21 August 2023

Jeep Gladiator – First Modifications

As the first steps, we have added the things we thought any vehicle should have from the factory these days. 

The Bolt Hood Lock


It's surprisingly simple to install.

  1. You "prime" the lock with your vehicle's key, this is a five second job, but can't be undone once set.
  2. Remove the plastic holders of the front grill at the top. Pull grill forward enough to have access.
  3. Rivet the lock into place with the rivets that came in the kit. You need a heavy duty rivet tool, I bought one on Amazon since I didn't have one yet, and it did work, although it had it's difficulties with the 1/4 rivets.
  4. Cut out the grill to fit.
  5. Re-attach with the new, included, plastic fasteners.
  6. Done.

It looks stock, it works with the vehicle key, it doesn't seem to be easily defeated (although I could be wrong there), so it should keep curious fingers away. The metal part is heavy duty, appears to be very high quality, the parts are well made and fit perfectly, comes with a rubber protector. There isn't really much else to say about it, other than it "just works".

This was a simple, very nice, and easy modification, that I can highly recommend.

Rating: 5/5 – would definitely install again


Bolt Hood Lock


Mopar Locking Diesel Fuel Cap

Reason to install

This has been bugging us on our 4Runner as well and while I fully understand that thieves will just drill the tank, I don't care about "professional" gas or diesel thieves. I care about a-holes dropping stuff in the tank because for some reason, and possibly in their twisted minds, don't like us or our vehicle.

So, this is to keep less determined people away from things that shouldn't be in easy access anyways. Not a safety measure, an anti-idiot measure.


The fuel cap itself feels cheap and very plasticy, it rattles a bit and is fully plastic, the lock cylinder feels pretty solid, I guess it's the same used for the doors, just repurposed for this cap.


Installation time is mainly used for keying the lock cylinder to the vehicle's key, Quadratec has a good video on how to do that in a pretty much fool-proof way. It's still a "one way installation", so if the lock cylinder is inserted into the gas cap and not keyed correctly, you're done, you have just wasted more than $100. I don't get why they don't included a small slot in the cap where the "cylinder retainer" could be released when the cap is open, but it is what it is.

Since I have re-keyed many such cylinders before (mostly on BMW motorcycle luggage), I was well aware of the process, so it was a simple job of just sorting through the parts, arranging them on a paper towel, installing the springs, lock plates, and plastic retainer, then inserting the cylinder into the cap and installing that on the car. Multiple stages of testing and making sure I'm not locking myself out inbetween, but otherwise quick and simple.

In Use

The lock is a bit fiddly since the key is so bulky. You have to insert the key, hold the cap in place so it doesn't turn, turn the key to unlock, then turn the cap with the key in the cap. As said, fiddly, but perfectly doable. Would have been nicer to have the outer door included in the central locking, but hey, we get what we pay for (or ask for, if enough people complained about this, Jeep would include it, but people seem to be ambivalent about this in the US – not so much in Europe, never seen a vehicle with non-locking cap there).


Quick and easy, should have been included from stock, should be able to remove key when unlocked to make it less fiddly.

Rating: 3.5/5 – would install again, but could be better

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