High Altitude Gladiator for highway use?

ShadowsPapa

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The main difference between leaf springs and coil springs other than packaging is that leaf springs have a fair amount of internal friction from the leaves rubbing against each other as they compress. So they actually add a bit of unpredictable damping to the springing.
And thus - mono-leaf springs......... and the reason there are nylon pads, etc. used in multi-leaf springs.

 

olecarguy

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I've had CJ's, TJ's, and Libertys in the past. So, I'm not new to Jeeps and Highway usage. Now that I have a JT, when purchased I never expected it to as great on the highway as a car or pickup which is designed more aerodynamically, and I have not been proven wrong.

I have an 2020 Overland with Full Hard Top, all the bells and whistles, leather, ACC, Cross Traffic, cold weather package, yada, yada, yada. Basically, the only difference between it and the High Altitude is quilted seats, wide axles, and 20" wheels.

For mods, I have put in a 2" MOPAR lift (sans using the kits rear springs), steel front bumper, upgraded to 276/65/18 on the stock wheels to keep the original diameter but add a little width, run at 36PSI, and M.O.R.E. left foot rest. Also, I had the steel steering box upgrade.

I love the vehicle, its ride, handling, and options. While a bit stiffer than when it was stock, it's sure footed on the highway and not as prone to wandering in winds as the older solid axle jeeps we've had. So much so that I can drive laid back, relaxed, using two fingers just like my other vehicles which wasn't so one others except for the Liberty.

As a highway drive comparison, I also have a 2003 F350 diesel dually, and 2012 300. Both of which I drive on the highway on these types of trips regularly. IMO, comparing either of these to the Gladiator on long highway trips is like comparing apples to oranges. I feel that comparing the Gladiator to your Toyota truck is similar having driven few of them on rental highway trips.

Here's why; while the JT has all the luxury bells and whistles and seating position is comfortable for long distance comfort, by design, the flatter windshield, the seams in the removable panels, and large mirrors present significant wind noise over 55MPH. So, much so that Siri constantly asks me to close my already closed windows to reduce driving noise so she can understand me. I've driven others and it is similar, so I don't have any assembly errors causing excessive noise. The other highway nuisance is the constant shifting between D7 and D8, adding engine noise to the already noisy interior, especially when over 74mph. On that note, I have noticed when traversing the country at altitudes above 3800ft (had the altimeter opened up on the off road gauge cluster) it never gets out of D7 unless going downhill. I tested it several times in different areas of the county. As soon as I'm below 3800 ft elevation it shifts into D8 and holds unless going up hill. Not so above 3800ft. It's repeatable.

So, after putting on 6K miles on it in the past 4 weeks, and since I have the options of the others, for longer trips, where a P/U is needed, given difference in ride comfort and about the same fuel mileage, I will be using the Dually. If I don't need the use of the bed and ride comfort and mileage is the need, then the 300 will be used, reserving the Gladiator for shorter <4hr highway drives or local trips.

Hope this helps.
 

ShadowsPapa

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If my wife had been with my on my trip to town this AM - I'd have had her do a video of the drive - secondary highways, our county road, and interstate. You could hardly see me moving the steering wheel at all for most of the trip. And for good reason - I didn't need to. Gotta get a video made. It would make those TV and movie scenes where the "driver" is constantly moving the steering wheel look like he was in some arcade game or something. If they used me driving my truck for a TV show scene - they'd not be happy because it would look like I was just sitting there for most of it - and I was.
I decided to keep track of how much "correcting" was needed, see if there was any pull, just so I could convince myself - no, that's really how I remember it. I bet on the better roads I wasn't moving my hand even 1/8". Sometimes I wonder - am I REALLY remembering it correctly? Yup.
 

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I've had CJ's, TJ's, and Libertys in the past. So, I'm not new to Jeeps and Highway usage. Now that I have a JT, when purchased I never expected it to as great on the highway as a car or pickup which is designed more aerodynamically, and I have not been proven wrong.

I have an 2020 Overland with Full Hard Top, all the bells and whistles, leather, ACC, Cross Traffic, cold weather package, yada, yada, yada. Basically, the only difference between it and the High Altitude is quilted seats, wide axles, and 20" wheels.

For mods, I have put in a 2" MOPAR lift (sans using the kits rear springs), steel front bumper, upgraded to 276/65/18 on the stock wheels to keep the original diameter but add a little width, run at 36PSI, and M.O.R.E. left foot rest. Also, I had the steel steering box upgrade.

I love the vehicle, its ride, handling, and options. While a bit stiffer than when it was stock, it's sure footed on the highway and not as prone to wandering in winds as the older solid axle jeeps we've had. So much so that I can drive laid back, relaxed, using two fingers just like my other vehicles which wasn't so one others except for the Liberty.

As a highway drive comparison, I also have a 2003 F350 diesel dually, and 2012 300. Both of which I drive on the highway on these types of trips regularly. IMO, comparing either of these to the Gladiator on long highway trips is like comparing apples to oranges. I feel that comparing the Gladiator to your Toyota truck is similar having driven few of them on rental highway trips.

Here's why; while the JT has all the luxury bells and whistles and seating position is comfortable for long distance comfort, by design, the flatter windshield, the seams in the removable panels, and large mirrors present significant wind noise over 55MPH. So, much so that Siri constantly asks me to close my already closed windows to reduce driving noise so she can understand me. I've driven others and it is similar, so I don't have any assembly errors causing excessive noise. The other highway nuisance is the constant shifting between D7 and D8, adding engine noise to the already noisy interior, especially when over 74mph. On that note, I have noticed when traversing the country at altitudes above 3800ft (had the altimeter opened up on the off road gauge cluster) it never gets out of D7 unless going downhill. I tested it several times in different areas of the county. As soon as I'm below 3800 ft elevation it shifts into D8 and holds unless going up hill. Not so above 3800ft. It's repeatable.

So, after putting on 6K miles on it in the past 4 weeks, and since I have the options of the others, for longer trips, where a P/U is needed, given difference in ride comfort and about the same fuel mileage, I will be using the Dually. If I don't need the use of the bed and ride comfort and mileage is the need, then the 300 will be used, reserving the Gladiator for shorter <4hr highway drives or local trips.

Hope this helps.
Do you have headliners? That'll help with interior noise.
 

olecarguy

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ShadowsPapa

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Sure do. It’s ju

Sure do! It’s just a brick pushing through the air, pure and simple.
And headliners don't help with the road noise coming through the doors and floors........... or the wind hitting the side glass, side mirrors, whatever.
If you want quiet - buy a Grand Cherokee.
 

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And headliners don't help with the road noise coming through the doors and floors........... or the wind hitting the side glass, side mirrors, whatever.
If you want quiet - buy a Grand Cherokee.
FWIW, my JTO is probably the quietest Jeep we've ever owned. 1 YJ, 2 TJs (all soft tops), and 1 KK (with the sky slider roof). Compared to my '15 LTZ Silverado I just traded in, it sounds like a hurricane. Having owned multiple Jeeps though I was still impressed with how quiet it is, but knew what I was getting into.
 

ShadowsPapa

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FWIW, my JTO is probably the quietest Jeep we've ever owned. 1 YJ, 2 TJs (all soft tops), and 1 KK (with the sky slider roof). Compared to my '15 LTZ Silverado I just traded in, it sounds like a hurricane. Having owned multiple Jeeps though I was still impressed with how quiet it is, but knew what I was getting into.
I had to laugh - referring back to when I was looking at JTs originally, and the sales guy was telling me about them......... when I decided to test drive one he warned me "it's going to be really loud, the road noise is high on these, you may not be happy with it coming from your Silverado" and he kept trying to tell me how loud it would be and the wind noise would be really bad.

Yeah, compared to anything else I've owned it's louder, but I agree - it's quiet for that body style or Jeep type. It's functional - and actually surprising comfortable. The noise - meh, I just turn my hearing aid app to set them to "music in loud noise" or "Voice in loud noise" if my wife is with me and I'm fine.
If I want it more quiet, I know what I can do- better headliners, floor liner, etc. It ain't worth it to me. It's fine.
 

olecarguy

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So it seems we are in agreement then. The JT is the most comfortable and best handling JEEP ever. However, being less aerodynamic and having removable panels/doors, it still remains to be noisier on high speed highway driving than most other 4x4s. I too got what I expected and are not disappointed. I didn't buy it for primarily highway driving, but for being towed behind a MH and local usage.

However, to the OP's original question of to get a JT High Altitude for his wife for highway use, like posted here, unless they are recognizing it and willing to deal with the noise, they should be looking at another vehicle.
 

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We've got a HA diesel and we use it on the road pretty much 100%. I will say that putting the Sound Assassin kit in from Hotheads made a HUGE difference in highway noise. It fits really nicely under the factory headliner. Is it as quiet as our Volvo was on the highway? Nope. It is livable though. It drives nice and the turbo diesel is a beast on the highway.

Also, the HA comes with the wide track, thick wall Dana 44 axles as standard. Same ones as the Rubicon and Mohave. Our diesel came with cast iron knuckles on the front as well. The standard Overland doesn't come with the wider axles. I'm assuming they did it on the HA as it's supposed to be the "Highway Cruiser" Gladiator model and the slightly wider axles would add just a touch more stability.
 


ShadowsPapa

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Also, the HA comes with the wide track, thick wall Dana 44 axles as standard. Same ones as the Rubicon and Mohave. Our diesel came with cast iron knuckles on the front as well. The standard Overland doesn't come with the wider axles.
Axle tubes are the same. The thicker wall thing was long ago discounted. Apparently some early blogs got it wrong and it kept getting repeated.

Wider track - yes, .75" per side. Won't matter much in most cases.
If I towed constantly I'd prefer wider axles, but then it's not that much difference, and I first test drove a Sport S with the max tow package which means it had the .75"/per side wider axles - didn't really notice a difference unless it was in windy conditions.
 

SF915

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I Love my HA. 3k miles so far. It’s more comfortable on the highway than the XC60 I traded in, although I do find the steering to be easier than the Volvo. I drive 1 hour each way to work every day.
The best change I made was hush mat under the carpet.
 

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We've got a HA diesel and we use it on the road pretty much 100%. I will say that putting the Sound Assassin kit in from Hotheads made a HUGE difference in highway noise. It fits really nicely under the factory headliner. Is it as quiet as our Volvo was on the highway? Nope. It is livable though. It drives nice and the turbo diesel is a beast on the highway.

Also, the HA comes with the wide track, thick wall Dana 44 axles as standard. Same ones as the Rubicon and Mohave. Our diesel came with cast iron knuckles on the front as well. The standard Overland doesn't come with the wider axles. I'm assuming they did it on the HA as it's supposed to be the "Highway Cruiser" Gladiator model and the slightly wider axles would add just a touch more stability.
I have a diesel high altitude as well. The axles are the same as the Mojave which are better than the Rubicon. They have the max tow wide track and cast iron steering knuckles to take more abuse.
 
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I have a diesel high altitude as well. The axles are the same as the Mojave which are better than the Rubicon. They have the max tow wide track and cast iron steering knuckles to take more abuse.
Are the Mojave/Rubicon/Max Tow/High Altitude axles all not the same? I know the steering knuckles are the same on the diesels as the Mojave’s.
 

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Are the Mojave/Rubicon/Max Tow/High Altitude axles all not the same? I know the steering knuckles are the same on the diesels as the Mojave’s.
They all have aluminum steering knuckles except Mojove or anything with the diesel

 

 
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