Made the Leap - 2012 AEV Built JK Unlimited Rubicon

hollaback55

Explorer
So having a growing family it was time to find a new jeep that would make enjoying all the things we love to do easier. I reluctantly Sold Jekyll and Hyde; our 2005 AEV Hemi LJ. She will be remembered fondly and has gone to a great home in northern Michigan.

After a week of mourning I began searching for our new jeep that would fit our lifestyle and take us on new journeys. I had 3 main criteria for the new Jeep.

1. Be turn key for the mod's that I wanted. Small mods are always fun but the major things I wanted done. Lift Kit, Bumpers, Winch, Wheels & Tires.

2. Be comfortable: Bluetooth, Heated Seats, Power windows, Power Locks, Navigation, Remote Start, Dual Tops, ect. Everyone has different take on what a "real" jeep means but after spending 3+months on the road in my 05 AEV Hemi LJ with my fiance and our two bull terriers creature comforts were a must.

3. Be adaptable: from a DD in NYC to extended camping weekends. This was major compromise of Jekyll and Hyde. She was amazing at weekend getaways but was terrible if I had to take clients to a project site or run small errands around town. The noise, seating, interior space was not conducive to those situations.

As some of you might know, Dendy Jarret was selling an awesome AEV built JKU a few months ago that I missed out on. I wasn't able to sell my jeep in time to purchase his. As fortune would have it, a month later AEV was selling one of their company jeeps and it fit the exact bill. It had the new pentastar motor, the350 package, loaded with amenities and features, and was Sahara Tan. Suffice to say one look and she was mine. A few emails and phone calls to Jeff at AEV and Brian and Szott CJ and she was mine.

Vehicle Options:

Rubicon Trim
5 Speed Automatic
Dual Tops
Heated Seats
Auto Temp control
PW/PL
730 Navigation
Connectivity
Rear Corner Guards
Rear Work Light
 

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hollaback55

Explorer
Mod's Mod's Mod's

So naturally the first thing I need to do is more mods to make the jeep even more awesome. :chef: In telling my fiance that I wouldn't be modding the jeep like I did with Jekyll and Hyde I figured I'm exempt in 3 main areas.

1. Items I already have that can go on, this also includes items that need additional pieces to function :ylsmoke:
2. Safety: new headlights
3. Anything that improves the quality of rides with the dogs :victory:

I planned to start small and as such have pegged the following as items to complete over the next few months.

Items I already have from previous builds/jeeps:

Baja Designs 10" Stealth LED Light Bar
Baja Designs 50/40" Stealth LED Light Bar
RDM Fire Extinguisher Bracket
Halguard 2.5 lb Fire Extinguisher
AEV Hi LIft/ Pull Pal Bracket
Hi Lift Jack
Pull Pal

Planned Mods in the Next Few Months:

AEV Seat covers front and rear with headrest
Truck Lite LED Headlights
Hot Heads Headliner
Gorilla Spline Lug Nuts
Antenna X Antenna
Maxpedition Doppleduffel (new jeep bag, holds items I like to Keep in the jeep all the time)


On with the pictures
 

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hollaback55

Explorer
Thanks for the kind words.

Sahara Tan is by far my favorite color of all the JK's and it sucks Chrysler stopped making it. Small run of 2 years so they are tough to find. There was one on Ebay for sale by a dealer out in Arizona. He's a well know jeep guy on AEV Forum.

A few more pics

First up is the shorty antenna. I hated the stock antenna and how it stuck out. Did not flow with the lines of the jeep at all. Plus mine had an awkward bend in it which made it flare out to the outside of the truck. I haven't noticed any reception loss and I think the jeep looks way better with the shorty on there. Simple install and cheap option. It was 16 bucks from amazon

Next is the rear fire extinguisher and mount. The mount is by far the best designed mount I've found over the past 5 years. I tried a bunch and they all failed in different ways.

1. The drake mount rattled like crazy, seriously it will drive you crazy.
2. The neoprene mounts are not strong enough to withstand a force with the extinguisher in it. They tend to flop around.
3. The stock mount that comes with the extinguisher would not work on the roll cage bar which is where I wanted to mount it.

Finally after searching on the web I found this mount from a Company called RDM. It looked solid so I placed the order. It has some neat features I like and I think work well for this style of mount and extinguisher.

1. Rubber lined extinguisher contact mounts prevent scratching of your extinguisher
2. cork lined extinguisher holder prevents rattling
3. multiple mounting options for flat surfaces, or roll bars with clamps
4. nice welds and aluminum construction
5. nice large rubber grab handle for release of extinguisher, easy to do with gloves on\

I've used this for the past 3 years in my LJ and now my JK and I've never had a problem or issue with it. No rattles, no shifting, no breaking down of the rubber, no marks on my extinguisher. Its a solid piece and I would definitely recommend this to others.
 

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AndrewDM

Adventurer
Great looking Jeep. I was reading your posts on AEV's forum over the weekend and added that fire extinguisher mount to my list of must haves.

Andy
 

hollaback55

Explorer
Maxpedition Doppleduffel

Thanks guys, its my dream rig minus a diesel. I think they are coming in 2-3 years. AEV puts together a great package for everyday use as well as serious over landing capability. The fire extinguisher mount works really well. I've tried a bunch and its by far the best one I've found. I've had it for 2+ years without a problem.

On to another nagging idea/desire: I like to be prepared and keep a bag in my jeep that holds essentials and some clothing just in case. I've gone through countless bags and they all were lacking. I needed a durable, compartmentalized, expandable storage bag that was rugged but nearly all the bags were lacking somewhere. Maxpedition Doppleduffel fits the bill to the T. This bag has great features and is durable as heck. http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/DOPPELDUFFEL-Adventure-Bag-13p556.htm

You can check out reviews online yourselves but its definitely worth the price of admission. here's how I've organized mine and the molle webbing allows for my first aid kit to be mounted on to the bag.

My first aid kit idea started out with Springtail rear storage solution for my LJ. They have a cool feature of having a rip away stat pack which allows for easy on and easy off with the molle pouches. I mounted their new orange first aid kit on the maxpedition duffel and its great for someone who doesn't know what to grab or get in an emergency to easily find the pack and be able to bring it to the field with minimal hassle.
 

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Kiddmen57

Supporting Sponsor
Congrats, I emailed Jeff a few minutes too late (same day as posted). It's all good though, congrats on the nice jeep. I just ordered my 13 JKUR today and have a list a mile long of stuff to do to it, including a full AEV build out (at home). 4-8 weeks of waiting in going to royally suck. Enjoy that thing!
 

hollaback55

Explorer
kiddman57 so you were the other interested party. Jeff was hit pretty good with calls for the jeep. I jumped on her as fast as I could. Good fortune smiled on me after Dendy's jeep slipped away before I was able to sell mine.

By the way I put in Truck Lite LED headlights tonight, they are f%$king awesome. I mean what a difference. They do stick out a bit more and have a slight X in the beam spread but they throw some serious light and the high beams are redic. I'm going to post up some pictures when I get a chance and will give a better description and analysis after I've had them for a few weeks.
 
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