What is my Jeep's Capability?

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AlaskaIsCold
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What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by AlaskaIsCold » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:20 am

Hi everyone!

So I had a question, I used to live in stovepipe wells as a worker for about four/five years, at the time I had a klr650 and was riding over all kinds of roads, it was great! I mean...the deep sand is a nightmare for a motorcycle but it was still fun!

But now I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee:

1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 (ZJ) Automatic Transmission.
BFGoodrich KO2 tires.
Raised two inches with OME shocks and springs.
Heavy duty suspension parts.

I have quite a bit of experience on the DV roads with my motorcycle but zero with a jeep.

I was wondering what capabilities my jeep has for the dirt roads of DV based on the upgrades above? I know I won't be doing a beast like Mengle Pass or Lipincott Road. Lipincott Road was almost too much for me on my KLR650.

Let me know what you think please?

--Chris

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TacoLand
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by TacoLand » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:23 am

Make sure you have a good, full-size spare (also w/ KO2 tire) ... plug kit, compressor, and good jack. You should be fine on almost everything in and around the Park – biggest constraint will be your own driving capabilities & comfort.

I've done Lippincott in a stock 2nd generation 4Runner without much thought. Costco street tires, no lift or suspension upgrade. I don't even pay attention when doing Lippincott in my modified 3rd gen 4Runner. For me, that approach is pretty much prevalent throughout the Park. There really isn't much that's challenging or exposed – which perfectly fine with me.

Also did Goler Wash / Mengel Pass back in April for my first time. Broke my front swaybar linkage, and had to attempt the first rock ledge at the beginning coming out of Panamint Valley twice as it was water-slick and tire spinning, but otherwise not too bad. Also ran into someone coming back out with a newer, modified Chevy (I think) pickup that had turned around because they were uncomfortable with the road. That's probably the most important thing to pay attention to ... your own driving capabilities & comfort.

And don't forget the cold drinks!

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Kauri
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by Kauri » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:31 am

Hey Chris,

Good to hear you're heading back to DV! We always enjoyed talking with you when you worked at SPW.

For the deep sand, maybe consider Maxtrax or a similar product? We haven't had an opportunity to use them ourselves, but I've heard great reviews.

Kauri
My trip reports, from Death Valley and beyond: http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.c ... eports.php

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Older Fossil
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by Older Fossil » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:15 am

I think your Jeep is fine for almost all of the roads around DV. Many years ago we had a stock '94 Grand Cherokee Limited that we started exploring the DV area with. We eventually got a 2001 Jeep TJ Wrangler and built it somewhat more for offroading and drove most of the roads in DV, Panamint Valley and Saline Valley. As stated above, it is as much about the experience and skill of the driver as it is the vehicle. Just get out there and enjoy the trails and gain some experience. For the more difficult trail sections I'd recommend being with someone who is an experienced spotter. No shame in turning around if you are uncertain. I second the comments about tires, tire plugs, air compressor, etc. Always have plenty of water. We eventually carried a CO2 tank to rapidly air tires back up when coming off trails, but a 12V compressor works, but can take a long time.

Art

D.A. Wright
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by D.A. Wright » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:39 am

I second above comments. I've managed Goler/Mengel in the 90s with a stock Chevy S10 in the days before they did major work in the lower canyon. Did most other roads in a stock Tacoma TRD. Until you get experience, your Jeep sounds more capable than you are ready for.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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AlaskaIsCold
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by AlaskaIsCold » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:20 pm

Kauri wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:31 am
Hey Chris,

Good to hear you're heading back to DV! We always enjoyed talking with you when you worked at SPW.

For the deep sand, maybe consider Maxtrax or a similar product? We haven't had an opportunity to use them ourselves, but I've heard great reviews.

Kauri
KAURI!!!

I haven't seen you in forever!
Remember the feature I kept calling Devonian Spine Canyon?
I went up there just before I left the first time, I was only able to go a mile or so into it.
No slots but very very beautiful.
This winter im planning for a multi day hike to explore the northern round valley a bit more.
I think I see some slots on google earth.
Also can you give me your dads website again? I want to buy a few more shirts!

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AlaskaIsCold
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by AlaskaIsCold » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:24 pm

Older Fossil wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:15 am
I think your Jeep is fine for almost all of the roads around DV. Many years ago we had a stock '94 Grand Cherokee Limited that we started exploring the DV area with. We eventually got a 2001 Jeep TJ Wrangler and built it somewhat more for offroading and drove most of the roads in DV, Panamint Valley and Saline Valley. As stated above, it is as much about the experience and skill of the driver as it is the vehicle. Just get out there and enjoy the trails and gain some experience. For the more difficult trail sections I'd recommend being with someone who is an experienced spotter. No shame in turning around if you are uncertain. I second the comments about tires, tire plugs, air compressor, etc. Always have plenty of water. We eventually carried a CO2 tank to rapidly air tires back up when coming off trails, but a 12V compressor works, but can take a long time.

Art
Do you think I can do steel pass? I think its called dedeckera canyon thats the max I want to to, im just worried my grand cherokee is too wide, or its not tall enough or my tires are too small (30x9.5) with my klr I just popped it up and over. but I know I need to be a lot slower, put it in 4 low. What do you think?

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AlaskaIsCold
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by AlaskaIsCold » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:24 pm

D.A. Wright wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:39 am
I second above comments. I've managed Goler/Mengel in the 90s with a stock Chevy S10 in the days before they did major work in the lower canyon. Did most other roads in a stock Tacoma TRD. Until you get experience, your Jeep sounds more capable than you are ready for.
Do you think I can do steel pass? I think its called dedeckera canyon thats the max I want to to, im just worried my grand cherokee is too wide, or its not tall enough or my tires are too small (30x9.5) with my klr I just popped it up and over. but I know I need to be a lot slower, put it in 4 low. What do you think?

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AlaskaIsCold
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by AlaskaIsCold » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:27 pm

Kauri wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:31 am
Hey Chris,

Good to hear you're heading back to DV! We always enjoyed talking with you when you worked at SPW.

For the deep sand, maybe consider Maxtrax or a similar product? We haven't had an opportunity to use them ourselves, but I've heard great reviews.

Kauri
I actually want to find a new slot and name it after Steve Hall... maybe "Hall Canyon" since it was his site that really opened my eyes to all of the slots and features in the valley, before him I was just content with Marble/Mosaic/Titus canyons and the mesquite sand dunes.

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Kauri
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by Kauri » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:55 am

AlaskaIsCold wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:20 pm
Remember the feature I kept calling Devonian Spine Canyon?
I went up there just before I left the first time, I was only able to go a mile or so into it.
No slots but very very beautiful.
This winter im planning for a multi day hike to explore the northern round valley a bit more.
I think I see some slots on google earth.
Also can you give me your dads website again? I want to buy a few more shirts!
That's great you were able to hike part of Devonian Spine Canyon! There's probably a lot of interesting geology in the other canyons north of Round Valley as well.

I'll PM you about the mathematics T-shirts.
My trip reports, from Death Valley and beyond: http://kaurijacobphotography.yolasite.c ... eports.php

D.A. Wright
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by D.A. Wright » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:47 pm

AlaskaIsCold wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:24 pm
Do you think I can do steel pass? I think its called dedeckera canyon thats the max I want to to, im just worried my grand cherokee is too wide, or its not tall enough or my tires are too small (30x9.5) with my klr I just popped it up and over. but I know I need to be a lot slower, put it in 4 low. What do you think?
Steel Pass isn’t that technical. Dedeckera Canyon looks more intimidating than it actually is. Not sure the actual dimentions of your GC, but don’t think that gen was that wide. A spotter would help you until you gain confidence.

My practice is to keep my rig in 4-lo anytime I am on the trail. Much easier on your rig’s brakes and tight trails require far less shifting.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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AlaskaIsCold
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by AlaskaIsCold » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:41 am

Ah, stick to 4 Low then?
Even when dealing with the sand before the canyon when coming up from the Eureka side?
I figured I was just gonna keep it in 4H and go around 20-25 to keep from bogging down in the sand.
Thats what I did on my KLR, it got squirrly but i didnt get stuck.

D.A. Wright
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by D.A. Wright » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:03 pm

AlaskaIsCold wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:41 am
Ah, stick to 4 Low then?
Even when dealing with the sand before the canyon when coming up from the Eureka side?
I figured I was just gonna keep it in 4H and go around 20-25 to keep from bogging down in the sand.
Thats what I did on my KLR, it got squirrly but i didnt get stuck.
Never had issues in the sand above the dunes. But then again, I always aired down when hitting dirt. Better floatation in sand, smoother ride, less risk of stone puncture.

If your GC has P rated tires, don’t do it as you will risk a torn sidewall thus a ruined tire. If single ot two ply LT rated tires, air down modestly. On my 3-ply BFG tires and my Tacoma I usually ran 18-20 psi.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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AlaskaIsCold
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by AlaskaIsCold » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:06 am

D.A. Wright wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:03 pm
AlaskaIsCold wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:41 am
Ah, stick to 4 Low then?
Even when dealing with the sand before the canyon when coming up from the Eureka side?
I figured I was just gonna keep it in 4H and go around 20-25 to keep from bogging down in the sand.
Thats what I did on my KLR, it got squirrly but i didnt get stuck.
Never had issues in the sand above the dunes. But then again, I always aired down when hitting dirt. Better floatation in sand, smoother ride, less risk of stone puncture.

If your GC has P rated tires, don’t do it as you will risk a torn sidewall thus a ruined tire. If single ot two ply LT rated tires, air down modestly. On my 3-ply BFG tires and my Tacoma I usually ran 18-20 psi.
Ah, the tires I have are the BFG ko2 30x9.5 It says that they are LT tires and C rated, so 6 ply?
I was more or less wondering about the road south of the dunes. on my maps it says deep sand, the normal for my jeep is 33psi, I was going to air down to around 25.

D.A. Wright
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Re: What is my Jeep's Capability?

Post by D.A. Wright » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:55 pm

You will be fine with the BFGs. They have 3-ply sidewalls. I think your tires are 8-ply treads. 25psi will help floatation in the sand, 20 better. Just have the means to air back up once you hit pavement.

The sand isn’t normally that bad south of the dunes since the trail is well travelled and packed down. However, if you go after a storm, there will be fresh sand blown in.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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