Factory V-8 Gladiator?
I've been really busy lately, but just got enough free time that I could read all the issues of magazines (including and first Jp) that have been piling up untouched on the table. In Jeep News & Rumors (Dispatch, June '19), you asked the question, "Is Jeep planning a version of the Gladiator to compete with the desert-derbying capabilities of the Ford F-150 Raptor and Chevy Colorado ZR2?"
The Raptor or Colorado ZR2 are likely very good competitors when it comes to open dirt roads with little or real obstacles other than some tight corners, but there is no doubt in my mind that a stock Gladiator Rubicon would leave a Raptor or a Colorado ZR2 floundering on any serious off-road trail.
Now, if Jeep could figure out how to offer a V-8 option in the factory Gladiator, they might be able to make a few extra bucks by enticing away those who seem hell-bent on forking out $75K for a Raptor.
We wholeheartedly agree—right out of the box, the 2020 Jeep Gladiator would best either one of those "other" pickups in a match that was limited to hardcore off-road trails. We also would like to see more power under its hood. However, while we were getting to see the Hellcat-powered Jeep M-175 Five-Quarter Concept vehicle (pictured) in Moab during the 2019 Easter Jeep Safari press introduction of the Jeep Concept Vehicles, Tim Kuniskis, the Jeep North America boss at that time, said that even though it sounded like a good thing, a Hellcat V-8 would fit so tightly in the vehicle that it would decrease crush space and never pass crash tests.
Apparently, that has not stopped any number of upfitters and custom shops, including the likes of Dakota Customs and its Hemi and Hellcat Gladiator swaps and the Hellcat-powered Code-X Project Gladiator built by Dynatrac. Like most things in the world, and especially in the automotive world, if you want it bad enough, then you can find someone who can build it.
I liked the article on Jeep rewiring ("Painless CJ-5 Rewire," Sept. '19) and have a 1986 Comanche that could possibly stand a rewiring job. I looked up the kit mentioned in the article and it shows the Painless Performance #10150 21 circuit kit for the CJ-5 you featured. One page later, you show the #30001 fuse block, an 11-circuit block. The 21-circuit kit is over $800 dollars and that seems like a lot for a weekend project Jeep. The 11-circuit block (#30001) is only $125. Which one is for rewiring any Jeep? Also, where can I find that push tool?
Has Jp ever done a story on rewiring the Comanche and was it for the early years? I know that the Comanche was built using several different auto manufacturers' parts. What about a few articles on compatible parts and even matches for the early XJ?
An early Comanche owner, Leonard Knight
Painless lists the #30001 11-fuse ATO fuse center as a 14-circuit OEM universal fuse block to which you connect wiring (not included) to the screw terminal strips. The #10150 kit we used is a direct-fit harness for Jeep CJ models. It also uses an 11-fuse ATO block but comes pre-wired for the application to service 21 circuits (a single fuse may service more than one circuit). Granted, the kit is not cheap, but was very complete, as you can see from all the included components. Much of the harness was plug and play to the factory devices, and most of the connectors, including the bulkhead at the firewall, are replaced with new parts.
Painless doesn't list a specific harness solution for the Comanche, so the #30001 fuse block could probably serve as a good starting point for your application. Note that you'll have to procure new wire, connectors, outer braid, and more to redo all of the harness on your rig. Painless does carry many of these items that you can purchase individually.
As far as the push tool is concerned, you're likely referring to the Delphi Packard Weather Pack terminal release tool. It's currently available on Amazon for about $6.