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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I finally got the green light and got the XK on the trail for the first time today. This is a trail just ouside of Tucson and is rated as a 3-4 depending on how far you go. Here is a link I found on the web about it with some pretty cool pics,
http://www.expeditionswest.com/adventures/2003/C-Gap_2003/index.html

There is no doubt about it this Jeep has a lot of potential! We have a 2" lift with 265/75 Bridgestone Revo's and I really think that helped in a lot of areas. We only drug the bottom a few times and upon our return I wasnt able to find any noticable damage. The quadra drive 2 worked fantastic! On the first reasonable hill I still had the traction control and ESP engaged and the truck was not going to climb the first step without some assitance. We disenagaged the traction control and the ESP, locked it into 4 low and with both axles now fully engaged and no comupters trying to tell the wheels to stop turning it climbed right up. We left all the systems off and kept it in low range for the rest of the day which worked great. The only thing I am not a fan of is the independent front suspension. I know it rides great on the street but you can see from the photos it clearly limits the amount of articulation that a solid axle would have. There are a lot of shots with the tires in the air. On very impressive thing was that the cab never once creaked or seemed to twist no matter how hard we tried. Approach and departure angles are pretty good too, we snagged the tailpipe on one rock and I put a scratch in the front bumper on another but I cant imagine doing what we did if we didnt have the lift on it.
Well enjoy viewing the album, we sure had a lot of fun taking the photos.

Heres a few, but scroll to the bottom and check out the rest on Snapfish.:)









http://www1.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=52798614/a=4828943_4828943/t_=4828943
 

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Gooday,
Love the pictures, all of them!!!!!!!!!!.
Have 7 week old Commandert Ltd CRD 3L, great rig. Had WG 2.7L CRD Grand previous to this.
Know you can't get the Diesel there yet, love it.
Interested to see you have external radio aerial, we only have the one embedded in rear glass.
Make us buy lots of X-tras, such as roof rack rails etc.
Cheers,
Ozcommander.
 

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Nice!!!

So what did you guys think? Good for you guys to get the Commander out where it likes it. I think this vehicle performs excellent on the road and pretty darn well off road. Love the terrain..rig...and buy in from the Mrs....:eek: . Good for you ? Would you have pushed it further if Mrs. was'nt with you? Be honest. My wife starts screaming when we she feels the wheel lift:rolleyes: Get the old heart rate tickin. See Ya:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah the lovely husband and wife differences when it comes to off roading. I was impressed but realized it limitations pretty quickly. The first obstacle where we engaged it into 4 low was pretty much because it wouldnt climb about a 18 rock in 4 high without a running start. I'm always a bit cautious in the trail especially when alone with no sencond vehicle but the 4.7 just didnt make enough low end torque to pull it up, not without the 4 low advantage. The electronic limited slips with the quadra drive II are a really cool option as well. Especially when they are disengaged, nothing better than watching a tire in the air spinning :D Since the wheel base is a bit longer even with the 2" lift and 265's we still went very slowly over some of the challenges to make sure we didnt hang up in the mid section, but with a 6"AEV and 35's that wouldnt be a problem however since the center of gravity would be so much higher and the front end articulation is limited by the IFS I would need some time in the saddle to build up some confidence. One of the photos on snap fish shows me standing up the trail on top of a rise. She was about 40-50 feet away horizontally when she took the picture and you can see how high I am. That obstacle has about an 8ft verticle rock that is off camber to the left and thats where we turned around. With or without her that was my limit in this truck (it also only has 3200 miles on it and I cant beat it that hard yet:) ). Last time I ran it in my full size we slipped and almost put the roof into the cliff. From that point the trail gets worse especially with the fires and storms we've had lately. Enough said, I was definitly impressed with the vehicle stock but had we truly wanted to go further we'd have a Rubicon Unlimited for that. I will say her grins were growing the more she drove so next weekend may be another outing. Wish me luck! (anyone in Tucson up for Chivo Falls?)
 

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I had a similar experiance in 4 high trying to climb up some rocks> But you are right once I engaged 4l it was game on. The engine and 4wd system out perform the design of the vehicle. I am still at stock height and believe me I thank god I have skids regardless of them being cheap Mopar...I am thankful. I want 6 inch of suspension lift but will settle with four, that might let me run 35's...yeah I own a sawz all. ( whats up with all the commanders on 22's).

Hey PS Running at Reiter Pit in Wa, spent the day with a H3. Believe me do not compare these vehicles when stock...they can run pretty darn well.( I am going to buy one as well .. just for me cant fit the kids )



Also a modified KJ Locked,Lifted and out perforing the H3

:cool:

TR4runner I thought I new you! I pulled you out HA HA HA HA LOL
:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Rubicontrail.net you bring up a really good point. I bet its not long until something similar to the older grand cherokee solid front axle design gets fabbed onto a commander. Ive been thinking the toughest part would be adapting to the body with no frame to support it all. Where there's a will there's a way, anyone want to donate their vehicle to try?:) One thing I have been curious about is that we did not disconnect the front sway bar. I may try that this weekend and see if it loosens the front up at all and allows more travel. P.S. Yeah we're in Tucson. Have you ever made the Coke Ovens trail near Florence? We're thinking about it.
Sweet pics Notah 2! Thats one thing I've never mastered is mud. We dont get enough in Az to ever practice. I agree with you on the Hummer H2, we looked at them as well but the interior space moved us over to the Commander. And sweet shot of the Liberty. Had we kept ours I was hoping it would get that bumper and lift.

Thanks for all the comments. If it weren't for everyones feedback we may never go again, but I think I got "my city girl" hooked on wheelin' !

Hey OZ how do you like your 3.0L CRD? is that the Mercedes derived motor? The Grand is supposed to get it in the states soon.
Talk to you soon,
-F
 

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notah2 said:
TR4runner I thought I new you! I pulled you out HA HA HA HA LOL
:eek:
Hahaha...very funny! Actually, I had to do a double-take. That old 4Runner looks amazingly like a new Jeep Grand Cherokee from the rear!
 

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Commander said:
Have you ever made the Coke Ovens trail near Florence? We're thinking about it.
No, I really haven't done much off-roading since I moved out here. I was building up my Cherokee as an off-roader, but now it looks too nice. :) I think I may look to pick up an MJ as a real off-roader and then maybe get out there and enjoy some of AZ's trails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
it does look nice.(saw the pics on your profile). how do you like your Silent Armors? I'm looking at a set for my work truck. Are they noticeably more quiet? You know your getting old when noise comes into play. i just welded in a 4" glass pack on my Cummins powered Ram because the 4" exhaust was a little to loud.:D If your up for a run in the Florence area let me know we'd be interested. How long have you been in Az?
 

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I have been AZ almost two years now but most all of that time has been consumed with building a new house, etc. Now that is done I want to spend more time with the Jeeps.

I am really happy with the SilentArmors. The Cherokee originally came with Wrangler HPs which are a long wearing tire but probably not the best traction. The SilentArmors are definitely quieter, have a lot better water evacuation, and they seem born to climb rocks. In the little playing I have done since I got the XJ lifted, I have noticed they just want to climb without any wheelspin. I like them so much that I plan to put them on the Commander as soon as it comes in to the dealer.
 

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Nice Picks Commander! Went to snapfish to view the rest. I just got a 4.7L QT2 Commander 3 weeks ago and took it off road stock. Did very well but was leary of taking places similar to your photos. I am very interested in lifting the truck 2-3" but have noticed the knuckle assembly is in tight quarters with the existing 245/65 tires. What kind of lift did you put on and what did you do to avoid contact between the tires and knuckle assembly?

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Scott,
We purchased the Jeep with the lift already installed. It is the Daystar lift which is essentially just poly coil spacers. If I had done it myself it would have probably been the rocky Road kit.(virtualll identical to the Rustys.) I am vary familiar witht the proximity of the tire to the upper ball joint stud. I can barely fit a finger between the two but I cont foresee how the two would ever make contact. That much distortion at the top of the tire is going to have to be one hell of an impact with something and I sure hope it doesnt happen. Other than that, we have been very happy with the lift and the vehicles ability on the trail. We havent rubbed on the tires anywhere, but next tie we go, I am going to disconnect the front sway bar and I think we may rub in the front if I can get some more articulation out of it.
 

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Hey, just went to snapfish and looked at the rest of the photos!! Awesome!! I would hve been nervous about rubbing the undercarraige on that steep hill. You are definitely brave!! Great job!
 
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