Dave's Jeep JT Gladiator: The 'Gator

Dave

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The numbers are pretty interesting ;)

On our Gladiator Rubicon, bone stock it sat at 38.75 inches height measured at the center of the fender flare on all 4 corners on OEM 285/70R17’s.

After installing Falken Wildpeak 315/70R17’s, it sat at 40 inches height measured at the center of the fender flare on all 4 corners.

Finally, after installing an Icon Stage 7 suspension, it now sits at 43 inches height measured at the center of the fender flare in the front, and 41.5 inches height measured at the center of the fender flare in the rear.

Net gain after these two major upgrades was 4.25 inches up front, and 2.75 inches out back. Now the truck sits nice and level!
 

Dave

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A few shots from yesterday’s shakedown cruise. Big change in height, but not ridiculous. Actually lifted it more than I had thought but again, this is only a modest 2.5 inch kit and one tire size larger than stock. The 4.10 gears are fine with this arrangement, but I have an AEV Procal inbound to update the programming for the difference in tire size.

Drives and steers just as good or better than OEM for sure.

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Greg

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A few shots from yesterday’s shakedown cruise. Big change in height, but not ridiculous. Actually lifted it more than I had thought but again, this is only a modest 2.5 inch kit and one tire size larger than stock. The 4.10 gears are fine with this arrangement, but I have an AEV Procal inbound to update the programming for the difference in tire size.

Drives and steers just as good or better than OEM for sure.

View attachment 52947 View attachment 52948 View attachment 52949 View attachment 52950
Really looking sharp.

If only they made a 6' bed. I wonder if they ever will.
 

Dave

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Dash panels. Different trim levels get different colors. The only way to get red is with the Rubicon. All Rubicons come with them. Which was great when I had my StingGray JL Wrangler.

I’m just not a fan of too much red accents with this green so I’m changing that with some Mopar PGV (Gator Clear coat). Here’s how you can customize your dash panel color too.

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First, disconnect your battery’s negative ground (my lawyer makes me say that).

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Then, you’ll need to pop off the AC controls bezel. It’s just clips so you’ll need some automotive trim tools for best results and no marring. On that note, clips are finicky. They may choose to eject, ping, break, or just up and disappear.

Be prepared for that and as long as you don’t completely destroy the tabs they attach to you’ll be fine. They’re easily sourced from Mopar if one gets away from you.

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Unplug the AC controls and starter button (shown above). Then, remove the radio bezel (shown below, more clips). Here’s what it looks like removed so you can see the clips.

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Next remove the top dash pad. This has several clips and one screw that is hidden under the radio bezel. Easy does it but it will require some steady force - be sure to pull it towards you and not up!

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Now the fun part. Remove all the top screws on the driver's side dash (the red piece).

Then, pry off slowly. There are clips on the bottom of the drivers side piece.

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Now, the passenger side is a bit harder but no big deal. Remove the top screws. Under the bezel is the SRS Airbag trim piece. You will need to remove that this by popping off the 4 clips. Again, automotive trim removal tools are your friend. I recommend removing the grab handle (10mm socket). This facilitates access to remove the trim piece on the end (shown below).

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Now that the “oh shit handle” is removed, you need to now remove the two screws that are under the airbag trim piece.

Open and drop the glove box. Remove the glove box by popping off the arm and the box will rotate out and off when you push the detent catch/tab part on top of the rear of the box itself.

Look up and you will find the two airbag bolts. You must remove these with a 13mm and a long extension.

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Once you remove the bolts, pull the airbag and dash bezel towards you. Now, the airbag will come out along with the red dash panel.

You will now see a larger yellow plug (there is a small one on the airbag and a larger one deeper inside) behind the airbag module. Unplug that larger plug and you can remove the entire assembly.

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You are now ready to prep these two pieces for paint.

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