Building With Purpose, Not Ego: Berserker Offroad Gladiator Build

Berserker

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Yesterday I took my Gladiator to Kansas Rocks where I've wheeled JKs for years. I wanted to see how capable it is and understand how cognizant I need to be of the breakover angle. The Jeep exceeded my expectations. I went in thinking I was driving a sled (conjuring memories of my "Big Guys Drag Small Jeep" videos). The Gladiator Rubicon was a "brute" on the trails. Its deep gearing had an abundance of torque in 4-lo, so much that I don't regret not waiting for the eco-diesel. The long wheelbase gave confident stability on hill climbs, more than I ever felt in a JK or JL. It maintained its perch when off-camber and the tires bit into everything. It was a "point and go" experience. Meticulous tire placement and planning cut down on underbody contact with rocks but it did occasionally happen. So what's next? 35's for sure and a 2.5" lift to give me that extra bit of clearance. I'm also looking at full aluminum skids, not for bashing but for gliding. Early on a branch got lodged between my driveshaft and exhaust and was wrapped in between my transmission cooling lines. Skids will keep silly things like that from happening. I will be taking this JT on trips throughout the western US and although in its current form it can do 95% of the trails I'll be on, it's the unexpected I'll need it to conquer.

I'll document my build in this thread and discuss my reasoning behind what I choose to do.

In this video, I talk through what I learned wheeling my Gladiator and what my initial build plans are.






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Berserker

Berserker

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I finally stepped up to 35s. I sent with Falken Wildpeak M/Ts on AEV Pintler wheels. For now, I'm staying with the stock suspension. In this video, I discuss why I won't be running 37s on this Gladiator. My decision to not go bigger than 35s is motivated purely by longevity, performance, and vehicle durability.

 
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Berserker

Berserker

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Here's a build update. I'm making steady and calculated modifications to my Jeep. Everything I do is functional and has a purpose. I'm not "ego-building" my Jeep, and instead, I'm upgrading things to maximize the utility, reliability, and versatility of my rig. "Starting Over" refers to this being the fourth Jeep I've built for off-road use, after two JKs and a JL.

Upgrades I Discuss:
  • 35" Falken Wildpeak M/T tires
  • AEV Pintler JL/JT wheels
  • Bestop EZ-Roll tonneau cover
  • Builtright Industries Gladiator cargo management system
  • Mopar Katzkin leather seats
  • Factory auxiliary switches
  • Stock suspension

I need to decide on a winch bumper and winch for my rig. The most pressing issue I have what in the world to do with my ARB 50qt fridge. It's too tall to fit in the bed under the tonneau cover. I either need a shorter fridge or get some kind of canopy. I'm also working on brackets to mount a rooftop tent too.

 

KurtP

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Here's a build update. I'm making steady and calculated modifications to my Jeep. Everything I do is functional and has a purpose. I'm not "ego-building" my Jeep, and instead, I'm upgrading things to maximize the utility, reliability, and versatility of my rig. "Starting Over" refers to this being the fourth Jeep I've built for off-road use, after two JKs and a JL.

Upgrades I Discuss:
  • 35" Falken Wildpeak M/T tires
  • AEV Pintler JL/JT wheels
  • Bestop EZ-Roll tonneau cover
  • Builtright Industries Gladiator cargo management system
  • Mopar Katzkin leather seats
  • Factory auxiliary switches
  • Stock suspension

I need to decide on a winch bumper and winch for my rig. The most pressing issue I have what in the world to do with my ARB 50qt fridge. It's too tall to fit in the bed under the tonneau cover. I either need a shorter fridge or get some kind of canopy. I'm also working on brackets to mount a rooftop tent too.

looks good. Why no lift? An AEV, clayton 2.5 or even Mopar lift fits right with the ethos IMO.
 
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Berserker

Berserker

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looks good. Why no lift? An AEV, clayton 2.5 or even Mopar lift fits right with the ethos IMO.
Thank you. So far I haven't found a lift necessary.

My '07 JK had a 4-5" "frenken-lift" on 35s. My '13 was on 32-35" tires, 2.5" lift. Then my JL I took on the trails completely stock. So now that I'm back to 35s, and I'm used to smaller tires, it feels massive. I'll lift it either if the breakover angle becomes an issue, or if the rear sags with my gear and the tires rub.
 

KurtP

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Thank you. So far I haven't found a lift necessary.

My '07 JK had a 4-5" "frenken-lift" on 35s. My '13 was on 32-35" tires, 2.5" lift. Then my JL I took on the trails completely stock. So now that I'm back to 35s, and I'm used to smaller tires, it feels massive. I'll lift it either if the breakover angle becomes an issue, or if the rear sags with my gear and the tires rub.
i was planning on just doing 35’s on my mojave. One trail trip and im going lift and 37’s. Its easy to drag belly.
 
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Berserker

Berserker

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I installed the BuiltRight Industries Utility Rail system. Below I discuss why I went with their kit instead of the Mopar Trail Rail system.

 

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