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Thread: VIDEO : JL JOURNAL - So... how much damage did we do?

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    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    VIDEO : JL JOURNAL - So... how much damage did we do?

    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.


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    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    ASSESSING the AFTERMATH
    A Look Under a Stock JL Wrangler After Rock Crawling
    The 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.


    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.




    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.


    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.


    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.


    Okay, on the passenger side rear bumper, I did manage to tag the plastic end cap and give it a bit of rash.


    But really, it's just a light scratch and nothing deep. Some armorall or the like should help hide it.


    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.


    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.


    Moving over to the shock mounts, I think it's no surprise that these low hanging fruit got clipped a bit.


    Front of the lower control arm mounts did a tad as well.


    The driver side rear lower control arm mount took a hit as well.


    The same rock probably hit the driver side rear lower control arm.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    In this view, you can see how the skid plate support bar got crushed a bit.


    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.


    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.


    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.




    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.


    And, here you can see the rocker guard or rock slider did its job well.


    Passenger side rock slider took a hit or two as well.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    Tagged the passenger side mount as well.


    Passenger side lower control arm took a hit as you can see here.


    Amazingly, the FAD motor, steering stabilizer and tie-rod all came away unscathed.


    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.


    Last but not least, the passenger and driver side rear wheels did get a bit of rock rash.






    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.

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    Old Timer Clutch's Avatar
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    All in a days work!


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    Old Timer Andy5160's Avatar
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    Finally I can say that Jet Li is no longer a vergine
    Seems like all the skids and rails did a good job

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    Nothing but a Thing rumblebee3's Avatar
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    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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    Nothing but a Thing dwvninety's Avatar
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    Wow great video, I am impressed what little damage was done considering those awful noise it made going over those rocks.

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    Addict jeeeep's Avatar
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    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

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

  8. #8
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clutch View Post
    All in a days work!
    As a matter of fact, yeah

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy5160 View Post
    Finally I can say that Jet Li is no longer a vergine
    Seems like all the skids and rails did a good job
    Indeed. And yes, all the protection underneath did their job well.

    Quote Originally Posted by rumblebee3 View Post
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by dwvninety View Post
    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.

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    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeeep View Post
    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

    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.

  10. #10
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    First time

    Not to bad or anything you wouldn’t have expected.

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