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2015 jeep grand cherokee laredo
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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a 2015 wow laredo with qt1, I'm slowly getting into off roading. I'd like to get it as trail rated as possible. Skid plates, tow hooks ect. Looking for any other suggestions on what else I could do
 

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2015 WK2 Overland
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You will really miss low range off road. You may want to consider swapping Jeeps before investing a lot into this one. You'd need to invest a lot into swapping transfer cases and getting everything to work other than going with a full manual transfer case (you might be the first!).
 

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2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
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Sadly without QT2 features (e.g. 10.8" clearance, selec terrain) it won't be very "trail rated" for whatever the designation is worth these days especially on the JGC's. I would recommend skid plates as they seem to be reasonably priced but tow hooks are expensive and require potential cutting/body modifications. Regardless, none of these systems will be able to rival a Wrangler Rubicon and maybe not even a Sport model so your best bet is to get some skid plates and stick to lightly rocky trails.

Info on the different systems; https://www.autoevolution.com/news/jeep-s-awd-and-4wd-systems-explained-106633.html
 

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2015 jeep grand cherokee laredo
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Discussion Starter #4
Now I have been looking at some 2.5 lift kits. But a couple of the shops by me have all told me that the ride for a JGC is horrible for whatever reason. Some said because of the independent suspension.
 

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Sadly without QT2 features (e.g. 10.8" clearance, selec terrain)
Ground clear clearance has nothing to do with which drive train is involved...it's the same regardless. (A traditional lift on springs or QuadraLift air suspension can raise ground clearance up a little, of course) But yes, having QT-II with the Selecterrain is very helpful in some off road circumstances.

OP, you can surly add protective elements like skids and rails and even a lift if you want. QT-I will be your ultimate limiting factor for more challenging off-road experiences, however. It's quite capable and smart, but it doesn't have low range nor does it have some of the other features that QT-II (and QD-II) bring to the table.
 

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2015 jeep grand cherokee laredo
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Discussion Starter #6
I'm also looking for a good pair of rock sliders. Not really trying to spend $1k on a set. So if anyone knows of any forsale lmk
 

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Grand Cherokee
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Trail Rated requires the equipment to shift into 4LOW and Part Time 4WD, i.e. lock the differential between front/rear axles....
QT1 can't do that, only QT2 or QD2 can do this.....

Also, not mentioned yet is a full sized spare, if you lose a tire out on the trail, the compact spare will not be able to get you off the trail....

Don't get me wrong, you have many of the features of the best off-road equipped WK2, just as the basic design, you have lots of off-road ability, but you will have to limit yourself from some of the most challenging things without ability of Part Time 4WD and 4LOW....

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The Trail Ratings is a list of needed equipment and capability of the vehicle..... ....Jeep uses a military software program that provides a rating of off-road capability based on all the factors that affects traction, as in pressure on each tire and the equipment in the vehicle.... ....these include factors like weight distribution, proportions, track and wheelbase, suspension travel, tires, ground clearance as well as approach, departure and break over angles.....

....many newer Jeeps likely could not achieve the requisite minimal score for Trail Rated, BUT, they discovered the software had a hidden sliding scale, and use it to grant the Trail Rating as "Best in Class".....

So Ground Clearance and 4WD system is only a very, very small part of what makes up good off-road ability......

With the previous Dual Live Axle vehicles, they have a huge benefit in articulation and suspension travel, but biggest of all, they could be much easier to modify to provide more suspension travel as well as the extra ground clearance....

With Independent suspension, that has less articulation and suspension travel, they are very difficult to modify for more suspension travel, most lift kits just change ride height and provide no increase in ride height, they only trade rebound for jounce.... ...and the driveshaft U-Joints have to be able to support going to greater angles which is another challenge that is difficult to overcome... ...so your just getting more ground clearance, at the cost of less rebound in the suspension.....

I just installed Bilstein 5100's, I wasn't pleasantry surprised to see the independent suspension can travel farther than stock and not bind, and the Bilstein 5100's is longer than stock, so you're actually gaining an inch or two in rebound travel, this is both front and rear.... ....what I don't know is if the CV joints can take those additional angles and if I applied generous torque with angles of at full rebound in the suspension, will it damage the driveshaft?
 

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2015 jeep grand cherokee laredo
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Discussion Starter #8
Trail Rated requires the equipment to shift into 4LOW and Part Time 4WD, i.e. lock the differential between front/rear axles....
QT1 can't do that, only QT2 or QD2 can do this.....

Also, not mentioned yet is a full sized spare, if you lose a tire out on the trail, the compact spare will not be able to get you off the trail....

Don't get me wrong, you have many of the features of the best off-road equipped WK2, just as the basic design, you have lots of off-road ability, but you will have to limit yourself from some of the most challenging things without ability of Part Time 4WD and 4LOW....

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The Trail Ratings is a list of needed equipment and capability of the vehicle..... ....Jeep uses a military software program that provides a rating of off-road capability based on all the factors that affects traction, as in pressure on each tire and the equipment in the vehicle.... ....these include factors like weight distribution, proportions, track and wheelbase, suspension travel, tires, ground clearance as well as approach, departure and break over angles.....

....many newer Jeeps likely could not achieve the requisite minimal score for Trail Rated, BUT, they discovered the software had a hidden sliding scale, and use it to grant the Trail Rating as "Best in Class".....

So Ground Clearance and 4WD system is only a very, very small part of what makes up good off-road ability......

With the previous Dual Live Axle vehicles, they have a huge benefit in articulation and suspension travel, but biggest of all, they could be much easier to modify to provide more suspension travel as well as the extra ground clearance....

With Independent suspension, that has less articulation and suspension travel, they are very difficult to modify for more suspension travel, most lift kits just change ride height and provide no increase in ride height, they only trade rebound for jounce.... ...and the driveshaft U-Joints have to be able to support going to greater angles which is another challenge that is difficult to overcome... ...so your just getting more ground clearance, at the cost of less rebound in the suspension.....

I just installed Bilstein 5100's, I wasn't pleasantry surprised to see the independent suspension can travel farther than stock and not bind, and the Bilstein 5100's is longer than stock, so you're actually gaining an inch or two in rebound travel, this is both front and rear.... ....what I don't know is if the CV joints can take those additional angles and if I applied generous torque with angles of at full rebound in the suspension, will it damage the driveshaft?
I actually just bought goodyear duratrac for my JGC and I also bought 1 extra just for my spare. I also wasnt planning on doing any crazy crawling or climbing. I live in ohio so while some of our terrain is hardcore it's not like out west in the Rockies. 4lo would be great but I dont see it being a huge necessity for what I would like to do
 

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It all depends on what kind of off roading you want to do.
I'd forget extreme rock crawling without the proper 4x4 low Tcase or in terrain that requires a spotter.
And know not only your limitations but also your vehicle's limitations.

For mild to moderate off roading the biggest factor IMO is tires.
Tires with an aggressive enough thread that can get through mud, snow or sand safely.

If you can fit larger diameter tires without interference that could give an easy lift of an inch or so.

I would not do any kind of moderate off roading without tow hooks (or skids) when fording creeks or through mud/sand.
Sometimes its better to turn around and go back than getting stuck or breaking something.

I've done some impressive off roading with my old Jeep Patriot Latitude 4x4 but i installed tows and larger dia. tires on it.
 

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2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
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Ground clear clearance has nothing to do with which drive train is involved...it's the same regardles.
OP asked what it took to be trail rated. Those were examples of trail rated JGC vs a non trail rated JGC. Per Jeep;
WHAT IS TRAIL RATED®
A Trail Rated® badge is not given. It’s earned. Every Trail Rated 4x4 Jeep® Brand vehicle has succeeded against a series of grueling tests in five categories: Traction,
Water Fording, Maneuverability, Articulation and Ground Clearance.

JGC without air lift suspension are not trail rated from what I can tell even if they have QC2. I owned a '18 JGC with QC2 and it was not trail rated. My '19 Trailhawk with air suspension is. Additionally the QC2 is much different than QC1 so to be trail rated these days you would need QC2 and an air suspension system which gives you the ground clearance. Even the "trail rated" Renegades include additional ground clearance over the stock trim. All trail rated models have one thing in common across the Jeep brand...extra ground clearance.
 

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OP asked what it took to be trail rated. Those were examples of trail rated JGC vs a non trail rated JGC. Per Jeep;
WHAT IS TRAIL RATED®
A Trail Rated® badge is not given. It’s earned. Every Trail Rated 4x4 Jeep® Brand vehicle has succeeded against a series of grueling tests in five categories: Traction,
Water Fording, Maneuverability, Articulation and Ground Clearance.

JGC without air lift suspension are not trail rated from what I can tell even if they have QC2. I owned a '18 JGC with QC2 and it was not trail rated. My '19 Trailhawk with air suspension is. Additionally the QC2 is much different than QC1 so to be trail rated these days you would need QC2 and an air suspension system which gives you the ground clearance. Even the "trail rated" Renegades include additional ground clearance over the stock trim. All trail rated models have one thing in common across the Jeep brand...extra ground clearance.
I have a Trail Rated badge on my 70th Anniversary Edition WK2, confirmed that it was installed at the factory by the build sheet, not stuck on by a pretender later in life.....
No Tow Hooks, No Skid Plates, Compact Spare, conventional suspension at normal ride height w/ 20" wheels....

I'm not trying to diminish the Trail Rated Badge, But Jeep Marketing has played fast and loose with the Trail Rated Badge in at least a few instances if not more.....
What you posted, comes from the Jeep Website, i.e. Jeep Marketing
What I posted came from Bob Sheaves, who used to be a Jeep and RAM Truck Engineer and creator of Lil' Blue project XJ, from the Allpar Forum.... ....and he was frustrated with Jeeps adoption of a "sliding scale" for the Trail Rating.......

The Conventional Suspension WK2 has more ground clearance than a Trail Rated Jeep XJ, by several inches, but the old XJ is likely more off road capable than the WK2....

Ground Clearance is important, but it's far from the only thing determining off-road ability, and a simple spec of ground clearance can be deceiving, which is the case for the Jeep XJ or past and current Wrangler.....
 

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MDK210 said:
OP asked what it took to be trail rated.
OP: "I'd like to get it as trail rated as possible"...

You: "Sadly without QT2 features (e.g. 10.8" clearance, selec terrain) "

I was merely responding to "QT2 features" in your statement that seemed to imply that the clearance was part of QT2 which it is not. Your post about what it means to be Jeep "trail rated" is spot on...thanks for posting that.
 

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Ok, this is for a Mountain Bike, but the principles hold true for off road cars/trucks as well..... ....larger diameter tires not only increase the surface area of the contact patch, but more importantly it raises the height of tangent to roll over obstacles or to climb over obstacles.... ...if you don't get the geometry, it means they can roll over bigger bumps or the same bump faster with less jarring than a small diameter tire.... ....not to mention they can bridge larger pot holes without sinking into them....
...mentioned already is the fact they raise the ground clearance....

Lets not forget, lift companies are stating and some WK2 owners are thinking, a lift will allow you to fit bigger wheels on the vehicle and prevent rubbing.... ...again, for body on frame older Jeeps and Trucks, you could install a body lift, that would do this..... ....the WK2 is unibody*, semi-monoque body, there are no body kits for it.... ....so on a WK2 if you lift so the tires don't rub, then when the wheels go up, they will rub..... ....so your lift prevents tires rubbing only if you don't go over big enough bumps.... ....so how does that help you off-road where your tires need to go up as high as they possibly can?.... ....it doesn't.....

*The WK2 is unibody, but it has subframes mounting the drivetrain and suspension (Front UCA's are on the body).... ...so in "theory" a body lift kit is possible, but they are never as easy as its sounds, but its a moot point, there are no body lift kits for WK2 anyway....
 

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2015 jeep grand cherokee laredo
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Discussion Starter #14
So this might totally not be possible but if it is I'm all for it. Would it be possible to find a transfer case that is for QD put it on my jeep get the selector switches all harnessed up and put the air suspension on. Can it be don since all jeeps are basically made the same across the board with differences here and there?
 

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So this might totally not be possible but if it is I'm all for it. Would it be possible to find a transfer case that is for QD put it on my jeep get the selector switches all harnessed up and put the air suspension on. Can it be don since all jeeps are basically made the same across the board with differences here and there?
Do you have the V6 or V8?

Anything is possible, but what is practical or even cost effective.... ....for something like this, it would be cheaper to trade/sell your WK2 and get one that came from the factory with QDII and QL...

Its more than the Xfr Case, the driveshafts have to be changed out, electronic modules, and electronic configuring (if that is even possible anymore the way FCA has locked down electronic configuration to idiot proof for their dealerships), the rear ELSD the same thing, might require new CV shafts, that might require new driveshafts to the wheels as well, depending on what engine you have......

The QL, the parts are extremely expensive, plus modules and configuring, servicing requiring the Dealer Tools and special adapter fittings for the nitrogen... ...folks are reporting multi-thousand dollar repair builds for this system just breaking down, imagine what the costs will climb to retrofit the entire system, and you may still run into nightmares trying to get your electronics configured to use it.....
 

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Personally I would keep the wk2 as my daily driver with mild to reasonable off road / trail capabilities, and then get an XJ and turn it into a beast.

Ooh that’s what I have hahaha
 

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So this might totally not be possible but if it is I'm all for it. Would it be possible to find a transfer case that is for QD put it on my jeep get the selector switches all harnessed up and put the air suspension on. Can it be don since all jeeps are basically made the same across the board with differences here and there?
that would be a nightmare man. i'm new to this platform, but i also have a serious offroad rig at home. there isn't much support for these wk2's. not nearly enough technical data for a swap with wiring harnesses and programming required. its too electronic in these trucks. you're better off just buying a wk2 with the options you want, or a wrangler or something with lockers.
 

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2015 jeep grand cherokee laredo
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Discussion Starter #18
Tomorrow I am hitting my local orp. I will post pics for being bone stock minus at tires
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Also are there any points (elec,cases, ect..) that require to be sealed and greased to be more resistant to corrosion and water tight?
 

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So this might totally not be possible but if it is I'm all for it. Would it be possible to find a transfer case that is for QD put it on my jeep get the selector switches all harnessed up and put the air suspension on. Can it be don since all jeeps are basically made the same across the board with differences here and there?
Yes, if you win the lottery. It would be far less expensive to just trade what you have in on a Jeep that's equipped with all that gear. And it's not "switches"...it's all computerized...and complex.
 
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