A serious Jeep Question

Harb
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A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Harb » April 22nd, 2014, 9:27 pm

Well I am asking this sincerely, and it is not a dig at Jeeps.

My brother in law has a new latest model all bells and whistles Grand Cherokee..........man it has everything

Its all the standard heights and things....no mods at all....right out of the factory other than bull bar , lights etc.

Now for the serious question.......

Would you take this into the desert as is.......right across the guts of the simmo etc etc.....remember AS IS is the question.

Have any of you done it ?

He has plenty of wheeling experience, but I wonder about the vehicle......ground clearance etc...

Aaron Schubert
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Aaron Schubert » April 22nd, 2014, 9:45 pm

Unfortunately most newer 4WD's are designed to be great on road, and this comes at a compromise for those who want serious off road ability straight out of the box.

I've seen these new Cherokee's, and wouldn't take them off road

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Harb
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Harb » April 22nd, 2014, 9:55 pm

Yeah, its sad really.

He definitely doesn't want to go rock crawling, but I am really curious to know if anyone has done it.

They def have some great traction aids, but clearance is the problem.....but then a lot of newer 4x4's make the trek.......not sure how successful the go though

Rogers Cruiser
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Rogers Cruiser » April 22nd, 2014, 9:59 pm

Did it come with roadside assist included? :)
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Harb
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Harb » April 23rd, 2014, 12:06 am

Rogers Cruiser wrote:Did it come with roadside assist included? :)
I told him it would be a HeliLift, so count on about 10k..........either that or bug 200m of rope because thats about as far in as it would make it lol........he didn't find it funny at all lol.

all jokes aside, to me it is just a big soft roader, but I said I would come on here and be corrected........
I was kind of hopping to find out a dozen blokes have done it so he could come along.....he is a great bloke and good to have around.
I might have to fire up one of my other trucks and lend it to him.......he really does love his jeep though

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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Mungrel » April 23rd, 2014, 9:06 am

Me personally, hell no. Not even close to having enough clearance.
Traction control won't help when the front bar is being used as a shovel..

Nice cars though, just not built for anything more than an unsealed road - out of the box anyways.
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Peter Aawen » April 23rd, 2014, 1:08 pm

Now I haven't taken one of these things off road, so bear that in mind, but I did manage to score some 'closed track test driving' in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee range a short while back; and Harb, while everything you say about the great traction aids is true, so is your comment about clearance! Given that the driving we did was on a 'specially prepared' track that supposedly was meant to highlight the 'off road' capabilities of these things, it was a bit surprising & disappointing to me to find that while they were a very well spec'd vehicle that could potentially be quite capable off the bitumen, they were pretty limited in what they could do because of the compromises (altho I'm not sure that's the right word/meaning?? I'll hafta think about it) they'd made to enhance their city & on road driving! Even with their stated 205-270 odd mm of ground clearance under the Quadra Lift (Off Road II), the risk of panel & underbody damage on anything not bitumen felt fairly significant, and after the first grinding touch I made on a fairly innocuous ramp over challenge (deliberately chose the wrong line... much to the salesman's disgust!), it certainly inhibited the way I drove them after that & the challenges/hazards that I was even prepared to tackle, let alone think seriously that they'd make it thru safely without ripping something off!! Not that the vehicles really wouldn't do it, and bearing in mind that they should be pretty capable going by their specs & all the bells & whistles they have that are intended to get them thru rough stuff, but even with the air suspension the bodywork/underpinnings felt pretty limiting! Oh, and you've gotta take the air dam off if you don't want to convert that into a fairly expensive track hazard!! And who thought those bloody low profile tyres on large dia rims would help anywhere but on the boulevard?! :crazy:

The push to make these things more attractive to the 'discerning buyer' who wants a vehicle that works around town and handles/behaves as well as their last sedan/sports car did on the road has meant that they really ARE more of a 'town car' just with more expensive traction capabilities in the driveline and in the way of bells & whistles type traction control/off road assistance... and btw, they are also available in a 2WD version in what is pretty much exactly the same vehicle just minus the front diff, air suspension, & those bells & whistle traction aids!!

Sooo, IMO, if it's not yours &/or you don't care about how much it's going to cost to fix the damage anything more than a good hi traction unsealed road will probably do to it, OR if you are prepared to spend a fair whack of money on modding it to suit Aust 'off (bitumen) road' conditions, (& btw, those mods would pretty much need to significantly exceed the legal rules/limits these days...) it could/should be quite capable off road; but straight out of the box, sadly, if I was responsible for the potential repair bill, then I simply wouldn't be taking one of them very far off the bitumen at all! And I wouldn't want to be responsible for making sure one made it thru the Simpson Desert without damage, no matter how good the driver was.... :(

But give me a good Engineer for Modifications and a bucket load of money, I reckon they might be a fantastic luxury tourer for a 2-4 person round Aust trip on the bitumen with some mild 4Wheeling thrown in!! Bloody nice engines too! :D
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by chris_stoffa » April 23rd, 2014, 1:15 pm

Harb wrote: Now for the serious question.......
Surely you can't be serious .......................... ??? :lol:
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Harb
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Harb » April 23rd, 2014, 1:17 pm

Yeah Pete, I agree with what you have said, and to be honest, I came on here to see if my opinion was unfounded......but I didn't hold much hope really.
I would rather give him one of my other trucks to do the trip than drag the Jeep across the desert leaving a trail of parts behind........like many of that class of vehicle they are sold as off roaders, but are not truly capable of going off road for real.
I guess they have their place......but its definitely not in the middle of the simmo.....

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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Harb » April 23rd, 2014, 1:18 pm

chris_stoffa wrote:
Harb wrote: Now for the serious question.......
Surely you can't be serious .......................... ??? :lol:

:D

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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by chris_stoffa » April 23rd, 2014, 1:25 pm

Harb wrote: Now for the serious question......

Surely you can't be serious .......................... ??? :lol:

:D
Appears you were , Roger ....... Over ;)
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stretch4x4
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by stretch4x4 » April 23rd, 2014, 1:42 pm

Don't call him Shirley! (sorry a bit slow)

It certainly wouldn't be my choice to take on the trip but I don't see why it couldn't do it..

According to the specs a Brand new Navara has 228mm of clearance and plenty of them have made it across the deserts ok. (Again probably not my choice but should be perfectly capable..)
Now you said the jeep had all the bells and whistles so I will assume it has Quadra-Lift suspension and not standard steel springs. Supposedly that rides at 205mm normally but lifts to 271mm in offroad mode (I am sure this would have some speed limitations that might need to be checked)
So in theory the jeep has as much clearance as a navara with tyres that are 80mm taller.. or more realistically 40mm taller and a bit of lift..

So if the Quadra-Lift system works as it should and doesn't lower the car at inopportune times I don't think clearance will be an issue.. The extra power available is likely to help fix any dragging that does happen to occur and of all the things that you could drag on I think sand would have to be one of the least damaging materials..

We took our 1hz 80 across the desert on stock suspension with wide 31s. The spare sat at the rear under the sub tank, but it was only designed to be a split rim so the wide spare hung down a lot, combined with the stock springs and a decent load we dragged a lot that trip. If the 1hz could pull us over everything I can't see the jeep having too many issues..

That being said there are many other vehicles I would prefer to take but even if somethings take a few attempts or require a tug to get over or back out of I can't see it being an issue.
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by stretch4x4 » April 23rd, 2014, 1:47 pm

Apparently the new 200 series only has 225mm of clearance.. I know plenty of those have made it.
The power and auto makes them quite nice on the sand, the biggest trick is getting the traction controls working with you and not against you.

Also any chance of getting him to throw some slightly bigger rubber on it for the trip? Gain a few extra mm that you will loose dropping the pressure of the tyres..

Any nearby beaches or dunes you can go have a small test on? :D
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Harb
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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by Harb » April 23rd, 2014, 1:53 pm

G'day stretch....yeah it does have all that up and down stuff.....as he comes and goes it goes up and down like a tourist bus lol......

To be honest, I have only seen it a couple of times in the daylight, so I am not sure how much lift it will do......I think he will be here this arvo, so I might check it out........

and yeah its got plenty of power......Might take it down to our Moto track lol

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Re: A serious Jeep Question

Unread post by stretch4x4 » April 23rd, 2014, 2:10 pm

Cool,

Just did some more reading on it.. looks like it has two offroad levels. The first is 33mm above standard and is recommended for all offroad driving unless you go over 60kph at which point if you stay above that for a while it will lower to stock height.
Same deal for the second level which is 66mm above stock with a speed limit of 40kph or there abouts..
http://www.jeep.com.au/features-a-specs ... erformance
http://www.wk2jeeps.com/wk2_quadralift.htm

Sounds like a fun challenge to me.. If he is aware of the risk of damage and you have at least a couple of cars that can recover it or in a very bad situation maybe tow it then I reckon give it a crack and report back. :D Strap lots of cameras to it for research :thumb:

Oh yeah and don't do this at the moto track:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKQdlXvbWSU
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