Since its release in the spring of 2019, the Jeep Gladiator became a favorite in the automotive industry. Whether it be the Gladiator’s outstanding offroad capability, unique appearance, or cutting-edge technology, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of its success. With Jeep being synonymous for its offroad legacy, we wanted to build on that with a unique touch!
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6-Inch Lift Kit
What’s an offroad truck build without a lift kit? Although the suspension on the Gladiator comes offroad-capable from the showroom, we needed to add a bit of ground clearance. We called in help from our buddies over at Rough Country to get us set up with their 6-inch lift kit for the Gladiator.
We paired this lift kit with the Vertex Remove Reservoir shocks by Rough country to give this Gladiator complete control. With eight stage adjustable damping, you’re sure to find the right setting for all types of terrain.
Wheel & Tire Package
With our ride height sorted out, we could now toss some new wheels and tires on this Gladiator. We opted for Black Rhino’s Apache wheels in 20×9 sizing. These wheels offer a unique look compared to what you normally see on Jeeps. One of the key styling features that make these stand out is the less pronounced bead lock design.
For the tires we tossed on some Toyo Open Country RT (37/12.50/20) rubber. The Toyo Open Country series is one of our go to tires for offroad builds because of its quiet highway noise compared to the competition.
With this Gladiator sitting higher than Mount Olympus, we needed to make getting in and out easier. To accomplish this, we grabbed a set of Rough Country’s contoured drop steps. These offer a unique look for the Gladiator while also increasing usability.
The best part about these is their 100% bolt-on compatibility. This means no drilling, welding, gluing, or any of that good stuff is required. Even though we added these because of our lift kit, they’ll fit just fine with or without one!
To give this Gladiator some additional armor, we snagged an Armordillo CR2 Chase rack for the bed of this beast. The cool thing about this chase rack is its adjustability. The CR2 isn’t designed to fit any one specific truck–it fits most mid and full-size trucks!
Another thing we really like about the CR2 chase rack is that it comes with a pair of LED cube lights, and brake light already installed. This allows for an increase in both safety, and usability of the Gladiator.
Front & Rear Bumpers
For some increased battle protection, we gave this Gladiator some new TrailFX bumpers. Both the front and rear bumpers are made from a textured black steel. Featuring removable plates for LED lighting, these bumpers offer complete customizability with great looks too.
In the front we took advantage of the bumper’s winch opening by adding a Rough Country 9,500 LB Pro Series electric winch. Our favorite feature of the Pro series winch is its 12ft cable hand control which can be used from outside of the vehicle!
To increase visibility for those nighttime trail runs, we tossed in some Rough Country LED headlights. The RCH 5100 headlights come with an IP67 waterproof housing and fit directly into the factory slot. LED headlights are a great way to help increase safety when driving in the dark, while also offering an opportunity to increase the appearance of your ride too!
In addition to our new headlights, we also replaced the fog light bulbs on this Gladiator with some 5,000 Lumen LED bulbs. This plug and play replacement offers increased visibility in the fog, rain, and overcast weather!
Heading north just a tad bit is the set of Rough Country Quad light pods. This set of four cube lights offers an aggressive look with visibility to help your Gladiator command the dark!
The cherry on top to our lighting upgrades is the Rough Country 50-inch Straight LED light bar. This kit is specifically made to be mounted to the Gladiator’s windshield frame with a complete bolt-on installation. This simple upgrade makes the Gladiator look even more battle ready while also providing increased functionality!
One trend in the automotive industry we’re not a fan of is locking leather seating behind expensive trims. Jeep is notorious for this, leaving the Sport S Gladiator without a factory leather option. We remedied this lack of leather with Katzkin Premium Leather Seating.
Whether you’re just looking for a factory match or a custom design Katzkin offers a wide variety of options. Unfortunately, Katzkin only sells to certified installers (like us), meaning this isn’t something you can do on your own in the garage. If you’re interested in Katzkin leather, you can use their partner locator to find a certified installer near you!
Spray in Bedliner
This Gladiator was built for the outdoors, but it’s never a bad idea to protect your investment. To defend the bed of this Gladiator we treated it to a coating of spray-in bedliner. We typically prefer spray-in bedliners since they do not move around like plastic alternatives. In addition, plastic bedliners can get moisture trapped under them and cause rust (us Midwesterners know a thing or two about rust).
With everything we’ve done to this Gladiator, it’s a challenge to come up with ways to improve the build. One addon that this Gladiator could benefit from is rubber Weathertech floor liners. Floor liners offer a great way to keep your interior clean from dirt, snow, or messy kids. The best part about rubber floor liners is you can easily hose them off for a quick clean.
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