My Punk’n Truck build thread 🎃

Penecalea

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2020 jeep gladiator
A little bit of background on my past car/ jeep builds before I get into the gladiator.
my first car was a Volkswagen Gti.
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After 4 years of owning the GTi I got tired of only having two doors, and wanted something better on gas, so I traded it in on a Volkswagen Jetta TDi (diesel).
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I built the Jetta into a really clean looking sedan that got 45 miles per gallon. Which was amazing. ( I still kind of miss that kind of MPG). When Volkswagen had their big diesel emissions scandal , I was given a payout on the Jetta and decided to get what I always wanted as a kid (and this is where the MPG starts to drop)
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I built my 2013 Sahara adding countless mods and dollars to it. Two of the biggest things I learned was buy once cry once, don’t go the cheap option because you will regret it later. And not to pay for things on your jeep that you plan on replacing later, which was a big reason I went with a sport gladiator over an overland or rubicon.
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On August 21, 2020. I drove two plus hours away to find one of the few Punk’n Gladiators left on dealer lots after the color was discontinued. I was able to get most of the options thats I wanted to start with. Coming from a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara.
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you could say it was the prize at the end of the rainbow 🌈
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jurfie

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you could say it was the prize at the end of the rainbow 🌈
Awesome photo!

And the later pics at home make me jea of your property!
 
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Penecalea

Penecalea

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one of the first things I did to my gladiator was stick on a side mirror “bubble” that eliminates the blind spot. A much under rated “mod” in my opinion.... best bang for your buck at like $3.00.
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Penecalea

Penecalea

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Next up I put on a ronin antenna, and pulled my wheels/ tires off of my wrangler to put on my gladiator. Hit a little snag with the wrangler lugs being standard and the gladiator being metric, had to get slim metric lugs in order to mount my KMC wheels.

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Penecalea

Penecalea

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2020 jeep gladiator
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grabbed these lug nuts from quadratec that allowed me to get my wheels and tires on the gladiator. Wheels are KMC misfits wrapped in toyo open country MTs. Bolted them on my stock sport with no rubbing or issues.. all I had to remove was the small piece of plastic trim between the front bumper and fenders. Which had to go anyway.
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The 35s made the truck look and sit totally different, in my opinion, the gladiator should have came stock with 35s.
 
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Penecalea

Penecalea

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The next two packages that arrived were small but nice additions to the gladiator.
I ordered a key from AJT and an CPlay2Air wireless Apple car play adapter.

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Penecalea

Penecalea

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The next thing I added to my gladiator was rubicon rock rails, I bought takeoffs from a local gladiator owner who gave me a great deal. They definitely cleaned up the look of the quarter panels. A little concerned about the portion near the rear tires as I upgrade tire size from 35s it may need to be trimmed back.

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Penecalea

Penecalea

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Next thing I added to the jeep was a steel rear bumper with the bed side sliders, I was able to find local take offs for less then 400$. I personally did not like the “rubicon” red hooks with my punk’n paint, plus it’s not a rubicon. So I painted my tow hooks orange. I found that Tractor Paint in Allis Chalmers, is almost a spot on match for the Punkn.

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Penecalea

Penecalea

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2020 jeep gladiator
This is where things start to get “custom” .The next thing I added to my gladiator was the oracle pre runner lights.
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I was not a fan of how they adapted the lights for the gladiator. They essentially added a large plastic washer that fills one of the larger honeycombs on the grill inserts. I came up with a custom bracket system with about 4$ worth of parts I got from tractor supply.
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test fitting I popped it into a lower honeycomb for the test fit just so I didn’t have to remove the grill. They will end up in the top most honeycombs
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After getting the lights installed on my truck I found that the were crazy bright, to the point where I could not even take photos without the photos getting washed out.
I ended up hitting them with spray tint, which made the lights more stealth when not on and also adjusted the brightness.
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and for the final look, both with the lights off and on.
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Penecalea

Penecalea

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Next up is my favorite addition to the gladiator that I have done so far. I had an old beat up wrangler JK hard rock steel bumper laying around. I was debating just getting rid of. It had holes in the fog surrounds and was scratched and beat up. And it was missing the winch plate and top filler plates.
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I decided to try to see if I could make this bumper work for my gladiator after seeing this model used on wrangler JLs. I started by filling all the holes in the plastic trim pieces with jb weld and sanding them flat.
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After getting the holes filled I hit the whole bumper and skid plate with Bedliner to get a uniform finish.
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after I got the bumper looking hood I started to focus on the winch plate and filler panels. I used scrap aluminum and the filler plates off my wrangler for Stencils and used a grinder to cut them to shape. After they were the desired shape I ordered letter badges to spell out “gladiator” once I had the letters laid out and applied, I hit both panels with more Bedliner to give them all the same finish. I finished off the bumper with color matched orange tow hooks and led fog lights.



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DirkG

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Great write-up and mods thus far. I think the real rainbow here is that you found a unicorn dealership that had a Punk'n, Gobi, and a couple Gators in late August.

In March, there were no Punk'ns in CA and my dealer had to get a Gator Sport from San Diego.

Nice find :beer:

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