Power Products Unlimited AEV Nomad Build
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The Nomad Package, as we have dubbed it, is an in house build that we took on, taking the best of the best components and combining them to offer a full package ready for whatever adventure you can think of. We started with a brand new, off the showroom floor 2016 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Short Bed featuring the mighty 6.7L Cummins diesel backed by a six speed automatic transmission. We chose this platform because of the linked rear suspension found on the Ram 2500 models, compared to the leaf sprung 3500 models, that would allow us to maximize both ride quality and offroad prowess when outfitted with some help from the aftermarket. From the start, we were out to build a truck that could pull double duty, having the ability to perform on the trail as well as on the street, thus the suspension package needed to be carefully selected. The AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) 3" DualSport SC Suspension was a no brainer to deliver this tall order. We opted to go with their newly released system that is specifically designed for use with 40" tires. And many may wonder why tire size truly matters to the suspension components, but because of AEV's particularity about finite fitment, several of their components are changed out from their 37" tire kit in order to properly orientate the larger tires in the front fender well to their specification.
In regards to the physical installation and included components, AEV's approach to suspension is hands down one of the most thorough systems we have installed, the basis of the whole set up revolving around the roll center and how the extra height will affect handling and ride quality. Because of this approach, they have come out with a system that maintains all of the factory feel, while gaining what is needed to clear the proper tire size for your adventure needs.
Now that we had the necessary height, it was time to open things up a bit. We installed a set of the AEV 40" front and rear fender flares, which require cutting out the factory wheel openings to deliver the necessary clearance for fitment of 40" tires with the minimal three inches of lift provided by the suspension system. With the flares, they also provided us with all the materials and instructions needed to complete the inner fender liners in order to keep all the grit and grime out of the areas originally protected by the factory fender liners. This is an extremely nice feature that truly separates these fenders from traditional aftermarket fiberglass fenders that tend to leave the engine bay and associated wiring harnesses exposed to the elements, including flying debris from the tires. While the installation of the fenders is relatively in-depth due to the cutting process, the end result is nothing short of an OE fit and appearance.
To fill up these massive wheel wells, we mounted up a set of 40" Nitto Trail Grapplers on AEV Katla wheels. The particular Katla's we chose are specific to the 40" build that features a 17" diameter and 10" width with the proper backspace to ensure zero fender or radius arm rub. To round out the AEV products, we then mounted up one of their Premium Front Bumpers, featuring a stamped steel, modular design outfitted with their 40" tire outer wings for proper clearance. And what kind of upgraded bumper would it be if it weren't stuffed with a winch and auxiliary lighting? To remedy these voids, a set of Baja Designs XL-80R lights and a Warn 16.5ti were mounted up. The Warn 16.5ti can best be summed up with the phrase "it is better to have and not need, than to need and not have."
From there, it was time to make those 40" tires usable, so we turned our attention onto the differentials. To maximize traction when offroad, but maintain superb street manners, front and rear ARB Air Lockers were matched up with 4.56 gears from Nitro Gear & Axle that would deliver a proper RPM to speed runout with the oversize tires. While we were closing up the front differential, we went ahead and added the new AEV Differential Cover, which is a cast iron piece that all but dares you to run it into something. To activate the air lockers, as well as handle any of the auxiliary air supply needs one may encounter, an ARB Twin Air Compressor was added, featuring a 100% duty cycle and has the power to handle anything you can throw at it. So that the compressor doesn't necessarily have to run under all circumstances, we included an ARB One Gallon Aluminum Air Tank for an instantaneous supply of air. To aid in supplying air to the tires, we ran split air lines and fittings to the front and rear of the vehicle so one front and one rear tire could by filled simultaneously. An ARB Manifold Kit was installed inline with both of the air control solenoids mounted up high away from any road debris or mud that could potentially cause them to fail.
At this point, you may think that the positive side of the battery terminal would look like a bird's nest of wiring, in which you would be incorrect. To actuate the lockers, compressor, lights or anything else you may choose, we added an sPOD Single Source Six Switch System with a custom mount located at the top of the center stack. If any additional 12 volt is required in the future, there are two switch locations remaining to be customized to your personal needs.
Now that all the traction is there and the 40's can be locked up front and rear, we turned out attention towards the steering, knowing that the factory steering box would be taxed trying to overcome the contact patch provided by the Nitto's. To alleviate any concern, we upgraded the steering box to a Red-Head and had them add ports for a hydraulic assist steering system that we plumbed a PSC 1.5" hydraulic ram into. We purposely chose this size so that we could keep the steering quick and nimble, as close to the stock steering as possible.
Down to only a few remaining details, we deleted all of the chrome on the truck, adding a custom color matched grill with black crosshairs, and had the factory rear bumper powdercoated black. To aid in vehicle entry and exit, a set of the popular AMP Research Power Steps were added with their plug and play harness to avoid cutting into the factory harness. There is a full size spare with the truck that is held in place in the bed of the truck with a Mac's Tie Downs Y-Strap connected to the bed via a set of Mac's Anchor Plates. To keep the spare out of sight and protect any additional cargo in the bed, there is a Truxedo Lo-Pro Tonneau Cover that easily rolls open or closed depending on the current truck bed usage.
For the final piece to the puzzle, we turned our attention back to the rear suspension. To allow this truck to handle towing duties, but not hinder it's articulation, we added a set of Air Lift Airbags and used them in conjunction with a set of Daystar Air Bag Cradles. This allows the airbag to separate from the axle when additional travel is required, but then recenters the bag when the weight is reapplied. Rounding out the Nomad Package is a set of custom billet aluminum badges on the front doors we designed in house and had specifically built for the Nomad Packages. This truck has roughly 5000 miles and it is ready for whatever challenge you may have. E-mail with any questions, vehicle is available for inspection, and we will gladly pick you up at our local airport.
Nomad Package Includes
• AEV 3" DualSport SC Suspension
• AEV Premium Stamped Steel Front Bumper
• AEV Stamped Steel Warn Winch Mount
• AEV Front Bumper Frame Mounted Recovery Brackets
• Nitto 40" Trail Grapplers with full size spare
• AEV Katla 17x10 Wheels
• AEV Front and Rear 40" Cut Out Fender Flares
• Powdercoated Factory Rear Bumper
• JW Speaker Front Bumper LED Lights
• Warn 16.5ti Winch
• Red-Head Steering Gear Box with Hydraulic Assist Ports
• PSC Hydraulic Assist Steering Ram
• Nitro Gear and Axle 4.56 Gears
• ARB Air Lockers - Front and Rear
• ARB Twin Air Compressor
• ARB 1 Gallon Aluminum Air Tank
• ARB Compressor Manifold Kit
• ARB Tire Inflation Kits
• ARB Tire Gauge
• ARB Air Down Tool
• AMP Research Power Steps
• sPOD Six Switch Power Distribution Box
• Custom Center Stack Switch Mount
• Truxedo Lo-Pro Tonneau Cover
• Airlift Air Bags
• Daystar Airbag Cradles
• Mac's Tie Downs Y-Strap and Bed Anchors for Full Size Spare
• WeatherTech Front and Rear Digital Fit Floor Liners
• Custom Nomad Billet Aluminum Badges
2016 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Short Bed
6.7L Cummins Engine with 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Bright Silver Metallic Exterior Paint