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wayoflife
02-27-2018, 01:13 AM
Since getting JET Li, our brand new 2018 Jeep JL Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited a little over 2 weeks ago, Cindy and I have been lucky enough to take it out wheeling, on a few different trails and even over some good size rocks. In fact, a number of you who've seen our videos have let us know just how much it made you cringe, every time you saw and heard its belly screech over them. Needless to say, for this episode of the JL Journal, we thought it would be a good idea to rack up our JL, take a good look underneath it and see what, if anything, actually got damaged. We hope you enjoy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-_pLC2uYMY&feature=youtu.be

wayoflife
02-27-2018, 01:13 AM
ASSESSING the AFTERMATH
A Look Under a Stock JL Wrangler After Rock CrawlingThe following photos highlight in detail, all the scrapes and scratches we could find and just got done showing you in the video above. First up, a shot of JET Li racked up and ready to be examined.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150326-411aa24b-me.jpg

For those of you who watched our JL Journal video, "Stock on the Rocks", you'll recall that I drug our rear license plate over a boulder and almost pulled it off. And, being that it was the most notable thing that almost broke, I thought I would start there. Looking at the driver side rear corner of our JL, you can see what the bottom side of our rear bumper looks like after that incident. As you'll see, the boulder slid across the base of the bumper and then caught the lip of the license plate bezel. This is what caused it to pull away.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150336-574e8011-me.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150346-384349b8-me.jpg

Here you can get a better look at the rear J-hook tow point. Clearly, it's taken a hit or two somewhere along the way.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150402-d13daa1a-me.jpg

Moving over to the hitch receiver, you can see that I just clipped the corner of the safety chain mount and bent it up just a bit.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150420-8f19e695-me.jpg

Surprisingly, the massive rock magnet known as the muffler actually fared pretty well. Typically, the tail pipe if nothing else would have been flatted out by now but so far so good.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150425-58f7af68-me.jpg

Okay, on the passenger side rear bumper, I did manage to tag the plastic end cap and give it a bit of rash.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150438-dbf9d249-me.jpg

But really, it's just a light scratch and nothing deep. Some armorall or the like should help hide it.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150442-62d529f2-me.jpg

Taking a look at the rear axle and starting at the base of the differential housing, you can see that the Dana M220 has an all new design and one that's been improved quite a bit since the days of the Dana 44. As some of you may know, this is a point that always gets hit and on the old Dana 44, rocks could peel the cover back a bit and to the point of causing a leak. Here on the new Dana M220, you can see that it now has a thicker cover, uses a gasket AND sits just above the base of the housing - probably the number one reason why ours isn't leaking.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150456-55304c61-me.jpg

Here's a better shot that shows how the differential cover sits just above the base of the housing. Back in the day, I used to grind the base of my Dana 44 covers to do the same thing as that more than any aftermarket cover helps to prevent rocks catching it and peeling it back.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150501-1df2a934-me.jpg

Moving over to the shock mounts, I think it's no surprise that these low hanging fruit got clipped a bit.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150519-503d16a0-me.jpg

Front of the lower control arm mounts did a tad as well.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150528-654b3213-me.jpg

The driver side rear lower control arm mount took a hit as well.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150536-9ebd5b29-me.jpg

The same rock probably hit the driver side rear lower control arm.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150532-67afc09f-me.jpg

Looking down the belly of our JL, you can see that the gas tank skid took a few hits but then, that was to be expected.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150614-5b92d332-me.jpg

Over all, the new structural embossing did a great job of helping to reinforce the factory gas tank skid plate and so far, we've found it to hold up much better than what came on our JK's. Even the ribbing that extends downward fared well.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150609-7c97eb53-me.jpg

Of course, being that the gas tank skid hangs lower than the frame rail, most of the hits were concentrated along the outside edge as you can see here.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150619-2f7a3c06-me.jpg

The JL has a totally redesigned transfer case skid plate and now has a support bar that extends across the width of the gas tank and is secured to the passenger side frame rail. As you can see here, it took a good hit or two.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150634-30b13cf3-me.jpg

In this view, you can see how the skid plate support bar got crushed a bit.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150643-02dc1538-me.jpg

Located right at the apex of a 4-door JL's break over angles, the transfer case skid plate is always a point of impact and here you can see some of the scars I left on it.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150657-dabdca46-me.jpg

In this view, you can see how the plate itself held up pretty well but that the support bars took on a few dents in addition to their scrapes.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150711-353b5e22-me.jpg

Probably the worst thing we've see so far in terms of damage was done to the transfer case skid plate support bar where it's secured to the driver side frame rail. Here you can see that it took a big enough hit to not only collapse it but tear it as well.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150804-6c205d1c-me.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150735-df859901-me.jpg

It really should be of no surprise that the drive side frame rail took quite a few hits as well, especially being that there's nothing hanging below it like a gas tank skid.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150800-8ee19cb2-me.jpg

And, here you can see the rocker guard or rock slider did its job well.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150812-5e0f8e4b-me.jpg

Passenger side rock slider took a hit or two as well.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150549-5906fa71-me.jpg

Back underneath, you can see the transmission cross member on the JL appears to be beefed up quite a bit and even though it took a few hits, to the bolt heads if nothing else, it held up well.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150716-d73e21d3-me.jpg

Here you can see that the resonator took a hit that pushed it it a bit but nothing too serious. Fortunately, most of it is positioned high above the frame rail.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150726-c657d2de-me.jpg

If you're putting your tires ON the rocks like you should, it's pretty hard NOT to hit your front lower control arm mounts. As you can see here, I tagged the driver side mount at least once.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150820-bbec4e2c-me.jpg

Tagged the passenger side mount as well.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150824-f5896b92-me.jpg

Passenger side lower control arm took a hit as you can see here.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150829-83aed0f5-me.jpg

Amazingly, the FAD motor, steering stabilizer and tie-rod all came away unscathed.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150837-092749d5-me.jpg

Just like the rear, I did manage to scrape the bottom of our front, Dana M210 differential housing. Again, due to it's new design and cover that sits above the base, it took the hit fine and we have no leaks.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150906-f5ea1b37-me.jpg

Last but not least, the passenger and driver side rear wheels did get a bit of rock rash.
https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150251-188c86ef-me.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150918-7dfd19c4-me.jpg

https://www.wayalife.com/photos/_data/i/upload/2018/02/25/20180225150303-70c49640-me.jpg

And there you have it, a total aftermath assessment of all the bumps, scrapes and bruises we put on JET Li wheeling him up and over some big rocks. As you can see, he took the hits well and most of what you see are just cosmetic blemishes. We hope that you find this information to be useful. :cool:

Clutch
02-27-2018, 01:34 AM
All in a days work!


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Andy5160
02-27-2018, 01:37 AM
Finally I can say that Jet Li is no longer a vergine :cheesy::cheesy:
Seems like all the skids and rails did a good job

rumblebee3
02-27-2018, 01:48 AM
Very good to see there was minimal damage, definitely cringing every time you hit a rock or heard a screech. Looks like it held up very well! Now for bigger tires and a lift kit to avoid all that pesky damage... Or just bigger rocks next time and same damage!

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dwvninety
02-27-2018, 02:15 AM
Wow great video, I am impressed what little damage was done considering those awful noise it made going over those rocks.

jeeeep
02-27-2018, 02:21 AM
good to see what held up and what will require replacing once the aftermarket skids start hitting the market.

There were a couple of shots in the video I would've put money on the muffler getting crushed, it survived round 1!

All in all I'd say the taller sock tires helped out :thumb:

are the body spacers taller than the JK? it seems to sit taller on the frame, or it's an illusion.

wayoflife
02-27-2018, 02:23 AM
All in a days work!

As a matter of fact, yeah :D


Finally I can say that Jet Li is no longer a vergine :cheesy::cheesy:
Seems like all the skids and rails did a good job

:cheesy: Indeed. And yes, all the protection underneath did their job well. :yup:


Very good to see there was minimal damage, definitely cringing every time you hit a rock or heard a screech. Looks like it held up very well! Now for bigger tires and a lift kit to avoid all that pesky damage... Or just bigger rocks next time and same damage!

LOL!! You got that right. Bigger tires means bigger rocks and if anything, bigger hits :crazyeyes:


Wow great video, I am impressed what little damage was done considering those awful noise it made going over those rocks.

Not to shabby, right? I think Jeep made a LOT of nice improvements to the underside of the JL.

wayoflife
02-27-2018, 02:24 AM
good to see what held up and what will require replacing once the aftermarket skids start hitting the market.

There were a couple of shots in the video I would've put money on the muffler getting crushed, it survived round 1!

All in all I'd say the taller sock tires helped out :thumb:

are the body spacers taller than the JK? it seems to sit taller on the frame, or it's an illusion.

I'll have to measure but I think the body mounts are the same in height or close to it.

Ortiz73ca
02-27-2018, 02:31 AM
Not to bad or anything you wouldnít have expected.

Willys17
02-27-2018, 02:33 AM
Held up well. Good to see it get out there and be put to the test.

TrailHunter
02-27-2018, 02:33 AM
Cool Follow up Video.... looks like Business on top and Party below.... [emoji1360]

wayoflife
02-27-2018, 02:40 AM
Not to bad or anything you wouldnít have expected.

No, not bad at all. Things like the gas tank skid held up much better than I would have expected.


Held up well. Good to see it get out there and be put to the test.

Yes, we think everything held up real well :yup:


Cool Follow up Video.... looks like Business on top and Party below.... [emoji1360]

LOL!! Now that's one way of putting it :D

webejeepin
02-27-2018, 02:54 AM
Thanks for posting, great info and this is your stock baseline I guess.

Interesting on the from axle housing of the M210, they moved the drain plug to the bottom of the housing. On the rear, is it on the side like the JK D44? Just curious.

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JP&AV8
02-27-2018, 03:02 AM
Thatís good intel, thanks for using your JL as a guinea pig. Sounds like the 2Ē lift and 35Ē tires will be a good choice. Some of those skid bars will be prime aftermarket parts once the stock hollow ones get crushed.

Thanks for the follow up!
JT

JAGS
02-27-2018, 03:13 AM
Everything held up well for what it was. That said, you have more experience than most.

What are some of the first skid upgrades you'd like to see, besides one to protect the trans lines. Couple of those crossbars seem suspect? And the bolts on the bottom of the frame rail?

TakHardRock
02-27-2018, 03:16 AM
Jet Li looks beat up at first, but always comes back stronger.

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SunWolf
02-27-2018, 03:31 AM
I want that garage!


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Sylermack
02-27-2018, 04:03 AM
I was looking forward to this video. Well done. And it looks like he did as expected. Although I canít help as to wonder how the outcome would have been if you already had a lift and those new shoes on.


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RockingK
02-27-2018, 04:29 AM
I was looking forward to this video. Well done. And it looks like he did as expected. Although I canít help as to wonder how the outcome would have been if you already had a lift and those new shoes on.


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X2, could joy have said it better👍

RockingK
02-27-2018, 04:31 AM
X2, could joy have said it better👍

Not 🙄 fat fingers and spell check on a smart device... hmmm

pop2tu
02-27-2018, 04:59 AM
Looks like all the factory skids did what they were designed to do. It really did sound a lot worse, you didnít use a stunt double for Jet Li did you?

wayoflife
02-27-2018, 05:06 AM
Thanks for posting, great info and this is your stock baseline I guess.

Interesting on the from axle housing of the M210, they moved the drain plug to the bottom of the housing. On the rear, is it on the side like the JK D44? Just curious.

Yes, on the rear, the drain plug is on the side, just like the old Dana 44.


Thatís good intel, thanks for using your JL as a guinea pig. Sounds like the 2Ē lift and 35Ē tires will be a good choice. Some of those skid bars will be prime aftermarket parts once the stock hollow ones get crushed.

Thanks for the follow up!
JT

LOL!! Yeah, I suppose that's one way of looking at our JL :crazyeyes:


Everything held up well for what it was. That said, you have more experience than most.

What are some of the first skid upgrades you'd like to see, besides one to protect the trans lines. Couple of those crossbars seem suspect? And the bolts on the bottom of the frame rail?

I'd really like to replace both the transmission skid bar and transfer case skid plate if only because I really hate how much the support bars get hung up on the rocks. I'd rather have something that mounts more flush and just let the bolts get mashed.


Jet Li looks beat up at first, but always comes back stronger.

:cheesy: Indeed :D

wayoflife
02-27-2018, 05:07 AM
I want that garage!

:cheesy: Thanks :cool:


I was looking forward to this video. Well done. And it looks like he did as expected. Although I canít help as to wonder how the outcome would have been if you already had a lift and those new shoes on.

If we had a lift and bigger tires, I would have just taken BIGGER lines :yup:


Looks like all the factory skids did what they were designed to do. It really did sound a lot worse, you didnít use a stunt double for Jet Li did you?

LOL! JET Li IS the stunt double :D

Sylermack
02-27-2018, 05:14 AM
:cheesy: Thanks :cool:



If we had a lift and bigger tires, I would have just taken BIGGER lines :yup:
:D

[emoji1303] I guess there is always a bigger rock. [emoji1320]


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webejeepin
02-27-2018, 01:44 PM
[emoji1303] I guess there is always a bigger rock. [emoji1320]


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Thanks for confirmation. Small details but great to add to the knowledge base. [emoji41]

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webejeepin
02-27-2018, 01:46 PM
I want that garage!


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X2
I would down A LOT of time there if I had me like it[emoji3]

webejeepin
02-27-2018, 01:47 PM
Spend A LOT....friggin auto correct and lack of coffee this am sorry

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longarmwj
02-27-2018, 02:10 PM
Those were some really hard hits that Jet LI took and it held up very very well in my opinion.

The JL Journal has been providing great entertainment to me on my 4th day in the hospital [emoji856][emoji1303]


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