In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Will we get a 2023 Jeep Gladiator 4xe?
- What’s your opinion on restorations?
- What’s your favorite Motor Mountain USA location?
The first question comes from a fan who has a theory about the upcoming Jeep Gladiator 4xe.
Q: (Via NathanAdlen@Twitter) I read about the Jeep Gladiator 4xe on your TFLoffroad site.
I’m excited and I hope it costs less than the diesel. I got some intel, and I think it will come out in 2023, do you? And I think it will have better range than the Jeep Wrangler 4xe because there’s room for more batteries. What do you think?
A: Interesting theory about the Jeep Gladiator 4xe.
First of all, Jeep has yet to confirm that it will actually be called the Gladiator 4xe, and we can only assume that the powertrain will be similar to the Wrangler 4xe. Still, it’s a logical assumption. Sharing components and tech is a smart way to get a better return on your R&D investment.
We have pretty good intel that Jeep is spreading this powertrain throughout their fleet. In fact, we spotted a Grand Cherokee test mule that appeared to be a PHEV like the 4xe.
I’m not sure about the 2023 date, and I’m curious about your source.
As for greater range with more batteries? Sure, it makes sense that Jeep could pack in more batteries. One of the issues with the Wrangler 4xe is that it simply doesn’t have enough space to add batteries logically. On top of that, the weight is already monstrous with the hybrid setup. It’s not very efficient to begin with. I mean, the current 4xe gets about 20-ish miles of all-electric range, so hoping for more range makes sense.
The thing is: there is no such thing as a free lunch. Not with powertrains.
Let me explain: the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon weighs over 500 lbs less than the Rubicon Gladiator. Ironically, the 4xe Wrangler weighs about the same as a Gladiator. Anyway, the hindrance for better range is weight. Sure, you could slap in more batteries (possibly under the bed), but that extra weight will hurt the range, and performance.
It could have more batteries, but a 6,000+ pound Gladiator will struggle.
With that being said, it will be mighty interesting to see what the brains at Jeep come up with. Remember, they did say that they wanted to electrify their fleet – and the Wrangler 4xe is just the first step.
Thanks for the message!
The next message comes from a fan who is looking to restore his recently deceased father’s pickup truck.
Q: (Via Nathanadlen@Twitter) Hi Nathan. My Dad recently passed away.
He had a ’97 Silverado in which I would love to restore in his memory/honor. Any advice you can give since I have seen you guys fix up vehicles before?
A: Thanks for the message, and I’m terribly sorry about your dad’s passing.
First of all, I sent Frank a message to ask Andre at TFLtruck.com as well. He seems to have a soft spot for those particular GM trucks. Also I suggest talking to our friend Mr. Truck – he’s a valuable resource too.
Before I get started, that blue color looks amazing!
My opinion? Start with the basics, and work your way up. Before you do anything, give if a super cleaning, and take detailed photos of how the truck looks right now. Photograph everything, including the undercarriage – if possible. Trust me, having before and after photos are worth the effort.
- The first thing I would do is make sure all of its drivetrain issues are sorted. Engine, transmission, brakes, suspension – the works. The more you can do on your own, the less it will cost.
- Now is the time to get rid of pesky issues, like fixing electronic glitches, burned out lights and whatnot.
- Step-by-step, work your way through the truck to make it run (and function) like a champ.
What is your vision?
- Usually, when people look at a vehicle to restore, they have a vision of what they truly want already ingrained in their mind. What is you vision of your father’s truck?
- If you want to keep it clean, with just a few updates – that can be achieved over time by setting goals. For example: you want it to be a little sportier (this is just an example) why not look at tires and suspension?
- On the other hand, if you want it to be just like new, I highly recommend joining an on-line Chevrolet Silverado club – or forum (there are several). You can pick their brains regarding OEM paint, and interior fixes – among other things.
- Perhaps your mind is set on completely overhauling your dad’s truck? If that’s the case, I still urge you to join a few forums. Whether you’re thinking of lifting or slamming the truck, save up and do it properly. Bad lifts and drops are poison for your truck’s driving dynamics. We’ve seen many augmented suspension ruin the ride and performance of a truck – just to look cool. Do your research and find a highly recommended kit.
- If your dad had plans for this truck, perhaps you should follow the direction he wanted to go?
The bottom line:
Nothing you do to restore your father’s truck will be “wrong.” The fact that you’re thinking of him as you do it is enough to make your old man proud. I’m sure of it.
Keep us in the loop!
The last question is from a fan who wants to know about our favorite Motor Mountain USA location.
Q: Hi guys, Motor Mountain Monday remains my favorite TFL feature, because it combines my love of mountains, vehicles, and epic road trips.
I am curious, what was your favorite (drivable) state high point along the journey?
A: Thanks for the email Tim!
Motor Mountain USA (MMUSA) was a series shot from 2015-2016 featuring a Jeep Wrangler (JK), and the whole TFL Studio crew. We attempted to venture to the highest drivable point in every single state, in one year. During the series, we would drop off special swag and send the geocache coordinates to viewers. It was a hell of an adventure, but it was remarkably difficult to pull off!
I think that Andre and I both agree, out favorite, most memorable location was Mount Washington in New Hampshire. That place was amazing! The steam cog train, the history, the observatory – scenery… it just blew us away. Sadly, we couldn’t stay very long. It appealed to Andre’s love of science, and my love of history.
Roman and Tommy had an amazing adventure in Alaska, despite being disappointed about the actual highest drivable point. They still had an amazing time. Emme seemed to have a blast everywhere she went, but Mount Arvon in Michigan seemed to please her the most.
… and it nearly killed me.
Thanks for the email, and your patronage!
This has nothing to do with MMUSA – but it’s funny!