Ecodiesel Firecracker Sport S Build

Steven_B

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Long story short, I have been a Jeep guy my entire life. After driving and wheeling a Gladiator for work, fell in love with the platform and when I test drove the diesel, I had to have one!

I didn't want all the bells and whistles, but I knew what I wanted. The shortlist was:

- Sport S
- Firecracker
- Ecodiesel
- Hardtop
- LED Light Package
- Heated Seats (for my pup)
- Bedliner

That was it. The problem was, there wasn't one in this configuration anywhere in the country. So on New Years' Eve 2020, I placed my order to add to the fleet of Jeep I already have. (2018 WK2 Hemi, 1993 YJ, 2001 XJ 2WD).

Fast forward 3 months later and it was delivered.

My YJ Is already built for the trails in the PNW, so the plan with the Gladiator build was to make it a long-distance remote camping vehicle.

As of this past weekend, phase one of the build is complete.

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Phase One
- 2.5" AEV Dualsport Diesel Suspension
- Method 701 Wheels
- 35x11.50R17 Nitto Trail Grapplers
- ARB Classic Deluxe Winch Bumper
- Comeup RS9.5 Winch
- ARB Solis Intensity LED Lights (Aussie Style)
- Goose Gear Seat Delete
- ARB Portable Twin Compressor
- Factory dual battery delete to single Odyssey battery
- ARB Classic 35QT Fridge Freezer
- Tazer

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Phase Two (June-July) will consist of
- Alu-Cab Canopy Camper
- Alu-Cab Shadow Awning
- REDARC BCDC System powering two auxiliary BluOasis Lithium Batteries
- REDARC Tow Pro V3
- Hard mount Solar Panel on camper
- ARB LINX
- 37" Nitto All-Terrains

Phase Three (August) will consist of
- Front and Rear ARB Air Lockers
- Diff Regear
- 35 Spline Rear Axle Shafts
- Hard Mount ARB Twin Compressor

That's about it for now. I will update this thread as I add a new product to the build. If you are going to the overland expo, the Jeep will be in our (Mule Expedition Outfitters) booth.
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WXman

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That ARB bumper is nasty. I might have to copy cat you.
 
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Steven_B

Steven_B

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That ARB bumper is nasty. I might have to copy cat you.
I was torn between this bumper and ARB classic stubby (one of my favorite bumpers). But because I commute 70 miles a day, over a small mountain pass, and it's dark and rainy here during the winter, I really wanted to retain the factory fog lights. Plus, this bumper is more suited for animal strikes for the long-distance road trips we will be doing.
 

Tokolosh

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- Factory dual battery delete to single Odyssey battery


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For my education, what is the benefit of the dual battery delete and moving to the single instead?

Love the build so far.
 
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Steven_B

Steven_B

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For my education, what is the benefit of the dual battery delete and moving to the single instead?

Love the build so far.
With the Tazer, I already turned off the Auto Start/Stop. And because folks have had issues with the little battery killing the larger battery, I figured I would just eliminate the system to remove that risk of being stranded. And last, I have been using Odyssey batteries in all of my Jeep for several years and I am sold on the brand. I have literally killed one in my YJ leaving something on for over a week. After about a week on the smart charger, it came back to life and is currently living in my XJ.
 

Tokolosh

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With the Tazer, I already turned off the Auto Start/Stop. And because folks have had issues with the little battery killing the larger battery, I figured I would just eliminate the system to remove that risk of being stranded. And last, I have been using Odyssey batteries in all of my Jeep for several years and I am sold on the brand. I have literally killed one in my YJ leaving something on for over a week. After about a week on the smart charger, it came back to life and is currently living in my XJ.
Agreed on the Odyssey. My company moves a lot of batteries... mostly private label provided by a solid manufacturer we work with. But Odyssey is the national brand selling next to our private label and they are solid batteries for the applications we support.
 

coder

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Any plans for new gears? The Sport S only has 3.45's I believe.
 
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Steven_B

Steven_B

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Any plans for new gears? The Sport S only has 3.45's I believe.
Think I will, just so I have the option to flat tow my YJ if I wanted. All Gladiators with the diesel come with 3.73s. I am just torn between 4.10s and 4.56s. I have heard someone is working on a 4.30 gear set that would be perfect for the diesel.
 
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How do you like the AEV lift? I noticed it is back in stock to order.

I also ordered our truck very similar except Hydro Blue and included the tow package.

Thanks
-Oliver
 
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Steven_B

Steven_B

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How do you like the AEV lift? I noticed it is back in stock to order.

I also ordered our truck very similar except Hydro Blue and included the tow package.

Thanks
-Oliver
So far I like it. I have about 500 miles on the suspension already. I will probably change out the shocks in the future for some adjustable bypass shocks like Falcon or OME BP-51s. The front shocks seem like they could just a tad more rebound dampening. The front springs seem just about perfect. The rear still feels like a truck, a bit stiff without any load and retains the factory rake. I will be getting my Alu-Cab Canopy Campers next mount, so the added weight should be about perfect. When the camper goes on, I will probably throw on a helwig stabilizer at the same time.

All the above opinions so far are based on street and highway. I am driving from Seattle to Vegas this week and hope to jump off the highway a few times on the way down and then I can give my gravel opinion.

I love the blue. I was torn by the colors. But the red just pops a lot in our dark woods up here and the jeep will be used for some media and product photography so I chose red. Glad I did, my neighbor bought a blue, so now we have two cool gladiators, and they arent the same color!
 
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So far I like it. I have about 500 miles on the suspension already. I will probably change out the shocks in the future for some adjustable bypass shocks like Falcon or OME BP-51s. The front shocks seem like they could just a tad more rebound dampening. The front springs seem just about perfect. The rear still feels like a truck, a bit stiff without any load and retains the factory rake. I will be getting my Alu-Cab Canopy Campers next mount, so the added weight should be about perfect. When the camper goes on, I will probably throw on a helwig stabilizer at the same time.

All the above opinions so far are based on street and highway. I am driving from Seattle to Vegas this week and hope to jump off the highway a few times on the way down and then I can give my gravel opinion.

I love the blue. I was torn by the colors. But the red just pops a lot in our dark woods up here and the jeep will be used for some media and product photography so I chose red. Glad I did, my neighbor bought a blue, so now we have two cool gladiators, and they arent the same color!
Thanks for the update on the suspension. I'm still undecided but I liked that the AEV is known for good on road handling. When we offroad we have to go so slow or else we bottom out. Can't wait to hear how it works in the Nevada desert.

I really like your truck color. We were actually looking at the firecracker red but fell in love with a blue one we saw at Costco. There are a Sting Gray and Black Gladiators in my same street, and a Snazzberry a street over.
 

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would you mind sharing a few more pictures of the fridge in the 40% of the rear seat delete? How tall are you? I’m not that tall myself just trying to figure out if leg room of driver would be compromised with rear seat delete
 
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Steven_B

Steven_B

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would you mind sharing a few more pictures of the fridge in the 40% of the rear seat delete? How tall are you? I’m not that tall myself just trying to figure out if leg room of driver would be compromised with rear seat delete
I didn't drive the Jeep today, but will try and snap some more photos tonight when I am changing its oil.

I am 6'5", the fridge is the small ARB classic 37QT. Even with Goose Gear's taller Gladiator Seat delete, you can move the see all the way back and recline. With the fridge right there, the seat back goes to my normal driving position. I do need to slide it forward a bit to open the fridge, but not that big of a deal for me.
 
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Steven_B

Steven_B

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Currently on a trip to visit family in Henderson, NV. First national park visit is Death Valley. Fire Cracker red in an area that seems hot has fire for a kid that grew up in rainy western Washington. Good shake down run of what temps the diesel would produce while climbing in 107 degrees at 65-70 MPH. Oh, and we started the morning at almost 9k feet and hit almost 300 feet below sea level.

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Steven_B

Steven_B

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It's been a few months since I used my gimbal so I warmed up on my Gladiator before shooting a real video.

 
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