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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone!

I decided to do my 1st Overland Tour this year. So in preparation for this adventure, I have started my build in an Overlanding Type of style. Especially since I enjoy hiking and camping. I thought a member on this forum (monarchco) summed up the build I am trying to do very nicely: “This is the rig that helps me explore our country, the outdoors, and ultimately get into areas others can not.” I too am not really interested in rock crawling or mudding. I am mainly interested in modifications and acquiring skill sets that can get me from City Point A to remote outdoor places in Point B and then BACK to City Point A in one piece to tell the story and to share my experiences in order to entice more people to venture out and explore the outdoors!

So with all of that said, I am planning to do my very first overlanding journey on May 7th, 2017 with an overlanding touring company called New Mexico Backroads which will be led by Jake Quinones. At the end of this overlanding backroads journey, we will end up in Flagstaff, AZ for the Overland Expo which begins May 12th. So this 5 day journey will hopefully be a great way of introducing this newbie into this new world of overlanding…

In order for me to be able to come back and tell the story to you guys, I have started on this Overlanding Style of build.

I know there are many ways to accomplish this type of build but here is the way “Student4Life” is approaching it so don’t flame me too bad! LOL!

The 1st thing I needed to do was to get proper undercarriage protection. So I decided to go with the following parts:

1) Chief Products (www.chiefproducts.com.au )
a. WK2 Lower Front + ACC Guard (Part # N/A)
b. WK2 Sump Protection Plate (Part # N/A)
c. WK2 Transmission Protection Plate (Part # N/A)
d. WK2 Rear Bumper Guard (In design phase)
[Side Note: I really like how Chief Products are designed compared to products from other third party companies. ]​

2) Mopar Skid Plates ( www.mopar.com )
a. Transfer Case Skid Plate (Part # 82211994AB)
b. Front Axle Skid Plate (Part # 82211995)
c. Fuel Tank Skid Plates (Part # 82211999)
d. ordered from SteveWhiteParts.com
3) Shield Product (www.shieldproductions.com )
a. WK2 Full Harness & Def Injector Skid Plate for EcoDiesel Jeep Models (Part # WK2A4-FD)​

4) Uneek Rock Rail Sliders ( www.uneek4x4.com.au )
a. WK2 Rock Sliders (Part # WK2-S-ASM0)​

So everything on the above list I was able to get EXCEPT for Chief’s Transmission Protection Plate which is currently out of stock and Chief’s Rear Bumper Guard which is currently still in the design phase.

The attached photo loosely shows how all the parts are laid out… What you don’t see are the Uneek Rock Rails which have already been installed prior to me taking this photo as well as for Chief’s Transmission Protection Plate which is currently out of stock. :(

Another thing that was really helpful to this newbie was Chief’s Undercarriage Protection Diagram on their website! It helped me visualize what I needed and what areas certain parts protected.

So like the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And this is my single step! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So on Friday, March 17th I finally finished installing the skid plates from Chief Products and Mopar. Due to social obligations I wasn’t able to install the Def Shield until Wednesday, March 22nd. So from Saturday, March 18th to Sunday, March 19th, I tested my installation of the Chief and Mopar skid plates. Everything worked great! There were no rattles or new funny noises. The only thing was the jeep felt a little heavier. My Fuel economy pretty much stayed the same with the added weight since I have a diesel. The hardest part of the install was the removing the Lower Fascia from the front bumper. Because I have Summit, I am finding that Summit owners will have a more challenging time and will have to be more creative when making modifications due to certain decisions the designers at Jeep made. Anyway that is whole other rant! LOL!

I was a little worried about the bumper flapping and the frabric wheel well liner getting damaged at highway speeds because of how much of the Lower Fascia was removed on the Summit BUT based on my highway test there was no issue with this. It looks like the Chief's Lower Guard does a good job of wind deflection and keeping the Wheel Well liner in place. I also installed Chief's Tow hooks as well. The build quality of the Chief Products I have used so far is REALLY GOOD!!! Hopefully Chief’s Transmission Protection Plate will be in stock before my trip...

So on Wednesday, March 22nd I installed the WK2 Full Harness & Def Injector Skid Plate from Shield Products. Unfortunately, six of the screws that came with the plate were too short to screw into the u-clips for the pinch weld holes. So a quick run to the hardware store fixed that problem. When installing this skid plate some of the photos with diagrams are somewhat difficult to see if you are a person who has problems with small print. So a recommendation to the manufacturer would be to revisit the format of the instruction document and make it easier to read the diagrams when the instructions are printed out.

After installing the WK2 Full Harness & Def Injector Skid Plate, I noticed the following issues:
1) I started hearing the sound of the diesel engine a lot louder.
2) I could hear rattling underneath where the skid plate was installed.

I think Issue #1 may be due to the plate reflecting the engine nose back into the Jeep’s cabin because there are no open slots like there are in Dom’s Def plate. Again it’s just a theory…

Issue #2 maybe fixed by using 3M double sided tape between the Shield and chassis as suggested by the instructions at the very end as a side note… I wish this step was included in the main install steps because now I have through the trouble and remove the shield. The other thing I noticed was the shield was slightly touching the exhaust pipe so I wonder if I will have to grind down the areas where the shield makes contact with pipes in order to help stop the rattling noise…

Hopefully this weekend I will have time to work on the Def shield in order to fix the rattling noises. Not sure what I will do about the louder diesel engine noise… :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
On another note…

Some of the other items that I will be using for this trip are:
1) Second Battery: Ark Pak – The purpose of this is to have a second battery for jump starting purposes as well to power some of my electronics. (https://www.arkportablepower.com/pages/about-the-arkpak )
a. Battery in the Ark Pak: Exide XMC-31 (Exide MegaCycle® AGM Marine / RV Batteries )

2) Tire Carrier: Wilco HitchGate Solo – The purpose of this is so I can carry a 2nd spare tire. (https://www.wilcooffroad.com/shop/hitchgate-solo/ )


The hard shell roof top tent (SkyCamp) that I ordered off of Kickstarter will not be ready for my trip will not be shipped until the middle of May 2017 which will be too late for my trip so I am going to have to come up with a plan B…

Hard shell roof top tent: SkyCamp (https://www.kickstarter.com/project...top-tent-for-travelers-on?ref=profile_created )
 

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This whole time I thought you had an overland or limited GC, but turns out you have a summit California edition. Surprised me.
 

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Yes, the Summit is going to present more challenges for this build because it isn't marketed for more "overland" type modifications. Whereas the other trim levels have easily removable front fascia, the Summit does not, as you have found out. It's the same JGC underneath, however... ;)
 

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Yes, the Summit is going to present more challenges for this build because it isn't marketed for more "overland" type modifications. Whereas the other trim levels have easily removable front fascia, the Summit does not, as you have found out. It's the same JGC underneath, however... ;)
I'm looking at the picture again, looks like the side skirts were removed and replaced with metal side steps. Makes me wonder, why do this to a summit? Un-summiting the summit. Yes, same car underneath but not the same price. Unless the car is financed and owes more than the car is worth, then I guess he might be "stuck" with it, if not I would def. sell it and repurchase another GC like an overland or limited and do all this to and possibly have some cash left over.
 

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I kinda agree with you, text. A loaded Overland or Limited would be a better base for this kind of build, but the OP may have his/her own reasons for starting with the Summit.
 

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i want to see this. i have the high-altitude which is marketed as an overland,... but then they make it look like a summit..

does your summit have the quadralift?
 

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Subscribed! I too will be building a rig similar towards the later part of this year.

I do already have some what could be called "overlanding" in my life (8-10 day multi-state off-road trips and such) and if there is anything you need other than first aid an water, is two spare tires, a good quality star tool or tire iron and a jack (not the factory junk). Sometimes folks think I am a bit paranoid about this however, I have had my share of tire issues. These were all good condition, all-terrain tires.

2013: Cut a tire sidewall on Hancock Pass, Colorado, about 15 miles or more from pavement. Put on the spare but could not find that size in the town nearby and it would take days to get, could not wait, so drove all the way back to Texas with no spare.

2016: Cut a tire above Bonanza, Colorado (destroyed it) a good 10-15 rough miles from pavement. Put on the spare and got back to town only to have a 2nd flat by then...had to replace one and get the tire store to fix the other...1 day delay.

2017: Cut a tire in Big Bend National Park, 2 hours from pavement (but was able to plug this one and it held).

For me, it is two spares for sure. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@text - Not that it matters for this topic but Nope not stuck... Back in 2015 at the time I was searching for used 2014/2015 Diesel WK2 in Texas and there was none to be found. Apparently used diesel WK2s were pretty hard to come by back then however I lucked up and a used 2015 WK2 popped up at a great price with all the options I was looking for so I decided to take the deal. Now the modifications I am making and the WAY that I have made them so far allow me a way to easily revert back to the stock look of a Summit if and when I decide to sale. For example, the side skirts were not merely ripped off they were removed in such a way that I can bolt them back on once I remove the Uneek rock rails... Since about 90% of the year I am not camping with the WK2 but doing events with my social coordinators, I have to figure out ways that will allow me to reconfigure the WK2 for date night activities, day trip activities and then onto my camping activities... For example, the tire carrier is removable, the second battery is removable, the fridge is removable, etc... Agreed a loaded Diesel Overland or Diesel Limited would be a better choice for installing modifications for doing overlanding activities than a loaded Diesel Summit however there were no used ones during my purchase window. Now if I was doing it all over again a Used Trail hawk would be the way to go! BUT I am sure I would have a hard time finding a slightly Used Diesel Trail hawk with all the trimmings… With all that said, my journey continues! :) I will also try to give some reasons on why I selected certain modifications over others in order to help other people who may be thinking about doing an overland journey in a WK2 as well… Again as I have said in the beginning, there are many ways to do what I am doing, this is how Student4Life is approaching it. :) If you have a different way that you are doing your Overland journey please start a new thread and share it us! Or reply with an Overland experience you have had in your WK2 and how you prepared or NOT prepared for it… LOL! I am always interested in learning from others who take the time to put together information to share with others! A special thanks goes out to JMessick82 for sharing his build as well as to others who have posted their builds on this form!
 

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You are welcome Student4Life! I love what you are doing with your build. I hope that some of my choices and/or mistakes help you with your decisions. I wish all the Chief Products stuff was available when I started my build because I like the front-end stuff you are doing better than mine. I also stupidly leased mine, so I don't want to make changes now when I only have 9 months left on my lease, lol. In my defense, I had no idea I would want to do all this stuff when I leased it.

I might try to make it down to the Overland expo also. If I do, we'll have to meet up and have a beer or something. Good luck on the build!
 

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i want to see this. i have the high-altitude which is marketed as an overland,... but then they make it look like a summit..

does your summit have the quadralift?
All 4x4 Summits have QL standard.
 

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All 4x4 Summits have QL standard.
Hey Jim, do you happen to know if you can/will be able to order a Trailhawk without the QL. From what I read, it looks like they all come with it. I am thinking about getting a Trailhawk for my next JGC when my lease is up and I want to get it without the QL this time so I might be able to use the 4" lift that JBA Offroad is supposed to be coming out with...
 

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Hey Jim, do you happen to know if you can/will be able to order a Trailhawk without the QL. From what I read, it looks like they all come with it. I am thinking about getting a Trailhawk for my next JGC when my lease is up and I want to get it without the QL this time so I might be able to use the 4" lift that JBA Offroad is supposed to be coming out with...
QL is standard on the TrailHawk...and it supposedly has some "articulation" improvements for that trim. And no, you cannot order it without. If you want a JGC with standard springs, you'll have to base things on the Laredo E or or the Limited without the ORA-II package.
 
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Student4Life: do you mind taking a few pics of your front end from like 20-30' away, From a couple of angles, so that we can see what it looks like for everyday use? Your rig looks awesome.
 

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All in, what do you think you've spent on your mods? I looked at the Uneek site today. Very cool stuff. As I have a white overland diesel, their video was perfect in showing me exactly what my rig could look like if I went all in. I have a wrangler rubicon that I use for fun, but now that they aren't releasing a diesel for 2017 (or so it seems), when my lease is up in August, I am likely going to buy my 2014 and may do some mods to it as well. It's my daily driver. I already have 20" BFG KO2 on it, but I'd like to maybe do some more to it like you are doing. Thanks again.
 
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