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Old 04-12-2008, 08:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Turning a commander into an Expedition vehicle

i've got a jeep commander. i know everyone hates them. i don't care i like it.

its comfortable, has a V8, sat radio.

i've built a winch bumper, tmax 9000 lbs winch, rocker protection, and 32" tires and a stupid spacer lift. i have garmin gps.

i'd like to add more stuff to make it trail worthy. it has a pretty good traction control system as long as there isn't snow.

what parts should i add to make it more expedition worthy, theres no storage in it with two kids. i have my spare tire in the back and my winch recovery gear. i plan on building a rear bumper and tire carrier. we really don't have any extreme trails around here. so thats my reason for a non- hardcore vehicle.

this is a picture of it so far. stupid poser picture.



i'd like to get the JK's electric disconnecting sway bar and use it up front and then make some quick disconnects for the rear sway bar. it seems to 2 wheel and 3 wheel just fine, but some stability would be nice.
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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sweet rig
id look into a safari roof rack
sweet ass bumper
as much undercarage protection i could get
lots of body protection...

spool the rear or a good locker and leave the front open

looks like all the travel you will get out of the front.....
on ifs rigs you will have to make up for the lack of front travel with rear travel it will help
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Old 04-12-2008, 09:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice rig man. I agree about getting lots of underbody protection. A selectable locker for the rear. A good roof rack. Some storage options for the cargo area. Maybe a rack so you can keep your spare back there still. Good reliable battery.
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks.

under belly protection is needed. the gas tank has a huge thick skid plate. but under the engine its made from fiberglass. someone needs to shoot the jeep engineers.

if i disconnected the sway bars i might get another inch or travel. on the back when they are disconnected i get about 4 more inches of travel. right now i'm using bilstien 5150 12" travel shocks. they are valved at 255/70. they are amazing! the stockers would start fading after a few minutes of hard dirt roads.

i was thinking about building a safari rack. i have a tube bender in case you couldn't tell by my bumper and rocker guards.

i agree on the battery. i've used my winch a few times and have not had any problems. the commander comes stock with a 160 amp alternator.

no one makes any lockers for the rear axle yet. i'd love an ARB or electric locker. maybe i'll switch out the rear for a JK D44 with the electric locker and install 3.73 gears to match the front.

skid plates will be on the way. i was going to build those out of 12 ga. metal. hopefully that will be enough. i'm trying to keep it as light as possible.

the suspension so far is just a spacer lift. no one makes anything decent that i want to spend money on. i'd like to go with coil-overs up front eventually. and then get some taller coils for the rear and build some new control arms.
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Old 04-12-2008, 08:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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heres a few more pictures. playing in the snow. i had to dig the heep out.

traction control is not a substitute for a real locker JEEP!!!!!!

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Old 04-12-2008, 09:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I love it. I'm a solid axle guy but I love the idea behind this rig though.

I really like your JK electronic sway bar disconnect idea. I would build a rack too and make it so I could mount some lights up top there. No expedition vehicle is complete without auxilary lights.

A cool idea for skid plating is 1/2 inch plastic cutting board. Here is an article in Fourwheeler about building up a Lexus GX470. They talk about the cutting board skid plate int the article. I thought you might get some good ideas from it. If you've already seen it sorry for the redundancy.

http://www.fourwheeler.com/projectbu...ion/index.html

Keep up the good work and hope my rambling helped.
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Im sure youve probably thought of this, but I thought I'd put it out there in case you hadn't...

I know the commanders share a chassis with a few other vehicles (dodge nitro i believe, etc)....do they make any suspensions, lockers, etc for the other vehicles that share the chassis? If so they probably bolt right up. Just something to think about.

I like the rig though, a lot of good ideas have been posted already, but youre gonna have to find out the hard way with some of your mods, we've all been there

Keep up the good work
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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the commander only share the same chassis as the new Grand Cheerokees. same drivetrains and suspensions.

i'm still holding my breath for ARB.

either that or i'll get the axles from the Quadra Drive 2 commanders. they have an electronic eaton limited slip in the axle, instead of just the brake traction control like i have.

the only place i've really need a real rear locker is in the snow and mud. the brake traction control actually works pretty good rockcrawling and in everything else.

i'll keep you updated on the progress. i plan on selling the bumper and rocker guards by the end of this month.

i think the commander will probably get a solid axle conversion. the frame on this thing is pretty beefy. i know its a unibody, but the main frame rails are 3/16's material and fully boxed. there isn't any chassis flex. you can have this thing twisted up and there are no problems opening the doors.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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AEV built a Commander for an Iceland Expedition..



Site-
http://www.aev-conversions.com/vehic...xk_iceland.php

Looked like an interesting rig
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with the safari rack idea and armor. that AEV version is sick.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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subscribed. I love unique newer vehicles. and I have a soft spot for solid axle swaps

what rearend does the Commander run? I expected a standard 9.25" which has a few options....
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i was going to sas "SAS it" but i didnt think you would be open to it on such a new rig, glad to see i was wrong.

the cutting board skid sounds like a good idea for weight, is that why you are selling the bumper and sliders?
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i'm starting a business selling parts to commander owners.

bumpers, armor, etc.

i think its a great vehicle. very well built, yet no aftermarket support. so i decided its time to do something about it.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i'm starting a business selling parts to commander owners.

bumpers, armor, etc.

i think its a great vehicle. very well built, yet no aftermarket support. so i decided its time to do something about it.
Good for you man! That's really the only way anything gets done; You gotta make it happen!
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i did some surgery on the commander tonight. the rubbing on the tire wells was driving me crazy.

i cut the plastic out. and left a little.

there was a huge hole i filled in. a little tin, some welding, some grinding, no more hole.


the piece to fill the hole.


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Old 04-17-2008, 06:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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here it is finished

tire on lots more room.


the passenger side sucks. i just bent back the seam. and ziptied the plastic to cover the air-conditioning lines. i then used bedliner like i did on the drivers side. no more rubbing, the wife is happier and so am I!


passenger side finished, lines covered, seam bent back. bedlinered.

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Old 04-17-2008, 06:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i know its nothing extreme, but i won't have the rubbing issues anymore.

the air-conditioning lines run back to the rear of the jeep for the heating in the 3rd row. which i only use when the kids and inlaws are all riding together with my wife and i.

someone needs to kick the engineer in the head that decided to run the lines through the wheel well.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Looks good :thumbup:

cant beat functional mods
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:48 AM   #19 (permalink)
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either that or i'll get the axles from the Quadra Drive 2 commanders. they have an electronic eaton limited slip in the axle, instead of just the brake traction control like i have.
Our Commander has this and it kick ass in the snow.

The hemi is also a blast in the powder.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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IIRC some 4x4 mag built a Commander for the Eldorado Cty Sheriff Office. It may have been the mag that 4 wheel parts puts out. I can't find a link for it at the moment.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:14 AM   #21 (permalink)
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okay i finally had a warm enough day to go up and play in the mountians and test a few things out.

i took a few videos, acutally my wife took them.

the first ones are of testing the winch and bumper design. i wasn't really stuck, but i wanted to make sure the bumper wouldn't rip off. i knew it wouldn't, but you should know before you really need to use it. i pulled my commander up a 10-20% grade, it was pretty muddy. i left the engine running to keep the battery from totally dying. the battery held up, i stopped a few times just to keep it charged and let winch cool. the winch never really got too hot.

specs:

custom bumper
t-max 9000 lbs winch
tmax recovery kit

videos:

VIDEOS:
part1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a1AN0XH0H4

part2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsOGPf77Hmc

part3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4_NKanTB64

part4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5svyOwVUaI

4wheeling action

part1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o67B4A0XPVI


part2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22LPur1dUfQ

part3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1DRJZLWjng

part4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUmElgTjeE8
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
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sorry about the video quality, i used my digital camera. its a fuji finepix with 7.1 MP. it takes great pictures, but the video isn't the best.

i need to read up on the video a little more. with the 2G card it can take up to an hour of video. i think there are other settings for higher quality.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I know a lot of the Landcruiser guys buy or build shelving in the rear of their rigs.
It's nice to be able to slide a 3' drawer out from under heavier objects like your cooler, or tent or whatever. I found this with a quick google search "landcruiser drawer":
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:22 PM   #24 (permalink)
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nothing special, just making brackets for the factory fog lights to fit into my bumper.

part 1 of the fog light brackets.

i've been putting these off for awhile. i don't know why, i just didn't want to mess with them. so i kicked my butt tonight and got to work.

nothing special. just some plate, holes and cutting.



i'll finish the rest up wednesday night. i have stuff i have to do tomorrow.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:37 PM   #25 (permalink)
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JK axles front and rear, not really that expensive when you consider it's what a $40k truck?
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