Ashwin88

Query from a NEWBIE

Recommended Posts

Hello pplz

I am Ashwin.. And I am driving a brand new grand Cherokee summit 2018 model... I am absolutely a newbie with zero experience in offloading.... Even tho having desert training from driving institutions... I am sure group trips and experience only counts... However I have been following carnity and the discussions...and its a great platform for all grades of offroaders.

I have certain queries being a fresher into offroad which I would be seeking some suggestions:- 

1. My car was registered in Dubai with Qatar insurance when I got the car in June... Now I had called them asking for an endorsement or addition to my existing policy... To include off-road cover... But they declined or refused to add... So I am stuck to wait till renewal of my car... To take a new policy with RSA which has a an off-road cover... But it could probably put a hole in my pocket...and funny bit...they are covering only 50metres of offroading ....So my question is...since I am not being able to find a solution to it.... Is it really mandatory? .. I understand it's safeguarding all risks.... But I am left with no option... Or alternatively would you be able to suggest on what can be done for this situation? 

2. One main thing I noticed in all group discussions is... Inclusion of tow hooks in front and back... Unfortunately and weirdly... I do not have tow hooks on my front and back bumper side... Upon checking with trading enterprise... They can provide me with back tow hinch... But they do not have any scope for front tow hooks...as the front bumper has lot of sensors and grills... I am attaching the pix for your reference... Would you be able to help Me out on what can be done for this... 

3. I do not have any 4x4 accessories for recovery or inflating or deflation.. Which I need to purchase... So would you be able to suggest a good place.... And what are the basic things really required for the vehicle to move around offloading without much tensions... Also incase I need anything to be fixed.. It can happen on the spot.. Also I did not really understand the terminology "radio" used in many threads... Regalar touch screen radio which is fit in the car? Or something new and extra - like a walkie talkie? if so how is it used? and where to get all of these?

4. How far does an additional cold air intake help in terms of offloading? Which trading enterprise is offering to me..for 3000dhs..

I would appreciate if you could really help as I am enthusiastic about off roading... And would love to explore more.. and really want to start joining you guyz...but unfortunately i am facing these situations...

Thanks

Ashwin

IMG_20181224_111957.jpg

IMG_20181224_111947.jpg

IMG_20181224_111934.jpg

IMG_20181224_111919.jpg

IMG_20180609_170516.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will leave that bumper in the desert the first time you take it out, you are hardly clearly the kerb, let alone any dunes, 

Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news but unless you make expensive mods, that car is not going too far in the desert. 

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@desertdude is right. It’s a SUV, not a proper 4x4 and it would take a lot of modifications to make it suitable for desert driving. Perfect for snow and ice but not for the desert, sorry. 

But to answer some of your questions,

1 - You don’t require insurance or even a licence to drive in the desert although insurance would help if you wrecked your car. 

2 - Rear tow hitch would be advantageous. If you look on your front bumper, there should be a piece of plastic you can pop out with a screwdriver. In your toolkit beside your spare wheel, there should be a towing eye that screws into this hole. 

3 - You will find everything you need in dragon mart. The basics for inflating and deflating are a valve tool, tyre pressure gauge and 12v compressor. When people talk about radio, they are talking about a 2 way radio, like a walkie talkie. Again available in dragon mart. Check the guide on here to make sure you get one that works on compatible frequencies. 

4 - Upgraded cold air intake is good for any engine. It will release an extra maybe 5 BHP but it’s not a necessity. And 3k dhs is way too much to pay. You should be looking at under 500 dhs for something suitable. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to few of the points mentioned above:

 

1. Normally off-road cover is provided for any 4x4 as a standard. However, off-road recovery is very rarely covered and what is provided is 50m from the road. So are you checking recovery or off-road coverage? In the event of an accident in the desert, you would need off-road cover and valid driving license for the insurance company to pay for the damage.

2. The front end is extremely low and like desertdude mentioned that would be the first donation you would do in the desert the moment you step in the desert. Some people have been able to remove the lower black grill. Check if you can remove that and you will need to have to install at least one tow point which is firmly fixed to the chassis. Regarding the rear tow point, if you read one of the earlier drive posts (I think in the last 4 weeks) someone had posted a picture of how they have attached the recovery point at the back. On closer look at the pic what is that on the center of the front lower black grill? Is it a hole or a camera?

 

3. If you have sorted out Point No 2 you can join the absolute newbie drive where you will be told of the entire off-road gear necessary. They are available at Dragon Mart.

4. Don't do any modification at this stage unless you have done a few drives and feel that it's really necessary. 

 

Also a final point, though you are driving a JGC, it has become an onroad vehicle with occassional offroading as the approach and departure angles are practically not there. You can join upto a Newbie level, but it might be difficult to push this vehicle for heavy offroading. So you can do the initial basic offroading in this car and once you are sure that you want to off-road on a regular basis, you will have to get another dedicated car.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome @Ashwin88. I am glad that after a long time I came across someone who reads and tries to understand things with as much pleasure as we had writhing out the necessities for off-road.

Firstly, you do have low bumper overhangs which can be fixed by removing the lower lip which are connected by about 4 screws. However front and rear tow points are cumpulsory, because for any reason if you get stuck we might need to pull you out from either front or back depending on the stuck. A tow hitch for the back should do fine.

Secondly as @Barry mentioned off road cover is not necessary but helps in case you damage your vehicle. You may also check other insurance companies besides RSA which offer off road insurance.

If you are enthusiastic about off roading it would be advisable to get a cheap 4x4 preferable Japanese in the early 2000's to avoid any extra electronics which can only hamper your learning. As an example I have a Nissan Pathfinder 2001 model and @Gaurav drives a 1999 SWB Pajero. Once you grow interest in the sport and want to take it a notch further than newbie drives your JGC will give you a lot of heart aches unless it's properly modified, which will cost you more than buying an off road vehicle.

You are right the radio mentioned is a walkie talkie and you can source most of your things at Dragon Mart or Ace Hardware. But it is important to join for a few drives and see if your interest turns to passion. Otherwise all you spend could go to waste. You can join a few drives as passenger with one of us and we can probably make suggestions on how to take it forward with your JGC. This will also give you an opportunity to learn first hand and get a feel if this sport is really meant for you and how you want to go around with your off road vehicle.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That grill or any perceived lip is not coming out. It's one solid piece and surprisingly no one noticed that big lens in the lower grill. Probably the radar for the adaptive cruise control which means a lot of wiring behind that big single piece front bumper.

Only way is to relocate it  and hell lot of plastic trimming

And even then wouldn't take it off road, because the stealers just need a reason to void your warranty or not do any work during improper use or so either bull crap.

Go the other way of a 20k or under weekend warrior for off road duty. You will probably end up spending more on repairs, tow trucks and insurance claims in a year if you decide to hit the dunes with that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, desertdude said:

That grill or any perceived lip is not coming out. It's one solid piece and surprisingly no one noticed that big lens in the lower grill. Probably the radar for the adaptive cruise control which means a lot of wiring behind that big single piece front bumper.

Only way is to relocate it  and hell lot of plastic trimming

And even then wouldn't take it off road, because the stealers just need a reason to void your warranty or not do any work during improper use or so either bull crap.

Go the other way of a 20k or under weekend warrior for off road duty. You will probably end up spending more on repairs, tow trucks and insurance claims in a year if you decide to hit the dunes with that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t disagree, buy a proper off-road weekend warrior, but the black plastic lips on the front and rear bumpers are removable, it’s a handful of torx screws. Not something I would get into but you can do it. We had a guy from my place out one day, Jason, and he did it, same car.

The bumps ended up triggering his SRS system and ruining his seatbelts which need replacement. 

If you are intent on taking that car off road, which I don’t recommend, it’s a pain in the ass. Said parts need to be removed and you need to disable the ABS and SRS systems by pulling the appropriate fuses/relays. 

Better to spend 10-15k on a cheap weekend warrior and keep your daily road car good. It isn’t even a good car to drive daily. The 4wd system is wasted. Better just to buy a charger or something and put the extra cash in an off road toy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a nice car not a real Jeep. Please keep it on the road for your own good. You can get a real Jeep around 10-15.000aed or you can get a Japanese 4x4 it will be more reliable around 20.000. 

 

https://dubai.dubizzle.com/motors/used-cars/jeep/cherokee/2018/12/17/1996-2/

https://sharjah.dubizzle.com/motors/used-cars/nissan/patrol/2018/11/25/نيسان-بترول-2002-فتك-4800-نظيف-جاهز-للاستخ-12/

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I'm very late to this party, it seems like Summit is a brother of SRT with such a huge wall-like front bumper lower hang with radar or camera's. Removing them and venturing in the desert when the car is new I wouldn't recommend firstly for the safety of your car and then secondly for not voiding the warranty. If Jeep hasn't put tow hook intentionally to tell you that don't take this Jeep for offroad as it's made for on-road comfort and luxury like SRT - Street Racing Tech and not offroad version.

JGC has a trailhawk version that has a reasonable mix of both worlds and see if you can swap to that or ask the dealer to swap the front grill etc to Trailhawk without losing an arm or leg.

The best option is to have a dedicated desert warrior under 20k like everyone said so that you can drive and enjoy peacefully and also cherish best of both the worlds.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen...

First of all....i am really feeling good about the number of people actually providing me with a lot of suggestions and feedback....it really shows signs of good spirits....i would really want to appreciate everyone here....

Second....the pictures you had seen about my car.....front side.....well the car was on park mode....which is why it might seem to be lowered....so the vehicle has an auto suspension based on the different modes of drive....as per a very recent conversation with trading enterprises....they to safeguard their brand and model were justifying that the car has various suspension modes and power to make it offroad friendly.....i have attached pix in both park mode as well as offroad 2 mode which is the highest in the car. as well as the various stats that show in the display during offroad...for which I would still require your expertise if its still recommendable or not....

However the front tow hooks could be very tricky....as @Gaurav had suggested to check with trading enterprises to swap the bumpers with the trailhawk version......upon checking with trading enterprises...they mentioned that even though it falls under the grand cherokee family.....the body of summit is wider than the trailhawk, overland or laredo version...and indeed i could still upgrade to the SRT or trackhawk body kits as the body size is the same to that category.....Summit is more of the luxury range but with a 5.7liter and 407bhp power under the hood....I would still need to check with some pro garage guys if i could probably get the hooks in front installed custom made without doing much that could affect the warranty....

Thirdly....i might not be approaching the right guyz for insurance....but i have been getting refusals saying offroad insurance is not what they would add on to my policy....i need to do more R&D on it.....

I am happy for the suggestions you guyz have given me to get the tools for offroading from Dragon mart and ACE hardware...but i guess sorting out the other technical aspects is on priority.... 

 

 

 

 

IMG_20181226_132914.jpg

IMG_20181226_132415.jpg

IMG_20181226_132407.jpg

IMG_20181226_132112.jpg

IMG_20181226_132344.jpg

IMG_20181226_132058.jpg

IMG_20181226_132303.jpg

IMG_20181226_132238.jpg

IMG_20181226_132500.jpg

IMG_20181226_132320.jpg

IMG_20181226_132315.jpg

IMG_20181226_132310.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites