- we've shown you how to take the doors and roof off jeep's 2020 gladiator; now we're moving into an even faster removal technique.
- if you're impressed by our time when using a power driver—under a minute—you may be thinking, "i could beat that."
- so go ahead, and then send us a video clip, youtube link, or other proof: [email protected]
the 2020 jeep gladiator, like its jl wrangler counterpart, has doors that are engineered for easy removal. using only a small ratchet, a novice can remove one of these lightweight jeep doors in a matter of minutes. but even that, we decided, is a little bit slow. what if you introduced a power driver to the equation? and practiced the routine a bit? some people use their quarantine time to master the guitar or learn to paint. others try to break the one-minute barrier on jeep door removal. self-improvement comes in many forms, and we think there's even more room here, where gladiator doors are concerned.
the routine is simple: roll down the window, remove the torx t50 pins from the two hinges, pull the trim cover over the wiring harness and disconnect it, slip the retaining strap up over its latch, remove the torx t40 from the check arm and lift the door up off the hinges. now you're ready to feel the wind in your hair—your hairy leg hair.
ideally, you'd have a compact right-angle driver to get at the hinge pins, basically a power version of the ratchet that jeep includes with the truck. but we didn't have that, so we used a u-joint extension between the drill and the torx driver. that's not ideal, since it can wobble, so we also readied a chamois towel between the driver and the bodywork, so an errant spin of the driver wouldn't mar the bodywork.
we started windows down, since that protects the glass and makes the door frame easier to lift. and . . . start the clock.
the door pins come out easy, taking maybe 15 seconds. but the wiring harness is a bottleneck. you've got to pull the cover off, depress a tiny plastic tab, and then rotate a handle up to disengage the harness before you pull down on the door-side plug to release it. flub the tab, and the handle won't release. you'll probably flub the tab. a small flathead screwdriver might help here.
once that's off, you've got to remember to close the door a little bit to get enough slack in the retainer strap to lift it off its hook. fumbling the strap probably cost a few precious seconds.
then you've got to switch out the torx bits, t50 for t40, for the home stretch. check arm disconnected, the door comes up off the hinges in . . . 45 seconds. that's pretty amazing for a production, street-legal vehicle with power windows and locks.
think you could beat that? want to use multiple people, better tools, ingenious techniques? go for it. we hereby challenge you, jeep owners, to beat our time. we put the over-under at 30 seconds. but it could be much lower if nascar people get involved.
now, about putting those doors back on: you want to be careful with that. take your time and line those hinge pins up. go ahead and give yourself a whole minute.