First Trail Run / 6 speed

Hurley82

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Got a chance to take my Gladiator out on a trail here in Colorado. The trail is 20 miles or so from my house nothing to crazy. Wanted to ease into wheeling it, considering what these things cost and its my daily.

The trail has some pretty steep climbs through tight tress. The climbs are littered with loose softball to basketball sized boulders throughout. There are really only two main, obstacles on the trail. The first is in the middle of a steep climb that's very loose. This makes stopping and picking a line somewhat tricky. The obstacle itself a rock ledge that puts the jeep completely off balance. A large hole at the base of the rock ledge tests the suspension flex fairly well. The second obstacle is a very tight left hand turn that immediately begins a steep uphill climb. In the middle of the turn a rock outcropping crosses the full width of the trail and slopes down and towards the steep drop-off. The Gladiator did both obstacles without incident.

The 6 speed... Most recently I owned an auto JK that wheeled well, prior to that I had a 5 speed YJ. The Gladiator manual performed exceptionally well. I was worried I would need to work the hell out of the clutch but that simply wasn't the case. It did really well in 4H but 4L just made everything so easy. I will say 4L 1st gear in the Rubicon is extremely low. I will only use it on the most technical of obstacles where I need extra control. I had no problem starting in second gear and a few times in 3rd even on the steepest of sections. The manual wheeled very well, it was almost impossible to kill while in 4 low, which took some of the worry out of the climbs.

Overall I was very impressed, I thought for sure I would drag in places but I made it home without a scratch on the underside. I tested the lockers on the first big ledge climb and everything worked perfectly climbing the obstacle in slow controlled manner without so much as a wheel spin.

My gripe: let me unlock the sway bar in 2wd. On the trail I don't always need to be in 4wd and its crazy that I cant do this from the factory. The ride quality with the sway bar unlocked was sooo good. Connected it throws you all over the place. Let me unlock up to 30 or 40 mph. I realize the Tazer can do this but it is a lot to spend.

Sorry didn't get pics of the main obstacles as it was just me and my 4 year old son and most of my focus was on not destroying the new ride.

Gladiator Info:

Rubicon
6 Speed
1100 Miles
Averaging 19 MPG (excluding the wheeling trip)

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MonkeySkunks

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On the trail does the 4yr old get to ride up front or does he stay strapped in a car seat? Just curious.
 
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Hurley82

Hurley82

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On the trail does the 4yr old get to ride up front or does he stay strapped in a car seat? Just curious.
Strapped in the car seat in the back. He was super excited. He woke me up at 6:30 to go and got annoyed with me when I told him I need to take a quick shower first. He's spent the last 10 months looking at pics of Jeeps with me. He loved every minute of it.
 

Bekah

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Strapped in the car seat in the back. He was super excited. He woke me up at 6:30 to go and got annoyed with me when I told him I need to take a quick shower first. He's spent the last 10 months looking at pics of Jeeps with me. He loved every minute of it.
That's fantastic! Thank you for being such a great dad. These are memories your son will carry with him forever.
 

DenverGladiator

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What trail? Think a manual Sport S could do it or not without lockers, sway bar disconnect, etc?
 
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Hurley82

Hurley82

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What trail? Think a manual Sport S could do it or not without lockers, sway bar disconnect, etc?
It was Moody Hill outside Masonville up Buckhorn canyon. Right off 44H. It's rated pretty easy. I had to pull a forest service vehicle up the ledge with my jk years ago. He had already smashed the front bumper and shattered his washer fluid bottle, granted he wasn't in a Jeep. You could definitely run the trail and it'll make it. Just have a good spotter on the ledge step up. I'll also say, I ran it in a stock yj along with red cone and radical hill but as you probably know trails change over time and get easier in spots and tougher in others.
 

Onebigyoshi

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I got a manual Gladiator coming soon. I've never owned a jeep before and never offroad but would like to start on easy trails to I can finally say I'm not a trail virgin. I remember seeing a video of a manual JL riding up a hill just by engaging the clutch without pushing the gas. Is this possible on the Gladiator?
 
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Hurley82

Hurley82

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I got a manual Gladiator coming soon. I've never owned a jeep before and never offroad but would like to start on easy trails to I can finally say I'm not a trail virgin. I remember seeing a video of a manual JL riding up a hill just by engaging the clutch without pushing the gas. Is this possible on the Gladiator?
It's going to depend on the terrain. If there isn't too much resistance it'll go on its own with next to no gas.
 

DenverGladiator

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It was Moody Hill outside Masonville up Buckhorn canyon. Right off 44H. It's rated pretty easy. I had to pull a forest service vehicle up the ledge with my jk years ago. He had already smashed the front bumper and shattered his washer fluid bottle, granted he wasn't in a Jeep. You could definitely run the trail and it'll make it. Just have a good spotter on the ledge step up. I'll also say, I ran it in a stock yj along with red cone and radical hill but as you probably know trails change over time and get easier in spots and tougher in others.
Just checked it out in my FunTreks trail book, will definitely go next summer when up at Red Feather. We’re south of Denver, so most of my knowledge is south of I-70. Looks like most difficult part is first mile so I should know pretty quickly if I will have any issues with the ledge.

The one thing I dislike about the JT is the long wheelbase, it makes some ledges more difficult than they are. My bone stock Sport TJ could handle quite a bit because it’s wheelbase was minimal.
 
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Hurley82

Hurley82

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Just checked it out in my FunTreks trail book, will definitely go next summer when up at Red Feather. We’re south of Denver, so most of my knowledge is south of I-70. Looks like most difficult part is first mile so I should know pretty quickly if I will have any issues with the ledge.

The one thing I dislike about the JT is the long wheelbase, it makes some ledges more difficult than they are. My bone stock Sport TJ could handle quite a bit because it’s wheelbase was minimal.
Definitely agree. I was fairly certain I would drag but was pleasantly surprised. I don't plan on going as big with my JT as I did with my jk. Going to leave it stock for awhile and see how it goes, maybe small lift and slightly larger tires down the road. My jk got so big I didn't really want to drive it very far. Hoping to keep it so it is still a decent daily.
 
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Hurley82

Hurley82

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@DenverGladiator

If you do come all the way up to run that trail make a day or two out of it. Run Moody as warm or possibly old flower Rd and then take Pingree Park road and link up with Poudre Canyon from there its a short drive to seven Mile or Kelly Flatts. Both will dump you out with options for getting to red feather.
 

DenverGladiator

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@DenverGladiator

If you do come all the way up to run that trail make a day or two out of it. Run Moody as warm or possibly old flower Rd and then take Pingree Park road and link up with Poudre Canyon from there its a short drive to seven Mile or Kelly Flatts. Both will dump you out with options for getting to red feather.
I would make a 3 day weekend, love Red Feather and Dowdy Lake (we kayak too). Looked like nice collection of some fairly easy trails with Deadman, Sand Creek, Old Flowers, and Greer Road.
 

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