Project ACCUAIR

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
Just before SEMA, I got a call from an old friend of mine who's now the president of the all new ACCUAIR and he asked if I might be willing to take possession of their project Jeep JT Gladiator, for an extended period of time and to test it out. He said that I could use it however I would use any of my Jeeps, gave me the greenlight to "scratch it up" and said that the only catch, would be for me to share my honest experiences with all of you. Needless to say, Cindy and I have already posted up one video highlighting their Jeep and more are sure to come but I thought I would also start this thread to post up pics and share some of the things we're doing with it that may or may not make it in a video. Of course, if you have any questions or have things you'd like to learn more about, please feel free to post up your questions here. And, I should note that unlike our YouTube audience, I'll be sure to provide more interactive and detailed information.

With that said, here are a couple of shots of the ACCUAIR Jeep Gladiator on the day we picked it up in Phoenix and at the standard ride height of 4.5" of lift. I point this out because in the video, my friend Mark stated, by mistake that it was a 3.5" lift and that would be for a Wrangler JL.
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This is a shot of me standing next to Gladiator at the #1 setting. Not full droop but the lowest setting you can still drive on and get better MPG on the highway.
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And, this is me standing next to it at a full 5.5" of lift.
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With keys in hand, we headed back home to Boulder City.
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wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
Soon after getting our new Project ACCUAIR Jeep JT Gladiator home, we decided to take it to a place where we could get some decent, all around shots of it and its suspension components. And, that place would be what we call, the ghetto...
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Here are a few underneath shots to give you a better look at the air pistons and shocks.
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Here's a shot of the rear JRi shock. And I have to say, I really like how they feel.
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Here's a shot of us taking the Gladiator out for a quick first spin on some easy but rough powerline roads.
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wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
With Thanksgiving coming up, Cindy and I made our way back up to Carson City and of course, we decided to take our new Project ACCUAIR Gladiator with us.
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Of course, no drive home would be complete without hitting some dirt along the way.
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Up until we started seeing snow on the hillside, I don't think we realized just how cold it was back at home.
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wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
So, this is an EXCLUSIVE for WAYALIFE forum members only. The one question that I've been getting the most about this ACCUAIR system is... "how does it flex?" Well, our YouTube audience will have to wait for an upcoming video to see but for you guys, here are a few pics that should satisfy your curiosity.

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And, I think it's important to point out that all this was done with the air pistons set at the standard #2 ride height. I did NOT fiddle around with the air pressure to gain greater stuff or droop.
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
While they aren't that big of a deal, there are a couple of things that we've come across and made sure to let ACCUAIR know about them. The first of which is that the new sway bar links were clunking. And, a lot of this was because the nyloc nuts they used on the rear links were coming loose. They let me know that they would be upgrading these to stovers and I do think that will help.
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I have NEVER been a fan of MOST manual sway bar disconnect and I have to say, the ones that came on this Jeep kinda sucked too. Although they are adjustable, I found that the jam nuts were near impossible to keep tightened and so they rotated around a lot. And, this caused a double sheer bolt on the passenger side to work itself loose and fall out somewhere along the line.
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Fortunately, I was able to find hardware in my garage to fix it and all was good again.
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I will say though, if there is a BIG benefit to sway bar disconnects and these air pistons, it's that you do NOT have to be on level ground to disconnect or reconnect. All you have to do is use your phone app to raise and or lower your pistons as needed and just hook them back up. A really cool bonus!

With that said, I spoke to ACCUAIR about this and we both agreed that most people who can afford this kit will most likely have a Rubicon and so, providing better fixed links would be a better solution and they will be working on that. Also, for people who do not have a Rubicon, they are working on an air actuated disconnect system as well. (y)

On a total side note and unrelated to the ACCUAIR system, I found that I did not have front lockers during our flex test and after racking up the Jeep and giving things a closer look, I found this - an air line that was routed too close to the cat.
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Even though it was wrapped with heat shielding, the plastic hose still melted shut. And, it's for this reason why I always use stainless steel lines. In any case, this has been fixed now.
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
With Thanksgiving behind us, it was time to head back down to Boulder City. Of course, this time, we'd be taking Moby back down with us. Here's a shot of us taking a nice little side route along the way.
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And, another side route - before it got too dark to enjoy 😁
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So, from the very first day we took possession of this Project Gladiator, we noticed that it had a gear whine. Clearly, whoever installed their 4.88 gears, did not do a very good job and with every mile we put on it, the whine got worse. After pulling off the diff cover, I found that the pattern was running pretty deep.
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Needless to say, ACCUAIR gave me the greenlight to take their Jeep to a local shop and have it address. As I would come to find, the pinion bearings were shot and so they are being replaced. So, until that gets done, we won't be able to do more with this Jeep. However, we are hopeful to get our hands on it again by next week.
 

Disciple Off Road

Active Member
Excited to see what you guys do with this Jeep and to hear your input on this kit as we all know you will put it through the paces! I can see this being very popular with people wanting to tow campers but still want to wheel it.

Bummer about all of the problems you have found but glad you are able to find them before any major breaks occurred, especially in the diff!
 

jeeeep

Hooked
much better flex than I expected.

bummer it's already in the shop but for unrelated issues.

got snacks and drink, all I need is a video (y)
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
Great write up and review so far. Looking forward to actually seeing how robust this kit will be...
Thanks! I can honestly say that I wasn't sure what to make of it when I first got the call to do this but so far, there's a lot about it that I like.
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
That’s way more flex than I expected to see! Very impressive.
Right! I was convinced that I would need to manually lower air pressure in the pistons to get more flex but the spring rate on them is soft enough to flex great without it. I hope to show this off better in our videos to come.
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
Excited to see what you guys do with this Jeep and to hear your input on this kit as we all know you will put it through the paces! I can see this being very popular with people wanting to tow campers but still want to wheel it.

Bummer about all of the problems you have found but glad you are able to find them before any major breaks occurred, especially in the diff!
Glad to hear it and you know we'll put it to the test. I can tell you that ACCUAIR has done their own tests with OVERLOADING this Gladiator with way more weight than it should hold and/or pull and the numbers they gave me were impressive. Of course, they don't recommend people carry or pull more than what is recommended by Jeep.

As far as the problems go, we were about to plan a trip out to your shop to get the work done but then, half way back to Boulder City, I wasn't even sure if we'd make it there. In any case, I think the passenger side rear axle flange is a bit bent and I've already gotten the go on having them replaced with chromoly. If and when we have the time, we may still head out your way to do that LOL
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
much better flex than I expected.

bummer it's already in the shop but for unrelated issues.

got snacks and drink, all I need is a video (y)
LOL - it may be a couple of weeks before we can get more videos on this out but glad to hear you're ready for them.

As far as flex goes, not too shabby, right! 😁
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
Awesome right up. Looking forward to the video.
Thanks! I hope to keep adding to it as soon as we get this Jeep back. As far as the next video goes, it may be a couple of weeks before we can get another out on this Jeep.
 
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wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
Nothing wrong with that flex... How was the ride through the desert... compared to a 3 or 4" spring?
So, I don't have any experience running 3 or 4" coils on a Gladiator but I can tell you that the overall feel driving across the desert feels a lot like a stock Rubicon. That is to say, it doesn't feel squishy and borderline sloppy the way a stock Sport can feel. Essentially firm but in my opinion, in a good way. Of course, ride quality is 100% subjective.
 
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