Archive for the ‘off-roading’ Tag

Let Us Help You Customize Your Jeep Today!

From new engine add-ons, to off-roading equipment and new wheels, there are so many accessories you are able to include on your Jeep vehicle. Whether you drive a brand-new Jeep or a used one, own the classic Wrangler or drive the sleek Cherokee, you’ll have plenty of options to consider with our offer of Jeep customizations with MOPAR parts. To learn more about these exciting accessories and parts, visit Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram or Dick Scott Motor Mall today!

To make sure your Jeep model is running at its peak, you can choose to add a custom performance chassis to it. These parts help increase your Jeep’s fuel economy and overall performance to give you more controlled and precise handling. Options such as a 2-inch 2-Door Lift Kit, a JPP 4-inch Lift Kit, and more are available for you to select from. Depending on which Jeep model you drive, here at Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Dick Scott Motor Mall, we can help you choose the proper chassis kit that will suit your vehicle best.

If you often take your Jeep off-roading at Lakeshore Park or you just want to add some extra flair to your SUV’s exterior, consider the specialized performance wheels that are a part of the Jeep customizations with MOPAR. These wheels are made for the unpaved trails, so you can rely on them to get you to your destination, wherever that may be, steadily and safely. Plenty of options are there for you to customize your very own Jeep, so you get the exact look and ride you’re going for. Some rim choices include 5-black hole or 5-silver hole wheels, argent 5-spoke wheels, and argent 5-hole wheels. Our Service Department will be able to properly install whatever wheels or parts you choose to add on to your Jeep to make this process hassle-free.

To enhance your Jeep’s ride for it to achieve its optimal capability, there are even more performance components to choose from. Especially made for off-roading, features like the Wrangler Axle Mounting Bracket Kit for the Front and Rear, the Dana 60-Crate Axle Front E-locker with Gearing, and a selection of crate axles assist you while on rocky and uneven paths, and also help you tow large trailers more efficiently. You can also choose to equip your Jeep SUV with a cold air intake for its engine, which allows cooler outside air to seamlessly flow through a directional cone filter. To enhance your Jeep’s horsepower and torque, make sure to add on this innovative feature to its powerhouse.

To learn more about the Jeep customizations with MOPAR parts visit Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram or Dick Scott Motor Mall, your local Jeep dealer. Our expert staff is happy to assist you with any questions you have and will make recommendations for you according to what you’re looking for.

Announcing the Motor Mall Recreational Jeep Track!

We are excited to announce that we have broken ground on our Recreational Jeep Track at Dick Scott Motor Mall in Fowlerville, Michigan! We will have rocks, logs, obstacles, hills and more!

Visit our blog and our Facebook and Instagram account to watch for updates on our progress and our official Grand Opening Announcement!








Pics Or It Didn’t Happen – Trails End

You’ve just finished telling your friends about your latest wheeling adventure, complete with prolific arm gestures, impressive body language, graphic details, and your overall thoughts about the entire exploit. Dead silence. Then someone says, “pics or it didn’t happen.” Pics, you ask? That’s so three years ago. You got video. High-definition, kick-butt, can-almost-taste-the-dust video.

It wasn’t always this way. It used to be unusual to see video being recorded on the trail. Back in the day, we were the oddity (more than usual) when we showed up at the Telluride Rotary 4×4 Tour in Colorado with a rented VHS camcorder (it was one of the giant ones that rested on your shoulder and made you look like you worked for a television network). We were the only ones videotaping at obstacles, and even still, cameras were a rarity because this was prior to the widespread availability of cell phone cameras. We had several requests for copies of the tape, which we gladly provided after we figured out how to wire two VCRs together and waited for hours while the copying took place.

Nowadays, it’s common to see 4x4s outfitted with forward- and rear-facing waterproof high-definition cameras suction-cupped to the body or glass of the rigs.

A few years and a huge technology jump later, we returned to the Telluride Rotary 4×4 Tour with a Kodak DC50 digital camera at a time when digital cameras were a brand-new thing. The DC50 didn’t take video, required a cable to download, was held like a pair of binoculars, and was relatively large. But at least it was expensive. At the time, it was a cutting-edge piece of hardware that left people (and us) in awe. The filmless camera was quite the conversation piece as we used it on the trails to gather photos.

Technology waits for no one, and nowadays it seems everyone is packing a cell phone that can take a mega-megapixel photo or razor-sharp high-definition video. Often, we’re on the trail, standing between the crowd and an obstacle “working” and we’ll look one way and see a 4×4 doing its thing. We’ll turn the other way and scores of cellphones are pointed at the action. It’s an exciting time. It’s also an embarrassing time when we fall on the rocks and 75 people get it on video.

But now, the wheeling world has entered a new age where technology unrelated to vehicle performance has infused itself into off-roading. It’s probably the most exciting time yet for reliving our off-road adventures, and it’s the incredible growth of vehicle-mounted cameras. We see ’em at trailrides and events all the time. Nowadays, it’s common to see 4x4s outfitted with forward- and rear-facing waterproof high-definition cameras suction-cupped to the body or glass of the rigs. We’ve succumbed to the tech and run a small forward-facing dashcam in our Power Wagon all the time. It powers up when the truck starts and shuts off when the ignition is turned off. It has recorded our most heroic off-road moments—and our most stupid mistakes. And we just returned from driving a ’15 Ford F-150 that was equipped with cameras that allow a 360-degree view of the truck. Recording capability isn’t available on the system yet, but we see it coming. Soon, we may be able to check an option box that will outfit a 4×4 with the technology that will allow us to record everything that goes on in each direction as we wheel using factory-installed cameras.

Nowadays, video is on a tear, and the phrase should be “video or it didn’t happen.” Which leads us to this question: If you use a dedicated video recorder when you go wheeling, what kind do you use? Is it mounted inside or outside of your rig? Do you run more than one video camera? Where are you most likely to use the footage: social media, your club’s website, or just for personal use? What is the most amazing footage you’ve captured? Or, do you think recording video of off-roading is stupid?


2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Review

I fell into a common trap with the last few Jeep Wranglers I’ve tested by focusing on their continued refinement and improved on-road manners instead of their go-anywhere capability.

Not this time.

I’m not going to discuss the Wrangler’s wobbly steering, excessive wind noise or dive bar mechanical-bull-riding suspension. It’s time to take the Jeep where it’s meant to be: the mud.

When I told the folks at Jeep my plan, they asked me repeatedly to get it dirty. And instead of giving me an off-road special like the short-wheelbase Wrangler Rubicon, I got a long-wheelbase four-door 2015 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara to prove just how capable any Wrangler can be.

More spacious than a regular Wrangler, the monstrous Unlimited measures 173.4 inches in length, an increase of over 20 inches compared to the two-door model. Starting at a base price of $27,390 after destination charges the price jumps to $33,785 in Sahara trim. But my tester goes further.
After adding items like the Connectivity Group, Max Tow Package, heated front seats, automatic climate control, colored hardtop, Alpine sound system with navigation and a remote starter, the price jumped to $41,665. What do all these options have to do with off-roading? Not much, but it does make the Wrangler more comfortable when tackling the trails and the tow package does include shorter ratio 3.73 front and rear gears.

Starting Small
I had a seriously sketchy road in mind, but before I decide to start small and test the Wrangler’s basics before jumping knee-deep into the muck.

First I went bombing through a grassy field. That’s almost an insult to the Jeep because any vehicle could probably make it across, but not like this thing can.
There’s a difference between surviving an excursion and relishing it. Fields can look smooth and flat, but they rarely are. Hidden in the green ground covering are pits, bumps and rocks.

Most vehicles will make it across a big open field, but the ride is unpleasant as the car bump stops, bottoms out and crashes over uneven surfaces. The Wrangler just laughs it off. As I cruise at 30 MPH over a dry unmaintained field, the Jeep’s suspension delivers a smooth, controlled ride. In fact, the drive here is more pleasant than some of the surrounding broken pavement roads.
Time for a Workout

Next I took the Wrangler to a man-made moderate off-road course. Short in duration, the course is carved out of deep brush and is designed to test off-road prowess. First is a set of rollers set on a slight incline. Rollers are a series of metal tubes that freely roll within a frame. Think of them as industrialized versions of the bottle return rollers found at a local liquor stores or parcel rollers at shipping depots.

By placing both wheels from one side of the vehicle on these rollers, the side-to-side power distribution can be tested. If the vehicle lacks locking differentials or some form of a limited slip differential (LSD), the two wheels on the rollers will spin and the vehicle won’t move. My Sahara did not feature the optional rear LSD or the locking differentials found in the Rubicon and Willys Wheeler models.

But thanks to modern traction control systems, by using the Jeep’s brakes the Wrangler is able to send power to the wheels not on the rollers and advance forward. It’s not the best off-road setup by any means, but it works in a pinch.
Ground Clearance and Suspension Travel

Next on the trail is a series of logs and man-made dirt mounds set strategically to test ground clearance and suspension travel. With the largest mounds measuring just over eight inches high, the Wrangler Sahara’s 10.2-inch ground clearance is never really put to the test, but the suspension did get a thorough workout. The mound placement from side to side are perfectly located to try and upset the Jeep’s suspension. Although the Wrangler was bouncing around on the course, it never slipped a tire, hesitated or tried to bump steer off the course.
Putting it all Together

There is a road that I’ve been meaning to test for years, but I’ve never had the right vehicle to do it. It’s a dead-end with a posted warning that the surface is clay, the road is unmaintained and to use it at your own risk. Perfect.

I picked a day with steady rain that transformed the clay road into a greasy muck. Puddles are I can see puddles ahead, but have no idea how deep they are. Sliding the 4X4 transfer case into four-wheel high, I ease onto the throttle and begin. At best I’m a novice off-roader with minimal experience and little coaching. With a steady throttle at all times, I recall what I’ve been taught and react appropriately as the Wrangler slides back and forth through the goo.

I used all 10.2 inches of ground clearance at certain points because some of the ruts were roughly a foot deep. The Wrangler’s differentials dragged through the sludge as the Bridgestone Dueler A/T tires clawed for traction. Mud flew everywhere and the road behind me looked like dual backhoes dug trenches, but the Wrangler soldiered on. Best of all, the Jeep is ready and willing to do it again and again.

The Verdict

Even if the Wrangler is more civilized than it used to be and now features a 285 HP 3.6-liter V6 that is shared with a family sedan and a minivan, it’s still a purpose-built off-roader. Once you experience its go anywhere capability experienced, the urge to drive over everything is irresistible. Thankfully, it’s more than willing to oblige.

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