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Dynatrac CODEX Jeep Gladiator
This entry was posted on December 4, 2019 by Cole Quinnell.
Meet the 2020 Dynatrac CODEX Jeep Gladiator. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is a big deal in many ways. Not only is it the only mid-sized truck offered with a solid-front axle, but its shared architecture with the Wrangler gives it features completely unique in the pickup segment. Since Dynatrac strives to be at the forefront of the latest off-road-oriented truck and SUV platforms, we wasted no time developing a unique build strategy that would capitalize on the all-new vehicle.
Similar to our 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited build dubbed CODE1, the Dynatrac CODEX Jeep Gladiator build significantly transformed the truck with a dramatic visual change as well as massive functional upgrades that include a Dynatrac Elite ProRock XD60/80 Axle-Set™.
What we envisioned was building on the canvas that Jeep created with the Gladiator. It’s a pickup, but still a Jeep at heart. We wanted to amplify the Gladiator’s capability with the addition of MOPAR Hell Cat power, Milestar 40-inch tires, Saavy off-road performance suspension and, of course, Dynatrac ProRock axles. We also wanted to capture the spirit of overlanding with an extremely versatile Patriot Campers bed and cargo system to replace the factory truck bed.
Kicking off this journey was a stop in Michigan at America’s Most Wanted 4x4. There, the Gladiator underwent major surgery with only 18 miles on the odometer. Not only would CODEX receive a 707-horsepower Mopar Hell Cat heart transplant, but this was also where it lost 2 feet of wheelbase.
Of course, the engine upgrade was to ensure that we’d have plenty of terrain-ripping power on tap. Chopping the cab down created a more off-road-obstacle friendly wheelbase and gave CODEX one of its most unique features: an extended-cab configuration. Then CODEX made the long trek from America’s Most Wanted 4x4 shop in Michigan to the Dynatrac headquarters in California. This would be where the next two phases of the build would commence.
You can watch the entire CODEX build in the video series on our YouTube channel. Here, we’re breaking down the details of the current configuration of CODEX in the photos and captions.
Dynatrac’s own prototype front bumper adds front end protection and ensures we’re set for recovery with a winch from TJM. Adding extra room for our tires is a light and fender kit from American Adventure Lab.
One of our favorite parts of the build: Dynatrac ProRock® axles. Taking the place of the stock front differential was our ProRock XD60™. Our patented high-pinion front housing was stuffed with 5.38 differential gears, along with an ARB Air Locker. Aside from having the most ground clearance of any 60 series on the market, the ProRock XD60 comes standard with our 1550 knuckles. These provide an ideal scrub radius, making steering easier both on and off road.
After dropping in serious horsepower, we wanted to make sure the rear end was capable of handling that extra load. With the combination of the Hell Cat engine, 40-inch tread and serious ‘wheeling adventures planned, there was no question that the ProRock 80® was the right choice for CODEX. Thanks to a massive 11.25-inch ring gear, 40-spline 4340 axleshafts and more ground clearance than any axle in its class, the ProRock 80 was the perfect, no-compromise rear axle.
The DynaLok™ hubs are tucked nicely inside the 17-inch Method beadlock wheels. Putting power to the ground are 40x13.50R17 Milestar Patagonia M/T tires. This combination is proving to be a great balance of grip and overall performance for CODEX.
The suspension underneath CODEX comes from Savvy Off Road. Savvy replaced the stock short arms in the front with a long-arm system from Rock Krawler. Out back, 10-inch-travel Fox coilovers and Rock Krawler adjustable arms are in place so that we can fine-tune the truck’s lift and performance.
Possibly the most versatile part of this truck is now the bed. It’s a PCOR from Patriot Campers designed specifically for the Gladiator. The modular setup has multiple configurations and a proven track record in the global overland community. Phase 2 showed the complete PCOR ¾ canopy, which holds our rooftop tent and assorted adventure gear. Phase 3, focuses on how we will run it on more hardcore trail days. This flatbed setup secures our fullsize spare up top, while our recovery gear and trail bags stay neatly tucked away in the lockable storage compartments below. Given that the bed is comprised entirely of aluminum, we are able to keep the overall weight of the vehicle relatively low.
The custom tan color was the brainchild of CODEX build manager Tony Carvallo and Sticky Fingers Designs. The vinyl wrap is topped off up front by a Rhino Rack, which holds an assortment of Mopar LED lights.