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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey All, So last week I had just built up my 4xe on 37s with a 3.5” Metal Cloak Gamechanger kit, and Fox 2.5 Performance shocks. It drove so good on the road and absolutely destroyed the rock gardens and trails I took it on. Then coming down a mountain I was on a fire road(think loose rocks and moon dust) in Hollister hills CA, when suddenly the ground swept away with me on it. I rolled more than 20 times and 300 feet down a cliff and pancaked my poor Jeep. Amazingly I’m uninjured, but witnesses describing the even said “the road just caved.”

Was the extra 600-700lbs a factor? I know I was on a bad line, so poor driving is probably the highest factor, but still it’s a line I have taken many times in the stock Jeep and been fine. Picturing a lifted 4xe on granite at a roll of 30plus degrees now gives me nightmares. Should it?

I’m trying to buy a replacement wrangler now and I absolutely loved the 4xe, but my goal is off roaring, and I can’t get that top heavy weight out of my mind. I love plugging In, and I have solar panels. And I had half of my 4000 miles in all electric at the time of the crash.
On another note, the roll bars really work 😅
 

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Wow. Really glad you are alright and able to write this. That’s the first thing I thought about.

It sure does make you wonder about the weight. Not that it’s a fair comparison but I had a weird experience at Jeep Jamboree a couple weeks ago. I was close to the back of a line of Jeeps on trail. It has a tree laying across the trail that several Jeeps rolled across in front of me. When I got to it, my 4XE smashed it.

There were also several spots where it seems like the weight played a factor in how mine handled.

So sorry to hear about your Jeep. Is it totaled?
 

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Looks like the roll bars held up splendidly! Glad you came out if that no worse for wear.
Could the extra battery and upgrade weight cause the road to collapse? Maybe, I guess, but the next full size pickup would have done it if not you.
I think you were a victim of physics and geology. That Jeep kept you safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like the roll bars held up splendidly! Glad you came out if that no worse for wear.
Could the extra battery and upgrade weight cause the road to collapse? Maybe, I guess, but the next full size pickup would have done it if if not you.
I think you were a victim of physics and geology. That Jeep kept you safe.
I think first and foremost I was on a bad line. I was way closer to the edge of the road, and it was loose and very dry after a summer of use. All that being said people behind me do describe the road washing, and it makes me wonder if the weight of the mods and the weight of the rig was indeed a factor. Poor line choice was definitely the most important factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Top heavy weight? Where is that info coming from? The 4xe battery is pretty low and the extra electronics and gear in the tranny certainly is. I would say the CG is likely better in the 4xe.

Your mods are likely the factor here.
I say top heavy because the 4xe comes in at 500-700lbs heavier and the weight isn’t down low. I mean the batteries are at seat height. There have been several times where groups I’m in have had traction, and have had more roll than me without the high wheels coming off the ground. Mine has almost tipped several times, and I’m not suggest that it’s the car, could very well be the driver. I have to wonder if that extra weight would add momentum when the Jeep starts to lean on obstacles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow. Really glad you are alright and able to write this. That’s the first thing I thought about.

It sure does make you wonder about the weight. Not that it’s a fair comparison but I had a weird experience at Jeep Jamboree a couple weeks ago. I was close to the back of a line of Jeeps on trail. It has a tree laying across the trail that several Jeeps rolled across in front of me. When I got to it, my 4XE smashed it.

There were also several spots where it seems like the weight played a factor in how mine handled.

So sorry to hear about your Jeep. Is it totaled?
Hey, yes I was so lucky to be pretty much uninjured.

I know the 4xe has some off road quirks for sure. The transmission has trouble rock crawling and will often suddenly turn the gas engine on and rev wildly. I have noticed thatI will slip and slide don’t steep pitches despite having the crawl control set. Still, it’s very good in electric mode 4H and I have been really enjoying off-roading for the most part.
I have seen some super loaded rigs out there with rooftop tents and heavy mods, and they don’t seem as heavy my rig somehow. I wonder if you were just the final straw(so to speak) to crack that log?

My Jeep was totaled, but I was able to salvage some parts. I just ordered another 4xe and I will slowly and painfully $$$ build it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I say top heavy because the 4xe comes in at 500-700lbs heavier and the weight isn’t down low. I mean the batteries are at seat height. There have been several times where groups I’m in have had traction, and have had more roll than me without the high wheels coming off the ground. Mine has almost tipped several times, and I’m not suggest that it’s the car, could very well be the driver. I have to wonder if that extra weight would add momentum when the Jeep starts to lean on obstacles.
Wow, I can’t even read my own reply. You are right, top heavy is not the correct description. And I see loaded up rigs with roof racks and tents on the roof and they don’t seem to have issues with tipping. I will do the same line as my group and I often manage to get one to two whees off the ground even with the sway bar disconnected. Its usually when there is a sudden drop while leaning on a feature and my rig seems to have more body roll than other rigs. Again, much of it could be my driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you the guy with the R&D metal cloak lift that was their test subject?
Haha, no! And they did warn me that the springs were not meant for the 4xe weight. They were a tiny bit bowed for sure, but it felt amazing on and off road. The Fox 2.5s definitely helped the ride quality of that extra weight as well. The few rock gardens that I got in to were great other than the electric motor did not like the 37s. I was planning on re-gearing, maybe that would have helped. Shame…
 

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I joined the forum to reply to this post. I've been to Hollister SVRA quite a few times. I'm really sorry you rolled your 4xe. That totally sucks, and I'm glad you're OK.

I'd like to add a few thoughts. Your original post and title suggests that maybe center-of-gravity played a role. But although it's heavier, the 4xe may actually have a lower center of gravity than the conventional JL. We have subjective opinions of reviewers on this, but I don't think anyone's shown an engineering diagram that shows the CG of 4xe compared to, say, a 2.0 Turbo model.

Also, you mention you're fond of applying the skinny pedal. The 4xe has a lot of power and torque, and may possibly have led you to encounter the same point in the trail at a higher speed than you'd previously crossed it as a result?

But mostly, I look at your lead photo where the Jeep is sunk in the back and sky-high in the front, and then I read your description of how it drove compared to other Jeeps you've been driving with. I personally suspect that that the most likely root cause is the MetalCloak springs, which are relatively soft and tuned for lots of flex, are not suited to the weight and especially the front/back weight distribution of the 4xe. No shade on MetalCloak, but those spring rates were not designed and set up with THIS jeep's weight and weight distribution.

So while I wouldn't avoid MetalCloak or Game Changer at all - they make fine stuff and many JL owners love their kit - I'd avoid installing a GameChanger lift on the 4xe until they release a set of springs tuned for the 4xe's particular weight and weight distribution.

I read somewhere else that they're prioritized creating a spring package for the 392 first. Not sure how accurate that is.

Anyhow, two cents of insight, from a guy on the Internet.
 

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Hey All, So last week I had just built up my 4xe on 37s with a 3.5” Metal Cloak Gamechanger kit, and Fox 2.5 Performance shocks. It drove so good on the road and absolutely destroyed the rock gardens and trails I took it on. Then coming down a mountain I was on a fire road(think loose rocks and moon dust) in Hollister hills CA, when suddenly the ground swept away with me on it. I rolled more than 20 times and 300 feet down a cliff and pancaked my poor Jeep. Amazingly I’m uninjured, but witnesses describing the even said “the road just caved.”

Was the extra 600-700lbs a factor? I know I was on a bad line, so poor driving is probably the highest factor, but still it’s a line I have taken many times in the stock Jeep and been fine. Picturing a lifted 4xe on granite at a roll of 30plus degrees now gives me nightmares. Should it?

I’m trying to buy a replacement wrangler now and I absolutely loved the 4xe, but my goal is off roaring, and I can’t get that top heavy weight out of my mind. I love plugging In, and I have solar panels. And I had half of my 4000 miles in all electric at the time of the crash.
On another note, the roll bars really work 😅
Intrigued and Amazed at the photos.
I am so happy to hear you were able to walk away. - Thank Goodness !
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I joined the forum to reply to this post. I've been to Hollister SVRA quite a few times. I'm really sorry you rolled your 4xe. That totally sucks, and I'm glad you're OK.

I'd like to add a few thoughts. Your original post and title suggests that maybe center-of-gravity played a role. But although it's heavier, the 4xe may actually have a lower center of gravity than the conventional JL. We have subjective opinions of reviewers on this, but I don't think anyone's shown an engineering diagram that shows the CG of 4xe compared to, say, a 2.0 Turbo model.

Also, you mention you're fond of applying the skinny pedal. The 4xe has a lot of power and torque, and may possibly have led you to encounter the same point in the trail at a higher speed than you'd previously crossed it as a result?

But mostly, I look at your lead photo where the Jeep is sunk in the back and sky-high in the front, and then I read your description of how it drove compared to other Jeeps you've been driving with. I personally suspect that that the most likely root cause is the MetalCloak springs, which are relatively soft and tuned for lots of flex, are not suited to the weight and especially the front/back weight distribution of the 4xe. No shade on MetalCloak, but those spring rates were not designed and set up with THIS jeep's weight and weight distribution.

So while I wouldn't avoid MetalCloak or Game Changer at all - they make fine stuff and many JL owners love their kit - I'd avoid installing a GameChanger lift on the 4xe until they release a set of springs tuned for the 4xe's particular weight and weight distribution.

I read somewhere else that they're prioritized creating a spring package for the 392 first. Not sure how accurate that is.

Anyhow, two cents of insight, from a guy on the Internet.
I actually wanted to change the title, and maybe I still can because after I posted this I went back to investigate the area and I don’t think a higher center of gravity would have made a difference. And I’m not even sure there that the weight is or isn’t higher than a standard wrangler. And to your other point, metal cloak did not recommend those springs on my car, and I threw them on anyway. I did plan on installing the 4xe springs that they plan on releasing some time this year I had hoped.

I have been searching the internet for diagrams or engineering thoughts on the 4xe and have not found any data or discussions, quite possibly because there may not be reason to worry. I would like to add that most of my wheeling(which was more than 100 hours) in the 4xe was bone stock. Even in stock form I had been feeling more body roll and more slippage while off camber, or on steep down hill pitches than my wife’s V6 on the same trails. I do suspect that even Mopar’s springs were not a high enough spring rate for the 4xe for more hardcore wheeling? It’s a really cool experience to off-road, but I would go as far as to say it’s very different than a V6 wrangler. Different enough to where I considered ordering a V6 after wrecking this one.

After talking to several people now weeks after the wreck I was able to get a better idea of what happened that day. At the time of the crash I was on a very easy fire road, so I probably wasn’t giving the trial the attention or respect that it deserved. I think I cut too far to the right of the trail and even though my tires were on the road, they really didn’t need to be anywhere near that line I was on. I had plenty or room on the left to go wider. So driver error for sure. Last week I drove back up the trail and I did get to see how much road washed away and it was no small amount. There was a lot of sand and shale that washed down towards my wreck site, and I still wonder if the total weight of my rig played a factor. For sure the springs would have been to soft, but up to that point I was smashing the other nasty trails and not bottoming out or experiencing any more body roll than usual.
In fact the on road experience of with the lift and the fox 2.5 performance shocks felt significantly better than stock especially the twisty back roads.
I’m glad this title is a bit loud and controversial though as the 4xe is a different wrangler, and to me it has some specific off road quirks. I’m still not convinced it’s not more at risk to slip or tip as I have almost done so a few times. I know even while being in 4 low and in crawl control my rig seemed to slip a lot. I was always aired down the same as my wife’s rig. being said, I am not a good off-roader! I’m hard on the skinny pedal for sure! I definitely have been humbled quite a bit by this experience, and I’m fortunate to be okay and to have another 4xe on order(so obviously I don’t think it’s terribly unsafe).

For the 4xe, I kind of think of it like how I think of mountain bikes(something I’m a lot more experienced with). The new ebikes that are coming out are riding pretty damn good these days, but not all 50lb ebikes are made the same. Forgetting suspension design, components, and set up, if you take the same weight bikes and design one with the weight down low, and one with the weight up higher they obviously will handle very differently and the 50lb bike with the higher center of gravity will usually “feel” much heavier. Well with the 4xe those batteries in the back are tucked up pretty high, at least from a performance perspective (which makes sense considering they want to be able to drive over 30 inches of water). But when you start tossing that weight down pitches, and rocks it really shows how much heavier it is than the V6. And I’m not sure that Jeep has done enough to the stock shocks and springs to make it at the same performance level of the other wranglers.
All that being said I am going with the 4xe again, but I may not be wheeling that one so much, we may just take my wife’s rig on the harder trails.
I’m really curious to hear from other 4xe drivers to hear their thoughts and experiences with the 4xe.

I appreciate anyone’s thoughts and opinions on this, especially people that are experienced with crawling and wheeling.
 

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I actually wanted to change the title, and maybe I still can because after I posted this I went back to investigate the area and I don’t think a higher center of gravity would have made a difference.

Glad you're OK, shit can be replaced, people on the other hand :)

FYI, if you click either of the 3-dot icon at the top right of the first post - you can edit the first post (including the title), or just the title (top 3-dots):


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Glad you're OK, shit can be replaced, people on the other hand :)

FYI, if you click either of the 3-dot icon at the top right of the first post - you can edit the first post (including the title), or just the title (top 3-dots):


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I’m glad I’m okay to. Turns out another person flipped near the same spot just a week before and he was not so lucky. I usually have my dog in the back, which I will not do again because that seat belt saved my life. And anyone who says Jeep is not safe, I would argue the roll bars work pretty damn good. Luckily there were nice fluffy bushes to soften the impacts… Sorry squirrels…
 

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Hey All, So last week I had just built up my 4xe on 37s with a 3.5” Metal Cloak Gamechanger kit, and Fox 2.5 Performance shocks. It drove so good on the road and absolutely destroyed the rock gardens and trails I took it on. Then coming down a mountain I was on a fire road(think loose rocks and moon dust) in Hollister hills CA, when suddenly the ground swept away with me on it. I rolled more than 20 times and 300 feet down a cliff and pancaked my poor Jeep. Amazingly I’m uninjured, but witnesses describing the even said “the road just caved.”

Was the extra 600-700lbs a factor? I know I was on a bad line, so poor driving is probably the highest factor, but still it’s a line I have taken many times in the stock Jeep and been fine. Picturing a lifted 4xe on granite at a roll of 30plus degrees now gives me nightmares. Should it?

I’m trying to buy a replacement wrangler now and I absolutely loved the 4xe, but my goal is off roaring, and I can’t get that top heavy weight out of my mind. I love plugging In, and I have solar panels. And I had half of my 4000 miles in all electric at the time of the crash.
On another note, the roll bars really work 😅
I actually just got back from Hollister this weekend! I have a 2” Synergy MFG lift on Nitto 38” Tires. Do you know what trail you were on?

I found that the 4xe actually has a better center of gravity and has traction more often than the lighter rigs.

there were definitely a few close calls that I made, but it’s all throttle control. Lots of places it gets over 30 degrees of incline or side pitch around hollister. Too much throttle could easily throw you over.
Glad your ok
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Plant
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Sky Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks sick! I was on Mc Cray road. It’s the fire road up near the top of “fremontia”. In my case I was way too close to the edge to make the turn from Mc Cray down to Fremontia. I noticed last week when I went back they rebuilt and reinforced the trail all along where I slid in.
My friend who was following me said that my rig fell in rear wheels first, so the back must have washed out as it was a right hand turn. I was probably going about 1mph honestly. I definitely learned that I need to pay attention at all times, especially on the “easy” trails.
It’s nice to hear that you are liking your 4xe. I mean the power to weight ratio is insanely good for a stock car, and you are not the first to suggest that the weight could be an advantage possibly. Learning to crawl at crawl speed has been very difficult for me. I usually favor high speed driving…
I
Sky Cloud Tire Wheel Vehicle
 
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