1970 Gladiator Restomod

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Yeller
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Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:10 am

I'm new here and have posted a few things about this truck all ready but have reached the point its time to start a build thread and have all of my mods and information in one place. This will be a long term build for me, probably be a year before being fairly complete (they are never 100%... :P ).

I've always wanted a J truck, I was really looking for a 74-80, I like the brow and wanted the drive train upgrades that happened in 74 but this 70 was way too nice and priced right so I picked it up. The goal is to have a comfortable, dependable truck that I can drive daily that is nice but not so nice that I won't use it, I don't build show cars, I build stuff that gets used. Doesn't mean its beat up and ugly but if it get a ding or scratch it just adds character.

This build will have the following mods done:

33's on nice steel wheels and tires (Done)
Swap to open knuckle front (new housing acquired) (Done)
Front disc brakes with hydro boost (Done)
3 link with coils in the front (Done)
64" leaves in the rear (Done)
Locker in the rear, maybe a D60 as well... (D60 and Done:D)
6.0 and 4l80E (Done)
Heat and A/C
reworked interior designed around being comfortable
Winch (Done)
Rear bumper and hitch (Done)
Gooseneck for light towing and working around our place (own several GN trailers)

Details on the brakes - used 78 Ford F150 hubs and rotors, GM small bearing spindles, GM backing plates and GM calipers. Hydroboost is from a 2004 Chevy diesel pickup, master cylinder is 1-1/8" bore for a 72 Chevy C10 that I had new on the shelf from a past project.

Here's a few pics of where it started and where we are today.
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Last edited by Yeller on Mon May 09, 2022 5:50 am, edited 5 times in total.
The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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Yeller
Posts: 849
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:54 am
Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:13 am

ImageLook what followed me home last night! A running, driving, 2003, LQ4 6.0 and 4L80E :D
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Last edited by Yeller on Sat Jul 03, 2021 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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Stuka
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Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Stuka » Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:12 am

I really dig the color. Truck looks pretty complete and mostly rust free.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ


will e
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Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by will e » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:38 pm

Good looking truck for sure!
81 Waggy 'WILL E' Retired
82 Cherokee WT - SOA/SF/high steer/Alcan springs/agr box/Borgeson steering shaft/AMC 401/performer/holley TA/HEI/BeCool/727/ALTAS (2.0/2.72/5.44)/D60 Snofighter(Yukon Zip,hubs,stubs,4.56)/14 Bolt (FF,BF shave, Discs, ARB,Artec Truss)/MTR 37X12.5/Corbeau XRS Baja & 5 point retractable harness/Hella Aux lights/tuffy console/killer32 sliders/Evil Twin bumpers, rack and roll cage/WARN 8000/TT Fabworks steering brace/dual batts/custom TC skid plate/ARB fridge

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Yeller
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Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:42 pm

Image

Thank you for the kind words guys, I believe I scored well too

Before I even got the truck home I found a new unissued 1970 Oklahoma license plate that I picked up for this truck. The green and white looks so much better than the blue thing they currently issue. My vintage plate application finally came back :D
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The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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Yeller
Posts: 849
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:54 am
Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:01 pm

I swung by the Coop today and got a base weight, 4460#. I’ll be interested to see how portly she gets over the next year. My goal is to not exceed 5000#. Image
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The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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Yeller
Posts: 849
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:54 am
Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Sat Jul 03, 2021 7:45 pm

Made some progress today. Got the van parted out 8-)
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The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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Topic author
Yeller
Posts: 849
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:54 am
Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:17 pm

Step closer, radiator wasn’t keeping the ol 350 very cool, in fact it would overheat with little effort. So I installed the radiator I picked up for the engine swap, nice and cool now. The hoses are a little hack but they are temporary so all good.Image
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The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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TurboJ4000
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Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by TurboJ4000 » Wed Jul 07, 2021 5:56 am

I love your lifting plan for the chevy van. I did a similar van part out and set the body back on the frame with a couple body bolts to hold it for the ride to the scrap yard. When the excavator unloaded it from the trailer with the giant claw the frame and axles etc all ripped out from under the body as it was being moved. Luckily it didn't land on anything but scrap metal.

I love the color of your truck, did the previous owner keep the TH400 when it was engine swapped? I would think that had a Buick 350 when it was new.
1970 J4000 / Chevy Frankenstein in progress
Soon to be Lq4 6.0 and 4l80e on 35s

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Yeller
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:54 am
Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:46 am

TurboJ4000 wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 5:56 am
I love your lifting plan for the chevy van. I did a similar van part out and set the body back on the frame with a couple body bolts to hold it for the ride to the scrap yard. When the excavator unloaded it from the trailer with the giant claw the frame and axles etc all ripped out from under the body as it was being moved. Luckily it didn't land on anything but scrap metal.

I love the color of your truck, did the previous owner keep the TH400 when it was engine swapped? I would think that had a Buick 350 when it was new.
Yes the backhoe is a spectacular heavy lifting device, sure takes the abuse with a smile :D and tackle things that I might otherwise pass on.

The truck still has the original (to the best of my knowledge) Buick 350, TH400 and Dana 20 I'm currently daily driving the truck. The 6.0 and 4l80e are patiently waiting their turn. If someone wants this drivetrain I can expedite its removal, its in fantastic condition, looks crusty but insides are great.

Thanks, I like the color too reminds me of my first car, 71 Plymouth Scamp in Sherwood Metallic Green.
The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909


ArchitectJS
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by ArchitectJS » Fri Jul 09, 2021 10:01 am

Yeller wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:42 pm
Image

Thank you for the kind words guys, I believe I scored well too

Before I even got the truck home I found a new unissued 1970 Oklahoma license plate that I picked up for this truck. The green and white looks so much better than the blue thing they currently issue. My vintage plate application finally came back :D
Congrats on this. I love it when State's permit this. My brother has a '64 Falcon. NY issued a special plate in 1964 commemorating the Worlds Fair. He was able to register with this plate.
1982 Cherokee, base (Bumppo)
AMC 258 / A727 - AMC 20 / NP208
Holley Sniper with Hyperspark
3" Rough County Lift

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Yeller
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:54 am
Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Sun Aug 08, 2021 5:52 pm

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Getting parts gathered up. Transfer case needs a bath, oil fill and clocking ring to be install ready. The tcase is a remanent of my wife’s 91 suburban that we wheeled until the body and frame was falling apart. Due to her propensity to bend drive shafts we developed this full length slip yoke eliminator. The wheel base on the Jeep is long enough that it is still appropriate for this build. Need to cut the transmission output shaft off, it is a 2wd trans with the fully splined output shaft so no need to change it, just cut it to length. Up next will be putting together a D60 for the rear :D
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The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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Stuka
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Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Stuka » Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:50 am

I have never seen a long fixed output like that. They tend to be stronger if shorter. In theory it should work the same as a slip yoke setup though, but without the slip falling out or axle droop causing it to crack.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ

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Yeller
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:54 am
Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Mon Aug 09, 2021 10:36 am

Stuka wrote:
Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:50 am
I have never seen a long fixed output like that. They tend to be stronger if shorter. In theory it should work the same as a slip yoke setup though, but without the slip falling out or axle droop causing it to crack.
You certainly aren’t running out and buying one LOL. I made that with help from a machinist friend over 20 years ago. That case has been sitting on the shelf since 2006 glad I didn’t toss it out when I moved :o
The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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Stuka
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Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Stuka » Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:45 pm

Yeller wrote:
Mon Aug 09, 2021 10:36 am
Stuka wrote:
Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:50 am
I have never seen a long fixed output like that. They tend to be stronger if shorter. In theory it should work the same as a slip yoke setup though, but without the slip falling out or axle droop causing it to crack.
You certainly aren’t running out and buying one LOL. I made that with help from a machinist friend over 20 years ago. That case has been sitting on the shelf since 2006 glad I didn’t toss it out when I moved :o
Well, its great that you finally found a use for it then!
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ

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Yeller
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Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:31 am

Small update today. Removed the external chains on the tailgate. Didn’t get any pics but also ditched the pressure switch for the brake lights. The switch was dead again :banghead: and I needed to move to a DPDT switch for the upcoming engine swap.

Seeing these pics reminds me…. Anyone know the year/model of available replacement tail light lenses? I’ve seen similar lights on a few years jeepsters but haven’t been able confirm that they are the same.

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The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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tgreese
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Location: Medford MA USA

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by tgreese » Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:48 am

Yeller wrote:
Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:31 am
Small update today. Removed the external chains on the tailgate. Didn’t get any pics but also ditched the pressure switch for the brake lights. The switch was dead again :banghead: and I needed to move to a DPDT switch for the upcoming engine swap.

Seeing these pics reminds me…. Anyone know the year/model of available replacement tail light lenses? I’ve seen similar lights on a few years jeepsters but haven’t been able confirm that they are the same.

Image
Image
Image
It's the same lens as used on the CJ-5 and CJ-6 mid-'68ish through 1975. Also used on J-trucks with the Thriftside bed. Jeep 8122928.

https://cj3b.info/Dating/Taillights.html - the "last round taillight."

Widely available. http://www.earlycj5.com/xf_cj5/index.ph ... es.142080/
Tim Reese
Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS/PDB, hubcaps.
Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination A/Ts, 7600 GVWR
Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
GTI without the badges: '95 VW Golf Sport 2000cc 2D
Dual Everything: '15 FCA Jeep Cherokee KL Trailhawk, ECO Green
Blockchain the vote.

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Yeller
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Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:11 am

Thank you Tim! That is some great information. I ordered the Grote #9034 lenses, will be here in a few days. All I was finding was expensive and couldn’t verify they were correct. $8ea I’m in just to find out.
The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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tgreese
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Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by tgreese » Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:13 am

That "beehive" backup light is a CJ item too:
https://www.4wd.com/p/1973-Jeep-CJ5-Omi ... F-12405.04

You can buy the lens by itself or the complete light with housing and lens. IME the complete light isn't an exact match to the original, having different mounting stud spacing and no plug and harness - just a wire. Also has terrible cheap plating that rusts after a couple of years.

Your stop/tail housing is J-truck early Townside only.
Tim Reese
Maine beekeeper's truck: '77 J10 LWB, 258/T15/D20/3.54 bone stock, low options (delete radio), PS/PDB, hubcaps.
Browless and proud: '82 J20 360/T18/NP208/3.73, Destination A/Ts, 7600 GVWR
Copper Polly: '75 CJ-6, 304/T15, PS, BFG KM2s, soft top
GTI without the badges: '95 VW Golf Sport 2000cc 2D
Dual Everything: '15 FCA Jeep Cherokee KL Trailhawk, ECO Green
Blockchain the vote.

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Yeller
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:54 am
Location: Rogers County Oklahoma

Re: 1970 Gladiator Restomod

Post by Yeller » Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:56 am

Thanks Tim. I had found the beehive lights on a damaged package sale a while back. Haven’t investigated if they actually fit but the price was right.
The bus I ride is so short it is a yellow Smart Car full of squirrels, monkeys and clowns.

1970 J2500 Resto Mod
https://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewt ... 12&t=21395

1974 Bronco “Broncno”
https://classicbroncos.com/forums/threa ... st-3411909

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