Hello All. New member here. I bought a 2014 Grand Cherokee Summit in April 2013, about the time they began trickling into the dealer. This is my 4th Grand Cherokee and 6th Jeep brand vehicle (other two were wranglers). I am looking forward to adding some things to my Jeep that will enable it to safely have a little fun and capability off-road. I grew up with 4x4s, but in the traditional sense…meaning we really needed them. My grandparents had (still have) a cattle ranch. Four wheeling to my cousins and me meant a serious trouble if we got caught doing it on my granddad’s pastures with his trucks.
Here is my Jeep:
What I would like is to bring my Summit to a level that I can take it to a Jeep Jamboree without getting laughed at. Not just looking good, but actually accomplishing the task. I know there is a big debate between JK and WK owners. Frankly, I do not care. I have had both. I love the JKs, but just do not work for me at this phase in my life. And, this is by far my favorite vehicle I have ever had!! I am in the car a lot, on the phone a lot during and visiting clients, and I pull a heavy boat. So, I have exactly what I want. I just want to actually learn in an environment that seems to be a pretty good way to get started in learning how to tackle the great trails we have in this country. Anyone actually do these Jeep Jamborees? Think it is worth it? Another method?
After reading so many threads on here, I would not have bought the Summit had I known the full perils I face as I go forward to bring the Jeep to a trail Jeep (not rock crawler). I would have bought the Overland model instead. I have had it for over a year, busy with my office and finally getting time now. I distinctly remember the dealer telling me when I bought it, “yes sir…you can definitely make this thing trail-rated with off the shelf parts from mopar.” I honestly do not even remember what options I got on the Summit I could not have added on a special order for an Overland.
So, below is list of things I am thinking and would love input, direction and thoughts. I am one of these guys that do a lot of research ask for a lot of input. Then I make a decision, order all at one time and then just dive in for however long it takes over several days. It’s often times the only way it works to align with my office as well. So, here is what I am thinking and would love thoughts, good, critical or bad.
Bumpers: ARB Bull Bar or Rocky Road pre-runner and winch mount inside the bumper? Figure the ARB bumper is the easiest most efficient way to go since this is the only method that does not have me cutting on the existing bumper and just seems like a more efficient install all around. Only thing that bothers me about the ARB Bull Bar is weight and is it going to look too clunky in person. I like the pictures and would paint body color.
Skids: Probably choose Mopar skids underneath. Are the RRO skids really better? I know there are two mopar plates that are unacceptable. I am thinking I could go mopar for the real steel and then use RRO for the other two. If I studied correctly, they are the same thickness and same steel grade. Depending on the bumper decision, I will go with the pre-runner from RRO (I like this one). ARB bumper and bash plate from Chief or RRO. I saw a build on another Jeep forum called an artic build I really liked using a bumper cut out in the middle at the bottom and the pre-runner plate on. It looked great in pictures. Just never certain of the difference in person. I am pretty good with fiberglass, so I could fashion something I think if this was the route for the sides and to “reconnect” what is left of the sides of the lower shroud.
Rock Guards: Definitely doing the Rock Guards/Sliders by Mopar. Like the look and have good reviews. I have read they are not exact because of the wheel arch on a summit but it is only noticeable to the owner. What I have seen on some other members Summit’s looks great to me.
Winch: what fits with bumper choice. Probably choose a warn. It is the brand I grew up with, but I am open.
Front Tow Hooks: Mopar Wheels/Tires: I really do not care to change my wheels, but may change my mind. Definitely want to go with bigger tires. They must be able to fit with the QL suspension and I need to be prepared to deal with rub (meaning making it not happen; rub will not be acceptable). I read all through that tire and wheel thread think I know the route.
CB Radio: Needed for trails and just easy and safe way of communicating.
Other stuff: I figure I need all the stuff above first and then I can add other goodies above or if adding something here while something else is torn down… Will be looking into lights, onboard air, roof rack (later down the road) and like anyone else just useful stuff that makes sense. I think that makes sense. To de-chrome or not? I like my chrome, but I also like the menacing look GCs get without it. Anyway….I really admire a lot of the work people have done, and I would love feedback and suggestions. I am truly all ears and looking for advice to follow. I take advice and criticism well so fire away.