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First real off-road trail in WK2-18. It’s a 4x4 in the Sterling trim with no off-road modifications. Just stock.

On my way back from Charlotte to Raleigh, decided to try the Uwharrie National Park OHV trails, the only public off-road trails in this area. Ranging from Easy to Moderate to Difficult to Very Difficult. I accessed the Falls Dam trail (TR96). You can see the overview here http://www.trailsoffroad.com/trails/1505-falls-dam-tr96-nc
Even though TrailsOffRoad.com calls it Easy, the park lists it as Moderate and it is definitely that for a stock JGC. I almost made it through but stopped at the “rocky hill” towards the northern end of the trail because I was traveling solo and really didn’t want to risk a punctured gas tank. The rocks were very slick with wet, red mud from trail traffic and my All Season tires were not up to it. Made it 75% of the way through the entire trail though!!! I was getting looks from all kinds of people in their highly modified Wranglers, Muddin’ Trucks, and CanAms because this damn thing is a beast. Not an easy trail for stock but with careful tire placement and just taking your time, I could negotiate most of it. I imagine a TrailHawk would’ve made it.
Some highlights:
1. Coming back down with the hill descent control was awesome. Selecting your upper most speed really allows a lot of control when gravity is trying to pull you down.
2. The Rock setting with 4WL and manually controlling the gear gives some incredible traction even on slippery rocks with crap tires.
3. While I “scraped” several times with a couple of winces...I checked underneath and there isn’t even a scratch or dent noticeable. Even the crappy plastic skid plates held up surprisingly well.
Before going back, I would add a 2” lift, all terrain tires, and steel skids with rock sliders. That would tackle this course easily. And go with a buddy!!!

I tried posting pictures but can’t for some reason. I posted some on the TrailsOffRoad.com site with my review of the trail.
 

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Nice video Mike12279, looks like a lot of fun.

I was wondering if anyone here has ever done the White Rim Trail near Moab in the Canyonlands? I'm thinking about trying it, but was hoping for any feedback from anyone who has done it? any in Grand Cherokees? https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/white-rim-trail?ref=header
I've done it. Its an amazing trail. I did it last year, I think in my 17 Trailhawk. I'd say go for it. Just make sure you have all your permits in order, the rangers do patrol and check your paperwork.
 

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I think I'm posting in the right thread, if not, my apologies, please direct me to the right spot.

I just finished installing the following aftermarket off road stuff to my 2018 WK2 Trailhawk:

1. Chief Products Hidden Winch Mount.
2. Chief Products Lower Front Guard.
3. Chief Products Sump Protection Plate (Bash Plate).
4. Chief Products Recovery Points (Replaced OEM Tow Hooks).
5. Warn Zeon 10S Winch.

Did the installation myself. Took me a lot long than I anticipated as I ran into some road blocks during install but a few phone calls to Australia got me set straight. All in all I'm very happy with the appearance, but I still have some work to do with regards to accessing the winch itself.

The Warn Zeon 10S is not wireless and therefore requires the turning of a handle to engage/disengage the clutch; and also requires the connection of a wired handset to the mount itself. Both of these are impossible to do on the 2018 WK2 as there is simply no room for one to stick their hand behind the upper grill to get to the handle or control pack connector. I could clock the winch to get the handle to face the bottom through the hole in the winch cradle, but that still leaves me with the problem of getting to the control pack connector. Warn makes an extention kit for this, but I'm going to see if I can simply modify one of the upper grill inserts to either push in or pull out for ease of access. I saw a video on Youtube of a guy who did it to his WK2 (I think in Russia) and it looks pretty simple.

I kind of wish I spend the extra money and bought the Zeon Platinum winch as it is completely wireless I would not have had to worry about turning a handle or connecting a wired handset controller (User 2180 Miles did this and has a great write-up on here about it).

Second problem to solve is the front license plate issue. I live in California and therefore am required to display a front plate. Will need to get a flip up/down type bracket that mounts in front of the Hawse fairlead. This should be pretty simple.

I'll upload more pics once final project is done.
 

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I think I'm posting in the right thread, if not, my apologies, please direct me to the right spot.

I just finished installing the following aftermarket off road stuff to my 2018 WK2 Trailhawk:

1. Chief Products Hidden Winch Mount.
2. Chief Products Lower Front Guard.
3. Chief Products Sump Protection Plate (Bash Plate).
4. Chief Products Recovery Points (Replaced OEM Tow Hooks).
5. Warn Zeon 10S Winch.

Did the installation myself. Took me a lot long than I anticipated as I ran into some road blocks during install but a few phone calls to Australia got me set straight. All in all I'm very happy with the appearance, but I still have some work to do with regards to accessing the winch itself.
Thanks for posting this... I'm planning my build now and will be using several of the same parts. Approximately how long to install the lower front guard and winch mount?
 

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The entire project took me about 14 hours. That includes taking apart and removing OEM parts and assembling after market parts. The hardest part was getting the winch cradle installed. The instructions can get a bit confusing because the sequence of assembly will change depending on what you are installing together (IE: winch mount and lower front guard with recovery hooks, vs. winch mount and keeping OEM tow hooks). Also, the instructions may not incorporate changes made by Jeep subsequent to the publishing of the instructions. I learned this the hard way after finally getting the winch cradle installed only to realize there was not enough room behind the cradle to install the radiator support struts per the instructions. So I had to loosen everything I already tightened to get the struts in place. Not a show stopper but I lost a couple of hours of time on that in terms of trying to understand why it wasn't working, waiting for Australia to wake up before I could call, and then the back tracking on the tightening. I also had a snafu with the instructions for the sump plate that cost me time. In both instances Bill from Chief Products was great at troubleshooting the issues with me as soon as I called.

The lower front guard installs pretty easily. The trick to making everything assemble with little resistance is to keep everything loose, and I mean LOOSE, until you've got it all assembled, then follow the tightening sequence in the instructions. Seriously, this was the biggest challenge in getting the winch cradle mounting bolts to line up correctly, you need good amount of play to manipulate the parts once they are mounted and if your over tighten even a little, it may cause you problems.

Just came back from a 300 mile round trip to Reno. The truck rides different. Not sure if it's because of the additional weight on the front end or if mounting the new parts has changed the aerodynamics. Pretty sure it's the weight. The winch by itself is 75lbs. Then add the weight of the cradle, lower guard, protection plate and 2 recovery hooks and its about 110lbs in aftermarket weight, or 184 pounds total (Parts and Winch). Subtract about 20lbs for removal of the OEM bumper and tow hooks and the front of the truck is about 165 lbs heavier. I feel it when braking and I feel like the steering is a little looser but might just be me.
 

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The entire project took me about 14 hours. That includes taking apart and removing OEM parts and assembling after market parts. The hardest part was getting the winch cradle installed. The instructions can get a bit confusing because the sequence of assembly will change depending on what you are installing together (IE: winch mount and lower front guard with recovery hooks, vs. winch mount and keeping OEM tow hooks). Also, the instructions may not incorporate changes made by Jeep subsequent to the publishing of the instructions. I learned this the hard way after finally getting the winch cradle installed only to realize there was not enough room behind the cradle to install the radiator support struts per the instructions. So I had to loosen everything I already tightened to get the struts in place. Not a show stopper but I lost a couple of hours of time on that in terms of trying to understand why it wasn't working, waiting for Australia to wake up before I could call, and then the back tracking on the tightening. I also had a snafu with the instructions for the sump plate that cost me time. In both instances Bill from Chief Products was great at troubleshooting the issues with me as soon as I called.

The lower front guard installs pretty easily. The trick to making everything assemble with little resistance is to keep everything loose, and I mean LOOSE, until you've got it all assembled, then follow the tightening sequence in the instructions. Seriously, this was the biggest challenge in getting the winch cradle mounting bolts to line up correctly, you need good amount of play to manipulate the parts once they are mounted and if your over tighten even a little, it may cause you problems.

Just came back from a 300 mile round trip to Reno. The truck rides different. Not sure if it's because of the additional weight on the front end or if mounting the new parts has changed the aerodynamics. Pretty sure it's the weight. The winch by itself is 75lbs. Then add the weight of the cradle, lower guard, protection plate and 2 recovery hooks and its about 110lbs in aftermarket weight, or 184 pounds total (Parts and Winch). Subtract about 20lbs for removal of the OEM bumper and tow hooks and the front of the truck is about 165 lbs heavier. I feel it when braking and I feel like the steering is a little looser but might just be me.
This is about what I experienced, I had a little issue with the radiator supports as well way too close to the AC Condenser, so i made a few mods to get it to fit using some hardware I had in the garage.

I don't notice any difference in the ride. Maybe slightly different, but i'm not certain its not just in my head. I had the winch control box of my Smittybilt X20 10 Comp over the motor but the radiator supports were hitting it so I had to rewire the control box which added a bit of time.

It was a lot of work but I like it a lot. I'm not worried about messing up the front end anymore.
 

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T

I don't notice any difference in the ride. Maybe slightly different, but i'm not certain its not just in my head. I had the winch control box of my Smittybilt X20 10 Comp over the motor but the radiator supports were hitting it so I had to rewire the control box which added a bit of time.
I for sure feel a difference in braking; but as far as the steering goes, yep, not sure if there is an actual difference or if it's in my head. I'm wondering if its necessary and/or worth it to upgrade the brakes. Going to do a bit of research on that.
 

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Question for you. It looks like your Smittybuilt X20 Comp has a clutch handle on it. How do you access the winch to turn the handle?
 

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I added some trim around the edge of where the fascia would have gone back to clean it up a little.

I also had a bad rattle after I had installed everything, It was a loose nut/bolt on the Transmission Guard, so thankfully that was pretty much a non issue.

I also installed the Chief Products Rear Tie Down upgrade kit. I basically destroyed the tie downs in my 2017 from trying to keep everything cargo netted down when off road. Won't have that issue anymore.

Here is a pic and I wanted to toss in a pic of the new ARB fridge cover I just got.
 

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I REALLY like that trim solution to clean up the Upper Fascia Edge. Brilliant, looks very sharp. Where did you get the trim from?
 

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I didn't have but a couple hundred miles on my TrailHawk when I put all my Chief Products on. My shipping weight for the skids, rock rails, winch cradle and mount was a little over 300 pounds. My winch (Warn Xeon Platinum 10S) was about another 100 pounds (shipping weight).

I added about 10 pounds per tire with the 275 60R18 Ridge Grapplers.

I can say I stop well, handle very well and am substantially more capable than I was prior to doing the upgrades.

I'm curious, you added aftermarket parts to the front overhang of your luxury SUV. Did you expect it was going to feel and handle like it did from the factory? I'm not being a dick, I'm curious as to what your expectations were. I've added bumpers and winches to all my Jeeps, understanding I was changing the factory engineering and design.

My Trailhawk was listed at 5450 pounds rolling off the assembly line. adding 40 pounds in tires and 300 pounds in accessories along with my 200 pounds is kind of negligible in the big picture, I think.
 

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Question for you. It looks like your Smittybuilt X20 Comp has a clutch handle on it. How do you access the winch to turn the handle?
I can squeeze my hand into there to turn the clutch handle if i need to, but if I'm in a messy situation mud or deep snow whatever I'll just power the winch rope out. I can pretty easily reach up and turn the wireless switch on, or I can plug in the wire for the remote. Its not optimal but for as much as I'm planning on needing it it was the best choice. I would have liked the Warn Zeon Platinum 10-s but just couldn't justify the 1700 or so bucks for it. Also I wasn't a fan of the Warns wireless only. The Smittybilt has a wired backup in case the wireless system fails.

Even the Warn has a switch to turn on the wireless power on the back of the control box so i'm not sure how easy that would be to turn on or off.
 

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I didn't have but a couple hundred miles on

I'm curious, you added aftermarket parts to the front overhang of your luxury SUV. Did you expect it was going to feel and handle like it did from the factory? I'm not being a dick, I'm curious as to what your expectations were. I've added bumpers and winches to all my Jeeps, understanding I was changing the factory engineering and design.
Good question. As this is the first time I've ever installed a winch, and I've never owned a vehicle with a winch, I don't know what my expectations were other than to install my new equipment, drive like I normally do, and use it when I need it. That's about it.

The difference I feel with regard to handling is subtle, and I stated a couple of times, it might be me thinking something changed that hasn't changed. But I take from your comment that you have also experienced difference in ride handling after installing after market parts. Either way, it might require me to change my driving style a little bit, I can live with that knowing the increased capability I'm driving with.

The bigger concern for me is the brakes. Something does not seem right. I feel like the brakes are not as responsive pre-install; and a couple of times now I've smelled a burning odor, which I am associating with hot brakes but I've not confirmed that. I've not had a chance to take a close look but I may just take into the Jeep dealership and have them do a brake inspection.

I agree with you, the weight does not come close to exceeding payload capacity for the Jeep; and it should not be a concern. I've got after market wheels that are heavier than the OEM but weight difference about the same as your aftermarket tires. The wheel offset is also difference from factory but no issues with clearance.
 

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Yep, I wanted the Platinum as well but I could not justify the price. I haven't been able to find a way to get my hand in there to reach the clutch handle, but I'll play around some more with it tomorrow.
 

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Yep, I wanted the Platinum as well but I could not justify the price. I haven't been able to find a way to get my hand in there to reach the clutch handle, but I'll play around some more with it tomorrow.
I'm not sure how it would be done but maybe set up a couple of the grill inserts to be removable somehow. Push release clips or some type of magnetic latch? Not sure.
 
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