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Jaxmax

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Nice quick build! Any thought on a rear sway bar brace by Metal Cloak or EVO? I guess there are others but piece of mind for not much money, unless you are installing a whole sway bar system soon. There are guys here who tore or cracked theirs…..Jack
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Escape.idiocracy

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Been watching the end of year 2023 JT discounts and enjoying a Buddy's JTD for several years, so took the plunge (and the discounts) on a 23 JTRD. I've had several Jeeps over the years (JL, JK's, TJ's and an older CJ) and just finished a two year+ build on a JLUR (3.6, 3.5" EVO/Kings, Currie 1 tons, 4:88's, 37's) - now sold.

Decided I had to have a diesel while I could still get one new, but couldn't commit another 2+ years to a build due to family and work commitments. To get started I fast tracked the big stuff at my local shop so that I can get to towing a small teardrop trailer and overlanding. (More changes will come as time permits, but I'm now on the road).

Therefore I wanted to detail some of the changes in this build, and hopefully get some input for future improvements / add-ons!

So since we'll be heading West, the big items for me were strengthening the front, gearing and clearance, all while keeping the COG a little lower for towing.

Initial Build:
Clayton Offroad Diesel 1.5" Overland Plus with Currie Currect-Lync Steering and Falcon SP2 3.3 2-3" JT Diesel Shocks. (This has netted approx. 3.5" in the front and 2" in the rear)
Dana 4:56 gears (Just on 2000 RPM at 70-75mph)
RCV Performance Ultimate CV Axles
Reid Racing Knuckles (I know the JT comes with steel but this future proofs for flipped drag link options when I go to a taller lift)
Dynatrac Ball Joints
Artec APEX front axle armor kit/truss
Adams front and rear drive shafts with 1350's
Synergy front and rear extended steel brake lines
Synergy sector shaft brace
ARB Diff covers
Tazer
Dirty Life Wheels and Nitto Ridge Grapplers 37x12.5X17

To complete the initial look I also added a winch and Next Venture front bumper/guard plus the mandatory mats, covers and additional locks. A big improvement to "turbo lag" was the addition of a pedal commander.

Here's where I started.

GrayBell at Dealer.png


And where I am now.

GrayBell After.jpeg


The Build:

GrayBell Build Gears and Truss.jpeg


GrayBell Build Reids.jpeg


GrayBell Build Front Falcon.jpg


GrayBell Build Driveshaft 1350.jpeg


GrayBell Rear Suspension.jpeg


GrayBell Build Rear Falcon.jpeg


GrayBell Reids and RCV.jpeg


GrayBell Front Steering - Sectore Shaft Brace.jpeg



Completion of the initial build:

GrayBell Final Side View.jpeg


GrayBell Final Front Side.jpeg



Continuing Build:
Make some more money because it is a Jeep!
Will evaluate strengthening the rear (chromoly rear axle shafts?)
Bed rack
Lighting
Spare tire mount
1” bump spacers resolve any and all clearance issues with the truss?

Hellofa start! :)
 

Rusty PW

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Nice build. The JTRD is a bit nose heavy with the diesel. You might want to go with hydraulic bump stops in the front.
 

Mr Weekend

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Hey love your Gladiator, I have a 2020 sport I have been building . I have been looking for a front bumper similar to yours, one that incorporates the fog light mounts and front recovery point. Could you share the manufacture .

Thanks.
 
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Hey love your Gladiator, I have a 2020 sport I have been building . I have been looking for a front bumper similar to yours, one that incorporates the fog light mounts and front recovery point. Could you share the manufacture .

Thanks.
Thanks so much, yup I'd been looking for a bumper and had previously put a front and rear bumper from Next Venture Motorsports on my past build. I was extremely happy with the design, quality and support so I went with them again on my JT. They have several styles, the one I like the most is their Adventure Series (these are not cheep but truly you get what you pay for and the quality is awesome!). I went with the Bumper/Skid/7" Stinger/Powder Coated. If you do order one and you use the Baja SAE foglights, make sure you tell Next Venture as they have a specific mounting bracket that they will supply with the bumper for these lights.

https://nextventuremotorsports.com/collections/jeep-gladiator-jt-bumpers
 

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Iddpaul

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Nice build. The JTRD is a bit nose heavy with the diesel. You might want to go with hydraulic bump stops in the front.
Thanks, greatly appreciate your input! We'd manually adjusted the bump stop height for the lift but a progressive bump is so much better. Haha, you must have been reading my mind (a scary thing!), as I'd installed JKS Mfg ACOS (front and back) on my previous build, and was thinking I may have to do the same here. Their adjustable coil spacer/progressive bump stops really worked well previously, so once I've gotten some miles and looked at settling it's probably the way to go again.
 
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Iddpaul

Iddpaul

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Nice quick build! Any thought on a rear sway bar brace by Metal Cloak or EVO? I guess there are others but piece of mind for not much money, unless you are installing a whole sway bar system soon. There are guys here who tore or cracked theirs…..Jack
Thanks so much. Clayton's lift kit comes with adjustable front and rear trackbars and I did chat with them about a relocation bracket - they said it wasn't necessary for the lift that I have. I didn't look at the sway bar, so thanks I'll check out Metalcloaks rear sway bar reinforcement bracket!
 

Rusty PW

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Thanks, greatly appreciate your inpu! We'd manually adjusted the bump stop height for the lift but a progressive bump is so much better. Haha, you must have been reading my mind (a scary thing!), as I'd installed JKS Mfg ACOS (front and back) on my previous build, and was thinking I may have to do the same here. Their adjustable coil spacer/progressive bump stops really worked well previously, so once I've gotten some miles and looked at settling it's probably the way to go again.
I have the ACOS on the front of my JTRD. Big improvement over oem. I'm at 4" of lift.
 

Mr Weekend

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Thanks so much, yup I'd been looking for a bumper and had previously put a front and rear bumper from Next Venture Motorsports on my past build. I was extremely happy with the design, quality and support so I went with them again on my JT. They have several styles, the one I like the most is their Adventure Series (these are not cheep but truly you get what you pay for and the quality is awesome!). I went with the Bumper/Skid/7" Stinger/Powder Coated. If you do order one and you use the Baja SAE foglights, make sure you tell Next Venture as they have a specific mounting bracket that they will supply with the bumper for these lights.

https://nextventuremotorsports.com/collections/jeep-gladiator-jt-bumpers
Thanks for the information, I purchased a front bumper without doing enough research and am very unhappy with it. I am learning your do get what you pay for. I have also been looking at the new tera Flex front bumper, I currently have there steering components as well as there track bars front and rear great stuff. Thanks again.
 

Sperger

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So the Pedal Commander is that good? I have a 2023 JT Diesel that I just purchased. Added XR wheels and 315s so for. I feel like I need to regear for the larger tires even with the Diesel. Feels Really Slow now.

20231213_152832[1].jpg
 

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Iddpaul

Iddpaul

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So the Pedal Commander is that good? I have a 2023 JT Diesel that I just purchased. Added XR wheels and 315s so for. I feel like I need to regear for the larger tires even with the Diesel. Feels Really Slow now.
Hi Zach, I installed the Pedal Commander with the stock wheels/3:73's and really saw a difference. Now that I've had a gear change and gone to 37's and recalibrated with a Tazer, I can feel the difference as I'm not feeling any "turbo" lag....remember you do need to play around with the settings to find your sweet spot. (I have mine in Sport 3+). Once installed and set, you can just about forget it.

Re your 315's, I'm a believer in keeping the engine/transmission in the power band so have always considered a gear change as part of my builds.

Your JT Diesel comes with 3:73's, and yes you can run it just fine with 315's, and the Pedal Commander IMO will help. I would probably drive it for a while and see what you think, and would comment that at least 50% of the folks on the forum would stay with the factory gearing due to cost and "limited" improvement. For me, there's no doubt (even just doing the math) that performance/shift points/mpg/"driveability" will improve with a gear change. From past experience, for 35 inch tires 4:10's were perfect and now that I'm on 37's, 4:56 gearing for the diesel has me exactly where I want to be. Best to you!
 
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Iddpaul

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So the build continues, I'm still looking at spare wheel mounts and associated racks. I'm also down to a couple of choices for Molle Bed Panels, but in the interim I removed the plastic box under the rear seat so that I could carry my hi-lift jack.

Hi-Lift 1.jpeg


Hi Lift 2.jpeg


Hi Lift 3.jpeg
 

TurboHarley

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So the Pedal Commander is that good? I have a 2023 JT Diesel that I just purchased. Added XR wheels and 315s so for. I feel like I need to regear for the larger tires even with the Diesel. Feels Really Slow now.
I used the Hike It on mine. Big difference and highly recommended. Stock gearing on 37s with no performance issues.
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