New Jeep - Gladiator Rubicon

NitroExpress

Observer
That is one awesome Gladiator!!! Looking forward to hearing how it performs. I keep trying to ignore them, so I don't do anything crazy like buy one...
I'm really hoping the diesel is delayed a long time.
 

LPIII

Observer
Hello all, I am a longtime member here and a Jeep Dealer not to cross any lines with the mods here but if you would like to purchase a Gladiator please pm me. I am an AEV dealer and just became an authorized Warn dealer as well. I would be happy to help and I can get vehicle built quickly I am in Michigan just five miles from the FCA headquarters.
 

Bobzdar

Observer
Here are some pics from 1st trip with it, not too exciting in terms of terrain, though we did find a nice trail through the woods to take it. Top is easier to take off than the JLU, less bolts and it's lighter.
518976518975518974518970


It was about 2 hours away, including crossing the Shenandoahs (Afton mtn) to get there. It did well, slowest we hit on the highway was 55mph in 5th. Could have gone faster if I dropped to 4th but 55 was faster than a lot of other vehicles going up the hill.
 

vanmichel

New member
Interesting that the Gladiators come with Falken Wildpeaks instead of a BFG tire. Pretty sure the new JLURs are coming with KM2s right?
 

Bobzdar

Observer
Interesting that the Gladiators come with Falken Wildpeaks instead of a BFG tire. Pretty sure the new JLURs are coming with KM2s right?
The JLUR's switched to the wildpeak MT as standard at some point in '19 with RWL KO2's as an option - KO2's were the only tire on the '18's. Gladiator is standard with wildpeak AT and optional MT. May have to do with the load range?
 

GetOutThere

Adventurer
Very nice. How's the squat? Doesn't look bad in the pics. I find the gladiator rubi suspension very soft compared to JL and JK rubis, and the steering seems way more floaty than the JL. I actually prefer my JK steering to the Gladiator, which is weird since i found the JL steering to be a huge improvement.
 

Bobzdar

Observer
Very nice. How's the squat? Doesn't look bad in the pics. I find the gladiator rubi suspension very soft compared to JL and JK rubis, and the steering seems way more floaty than the JL. I actually prefer my JK steering to the Gladiator, which is weird since i found the JL steering to be a huge improvement.
Squat isn't bad, but I use a WD hitch to keep it near level, though even without it it squats way less than the JL. However, I noticed the same thing ride wise vs. my JLUR. Feels softer and more floaty, which results in a nicer ride but not as good handling. Steering is a little more vague, but could be due to the different tires so not sure how much is due to chassis/suspension changes vs. BFG's/Falkens. Mpg is down about .5mpg, which is better than I expected. I get just under 20mpg vs. just over 20mpg in the JLUR.

I ordered a Thule bed rack with tacoma bed rail accessory clamps (as they're very similar to the trail rail setup), so will see if that fits tomorrow. If it fits I'll post the details here. Goal is to mount the Thule roof bubble I have for dry/locking storage to the rack while not impacting use of the bed for other stuff (like bikes etc.). With the trail rail setup, it should be quick and easy to remove as well, but we'll see if it works out.
 

Bobzdar

Observer
Added the thule tracrac, used a 2016+ tacoma mounting kit for use with the bed rail accessory track, fit the trail rail setup pretty well. I had to modify the clamp feet as they were too thick to fit and had to use some shorter bolts due to bed side contours, but it otherwise bolted in.

Heading on a week long trip with the family, loaded up the truck and utility trailer. I'm bringing a bunch of extra stuff (including my kamado) I wouldn't normally bring, but it all fits with room to spare. The tracrac gives me the ability to put dry locking storage up top while still having full bed capacity, so works as I'd hoped.

20190701_065604_1592.jpg
 

Bobzdar

Observer
Here are the parts used for the rack setup:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003DMFDM2
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CKQPTJ8

Here's what it looks like installed.
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You can see the different bolts that had to be used in all but the rear most mounts due to contours in the bed - the longer bolts fit but couldn't be tightened as an allen key wouldn't fully engage the bolt head without hitting the bed side. I also had to modify the mounting feet as shown below for them to fit properly as while the slots in the rails are the same as the tacoma, the rails themselves are thicker so there's less room for the feet.

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