AEV Offers Military-Spec Jeep J8 to North American Enthusiasts

AEV Offers Military-spec J8 to North American Enthusiasts
By John Stewart

The modern-day J8 is a military vehicle based on the CJ-8 Scrambler, which was a long-wheelbase CJ with an extended bed in the back. The original Scrambler was discontinued in 1986 after five years of production, but it's fondly remembered for its ability to carry more gear and cargo than Jeep vehicles of its day. Recently, Jeep began to sell a heavily reinforced military-spec Wrangler called the J8 to foreign militaries and governments. Like the original Scrambler, the J8 has a bed in back to haul larger amounts of gear. In many ways, it's a throwback to the simpler days of 1981.

North American off-road enthusiasts found themselves salivating for the rugged, simple J8, which was produced in Detroit for assembly in Egypt. Military governments all over the world use the J8 in the same way the U.S. military uses the Humvee, as a light troop carrier with a number of functional variants, but the J8 has never been available in North America.

Now, American Expedition Vehicles has announced it will make a limited number of 2010 J8 vehicles available to enthusiasts in the United States as the AEV J8 MILSPEC. About 110 will be offered, to be assembled in Detroit using American-made J8 parts retrieved from Egypt. The AEV J8 MILSPEC will be sold as a rolling chassis, without an engine, for off-road use. Like a number of kit cars, the engine will typically be installed by the customer or an independent contractor.

Because the J8 is designed for military use, it's built more heavily than Jeep vehicles intended for purely civilian applications. A beefed-up Dana 44 axle is used in front and a Dana 60 in the rear, with Dodge Ram brakes. The frame is more heavily braced for severe use. The rear suspension uses leaf springs to give it a 2,500-pound payload capacity and a 3,500-pound tow rating. The AEV J8 will retain the military-specific components that make it distinct, including tow loops rated for helicopter use, an air filter capable of running as long as five hours in dust storms and remote-mounted batteries. It can be ordered from AEV painted either Desert Sand or Military Green.

AEV J8 Wrangler

Although AEV does not supply the powertrain, the chassis will be pre-wired to accept either a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 or an updated version of the four-cylinder 2.8-liter VM Motori diesel that was once offered in the Jeep Liberty. The rolling chassis will be delivered painted, upholstered and fully instrumented, and it will include antilock brakes, air conditioning and a 12-volt electrical system. It will be available as either a two-door or a four-door. When configured to accept a diesel power plant, the AEV MILSPEC can be sold with right-hand drive; with the Hemi, left-hand drive is the only option. The AEV chassis will come with a Command Trac transfer case with a 2.72:1 low range and a driveshaft but no transmission, which will have to be purchased with the engine.

AEV spokesman David Harriton told a group of reporters that prospective owners should be prepared to invest about $50,000 to acquire the rolling chassis from AEV and have the engine/transmission installed.

“The engine installation is not extremely difficult,” he said. “We supply the vehicle with the wiring harness in place and motor mounts. We’ve been able to plug in Hemi engines in about eight hours.

“It’s certainly not for everyone, but that’s part of the appeal.“

Enthusiasts interested in acquiring a genuine J8 MILSPEC can contact AEV at 248-926-0256, or visit to find out more.

AEV Military-spec J8 Pickup


Too bad the brand name will soon be Fix it again Tony "Fiat"

Where's the ground clearance? Where's the independent suspensions?

Comparing it to the Hummer is bad enough. The Hummer has 16 inches of ground clearance while this Jeep has less than a first generation Tacoma. The Hummer is slow and very weak in the field hence the military's call for the JLTV and the M-ATV trucks for Iraq and Afghanistan.

The M-ATV we are designing is based off the MTVR chassis and suspension which offers massive ground clearance and 16 inches of wheel travel which equals faster speeds off-road and a proven and reliable suspension that can handle payload and armor. 70% off-road, 30% on road where this Jeep is probably 30% off-road, 70% on road.

The M-ATV is partly being designed to handle the rough Afghan terrain and keep up with the Toyota pickups in the area that both the Hummer and the MRAP's cannot do.

This Jeep is more of a civilian truck than a military one. Trust me, we build military trucks like the MTVR, HEMTT, HET and LVSR.

They need to offer it with the 3.6Lmds with mild hybrid shut off system + battery pack to run computers, electric heat, & radios. Sold to be a security vehicle for homeland security, base security, and any other security / police unit. For cold areas, offer plug in option to keep vehicle warm and ready to be used. Would also make for a nice forest service security and utility vehicle. 110V plug in for tool useage.

J8 4dr diesel auto bullet proof
Looking for 2 units
Must seat 7

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