Ownership Verified: Jeep by the yard: 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Turbo Diesel

Planting some trees, digging a French drain, and 30' of buried electrical service - and my soil sucks.

Plus I'm now middle age and have more money and less back.

I like the way one of my then teenage nephews put it a few years ago, olderish. Yes, I also resemble this.
 
"Why do you need a truck when you could have a van?"

"1:Trucks are cooler.
B: No one wrote a song about their van.
• You can't load a van with an excavator or backhoe."

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A+ for effort, but somehow they just managed to make minivans even sadder than they already are.
 
Van owners in shambles right now 🤣
When they are done, they can show me a stock van that's fully locked with a disconnectable sway bar.
 
There are songs in Finnish about the Toyota Hiace and Ford Transit.

But if you park them so they can see your white bed sheets that’s hanging out to dry, both will assume it’s winter which means they won’t go up the little hill out of your yard. Never mind fully locked diffs or disconnectable sway bars.
 
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When they are done, they can show me a stock van that's fully locked with a disconnectable sway bar.
Yeeeeeah, there's plenty of people who over-buy vehicles and don't need a truck to like, drop their kid off at school.

You aren't one of them. You use your damn truck!
 
We recently took the truck on a road trip to camp with friends in the Eastern Sierras, unfortunately, the OE Fox shocks completely failed during the trip. This resulted in some interesting challenges trying to off-road into the camp sites. The truck is already a Dachshund off road, very long, very low, and with poor breakover angle. The challenge of navigating trails without shocks to keep the body from bouncing down into rocks was exhausting and slow, resulting in long detours from planned routes to accommodate the limitations. We ended up leaving a half-day early and getting as far as we could before finding a room for the night and still managed to get home around 7 PM on the second day due to the slower pace.

On the long, bouncy ride home, we talked about options for the suspension.

Option 1: Buy some Bilstein 5100s to put on even knowing we plan to upgrade the suspension later in the year when the best deal is available (17% off if last year is any indication).
Option 2: Move up the lift kit purchase which would include new shocks set for the increased ride height and travel but miss out on the best deal of the year.

Kiki crunched the numbers from the passenger seat for both options; getting OE sized shocks would pretty much eat up all the savings from the better sale later in the year, meaning we would only save about $200 and be stuck with used OE size shocks that aren't worth anything. She found the sweet spot - Metalcloak did a Father's Day sale last year with 10% off; not as good as 17%, but we think we will see a sale announcement this Friday. That means we can proceed with the full kit more quickly, not worry about temporary OT size shocks eating into the sale savings, and have a more capable truck sooner.

So hopefully that sale happens and we can jump right to the full suspension.

Since we had to take the slow route home, here's a supposedly haunted creepy clown motel we found in the middle of the Nevada desert next to an overflowing town cemetery (we decided to stay in another hotel down the road).

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I always suspected Ronald McDonald had murderous intentions.
 
So, first camping trip in the Gladiator was interesting! As expected, my worldview shifted since we've been using a previous setup with the X for like 14-15 years. I got to find lots of hidey holes for various things, and the Gladiator had a bunch to offer.

Offroad wise, I was happy to note that the width of the Gladiator still felt compact to fit down mild trails to avoid pinstriping, which was great!

The length ... was something I had to get used to. *snicker*

Let's just say, the truck earned a new title: The HMS Gladiator.

It was fun - I've only been used to spotting for wheelbases around 103"(LJ)/106"(X), but the difference of the extra 30 inches (Gladiator is at 137"... apparently) was noticeable for sure!

I'm not an expert by any means, but it was took some recalibration and patience to get the rear wheels to where I wanted 'em. Previously, I would only have to wait like 2 rotations before I knew when the rear wheel would hit the same rock.
In the HMS, it was like "4 ... 5 ... *drinks some coffee* ... 6", and the rear wheel would finally hit the same rock in a completely different line of course.
 
The headlights are on time, but the tailgate is 20 minutes late.
 
Its too bad you didnt meet another gladiator on the trip, or you could say….

Have you ever seen two gladiators fight?
 
New wheels are here. Normally I don't buy aftermarket wheels, taking the attitude "OE wheels are round, they work fine". In this case, the aftermarket wheels were needed for greater offset and wider rim size to allow for larger tires to be fitted and to clear the planned suspension upgrades.

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Method 701 in 17x8.5 | 5x5 | 0/4.75"

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Even after the car wash, the truck is still dirty. I'm going to have to spend some time scrubbing it this week after 5 days in the desert and about a billion bugs murdered by any forward facing surface. I really like the deeper dish on this compared to the flatter profile of the OE rim.

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Just a little more poke, which I'm happy with. It should help protect the body from scrubbing. (Please disregard the post-carwash dirty bumper.) If I need to, there is a small flare extension I can get to cover the tire better. I'm really happy with the mud flap, it lines up perfectly with the tire right now. The wider tire will stick out a tiny bit more, but that's okay.

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It already looks like it skipped leg day with the stock 33"s, after the lift it's going to looky silly until new rubber happens.
 
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