Boy now you have seen the coverage of the Ultimate Adventure (Nov. and Dec. '07), and seen why it was a good idea for us to have some serious support vehicles in our midst. Our U.A. Rubi Wagon was certainly capable of managing itself on the trail, but we also needed to cart all the gear and people necessary to make a trip like this happen. Our Commanders were more than up to the task after we were done with them, transforming two grocery-getters into dual-duty workhorses that would see as much abuse as some people's trailer queens. Last month, we added a 4-inch Superlift suspension and 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains to Biggie, while Shortie got a more street-sensible setup utilizing a Daystar 2-inch boost and 31-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrains. This time around, we matched Biggie's exterior to our U.A. Rubi Wagon and added a Defender rack, Mopar rock rails, a Mopar GPS unit, and a Warn winch. Shortie's finish was a bit milder, with a Mopar grilleguard, Mopar rock rails, and a Defender rack. With their awesome traction-control systems, both Biggie and Shortie carried out their duties excellently and made the cast of Ultimate Adventure rethink the raction-control-versus-locker theory. We'd still opt for good old-fashioned mechanical locking differentials, but the high-tech traction-control of the Jeep Commanders are certainly making die-hard locker fans turn their heads. If you get a chance, we'd suggest trying to talk your local Jeep dealership into letting you hit a little dirt during a testdrive of one of these Cherokee wannabes. What's been accomplished with electronic traction-control systems will amaze you. Last month, we finished lifting both Commanders at Jeeps R Us. Shortie had a pretty mild lift and tire package, but Biggie really stood out. The Jeeps R Us guys were amazed at how well a Commander could look, especially after how much these die-hard CJ guys scoffed at our stock Commanders.Last month, we finished lifting both Commanders at Jeeps R Us. Shortie had a pretty mild l Once Biggie was OK to drive with the GCM installed, we headed over to Earl Scheib Paint & Body to get Biggie its paint job using a few gallons of olive drab paint from Rapco Parts. We have to admit, Biggie came out of the paint booth looking pretty cool.Once Biggie was OK to drive with the GCM installed, we headed over to Earl Scheib Paint & One of the cooler things we added to Biggie was this Mopar-licensed Garmin navigation system that you can order online or from any Mopar/Jeep dealer. The unit wires into the top of the dash and comes with a snap-on base that mounts perfectly on the Commander's dash pad.One of the cooler things we added to Biggie was this Mopar-licensed Garmin navigation syst The Mopar navigation system uses the 2GB National Map Data Card to give your precise location. The Garmin unit has five buttons that give you multiple functions, including showing recent destinations, voice commands, and finding places of interest like fueling stations.The Mopar navigation system uses the 2GB National Map Data Card to give your precise locat With these impressive new traction-control systems come new problems to deal with when lifting a vehicle. Our 2-inch Daystar boost didn't send Shortie into fits, but Biggie's 4-inch Superlift kit made Biggie's ESP and traction-control systems go a bit haywire even when taking a mild right turn at an intersection. AEV Conversions has created a Geometry Correction Module (GCM) to address the issues. The Jeep's traction-control system with Quadra Drive works by using internal differential fluid pressure to stop the spinning wheel, while the ESP system will cut engine power and apply appropriate brakes if it feels the vehicle is in danger of losing control. AEV's GCM goes inline on the wiring harness, inside the steering column.With these impressive new traction-control systems come new problems to deal with when lif Both Commanders needed extra cargo storage, plus a place to put the spare tires, since even the 31-inch tire on Shortie would not fit in the stock spare-tire location. We called up Off Road Unlimited to get two of its new Defender racks that recently replaced the Con-Ferr line.Both Commanders needed extra cargo storage, plus a place to put the spare tires, since eve The bolt-together racks were assembled at Off Road Unlimited, while they measured for new brackets that they prototyped on our Commanders to fit the new Jeeps. By the time you read this, you'll be able to purchase a Defender rack for the new Jeeps. The brackets go directly onto the factory roof-rack rails.The bolt-together racks were assembled at Off Road Unlimited, while they measured for new Though they really added to both Commanders' looks and functionality, the racks also added some wind resistance when moving at freeway speeds. We saw our fuel economy go down, and our acceleration suffer as well. This is partly due to our 4.7L V-8 engine in our Commanders, which could barely push them into excessive freeway speeds as it was. We surmise that if we had the Hemi, we would not have noticed any difference.Though they really added to both Commanders' looks and functionality, the racks also added After the racks went onto Shortie and Biggie, we decided to add Off Road Unlimited's Defender Light Cage to Biggie. This would allow us to place four 9-inch Pro Comp off-road lights on the top of Biggie. They significantly helped our late-night wheeling visibility, and turned night into day wherever we had Biggie pointed.After the racks went onto Shortie and Biggie, we decided to add Off Road Unlimited's Defen Both Commanders also got Mopar's genuine rock rails. They bolt into existing holes using supplied hardware and a 17mm wrench. On the passenger side, a cover for the climate control lines will have to be temporarily removed to tighten down the bolts for the rock rails. Four braces on each rail hold them onto the body of the Commander and give support.Both Commanders also got Mopar's genuine rock rails. They bolt into existing holes using s The Mopar rock rails are a nice addition and are the only bolt-on rails in existence for the Jeep Commanders. The problem we found with them is that they don't support the weight of the vehicle if you hit them really hard on the rocks (of course we did!) and they get bent up. The braces for the rock rails also hang a little low and sometimes catch on objects under the vehicle. Are they better than having nothing there? Definitely. Would we suggest that Mopar take a look at redesigning them just a little? You bet.The Mopar rock rails are a nice addition and are the only bolt-on rails in existence for t We knew Biggie was going to be getting a winch in front, and we didn't want to have Shortie bare in the front either. Mopar's Tubular grilleguard bolts over the front plastic bumper fairly easily. The grille has to be moved to install the guard, but the installation is easy and straightforward, and can be finished in less than half an hour.We knew Biggie was going to be getting a winch in front, and we didn't want to have Shorti Off Road Unlimited fabricated a pretty bitchin' winch mount for Biggie. They added a skidplate and tied it into our Commander on the main body's rails and down on the Superlift subframe for the control arms. It sticks out a little far, giving a worse approach angle, but it adds superior front protection and holds our Warn winch onto the front firmly, in case we get stuck.Off Road Unlimited fabricated a pretty bitchin' winch mount for Biggie. They added a skidp Our custom Off Road Unlimited winch mount was fit with a Warn 9.5ti winch to give more than enough oomph to yank Biggie out of almost any situation we could get it into. If a winch wasn't necessary, Off Road Unlimited added tow hooks to each side of our winch mount to attach a strap to.Our custom Off Road Unlimited winch mount was fit with a Warn 9.5ti winch to give more tha Our high-command Commanders were complete and finished in time to make it out to the Ultimate Adventure. They performed their duties of hauling people and equipment beautifully. Biggie would double as an extraction vehicle should something go wrong with our U.A. Rubi Wagon, and Shortie would make sure that the entire camera crew was there to catch the action. There were times when we would've sworn that the two Commanders were getting more looks than the super-modified vehicles on the trip. After all, you half expect any Wrangler or CJ-7 to have an extreme build, but it's not every day that you see not only one, but two modified Commanders!Our high-command Commanders were complete and finished in time to make it out to the Ultim SOURCES Explorer Pro Comp 2360 Boswell Rd. Chula Vista CA 91914-3510 www.explorerprocomp.com Mopar www.mopar.com American Expedition Vehicles www.aev-conversions.com Off Road Unlimited www.offroadunlimited.com Earl Scheib www.earlscheib.com Rapco Parts www.rapcoparts.com Warn 5-03/-722-1200 www.warn.com By Jerrod Jones Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!