Trucks & SUVs

This Jeep Gladiator’s Frame Folded-What’s Going On?

The Interweb can be a fascinating place for shocking truths and harbingers of things to come. Perusing past multiple coronavirus and Stock Market historic drop news were two images of a Jeep Gladiator bending in half. Just what every off-road fan loves to see. So, what’s going on and has the Gladiator cheapened out for a couple of extra bucks?

According to the post, this unfortunate Gladiator owner installed shocks that were too tall. Why we’re not sure? The point is because of that there’s a theory as to why this happened. If the shocks are too tall the shock’s rebound is shortened, effectively turning your shocks into two-by-fours once they’re completely compressed. 

Could the frame have folded from shocks that are too tall?

Here’s one of the images hitting the World Wide Web

When that happens they turn into mini jackhammers and start beating on its attachment points. Since the shock is attached at the top to the weakest part of the frame the constant beating eventually caused the frame to fold at those attachment points. But, not so fast. 

Why was this dude running taller-than-stock shocks? Any shock will have applications. Why would someone not buy Jeep Gladiator shocks for his/her Jeep Gladiator? This will remain a mystery until whoever posted the images fills everyone in a bit. One thing we’ll add is that to some extent the knobby tires on the Gladiator should act as de facto shock absorbers once the actual shock absorbers turn into battering rams.

We’re seeing rough terrain and a trailer so it seems like the frame getting folded was a result of that 

We’re not doubting the too-tall shock explanation, it just seems that it’s an odd explanation. The more logical assumption, based on what’s being towed, is that the weight of the trailer bent the frame. Granted, unless this guy is hauling boulders or bags of sand, one would think that there is not enough weight with the trailer in tow to cause this unhappy ending.

And even with the rough terrain conditions, this seems like an extreme result of towing something you shouldn’t be towing. Tack on the fact the Gladiator’s advertised towing capacity is 5,000 lbs. and it doesn’t add up. Or maybe it actually does when you add everything up. If the trailer is close to 5,000 lbs. and the Jeep is banging through nasty terrain. Now, add some shocks that are too tall to haul and you’ve got this folded frame situation. 

Has the frame been strengthened enough?

gladiator frame fold
Gladiator frame fold

We understand that the Gladiator’s frame is strengthened towards the rear. That should help to avoid this type of situation. And we also know this was shot during some off-road hijinx on the Mojave Trail. 

We’ll update this post if the full story comes out. If the story doesn’t involve some unauthorized components are to blame then Jeep is off the hook. But if it turns out that a combo of rough terrain and a trailer are to blame, then it raises questions about how rugged Jeeps really are?

We always thought that Jeep overengineered its stuff and that something like this is nigh impossible. But there’s no denying the images. So we’re dying to know the answer.