Part 2: Making The Most Of Our Mopars
Boy now you have seen the coverage of the Ultimate Adventure (Nov. and Dec. '07), and seen why it was a good idea for us to have some serious support vehicles in our midst. Our U.A. Rubi Wagon was certainly capable of managing itself on the trail, but we also needed to cart all the gear and people necessary to make a trip like this happen. Our Commanders were more than up to the task after we were done with them, transforming two grocery-getters into dual-duty workhorses that would see as much abuse as some people's trailer queens.
Last month, we added a 4-inch Superlift suspension and 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains to Biggie, while Shortie got a more street-sensible setup utilizing a Daystar 2-inch boost and 31-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrains. This time around, we matched Biggie's exterior to our U.A. Rubi Wagon and added a Defender rack, Mopar rock rails, a Mopar GPS unit, and a Warn winch. Shortie's finish was a bit milder, with a Mopar grilleguard, Mopar rock rails, and a Defender rack. With their awesome traction-control systems, both Biggie and Shortie carried out their duties excellently and made the cast of Ultimate Adventure rethink the raction-control-versus-locker theory. We'd still opt for good old-fashioned mechanical locking differentials, but the high-tech traction-control of the Jeep Commanders are certainly making die-hard locker fans turn their heads.
If you get a chance, we'd suggest trying to talk your local Jeep dealership into letting you hit a little dirt during a testdrive of one of these Cherokee wannabes. What's been accomplished with electronic traction-control systems will amaze you.