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Man I love this build and I'm honestly jealous of how often you get out and use your Jeep for it's real purpose.

Any plans for rock rails? Seems as though if any JGC could use them its yours.
 

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Altitude
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Silly question, but does the edge trim come off fairly easy? Like if you pull it off, not it falling off. Just curious because I'd like to be able to put the lower fascia back on (wife's rule, I'd keep it off personally lol). I assume yes since it's not stuck on by an adhesive but was just curious. That lower guard is in my future but I'm currently waiting on the Chief rock rails, sucks they were delayed but at least I have something to do over Thanksgiving now. :D
 

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2015 JGC Limited
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22 Posts
I'm jealous about your Chief Products. I've got the 2 inch lift, red tow hooks, skid plates, wheel spacers and AT tires so I'm good to go for a little while. Really want the chief front guard and hidden winch also. Your WK2 is looking pretty awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #145
OverlandExpo 2018

The Trailhawk is fully packed and we're on our way down to Asheville for OverlandExpo East! We left Boston this morning and made it 440 miles southwest to Harrisburg, PA where we're staying with family. Weather was horrific, torrential ran all the way out I-90, down I-84, over New York's Tappan Zee Bridge, down the New Jersey Turnpike,

We'll arrive Friday morning at OverlandExpo 2018, and will be camping until Sunday. If any of you are going to be there and either A) want to say hey in person or B) want to check out the WK2 in real life, please feel free to e-mail me - [email protected] - and we can meet up! Really looking forward to the event, vendors, and other overland folks.

Thanks again to all of you who voted for my winter overlanding photo in the February photo contest.



OverlandExpo Bound by 2180miles
 

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Glad you made it through the rough stuff. Cant wait to afford a rooftop tent. Already mapped out cool places to visit. Wish I could be there. Post pics if you can. JeepGrandCherokee(WK2) Facebook page good place to post as well. Hint hint!??
 

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I would greatly appreciate that whenever you have the time.
Really sorry for the delay. I was trying to log into my Amazon Affiliate page so I could hyperlink you that way (it reimburses me a small amount for your purchase which helps me keep the website running) but theres an issue with the log-in for some reason. Alas, here's the list with regular links:

1) Alloy USA 1.5" Spacers

2) Open-ended lug nuts (for the factory lugs)

3) Lug nuts for the AlloyUSA lugs (or steal them from your JK friend's spares!)

4) Socket adapter (OEM lug wrench to new lugs)
Hey man, it seems like the second link is for the wrong product.
 

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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee TH Hemi
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Thank you for such a great thread documenting your modifications. With respect to the Falken tires, no issues with the increase in size? Rubbing, etc.? If you did not have the spacers, do you think they would rub?

Thanks,
Chris
 

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Thank you for such a great thread documenting your modifications. With respect to the Falken tires, no issues with the increase in size? Rubbing, etc.? If you did not have the spacers, do you think they would rub?

Thanks,
Chris
i got the same tires mounted a week or so back. no spacers...yet. i've not encountered any rubbing on the road or mild offroad.
 

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Discussion Starter #151 (Edited)
Hey man, it seems like the second link is for the wrong product.
Thanks for pointing that out. I'll see if I can find the correct product and update the link.


Edit: Try these... 14x1.5 open ended lugs

Thank you for such a great thread documenting your modifications. With respect to the Falken tires, no issues with the increase in size? Rubbing, etc.? If you did not have the spacers, do you think they would rub?

Thanks,
Chris
Hey Chris! Thanks for the kind words, glad it's helpful. I've had no real issue with them, with the exception that at very low speeds with tight turns left or right, the tread lugs grab the front fascia clips along the inner wheel well. Other than that, they've been fantastic.

i got the same tires mounted a week or so back. no spacers...yet. i've not encountered any rubbing on the road or mild offroad.
This is fantastic info... SO MANY PEOPLE ask me this question if I think it'd rub or not without spacers and I'm like.... hopefully not?! Haha. Glad to hear they're doing well for you.
 

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2015 Overland w/ 3.0 Eco
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Hey,
Build looks good. sent you a message with some additional questions when you get a chance.
Thanks.
 

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Next up... recovery points for the rear end of the rig.

After scouring the internet I recognized a name from the ExpoOverland guys front bumpers - Factor 55. A product by the name of "Hitchlink" caught my eye as the perfect solution to my needs for a rear recovery point. A block of aluminum weighing in at just under 2 pounds and rated to 9,500lbs , this thing is a beast. Their website depicts the ultimate failure point at 51,000 pounds... a point by which the trailer hitch and frame would have been yanked out from underneath the WK2. With a multitude of color options I rolled the dice for the dark grey to match Halley, and was quite pleased to find that it did. I bought some powder coated red 3/4" shackles to add a nice accent to the back of the Hitchlink, keeping with the grey/red theme of the entire vehicle. A few minutes on Amazon found me a locking hitch pin, since I've now got nearly $120 into my rear recovery point... not something I'm ready to have stolen off the back end of the Jee

Pictures, cause that's what people care about... :)


Hitchlink Street View by 2180miles
Does the Factor 55 hitch mount rattle much inside the receiver while normal driving? Also, I seen some stick rubber washers on the shackle did you find the need too?
 

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Do you have to take off the bumper if just installing the lower guard without a winch? Will the OEM hooks work with just the lower guard?
 

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Discussion Starter #157
Does the Factor 55 hitch mount rattle much inside the receiver while normal driving? Also, I seen some stick rubber washers on the shackle did you find the need too?
I added some rubber (think of a cut-up bicycle tire) around it to alleviate any shake. It's silent these days! No isolator rubber on the shackle either. All in all a great and quiet set up.

Do you have to take off the bumper if just installing the lower guard without a winch? Will the OEM hooks work with just the lower guard?
I think it's a LOT easier if you do, given some of the fitment closeness to remove the entire bumper, but I'm sure if you had nimble hands you could make it work. And the OEM hooks do work with the lower guard, it's only if you have the Hidden Winch AND the Lower Guard that the Chief Recovery Points are required.
 

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Discussion Starter #158
It was brought to my attention on another forum that I never posted about the tire carrier, so here we go!

Wilco Hitchgate Solo

The Wilco Hitchgate came to my attention almost two years ago now when I began to research building a Trailhawk into a capable overland vehicle. Since at the time almost no information existed about really overhauling a WK2, I found myself with a ton of dead ends, and compiling information from different truck/SUV builds for future reference. Coming from the world of a Wrangler where there were a billion and a half aftermarket accessories, one of the most impressive non-vehicle specific parts I found was the Wilco Hitchgate, a trailer-hitch mounted spare tire carrier for ANY vehicle.

I booked-marked their website and kept it in the back of my mind as my Trailhawk build progressed. Once it came time to install a second battery in the trunk space, I knew that the spare tire was in need of a new (and more accessible) place to live. Revisiting Wilco’s online store and pricing out the needed add-ons, I finalized my order and eagerly awaited delivery day. One of the most impressive things about Wilco is that they are a proudly owned and operated American company, with all of their customer service, sales, and welding being done out of a southern California warehouse.


Wilco Hitchgate Solo Arm
by 2180miles


Made In USA
by 2180miles


The production time took a little longer than I expected, and ultimately arrived just days before we left for a week-long overland trip through northern Maine’s remote Allagash Wilderness. For reference, I placed the order on May 12thand it was delivered on July 5th…. They make an exceptional product but the wait-time can be somewhat substantial, especially in the world of Amazon Prime where we all expect things in two days time, ha! Needless to say it was without a doubt worth the wait. The welds are gorgeous, the powder coating robust, and the product itself worthy of the acclaim it receives.

Of the three Hitchgate Solo models available (Standard, High-Clearance, and XL) I specifically chose the high-clearance version. From what I’ve seen on social media I’m in the minority with this decision, but it was made deliberately in order to not block my recessed Rigid SRM reverse lights in the rear bumper. After having friends take measurement of their WK2s I was able to roughly guesstimate that the top of the main bracket’s steel boxing would line up with the lip of the rear bumper where the tailgate opens… good news – as you can see in the photos, it’s a PERFECT fit.


Hitchgate Solo Lower Arm
by 2180miles


Proprietary Wiggle-Free Bolt
by 2180miles


Swing Arm Installed
by 2180miles

The Hitchgate Solo is comprised of two main pieces, a lower arm that fits into the trailer hitch receiver and a tire-carrying-swing-arm with an impressive bushing for the lower arm mounting. Inserting the lower arm into the receiver, a socket set and extension arm allow you to tighten down their proprietary WedgeLock system, responsible for keeping the whole assembly tight when you’re cruising down the highway or crawling over some tricky terrain.

Greasing the supplied hardware and fitting the swing-arm bushing into the lower arm’s bracket, I tightened down the bolt and lock-nut to an appropriate tension to allow a “just right” amount of tension when swinging the tire carrier open. Mounting the add-on RotoPax fuel carrier bracket and license plate bracket, I took my time and was done with the install in about 45 minutes… a pretty quick project with a great return on investment!



Installed and Mounted
by 2180miles


Rear View - No Jerry Can
by 2180miles


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Long Term Review:

After a year and nearly 10,000 miles with the Hitchgate Solo fully loaded – 32” spare tire set-up, 3 gallons of fuel in a Rotopax, and a steel HiLift jack, the Wilco unit has performed phenomenally. Even on the worst washboard roads, even with standing on the cantilevered end of the swing-arm, even with using the main brace to help load the roof-top tent, the Wilco has without a doubt been worth every single penny I spent on it. Having a spare tire on the rear end of the vehicle not only makes it look infinitely more bad-ass, but also is one of the most practical moves any overlander can make. Easy access to the spare tire, especially when compared to digging it out of the trunk space when we’re fully loaded, makes a world of a difference when stuff hits the fan and you’re left needing to swap in a spare deep in the backcountry.



Wilco Hitchgate Solo - Loaded Up
by 2180miles
 

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Discussion Starter #160
Hey @2180miles,

How about a one year review of those Faulken tires?
Already done my friend, posted on the blog :) - https://www.2180miles.com/vehicle-build/wildpeak (text below)

ONE YEAR REVIEW:

It’s been almost a year since I teamed up with Falken and installed the Wildpeak AT3Ws on the Trailhawk. The 265/65 size looks aggressive and feels great underneath her, and they’ve handled everything I’ve thrown at them. With a thousand miles traveled off pavement last summer, a road trip to OverlandExpo East, and weeks of this winter spent up in New Hampshire’s snow-covered White Mountains, time and time again they’ve proved the worthiness of their accolades and the three-peak mountain snowflake rating. If you're in the market for a phenomenal All Terrain tire for your overland rig or daily driver, be sure to give these guys a look before defaulting to the options that the legacy tire manufacturers like B.F.G and Goodyear offer.
 
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