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Unread 09-30-2009, 12:04 PM   #1
Robert J. yates
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Opinions wanted on build plan - 08 CRD Grand

I am finally to the point of having most everything (at least generally speaking) decided on my build. The original plan was to keep the Grand stock but my TJ frankly, has not proved to be a good expedition platform so that changed things a bit.

So now, the plan for this Jeep is to outfit it so that I can use it for my expedition trips (ie solo back country exploring in western national parks/BLM lands) and relegate my TJ back to more of a rockcrawler/wheeling type of rig which it once was. The Grand will probably not see much more than a class 3 trail if at all, but since I do run solo with my wife, I need it to be capable, durable and reliable.

I am planning to install the T&J Performance Safari Performance Suspension Rally kit which produces a 3" lift. I do not want to go any bigger and would in fact prefer it to be 2" but I like how this lift is dialed in with the remote resevoir shocks and valving specific to the weight of the vehicle.

What I am undecided about are tires and rims. I do not want to run bigger than a 31/32" tire as I do not want to upset the gearing on my truck. I think its about optimal with the 3:73's for both off-road and pavement use. I do plan to tow my off road trailer with the Grand as well as ocassionally flat or trailer tow my TJ.

I currently have the 245/60-18 Forteras on the OEM 18" chrome rims. I'm actually ok with the chromies but I have no idea on what tire might fit with this lift height so I could use some feedback there and particularly so for the front bolt interference issue. I don't really care for the sidewall aspect of the 18" rim offroad but it does tend to provide good road manners and this Jeep sees alot of road trips. I put 25k on it the first year of ownership.

I am also considering a swap to AEV rims or else JK rims and could use advice on whether those 17" rims will fit on my 08 and again, what might the optimum tire size be for those rims in the 31/32" flavor.

With the lift, I have a few other concerns....

1. will I need any driveshaft upgrades? I have not ever seen this mentioned and having run a TJ for the past 11 years, I know driveshafts can be a big deal.

2. flashing the ECU for tire size compensation and ESP? No clue here and could use some help.

As for the rest of it...I am planning to purchase a full compliment of 4XGuards' rock rails, skids and Matrix front bumper with the receiver for a portable Warn winch.

So have at it WK folks and let me know what you think.

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Unread 09-30-2009, 12:57 PM   #2
DarrylFlynn
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I have done the Paris Dakar Rally 3 times in my stock CRD Grand Cherokee and never finished lower than 3rd!!!!! Only mod was running the Goodyear Wranglers at 30psi instead of 36!

Believe me its fine as it rolled off the production line

Kind Regards Darryl

Last edited by DarrylFlynn; 09-30-2009 at 03:13 PM..
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Unread 09-30-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
Texas WJ
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Quote:
I am also considering a swap to AEV rims or else JK rims and could use advice on whether those 17" rims will fit on my 08 and again, what might the optimum tire size be for those rims in the 31/32" flavor.
I believe, though I may be wrong, that the JK wheels will fit on the '07 and newer WKs/XKs with a tire spacer. The caliper is larger than the '05 and '06 models, which I have, so I can't really confirm this for you.

Quote:
With the lift, I have a few other concerns....

1. will I need any driveshaft upgrades? I have not ever seen this mentioned and having run a TJ for the past 11 years, I know driveshafts can be a big deal.
No, it should be just fine as it is. I've been running 265/70-17 for almost 2 years and 35,000 miles and I've had absolutely zero problems. (I'm at 2" though, 3 three shouldn't make a huge difference I suspect) The stock gearing has proven to be more than adequate.

Quote:
2. flashing the ECU for tire size compensation and ESP? No clue here and could use some help.
The largest stock size the dealer can flash to is 245/65-17 (Just under 32"). Not a huge improvement. With the 265/70-17 I believe the speedo is about 7% off. You might be able to get closer to the proper size with an aftermarket scanner, normally only the guys with 4" off lift have been dealing with this though. So, I can't offer much.

Quote:
As for the rest of it...I am planning to purchase a full compliment of 4XGuards' rock rails, skids and Matrix front bumper with the receiver for a portable Warn winch.
Nice.

As a long haul expedition vehicle the drawbacks I've found are gas consumption of the Hemi, which the CRD should really help here, and the interior cargo space. It's just not there. I'd definitely look for a roof rack or something like that for equipment storage. Full size spare tire storage is also an issue. With 265/70-17 and the stock trailer hitch I had to stuff the tire under the vehicle deflated... so that necessitates keeping a compressor on board all the time. Not a big deal, and you've probably already have one. Another thing to think about is the brake lines, I've been thinking about upgrading to a longer braided line for extra protection in the front as they're pretty exposed.

Here's my storage solution:



Not ideal, but it gets the job done. It's kinda illegal since I covers the plate but they're so common in these parts that the cops haven't bothered me.
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Unread 09-30-2009, 01:28 PM   #4
Robert J. yates
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Replying to Darryl Flynn......I recently wheeled it stock into the Sierra Nevadas here in California. Monache Jeep Road is a 20 mile 1 way trip on a narrow trail winding through trees, with some rocks and water crossings thrown in. The Grand handled the 40 mile round trip fine in its stock configuration so I understand what you are saying. What I am after is protection and recovery as well as some durability. The stock Forteras took a pretty good beating so on that note alone, I want an upgraded more offroad biased tire.

I also bumped and dragged some stuff underneath so a larger tire and protection underneath will prevent any serious injury. I've never done the DAKAR so I can't comment on your experience. All I have to go by is my own travels and that experience says to me that its wise to install the things I have mentioned above.

Replying to TexasWJ...thanx for the info. I'm not looking to store much in the vehcile as I have an offroad trailer with RTT for my gear. On your spare though...did you massage the bolts and hitch at all or did you just deflate the tire? I use CO2 in my TJ so I already have the gear I need for inflation purposes. Thanx.
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Unread 09-30-2009, 01:46 PM   #5
Texas WJ
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I did not touch the bolts, so that's a possibility.
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Unread 09-30-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
DarrylFlynn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert J. yates View Post
Replying to Darryl Flynn:- I've never done the DAKAR so I can't comment on your experience. All I have to go by is my own travels and that experience says to me that its wise to install the things I have mentioned above. Thanx.

Neither have I. I was only joking. The Paris Dakar is a WORLD class event with factory entered teams. Somehow i think me and my diesel Jeep would be a little outclassed.

The Mitsubishi Pajero has been superb in this event

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Bt0tlU7Yg&feature=related


Cheers Darryl

Last edited by DarrylFlynn; 09-30-2009 at 03:14 PM..
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Unread 09-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #7
LJS8510
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I'm not sure about the lift you are talking about but I have OME shocks & springs it give close to 3".
I have 265/70/17 BFG wheels I think they are about 31.7".
I also have AEV wheels to help with the bolt problem.
I don't know if you know but AEV is coming out with new wheels. There is another thread in the other jeep forum with pictures. If you like the old style you may want to get them while you can.

I had some minor rubbing on inner front fenders.

This set up works for me no squeak or creaks and climbs great. Just got back from trip out to Nevada & Colorado this set up work perfect. Except did have some diesel smell when during heavy mountain climbing.
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Unread 09-30-2009, 03:08 PM   #8
Robert J. yates
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJS8510 View Post
I don't know if you know but AEV is coming out with new wheels. There is another thread in the other jeep forum with pictures. If you like the old style you may want to get them while you can.

I've seen them over on JU so yah, I know about them. Offroad Expo is coming up in a few weeks and I'll get a first hand look at them there and then decide.

On the OME....I had an OME on my TJ a long time ago and was pleased with it. Tell me...on yours, do you feel have the capability with it to travel at speed across washbaorded roads for miles on end? That is actually the prime consideration I have....this Jeep willbe spending alot of time in the desert.
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Unread 09-30-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
LJS8510
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert J. yates View Post

On the OME....I had an OME on my TJ a long time ago and was pleased with it. Tell me...on yours, do you feel have the capability with it to travel at speed across washbaorded roads for miles on end? That is actually the prime consideration I have....this Jeep willbe spending alot of time in the desert.

I spent some time in the deserts just outside Vegas on my recent trip.

It certainly handled the washboard roads pretty well.
As far the vehicle handling the road it was good,
at about 30 mph. I felt confident enough that if I knew the road I could go faster with no problems.
If you are talking about ride comfort, you certainly feel some washboard roads at some speeds.
Every washboard road is better or worse, sometime you just can't find that groove!

The OME springs I have are the Heavy Duty, the ride is a bit stiff, made more for towing.
OME also makes a medium duty spring, they may be better for the washboard roads.

Some have mixed it up getting both HD's & MD's
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OME HD Lift about 3"
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GSA 255/75/17 32.1" (no bolt cut/no pinch weld)
spare 265/70/17 stock location
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Unread 10-01-2009, 08:19 AM   #10
justa4banger
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Your first mod should be getting a tune for the CRD.... you'll want the added power to turn the larger wheels, Plus it just makes the truck BETTER.

There are plenty of options for 17" wheels just look around
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Unread 10-01-2009, 02:24 PM   #11
Robert J. yates
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Originally Posted by justa4banger View Post
Your first mod should be getting a tune for the CRD.... you'll want the added power to turn the larger wheels, Plus it just makes the truck BETTER
Ain't gonna happen until the extended warranty expires. It doesn't need more power anyways...he!!, drive a TJ pulling a 1700lb offroad trailer if you want to know what a real dog of a Jeep is.
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Unread 10-02-2009, 07:49 AM   #12
justa4banger
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WHy not? the tune is not readable by the starscan..........

the other thing , remember dealers have to prove that any mod you did caused a warrantied item to fail.

If your going to add a lift and bigger tires, the dealership could easily say any drivtrain issues could be caused by either of those items. so whats the difference? get the tune, once you do, you'll wonder why you ever waited.
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Unread 10-02-2009, 03:00 PM   #13
Robert J. yates
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Diffs and axle shafts I can fix....Mercedes 3.0 turbo diesel motors I can't.
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Unread 10-03-2009, 02:27 AM   #14
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I run a RR 2.25 lift (small spacer on top of the strut) with Bilstein shocks and 265/70R17 tires on stock wheels. We did the lift and tires so the Jeep wouldn't drag it's belly driving around the farms. I'm not that thrilled with the off road performance. I can't drive the Jeep like I do my truck around the farm, I hit the big bumps kinda fast and hard sometimes. The front of the Jeep will bottom out pretty easy, and top out with a loud bang if I try to use it like I use my truck. It looks like it's topping out by the upper a arm hitting the strut.

We are planning on going to a Superlift in a few years. I'd like to have a 4" lift to run 33" tires. I really like the Jeep, the 3.0 and trans are awesome, but the IFS is a bummer. I'd love a solid axle swap, but that's a bit out of my league.
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