Jeep Gladiator conversion by Co-Up Auto Body Repairs

A Canadian body and tuning company has given the Jeep pickup a completely new character. This is particularly evident at the rear.

When the Jeep Gladiator, model year 2020, arrives at the workshop of Co-Up Auto Body Repairs, it couldn't look more conservative. Black paint, gray plastic add-on parts, a US flatbed truck with an absolutely standard design. But the term "complete conversion" is far from enough to describe what the troupe from Mississauga in the Canadian state of Ontario then does with the pickup. A complete change of character is taking place here - well documented in a 33 (!) part YouTube series .

Even the first step is tough: The factory-installed front axle, including the connection to the steering and all electronics and hydraulics, gives way to an independent wheel suspension with air suspension. This offers the possibility of adjusting the vehicle height while driving. Then the thick 22-inch rims and their 275 tires have to be squeezed into the wheel arches. This is only possible if they are given significantly wider canopies, the plastic interior of which is also adapted by hand.

Heavy-duty axle with air suspension

At the other end of the car, the guys from Co-Up Auto Body Repairs are also replacing the axle. A 2008 Ram 3500, the heavy-duty version of the US pickup truck designed for rear twin wheels, is the noble donor. In order for its rear axle, including the 22-inch twin wheels and air suspension, to fit into the Jeep frame and the loading area, it has to be surgically processed and a lot of other things welded, flexed, hammered and bent. In addition, the Canadians are missing an electrically operated flap on the loading area, which, if desired, gives a view of the components of the air suspension painted in body color - the rich red comes from the Honda NSX - and the black-dipped frame.

Co-Up Auto Body Repairs gets the engine of the Jeep Gladiator going with a supercharger kit from Magnuson. As a result, the performance of the Pentastar V6 increases from 289 to around 430 hp. The increased power makes a new brake system and lines necessary, the exhaust system, the petrol tank and much more now bears the title "homemade". In fact, almost everything under the car had to be rebuilt. There is hardly a socket or connector that has not been redesigned by the Canadians. The same applies to the body kit. For example, the Gladiator now carries the bumpers of the Jeep Rubicon, albeit in an adapted form. The rear wheel arches have also been widened by hand and supplemented by an extra frame.

Big appearance at SEMA 2021

Since the last episode of the conversion series appeared on YouTube, a lot has changed on the Jeep Gladiator, which is turned inside out. For example, the inside of the loading area is now presented in a stylish brown, which is reflected in the interior on the lavishly upholstered leather seats.

And why the mega effort? Just for your own reputation and a few clicks on Youtube? No, Co-Up Auto Body Repairs has bigger plans for its pickup truck. The Canadians want to exhibit their car at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this year, which, following a pandemic-related shift to the Internet in autumn 2020, is to take place again as usual in front of a specialist audience. It is quite possible that the heavily modified Jeep will become one of the stars of the famous tuning fair.

Conclusion

The conversion from pick-up wallflower to spectacular airride gladiator took more than a year. It's no wonder that your own ambitions keep giving rise to handcrafted individual solutions. In this respect, the team at Co-Up Auto Body Repairs deserves the greatest respect for their project. And if you want to recreate the whole thing, you can find the necessary screwdriver tips and other inspiration on YouTube.

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