The 2022 Jeep Gladiator was built to conquer any kind of terrain. It’s the only convertible truck out there, and it comes packed with off-road capability and utility. In classic Jeep style they are crazy fun to customize, so we got right to work when this one came into the shop.
We broke the factory mold on this Jeep Gladiator with a simple but much improved off-road setup. It includes new tires, a lift kit, and lots of off-road LEDs with some other mods thrown in the mix. Let’s take a closer look at everything we added to this build below.
|Rough Country 9500lb Winch||Mopar 2-Inch Lift Kit|
|3M Premium Window Tint||Rough Country Bumper Guard|
|2″ Ditch Lights||Rough Country Low Profile Hard Bed Cover|
|20″ LED Light Bar||30″ LED Light Bar|
|2″ Foglights||20″ Black Rhino Abrams Wheels|
|20″ Hankook Dynapro XT Tires|
The Mopar lift kit we selected is a certified piece of Jeep Performance Parts made to raise the Gladiator an additional 2-inches higher. A set of 2.5″ diameter aluminum FOX shock absorbers are included in this lift kit to lower the impact while going over uneven landscapes. The build materials and design of this kit make for a high performance and resilient lift. Not only does this benefit the custom Gladiator’s clearance and execution while off-roading, but it makes room for a set of larger tires to sit underneath.
Off-Road Wheel And Tire Set-Up
With the upgraded lift setup we wanted to swap out the factory wheels and tires. The original stuff is okay, but better looking off-road wheels are what we wanted on this build. To match Jeeps military history we selected a set of 20″ Black Rhino Abram wheels. We went with the Abrams because of their strong utilitarian design that was armed forces-inspired.
Having that new set of wheels meant we needed high performance off-road tires to back them up. To get the job done we decided to go with 20″ Dynapro XT tires from Hankook. When you look at these fresh hairy tires you’ll notice a design optimized for traction with different directional grooves, multiple block shapes, and beveled edges. The new Dynapro tires really help add that burly and rugged look to this off-road Gladiator. Seeing the new set-up made us want to go tear through some terrain!
Bumper Guard And Winch
Now to focus on the armor of this build which is the front bumper guard. Attaching a bumper guard, like this one from Rough Country, protects against flying debris and jagged rocks along the trails. This Bumper guard has built-in lighting and a winch hook-up, so these features are easier to put together. Having off-road accessories that integrate well with each other makes the vehicle look sturdier and well put together.
The 9500lb Rough Country winch we installed on this bumper guard works great for those times where you end up flipping your buddies over, or you need to pull yourself out. The winch houses around 85ft of synthetic rope with a thick hook at the end of it. Being able to rely on a winch allows for peace of mind when driving in different rugged conditions.
Off-Road LED Lighting
All the off-road LED lighting for this build was supplied by Rough Country. They’ve designed their products to easily integrate together and be controlled with a mounted switch. In this case the switch is located beneath the main center counsel and has soft blue lighting to see clearly at night.
Taking a look at the built-in lighting on the bumper there are two different sections. First is a 20″ light bar towards the top of the bumper that illuminates directly in front of the vehicle. Second is a set of round 2″ fog lights on each side toward the bottom of the bumper. Having these two features built-in assures a flawless finish and faster install.
Next up on our list of lighting upgrades is a pair of 2″ cree ditch lights. Cube or round ditch lights are great for maintaining a visual of your surroundings while off-roading, and are sometimes referred to as flood lights. They are hooked up to adjustable brackets in the lower corners of the windshield and can be angled to different positions.
Right in the center of the ditch lights is a upper hood mounted 30″ LED light bar. With this massive LED setup it brightens the area far ahead of the vehicle to see what obstacles or terrain is ahead for better decision making.
In order to have protection for items in the bed of the Gladiator we installed a Rough Country tonneau cover. There are a lot of different style tonneau covers for different preferences, but we selected a Hard Low Profile Cover for this Jeep. This cover lays flat on the bed with a rubber seal along the edges that blocks weather and debris from invading the bed. It folds up in three different positions which allows exactly the amount of access you need.
The final mod we made to this custom jeep gladiator was a window tint. Applying a tinted film to the windows protects your interior, your valuables, and most importantly you from the sun’s rays. Plus darker windows create a stern and serious look with the added benefit of privacy.
Using some high quality 3M Premium FX tint film, we applied a 35% tint on the front windows leaving the back ones at their factory shade. Rear windows are usually darker when the leave factory because they are made with a tint dye and don’t usually require a tint film. Most often we use 35% tints on 1st row windows in accordance with Missouri laws. To learn more about window tint you can read this article we wrote on it.
Tints are offered from 5% to 70% with the lower numbers being darker. The % measures VLT (Visual Light Transference) which quantifies how much light comes through the film. When you go to select your tint you need to keep in mind your local laws, so that you don’t get ticketed. We always recommend a professional install for this modification. Poor tint jobs will bubble and discolor over time. Make sure your window tint installer has a good warranty to protect your investment!
Aside from the larger accessories and mods we threw on some security lock black lug nuts to protect the new wheel setup. The only other things we would’ve liked to add would be rear bumper guards and chase racks, but overall this is a great build to start with and expand on.
Looking to customize your Jeep Gladiator? We offer aftermarket accessories internationally and services across the contiguous U.S. to help you get your car exactly how you want it. Reach out if you’d like a quote for your vehicle!