HD" or "limo" packages come with "GVWR" of approx 7,500 lbs. Or about 2,000 lbs more than civilian versions.

http://www.royalelimo.com/company/qvm-cmc.aspx

These have upgrades throughout, and not just brakes, steering and suspension. They may include heavy-duty cooling for engine, trans and steering plus high-output alternator and other upgrades.

* "Definition: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
It’s how much weight a vehicle is designed to carry. The GVWR includes the net weight of the vehicle, plus the weight of passengers, fuel, cargo and any additional accessories. The GVWR is a safety standard used to prevent overloading."

* "In the United States, two important GVWR limitations are 2,700 kg (6,000 lb) and 3,900 kg (8,500 lb). Vehicles over 6,000 lb are restricted from some city roadways (though there is some dispute about whether this restriction is for actual curb weight or GVWR). Vehicles over the 8,500 lb threshold are required to have insurance under Section 387.303 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980."

Now, I am fully aware that the GVWR of an UNMODIFIED Jeep sits at a certain value based on the components installed BY THE FACTORY. In fact, this article: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/towing/towing-capacity/vehicle/gvwr.htm explains it rather well.

However, AEV does change most of the suspension of the Jeep in order to build the Brute Double Cab AND extends the frame in front of the rear wheels and again behind the wheels to accommodate the 5' box. The suspension changes raise the vehicle 2.5" or more, which includes:

* AEV Frequency-Tuned Progressive Rate Springs
* AEV Performance-Tuned Shocks
* AEV Rear Trackbar Tower and Replacement Track Bar
* AEV Front Control Arm Drop Brackets
* AEV Rear Stabilizer End Link

And more depending on the extent of the mods. These things combined can and will have an effect on the overall capacity of the suspension and as a result the vehicle is no longer factory stock. What neither we nor apparently AEV knows for certain is exactly how much effect the modifications have made AND as they are not a manufacturer per se, they are not required to certify the vehicle to a fixed rating. The fact that they use a custom-built lightweight bed means that they have managed to approximate the weight of the rear portion of the body and maintain the approximate balance of the vehicle despite the added length so that it handles little differently from a stock vehicle. As such, it should serve admirably as a light utility vehicle though is still not meant to serve as a replacement for a full-sized pickup. It should be capable of carrying the same load by weight as a stock Wrangler based on that stock Wrangler's GVWR--in other words, about 1,000 pounds of passengers AND cargo.

What AEV does not give in any of the information I have found is the final curb weight of the vehicle after conversion. So we can't just assume that the weight of the converted Brute is significantly heavier than the stock JK Wrangler.

An additional note:
"Instead of a steel pickup box like the original Brute's, the new Double Cab uses a composite bed that weighs 140 pounds less than the steel bed, allowing the new Brute to tip the scales at about the same weight as a stock Wrangler Unlimited."

Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/163_1208_aev_jeep_brute_double_cab_hemi_first_drive/#ixzz2SkwVZExY

That pretty much confirms my deductions above.

@DWF- Those are some pretty hi-tech, hi-po parts there. Progressive Rate means it gives a softer ride and progressively stiffens up. They all increase ride quality, handling and on/off-road "performance", but I don't see ANY parts that earn higher capacity (payload, over 'stock'). Zero. OK the Axles perhaps, but they're also heavier (in weight), so they actually decrease the "payload" even further. BTW, "axles" are part of the suspension, but don't actually "suspend" a vehicle.

Composite materials are obviously better/lighter than steel, but again, the DC 350 weighs in at a porky 5,400 lbs (with the V6). You can not get around that, no_matter_what. It's GVWR is 5,448 lbs... PERIOD! Get it? What part of "48 lbs of payload" don't you understand???

By the time you get it on the road (by yourself) and pump 15 gallons of fuel into it, you're at least 300 lbs OVERLOADED!!! Any cop that know his 'stuff' can pull you over and give you a citation every time he sees you... You're OK to TOW IT to the trail with a REAL PICKUP though...

@DWF - Or just read your own links:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/towing/towing-capacity/vehicle/gvwr.htm

"A vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating is an important number to know... A vehicle should NEVER be loaded (including fuel passengers, luggage, gear and aftermarket parts/equipment) beyond the manufacturer's listed GVWR."

"...if the vehicle is too heavy, the brakes may not be substantial enough to slow down or stop the vehicle effectively; the suspension components can become ineffective or possibly even break under the added strain and tires that are overloaded generate more heat, making them more likely to blow out. For safety's sake, the GVW should NEVER surpass the GVWR."

It's important to understand that a vehicle's GVWR is NOT a measurement of how much a vehicle actually weighs. A vehicle's actual weight is the Gross Vehicle Weight, or GVW. The two numbers should NOT be confused -- the GVW of a vehicle is constantly changing, but the GVWR will ALWAYS remain a constant.

@DenverMike: So convenient of you to totally ignore the second link I presented where it states that the curb weight of the truck is virtually UNCHANGED--unless, of course, you choose to stuff one of those big V8s under the hood.

Oh, and please do show me the spec sheet where it says the V6 is 5600 pounds, Denver Mike. That's the weight of the Hemi V8 version as stated by MotorTrend dot com.

@Denver Mike: By the way, your "porky 5400 pounds" is actually 200 pounds HIGHER than the MotorTrend statement of 5200 pounds carrying the 6.4L Hemi V-8.

Now, would you care to provide verifiable proof of your own imaginary numbers?

DWF - AEV admits the "base" (V6) DC 350 package weighs 5,400 lbs. Look at its extensive list of feature/upgrades including massive bumpers, hardware and wheels plus extended and reinforced frame. Do you think they weigh nothing? The composite bed added equipment even if feather light.

http://www.aev-conversions.com/education/frequently-asked-questions/357

AEV goes on to STRONGLY recommend using a trailer instead of the bed, and cannot and has not changed its 5,448 "GVWR".

@DM: You do realize that the Base package is the 250, not the 350, right?

If you didn't build it, it's not your Jeep.

@DWF - This is straight off of AEV's web site:

"A base package Brute Double Cab DC350 weighs 5,400lbs. This weight will slightly vary depending on the base Wrangler you start with and what additional options are selected."

¿Anything else I can help you with?

http://www.aev-conversions.com/education/frequently-asked-questions/357

@DWFields
Seeing AEV are modifying a new product by Chrysler the recommendation below is fairly correct. The 3,500lb payload seems reasonable.

"The Brute Double Cab utilizes the factory trailer hitch, therefore retaining the Jeep Wrangler’s 3,500lb max towing capacity. Since there is no standardized test for determining payload capacity, we recommend following Chrysler’s suggested payload capacity of 892-1,000lbs (weight varies depending on trim level).

@Robert Ryan - Anything and everything AEV adds to a stock Wrangler Unlimited, takes away from the original 1,000 lbs "payload". All of AEV's upgrades and auxiliary equipment like the modded cab, extended frame, composite bed, HD bumpers, HD axles, off-road lights, winch, bigger tires/wheels, springs, lift kit, etc, etc,... All these are considered part of original Wrangler Unlimited's "payload".

When AEV finishes the "base" DC 350, there's obviously no payload left (except 48 lbs). It effectively has "negative payload" or "overloaded" once you add fluids, driver and a tank of gas.

Having a double cab Wrangler is pointless if you cannot carry any equipment/gear/ice chests or ANY PASSENGERS safely and responsibly. You also have to watch what you tow with the AEV Brute too. The tongue weight is up to 400 lbs more on its maximum trailer.

@ DWfields,

I drove a late model (13?) wrangler 4 door that I got at Enterprise rent a car. One day I drove it for 12 hours straight. That was more than enough. It was also really bad on gas.
It was a soft top which was extremely noisy on the interstate, so much so that I couldn't even hold a conversation on the phone. Yes, I'm talking about with it closed. Once I got to my warm, sunny destination and opened it up, it broke and would not close and had to hold it shut while I drove to the nearest enterprise. My hand gave out on the way and the whole top blew off and wound up in the street. When I got to enterprise they swapped me out with a dodge crapivan. I have never been so happy to drive one of those! I didn't want the wrangler for another minute longer. What a p.o.s! Never again! Now every time I see someone in there with the top down I think to myself... ha ha sucker. Better hope it doesn't rain. It takes 3 hours to get that top back on and that's if you're lucky and the tent poles that hold it together don't bend.

... I think it was a rubicon, by the way.
I don't really remember as driving it was so traumatizing that I have a mental block.

I did take it on a trail prior to my departure to florida and it was better than anything I've ever driven off road before. Credit where credit's due.

@Denvermike,
Do you think a OEM would allow a Modifier like AEV to make outrageous claims for a vehicle they currently produce without being sued into the ground.? What load does the Pickup bed take?



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