Jeep Gladiator Build & Adventure - 18 months around Australia with The Road Chose Me - Page 2 - JeepForum.com
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post #16 of 30 Old 08-12-2021, 02:28 PM
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Hi everyone,


It's been a lot of work on my Gladiator build so far, and I have a lot to go. Of course, it's taking longer than I thought, and covid is messing with my plans.

In this video I give an update, and discuss a lot of the future modifications coming like suspension, an aux fuel tank, a water tank, rear canopy and more!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrfrDGMDfhI


I had hoped that flying to Australia would get me away from COVID, but it doesn't look that that is the case.
As things sit now, crossing borders in Australia is going to be a lot harder than crossing borders in Africa!

I'll get the build wrapped up and hit the road ASAP and see what happens.

-Dan
Suks to see that it's not only America that is going covid lockdown stupid! Good luck with that.

Saw your video on the tires. You mentioned the valve stem sticking out. Same thing with my wheels... ripped one out in Moab. Picked up one of these kits in case it happens again. No need to break the bead to put in a new stem! Check out the video.
https://www.amazon.com/AME-51025-Qui...s%2C250&sr=8-8

'05 LJR, 6sp, RC long arm w/MC 6" coils, 5.13 D44's w/chromo shafts, MetalCloak fenders/sliders/body armor, 37x12.50 MTR's, Warn 9.5, RockHard swing out w/full spare. <><
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post #17 of 30 Old 08-12-2021, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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The Wheels and tire install video is online now, I think they look great and I'm sure they'll give me no problems!

I've chosen to run 285/75R17 tires (33x11.5) for a whole host of reasons I get into in the video.
Given how tough these tires are, I'm confident I'll only need the one set to explore all of Australia!

-Dan
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post #18 of 30 Old 08-16-2021, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,



Continuing the build, on this episode I install a CB radio into my Jeep Gladiator.
I've never had one in my vehicles before thanks to what I call "The Ghostbusters problem" (Who Ya Gunna Call?), but here in Australia UHF CB radios are actually mandatory for some of the more remote desert crossings I'm planning.
I spend my time on this episode figuring out exactly where to mount the radio to best meet my needs, then get stuck in!





I'm *still* waiting for a couple of the biggest pieces of this puzzle, though there is forward progress and I'm getting close to hitting the road!
I'd rather get out on adventures sooner (that's the point, after all), so even if I go on a few advenures sort of close to Dad's house during September without the build being 100% complete I think that will be best. Then I'll circle back to Dad's house and finish everything off with a week in the garage before going further afield - if Covid restricitons will let me! Australia is *really* struggling right now, with well over half the population under extremely strict lockdown.


-Dan

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post #19 of 30 Old 08-19-2021, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Putting branding stickers all over an overland vehicle is a controversial topic, especially for an international trip where safety is a concern.
On one hand it's good to have a vehicle that stands out so nobody will mess with it, while on the other hand it can be advantagoues to blend in as much as possible.



In this video I run through the pros and cons to branding your vehicle, show you what I've done previously and why, and then show the branding I've decided to go with for my Australian Jeep Gladiator.
Finally, I'll show you how to actually apply them, and the lessons I learned doing so - including a not so successful attempt.








-Dan

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post #20 of 30 Old 08-23-2021, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Hi All,
After months of work, I just had a custom canopy installed on the bed of my Gladiator.


The goal is to keep everything in the bed out of the rain, sun and dust, while keeping it extremely lightweight - so it's made of canvas.



In this episode I give a detailed walk through of the pros and cons, and why I've chosen to go this way.




There are a few more major pieces of the build I'm still waiting for, and covid lockdowns here are now severe, which is going to have a very big impact on the trip.
Like my previous expeditions, I will just have to find a way!

-Dan

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post #21 of 30 Old 08-26-2021, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,


My latest project on the Gladiator has been to build and wire charging blocks to keep all my electronics charged up and installing lights on the inside for convenience.



It's funny how the small "insignificant" projects are the ones that take the most time on an overland build!




-Dan

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post #22 of 30 Old 08-30-2021, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,



For whatever reason when Jeep designed the Right Hand Drive Gladiator and Wrangler they mounted the steering stabilizer as the lowest point at the front of the vehicle. It actually has a HUGE bracket coming down low off the front axle, and it sits directly infront of the pumpkin - it's just begging to be smashed on a rock, and there are plenty of photos from people doing exactly that.


I'm all about upgrades that increase reliability and reduce the chance of problems on the road, so on this episode I relocate and upgrade the stabilizer to keep it out of harms way.



For anyone thinking about doing it themselves it's pretty straightforward and easy, just make sure you have a torque wrench, deep sockets and few different extension bars so you can get in where you need to!

-Dan

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post #23 of 30 Old 09-02-2021, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,



I don't set out aiming to drive through deep water, though sometimes it's completely unavoidable.



The snorkel looks cool, though there is another job that needs to be done to prepare your vehicle for deep water - extending the breather hoses on the axles, transfer case and transmission.

This is another "Essential build" item you won't see discussed in magazines or shown off at SEMA, but it will go a long way to avoiding problems when you're in the remote corners of the world.

In the video I run through the why, the what and the how, showing exactly how I did it on my Gladiator.

LINK IN BIO


-Dan
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post #24 of 30 Old 09-06-2021, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,


For a while now I've been thinking an expedition around Australia would be a lot easier than my previous two - there's no language barrier, no borders, visas, I don't need to exchange money and of course there is MUCH more development. For all those reasons and more it was sounding pretty easy to me.



So much for best laid plans.


When I was planning this trip Australia had no covid and no restrictions of any kind, so while I was living in lockdown in Canada, this place seemed like paradise.


Now I'm actually here and ready to hit the road, the delta variant has escaped quarantine into Australia and I've been under a strict covid lockdown for many weeks, unable to go more than 5km (3 miles) from home. I also can't cross any state border, which makes an expedition a very difficult thing to kick off.


There is (hopefully) light at the end of the tunnel, but for now I'm trapped at Dad's house, unable to do any kind of travel.


In my latest video I explain how I got into this situation, how Australia got into the situation it's in and what my options are from here.
All my fingers a crossed the situation will improve sooner rather than later!




-Dan

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post #25 of 30 Old 09-08-2021, 09:23 AM
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So much for best laid plans... of mice and men...
Ah, one of fav movies!

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post #26 of 30 Old 09-17-2021, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi All,


Even though the build is not yet finished, we got out of lockdown and I decided to hit the road.
I literally threw everything in the back and went for it... and it was horrible.
I severely underestimated how much organization is required in the bed of a pickup, and so now I'm back at Dad's scrambling to sort out how to keep everything better organized.

For the first time ever I'm bringing toys on a major expedition, in the form of surfboards.
If I'm going to carry them, I want to make sure they're easy to use, safe and protected so they don't get destroyed during the trip

Here's how I'm doing that:




I've ordered a few things to help with more organization, and hopefully I'll be ready to hit the road again very soon!


-Dan

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post #27 of 30 Old 09-21-2021, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,


The cutlery organizer I made for the tailgate table on my Africa Jeep was a huge success, and I always knew I would make another. I want my most often used items to be close and hand and super, super easy to use and put back, rather than have to dig through a drawer or tupperware container.
The organizer I made for Africa worked so well there was really no reason to change or improve a single thing!


If you want to make something like this to keep your cutlery close at hand, checkout my latest video where I show the process step-by-step.




Africa more than 5 years on the road the original still works as well as the day I made it, so I'm confident this one will too.

-Dan

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post #28 of 30 Old 09-23-2021, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,

I'm packing to once again hit the road, and I can't help thinking about all the little details from my Africa Jeep that I miss on my Gladiator.
There are so many little things that were so great on that vehicle I didn't know about or didn't even appreciate, and it's not until I don't have them that I've started to miss them.



It's going to take a while until the Gladiator is a house on wheels rather than just a pickup with everything thrown in the back, and I'm enjoying the slow and steady transformation.


-Dan
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post #29 of 30 Old 10-07-2021, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hi All,

I've been hard at work for the last week designing and building my drinking water tank, pump and filtration setup.
The system I had in my Africa Jeep was flawless and essential - it was easily the most used system on the entire vehicle and absolutely the most important.
I would do that trip without all the other systems in that vehicle before doing it without the water system.

In this video I talk through the design considerations, pros and cons, tanks, mounting and the whole philosophy:


In this video I get to work actually building it - mounting the tank, laying out all the components, bolting and plumbing it all together and then finally using the system at the end.

A solid drinking water setup is absolutely essential in an overland vehicle, and already I know all the hard work was well worth it, and I'll once again be relying heavily on this system.


Let me know if you have any questions about designing or building your own, I'm happy to help in any way I can.

-Dan

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post #30 of 30 Old 10-14-2021, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,


I just finished installing the brand new EX full-width bumper from AEV. Made from stamped boron steel this bumper is not only extremely strong it's also lighter than steel options.
This bumper really looks the part, and has a ton of features that make it the clear stand out choice in my opinion.
The AEV bumper on my Africa JK has been brilliant, and I've really been looking forward to adding one to this Gladiator.



I also installed a Lightforce 20 inch LED light bar behind the skid plate in a place specifically designed for just that. I really like this option because it means I have a high performance LED lightbar mounted out of sight where people won't try to mess with it, and it doesn't scream "bling".




In my latest video I walk through the install step by step so you can see what is involved.


-Dan

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