Building an Attitude of Gladitude.

Zebago

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Patrick
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I picked up my White JTR back in July 19. The first JT sale for the dealership and one of the first ones in the state. I love it. I want to name it Gladitude, but my daughter calls it Gladys. I guess we will have to wait and see who it comes to when we call its name. ;)

I have been slowly picking away at it. I do a lot of hunting, fishing and camping so my build will be more about getting into the woods than hard wheeling. I also do the occasional Overland trip.

One of the first things I did was make a Unistrut rack for my RTT. My JCR rack was on order. I needed a quick fix for the Vermont Overland Rally (bird watching safari). The details can be seen here:

https://www.jeepgladiatorforum.com/forum/threads/homemade-unistrut-tent-mount-on-bed.22031/

UniRack.jpg


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Zebago

Zebago

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Next I installed the half rack from JCR. I like it. It is well built. I do wish it came with stainless hardware. I cut some rubber pads to between the rack feet and the bed.

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Zebago

Zebago

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I made threaded plates for my JCR rack. The current design uses carriage bolts that stick out of plates that slide into the rail. I wanted to be able to lift the rack straight up and off with a tent on it. The slots would not allow for this with the bolts sticking out. I had to cut the bolts to lift it off. I could have loosened some of the bolts on the rack and pushed the legs in, but this is something I will be doing every few weeks and that would be a pain. I plan on building a hoist to lift everything off as one unit. More on that later.


I used 1” x ¼” steel stock (Lowes). I cut them about 3” long. I plan on painting them later. I drilled and tapped two M8 holes for the rack and an M6 center hole for a set screw to hold the plates in place while the rack is off. I used metric hardware because I had the bolts and they were stainless. I found that a M6 x 25 low head screw would tighten against the plate and not stick out beyond the rail surface, so I used them instead. I have not actually used the plates yet so I can’t tell you how well they work.

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Zebago

Zebago

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I found some almost new Falken Wild peak AT3W - 35x12.5R17 on MT 17x10 Classic Baja wheels on Craigs. I don’t know the back spacing. They were off a JK. His wife didn’t like how high they were.

Funny story.. They were in a town 45 min away. I got to messaging the guy and he ended up being my neighbor a few doors down. He had taken the tires off at his place of business and left them there. I had to drive 1.5 hours round trip to buy tires from my neighbor! He gave me a great deal. I sold the MT wheels and stock tires and pretty much broke even.

I ran the 10” wide wheels for a few weeks. I loved the look, but they were killing me. They stuck out almost 3 inches. They were throwing mud and rocks everywhere. I live in Maine where we have more than the average amount of dirt roads. I spend a lot of time in the Northern Maine Woods where there are hundreds of miles of dirt roads to explore. They were built by the paper companies for logging. And they can get slimy! In the last picture you can see how much mud just the stock 33 tires were throwing. It was way worse with the tires sticking out. We also have a lot of sand and salt on the roads during the winter. I don’t want to get mud flaps because I do wheel once and a while. Maybe some removable ones?

I ended up putting the tires on the stock wheels.(second to last pic) They fit perfectly with no rubbing so far. The major reason is that it is illegal to stick out past the fenders. I can’t pass a state inspection. They ride great and are great in the snow. I also gained ½” of lift over the MT wheels by going with the narrower stock wheels.

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Rokon

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Zebago, where in ME are you? I'm in Saco, got my black Rubi beginning of June '19. Haven't seen many JT's running around.
 
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Zebago

Zebago

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Zebago, where in ME are you? I'm in Saco, got my black Rubi beginning of June '19. Haven't seen many JT's running around.
Im in the lakes region. It would be great to run into you some time!
 
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Zebago

Zebago

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I Installed a Daystar 2” spacer lift/level kit. I figured it would be a good entry level lift for a rig that was more for overlanding than crawling. The price was right. I didn’t need an alignment when I was done. I would like to get a complete lift eventually. I am waiting for other manufacturers to work the bugs out of their lifts before spending a lot of money. I actually think it drives a little better than stock. I don’t know if this is because the new control arms change the castor a little bit? Its hard to tell because I also installed a FOX 2.0 ATS steering stabilizer at the same time. My gladiator drove terribly from the factory. So much so that my daughter wont drive it. This combo made it a little better but not cured.

What I don’t like about it is that it squeaks in the rear , the control arms do not have proper paint on them to withstand the salt they spray on the roads here and the bushings seem to be working their way out.

Daystar.jpg
 
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Zebago

Zebago

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I installed some sliders from RockHard 4x4 (angled up). These things are rugged! Very well made. I love them. I needed to drill out a couple of the holes in the pinch seam, but they installed surprisingly easy considering the amount of mounting points that need to line up.

The stock Rubi Rails weigh in at about 33 lbs and the Rock Hards are about 56 lbs each. 23 lbs more each. 46 lbs total weight gain. Kind of a lot, but necessary in my opinion. Protection from rocks, trees, shopping carts and car doors. They also provide a nice step for accessing the Roof and getting in.

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Zebago

Zebago

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I made some rear bumper light mounts. I copied the idea from @Dorbritz and his project Gold Rush. I like how he made an additional black piece to fill the hole rather than just bolting up a flat plate. I used Lexan and Black Delrin. The cut isn’t very clean, but the face plate covers it up. I wired them to switch #4.

Dorbritz Post:

https://www.jeepgladiatorforum.com/forum/threads/project-“gold-rush”.26892/page-2

The lights I bought:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TYSP7KV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

LEDa.jpg


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LEDb.jpg
 
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Zebago

Zebago

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I mounted my jack using some hood mounts from an old jeep. I'm a little concerned with he amount of weight that is piling up on the passenger side with the jack, gas cans, fuel tank...

Jack.jpg


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Imbuere

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Those backup lights are freaking awesome. I with the JLs could do that.
 
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Zebago

Zebago

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Thanks! I haven't had much chance to use them yet. I wired them to aux switch 4. They don't come on automatically when I back up. And I keep forgetting to turn them on. I might rewire them.
 
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Zebago

Zebago

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I Installed some Rough Country lights. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet. They seem pretty bright. I mounted the switch to the steering wheel tilt lever for now. I wanted to put it in this blank spot (arrow), but I don’t think it will fit. I was going to wire it to one of the Aux switches, but the RC wiring was so nicely wrapped with watertight connectors, I didn’t want to cut into it. Also the switch has a hi/low setting and I don’t think it would work with the aux switches. Just messing around, but I thought a license plate swing mount could make a good light mount. I think the lights are discontinued now.

https://www.amazon.com/Rough-Country-Windshield-Wrangler-Unlimited/dp/B07B1M4X75

LightsON.jpg


LightsOff.jpg


LicPlate.jpg


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Zebago

Zebago

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Patrick
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Maine
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1982 CJ8, 2020 JT Rubicon, White
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I installed a Rugged Ridge Arcus bumper with the help of JT Mods‘s great video. https://www.jeepgladiatorforum.com/forum/threads/rugged-ridge-arcus-bumper-warn-winch-upgrade.28902/

The hardest part was getting the factory bumper off and apart to get the fog lamps out. I also installed a Smittybuilt Gen 2- X20 12k Winch. I have put this winch to some hard work and I can tell you it preformed great. And in hindsight, I am so happy I went with the 12k. I had to winch up a muddy hill. I couldn’t imagine doing it fully loaded with a smaller winch. The control housing was hitting the grill, so I put washers under it to raise it up.
mud.jpg


DoneDone.jpg


washers.jpg


mud2.jpg
 
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Zebago

Zebago

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Patrick
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Maine
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1982 CJ8, 2020 JT Rubicon, White
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I was going to call it Gladitude, but after a few mishaps and unwanted mods on a wheeling trip, Im renaming it Gladiwampus. I got it straightened out for the most part.

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