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Unread 02-18-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
gabbagabba
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2014 WK 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Southwest, NH
Posts: 386
off road advice

I am looking to get involved with a local jeep club this spring/summer. I currently have a laredo base that does not have 4 low or off road prep.

My choices:
- sell/trade my '11 wk2 (which I really like as a DD and fits my tall frame well) and replace it with a trail rated '11- '14 WK2. Then my DD would also be the weekend warrior. Am I going to kill a wk2 wheeling it with a jeep club?
- keep my '11 wk2 and buy a used off road specific vehicle such as a used trail ready liberty or wrangler, use that just for off road. I do want the option of bringing the kids off road so maybe an unlimited or liberty. do the newer liberty's have as much head and leg room as a wk2?

Thoughts?

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Unread 02-18-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
avalys
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2014 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 100
At the time I bought the WK2, I was not interested in having two cars, and the WK2 was a perfect combination of a smooth, solid, luxurious, well-mannered daily driver, and off-road capability for the weekends. I have taken my WK2 to pretty aggressive places and it has done quite well. The 4WD system (especially with the Quadra-Drive II rear ELSD) is quite good and with all the electronics set correctly, performs very close to a fully-locking center and rear diff.

However, it does have limited ground clearance and suspension articulation compared to a Wrangler, and there is not much room to improve that with mods - though, still quite good compared to most modern SUVs.

If your Jeep club is doing rock crawling that pushes the limits of the Wrangler, you won't be able to keep up in the WK2. If it is more muddy/sandy hill climbs, more casual stuff, etc. you should be fine, although make sure to get good tires.

The real problem with my WK2 is just that it is a very nice, luxurious vehicle, and I don't like to bang it around as much as I would a Wrangler, I try not to scratch the paint on tight trails, I keep the windows shut so the nice leather interior doesn't get covered in dust, I drive slower on washboarded roads, I try not to scrape the bumper in the dirt, etc. In a Wrangler I wouldn't care about any of that ****, and I'd have more fun. To get all the off-road equipment (air suspension, skid plates, QDII, etc.), you have to get pretty much the top of the line WK2, and it doesn't feel right smashing around a $42,000 SUV with a leather-wrapped dash, ventilated seats, wood trim, etc.

I am thinking about selling the WK2 and replacing it with a Wrangler Unlimited and some kind of sports car. That would really fit my priorities better. The fact that I haven't done it yet is a testament to just how good the WK2 is.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
gabbagabba
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2014 WK 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Southwest, NH
Posts: 386
That is where I'm at too, love the WK2 but hate to beat it. I did find another '11 laredo (mine is the base model) with many options incl 4 low, hemi, leather--and it must have one of the OR packages b/c it has the OR badge. It had 55 K so I could buy it for what I could sell my '11 base with 25K.

decisions, decisions

local dealer has a aev unlimited '11
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Unread 02-18-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
LouC
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2007 WK 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 1,285
When I bought my 07 WK Limited Hemi QDII I kept my old 98 ZJ Laredo just for that reason, the resale on ZJs is really low anyway so I felt it was worth keeping it for mild off roading and camping trips. We use it to run the beaches on Long Island and aired down to 10 psi it does great even in soft sand. You can pick up older ZJs, WJs and XJs for little money (be careful because they can have a lot of issues seeing as how the newest ZJ is 15 years old and the newest Xjs are 12 years old). The Wranglers hold their value better so they'd cost more. It depends on if you have the patience and skill to re-hab one of these older Jeeps. If so try to find an un-modded one that is clean and not rusted. Check it out carefully. They all (ZJ, WJ, XJ, TJ) can do very well off road with the basic 4 liter 6 and the Selectrac 4x4 system (command trac on most XJs and TJs, thats part time only).

So the WK does long trips, tows the boat, etc, the ZJ does most local driving and rolls on the beach....
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2007 WK Limited Hemi QDII
1998 ZJ Laredo 4.0 Selectrac
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