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Here's a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator's Mechanical Bits

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You’ve seen all the 2020 Jeep Gladiator’s sheetmetal. It’s pretty. But who cares about that; what we want to see is the hardware, and while much of it is common with the Jeep Wrangler JL, there’s plenty that isn’t. Let’s take a dive under this beast.

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Let’s start with the rear suspension, because it’s a bit different than that of the JL. Here’s the five-link Jeep truck rear suspension:

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And here’s the JL Wrangler’s:

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Another look at the truck’s control arms from the outside:

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And here’s the Wrangler’s:

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The Dana 44 axles are essentially the same between the two vehicles, though the control arms, control arm brackets, and spring perches are clearly different, and Jeep told me via email that the JT has added reinforcements to handle trailering loads.

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Here’s a close look at that axle:

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And from the front looking down the length of the rear driveshaft:

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Armor. There’s lots of it. The important chunks of steel are the rock rails for the giant rocker panels (this thing’s got a huge wheelbase) and the skid plates for the long belly. And then there are the metal bars on the rear to protect the big overhangs:

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Here’s how it ties into the frame:

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Here’s another angle:

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Here’s the rear axle and the rear bumper bar together in one shot; the three silver bolts are fasteners for the bar that protects the bedside:

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Speaking of beds, let’s have a close look at it:

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The aluminum tailgate, I think, is rather boring. There’s no “Jeep” stamping like there is on the Gladiator of yore. Instead, there’s just a cheap badge stuck on:

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One thing I do like, though, is the center high mounted stop lamp integrated into the handle assembly:

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Here’s a fun feature that may or may not be useful: the tailgate has a halfway-up position to accommodate a second tier of loading:

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That tailgate is held up by simply looping the tailgate straps around a plastic piece on the inside of the door jamb:

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Also in that door jamb area is a heart and the number 419—the area code of the Toledo plant where the JT is built:

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Here you can see where the wood boards would sit for the second tier of loading—right in that notch on the wheel well:

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Also back there you can see the sliding tie-down locations on rails, as well as some dimples on the very front of the bed, which are meant to represent where a dirt bike’s wheels might sit:

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Another look at the dimples:

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Here’s the full bed as viewed from an open tailgate:

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Here’s the gap between the cab and the bed. Notice the very Wrangler-ish rounded off cab:

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And here’s the tiny window on the back of the cab (well, technically on the back of the hard top):

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As for the front suspension, it looks the same as that of a JL.

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Much of the front bits is hidden by the belly pan, so here’s a look from the rear:

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And this is a close up glance at the front axle disconnect shared with the JL:

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The skid plating under the belly looks thorough. You can see that in this picture, and you can also see the rock rail mounting provisions on the left:

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The rock rail mounting locations:

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Though if you don’t get the Rubicon, you can get these big, awkward side steps:

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Below, you’ll see the fuel tank skid on the left, and the transfer case skid on the right:

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Here’s an up-close view of that transfer case skid. If you peek closely, there’s a single bar that runs under the transmission just in front of the T-case:

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I didn’t spend much time investigating the engine bay, as I figured it’d be largely the same as what a JL’s engine bay looks like, but here’s the Pentastar Upgrade motor:

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Another angle showing the air intake:

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That engine gets its cooling through a grille with wider slots and more open grille texture:

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Take a gander at some interior photos, too. Here’s the fancy Overland:

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This is the Rubicon:

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Here’s the rear bench, which—based on 30 seconds in it—felt a bit too upright. I’ll have to get more time in it to be sure:

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This is one of the stranger parts of the cab—a big, flat, largely featureless area at the lower rear of the side of the cab:

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Finally, a few miscellaneous shots:

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Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
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Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
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Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
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Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
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Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits
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Illustration for article titled Heres a Close Look At Some of the 2020 Jeep Gladiators Mechanical Bits

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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DISCUSSION

hammerheadfistpunch
HammerheadFistpunch

ooooh nerd time! I have notes.

whats the practical difference in rear suspension, Long/long to long/shot with different mountain locations and (I assume) stuffer bushes? Either way its still a 5 link and should still flex alright. as a bonus the control arm doesn’t hang down nearly as low on the truck and its a smooth transition. so thats nice.

I understand the GAWR for the DANA’s are very different

from 2850/3000 to 3100/3850 so they must have really beefed them up. so like, almost as strong as Land Cruiser axles from, say, the 90s (awkward wink)

Can you confirm a lack of rear sway bar disconnect? I think i heard its front only now...did you have a chance to look?