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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 17 Nov 2002
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Grand Cherokee...diff locks?

A query on behalf of a friend... does a Jeep Grand Cherokee (98 model) have a diff lock, or just an electronically controlled 4wd system?
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  #2  
Old 20 Nov 2002
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No, it doesn’t have a diff lock. It has a limited slip diff, which require and oil additive whenever you change the axle gear oil. The 4wd system is either electronic or manual depending on the option and where in the world you got it.

Hope this helps.

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Old 20 Nov 2002
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Thanks AB... we were in the Gebel Qatrani escarpment the other day and the Jeep was acting like it didnt have one, but Im not familiar with Jeeps enough to have said for sure at the time.

Pity that Jeep have let their top-of-the-range vehicle fall so far short of the marque's one-time reputation.....

LRN
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Old 22 Nov 2002
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Well, I somewhat disagree.. I think it can be a great 4wd with the regular modifications. Install an Old Man Emu lift kit and decent tires for example and it will pretty much go anywhere. When it comes to diff locks, there aren’t many 4wd that come with it as standard in the first place so it’s not really a disadvantage in comparison. Having said that I have to admit that they’re not as reliable as Toyotas or other Japanese 4wd. But again nothing is, not even Land Rovers. But with proper maintenance Jeeps can perform wonderfully for years.

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  #5  
Old 26 Nov 2002
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Well, surely you could say that of any 4wd 'with modifications'? Especially a lift kit, which, after all, removes the limitations that many vehicles (eg Vitaras, Freelanders etc) suffer....

Id suggest that any 4wd that hopes to be considered a 'serious proposition' should come with at least a centre diff lock as standard, as well as decent clearance and axle travel
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  #6  
Old 26 Nov 2002
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Hmm, I think there has been a bit of a misunderstanding here. I think AB was saying that the Jeep doesn't have axle diff locks. It does, however, have a locked mode between front and rear axles. (In fact, some JC models offer 2WD, 4x4 full time (i.e. centre diff unlocked), and 4x4 part time (i.e. centre diff locked)).

What is more, some models have a limited slip diff in the rear axle.

On our recent trip to Morocco, we had 3 vehicles, an ageing 1993 Discovery, my Defender, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee. There is no doubt that the JGC is the "softest" of the three, but it performed effortlessly in the sand, and pretty capably over the boulder beds. It wasn't overloaded, but it was carrying a respectable amount of kit.

Interestingly, the suspension didn't give a more comfortable ride than either of the other two vehicles (they were all very different), but overall it was much more comfortable, given the air-con, and the plush, quiet interior. It also sealed out much of the dust, whereas both Land Rovers appeared to be fitted with the standard LR Dust Attraction Device (tm).

The JGC was a petrol automatic, with an LPG conversion. At the Defender-travelling-speed of 90km/h on motorways, the Jeep got around 13 l/100km (15 when using gas). The 200TDi Discovery got 10 l/100km, and the 300Tdi 6x6 Defender got a disappointing 15 l/100.

We had alternator problems with the Defender, and a rear hub oil seal needed changing. And the nylock nuts worked their way off two of the shock absorbers - one top one and one bottom one(!). And two punctures.

Nothing went wrong with the Jeep, apart from one puncture, though the battery tended to die very quickly overnight, even with just the interior light on. Oh, and the clunking noise from the diff, which had just been "fixed" before we left, and reappeared before we even reached Spain!

The only attention the Discovery seemd to need was the occasional fill-up with diesel!

My only real concern with the Jeep was that it was an automatic, and it's easy to cook the transmission when playing in the dunes, especially if the driver hasn't driven in deep sand before, and doesn't realise how much resistance sand provides.

In a manual vehicle, you start to realise that something is amiss when you're in first gear low range and still needing LOTS of throttle to get going. With the Jeep, all that impressive silky big six power starts overheating the fluid very quickly when the wheels are buried in the soft stuff.

Other than that (which of course is not a weakness of the Jeep specifically), the Jeep was very impressive - much more so that any of us had expected, given that it is very clearly aimed at the upper end of the "soccer mom" market.



[This message has been edited by SandyM (edited 26 November 2002).]
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  #7  
Old 10 Dec 2002
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Quote:
<font face="" size="2">the standard LR Dust Attraction Device (tm).</font>
hehe.. I love that

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