AEV celebrates 20 years with wild anniversary JK.
WALKING the halls of the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas in 2016, there was no denying that the JK Jeep Wrangler is still the top choice for off-road vehicle customisers. That’s pretty amazing when you consider that the JK is now more than 10 years old and is due to be superseded in 2017.
The Wrangler is basically a Meccano set for adults, which makes it easy to transform. Everything unbolts which makes it child’s play to modify the 4x4 to suit your individual requirements. At SEMA 2016, modded Jeeps were to be found everywhere, displaying all manner of mods – some functional, some purely for show, while others left you scratching your head and wondering what on earth they were thinking.
One exhibitor booth stood out in particular, as the complete vehicle package improves the base Jeep in every way. This was the 20th Anniversary JK350 from American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), which we had the pleasure of driving out into the Nevada desert following the show.
The Anniversary models mark AEV’S 20 years in business, and just 20 of the JK350 and RAM Prospector XL models will be built, sure to be snapped up by collectors. There’s no doubt that they’ve had the whole AEV catalogue thrown at them with a 6.4-litre Hemi V8 conversion, 4.5-inch suspension kit, 37-inch BF Goodrich tyres, all the interior and exterior body add-ons, and bespoke 20th Anniversary extras – it’s enough to triple the purchase price of your Wrangler.
This certainly isn’t just another modified Jeep, an AEV Jeep is more like a factory-made special. Years of producing show vehicles and special parts for the Jeep has given AEV a true feel for OE manufacturing, and all of its parts and conversions are either built to factory standard or exceed it.
Take the Hemi V8 engine conversion for example. The conversion is done using as many
The Wrangler is basically a Meccano set for adults... which makes it child’s play to modify the 4x4 to suit your individual requirements
factory components as possible, including the engine and transmission control units. This means they can be serviced and maintained at any Jeep dealer. Any special parts needed are made in bulk by AEV in order to ensure there are plenty of spares available. In addition, all AEV parts have a factory look and finish. Only the wiring harness is modified, as AEV adapts the Wrangler wiring to the Chrysler V8 and transmission wiring, which in essence makes it a plug-and-play conversion. Being an American company, AEV engine conversions are made for left-hand drive Jeeps, but the Australian distributors have adapted them for a few right-hand drive Jeeps that we know of. If this is something that interests you, it’s well worth investing the time and money if you really want that V8 roar and performance. Many Jeep owners will tell you about the death wobbles they get from driving on oversize tyres and raised suspension. Not an AEV owner. This
Rock crawling or desert brawling, the AEV JK is set up to take on anything.
1 2 Custom leather seats give the Jeep a premium feel inside. 3 1. The suspension uses Bilstein dampeners. 2. The Borah alloys are a new beadlock wheel for the JK. 3. AEV diff covers on Dynatrac rear end.