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Unread 11-13-2007, 06:57 AM   #1
unclejjg
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Mk's vs. '08 Liberty: ground clearance

I know this is a bit late in coming, but it might be relevant to anyone else making this decision. When comparing dimensions and off-road ability, take a look at the ground clearance difference:

Liberty: 7.8"
Patriot (FDI): 8"
Compass: 8.5"
Patriot (FDII) 9.0"

I know that seems a rather small bone to pick, but somewhere (and perhaps someone could confirm or deny this) I read that a lift on the vehicles with solid rear axles (such as the Liberty) really doesn't increase ground clearance because the axle is stays static. However, it allows for larger tires which do actually lift the vehicle. So though there is generally more clearance, the axles GC is fixed until larger tires are added.

On the other hand, lifting vehicles with IFS and IRS doesn't run into this problem because there is no axle hanging in the middle. So, if you lift 2", everything should go up 2", and then larger tires make an even bigger affect.

So if this is the case (if someone can confirm this it would be great because I'm kind of interested), then not only do the MK's have a better starting GC, but you get more bang for your buck when lifting compared to Liberties, Wrangers, ect.

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Unread 11-14-2007, 04:54 PM   #2
Gramps
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Here's a few shots to show what unclejjg is talking about ( back).
The first shots with my friends Libby show the gc between the two. He is running a 3" lift with 30.6 tires. He measures 12" at the skids, 13.5" at the rear axle and the hang up would be the rear pumpkin at only 8.5.

The second set are of a Cherokee that could use some TLC but that wouldn't change where the axles and pumpkins hang down. I didn't measure them but I hope that you can see the difference in the gc.
eeeshawn-007.jpg   eeeshawn-003.jpg   eeeshawn-010.jpg   eeeshawn-012.jpg   eeeshawn-014.jpg  

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Unread 11-14-2007, 07:07 PM   #3
unclejjg
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Right on Gramps! That is a perfect example of the advantage I though existed. Even with the tires and lift on the Liberty, there is still a weak link at 8.5". Meanwhile, you are riding high at 11" with the lifted Compass.
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Unread 11-15-2007, 12:06 PM   #4
ASUsax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejjg
I know this is a bit late in coming, but it might be relevant to anyone else making this decision. When comparing dimensions and off-road ability, take a look at the ground clearance difference:

Liberty: 7.8"
Patriot (FDI): 8"
Compass: 8.5"
Patriot (FDII) 9.0"

I know that seems a rather small bone to pick, but somewhere (and perhaps someone could confirm or deny this) I read that a lift on the vehicles with solid rear axles (such as the Liberty) really doesn't increase ground clearance because the axle is stays static. However, it allows for larger tires which do actually lift the vehicle. So though there is generally more clearance, the axles GC is fixed until larger tires are added.

On the other hand, lifting vehicles with IFS and IRS doesn't run into this problem because there is no axle hanging in the middle. So, if you lift 2", everything should go up 2", and then larger tires make an even bigger affect.

So if this is the case (if someone can confirm this it would be great because I'm kind of interested), then not only do the MK's have a better starting GC, but you get more bang for your buck when lifting compared to Liberties, Wrangers, ect.
That's not ENTIRELY true. It's true if you look ONLY at the centerline 'pumpkin' on a solid axle vehicle. However, that doesn't tell the whole story. Lifts are much easier on a Solid Axle, so higher clearances aren't a problem. The Geometry of a Independent suspension makes lifts over 2.5-3" problematic. That's why you don't see lifts over that height for the KJ, and you probably won't for the MK. (The KJ lifts that do go higher also swap in a Solid front Axle, usually a HP D30 from an XJ)

Additionally, you don't drive straight over something, you try to put that 'high spot' under your tires, so you get maximum clearance, and hit your rockers if you hit something. And on a Solid Axle, the force up will force the other side of the axle down, keeping all of your wheels on the ground. It's MUCH easier to lift a wheel on an independent suspension for this reason.

So while you're right about the centerline height increase, there are other disadvantages that outweigh the advantages. Especially in a Unibody vehicle, where it is more difficult to just move the whole IFS assembly, like they do on Pickup Trucks. The Independent suspensions also tend to be less resilient to damage than Solid Axles.

All of the disadvantages are why the Wranglers retain their solid axles. (Most HD trucks still have solid axles, also) IFS is great on-road, but it's not as great off-road.
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Unread 11-16-2007, 12:19 PM   #5
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This is what I was talking about, a Solid-axled rig wouldn't lift a tire here, but this Commander is WAY off the ground.

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Unread 11-16-2007, 02:09 PM   #6
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The only other problem I have with the compass, is the approach angle due to the front end. I am constantly comparing my MK to other cars in the same class, and other 4WDs. The MK in comparison is seriously lacking a decent approach angle because the front end sticks out so much in front of the tires.

Of course raising it will increase the angle a bit, but not by much. Has anyone else noticed this?
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Unread 11-16-2007, 03:25 PM   #7
Gramps
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That is a plus for the Patriot, it does have a little better approach angle. Depends on what you're doing with it if it's important or not. Chainsaw?
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Unread 11-16-2007, 03:32 PM   #8
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True Gramps. I do like the look of our Compass, but thats the downfall with it I guess (approach angle).

btw, how is your MK handling with it's new height?
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Unread 11-16-2007, 06:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdls4
True Gramps. I do like the look of our Compass, but thats the downfall with it I guess (approach angle).
I like the StarTech fascia better but I'm not sure if the tow hooks would interfere with where they have their fog lights. Trimming the fascia up could be looked at but from looking at where the skid plates are going to mount (kind of a stock location, the holes are there) I'm just not sure if you'd gain that much from trimming it up. I did throw my angle gauge on it and it comes out close to what the Patriot is stock. I want to double check everything for accuracy before I put it in writing. I'm not done with it yet .
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