In light of the economic instability in the auto industry, anyone looking forward to a new Jeep truck will probably be waiting a long time. But there is an alternative available in the form of the Brute Jeep pickup conversion from AEV (American Expedition Vehicles). Offered for sale either as a complete set or as separate components, the kit is a Chrysler Design Excellence Award winning package of parts that transforms a standard Wrangler into a truck that looks like it has just rolled out of Detroit. Check out more pics of the Brute below.
Looking a little like the old Jeep Scrambler or Gladiator concept, the conversion incorporates a new rear tub section and a steel truck bed on a stretched, 117.4-inch wheelbase. The kit can be applied to any ’97-’06 Jeep Wrangler TJ, including Unlimited, Rubicon, and righthand-drive models. Conversion is relatively easy given that 90% of the kit is shipped to a buyer already assembled. In fact, AEV estimates a assembly time to be around 60 hours, which means that prepping and painting your new truck my be the most difficult task. Complete kit components include midframe extensions, a cab close-out assembly, CNC-bent fuel and brake lines, an OE-style wiring harness, new rear body/bed mounts, a rear frame extension with a winch mount, a 72x59x17 inch bed assembly made of 14 guage stamped steel and a half-cab hardtop made from injection-molded composite material with dual overhead skylights and increased headroom.
AEV first premiered the Brute Concept Vehicle in 2002 at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Following a DaimlerChrysler Design Excellence Award, the company built a a limited number of Brutes in the following years before redesigning the vehicle so it could be offered in kit form. Significant alterations from the concept Brute included a redesigned stamped-steel bed and an all-new hardtop with increased headroom inside the cab. A frame-extension kit was also created to stretch the frame 24 inches, and a rear frame-extension kit with an integral winch mount and bumper was designed to add further support to the bed assembly. The rear frame extension and bed assembly create a 15-inch overhang, yet rear departure angle is virtually unchanged from stock. Not including labor and paint, the complete kit costs a little less than $9,000.