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Unread 04-04-2015, 05:50 AM   #1
99JeepXJ
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Wk WK2 Changes through the years

Starting my search for a WK2, I need to trade in my 2007 Tahoe before it falls apart.

So I'll be looking for a Limited or Overland with the Hemi. I tow a 2,000 lb trailer and a ~2,700lb race car. I'd really like QL but I'd like to drive w/ and w/o to see how different it is. I've dealt with constant air lift problems on my Tahoe (rear leveling) but that option is great when towing and the Active Suspension (electronic shocks) really makes a difference.

So obviously the switch to an 8-speed tranny in '14 is a big deal. I am honestly a little scared of it though. To me the Mercedes 5-sp (some sites say it is a 6?) feels like it might be more reliable long term.

I don't really care about the body changes although if I had to pick I think I like the original body style a little better...but the newer headlights are pretty cool. Anyway, can someone list the more significant changes inside and out between 2011 and 2015? Thanks!

-Jeff

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Unread 04-04-2015, 06:26 AM   #2
spinxt
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Quadra Lift is nice, but I wouldn't own a QL vehicle without an extended warranty. Something will fail at some point, it's just a matter of when.

I've owned a 2011 overland with QuadraLift and currently own a 2014 with standard load leveling suspension. I honestly cannot tell a difference in ride quality (and I have a leveling kit, which you can't do with QL). I also tow a 20ft ski boat and the conventional suspension with load-leveling does just as good as the QL did.
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Unread 04-04-2015, 07:02 AM   #3
99JeepXJ
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What's load leveling? A factory option or aftermarket?
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Unread 04-04-2015, 07:05 AM   #4
ColdCase
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There is a pretty good description at WK2Jeeps.com.

Significant change? The 8 speed transmission and new electronics/dash in 2014 is about it, unless you think losing the rear flip window significant. Most of the changes was pulling features off the standard list and putting them on the extra cost option list.
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Unread 04-04-2015, 07:32 AM   #5
spinxt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99JeepXJ
What's load leveling? A factory option or aftermarket?
Rear load-leveling shocks are installed on GCs with the conventional suspension (non-QL) with the factory tow package. They are a self-contained shock made by Nivomat. They use a series of valves to maintain a level ride height in the rear when the vehicle is loaded with cargo or a trailer.

So they are "stock" if you opt for the tow package from the factory. There are many people on this forum (including me) that added the Nivomats after the fact. It's a very simple swap.
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Unread 04-04-2015, 11:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99JeepXJ View Post
So obviously the switch to an 8-speed tranny in '14 is a big deal. I am honestly a little scared of it though. To me the Mercedes 5-sp (some sites say it is a 6?) feels like it might be more reliable long term.
-Jeff
If you are looking at a 2011-2013 there are two completely different transmissions available, depending on the engine. The v6 gets the Mercedes designed w5a580 5 speed. While the hemi gets the chrysler designed 65rfe (also called 545rfe). The 65rfe/545rfe has been called both a 5 or 6 speed depending on the year of the vehicle and what computer tune it uses.

Ive owned vehicles that use the transmissions, so i have experience with both. Imo, both transmissions are reliable. However, I believe that the w5a580 is a better trans for cars then trucks. I also believe the w5a580 is better for overall vehicle performance, thus it being used in the srt. However, I don't believe the w5a580 is built for heavy towing, because it hasn't been used in any vehicle that has more then a 5,000 lbs tow rating.

The 65rfe, while it has the ability tow fairly heavy, it also has poor ratios and robs the engine of a lot of hp.

Imo, there is NO area that the 65rfe is better then an 8 speed. The 8 speed is stronger, more fuel efficient, is better for performance and towing, and is more reliable. I remember reading an article that stated that after chrysler switched over to the 8 speed that warranty claims had gone down 10-15%.

The only area that the w5a580 (which is only offered on the v6) MIGHT be a little better then the 8 speed is reliability. And because, imo, the 8 speed outshines the w5a580 in every other area, (including towing) I would have no trouble in choosing the 8 speed over the w5a580.

The 8 speed is not a new trans. It has been used in European vehicles for almost a decade now and has had a damn good reliability record. While the 8 speed chrysler uses in the v6s are a little different then the 8 speed used overseas, I don't believe it will be any less reliable.

The 8 speed used behind the hemi is the same as the overseas version, and as I mentioned above, been very reliable. With the hemi, the 8 speed is the ONLY trans I would look consider.

I hope I helped decision a little easier.
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Unread 04-04-2015, 01:19 PM   #7
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Excellent summary wyat72.

The only thing I would add is that the w5a580 5-speed was used on the 2012-13 6.4 litre SRT versions, due I believe to it's ability to handle the torque better than the 65rfe 6-speed. (The 580 number refers to the torque rating in lb-ft if I recall correctly.) So I would think that would make it a strong choice for the rigors of towing as well.

I agree that the 8-speed would still be the better choice though.
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Unread 04-04-2015, 05:30 PM   #8
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The w5a580 was also mated to the bigger V8 used in the 2011-2013 SRT. It must be pretty strong?
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Unread 04-04-2015, 07:30 PM   #9
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I'm not saying the w5a580 isn't stronger or a better performing trans then the 65rfe.

I'm saying the reason why the w5a580s max tow rating, in every application that I have seen, is 5000 lbs is because it isn't built for towing.

I remember reading that the w5a580 can only do a full torque converter lock in overdrive. Which means in every other gear, the coverter would be slipping, which would cause excess heat and premature wear and damage to the trans.

When towing, a stronger trans that isn't built for towing well fail sooner then a weaker trans that is built for towing.

An example of this would be the w5a580 vs the 845re 8 speed behind the v6. In the w5a580 the max tow is 5000. In the 845re the max tow is 6200. The w5a580 is a stronger trans then the 845re, but the 845re can tow more.
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Unread 04-04-2015, 07:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyat72 View Post
When towing, a stronger trans that isn't built for towing well fail sooner then a weaker trans that is built for towing.
Makes sense
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Unread 04-04-2015, 10:50 PM   #11
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New Tahoe is nice.
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Unread 04-05-2015, 01:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-10R View Post
New Tahoe is nice.
Its definitely an improvement over the old Tahoe, but I still like the interior and exterior of the 2014+ WK2s better myself. Not to mention the price tag the new Tahoes command.
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Unread 04-05-2015, 05:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-10R
New Tahoe is nice.
The Tahoe is a completely different vehicle than the GC. It's not even comparable.
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Unread 04-05-2015, 07:46 PM   #14
99JeepXJ
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I directly compared Tahoe vs GC. How is it not even close? They are both large luxury SUVs. 5 years ago when the WK2 was just coming out I was comparing the WK vs 2007+ (GMT900) Tahoe. Both were about $30k for ~40k miles used. I wanted a v8 suv and they were directly comparable. Wife and I wanted to like the WK but honestly its a pos. Hemi was great but that interior is garbage and it's very small inside. Anyway ended up with the Tahoe. I love everything about the WK2 but I'm more than a little concerned with Chrysler reliability, but tahoe hasn't been great and I'm not buying import truck.

So yeah I'd directly compare a tahoe and a GC.
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Unread 04-05-2015, 08:02 PM   #15
spinxt
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[QUOTE="99JeepXJ". Wife and I wanted to like the WK but honestly its a pos..[/QUOTE]

A pos huh? That pretty short sighted and obviously your opinion. I'm sorry you seem to have taken offense to my comment; none was intended. I was merely inferring that the GC is considered a midsize SUV vs. the Tahoe which is considered large (or full size). The Tahoe is a very nice vehicle, but it's MUCH bigger in every aspect than the GC. GC has smaller wheel base, better turning radius, one less row of seats, etc. there are some pretty significant differences.

And if it means anything, by buddy's 14' Tahoe has been back to the dealer more times than my 14' Limited...already had a new Nav unit, recall for potential fire possibility (some heat shield was missing near exhaust), and he's had the seat replaced due to a bunch of faulty sensors. Of course, GCs issues are well documented, but to infer it's a pos is a little unfair.
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