Here is what it’s like to live with and daily drive a new Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel that is lifted and riding on 39s! TFL viewer, Memphis Brewer, sends us this owner review and shows how he turned his stock Gladiator diesel truck into this customized machine. Memphis reports how the fuel economy and the suspension feel changed after the modifications.
“Since the purchase, I have installed a 4-inch Rusty’s off-road diesel lift kit, 39-inch BFG KM3 tires, a Rugged Ridge Venator front bumper, an Apex 12,000lb winch (not pictured), and a Backflip MX4 3-panel hard tonneau cover. Before the lift, I was averaging 28.3 mpg combined (hand calculated), and since the tires, it’s dropped to 23.1 mpg which I’m still thrilled with. The diesel still has plenty of power without regearing and the ride has actually improved although it naturally follows the crown of the road and is more sensitive to crosswinds. Overall one finger driving with the new steering box Jeeps are shipping with is still possible and the adaptive cruise and blind-spot monitoring still function as expected. The only mod left is a set of frame-mounted rock rails from LOD and I’m “done”. Generally speaking, I could not be any more pleased with this purchase and I can’t wait for some cooler weather to wheel it all over Colorado and Moab!
I love the way it rides. The handling characteristics are different with it being about 8.5 inches higher in the air overall, but it’s a plush ride in general and the KM3s only make a slight hum. I chose them along with super lightweight method wheels to save about 25 lbs per wheel and tire vs a common 40” tire/wheel. The owner of Rusty’s off-road personally answered a couple of questions I had during the install and overall the lift seems to be of excellent quality. I would buy the same one again tomorrow. The diesel is totally content and has all the power I need to pass, pull out into traffic, and in 4-low it just ‘tractors’ over obstacles just off idle. I would love to see what it would do on the Ike Gauntlet with a 3-4,500 lbs trailer, but my guess is better than some stock mid-sizers.
P.S. I only use that cheapo hitch as a step for bed access. When towing I will reference your videos for who to trust.”
Thank you for a detailed review and pictures. Next time you near Boulder, CO – please let us know.