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AndyB

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Andy
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2022 Gladiator Ecodiesel, 2006 TJ Rubicon
The wife and I wanted a rig we could drive to and from our local trails. We already have a well built 2006 rubicon TJ. I already have a truck, '15 3500 megacab on AEV lift. We saw a bobbed bed Gladiator in Sand Hollow, UT and thought how cool it looked. Then I remember, in the late 70's the J10 came as a Honcho edition. It was mostly trim upgrades. Decals, roll bar, some had Levi's 501 buttons and foe denim fabric. Most were on stepsides or shortbeds so our bobbed bed idea worked. That evening I photoshopped an idea together. They key feature would be the visor that old j10 sported. Then, if you call a vehicle Honcho (leader) it better be very capable.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20221028_192804

I always wanted a diesel offroad rig. Not for any reason other than low end power and the cool sound they make. So the base rig is a new 22 gladiator Rubicon, ecodiesel.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230102_135321

Tore the bed off immediately
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230218_161808

I started with the visor, I knew it would take time. The base is .90 steel and worked to match the body contour.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230218_182350

Great stuff foam was used for the basic shaping. I learned each layer needs to fully cure before the next or it will solvent out in the middle.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230219_155035

Shaping with an electric turkey carver, I tried several shapes until I settled on this one. I'll take a break here and shift to the Motobilt bobbed bed in the next post.
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AndyB

AndyB

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Andy
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2022 Gladiator Ecodiesel, 2006 TJ Rubicon
So, next part. The bobbed bed came in. The packaging alone took half my shop. Each part wrapped in paper and loaded on a pallet. Just unpacking took close to two hours.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230222_130154

Thankfully my neighbor let's me borrow his forklift often.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230223_121457

Step one was to measure and mark where I was cutting the frame. This part went unusually easy. Surprising how quickly my metal blade made it through the frame. There was some wiring that was pulled back for this step.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230223_171250

Here is the moment I realized there was no backing up. I was fully committed to building my Honcho.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230224_154952

The bed was only held together with the minimum amount of bolts so I could test fit, do some future planning, and installed the matching highline fenders. Couple thing I did here was build inner fenders for the bed. At the time motobilt did not make any. I also started to determine how I could fit accessories around the bed.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230308_112748

I have a langmuir cnc and put it to work for this custom inner fender liner. The other panels are made of aluminum, but this panel is cut from .120 wall steel to hold a 1.5hp extreme outback air compressor.
 
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AndyB

AndyB

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Andy
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Hesperia, Ca
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2022 Gladiator Ecodiesel, 2006 TJ Rubicon
At this point, I Tore it apart again and sent the bed off for powdercoating and paint. Although the truck is white, powder coat would look bad against the cab. The factory paint is base coat, clear coat. So normally I would paint myself but I had no time. I had the exterior sections painted and the interior and under sides powder coated. For now, I will get back to finishing the visor so it can go to paint also.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230312_133333

Pictured, the visor is fully shaped out. Because I'm going to use fiberglass, I had to cover the foam with cathair bondo.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230312_142931

Three layers of fiberglass and lots of sanding later. Loved the idea of building this. Did not love the itchy after affects of fiberglass.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230408_173106

A coat of sealer and 3 coates of poly high build primer. Off to the paint shop with the other parts.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230415_174925

This may not seem like much. The factory washer bottle on the diesel is located here and hangs over the frame. There is no way to fit 40's without removing the bottle. I ordered a bottle from a plastics company and fitted it to the factory filler neck and motor. When the hood is open you can't tell the difference and it still hold a half gallon of fluid. Suspension is coming in the next post.
 

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AndyB

AndyB

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Andy
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Location
Hesperia, Ca
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2022 Gladiator Ecodiesel, 2006 TJ Rubicon
I always planned on upgrading the axles so the time to do the suspension is while all the parts are at paint.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230416_094218

I have to say, all the post about how much rubicon axles are worth are over rated. Took 3 months to sell them and dumped the price several times. These axles had less than 500 miles on them and worth less than 4k.
Jeep Gladiator Retro Gladiator build, my modern take on the Old Honcho 20230416_181933

I affectionately refer to this as the safest photo ever. A build this big is painfully slow.

Tomorrow night I will continue when all the parts started coming back from paint.
 

Jteakus

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Teakus
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Super cool!
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Lost_In_The_Woods

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Eric
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Western WA
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Forester
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This is going to be a really cool build!
 

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AndyB

AndyB

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First Name
Andy
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Location
Hesperia, Ca
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2022 Gladiator Ecodiesel, 2006 TJ Rubicon

Rubiwoo

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Michael
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following. good stuff
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