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Unread 11-21-2010, 09:35 AM   #1
CTO1
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2011 WK 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tempe, AZ
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Off-road observations

I've had my V6 Limited for exactly one week today and figure I would share some observations from some light off-roading I did yesterday. As a comparison, my previous Jeep was a 2-door JK Rubicon with a small lift and 33" tires, so getting out of the habit of being able to climb over just about anything will be tough to break.

I took it up the Mt. Ord road and for those of you near Phoenix that have been on it, you know it's by no means a Jeep trail but it does have a few side trails that you would want low range for. First and foremost, when you have the Quadra-Lift raised up all the way, it rides rough. I don't know if it's because of the maximum levels of gas in the shocks or the change in the angles of the suspension arms, but it is a significant change from the smooth ride at normal ride height and quite a bit from even the Off-Road I ride height. And if anyone was wondering, it won't stay at either of the Off-Road suspension settings once you get on the highway and speed up. I'm not sure if there is a way to override that but unless you like a rough ride, I wouldn't recommend it.

Second, the hill descent control can be annoying. Has anyone tried this and noticed that it makes some strange noises down below the dash? I think it's the actuator for the brakes but certainly doesn't sound normal. I'm going to take it in just to make sure nothing is broken. If you've had any decent experience with a Jeep off-road, chances are you won't need it so I'd recommend turning it off.

Those are really the only two complaints that I can think of. I don't really mind the rough riding part since I don't plan on needing to use the maximum suspension height that much. Short of being in a Wrangler with the top down, the new GC with the dual-pane sunroof is a great way to experience the outdoors. It was great driving through Oak Creek Canyon yesterday with the sunroof open and the windows down. And even with the serious wind out of the south yesterday, it still drove great down I-17 and average mpg was in the mid-20s. I'm only on my second full tank of gas and haven't reset the mpg meter so I'm pretty sure it will improve.

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Unread 11-29-2010, 01:38 PM   #2
ordually
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Quote:
First and foremost, when you have the Quadra-Lift raised up all the way, it rides rough. I don't know if it's because of the maximum levels of gas in the shocks or the change in the angles of the suspension arms, but it is a significant change from the smooth ride at normal ride height and quite a bit from even the Off-Road I ride height.
Thanks for posting your observations, particularly on the ride quality at the highest height. Coming from a Wrangler you're probably used to a lot of flex. Have you made any flex observations with quadra-lift? There's a you-tube video showing one going over some sort of dealer-demo ramps. It appeared to be at the highest quadra-lift setting, and I was surprised that there wasn't much flex in the suspension. I'm wondering if the lack of flex and the ride stiffness you observed is both caused by having the shocks all aired up to reach that 2.6" lift height?
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Last edited by ordually; 11-29-2010 at 01:40 PM.. Reason: Changed you tube embed (which didn't work) to a link
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Unread 11-29-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
CTO1
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Originally Posted by ordually View Post
Thanks for posting your observations, particularly on the ride quality at the highest height. Coming from a Wrangler you're probably used to a lot of flex. Have you made any flex observations with quadra-lift? There's a you-tube video showing one going over some sort of dealer-demo ramps. It appeared to be at the highest quadra-lift setting, and I was surprised that there wasn't much flex in the suspension. I'm wondering if the lack of flex and the ride stiffness you observed is both caused by having the shocks all aired up to reach that 2.6" lift height?
You are correct. What flex or articulation it does have is nothing compared to a Wrangler. It's pretty easy to get on two wheels, even lifted all the way up, and it's just something I'll have to get used to. Disconnecting the sway bars would help but I don't know how difficult it would be. I hope some after-market quick disconnects become available eventually. Despite that it is still quite capable off-road. I took it on the Broken Arrow trail in Sedona, AZ this weekend and it was able to make it over the obstacles without scraping the skid plates as much as I thought it would. Removing the front air dam really does make a big difference in clearance. Coming down the 'stairs' in the picture I posted here would have destroyed it if I had left it on. Also, the hill descent control was again not very useful compared to using my own foot. I'm beginning to not really mind the rough ride off-road since it behaves so well on the pavement compared to a Wrangler.
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Unread 11-29-2010, 04:02 PM   #4
newjk
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do you have quadra dive? and if so, how does that compare to the 4wd of the wrangler? tks
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Unread 11-29-2010, 08:12 PM   #5
ecupip
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The noise from the hill descent is normal. It is actually the ABS working on each wheel. My Range Rover did the same thing. It is loud but useful if you are going down some steep grades.
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Unread 11-30-2010, 08:36 AM   #6
CTO1
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Originally Posted by ecupip View Post
The noise from the hill descent is normal. It is actually the ABS working on each wheel. My Range Rover did the same thing. It is loud but useful if you are going down some steep grades.
Thanks. I'm still wondering if there may be something wrong with mine. It's almost a grinding sound that seems to come from the left front wheel but it could be from under the dash but in front of the firewall. I haven't heard it from any of the other wheels but it may just be that I can't hear it. It only makes the noise when using hill descent control or when in 'Rock' mode when I think it may be trying to brake-lock to keep the wheels from slipping. When using regular 4-Low it sounds fine. I'll take it back to the dealer soon to have them check it out just to be safe.

newjk - I have the Quadra-Trac II system since as far as I can tell the Quadra-Drive II system is only available with the Hemi. I really wanted that electronic limited slip rear differential of the QDII but really didn't want the added expense of the Hemi. I don't think it was much of a compromise based on the wheeling I've done so far, except for the above noted issue. It's kind of hard to compare the WK2 4wd to a JK since the suspension is so different. When rock crawling it's more difficult to keep all four wheels on the ground but when you do it seems to work just as well as a JK. It's certainly quieter, which is nice. In a few more months, or maybe sooner, I'll run it on Hell's Revenge in Moab and let you know what it's really capable of.
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Unread 11-30-2010, 10:37 PM   #7
billzcat1
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Originally Posted by CTO1 View Post
Thanks. I'm still wondering if there may be something wrong with mine. It's almost a grinding sound that seems to come from the left front wheel but it could be from under the dash but in front of the firewall.
What you are hearing is the ABS servo. It IS under the hood...you won't hear anything at the individual wheels because at that point the action is purely hydraulic. You are hearing it in Rock mode as well because the electronic traction control transfers torque side-to-side by braking the individual wheel that experiences slip, thereby transferring torque to the opposite side of the open differential. It utilizes the ABS servo to accomplish that feat.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 02:05 PM   #8
CTO1
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It's an awfully strange noise but I hope you are right and there isn't anything wrong with mine. I'll get out this weekend and give it a good workout.
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Unread 12-01-2010, 06:40 PM   #9
billzcat1
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Get on a wet or gravelly road with plenty of clearance. Then brace yourself and MASH that brake pedal. I guarantee you will hear the same noise and feel the pedal reverberate under your feet.
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Unread 12-04-2010, 10:19 AM   #10
CTO1
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You guys were right about the ABS servo. After a second round of rock crawling I feel much more confident about the WK2's off-road capabilities. It makes a weird noise but it's the next best thing to having electronic locking axles. I was able to go up quite a steep incline in the 'Rock' setting that I could not get up in just regular 4-Low. The wheels will spin some but eventually it will get traction and go. I love it!
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