School Me| Commander As an Off Road Rig and DD - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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School Me| Commander As an Off Road Rig and DD

Hi All,

I jumped camps winter 2016 into a Tacoma from my 2006 XK due to my 3rd engine failure. I got frustrated and didn't feel like swapping in another engine in the middle of winter. I have horrible luck with extended warranties and head gaskets / valve seats. @ 480,00KM and it has no value of any kind. Had the intentions on "getting to it" but I'm not sure if the motivation is there. Exterior its in amazing shape. Interior, the limited leather is showing signs of its age. There would be no ROI other than its paid for...

My 2006 XK has been sitting outback while I've been wrenching away and building my new to me Tacoma. I've turned it into a DD / Long travel truck. It works, it's mechanically sound. I've put over 60,000KM on a LONG TRAVEL truck this year -- YES 60,000K! It's been great. The taco will do whatever I want it to. It's great on gas, has no balls ... well yeah. It's just another truck.

Well, for whatever reason I jumped into the Commander this weekend, it fired right up (on 7 cylinders lol) and I felt right at home. Even after dumping $30K into a Tacoma -- I realized that I was missing my Heep. All week I've been thinking about that! It's even had me looking at used Commanders online.




Leaving me to this post


I'm considering going out and picking up another low mileage Hemi Commander. I believe I am looking for a Limited or Overland > Hemi > QDII*
I'm looking for answers to these questions;

1) Is there a more desirable year with the best changes?

2) If I intend to lift this truck to 4+ inches and run 35's, do I still want a QDII 4X4 system or should I look at a lesser model and modify it later.

3) Can any of the differentials of any commander accept a locker?

4) Is MDS worth-while or something to avoid? My 2006 is non-MDS.

5) What to look out for?


My thoughts;
-Gas mileage is the least of my concerns... We're talking lifts, rigs, off-roading, overlanding -- the Commander has the aerodynamics of a brick!

-HID lights sound nice, but truth be told I never had any issues with the stock headlamps in the Commander. The Tacoma on the other hand, stock lighting is abysmal!

-MDS, having a non-MDS commander made engine work very easy, and spare engines were easy to come by (back then). Now it appears the other way around. The only thing available on the used engine market is various MDS equipped Hemi's

-I tow. Trailers, Boats, Motorcycles, Campers.... I need to be able to tow.

-I average 110,000KM of driving each year (that's just how it is). I split that up between a work truck, my Tacoma and my motorcycle. I'm not sure if I will keep the Tacoma or replace it with another Commander, or just add a commander to my lineup. But i will split the mileage between all the vehicles.


Thinking out loud,

Can anyone give me any pointers here?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 11:58 AM
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Axis,


I have had minor issues using my rig on the trails. It has gone everywhere I wanted and some I shouldn't have gone. I have OME springs and rear daystar spacers it rides fine and with the hemi have no issues moving the 33's. I think 4xguard has 4:10's for the commander which I would look into with 35's and towing. As far as the lift it's all how much you want to pay. Superlift is 2400 ish but the springs in the front are the stockers and going to fully compress as soon as you hit the rough stuff on the trail. JBA/4xgaurd has coil overs but they start at 2800 bucks. Engine wise it's a gamble because no one really tunes these vehicles like a charger or challenger which is the same motor so if you want power it's going to require a custom tune. Lockers, the QDII is awesome and so far (knock on wood) haven't had an issue, it uses electronic limited slip differentials. If you throw a locker in again the tuning won't know what to do and if will most likely give a fault. I have the limited model with the hemi and it's plush and comfy yet can pretty much go anywhere I have pointed it.


Hope this helps
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 08:41 PM
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I swapped out my headlight bulbs for LEDs for about $40 from Amazon. Love them!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 10:57 PM
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Distorted Axis;

I'd suggest reading this thread in it's entirety;

A lot of of good information throughout.

https://www.jeepcommander.com/forums/...oking-buy.html
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 01:32 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
Own a Commander?: Yes
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Power-Train: 5.7L V-8 Hemi
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You'll be wanting to look at an '09 or '10 model for a Hemi. In '09 VCT was added to the Hemi, boosting power by almost 30 hp. These engines will have MDS, but if I'm not mistaken the '06 models did as well. At least mine does.

If you can find one with QTII and the Hemi, I'd go with that. It's rare to see them paired, but they do exist. You can add lockers to QTII, but not QDII. With that being said, QDII has LSDs which perform quite well. You can also force QDII into locking by supplying 12V to the axles, though I haven't personally tested this.

When you're shopping, check the normal things you would expect to go wrong on an XK. AC blend doors, sunroof leaks and rust beneath the driver and passenger carpets, broken interior door handles, etc. Also be sure that it's been properly maintained, with all necessary fluid changes. You don't want to end up with a beat up motor or tranmission.

HIDs are very nice, and provide fantastic lighting compared to a standard halogen. I've driven many cars with HIDs and it simply can't compare to my XK. That being said, if you do go for HIDs, be absolutely sure to get them properly adjusted after lifting it. HIDs are blinding and if you don't adjust them properly, you'll not only have poorer visibility, but you'll be making everyone else miserable.

Towing shouldn't be a problem. You're pretty familiar with the Hemi drivetrain, and it didn't change too much over the years apart from the power boost. Add a trailer brake controller if your trailers can take advantage of it, and you'll be fine.

Finally, mileage shouldn't be a huge issue. The Hemi drivetrain should be good for 300,000 miles or more with proper maintenance.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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(Keep in mind I am in Canada)

Found a single owner 2009 Limited in my area that's mint.
White exterior, black leather interior (Never see black leather available anywhere)

95,0000KM (60,000 Miles) for $18,000 CAD ($14,500 USD)

Asking price seems a bit high for an 8 year old vehicle -- but a commander with low mileage is a bit of a rarity.

Or I can drop another $6000 (CAD) remain engine in my 2006....



Thoughts anyone?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2017, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
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Axis
Sounds as if you DONE good. Keep us informed what you do to it and welcome to the forum.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2017, 06:06 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distorted Axis View Post
(Keep in mind I am in Canada)

Found a single owner 2009 Limited in my area that's mint.
White exterior, black leather interior (Never see black leather available anywhere)

95,0000KM (60,000 Miles) for $18,000 CAD ($14,500 USD)

Asking price seems a bit high for an 8 year old vehicle -- but a commander with low mileage is a bit of a rarity.

Or I can drop another $6000 (CAD) remain engine in my 2006....



Thoughts anyone?
Distorted Axis;

Take a good long look underneath it for rust - and/or possible impact damage.

I'd also give the headliner a thorough visual inspection around the front Driver's side & front Passenger's side door and the headliner around the sunroof/s as Commanders are pretty notorious for water leaks - from either clogged sunroof drains; bad door seals - or doors that are out of alignment.

If it has a good service history and the previous owner/s have kept up on the maintenance, that's really not a bad deal for an 09 with only 60,000 miles on it in my opinion.

The only thing that would probably turn me away is that color scheme; White with a black leather interior??

Good grief.

But hey, if the color scheme suits your taste - I'd probably jump on it.

The only other thing I'd recommend is to go to the website URL below and plug in the VIN to see if all the factory re-calls and campaigns have been completed:

Safety Recall Information | MOPAR

If the are any that are outstanding - and this XK you are looking at is for sale at a dealership - you can either get the dealership to have the recalls/campaigns completed before you pull the trigger and buy it (which is what I would do) or you could use the outstanding recalls/campaigns as a bargaining chip, to try and chew him down on the asking price.

Also FYI; the difference between a safety recall and a campaign is that a safety recall pertains to a vehicle problem that is a safety concern;

A campaign is a vehicle problem that is not a safety concern, but, pertains to customer satisfaction.

Good luck Distorted Axis - keep us posted.


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Last edited by Big Blue; 09-29-2017 at 02:28 AM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 03:04 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Pacifica, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distorted Axis View Post
(Keep in mind I am in Canada)

Found a single owner 2009 Limited in my area that's mint.
White exterior, black leather interior (Never see black leather available anywhere)

95,0000KM (60,000 Miles) for $18,000 CAD ($14,500 USD)

Asking price seems a bit high for an 8 year old vehicle -- but a commander with low mileage is a bit of a rarity.

Or I can drop another $6000 (CAD) remain engine in my 2006....



Thoughts anyone?
Any pics????
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 08:08 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2017
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I am relatively new to the XK world but have owned many different Jeeps over the years and done a lot of hard core rock crawling off-road. My observations on the XK (with Hemi and QDII) vs other Jeep options is
- Has all the power you need plus the ELSD that will compare favorably with any of the lockers I have had in my other Jeeps.
- The Limited has lots of creature comforts and fancy electronics that can become problem over time but the Limited is the easiest to find with what you are looking for.
- XK can do a lot of off-road stuff but I think it will come up short vs a CJ or Wrangler due to the lack of a solid front axle and limits on oversize tire size. However, this only applies if you plan to do any of the serious hard core rock crawling where extreme axle articulation or giant tires is important.
- The XK can tow 7,500 Lbs properly equipped (trailer brakes, load equalizer hitch, etc.). No Wrangler can approach that number nor can most SUV's

If I read you correctly, towing capacity will trump the ability for hard core rock crawling. If true, the XK is an excellent choice for the mix you want. It is hard to find a SUV today with excellent off road capabilities yet have strong towing capabilities in the same package.
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