Photos by Nathan Hindman
While in Prescott for the Overland Expo, we had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the upcoming American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) J8 MILSPEC. At first glance, this vehicle looks like a stock Jeep JK Unlimited, but the similarities end with the body shape. The vehicle is similar to the J8 “Sarge” truck that made the rounds at auto shows in 2008. The J8 MILSPEC is built as a CKD (Complete Knockdown Kit, ie kit car) from a MIL-spec heavy-duty Egyptian Jeep Wrangler LWB. The vehicle is delivered to the customer as a rolling chassis, with drivetrain installation done by the end user. Engine choices are either a 5.7L HEMI gas engine or a 2.8L common-rail Turbo Diesel engine.
The vehicle features lots of nice upgrades including chassis and body strengthening, Dana 60 rear axle, rear leaf springs, raised air intake and extreme-duty dust filtration system and huge Dodge truck-sourced brakes. Ruggedizations come in the form of no A/C or ESP, but airbags and ABS are standard. The J8 will be available as a 2 door soft top or 4 door hard top (both LWB models), and color choices in flat OD green or Desert Tan.
In our opinion, this truck is possilby the ideal canvas with which to begin building a heavy-duty overland truck.