DANSJT – The Story Behind the Featured Build
Dan with Motobilt is no stranger to the off-road world, as he has been involved in it one way or another over the last 30ish years and starting Motobilt in 2012. But when he set out to build one of the new Jeep Gladiators, he wanted to do something different, and the bobbed bed was made. He could have easily just done the basics, fenders, bumpers, sliders and underside protection. But Dan wanted to take his JT out in the rocks and knew the stock bed was just not going to cut it.
Bobbing a bed is nothing new, but again, Dan didn’t want to do what others have done. That is why Motobilt makes a completely new bed. The stock JT’s metal is fairly flimsy and he wanted to make something that would live under some abuse. Motobilt uses 3/16″ steel for most of the outside pieces like the sides, fenders, bulkhead and tailgate. To save a little weight, 11 gauge steel is used for the inner fenders and gusseting to provide extra strength for the new bed.
One of the advantages over cutting up a factory bed when you go with the Motobilt bobbed bed, in theory, you can put the factory bed back on. In preparation for putting on the Motobilt bed, you will have to cut roughly 14 inches out of the frame. Between what you cut out with the frame, and installing the new bed, you gain about 18 inches of additional rear clearance. If you aren’t sure, bobbing refers to shortening of the bed, not to be confused with dovetailing. That is a different style. But to bob a bed, is to shorten it while for the most part, leaving the wheelbase the same.
Not only did Dan set up DANSJT to conquer any hardcore trail, he also set it up for the potential of taking it overlanding. Motobilt makes a rack system for the JT that you can either put a spare on, like on DANSJT, a 43in Mickey Thompson Baja Pro XS or use the rack system for a rooftop tent.
Dan definitely thought out the bobbed bed when he used the JT for R&D for Motobilt. The bed can be used whether you have the gas 3.6l engine or the diesel 3.0l engine. All you have to do is move some filler neck pieces to make it work. Everything else stays in the same location, even the def tank for the diesel engine.
Make sure you check out DANSJT if you see it out in the wild. You will not be disappointed.