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'22 & '14 JGC; '09 Subaru Forester; RIP '05 Subaru Legacy STIEVO
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
  • Never got stuck (stock tires)
  • Never short of power (V6)
  • Never got beached due to insufficient suspension travel (OR-2 setting, air suspension)
  • Travel on 95% of the same path that the Wranglers took (I took the detour, did not go over the big boulders)
  • Drew praises from the Wrangler crowd: "You got what you paid for" - pointing at my Trail Rated Badge. "The system worked very well. When a rear wheel would spin, they would be clamped and the car would jump, the other wheel would move you forward".
  • I've forded creeks, climbed boulders, climbed 45% slopes, almost rolled the car over (but I wasn't the only one). I also had trouble with my long wheel base though.
  • I did scratch the car - it is a black car so if you spit on it it leaves a scratch. But none of the scratches are deep, nothing to show white, nothing to be repainted. I will have to have it buffed though.
At the end of the day, I am proud of the car. It did beyond my expectations. I felt safe and I felt the car could take the abuse. I resented the branches scratching my car and some of the deep ruts but I knew I had to try it once. Get it out of the system. I do admit it was scary at some point. My wife kept saying "I want out I want out" and I kept singing along...

I do not think this kind of fun is really up to me with a Grand Cherokee of 45,000. With a Wrangler ...sure. Different platform, different abuse. I do not want to make this car into my Subaru hobby where I upgraded the Legacy GT with differentials and turbos... Nor do I want to spend the equivalent money in repainting the car once a year and fixing body damage either.

The guys of the Fox River Jeep Club were great, I was honored to hang out with them and I thank them for the help, the guidance on the trail. I am sure I will hang out with them again...but next time I will be far more selective in what I do NOT want to do to my car.


2013-Sep-07
Badlands, Attica, Indiana

Fox River Jeep Club (of Illinois)
 

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'22 & '14 JGC; '09 Subaru Forester; RIP '05 Subaru Legacy STIEVO
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I have to wait for pictures from the others...

I want to spare a thought for the hill ascent and descent control systems: INVALUABLE. I used it often (downhill). The uphill is automatically enabled.

and yeah the active cruise control worked with that much mud covering the sensor.
 

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2018 Jeep Trackhawk
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wow...brave man and great pics!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Well that's cause y'all have Garage Queens.

You bought your cars for your wives and for shopping mall curb mounting. My wife came along and enjoyed most of the run and did not mind the scratches on HER car. She said she is proud of the battle marks. I will cut through her bull* and will restore her car to a shining greatness as much as possible (short of painting) so she can proudly park it next to the poorly abandoned shopping mall carts spot, where they can start moving when the wind blows. Most of the dirty traces did not translate into scratches. I just got quoted 100$ to visibly remove most of those scratches. I'll check tomorrow with the body shop that I keep on a retainer and get a second quote.

What is the purpose of having all that off-road technology if you are not going to use it and/or enjoy it? From now on I will only resume my off-road adventures to barren places like Colorado / Wyoming and high altitude mountainous/desert terrains where scratching is unlikely. If there was anything I resented - were the branches scratching the car. But as I said, I had to try it to validate my purchase. So as far as I am concerned, the Grand Cherokee can walk the talk. It is not a car for this kind of exercise but it will do fine.

So...I do not advise anyone to try this WITHOUT skid plates. I also advise anyone even remotely thinking of taking the car off road (like what I did - not off road meaning a gravel road) to go ahead and buy the ORA-II package because the air suspension and the extra ground clearance made the difference. Or buy a lift kit and skid plates. The ground clearance as is (normal ride height) would not be enough and you would hit the bottom A LOT.
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I know a bunch of Subaru guys who have garage queens and dyno queens. Man, I love those dyno queens in particular, fantastic numbers...428 wheel horsepower, 397 wheel lb-ft...Comes time for autocross or some small drag race light to light - by the time their turbos spool, I am long gone.
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I guess I can keep adding. I played with the Select Terrain system and definitely can tell the difference between settings. I ran it in OR-2 height, 4WD Low, but if you switch between Rock and Sand, the car would lower. In the end, I left it in AUTO.

The car really jumps, when crawling up rocks, you can feel the system working. And yes, I would hear the wheels spinning at time, just briefly. Whatever algorithm it's using, it is pretty good. There is a video online of a 2011-2013 Grand Cherokee with QT-2 crawling up some slope and it is presented in comparison with Quadra Drive from a WK. I would like to say that my Jeep (I was the driver not an outside observer) was smother than that. Probably the enhanced computer power and the new transmission helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Great pics and all I can say is you got some brass.

I wonder how I can walk so naturally sometimes...:eek:

Further proof that I did drive it in relatively deep, muddy water. I wanna say the deepest it was ... door height in OR2, as there was mud on the inside of the door step - but not inside the cabin. Good seals.

Anyways, (+) disconnected, took the hose to the engine bay. So wet now that...I am hoping for HOT weather tomorrow, to dry it up. The 93 deg. F weather tomorrow should help :))
 

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LOL! Well said amigo. Keep on Keeping on.


Well that's cause y'all have Garage Queens.

You bought your cars for your wives and for shopping mall curb mounting. My wife came along and enjoyed most of the run and did not mind the scratches on HER car. She said she is proud of the battle marks. I will cut through her bull* and will restore her car to a shining greatness as much as possible (short of painting) so she can proudly park it next to the poorly abandoned shopping mall carts spot, where they can start moving when the wind blows. Most of the dirty traces did not translate into scratches. I just got quoted 100$ to visibly remove most of those scratches. I'll check tomorrow with the body shop that I keep on a retainer and get a second quote.

What is the purpose of having all that off-road technology if you are not going to use it and/or enjoy it? From now on I will only resume my off-road adventures to barren places like Colorado / Wyoming and high altitude mountainous/desert terrains where scratching is unlikely. If there was anything I resented - were the branches scratching the car. But as I said, I had to try it to validate my purchase. So as far as I am concerned, the Grand Cherokee can walk the talk. It is not a car for this kind of exercise but it will do fine.

So...I do not advise anyone to try this WITHOUT skid plates. I also advise anyone even remotely thinking of taking the car off road (like what I did - not off road meaning a gravel road) to go ahead and buy the ORA-II package because the air suspension and the extra ground clearance made the difference. Or buy a lift kit and skid plates. The ground clearance as is (normal ride height) would not be enough and you would hit the bottom A LOT.
---
I know a bunch of Subaru guys who have garage queens and dyno queens. Man, I love those dyno queens in particular, fantastic numbers...428 wheel horsepower, 397 wheel lb-ft...Comes time for autocross or some small drag race light to light - by the time their turbos spool, I am long gone.
---

I guess I can keep adding. I played with the Select Terrain system and definitely can tell the difference between settings. I ran it in OR-2 height, 4WD Low, but if you switch between Rock and Sand, the car would lower. In the end, I left it in AUTO.

The car really jumps, when crawling up rocks, you can feel the system working. And yes, I would hear the wheels spinning at time, just briefly. Whatever algorithm it's using, it is pretty good. There is a video online of a 2011-2013 Grand Cherokee with QT-2 crawling up some slope and it is presented in comparison with Quadra Drive from a WK. I would like to say that my Jeep (I was the driver not an outside observer) was smother than that. Probably the enhanced computer power and the new transmission helped.
 

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2012 Jeep GC Limited
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Great pictures!! You have to take the Jeep off-road at least once a year.. otherwise, it won't be happy and make you visit the dealership. LOL.

I was amazed on how well my Jeep handled the trails last year near Ouray. It is sad that a majority of Jeep owners do not take their vehicles off-road. :(

Cheers,
-A
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have the lowly V6 with QT-2. No limited slip differential for me. I am sure it would be an improvement but it did more than super OK with just low gearing and EBDL.
 

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The WK2 is fantastic off-road. I use it almost exclusively for weekend off-road trips here in Colorado now that I have another car for my daily driver. It's so awesome being able to drive a luxurious, comfortable vehicle 2-3 hours to get to the trail, and then being able to take that same vehicle on the trail. It's more capable than any Wrangler besides the Rubicons because of the superb 4WD system, unless you're crawling over boulders or something where you need the clearance.

The biggest investment you can make to improve the WK2's off-road ability with the QL suspension is an air compressor. The ride quality is so much better if you air the tires down to ~20 psi, especially over rocky terrain in the OR1/OR2 modes (you don't technically need the air compressor for this, but you really don't want to get back on the highway without re-inflating). Grip is better too. Good tires will help a lot too, the stock Michelins sucked, I successfully got Jeep to replace them with Goodyear Silent Armors so as to comply with the window sticker (which advertised "On/Off-Road tires").

I've taken my WK2 Overland to some pretty hairy places. I love the looks I get. People in Wranglers struggle to get up a steep, loose, rocky hill, and then when they finally make it up after three or four tries they get out just to watch me come up behind them, no doubt ready to watch the "mall crawler" fail. The WK2 just claws its way up, no drama, no effort. All the while with the A/C, satellite radio, ventilated seats, etc. running. It feels like cheating, really.

Yeah, you might have to be a bit more careful with tire placement than some guy in a lifted Wrangler who doesn't care about scratching his bumpers, and you might have to take the trail a little slower if it's really rocky, but that's a small price to pay.

Just about the only thing I regret about getting the Overland is that the interior is so nice I feel guilty about getting it dusty.

BTW, the little scratches in the clear coat from branches and shit like those shown in your picture attract dust when they're fresh, but once you wash the car you'll never see them again unless you get out a fluorescent light and a magnifying glass. If you ever forget to tell the dealer not to wash the car when it's in for service, they'll do more damage to your paint in 5 minutes than years of branch scraping like that.
 

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I've taken my Altitude out on a few trails here in CO as well. I have some scratches that probably cannot be buffed out (I'm not sure though, as I've never had a scratch "fixed" before).

They can definitely climb fairly well, for a 5k lbs, 5 passenger, leather seated, Alpine-audio equipped quasi-luxury ride.

I've bottomed out / hit some stuff underneath a few times which makes me want to add the skid plates, but then again better wheel placement probably would have allowed me to miss those spots anyway.

I upgraded to the stock 20" size in Nitto Terra Grapplers, and I've yet to air-down when on the trail. Not saying it shouldn't be done, just saying that I haven't even gotten to that point. If I start spinning, I usually put it in 4-lo and climb right up. Probably wouldn't need 4-lo if my tires were aired down in the first place.

It is sort of funny seeing peoples' faces when out on the trail though. They'll be in a mid-90's Toyota Tacoma with a roll cage, or a wrangler on 33's, and then I come cruising up with a freshly washed, blacked out, 20" wheel Altitude.

Figured I'd add one of my YouTube videos, where I was only on 2 wheels for a few seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDMHYMjUQZ4
 

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Thank you all for your pictures and stories. I'm glad I went for the Off Road II as I almost ordered only Off Road I. I can't wait to take the GC on some trails. The drive from Ouray to Silverton is a great drive. I did it in a rented Suzuki Sidekick 4-door in 1994 with no problem, the Jeep will be so much smoother. Glad there are so many trails within a few hours from Denver!
 

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Great pictures!! You have to take the Jeep off-road at least once a year.. otherwise, it won't be happy and make you visit the dealership. LOL.

I was amazed on how well my Jeep handled the trails last year near Ouray. It is sad that a majority of Jeep owners do not take their vehicles off-road. :(

Cheers,
-A

Any pics from Moab?
 
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