Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD build thread

Romberger

Member
Yes they are, we took our WK to Iceland twice (long time ago now 2013+2014) hundreds of river crossings, rough terrain, volcanic ash/sand a lot of washboard. No problems at all.

Jeep is still going well today, but 99% tarmac.

Thanks for posting up, good to see a WK in the great outdoors.

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Sounds like you had some fun adventures! Are they documented on this forum anywhere?
 

Romberger

Member
nice write-up and pics. I currently have wk2 but have had GC’s since 03. They are great plarform, cushy on highway and so capable off-road.

I wish I had your talent for mods, you did some real nice ones. There are not rear storage systems for GC’s in US so I may look at having cabinet maker make something like yours.

i wish Jeep keep the ability to open the window on rear cargo door.
Does the WK2 retain a low range/quadradrive2? I test drove a 2011 that didn’t have a low range, or I couldn’t figure out how it worked.

As far as drawer systems go, I don’t think I’d put one in this Jeep. I’m constantly changing my set up and they add a lot of weight. They’re fun to build if you want to attempt it. Just figure out what the standard items you take with you are before committing to drawer sizes.
 

jeepgc

Adventurer
Sounds like you had some fun adventures! Are they documented on this forum anywhere?
Documented some of the first trip here:


2014 trip, we went by ourselves but didn't document it, too much time, it's a full time job to do . I still haven't uploaded all of the pics to my flickr account.

If you look for @crossed-up's thread, he took his WK to the Pyrenees mountains, great thread to read through.

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Morgan Weafer

Active member
That's a great question. I never had an issue in Washington, but my intake temps got a little ridiculous when I got to Phoenix. I haven’t hurt anything yet, but I plan on relocating my intercooler for better airflow before next summer.
How much is "a little ridiculous" now that you have your Jeep in the desert? Understandably the outcome for each vehicle with a hidden winch could have different results. But I wonder how much of a difference it actually makes. I was intrigued to find a fabricator in Italy, that has developed a mount for the Renegade platform (BU). The cost vs benefit in terms of vehicle performance is still in question for me. Congratulations on the move to Arizona by the way. I was in Sedona and Prescott Valley last year in February. I can't wait for the next opportunity to return. What is your favourite Arizona trail you've traversed so far?

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Romberger

Member
Documented some of the first trip here:


2014 trip, we went by ourselves but didn't document it, too much time, it's a full time job to do . I still haven't uploaded all of the pics to my flickr account.

If you look for @crossed-up's thread, he took his WK to the Pyrenees mountains, great thread to read through.

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I’ll check both out.
 

Romberger

Member
How much is "a little ridiculous" now that you have your Jeep in the desert? Understandably the outcome for each vehicle with a hidden winch could have different results. But I wonder how much of a difference it actually makes. I was intrigued to find a fabricator in Italy, that has developed a mount for the Renegade platform (BU). The cost vs benefit in terms of vehicle performance is still in question for me. Congratulations on the move to Arizona by the way. I was in Sedona and Prescott Valley last year in February. I can't wait for the next opportunity to return. What is your favourite Arizona trail you've traversed so far?

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I don’t have an actual number, but the Jeep starts to heat up under a constant load in over 100F. I’m calling it an airflow issue for the intercooler because it’s 60% blocked by the winch/mount and temps drop as soon as I let off. Summer temps are gone so I won’t be able to replicate the issue until next summer. I’m pretty confident that moving the intercooler up into the grill area will resolve the issue.

I’m not sure if it’s a cost/benefit in terms of performance for me. Having a winch just gives me more confidence when wheeling alone. A tow rope is sufficient for what I do with this Jeep as long as I have a buddy with me. That said, the winch gives me enough peace of mind that I’d vote for you getting it. They guy selling them wouldn’t be doing so if they caused vehicles to overheat. At least not for long.

Arizona has been fun. I haven’t wheeled enough yet to have a favorite. Do you have any suggestions?
 

Morgan Weafer

Active member
Relocating the intercooler sounds like a good solution. Keep us posted (y) I mention performance because many people not only overlook how the airflow for cooling changes. But also a disregard for how additional weight (up to an average 90kg) of a winch and mounting hardware could impact the chassis and suspension. Not to mention payload. I agree with you that having a winch definitely is a confidence booster for exploring more remotely when it's just yourself you're relying on. I've contacted the fabricator. Hoping they have some positive experiences to share.

From my own experience in AZ, my travels were fairly limited on time so I didn't branch out too far. That being said, do take a drive out to Jerome and explore the canyon landscape. It's a spectacular view from the top and you can make your way down you'll pass through Cottonwood. Between the two towns lies some prime camping spots. I also made it to Agua Fria National Monument. As winter sets in and the temperatures drop a bit. Plan some trips to the Kofa Wildlife Refuge and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. IMG_9944.jpgIMG_9948.jpgIMG_9953.jpgIMG_9990.jpgScreen Shot 2020-10-26 at 11.54.38 AM.pngScreen Shot 2020-10-26 at 11.55.00 AM.png
 

Romberger

Member
Now I get what you mean as far as performance goes. I did stiffen up my suspension after adding all of the weight to jeep, so you may have to do similar upgrades once you add a winch. In my case, the back seemed to wander more than the front (the tent and spare tire carrier are probably to blame). There's a lot of room between my curb weight and gvwr so I don't need to worry about that. Hopefully the hidden winch plate works out for you.

Thanks for the ideas on places to go! Looks like they can all be made into weekend trips. I've added them to my list and will report back here when I check them out.
 

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Romberger

Member
I started having a knock in the front end before I left WA. This is a typical WK issue where the bushings that attach the front diff to the frame wear out. I got some new bushings and had the opportunity to fix it this weekend. You need a ball joint press and an air hammer with a few attachments for the job. I don't have any pics, but I removed the driveshaft, air vent, electrical connector and the bolts that go through the bushings themselves. I flipped the entire diff upside down and replaced the bushings. This way I didn't have to remove both cv shafts and remove the diff completely. Probably saved a couple of hours in labor. I can do a more detailed write up if someone is planning on doing this job themselves.

To all the WK CRD owners: Has anyone had to do a timing chain replacement? I'm starting to hear the signs at initial start up. It only happens at the first start up of the day. I had to do a timing chain replacement in a 5.4 triton I had in a navigator before and this sounds exactly like that. When I search the WK forums, I see people saying the timing chain is good for the life of the engine, but when I search the engine specifically (OM642), it seems to be a common replacement people are doing. Am I alone with the issue in the Jeep? Or can I be mistaking a different rattle for a timing chain that is stretched?
 

Romberger

Member
I’ve done a couple trips in the last month or so. Here’s a quick recap.

The first trip was just south of Quartzsite AZ. Its mid point between my new home and a childhood friends home so I’ll probably make this a normal spot. There’s a ton of space to do some light off-roading and the the whole area is BLM land. Here's the route we took this time:

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We did it over two half days, taking plenty of breaks along the way. He wheeled his hightop camper van that 2wd with an open dif. It always surprises me what some skilled driving and a lack of worry about paint will get you through. He only got stuck in a sandy wash once but could have probably gotten out with just stacking rocks. I gave him a tug instead. This trip gave him the wheeling itch again so I'm hoping he has a 4x4 toy next time we do this.

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I also got to take a trip up to Moab, An off-road Mecca in Utah. I stopped at canyonlands on the way up ad did some hiking:

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Once at Moab, the focus was mostly off-roading. One of my buddies has been watching overlanding videos for the last year and just bought a GX470. He's pretty new to camping and wheeling so we did an easy trail the first day. it could honestly been done in my wife's Prius, but we were just getting his feet wet. I don't have any pics of that trail.

The next day, we went to Arches national park and did some hiking:

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Romberger

Member
After that, we went and did one of the moderate trails called Fins and Things. It was obviously a walk in the park for the WK. The Lexus did great too. We went very slowly since my buddy doesn't know how to read a line yet, but we would talk through obstacles and I'd spot him. I have a really cool video of him doing a pretty technical decent if anyone want's to explain how to add videos to this site.

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The last day of the trip was tackling one of my bucket list items, Hells Revenge. We left the Lexus in the parking lot and took the Jeep. Man, that trail is epic! We took our time and pulled through quite a bit of awesome obstacles. For a vehicle that doesn't get a lot of attention on a day to day basis, it does draw a crowd when people see it do a hill climb or a large step up that wrangle sports struggle on. Once again, I love this platform. As far as carnage goes, I did hit my front passenger tire pretty hard on one of the rock garden sections. I had to do a tape measure alignment for the drive back to Phoenix, and somehow lost my tpms sensor on the same wheel. Other than that, everything worked properly.

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Overall, exploring a new environment has been fun and I'm excited for more adventures.
 
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jeepgc

Adventurer
Great pics, good to see you taking your WK out and thanks for posting them.

For videos, you'll need to upload them to one of the video hosting sites like YouTube/Vimeo etc and link to them in your post.

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CdnJeepr

New member
As someone who also has a Grand with the Diesel option, just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to more. Not sure if you are put a tune into your rig but look at Green Diesel Engineering for a tune that helps keep the engine clean, and the extra power is always nice. Keep the info coming, and I might pirate your rear tire carrier design.

Cheers
 
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