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Unread 01-26-2014, 02:06 PM   #1
EEDKLD
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2013 MK Patriot 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Greenwood, SC
Posts: 7
issues with off roading the Pat

Since I have been reading this forum I see there is a lot of experienced off roaders here. questions. What is the biggest issue with the Pat in off roading? Ground clearance? available room for bigger tires? Gearing? Engine torque? I would just like to hear what you all think is the biggest obstacle.

Thanks

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Unread 01-26-2014, 02:36 PM   #2
aroundincircles
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Yes, all of it. The patriot is not a dedicated off road vehicle, it is a car based suv, with a decent ride and decent fuel economy. so you have a lot of compromises, and a very small after market support for it. BUT if it is optioned correctly, you can do 80-90% of what you could do with a stock wrangler sport. (my opinion obviously).

First and foremost. if you are serious about off roading, buy one with the freedom drive two package. you get a few things that you simply don't get with the other 4x4 system, that cannot be added later. Don't think a Freedom drive one or a front wheel drive will be as good...

Limitations:
The biggest lift you can find is a 2" lift, anything bigger puts too much angle on your cv joints, and will just break them.
The biggest tire you can fit is about a 30" x 9.5", you start hitting suspension parts AFTER you are lifted, before lift 28.5" x 8.5 is about it.
the FDII has a 19:1 crawl ratio, but it does not have a transfer case, it is just part of the regular transmission. so no actual low range.
in some ways the cvt is awesome off road, it doesn't have gears to shift through, it just gets the engine in the right spot for power, and gets the torque to the wheels, but I've had times where i've been trying to climb a hill and lost my momentum, and with the gas floored I wasn't going anywhere, tires were not spinning, i was stalled. I don't know if another car with a typical transmission would do the same, or if I was just cooking my cvt transmission fluid.
articulation is a huge minus... you end up often with 1 wheel in the air, and almost as often with 2 in the air. the break lock differentials are a huge plus here, and will get you though almost any obstacle, but i've found when climbing hills, sometimes the blds are not enough. I've been trying to find a locker that will fit in the rear, but so far no luck. (i've been told a chrysler 8.25" 29 spline would fit, but I'm not so sure on that and have found 0 technical info on the rear diff in a patriot other than a part number)

Now take all i've said with the fact that i off road my patriot more than just about anybody else I think. I haven't missed a month where I haven't taken it out at least once, and often more than once. You can see my pics and videos in the links in my signature. I think a FDII patriot is in a class of its own when it comes to crossovers. (they cherokee trailhawk is better, but costs 11k more than you can get a FDII patriot). But don't expect it to beat a wrangler off road. Like i said a stock FDII patriot (with decent at tires) will do about 80-90% of what a STOCK wrangler can do off road, but a wrangler has an almost endless amount of available mods to make it more capable off road.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 02:47 PM   #3
EEDKLD
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Wow, great information. Since I am new to modifying a Pat, are the larger tires mainly for ground clearance of the actual suspension lift and where do you measure the ground clearance at. I see on mine that it is the lower control arms that are the closest to the ground.

Thanks for the information in your first reply.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 02:52 PM   #4
aroundincircles
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on any vehicle, any real ground clearance gains are from larger tires, so yes, Larger tires provide more clearance. But you also get more sidewall, so you can air down and not get damage from going over rocks, etc. you also get better traction with larger tires. But they are also heavier and take more power to turn (slight drop in mpg).

The pat is a hard one to measure ground clearance on.. as on most traditional off road vehicles you measure at the lowest point on the vehicle, with is typically the differentials in the axles. but on a pat, the differentials are tucked up into the chassis... I measure from the lowest point I'll most likely hit, the middle of the front skid plate. I don't know if that is the typical place to measure, but its where I do.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 03:04 PM   #5
EEDKLD
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That help. just a few more questions. I went to the website and looked at the fun you have been having. Do you have the larger tires on the stock rims? Have you changed anything on the engine? Factory shocks/struts? How much road clearance do yours have?

This have been great. I am just planning on what you would call a little off road. I live near the Smokey's and am looking to of road some to get to some back areas to camp. haven't been there yet so I am not sure how capable the Pat needs to be.
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Unread 01-26-2014, 03:22 PM   #6
aroundincircles
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Modes I have done for off roading:
2" lift from rro outfitters (www.rocky-road.com)
I am running 245/65r17 on the stock 17" rims
to fit them I have 1.25" rims.
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