Hellcat-swapped Jeep Gladiator Makes One Heck of a Smoke Machine

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Watch this Gladiator go from stock hauler to tire-slaying brawler with just a few easy steps.

The Jeep Gladiator hasn’t even been sitting on dealer lots for very long but that hasn’t stopped the tidal wave of aftermarket parts available for it. Nor has that stopped more than one aftermarket company from planting fire-breathing Hellcat engines into Gladiator pickups left and right. While this may seem silly to some (especially given the lack of weight over the rear tires), it does make Jeep’s latest truck good at one thing. And that’s destroying tires.

That much is quite evident in this video from YouTuber Lite Brite. They recently caught up with America’s Most Wanted 4×4, a company well vested in the Hellcat-to-Jeep swap. Now that the Gladiator has joined the lineup, it only makes sense that they would extend their offerings to encompass this exciting new product. Even if it does render those large off-road rear tires virtually useless when you smash the go pedal.

Jeep Gladiator

We’ve seen this movie before, but this particular video goes a step further. It actually shows the entire process AMW 4×4 takes to complete this Hellcat heart transplant, albeit sped up a little bit. Perhaps the most interesting part of the process is the fact that you must remove the body first. But thankfully, you only have to unseat a whopping six bolts to do that. Easy peasy.

Jeep Gladiator

With the body out of the way, it’s a simple matter of yanking out the 3.6, then replacing it with the new, much more sinister powerplant. OK, so it isn’t quite that easy. The crew has to first do a little bit of cutting and finessing to make room for the blown beast. New motor mounts are included in AMW’s kit, as well as an upgraded fuel system to feed the V8. Other than that, an upgraded exhaust, radiator, and transfer case adapter are the only other changes required, surprisingly.

Jeep Gladiator

Throw the body back on, replace those six bolts, and boom – instant smoke machine. But honestly, the most surreal part of the Gladiator swap is the noise it makes. It almost doesn’t seem natural to hear the Hellcat’s distinct sound emanating from a Jeep. But it does make the fun quotient of the Gladiator go up exponentially. And isn’t that what the spirit of Jeep itself is all about?

Photos: YouTube

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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