Aonarch's 2021 Sport S Max Tow

Aonarch

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Alec
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2021 Gladiator Sport S Max Tow
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Link
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Engineer
I bought my Gladiator on a whim. I actually originally thought they were ugly looking, until I saw one lifted with bigger tires. My lifestyle calls for a pickup. I ride motorcycles and love doing home improvement projects. I was looking at buying a used truck just to have in my driveway, but they were so overpriced for something in nice shape without a million miles. So I decided to just buy a new Gladiator instead. I did think about a Ranger, but you can't beat Dana 44s and the convertible aspect of the Gladiator. I've already owned a Tacoma and a FJ Cruiser. I think it is ridiculous that the Tacoma hasn't really been updated in 16 or so years. So that was a hard pass.

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Day 1: Taking delivery

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Barely fits in my garage

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Hilarious that Jeep still uses these dinky 1993 era antennas. I haven't noticed a drop in signal, but I'm in a major metropolis.

DSC_0367.JPG


Went ahead and swapped out the factory fill oil after a few hundred miles. I heard they use a synthetic blend so it had to go. Went with Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 0W-20 and a Wix HD filter. Oil changes are so easy on these.

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Next was upgrading to LED bulbs thanks to recommendations here. I want to go with Morimoto headlights soon. I have friends at The Retrofit Source here in Atlanta. I highly recommend them.

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Next was Lift Kit Version 1.0, a Teraflex 1.5" spacer kit for the front. Super easy to install, took me 2 hours taking my time and drinking a few beers. This lift is just temporary to get rid of the ugly rake that the Max Tow has and to better fit my 35s coming up here in a few pictures.

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Level installed, much better!

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Woohoo! Picking up my wheels and tires that I ordered from the local Tire Rack Distribution Center.

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Having a truck bed is awesome.

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Happiness!

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Just ever so slightly larger....

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BFGoodrich KO2 315/70/17 with OZ Rally Raid wheels. I am so glad that I went with a 35 tire and not 33s like I originally was thinking. These Gladiators are designed for 35s.

Next Up
  • Bilstein 5100 shocks (In the mail)
  • Bilstein Steering Damper (In the mail)
  • Mopar Extended Lower Control Arms (In the mail)
  • Rubicon Front Springs 340/343 (In the mail), will pair with 1" Teraflex spacer
  • Daystar .75" Rear Spacer (In the box)
  • JScan the tire size and turn on LEDs (Waiting on SWB cable to ship)
Need
  • Rubicon OEM rocksliders
  • Mopar Steel Bumpers
  • Morimoto Headlights
  • LED Taillight Housings
  • LED Turn Signal Housings
  • Tonneau cover
  • Livernois Tune (Once they release 2021 MY)
  • Sway bar quick disconnects
  • New/Used 35 to throw on the spare wheel
Want
  • Overlanding setup (Tent, rack, etc)
  • Winch
  • Hood decal
Aspirational
  • Magnusson Supercharger

I'll be driving from Atlanta to Montana this summer.

January 15, 2022 Update

Here is my mod list to date:

  • Rugged Ridge HD Front Bumper
  • Rugged Ridge Front Skid Plate
  • Warn EVO VR-S 10k Winch
  • Amazon LED Lights all around
  • Mishimoto Catch-Can
  • Rival Hood Struts
  • Mopar front air deflector
  • Gorilla Glass windshield
  • Amazon stubby antenna
  • Fab Fours rock sliders
  • DV8 bedside sliders
  • Clayton Offroad 2.5" Ride Right + Lift Kit
  • Bilstein 5100 shocks and steering damper
  • JKS Quicker disconnect sway bar links
  • Mopar extended front lower control arms
  • Synergy Manufacturing HD Drag Link
  • 17" OZ Rally Raid Wheels
  • 315/70/17 BFGoodrich KO2 T/A Baja Champion C Load
  • Bestop Tonneau cover
  • Napier bed tent
  • Mopar grab handles
  • Mopar door sills
  • Kenwood KFC speakers
  • Livernois Motorsport engine and transmission tunes
  • Mishimoto Intake
  • Rock Jock Drive Shaft Spacer
  • Mopar Trailer Brake Controller
  • Threedom S+ Keyfob
Future planned mods:
  • Hardtop
  • Rugged Ridge HD rear bumper (If it fits in my garage)
  • LED headlight and taillight assemblies
  • Chopped Rubicon front fenders with Rugged Ridge chop light kit
Aspirational mods:
  • Eaton e-lockers front and rear
  • 4.88 gears
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Last edited:

seven30

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Tom
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central texas/ south colorado
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2021 JTM 6spd, 2001 Cherokee, 1992 Comanche
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Programer
I bought my Gladiator on a whim. I actually originally thought they were ugly looking, until I saw one lifted with bigger tires. My lifestyle calls for a pickup. I ride motorcycles and love doing home improvement projects. I was looking at buying a used truck just to have in my driveway, but they were so overpriced for something in nice shape without a million miles. So I decided to just buy a new Gladiator instead. I did think about a Ranger, but you can't beat Dana 44s and the convertible aspect of the Gladiator. I've already owned a Tacoma and a FJ Cruiser. I think it is ridiculous that the Tacoma hasn't really been updated in 16 or so years. So that was a hard pass.

DSC_0349.JPG


Day 1: Taking delivery

DSC_0355.JPG


Barely fits in my garage

DSC_0365.JPG


Hilarious that Jeep still uses these dinky 1993 era antennas. I haven't noticed a drop in signal, but I'm in a major metropolis.

DSC_0367.JPG


Went ahead and swapped out the factory fill oil after a few hundred miles. I heard they use a synthetic blend so it had to go. Went with Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 0W-20 and a Wix HD filter. Oil changes are so easy on these.

DSC_0386.JPG


Next was upgrading to LED bulbs thanks to recommendations here. I want to go with Morimoto headlights soon. I have friends at The Retrofit Source here in Atlanta. I highly recommend them.

DSC_0383.JPG


DSC_0385.JPG


Next was Lift Kit Version 1.0, a Teraflex 1.5" spacer kit for the front. Super easy to install, took me 2 hours taking my time and drinking a few beers. This lift is just temporary to get rid of the ugly rake that the Max Tow has and to better fit my 35s coming up here in a few pictures.

DSC_0398.JPG


Level installed, much better!

DSC_0426.JPG


Woohoo! Picking up my wheels and tires that I ordered from the local Tire Rack Distribution Center.

DSC_0427.JPG


Having a truck bed is awesome.

DSC_0429.JPG


Happiness!

DSC_0432.JPG


Just ever so slightly larger....

DSC_0437_3.JPG


DSC_0436.JPG


DSC_0441.JPG


DSC_0444.JPG


DSC_0449.JPG


BFGoodrich KO2 315/70/17 with OZ Rally Raid wheels. I am so glad that I went with a 35 tire and not 33s like I originally was thinking. These Gladiators are designed for 35s.

Next Up
  • Bilstein 5100 shocks (In the mail)
  • Bilstein Steering Damper (In the mail)
  • Mopar Extended Lower Control Arms (In the mail)
  • Rubicon Front Springs 340/343 (In the mail), will pair with 1" Teraflex spacer
  • Daystar .75" Rear Spacer (In the box)
  • JScan the tire size and turn on LEDs (Waiting on SWB cable to ship)
Need
  • Rubicon OEM rocksliders
  • Mopar Steel Bumpers
  • Morimoto Headlights
  • LED Taillight Housings
  • LED Turn Signal Housings
  • Tonneau cover
  • Livernois Tune (Once they release 2021 MY)
  • Sway bar quick disconnects
  • New/Used 35 to throw on the spare wheel
Want
  • Overlanding setup (Tent, rack, etc)
  • Winch
  • Hood decal
Aspirational
  • Magnusson Supercharger


I'll be driving from Atlanta to Montana this summer.

Nice build! I would have gone that direction too except no manual with maxtow!
Do you know if unlocking the PCM for Livernois will cause warranty issues?
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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Alec
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2021 Gladiator Sport S Max Tow
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Nice build! I would have gone that direction too except no manual with maxtow!
Do you know if unlocking the PCM for Livernois will cause warranty issues?
Thanks!

Yes, flashing your PCM puts you at risk for warranty repairs.
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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Alec
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2021 Gladiator Sport S Max Tow
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Engineer
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The Bilsteins arrived! Just waiting on the steering damper, LCAs, and front Rubicon springs now.
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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Alec
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Steering damper and LCAs are here.

Just waiting on Front Springs and sway bar links.

The springs haven't even shipped yet, so I might just throw all of this on now.

DSC_0457.JPG
 

Dawg Fan

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Rob
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2021 80th Anniversay Gladiator
Where did you order the steering damper from I have been looking and have had no luck.
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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Alec
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2021 Gladiator Sport S Max Tow
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Where did you order the steering damper from I have been looking and have had no luck.
Summit Racing had it.

The shocks I got from shockwarehouse.com
 

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Aonarch

Aonarch

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The Bilstein steering damper is in! It gave me one hell of a time installing it... Until I noticed that the Bilstein doesn't have the relief for the factory "keyed" bolt on the passenger side. A quick trip to the hardware store and it is in.

So if you rock an aftermarket steering damper you probably need to grab a M12 bolt and matching nut beforehand.

I haven't driven it much, because I am going to install the shocks and I need to set my toe.

Steering feel is heavier. I didn't notice any pushing to one side or the other, like single dampers can have.

The factory damper takes a few pounds to collapse... This Bilstein takes some strength to collapse it.
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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Installed the Mopar extended LCAs, they are heavier (Thicker steel) and .25" longer.

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Installed the Daystar .75" rear spacer and Bilstein 5100 shocks.

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I have a super handy trick for the rear springs. I used a paint pen to mark where the alignment nub goes on the spring mount and on the rubber isolator itself. I also zip ties the upper rubber isolater to the spring, so it didn't fall off or move.

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I ordered the BleepinJeep alignment plates, but for now I adjusted toe and straightened the steering wheel with good ole tape measurers and levels.

I installed the front Bilstein shocks too, but I didn't take any photos.

One thing... I have an extra set of rear sway bar links coming tomorrow. Even with a 1.5" lift in the front, the factory sway bar links are a no go. The sway bar is at an extreme angle. I'll install the extra rear set up front tomorrow
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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Alec
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Rubicon front springs and rear sway bar links (For the front) are arriving today. I'll throw them on today probably.

I ordered the Fabs Fours Rock Sliders and will be picking them up tomorrow.
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

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Alec
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DSC_0478.JPG


Rubicon Front springs are in as are the extended sway bar links.

I picked up the Fabs Fours rock sliders today.
 
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Aonarch

Aonarch

Well-Known Member
First Name
Alec
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577
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Location
GA/ MT
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2021 Gladiator Sport S Max Tow
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Engineer
DSC_0482.JPG


Phase 1 is complete.
 
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