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  #157  
Old 02-03-2015, 04:26 PM
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Re: My First Trip

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Originally Posted by pinetar View Post
Ah, I see. I thought it looked more like the location of the plastic trans cover, but saw in your other pic that it looked like the front cover, so I assumed it was the same piece.

Anyway, both of those pieces are a joke as far as protecting anything, granted I rather have them there than not, but they won't stand up to any abuse off road. If I were you, I'd replace that plastic trans cover with a real metal one, although Mopar, or anyone in the states as far as I can find online, doesn't offer one for nonsensical reasons.

I'd also say you'll be pretty far from bullet proof with that setup too, as much as I wish it was. The factory skid plates will definitely help out, but as I said, they are lacking with protecting everything that's being jeopardized, ie: both pieces you broke. And the RRO prerunner only protects about when the front sump cover starts at the front of your bumper, so it doesn't really protect or replace that part at all, although it's still better than OEM bumper setup for off road purposes.

I'd say these following setups would be much more bulletproof with the addition of your prerunner, but still not all the protection I'd want if I was really pushing it.


ASFIR skid plate set (Israeli based company)


Chief Products - Lower Front Guard, Front Sump Cover, Transmission Plate + the additional Mopar skids. (Australia based company)

I wish there were more options out there for us, like the WK has/used to have. 4xGuard makes a ton of parts for them, but show very little interest in WK2 platform unfortunately.

Keep us up to date with your mods and adventures though! Best of luck.
I thought the ASFIR stuff was only for the older WK2's (11-13), I will have to look into that more. I was already aware of Chief Products but I didn't know that those plates covered areas that the factory ones don't. Also I have already ordered the RRO pre-runner so I am not sure if the Chief sump protection plate will work with it. I know Chief has a pre-runner planned but it seems like they take a while to put out the products even after they start the development phase. Also they seem a little pricey when you factor in shipping to the states. Once they get done with developing all their products (pre-runner, brushbar and all that I might order from them and replace some of the RRO stuff if they will fit together. I wish I had a metal shop where I could just create my own :-/

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  #158  
Old 02-03-2015, 05:53 PM
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Re: My First Trip

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Originally Posted by JMessick82 View Post
I thought the ASFIR stuff was only for the older WK2's (11-13), I will have to look into that more. I was already aware of Chief Products but I didn't know that those plates covered areas that the factory ones don't. Also I have already ordered the RRO pre-runner so I am not sure if the Chief sump protection plate will work with it. I know Chief has a pre-runner planned but it seems like they take a while to put out the products even after they start the development phase. Also they seem a little pricey when you factor in shipping to the states. Once they get done with developing all their products (pre-runner, brushbar and all that I might order from them and replace some of the RRO stuff if they will fit together. I wish I had a metal shop where I could just create my own :-/
I've never seen any parts for the '11 - '13 models that won't work for the '14 - current ones too. They all share the same WK2 platform and only certain parts don't fit that were upgraded from the refresh...ie: exterior trim. So I'm pretty sure the ASFIR parts would fit just fine.

Aside from them fitting, I've been investigating into their company a bit and saw that their site wasn't showing prices anymore and you can't purchase anything. They have contact info for an ASFIR store located in Arizona, but when I called, a woman just answered "Hello???". After questioning her, along with the awesome phone greeting, I was left pretty uncertain and unexcited about the company service. They seem to be quite lost and could care less. But most manufacturers that make anything for the WK2 share the same enthusiasm from my exerience, including Jeep themselves.

I'm also not sure about how the RRO pieces will fit together with Chief Products parts if you were to try and combine the two, but I don't see them creating much interference if any at all that couldn't be solved with some minor trimming. But who knows until someone tries.

Chief Products does take their time with manufacturing/testing, but I think you have to realize they are a fairly small group who've taken it upon themselves to make parts they needed that weren't available and they have to test them themselves. So the timeline can be a bit stretched compared to when ARB makes parts, as I'm sure their overhead is a bit more substantial in many ways. Chief P. seems like they're making great parts regardless and I'm just grateful to see someone out their getting after it. The lack of any aftermarket parts for our Jeeps is staggering compared to previous models. So they're doing their best and the circumstances have to be taken into account.
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  #159  
Old 02-03-2015, 06:17 PM
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Re: My First Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetar View Post
I've never seen any parts for the '11 - '13 models that won't work for the '14 - current ones too. They all share the same WK2 platform and only certain parts don't fit that were upgraded from the refresh...ie: exterior trim. So I'm pretty sure the ASFIR parts would fit just fine.

Aside from them fitting, I've been investigating into their company a bit and saw that their site wasn't showing prices anymore and you can't purchase anything. They have contact info for an ASFIR store located in Arizona, but when I called, a woman just answered "Hello???". After questioning her, along with the awesome phone greeting, I was left pretty uncertain and unexcited about the company service. They seem to be quite lost and could care less. But most manufacturers that make anything for the WK2 share the same enthusiasm from my exerience, including Jeep themselves.

I'm also not sure about how the RRO pieces will fit together with Chief Products parts if you were to try and combine the two, but I don't see them creating much interference if any at all that couldn't be solved with some minor trimming. But who knows until someone tries.

Chief Products does take their time with manufacturing/testing, but I think you have to realize they are a fairly small group who've taken it upon themselves to make parts they needed that weren't available and they have to test them themselves. So the timeline can be a bit stretched compared to when ARB makes parts, as I'm sure their overhead is a bit more substantial in many ways. Chief P. seems like they're making great parts regardless and I'm just grateful to see someone out their getting after it. The lack of any aftermarket parts for our Jeeps is staggering compared to previous models. So they're doing their best and the circumstances have to be taken into account.

I agree with you on Chief, it is awesome that they are actually making what we need. I just get a little impatient sometimes ;-) I do understand/appreciate that they are taking the time to make sure their product is good and from what I have seen, not having actually physically inspected any, their parts look to be high quality. I had read somewhere on the threads that they were planning/hoping to have a warehouse or something here in SoCal sometime soon and that would be awesome!
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  #160  
Old 02-03-2015, 07:37 PM
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Re: My First Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMessick82 View Post
I agree with you on Chief, it is awesome that they are actually making what we need. I just get a little impatient sometimes ;-) I do understand/appreciate that they are taking the time to make sure their product is good and from what I have seen, not having actually physically inspected any, their parts look to be high quality. I had read somewhere on the threads that they were planning/hoping to have a warehouse or something here in SoCal sometime soon and that would be awesome!
Indeed. I just spoke with Bill of Chief Products last week and he said, "As you may know, we’re also planning to open a warehouse and manufacturing in the USA, but it won’t be ready until Q3 2015."

Great news to be honest. I just don't know if I'll be able to wait even that long.
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  #161  
Old 02-03-2015, 07:56 PM
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Re: My First Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetar View Post
Indeed. I just spoke with Bill of Chief Products last week and he said, "As you may know, we’re also planning to open a warehouse and manufacturing in the USA, but it won’t be ready until Q3 2015."

Great news to be honest. I just don't know if I'll be able to wait even that long.
Oh, I was hoping for sooner but that just means I can throw on the RRO stuff for now and then replace it with the Chief stuff in Q3 and then it will be like getting a refresh on my JGC. ;-)
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  #162  
Old 02-06-2015, 01:43 AM
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Re: Trail Run Plans/Reports

So I called and spoke with Bill the other day and ordered the sump and transmission plates. They have already shipped but from what I understand, it may take a couple months for them to make the long voyage over here. In the meantime, my factory plates should be arriving tomorrow. I will be installing them Saturday and I have already installed the DEF plate that someone on here created. With all that installed I plan on making a trip up to Big Bear this weekend with my Dad (and the 85' CJ he just bought) and my nephew (and the 04' Wrangler he just bought). It should be a fun trip of trying out our new toys! I will post pics when I get back!
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  #163  
Old 02-06-2015, 08:27 PM
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Re: Trail Run Plans/Reports

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMessick82 View Post
So I called and spoke with Bill the other day and ordered the sump and transmission plates. They have already shipped but from what I understand, it may take a couple months for them to make the long voyage over here. In the meantime, my factory plates should be arriving tomorrow. I will be installing them Saturday and I have already installed the DEF plate that someone on here created. With all that installed I plan on making a trip up to Big Bear this weekend with my Dad (and the 85' CJ he just bought) and my nephew (and the 04' Wrangler he just bought). It should be a fun trip of trying out our new toys! I will post pics when I get back!
Damn, a couple of months?! That's a little brutal, but I guess it is halfway across the globe.

Glad to hear you got those parts though. You'll probably be one the first few in the U.S. to be running them on your Jeep.

Have fun on your trip though and definitely take some pics for us to see! Safe journeys.

-
*Also apologize for sidetracking this thread a bit. Now, back on with the Trail Reports, everyone!
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  #164  
Old 02-11-2015, 07:50 PM
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Re: Trail Run Plans/Reports

So instead of going to Big Bear last weekend, my dad, my nephew and I went up the backside of Idyllwild via The Bee Canyon Trail. It was rated a 2 in the guide book my dad has but it seemed more like a 3 or 4 to me. The adventure went smooth with one exception...my dad lost a bolt for the master brake cylinder (I think) on his 85' CJ7 while going through a paticularly bumpy section of the trail. We had some spare bolts but nothing long enough so we had to McGyver it with a screwdriver and some electrical tape (to keep it from sliding out). The way we found out he had an issue was as follows...I was leading and my portable CB wasn't working very well, I heard a little noise that sounded almost like whining, I was just beginning to wonder if something was up with the Quadra-lift system when I realize it is my dad's horn. So I stop and get out and as he is pulling up he is telling me my nephew stopped to take a picture and we should wait...well he only gets halfway through telling me when he yells "MOVE YOUR CAR". It took a half-second for me to realize what he was saying so I jump in my car, throw it in drive and drive few feet forward. Finally he stops in a rut right where my car had been a few seconds earlier and tells me that he has no brakes. Sorry for the long story but it was a pretty scary few seconds when I thought my brand new car was about to be slammed into. Anyway we fixed it and the rest of the trail went smoothly. I was really impressed by my Jeep and the way it handled this trail! Sorry I didn't take any pictures but my dad took a bunch of video footage via his GoPro. I have posted the video from when he was following me.
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  #165  
Old 05-07-2015, 02:29 PM
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Re: Trail Run Plans/Reports

I had a great time last weekend on the 2015 Ghost Town Excursion trip and thought I'd share a bit of the adventure and how the WK2 did.

Here's a quick little description of the 2 day event:

The Ghost Town Excursion is a fun off-roading adventure to explore some of the old ghost towns outside Carson City, Nevada. The focus of this trip is for owners of pre-runner and off road vehicles of all types to make new friends and get their rigs dirty. Family and friends are welcome to attends as this is meant to be a social group, not just a run for the boys. As with all off road trips these are a meant to be a community activity as we all know something can always happen on the trail and supporting each other is key.

First off, I wasn't quite sure what kind of "pre-runner and off road vehicles" to expect going on the trip along with me and how difficult the terrain would get, but relied upon the director's word that I would have no problem in my Jeep.

I should have looked a little harder at the event page and realized it was arranged by the Raptor Offroad Community and most of the people there had tricked out Ford Raptors. I was one of maybe 2 other guys with a different SUV at similar ride heights who were most often left in the dust when the Raptors let loose on the dirt. I was the only Jeep Grand Cherokee present and I was referred to as "Hey, Jeep..." the whole trip. But I at least had my new Cooper ST Maxx tires on, which turned out to be the most important upgrade I made before the trip and really made a difference.

The trails mainly consisted of fast dirt roads that would quickly lead into rocky washboard type situations and back out to a fast dirt road again, which the Raptors absolutely thrived on. The WK2 on the other hand, didn't fair quite as well as they did obviously. I was still able to get moving up to 60+ MPH on some of the roads, as we all followed each other in a long caravan to each ghost town destination. Similar independent front suspensions between the Raptor and the WK2 showed how well they handle bumps at higher speeds, but the Raptors were just flat out dominating the trails like it was the Baja Rally. One of the Raptors actually was a full on rally team modified rig, complete with matching sponsored out headsets and full on pre-runner mods. It was insane looking and performing! Sad I didn't get a photo of it though.

We had our entire trail plan marked up on our GPS for everyone to have in case they were separated from the group (which happened to us of course), of which a few checkpoints were marked as "JUMP" and I didn't realize exactly what that meant until we reached them. They were legit jumps that I cruised over gingerly and the Raptors flew over, probably 30 feet in some situations I witnessed. Badass to say the least!

As I said, the most important upgrade I had for the trails were the new Cooper ST Maxx tires and they aired down beautifully to make the dirt roads much more manageable and comfortable. I was extremely impressed with how well they did on the whole trip. What I was severely lacking though, was an on-board/portable air compressor to air back up when we hit the gravel roads in between the trails and an off road lighting system so I could be more easily seen through the dirt clouds as we all moved along. Not only do my tinted taillights make me harder to see, but the WK2 collects so much dirt debris on the back end while driving, my lights were basically rendered useless on the trail and I really hated that.

Time to look into some changes and more upgrades to the Jeep before the next event I guess!

All in all, it was a blast and really cool to get out there with other drivers, even if they were a bunch of Raptors.

I'll tell you what though, I wouldn't mind having one of those machines (it's a Ford, I know ) after seeing what they did last weekend. So many dirt drifts handled with ease....so many aftermarket parts...soo fast...sounds so good... ughh

Here are some pics I got along the way with my phone and a video I took testing out my new drone following the WK2 on part of the trip:



*The photo showing the precariously tilted Raptor was almost a big rollover down a hill as we were on our way to the Golden Gate Mine. The driver was hauling ass up this blind hill on the trail and came over it with way too much speed and thankfully didn't roll. His rear driver's side tire caught on a boulder and kept it from flipping, but it proved to be a big recovery after he had to change tires because he basically split that wheel in half as he collided with the rock. No other major damage we could see, but I'm sure he found more when he got home to inspect. The photo of the blue Wrangler and the FJ were the winch assistance for the recovery.
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  #166  
Old 06-01-2015, 10:28 AM
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Re: Trail Run Plans/Reports

Hey guys,
Just wanted some advice on want i need and if I can even go off-roading with my 2002 stock wrangler.
Any suggestions would be great thanks


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Old 06-19-2015, 03:21 PM
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Re: Trail Run Plans/Reports

Trail guide, DeLorme map of the state you're playing in, friends to show you the ropes, good tires.


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  #168  
Old 09-24-2015, 01:11 PM
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Re: Trail Run Plans/Reports

Im heading out to West coast soon, going to stop at Death Valley. Has anyone taken their Grand cherokee on the Steele Pass or Lippincott trails? Any thoughts on these trails? I have done some trails in Death Valley before but that was in lifted WK with rock rails
I have not had a chance to add rockrails so Im wondering if it's just a mistake to event hink about these trials.
I do have an Overland with QL & larger Duratrac tires 275/65/18.
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