Meet SHERPAH, my Gladiator build...

Drone .......GONE!

There were ‘two issues I wanted to address to complete the install. Fixing the Drone between 2000 and 2500 RPM and installing some sort of heat shield on the upper pipe and first resonator that didn’t have any protection. I ended up buying two Heatshield Products from Summit Racing; the first a small flexible shield that I cut to fit around the resonator and secondly basically the same product meant for exhaust pipes. The exhaust wrap said it was for 3” exhaust but as you can see it didn’t quite go around the 2.5” pipe of our Gladiator which is fine. I just wanted to protect the LRA fuel tank and absorb the sound if possible.

I’m happy to report that when I took my wife for a 1/2 hour spin on the back roads around here she was satisfied. Yes we can still hear the exhaust at around 2000 RPM but it is by no means obnoxious.

Here are a few pictures...

Another minor upgrade.
I needed to get some mudflaps on the JTR but there weren’t many options. Rokblokz are interesting and many guys really like them but I didn’t like their design for standard tires and wheels. I’ve had Weathertech mudflaps on most of my other vehicles and when they finally came out for a set for the JTR I decided to try them on so to speak.
‘I’m happy with the fit and finish and since they are made in the USA I’ll give them a big thumbs up!

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My wife took a long trip with the Glad (7 hours) and commented that using the hands free phone option was difficult , too much noise in the cabin at highway speeds… so I decided to buy some sound deadening and installed it along the complete floor from the front footwell to the rear bulkhead and it works great. The truck is much quieter and sounds more “solid” if you know what I mean. Of course there is still the ever present wind but there isn‘t much that can be done about it.

I ended up using 80 mil Kilmat and was able to complete the job in about 4 hours…sorry no picks but a very worthwhile upgrade!
Yeah man, I don’t feel like my road noise is terrible but it’s definitely on my list to do.
Another improvement…after getting my Jeep back from my son who used to to drive to PA for his ALC class that lasted a month ( the class had an over 50% attrition rate!)

Anyway, when you start adding weight to the bed of these Jeep’s they tend to sag and when that happens you also loose ground clearance, no Bueno! So I installed a pair of Airlift 1000# airbags to the coil springs in the back. It took about 1.5 hours but I’m happy with the outcome and ride. The benefit is that I can adapt the support to the weight I’m carrying…

Another update in progress..

So now I can’t postpone the next project any longer.!!! One thing that I know very little about but am determined to educate myself on is anything electrical. In this case it’s how am I going to wire up everything I want to include in my Gladiator build which will include powering a fridge, small water pump a few additional 12 volt outlets and have the ability to use my portable 100 watt solar panel when I’m camped at one place for a few days and who knows what else..

So I decided to get a Redarc 1240 BCDC charge controller that I mounted on the aft side of the galley box. I am making a small cabinet on the back side of this box that I will make all the connections in and run the wires to where they need to go.. You can also see the Blue Seas grounding block I’m using here to properly ground everything.

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My first concern was how to run the power wire from the controller up to the truck battery and which fuse to tap into for the power line so that the controller knows when the engine is running. I wasn’t looking forward to drilling holes into the bed of the truck but when I removed my water tank that is up against the front of the bed I saw two holes in the corner that only needed a little enlarging to fit the rubber grommets I wanted to use.. Running on top of the frame up into the engine compartment was easy but I still didn’t know which fuse to tap into. Fortunately I reached out to Redarc and one of their brand ambassadors has the same truck and he sent me a picture of the correct fuse to tap into! Also you’ll notice one of the 60 amp fuses I got through Redarc to properly fuse the battery.
All joints are crimped, soldered and heat shrunk with marine grade heat shrink.
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Over the next few days I hope to take my BattleBorn 100AH battery and fit it into the bed as close to the controller as I can… Stay tuned!
Finished it!
I was able to install the BB battery in a nice snug area up against the front of the bed nestled in there with my water tank.
Tested the solar panel connection and the Redarc charge controller recognized it as well as the engine when it’s running.
Couldn’t be happier! Still have to clean up the wiring a bit but she works!
Watch those sticky ziptie mounts. I have found they rarely stick for very long. Might want to look into a screw-on mount or something with a stronger and more heat resistant adhesive. You might also want to throw some loom on those tires "just in case" they rub on anything like the clamps for the topper. Other than that it's looking good!
^^^ yep I wire loomed the wires going under the truck and ran out! But I will loom almost everything. And you’re right on the sticky pads..they’ll be replaced as well.. Live and Learn!
And you’re right on the sticky pads..they’ll be replaced as well.. Live and Learn!

They usually have a spot to run a mechanical fastener through the middle to hold them in place. I usually peel and stick them while running the wires and then go back with a self tapping screw to permanently mount them.
OK the moment of truth has arrived! I just completed our build out (for now) of my Gladiator Expedition vehicle. One of the primary concerns was weight so I carefully chose what to install and what to leave out. While I’m not a weight Nazi by any stretch I am a firm believer in doing everything possible to keep the rig within its design parameters.
We are leaving later next week for a 3 week trip out to Colorado and Utah that should give us a great idea on how things work and what needs to be updated/changed.

I decided to weigh the rig as it will run down the road as follows:
1. Full main gas tank and about 14 gallons additional fuel in the LRA tank.
2. 10 gallons of fresh water.
3. BattleBorn 100 AH battery controlled by the REDARC 1240 BCDC controller.
4. 20# propane tank full
5. All food, cooking utensils, clothing, recovery gear and personnel.

My trucks stats and weights are as follows:

Front axle rating - 3100, actual weight - 2780#
Rear axle rating - 3750, actual weight - 3480#
Total GVWR - 6250, actual weight - 6260#

So technically I’m 10 pounds overweight. I will probably use some of the auxiliary fuel up before I go and that will keep me under and only fill it up when I either need the range or am going into a high cost area..

I’ll post some pictures later this evening of the rig so you can see how we accomplished this.
Here is our back seat area. As you remember we did a rear seat delete and have used the the space to store our Maxtrax, 2 camp chairs and 4 Front Runner boxes that we’re storing our clothes, camera gear and some cook wear. Below the platform we are storing our our tools, recovery gear and shoes and boots. Between the 2 stacks of the boxes we are keeping our day packs and other miscellaneous gear.
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