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2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty - Off-Road–Ready Ram

Dirt Capable, Street Enabled

Mar 31, 2015
Photographers: Jeremy Cook
American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) has a long track record of creating some hearty dirt-ready 4x4s, with their focus being specifically on the Jeep market. Outfitting these trusty outdoor-centric four-wheelers is what they have done for almost two decades and have become quite good at it.
That has recently changed with the addition of this brutish '14 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty that features some of the same thoughts that have gotten AEV this far. But why would a seemingly one-vehicle dedicated company branch out to include something outside their scope of expertise?
Photo 2/10   |   2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Bilstein 5160 Remote Reservoir Shocks
Ram and Jeep come from the same Chrysler family, but are far from brothers. Maybe more like distant cousins who only see each other at reunions, but are both very capable off-road machines. That is why this expansion makes perfect sense. Not only to expand their product base, but to include a segment of owners who already take their trucks out to play in the dirt, then wash them off and drive them to work.
A clean, no-nonsense style sets this 4x4 apart from the pack by being aggressive, yet functional. A host of useful upgrades has gone into the design that keeps with the rugged and well-thought-out addition of a limited suspension lift, huge tires with 17-inch fender flares, and a multifunctional front bumper with electric winch.
Photo 3/10   |   2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Interior
The idea behind this build is to develop a low-lift trend in the off-road community utilizing a 3-inch lift in the front and a 2-inch lift in the rear, known as the DualSport, with Bilstein 5160 remote-reservoir shocks, and aluminum coil spacers to create an off-road-capable truck with sidewalls that can swallow up rocks and ruts, but still perform with normal ride characteristics out on the highways.
On the leading edge, the AEV bumper is unimposing but still as tough as they come. With 3/16-inch stamped steel making up the face, it is modeled to look like it was factory installed and contours the natural body lines. The winch mount is 1/4-inch thick and can handle a 16,500-pounder to get unstuck quickly. This three-piece bumper can be modified quickly to suit different tastes, and has been set up to accept 61/2-inch off-road lights. The bumper is compatible with all '10-up Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 trucks.
Photo 4/10   |   2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Aev Katla Wheels
A set of 40/13.50/17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 were mounted onto cast-aluminum 17x10 AEV Katla wheels with a Ram-specific fitment, are SAE J2530 certified, which means they are approved for normal highway use, and have a 3650-pound load rating. Each wheel also has a cast-in hub cover and a recessed valve stem.
The 6.7L Cummins that was already in the '14 Ram was more than capable of providing enough power to shred any trail and pass low-mph loafers on the street, so AEV left the powerplant as it came, only adding a custom intake hooked up to a K&N filter.
Staying within that functionality wheelhouse, the interior has been done up in tastefully subdued black leather, with red stitching to nicely accent the sea of black, and AEV's logo stitched into the headrests.
Photo 5/10   |   2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Custom Black Leather Headrest
While the idea of this concept going out as a complete package offered at Ram dealers is uncertain, parts of this package will go on sale, as the bumper and wheels are going to be put into production.
Dave Harriton, AEV's founder and president says, "We wanted to do with the Ram what we do with the Wrangler, meaning a complete package where everything works together and creates a very well-engineered, well-thought-out, usable package."
After seeing the Ram for ourselves, we totally agree.
Inside the Build
Owner/City/State: AEV; Commerce Township, MI
Year/Make/Model: 2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty
Type: Cummins 6.7L 24-valve I-6 turbodiesel
Transmission: 68RFE six-speed automatic
Low range ratio: 2.64:1
Crawl ratio: 35:1
Front Axle/Differential: AAM 9.25-inch with 4.10 gears, ARB Air Locker
Rear Axle/Differential: AAM 11.5-inch with 4.10 gears, ARB Air Locker
Transfer Case: BorgWarner 44-46 two-speed
Photo 9/10   |   2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Cummins Turbodiesel
Front Suspension: AEV DualSport 3-inch, Bilstein 5160 remote-reservoir shocks
Rear Suspension: AEV DualSport 2-inch, Bilstein 5160 remote-reservoir shocks
Mods: AEV three-piece bumper, high clearance fender flares
Interior: Custom black leather with red stitching
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 17x10 AEV Katla
Tires: 40/13.50/17 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2
Photo 10/10   |   2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Aev Three Piece Bumper