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Thank you for your input.

I think I will eventually get the Chief recovery points too. The mounting appears to be straight forward while the oem just doesnt seem to be compatible with the frame bracket that goes with the WK2 front lower guard.

No overland at this time for me (yet), but I am make small incremental upgrades and do little wheeling excursions, within 3-4 hours of the house. I just did the barker pass/blackwood canyon trail loop joins up with the rubicon trail/west lake tahoe area. That was fun and satisfying. Man I am proud of my GC. The trail up barker pass was steep and rocky (jagged) and at one point thought of turning it around, but then I just went for it, found the right lines, and came out of it with very minor trail damage (bent engine mount bracket 52124643AB) and scuffed the chin of the lower front guard. This was about $27 damage and the cost of a sprits of matt black rustoleum paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #102
@jfinca - Glad you are learning your vehicle! You are probably able to experience some great views in that area!
Also don't forget to about the Jeep Badge of Honor program while you are out exploring trails. If you are doing one of the jeep trails you might as well get collect a badge for it! They may have some low to moderate level trails in your area...

https://www.jeep.com/badge-of-honor.html

We only have one official one in Texas. :-(

Anyway have fun, stay safe and most importantly remember to take time to enjoy the journey!
 

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I have been following this thread since the beginning and glad to see you are keeping up with it. Thank you for spreading the love and your experiences.

I just completed a 2,700 mile, 9 day, overlanding, camping type trek across Texas (I am in Katy, TX), through NM and in the Colorado mountains. I did this all in a lifted JKU soft top. I doubt I will do that ever again, hahaha. I found that I could induce plenty of pucker well before nearing the capability of the JKU and didn't "need" such an off-road dedicated rig for the trip at the sacrifice of the road manners...which pretty much suck above 65 mph.

I will be taking my WK2 from now on for overlanding. I ordered the full set of Mopar skid plates, a 1.75" leveling kit, added 31" Michelin AT2's, and a Chief recovery point. I almost picked up the Chief lower front guard and sump plate like you but here is my question, if you don't mind.

My JKU got terrible fuel economy to the point of making it a prohibitive factor for a long trip. My WK2 will get 24-26 highway mpg, even with the AT tires (pre-leveling kit so not sure if that will change). On my JKU, when I removed the front, lower air dam, it cost me a good 1-2 mpg due to the wind and that could now get underneath the Wrangler and the resultant pressure change. When you removed the front fascia, did you notice a significant loss in mpg or wind drag?

I ask because I have a 3k mile trip planned this October and 1-2 mpg could determine the difference if I remove the fascia or not and risk damaging it.

Again, thank you for sharing your adventures.
 

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Discussion Starter #104
@MrClortho - I can only imagine the great scenery you saw on your trip especially in Colorado! You bring up a good point when taking a dedicated off-road rig on an Overland trip where most of the journey takes place over paved highways where sometimes the speed limit is 85MPH. You are probably in the BEST spot to figure out that balance once you complete your WK2 journey in October! I think that would be an interesting post comparing your JKU overland experience against your WK2 Overland experience in October!

Sorry for getting side tracked! Ok so in regards to MPG!

I don't have any mpg data with keeping the front fascia on along with the rock sliders and the various Skid plates. When I did my undercarriage protection modification, I did mostly everything in one weekend which included removing the Front Fascia. However, if I look back on a post that I made on 03-23-2017, 07:52 AM. It looks like I did NOT notice a big change in my MPG. However I a diesel which could play a factor. Just to give you some idea, I have added a Gobi roof rack AND an iKamper roof top tent and I am currently getting about 22MPG on the highway and I recently towed a 4x8 uHaul enclosed cargo trailer (half loaded) from Texas to Louisiana and I averaged about 19MPG according to the trip computer...

I am not sure which trim level your WK2 is BUT if it is a NON-Summit model the front fascia will fit over and cover the Chief lower front guard. I couldn't put the front fascia back on because I have a Summit... :-(

If it's in the budget to get the Chief lower front guard I would because you never know what opportunities might be presented during your 3k mile trip. Also it would be one less thing to worry about possibly damaging on your 3k trip...

Anyway that's my two cents for whatever that is worth... Again I would only do it if it is in the budget to do so... If spending that money would take away or cause stress during your trip then it would not be worth it... If you are concerned with losing 1-2 mpg you could always take less "stuff". :)

But remember at the end of the day, it will be about the experience and the stories you bring back with you... It won't be about the 1-2mpg you saved by keeping the front fascia on... :)

Again just my two cents...

MrClortho please consider posting about your October journey. I am sure myself and others would learn something from that thread!!!

Anyway I hope this helps!
 

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I'll add my experience with the lower guard with ACC.
I have been running the lower guard with no lower fascia in all conditions and am really happy to report that I have not seen any diminished MPG! I am even wondering if it has improved things by +0.5 MPGs. This really surprised me after I took a job assignment that was all highway miles. I was seeing MPGs at the vehicles rated specs, breaking 26.0 MPGs at one point on a 1-hour drive. However since it was not a controlled environment, who knows if I had a tail wind or even a slight down hill influencing the readings.

I also will report that my Duratracs, in combined driving, took a hit at 1-2 MPGs less, however, on the highway these tires had negligible affect on MPGs. This is in contrast another post where I reported 1-2 MPGs across the board. So to be clear, the all terrains has no affect on highway MPGs but only showed lower MPGs in combined driving from what I was experience before I put the Duratracs on. I am mentioning this now, because I was leery about MPGs prior to the lower guard installation.

Driving with cruise control/ACC definitely nets the best MPGs.
 

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Agree with the above. I've got the chief lower guard + sump cover installed and fascia removed -- no noticeable MPG decrease or increase in wind noise.

Last weekend i installed a gobi stealth rack and nitto ridge grapplers (dropped down to 18" rims from the oem 20's) -- with those two additions, i'm seeing about a 1.5 MPG decrease. (mostly due to the tires it seems like). I had a different rack system on before, so already had the drag. I have the hemi.
 

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I will DEFINITELY be using this thread when it comes to the skids and other potential upgrades for mine.
 

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MrClortho please consider posting about your October journey. I am sure myself and others would learn something from that thread!!!

Anyway I hope this helps!
Well, the trip did not go as planned. The WK2 left me walking about 150 miles in. When the tow truck driver arrived, he said, "Oh, yeah, I pick up these Grand Cherokees all the time, maybe more than any other vehicle." I thought, 'thanks a lot buddy'.

I ended up borrowing my father's Ram 4x4 and had a grand adventure through Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado stretching about 2,500 miles while the WK2 was being repaired.

I don't want to hijack your thread, but what has followed has been a string of issues and problems that have deflated my confidence in my WK2. Sigh, I suppose there is a valid reason why most rigs I met in the back country, in the mountains, and in places where a rig has to be dependable were from Toyota. I did not see a single WK2 in the bush.

Sorry for the rant...but I truly wish you the best of luck sir.
 

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I just read through this whole thread as I'm starting modifications on my WK2, geared towards overlanding and have found this very helpful. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #110
@Rokbyter - Great! I am glad this was helpful! If you do decide to post your build or journey please send me a message so that I can subscribe to the thread!
 

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Well, the trip did not go as planned. The WK2 left me walking about 150 miles in. When the tow truck driver arrived, he said, "Oh, yeah, I pick up these Grand Cherokees all the time, maybe more than any other vehicle." I thought, 'thanks a lot buddy'.

I ended up borrowing my father's Ram 4x4 and had a grand adventure through Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado stretching about 2,500 miles while the WK2 was being repaired.

I don't want to hijack your thread, but what has followed has been a string of issues and problems that have deflated my confidence in my WK2. Sigh, I suppose there is a valid reason why most rigs I met in the back country, in the mountains, and in places where a rig has to be dependable were from Toyota. I did not see a single WK2 in the bush.

Sorry for the rant...but I truly wish you the best of luck sir.
If you don't mind my asking, what broke?
 

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Discussion Starter #112
@MrClortho - Yes please tell us what was the cause of the break down...
I just got back from an Overland trip to New Mexico towing an Overland trailer, I recently built. ( https://youtu.be/sTWE-Rw6zfo ). I haven't done a write up regarding the trip...
The only major issue I had was a tire puncture near Dallas on the way to the New Mexico meetup location...

So yes @MrClortho please let us know what was the cause of the break down and what did you do to get the help that you needed (Possible thread for you)... Which brings up a good point that Jake from New Mexico Backroads spoke to the group about during a driver's meeting. He said when you are out Overlanding always have the means to hike out especially if you are by yourself...
 

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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! :)
Yikes! That stuff is expensive
 

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Hello guys: I’ve been off the forums for awhile. Since a number of you are running Chief products, I thought I’d reply.

I have my lower facial off running a Chief lower guard unit, and in looking at my exposed bumper crossbar, it seems like a lightbar would fit nicely there. So I ordered a 20” Rigid driving beam this week. I’ve been hemming and hawing between using a curved bar, which I think would LOOK better, but the two choices of Rigid in curved is the hyper spot, which is less than ideal beam pattern for me, or the Radiance Curved, which is a spot/flood combo, but the output of that bar is 25% of the E series (the Radiance line is their budget line).

I’ve also committed to doing Rigid DOT approved duallly fog lights, which I have on my 2012 JKUR. I’m going to need to do some custom Dremel work to get them into the stock fog location, which I am not excited about.

I also bought a set of flush mounted RIGID SR-M lights for reverse lights, which I will mount in the bumper above the exhaust pipes, using user 2180Miles write up on how to do that. He did a great job with those.

Lastly, I am going to use a www.switchpros.com setup for the switches, and will mount it vertically in the spot to the right of the factory headlight switches. Since I am wiring the fogs directly to the oem fog wiring (using a relay of course), I will only be using 2 of the 8 switches, but the fact that the switch pros power unit does not need a fuse box or relays, it will be a lot cleaner and easier for me. I will create a thread to document it all, since it doesn’t appear anyone has used a switchpros in a GC that I can find.

I will have the reverse lights and the light bar linked to the reverse lights and high beams, respectively. I have to use a funky relay wiring job to use the logic of the fog lights turning off to trigger the high beams to turn my light bar on in auto mode. That module will also let me turn them on manually, and it also gives me the choice of having them switched with the battery or ignition. That switch pros unit would have save me 40+ hours wiring my Wrangler had it existed back in 2012; if you haven’t checked it out, you should.

I will create a new thread when I start it all. I’m excited to add all of the lighting to my 2014 Overland Diesel, which I bought new and plan on keeping for awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #116
@bobholthaus - When you start your thread can you send me a link? A light bar is on my mod list but I haven't really sat down to hash out the strategy. The one thing mine will have are is a set of amber lights. My last overland trip in New Mexico was pretty dusty and having a set of amber lights would probably cut through the dust a little better so that the group leader can see me in his rear view as well as on coming traffic... Anyway send me a link to your post and I will subscribe to it...
 

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New here to this thread, and thank you for the motivation. I currently have the same base 2014 JGC overland with the diesel, and basically want to turn it into my overland/daily driver rig. How much added weight have all these mods and armor brought to your rig? Do you feel like its taxed the air ride suspension at all? That's been the biggest hindrance to me getting started on my JGC.

I love the air ride on road but would love an extra inch or two of normal ride height and still have full range of articulation for off road purposes.
 

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@bobholthaus - When you start your thread can you send me a link? A light bar is on my mod list but I haven't really sat down to hash out the strategy. The one thing mine will have are is a set of amber lights. My last overland trip in New Mexico was pretty dusty and having a set of amber lights would probably cut through the dust a little better so that the group leader can see me in his rear view as well as on coming traffic... Anyway send me a link to your post and I will subscribe to it...
I was planning ahead for when I order my Gobi rack and was looking around at pics of light setups on various WK2s and saw a few people remove the wind deflector and mount a bar or pods upside down on the light mounting points. They said the wind noise wasn't too terrible since the light bar still acted like a deflector. I've been thinking of going this route since I plan to order mine without the riser section like you did.

Just some food for thought as an option to check out.
 

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Discussion Starter #119
@Crittertowne - I am going to refer you to another thread that I started regarding a trailer build.

Link: https://jeepgarage.org/f156/custom-built-overland-trailer-for-wk2-193570.html

There will be a topic in that thread that will deal with weight. I am currently putting together a spreadsheet in an effort to list the approximate weights of each item I have put on my WK2... So you may want to subscribe to that thread...
 

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Discussion Starter #120
@dugger_8 - That is the route I am going towards a well! Now I just need to find lighting system and configuration to go with. Which ever solution I choose, it will have a section of Amber that can be turned on separate from the rest of the system. Also when you place your rack order you might want to see if they will pre-drill the wiring holes or prewire for you...
 
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