Now with Gamechanger 3.5" and much more

Greg75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Greg
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
292
Location
California/Nevada/DC
Vehicle(s)
Gladiator Rubicon LE, BMW M2 Competition, MBZ 560 SL, Ducati 851, Ducati 900 SS
What can I say? The Gamechanger for me is a game changer. On Wednesday, the good folks at American Off-Road Customs in Las Vegas--Jonathan and Kyle--hooked me up with the lift, suspension, wheels and tires I had imagined would be ideal for my JTR LE. And, I could not be happier with the choices or the quality of the work done to build the Jeep-truck of my dreams.

Now, I had no problem with the way my JTR drove in stock form. In fact, I was thrilled with the ride, the steering, the lack of noise, the way it took on my first off-road adventure...everything. But, I wanted more, as I tend to with just about every vehicle I've ever owned. Jeeps, of course, are usually the most modded vehicles around, with easily the greatest number of choices to make--choices that I understand can significantly improve or really screw up your ride.

Armed with as much research as I had hoped necessary (thanks in no small part to this forum), I decided to take the plunge, even though the one lifted Gladiator I had taken for a test drive in fact drove like garbage compared to the one I purchased—a fact that definitely made me a bit apprehensive. I mean the last thing I wanted to do was spend a bunch of time and money only to ruin my terrific new JT.


What I got?

--MetalCloak Gamechanger 3.5’ lift kit

--MetalCloak HD Chrome Moly Tie Rod & Steering Stabilizer

--MetalCloak HD Drag Link

--MetalCloak 1310 Drive Shaft (front)

--Fox Smooth Body/IFP shocks to match the full range of lift and needed length (recommended by Jonathan and Kyle based on the way I will use the Gladiator).

--Nitto Ridge Grappler 37x12.5x17 tires

--Black Rhino Abrams 17x9.5 (-18 offset) wheels

--Tazer Lite


The result:

--My previously great, tight steering is even better—significantly so.

--My plush but slightly floaty ride is now planted, flat cornering, quick-recovering, and very controlled.

--My quiet freeway/highway cruising is just as quiet as it ever was.

--My great looking JTR LE (subjective, I know) is now so much better looking (also subjective, maybe) that I want to go stare at it, right now.

--And, though I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, my very capable for stock Rubi can likely flex for days and do so much more so much better that I just can’t wait to get it out off the beaten path.


A few things to note about the Gamechanger kit and American Off-Road Customs:
I received the Gamechanger kit just a bit before MetalCloak really had it completely ready to go out to customers. The company had not received the rear springs in time for me to get this installed. I knew that upfront, but I am traveling for the next few months, beginning this weekend, so it was now or some time in the too-distant future, since I was excited to get this on my JT. To accommodate me, MetalCloak sent everything but backordered the rear springs, while Jonathan at American Off-Road Customs volunteered to get a new set of equivalent lift springs from Rock Krawler to install and let me use until MetalCloak got the springs and I could return to have them swapped. Cool!

So, everything was installed Wednesday, exactly as scheduled and promised. While I am no expert when it comes to wrenching on Jeeps, I have done all my own wrenching for years on Ducatis and a variety of sports and muscle cars, and I can tell you that Jonathan and Kyle are as knowledgeable and precise as they come when it comes to Jeeps and off-road suspension. Moreover, they overcame the one glitch in the kit—MetalCloak had supplied rear sway-bar links that were far too short for the JTR. No worries. Jonathan happened to have a new set of longer MetalCloak sway-bar links that were perfect for the Gladiator rear and put those in without blinking, saying he would sort it out later with MetalCloak. Double Cool!

Every connection and bolt was meticulously aligned and torqued and marked. Every piece shown to me and explained. I rolled out of there in a perfectly straight tracking, super-flexy, beastly, terrific looking ride. So great when things go as you planned and hoped they would.

Now for some pics (since it did happen):
IMG_0033.jpeg
IMG_0039.jpg
IMG_0043.jpg
IMG_0074.jpg
IMG_0079.jpg
IMG_0092.jpg
IMG_0087.jpg
IMG_0105.jpg
IMG_0084.jpg
IMG_0052.jpg
IMG_0054.jpg
IMG_0073.jpg
IMG_0094.jpg
IMG_0103.jpg
IMG_0063.jpg
IMG_0107.jpg


Greg





Advertisement

 
Last edited:
OP
Greg75

Greg75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Greg
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
292
Location
California/Nevada/DC
Vehicle(s)
Gladiator Rubicon LE, BMW M2 Competition, MBZ 560 SL, Ducati 851, Ducati 900 SS
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
What are those beefy antennas in the back for? They look like Firestik - CB and Ham?
They're for the CB. Likely a bit overkill, but I wanted to use the existing holes in the rock rail for a custom bracket. Think the dual setup looks better. so.... The red poles are extensions used to get the best SWR reading over the roofline. I painted them to match the factory red of the tow hooks. The grenades are my dog's rubber kong-style toys, which fit perfectly and work great as bumpers if the antenna ever sway into the body, which hasn't happened. All mounted to the brackets I made and heavy-duty quick disconnects to make it easy to leave the antennas home or remove them when in the way.
 
Last edited:

gladi8or_jt

Active Member
First Name
Jazzy
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
17
Location
Ontario Canada
Vehicle(s)
2020 Jeep Gladiator
is it just me or does the rear look like its squatting a bit ?
 
OP
Greg75

Greg75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Greg
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
292
Location
California/Nevada/DC
Vehicle(s)
Gladiator Rubicon LE, BMW M2 Competition, MBZ 560 SL, Ducati 851, Ducati 900 SS
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
is it just me or does the rear look like its squatting a bit ?
It's you. Ha. Actually, it's just camera angles, grade, and the fact that there's about .5 inch less clearance in the rear fender well. If anything, the JTR is now level or just the least bit raked with the rear still being the higher end.
 

Russler

Well-Known Member
First Name
Rusty
Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Messages
274
Reaction score
335
Location
Heath TX
Vehicle(s)
Prior Jeeps 1950 Willys and 1976 CJ. Current 2018 Cadillac Escalade, 50th anniversary Hot Wheel edition Chevy Camaro
Build Thread
Link
Looks great, thanks for sharing!
 

FR33DOM

Well-Known Member
First Name
Michael
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
208
Reaction score
192
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Vehicle(s)
2011 Hyundai Veracruz & 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon LE
Looks awesome! Did you happen to measure actual height change? Would like to get an idea of how much lift the MC gives. Was it spot on at 3.5”?
 
OP
Greg75

Greg75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Greg
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
292
Location
California/Nevada/DC
Vehicle(s)
Gladiator Rubicon LE, BMW M2 Competition, MBZ 560 SL, Ducati 851, Ducati 900 SS
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Looks awesome! Did you happen to measure actual height change? Would like to get an idea of how much lift the MC gives. Was it spot on at 3.5”?
Thank you. Yes, I think it turned out very close to spot-on. Before the lift, the top of my JTR was somewhere 72"-73". Now, with tires that are listed as 3.7" greater in diameter (1.85" more lift from tires) but sitting on wheels that are 2" wider (deduct some of that increase in tire height to account for wider footprint), my Gladiator is 77"-78' tall.
 

FR33DOM

Well-Known Member
First Name
Michael
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
208
Reaction score
192
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Vehicle(s)
2011 Hyundai Veracruz & 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon LE
Thank you. Yes, I think it turned out very close to spot-on. Before the lift, the top of my JTR was somewhere 72"-73". Now, with tires that are listed as 3.7" greater in diameter (1.85" more lift from tires) but sitting on wheels that are 2" wider (deduct some of that increase in tire height to account for wider footprint), my Gladiator is 77"-78' tall.
Great thanks!
 

WhatExit?

Well-Known Member
First Name
Dan
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
2,002
Reaction score
3,232
Location
48th State
Vehicle(s)
2020 JT Rubicon Launch Edition - Granite Crystal Metallic | 2017 Ford Raptor SuperCrew - Metallic
Vehicle Showcase
2
Looks great Greg!

What brackets did you use to add the lights to the factory/Mopar steel front winch bumper?
 
OP
Greg75

Greg75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Greg
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
292
Location
California/Nevada/DC
Vehicle(s)
Gladiator Rubicon LE, BMW M2 Competition, MBZ 560 SL, Ducati 851, Ducati 900 SS
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Looks great Greg!

What brackets did you use to add the lights to the factory/Mopar steel front winch bumper?
Thanks. Just used the brackets that came with the lights from Baja Designs and some security nuts and bolts that they included for me.
 

WhiteJT8541

Well-Known Member
First Name
Rob
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
303
Reaction score
343
Location
Ohio
Vehicle(s)
2020 Gladiator Sport
Occupation
LEO
OP
Greg75

Greg75

Well-Known Member
First Name
Greg
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
91
Reaction score
292
Location
California/Nevada/DC
Vehicle(s)
Gladiator Rubicon LE, BMW M2 Competition, MBZ 560 SL, Ducati 851, Ducati 900 SS
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14

WhiteJT8541

Well-Known Member
First Name
Rob
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
303
Reaction score
343
Location
Ohio
Vehicle(s)
2020 Gladiator Sport
Occupation
LEO

Advertisement




 



Advertisement
Top