Sponsored

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
I would write a metric ton about all that is going on with this JT of mine, but well before I ever discovered this forum, I started the build somewhere else.

AEV Gladiator Rubicon (real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com)

So I'll just give some background on the what/why/how of it.

Some months ago, I had the fortune of finding and purchasing a JT370 new AEV Gladiator. I went to the stealership to look at a hydro blue Eco-Diesel, and right beside sat this lifted Gladiator sitting on 37's.

I made the mistake of asking to drive it. Well, that did it for me, so I decided to buy it. But remember I only intended to go over to look at a stock Ruby diesel.

I had driven my almost new Tesla Model 3 performance and had no intention of doing anything aside from learning more about this JT platform. My wife had previously owned a JKU Rubicon and I have to say I thought it was rather unimpressive. But something about this new Gladiator was calling out to me.

After driving the thing I parked it and started to take my leave, first telling the sales girl I would buy it in a couple days and if she wanted I'd give her $500 to hold it. She asked me if I was going to trade my Tesla. My plan was actually to put the T-car on Marketplace for $10,000 more than I paid for it and sell it in a couple of days. I had heard you could do that, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The new car sales manager asked me if I'd consider trading in my Model 3, and I relayed to him my plan pointing out I could get thousands more than I paid for it. He asked me to give him a number. I thought about it and tossed out a number that was equal to every cent I paid for that car, the taxes, the window tint, the floor mats, and a bit more.

He balked at it and I said, no big deal and tried to leave. He told me they owned a Mercedes store and wanted a fast T-car. We talked for some time, and I tried to leave. He nearly blocked my exit and said "Well, we're going to do this." much to my surprise. So just like that I became the owner of this really cool AEV Rubicon.

DSC00490 (Medium).JPG


DSC00491 (Medium).JPG


DSC00492 (Medium).JPG


DSC00493 (Medium).JPG


DSC00496 (Medium).JPG
Sponsored

 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
The story continues...

Hoping this thing was not like the JKU, that next weekend we loaded up and headed off to the Daniel Boone National Forest. My sister and her husband live right there and he is actually a guide there.
He started me off on easy stuff, but with every obstacle, this JT crawled over, we started skipping the bypasses. Finally, we were full-on, on a SxS trail that he had questions about whether would we even make it.

Knock on wood, but that flippin' jeep made it all look easy!

Now I am not new to off-roading, or over-landing, or Jeeps. I purchased my first new jeep, a CJ7 in 1979 when I was stationed at Ft. Knox Kintuckee. I have pretty much been off-roading ever since and mostly in serious purpose-built trucks that I created myself.

But there was something really cool about this Jeep. It took me on a trip down memory lane and engendered feelings I had not enjoyed for many years.

DSC00553 (Medium).JPG


DSC00572 (Medium).JPG


DSC00574 (Medium).JPG


DSC00578 (Medium).JPG
 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
So with all that fun and success, I started digging into the whole "Jeep thing."

And right there was a whole bunch of fun that I had forgotten how to have.

Now with me, I simply can't leave anything alone. Everything I own is lifted/modified/supercharged and so forth. I tried to just leave the truck alone, but I am weak that way so I thought, well if I just do a couple of little things, it won't start the whole modification thing. It's funny but over on my forum the guys all refer to my doing little things as "an oil change." That's because I once purchased a Cummins square didge and just started changing the fluids. Before it was all over it was a frame-off, built Cummins custom everything truck that actually got 1.7 million views on its multiple build threads.

So yea, I am cautious when screwing the cap off the valve stem on a tire because that can quickly lead to a Dana 60 and a 14-bolt conversion.

But I apparently have not heeded my own attempts at self-control. So, I called up my buddy at Randy's worldwide. Turns out they just purchased ICON wheels. Tate told me ICON just released a new beadlock wheel and I ought to pick up a set. Not wanting to damage my relationship with Tate, I had him send me over a set.

DSC00627 (Medium).JPG


DSC00635 (Medium).JPG


DSC00653 (Medium).JPG


DSC00661 (Medium).JPG
 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
Yup, those wheels work great.

But Tate emailed me and said "I know AEV sold the thing with 37s and 4.56 gears, but I think it's way under-geared and it needs 5.13's

Man, I wish he wouldn't do that!

Well, I decided I ought to just supercharge it, but quickly found out I had the GEPC-5 computer and I could not install a SC. But I could install some Ripp ignition coils...So I did

While I was at it, I cut away all those ugly sound chambers from the intake tube, which made that engine sound pretty cool.

DSC00753 (Medium).JPG


DSC00754 (Medium).JPG


DSC00763 (Medium).JPG


DSC00764 (Medium).JPG


DSC00765 (Medium).JPG


DSC00766 (Medium).JPG


DSC00769 (Medium).JPG


DSC00774.JPG
 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
Oh, BTW, the duct tape on that tube pic was all mockup. The finished piece is hardly noticeable.

So, a lot has happened to the JT since then and I am not going to post all those mods over here, so if you want to catch up, follow the link in my signature.

I am currently halfway through installing a Clayton 3.5" overland suspension with Falcon 3.3 shocks. That stuff is quite amazing. A full write-up of the step-by-step process is all over on the other forum.

After the Ripp coils, I dropped in 12K winch with a synthetic line into the AEV RX bumper. I installed the seat track extenders, bolted up an MBRP exhaust, covered the thing up with decals, bolted on the Rough Country electric steps, which I think I am going to unbolt, and did a bunch of other stuff.

Here's some suspension mod pics from today's work:

DSC01129 (Medium).JPG


DSC01134 (Medium).JPG


DSC01138 (Medium).JPG


DSC01139 (Medium).JPG


DSC01142 (Medium).JPG


DSC01143 (Medium).JPG


DSC01147 (Medium).JPG


DSC01149 (Medium).JPG
 

Sponsored

chorky

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chad
Joined
Feb 26, 2022
Threads
156
Messages
3,022
Reaction score
3,126
Location
Montana
Website
www.youtube.com
Vehicle(s)
'06 TJ GE, '22 JTR
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Forester
Oh, BTW, the duct tape on that tube pic was all mockup. The finished piece is hardly noticeable.

So, a lot has happened to the JT since then and I am not going to post all those mods over here, so if you want to catch up, follow the link in my signature.

I am currently halfway through installing a Clayton 3.5" overland suspension with Falcon 3.3 shocks. That stuff is quite amazing. A full write-up of the step-by-step process is all over on the other forum.

After the Ripp coils, I dropped in 12K winch with a synthetic line into the AEV RX bumper. I installed the seat track extenders, bolted up an MBRP exhaust, covered the thing up with decals, bolted on the Rough Country electric steps, which I think I am going to unbolt, and did a bunch of other stuff.

Here's some suspension mod pics from today's work:

Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG
I'm a little curious why you got an AEV special and then took the suspension off and replaced with Clayton.

Clean install though!
 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
Good question!

When I purchased the JT I really didn't know a lot about the jeep suspension options or possibilities in the aftermarket. I thought I would just use the AEV stuff forever.

But the more I looked at it, the more I could see the AEV suspension is really just a Jeep suspension warmed up a bit. They toss in a couple of springs and relocate the track bars and two of the control arms and that is about it. In my opinion, it is little more than a bracket kit with new springs. Had I known this on purchase day, I would have simply purchased a stock Ruby and built it myself.

The Jeep control arms have, what 5 degrees of deflection in the bushings? So there's your limiting factor for suspension articulation. Others are getting over 13 degrees, 26 degrees combining both ends. The Bilsteins may have a bit more extension but you're gonna bind those control arm bushings pdq with that little amount of deflection in those bushings designed to 1. Last and be trouble-free for the entire warranty period, and 2. not squeak, not rust apart, nor cause any automotive writer out there to say anything negative while the vehicle is still pretty new.

The more I used it, the more I saw its limitations. I was often hanging a wheel two feet off the ground, then later that night watching a vid of a Metal Cloak or a Clayton suspension Gladiator doing barrel rolls and driving inverted. Exaggeration there, but I think you get the idea.

I wanted a real off-road-capable suspension. Heck I need 8 control arms anyway, right? So why not make them flex like 100% more than the Jeep stuff, while also being a bit stronger. Makes sense to me. That's when I started an exhaustive search to find the top suspension with no regard to the price, just find the best. For my set of factors, Clayton is the best.

Another part of the equation is that on my forum, I build vehicles and do extensive writeups. Those writeups sometimes contain well over a thousand posts with hundreds to thousands of pictures. I knew there would likely be a huge following and since I am using this Jeep for a series of adventure writeups as well, the suspension I selected was going to get a lot of airtime and serve as free advertising for someone.

Being totally transparent here, I proposed my idea to the three manufacturers I would have gone with. I hoped the company that wanted to participate would be Clayton, and in the end it was. The rest is now history
 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
My removal of the AEV parts is gonna get worse, I believe. I don't see the front bumper or the AEV lights remaining. I had to remove that bumper to install the winch, and I DO NOT like how all that is put together. Every panel and part (And there's a bunch) of that bumper is somehow connected to everything else. Way-way too complicated for me. And it's heavier than I want. I plan to pull it and replace it with an aluminum stubby.

Those lights are like 15 or more pounds each! Weight = horsepower. Since we can't add HP to the thing, I am decreasing weight everywhere I can. Front bumper to aluminum will save me 30 to maybe 40 pounds. Swap the rear bumper out for aluminum, another 40. Swap the battery for an anti-gravity unit and another nearly 40 pounds vaporizes. I hold off on strawberry jam on the morning toast and, boom another 5 pounds in two weeks!

The back seat was already coming out to make room for something along with a big Bernese Mountain dog. That's another 50 pounds gone, but replaced with 150 lbs of dog, so that may not have been such a good idea!

When it's all said and done, I'll keep the AEV-painted front grill, the painted dash, and the painted roof panels. Oh, I get to keep the cool stripes and the instrument cluster...
 

dmwphoto

Well-Known Member
First Name
Dave
Joined
Feb 4, 2023
Threads
7
Messages
322
Reaction score
477
Location
Longs, SC
Vehicle(s)
2022 Jeep Gladiator Overland
Occupation
Retired
what did you do with the AEV black wheels you took off?
 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
I put all the take-off stuff on Marketplace. Those went fairly quickly
 

Sponsored

Jclayc

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jeremy
Joined
Jul 20, 2022
Threads
3
Messages
45
Reaction score
68
Location
Middle Tennessee
Vehicle(s)
2022 Gladiator Overland
Yup, those wheels work great.

But Tate emailed me and said "I know AEV sold the thing with 37s and 4.56 gears, but I think it's way under-geared and it needs 5.13's

Man, I wish he wouldn't do that!

Well, I decided I ought to just supercharge it, but quickly found out I had the GEPC-5 computer and I could not install a SC. But I could install some Ripp ignition coils...So I did

While I was at it, I cut away all those ugly sound chambers from the intake tube, which made that engine sound pretty cool.

Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG


Jeep Gladiator 2022 AEV Gladiator Rubicon build DSC01149 (Medium).JPG
Can you expand on this? I’m curious what all you cut out and if you just leave the 3M tape on the intake tube. Does it just give a better sound like a CAI would? Or different?
 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
Sure...
I have done this many times on many vehicles. Once I figured out CAI systems do not work for the most part and really just enhance sound quality, I started cutting off the bulbous appendages to the intake tubes.
They are created as sound-dampening chambers. To me they are
1. Ugly
2. Get in the way
3. Occupy space
4. quiet an otherwise pleasant intake note.

So the how to...On the 3.6 gas, there are several of these chambers. I cut them off as close to the surrounding tube structure. I then examine the remaining hole after cleaning up the rough-sawn burring. On this tube, I cut out some aluminum patches, but fine mesh wire works well too. You push the metal which blocks the opening into the orifice, then after mixing up some epoxy like JB weld, work in all around the edges then cover the section. Finish by placing the aluminum duct tape over the mess you just created. Next, flip to the inside and work more epoxy in and all around the "Patch you created. Place it so the repaired spot is approximately level, then allow it to dry. After drying remove the tape and sand and finish as you prefer and then if you want to spray the piece or repaired it with vinyl dye as you use on interiors, reinstall the part and enjoy the new "Whoosh" sound for the cost of the epoxy ($11)

You can see the operation in progress as a step-by-step on the actual build thread if you'd like further explanation/illustration.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
Today I completed the rear suspension installation of the Clayton Overland kit. I really take my time to get things right and getting that pinion angle took some finagling (Local word that perfectly fits what I had to do ;-)

DSC01152 (Medium).JPG


DSC01155 (Medium).JPG


DSC01159 (Medium).JPG
 
OP
OP
Flyin6

Flyin6

Well-Known Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Threads
8
Messages
507
Reaction score
527
Location
Kintuckee
Website
real-man-truckworks-and-survival.com
Vehicle(s)
22AEV JT, 22 Ram 3500, Suburban 2500, 22 Caddy XT6
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Aviator (military) Commercial pilot, rotary and fixed wing, Writer
Copy that. I have three and man do they love to ride along...mostly in my other trucks. I can't wait to do a 2 or 3 day Kentucky adventure trail ride with one of them...
Sponsored

 
 



Top