Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus. - Jeep Garage - Jeep Forum

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Old 09-25-2015, 11:47 AM
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Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

Hi All, Iím new to this forum, but not to the jeep brand.

I first purchased, well technically, leased a 2014 JGC Limited Ecodiesel and enjoyed it a lot, until the DEF issues started. Long story short, I just got it lemon-ed a week ago and the dealer made me a deal I couldnít resist on a 2015 Summit Ecodiesel.

I love the new car, BUT I should have done a little more research on it prior to buying it, as it seems that the summit is more of a mall crawler than a rock one.

I already ordered the OEM Skid plates and tow hooks that come with the Off Road 2 package on the Overland and Limited, so that should complete that package.

What I am concerned with is the front bumper. The summit does not seem to have the (easily) removable front air dam, like the Limited and Overland, and even if you do remove it, the bumper is shaped in such a way that there is more material left hanging low in front of the wheel corners, which tends to be one of the spots to catch first on the trail.

I am trying to weigh my options. Obviously it is blasphemy to start cutting on a $$$+ car thatís a week old, but in my mind, I bought the jeep to be able to go out on the trails, and Iíd rather prepare it for it, than damage more if I take it out there as is.

That said, my first idea was to get a front bumper from a 2015 Overland. This should bolt right up. The only issue I see is the front parking sensors not being plug and play?

Am I Over simplifying things?

I would love to hear your input.

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Old 09-25-2015, 12:08 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

You will lose the front park sensors unless you are able to get a European or Austrailian Overland Bumper or drill holes, Mopar sells a kit for this, at least for the rear bumper that might work on the front bumper. The Overland has different fenders than the Summit so to change your front bumper to an Overland bumper you would also have to get new fender flares (there are 6 paintable fender flares for the Overland), new side sills, and a complete rear bumper and fascia as well. It will be costly.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:33 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

Well, that sure throws a wrench in my plans...

I guess I'll try to get the air dam off sometime soon, to see what I have to work with.

I am definitely not going to change the fender flares, as I really want to concentrate my efforts on the front bumper, and not escalate it to the rear too.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:03 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

Unfortunately its not as easy as just slapping on Overland bumpers. The Summit has the molded fender flares like the SRT which go up onto the fenders and follow down into different side skirts as well. So besides the bumpers (and front bumper sensor issues), you would need to remove the molded fender flares and purchase the Overland/Limited/Laredo style ones, then have them painted, purchase new lower side skirts and have those painted, then continue to the rear fender flares and into rear bumper. It would be a lot of work and money IMO. It certainly can be done, but do you really want to start hacking up a brand new Summit just to go drive on some trails? Not sure how long you keep vehicles, but then comes the day to sell or trade in and no one will want to touch it because what has been done to it.
I personally feel the Summit is everything the Overland is and then some and has all the capability as well. Just add the hooks and plates and call it a day.
I would rather damage the bumpers and have to replace those one day than go through all the work and money to turn it into an Overland.
All just my opinion so take it for what its worth, but hopefully I gave you some more things to think about.

Also, FWIW, I have had my front and rear bumpers off on my Summit, and with the front and rear lower sections removed you get a LOT of clearance. I think if you removed those you will get all the clearance you need. Especially in one of the higher offroad settings.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:45 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

This is the first time I post on a forum that the suggestions end up costing me less than I thought I was going to spend, haha!

Thanks for the tips and pointers.

I'll just install the plates and while I have to take the bumper off for the tow hooks, I'll see what the clearance is. You are probably right that it'll be plenty.

I have also been eying the Chief Lower Front Guard (WK2 Lower Front Guard | Chief Products) so once that becomes available through their US distributor, that will help with keeping things in one piece as well.

I may even leave the front facia off with that installed, you know, to preserve it for the resale value
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:09 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

Yea, as mentioned, changing the "bumper" requires redoing the entire fascia, etc. Not generally financially practical. That said, you're not going to gain a huge advantage (a little, but...) and even the other trim levels are not designed for "serious crawling", as it were...
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:03 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

I suppose I could get these: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Bushwacker

Since I have a black car, that would be a pretty cheap option.

But for now, I'll put the issue to rest until I scrape off the bumper
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:50 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonbmx View Post
I suppose I could get these: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Bushwacker

Since I have a black car, that would be a pretty cheap option.

But for now, I'll put the issue to rest until I scrape off the bumper
The Summit drive system and suspension are the same as an ORAII overland, the only difference is tow hooks ,18s and skid plates. skid plates are an option on summit now for $295 or you can add them after for around $400 if you do it yourself. The hooks are around $140 but do require cutting two holes for them. For the front approach the air dam does come off but not as easy as the overland and not something id want to take off every weekend. Taking it off does leave the QL compressor and the center sensor exposed which are two high priced parts, washer tank is there but not much cost on that one if it breaks. one of the pictures at the link below you can see where these exposed parts are.
Rather than changing bumpers which folks above have pointed out would get into a lot, an idea would be to look at making the existing air dam come off and on a little easier maybe eliminating or modifying some of the tabs and clips. Also coming up with something to protect the QL compressor and center sensor once it is off.

But as some others have pointed out this is not a heavy duty rock crawler so doing a few lower cost mods without getting too deep into it maybe your best bet. These are the items I did that were fairly easy and low cost and the jeep does all I want it to
-Added skid plates
-Added tow hooks
-kept the 20s put better tires on. (Michelin Defender LTX M/S now comes in the 265/50R20 stock size, this a is a good compromise tire, good on road manners, ok on snow and ok off road) there are of course better purpose built tires but for an all around tire to leave on year round and hit a few mild-moderate trails this one is good.

2014 Summit Front Tow Hooks
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:54 PM
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Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

Maybe take it out on the trails and test it before you make these ridiculous changes. And if this new Summit is also a lease, this is even more ridiculous.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:23 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

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Originally Posted by overlanding View Post
Maybe take it out on the trails and test it before you make these ridiculous changes. And if this new Summit is also a lease, this is even more ridiculous.
Haha, I hear ya! This one is actually going to be mine, hence the motivation to modify it.
The limited I had was a little modified, and I'd like this one to get at least to that level.

I saved the wheels from the previous one, Mopar off road with LT275/65R18 Duratracs, so those will go on this weekend.

I just finished putting DOM42's DEF Protector plate back on, so hopefully the DEF sensor will play nice from now on.

As soon as the skid plates are in and on, I'll take her out for a spin and then re-evaluate.

Just to give an idea of what I would (eventually) like to be able do with the car:
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:15 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

Wow that's pretty cool

The summit definitely is a mall queen so this should be interested to see what yours turns into.
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:04 PM
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Re: Converting the Summit to an Overland Plus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leonbmx View Post
I suppose I could get these: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Bushwacker

Since I have a black car, that would be a pretty cheap option.

But for now, I'll put the issue to rest until I scrape off the bumper
You may be about as likely to damage the front from parking next to those !#@!@#$ parking berms, then hit the park/exit button, and then backing out after you've parked.
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