Question about how the Wrangler does in the wind..... - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-16-2021, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
Bruin1md
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Question about how the Wrangler does in the wind.....

I'm debating between the GC Trailhawk and the Wrangler Rubicon unlimited and I keep reading about the horror stories when driving in high winds in the Wrangler, given the ride height, short wheel base, and boxy design, all of which create for the perfect scenario where it would feel like the rig is going to tip over.

I moved to an area in the mountains in northern Arizona where we get a decent amount of winds here and it concerns me with respect to driving for 3 hours into Phoenix while dealing with serious cross winds. I need something that will do well in that environment while also being able to handle the weekend trails here.

But then I realized something: the unlimited's wheel base is actually longer than my 4runner's and much longer than a 2 door wrangler, and I'm wondering if that would mitigate much of the wind issues and make it much safer to drive in significant winds?

Can anyone weigh in on this?

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post #2 of 17 Old 05-17-2021, 01:09 AM
TWISTEDII
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From the Chicago burbs. Had a JK with 4" lift, 35s, and soft top. Was a cheap lift, rode like ****, and I'd regularly drive on the highway in heavy crosswind. I'd say I noticed it more than if I were in something smaller / lower and less boxy, but I never felt like it was extremely dangerous or anything. It drove about how I expected it to given the variables. That was also a 2 door. My 21 JLUR feels much different and more solid, but it's also stock.
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post #3 of 17 Old 05-17-2021, 09:23 AM
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The unlimited's longer wheelbase and heavier weight of course makes it a bit more stable in high winds than a lifted 2-door. But the Wrangler was not designed to slip the wind. It will still be pushed around more than a vehicle that is designed more aerodynamically.
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-17-2021, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWISTEDII View Post
From the Chicago burbs. Had a JK with 4" lift, 35s, and soft top. Was a cheap lift, rode like ****, and I'd regularly drive on the highway in heavy crosswind. I'd say I noticed it more than if I were in something smaller / lower and less boxy, but I never felt like it was extremely dangerous or anything. It drove about how I expected it to given the variables. That was also a 2 door. My 21 JLUR feels much different and more solid, but it's also stock.

Good to hear. Iím really trying to decide between a rubicon unlimited or a GC trailhawk.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well an unlimited wrangler Sahara with the Diesel engine drove at speeds of up to 65mph. It was fantastic.
My buddy who has had a Sahara and now has the rubicon advised me to go with the rubicon, because the latterís suspension actually rides even better on pavement than the Sahara. Iím guessing thatís similar to the 4Runner TRD pro vs other 4Runner models, where the Proís Fox shocks actually give it a smoother ride in both off road and on road situations.


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post #5 of 17 Old 05-17-2021, 12:08 PM
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If you see 18 wheelers and motorhomes driving in the same area without issue you'll be fine in a wrangler.
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-18-2021, 08:47 AM
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Have you driven a Wrangler before? I ask this because it is a lot different than other vehicles.

I have a YJ that I restored and didn't put a lot of miles on it. On the highway, it was all over the place and felt like the littlest steering wheel jab would flip it. I took the track bars off and it made it better but it was still uneasy driving it. I still have the YJ but I haven't put a lot of miles on it for awhile. I have a feeling that the issue was a 1.5" shackle lift and old, over-inflated tires.

I just bought a JLUR and I felt a similar wandering sensation with it. It's leading me to believe that that's just how Jeep's drive. I will say it's better but it's still there. I'm currently playing with tire PSI and dropping it down to 37 PSI, as read by the computer/pcm has made a huge difference, as a lot of people have said.

I think you're going to get a lot of different answers about Wranglers and wind. You will have the veteran Jeep drivers that have been driving them for many years that will say that the new JLU's are great. You will have people that are used to driving sedans and 'sport' editions hop in the same JLU and say it's horrible in the wind. I've driven 'sport' editions of vehicles for the past ~15 years and I wouldn't say it's horrible, I would just say there's a period of adjustment. I keep in mind that I'm driving a box that's higher off the ground, so you are going to have a different feeling. At the same time, that 'sport' edition of a vehicle isn't going to be able to take you to where your wrangler will.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-18-2021, 10:54 AM
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I have both a 2 Dr JK and a GC Trailhawk.

Depending on your usage, both are good, the JK moves a bit in the wind but not dangerously so. Mine is also on 37's and a 3.5" lift. The hawk is stock. The hawk can do the beach, logging roads, fire roads, etc but bot serious off road trails, it just doesn't have the ground clearance.

For long distance road trips and even just grocery getting, the hawk is our vehicle of choice. If i'm going wheeling, the hawk stays in the garage.

02 WJ Laredo, heavily optioned but stock
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-18-2021, 10:54 AM
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I have both a 2 Dr JK and a GC Trailhawk.

Depending on your usage, both are good, the JK moves a bit in the wind but not dangerously so. Mine is also on 37's and a 3.5" lift. The hawk is stock. The hawk can do the beach, logging roads, fire roads, etc but bot serious off road trails, it just doesn't have the ground clearance.

For long distance road trips and even just grocery getting, the hawk is our vehicle of choice. If i'm going wheeling, the hawk stays in the garage.

02 WJ Laredo, heavily optioned but stock
12 JK, 3.5" Teraflex/Franken lift, Bilstein 5100's, BFG KM3's 37x12.5/R17
17 WK2 Trailhawk
KN4BBA
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-18-2021, 11:27 AM
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Jeeps do ok in winds I live in AZ. have drove mine in some winds but like Cran and more so I dont drive a jeep unless its for real off road mostly stuff that will harm your heep so i trailer it now for half its life so when its say 40+ winds on say 95 somewhere from Az to Reno. Jeeps on a trailer towed by a real Suv 4x4 or my f250 issue even towing it at 75. Our Suv weighs in at 4 tons of 4x4. can drag that jeep off road on trailer through 2s and some threes if it can fit. Fit is its issue big Suv.

reality daily driver that will not see lets say AZ1-2.0. About any Suv made by todays will do ok. Issue at 3s is even the trail hawks is real flex and bigger rocks where angle of approach and belly start to matter. Damage as well. Az its only 1-5 so trails tend to get hard at 3 by 4 its more the people that dont mind breaking it you need driver skills for hard trails; parts better be, have mechanical skills or good friend with you that can, flopping it trading paint with rock..... 5 is Buggy lines big boy toys with deep pockets.

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post #10 of 17 Old 05-18-2021, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranbiz View Post
I have both a 2 Dr JK and a GC Trailhawk.

Depending on your usage, both are good, the JK moves a bit in the wind but not dangerously so. Mine is also on 37's and a 3.5" lift. The hawk is stock. The hawk can do the beach, logging roads, fire roads, etc but bot serious off road trails, it just doesn't have the ground clearance.

For long distance road trips and even just grocery getting, the hawk is our vehicle of choice. If i'm going wheeling, the hawk stays in the garage.

Good stuff.
One question: you mention lack of ground clearance in the TH for serious off roading: what about the off road Air suspension settings to give it an extra 2-3Ē? Youíre saying even in that setting, itís not enough ground clearance to do anything even halfway serious off road ?


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post #11 of 17 Old 05-19-2021, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruin1md View Post
Good stuff.
One question: you mention lack of ground clearance in the TH for serious off roading: what about the off road Air suspension settings to give it an extra 2-3Ē? Youíre saying even in that setting, itís not enough ground clearance to do anything even halfway serious off road ?


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Off road 2 really doesn't give you much more ground clearance. It does, though rattle your fillings out as there is almost no suspension give. The bigger question is what is halfway serious? Your definition could be way different than mine. To me, halfway serious is blue trails in the mid Atlantic. They are a step above gravel roads or simple bulldozed trails with some rock, ruts, etc. There is a trail called Hurricane Creek, in Clyde NC that is technically a county road. I was there last weekend for a guys weekend out with minor wheeling. There were spots that I guarantee the hawk wouldn't have made it where my JK simply crawled through at idle. In fact, we had a guy with us that had a XJ on 31's and a 2" lift that had trouble making it.

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12 JK, 3.5" Teraflex/Franken lift, Bilstein 5100's, BFG KM3's 37x12.5/R17
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-19-2021, 12:31 PM
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You cannot buy an unsafe vehicle. If it was unsafe for any reason then the manufacturer would not be allowed to sell it. There are a tremendous amount of government regulations a vehicle must pass.
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-19-2021, 07:25 PM
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I started driving a Toyota FJ40 in 1978 and went to Jeeps in 2003. I'm on my 4th Jeep, a 2018 JLU. You are driving a brick shaped vehicle down the road. I've driven extensively in the Four Corners region with headwinds, crosswinds and tailwinds up to 60 mph. Put your cell phone down, put both hands on the wheel and slow down. That said our 2018 JLU does ok even in crosswinds but it can be a bit squirrely when a semi passes you.
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-22-2021, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
Bruin1md
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWISTEDII View Post
From the Chicago burbs. Had a JK with 4" lift, 35s, and soft top. Was a cheap lift, rode like ****, and I'd regularly drive on the highway in heavy crosswind. I'd say I noticed it more than if I were in something smaller / lower and less boxy, but I never felt like it was extremely dangerous or anything. It drove about how I expected it to given the variables. That was also a 2 door. My 21 JLUR feels much different and more solid, but it's also stock.

If I got the rubicon unlimited, I would definitely keep it stock..... no lifts.
It would therefore be about an inch or so taller than my TRD 4Runner.
The difference would be the boxier body of the rubicon, but it would actually have the longer wheelbase than the 4Runner


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post #15 of 17 Old 05-22-2021, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saaouji9 View Post
Have you driven a Wrangler before? I ask this because it is a lot different than other vehicles.

I have a YJ that I restored and didn't put a lot of miles on it. On the highway, it was all over the place and felt like the littlest steering wheel jab would flip it. I took the track bars off and it made it better but it was still uneasy driving it. I still have the YJ but I haven't put a lot of miles on it for awhile. I have a feeling that the issue was a 1.5" shackle lift and old, over-inflated tires.

I just bought a JLUR and I felt a similar wandering sensation with it. It's leading me to believe that that's just how Jeep's drive. I will say it's better but it's still there. I'm currently playing with tire PSI and dropping it down to 37 PSI, as read by the computer/pcm has made a huge difference, as a lot of people have said.

I think you're going to get a lot of different answers about Wranglers and wind. You will have the veteran Jeep drivers that have been driving them for many years that will say that the new JLU's are great. You will have people that are used to driving sedans and 'sport' editions hop in the same JLU and say it's horrible in the wind. I've driven 'sport' editions of vehicles for the past ~15 years and I wouldn't say it's horrible, I would just say there's a period of adjustment. I keep in mind that I'm driving a box that's higher off the ground, so you are going to have a different feeling. At the same time, that 'sport' edition of a vehicle isn't going to be able to take you to where your wrangler will.

Thanks. Yeah I test drove the unlimited Sahara. I didnít drive it in high winds but did drive it up to 65 mph and it felt fine. In addition, it had the Diesel engine, and I loved the torque.
Mind you, Iím coming from a 4Runner trd pro so itís not a huge difference in terms of cabin noise and road manners.
Iím thinking about the rubicon unlimited with the diesel, and keeping it stock.


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