Jeep Wrangler Off-Roading and Dodge SRT Experience Motorz #90

Jeep Wrangler Off-Roading and Dodge SRT Experience Motorz #90

Today on Motorz, Chris takes our completed Jeep Wrangler off-roading in the Southern California desert and Alan visits the Dodge SRT Experience at the Bondurant Racing School. so buckle up and hold on tight, because Motorz starts NOW! Hey, welcome to Motorz! Now you’ve seen us build up our 2014 Jeep Wrangler on the show and show it off at the SEMAShow in Vegas. Now it’s time for it to get dirty! So we’re out here in Southern California at Ocotillo Wells for the Tierra Del Sol off-road event Now is a 3-day family event that’s more of a destination, with a whole lot going on! So before I show you the event, and take this Jeep off-roading, let’s find out a little bit more about Tierra Del Sol! The Tierra Del Sol desert safari (TDS) takes place the first weekend of every March in the Southern California desert near Truckhaven in Ocotillo Wells. It’s a 3-day family event, held over the weekend, and attracts off-road enthusiasts from all over the Southwest and beyond! It’s the longest off-road event in the nation! TDS is a not-for-profit organization, and the proceeds go to fight land closures, keep the trails open and donate to worthy charities. There’s something here for everyone, which is why the kids can have some fun in the desert, too. In addition to a huge off-road vendor area, there’s a playground for those who have completed the safari and just want to have some more fun. This area is called the 4×4 training area, and has obstacles ranging from easy to, well… “good luck getting out”-difficult! There are 22 obstacles in total, built from logs, heavy equipment, old tires, concrete tubes, boulders, and more. Of course, we had way too much fun putting our Jeep to the test, as you will now see! Now we weren’t the only ones out there having fun, of course! Just check out these other off-road rigs, trying their best to get through the more challenging obstacles. Some did better than others! And then there’s the Dollar Drop area. See that black diamond there? Yeah, don’t enter unless your custom off-road rig is built for narrow passageways, sharp corners, massive articulation, and stamina. Check these guys out! At night-time, everyone gathers for a huge raffle with over $100,000 in prizes followed by an incredible fireworks show! But we were here to put our 2014 Jeep Wrangler JK Motorz TV project vehicle to the test after spending so much time building it up through the past 6 Jeep episodes which you can watch all of them right at our website, So let’s hit the trail, and see what happens! Our Motorz built Jeep handled flawlessly! No clearance issues with the MetalCloak lift and VPR 4×4 bumpers. Great grip with the Atturo tires, and plenty of power thanks to that ProCharger supercharger. But we got to thinking… how much clearance does our Jeep really have now? Well, we headed over to the MetalCloak “Super Stretcher 2000″ to find out! Back over in the vendor area, MetalCloak had a very trick trailer which allowed them to test the articulation of any vehicle that wanted to see what their off-road vehicle was capable of all for free. With four scissor lifts, their corner travel index machine twisted our Jeep and gave us an eye-opening look at what the safari trails weren’t capable of doing. I mean, seriously, check this suspension-twisting contraption out! I wonder what would happen to our Ford Mustang? Uh, maybe that would be a bad idea. Now in the end, our Jeep survived the TDS safari, it’s training area, and MetalCloak’s CTI torture device with flying colors! We not only had a ton of fun building it up, but being able to take it off-road and putting it to the test. Be sure to add this event to your off-road bucket list. Visit for the dates of the next event, and maybe we’ll see you there! Now I’m out here in Malibu, California, thanks to FCA. and I’m standing right next to this TrailCat, which is a concept vehicle that has that 707 HP HellCat supercharged engine in it! Unfortunately we don’t get to drive this, but we do get to drive all the latest Jeeps that they have to offer. So let’s go check them out! Now thanks to Jeep, we had just about every single 2017 trail-ready Jeep to go off-roading The one we decided to get into was the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee TrailHawk! Driving the new TrailHawk off-road was incredibly smooth, even in these huge dips! and the views from the Malibu hills were incredible! Now when Jeep says their vehicles are trail-ready, they mean it! Check out their full range of vehicles at! And now Alan takes you to the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Racing to introduce you to the Dodge SRT Experience. Since 1969, the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving has been the premiere driver training destination for everyone from racing professionals to daily commuters who want to be come more proficient behind the wheel. In partnership with Dodge is the all new Dodge SRT Experience. This one day high performance driving experience is developed by the Bondurant Racing School, and created specifically for SRT owners and enthusiasts. Chad Seymour: The reason why the partnership with Bondurant and Dodge SRT is the perfect fit is that we have the most powerful, fastest production cars on the planet and when you have that kind of performance, what better way to celebrate that than with your customers than having a cooperation and educational program with the best in the industry. Bob Bondurant is a legend in motorsports. When you have a car like the Dodge Viper ACR, unprecedented 13 track records, more than any other production car in the world, you really have to know what you’re doing behind the wheel. With the type of program that’s offered here at Bob Bondurant Racing School, they have the instructors that can give the proper guidance that allows a customer to not only have the ability to drive that car to its maximum potential, what makes it even better is that Bob Bondurant has Justin Bell as the lead instructor for the Viper training program. Who better than a world-champion driver Justin Bell behind the wheel of a Dodge Viper to give customers the opportunity to get the full potential out of the Dodge Viper ACR? Alan Taylor: And SRT owners and lessees of 2015 and 2016 vehicles are eligible to participate in the SRT Experience, which is included with the purchase or lease of the SRT vehicle. So I’m here in the ACR Shop with David Stevens. He’s the head wrench. Head wrench? David: Yeah you can say that, I’m the technical director. Alan: Head wrench! Alan: So, I bought an ACR because of course I love the way they look. I love the way they drive. I love 13 track records. But you, you’re a crew chief. This is kinda your world, isn’t it? David: It is, it is. I’ve been on a team now for the past 4 years From my point of view, this is exactly what what I would want out of a car. Coming from a racing background, you want that suspension adjustability. You want that downforce adjustability. You want to be able to make the car handle, exactly the way you want it whenever you want it, for whatever track you’re at, and this car has it. It’s a complete package. It’s got the adjustable coil-overs, gives you both rebound and compression. You have adjustable downforce. By adding on some additional splitters up front, adjusting the rear in the back, you also have some diffuser strakes in the rear that you can add on, all to increase downforce to really maximize the potential of this vehicle. Alan: So, when you were talking to me earlier and you said something about the chassis, and it was… I could just see it in your eyes that you were blown away by the fact that a manufacturer would build a street car like this. David: Correct. It’s not like a typical production street car. It’s a tube chassis frame. It is exactly what you’d want in a racecar. This is, in my opinion, a racecar built for the street, which is amazing. The stiffness of the tube chassis allows the car to really be dialed in 24/7 and give you that security that you want from a car out on track. Alan: Have you had it out on the track? David: I have, and it’s an absolute dream to drive. Katzkin Commercial: If it’s your car, why not make it your interior. Transform the look, the feel, and the quality of your interior. With Katzkin leather. The world leader in custom automotive interiors. Visit today to find out how easy and affordable it is to get a Katzkin premium leather interior for your vehicle. Katzkin. Express. Transform. Drive. Jeff: Hey, Alan Taylor!

Alan: Jeff, how you doing, man? Jeff: Good!

Alan: I’m just sitting here gazing at these cars. ACRs, Hellcats, Chargers and Challengers, Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, 5 years ago, a car guy like me would have never dreamt to see these cars here or to see an ACR. You’re the development manager. It must have been a monumental job. What was that like? Jeff: It’s been very rewarding, I can tell you that, looking at the results. I mean we have a pretty small group of passionate people that work on Viper right? I worked on the original GTSR program. There’s a direct link between that and this car, all the cars we did in-between. When we did the gen 5 Viper, this small core team of people always had this ACR in mind. In fact if you look at the car closely, you’ll see that there were some things designed in on the regular gen 5 Viper that allowed us to do this. The front splash shield, already had the opening in the splash shield to allow the vents in the hood for example, if you look at the liftgate there’s formations to accept wing stansions. We were thinking ahead to this car, all along. The people that had to execute it, it wasn’t hard to get their buy-in and their passion on it, because it was already there from the beginning. Alan: It’s changed the world for muscle cars, right? It’s upped the game! I don’t know how to explain what it’s like to be behind the wheel of this car. For my whole life, I’ve driven everything This car is so violent and fun.

Jeff: I mean one of the things we like most about it is that there’s a direct connection between you and the road. And that’s pretty rare in today’s automotive landscape, right? Most cars, they’re adding all kinds of things to insulate you from the road, and the driving experience. We didn’t want that with Viper. Alan: This car has so much more built in than any other automobile on the road that I’ve driven that’s street legal.

Jeff: If you’re sanely, the car is very easy to drive. I mean traction control, stability control. And they’re tuned very well for the different uses. Sport mode, track mode. You can find a use that’s perfect for you and the track. Alan: I would say that’s art, science, and technology all working together for the best that the car can be. Jeff, thanks job well done.

Jeff: Great seeing you Alan. Alan: Hey Hey Mark Trostle, come here! Head of design for Dodge SRT. You’ve been involved since I ordered my ACR. So I finally get the car, and now I’m learning how to drive it. How involved were you with ACR and the Viper.

Mark: I was fortunate enough to be the lead designer on the car right from the get-go. We had a great team. We spent a couple years developing that car as we introduced it in ’13 and that really was just such an awesome experience to take a car that is just a beautiful shape, but then put these aero pieces on it to make it the track monster that it is. Even the base Viper, you know it’s still a 200+ mile an hour car, so it’s still has to have the right aero balance to it. And then certainly when you throw in the ACR, we worked really closely with our engineering folks, you know they need that really petite wing on the back of the car to create all that downforce. But we want to make sure it’s beautiful as well. So we’ve got a great relationship. We’ve spent hours in the wind tunnel just moving things millimeters to make sure the balance is just right. It’s really fun. Alan: Amazing amounts of downforce, the car is stuck to the road. To experience the aero package on a street car like this? Great job! What were you doing out there by the way? Mark: You know that’s a tough part of the job, is having fun on the track driving Vipers. Alan: Were you out there on the track?

Mark: Yeah, yeah. Alan: Hey man, great job. I appreciate it.

Mark: Thank you. Partz, brought to you by Craftsman. Not all screwdrivers are made equally. And not all are made with a diamond-coated tip in order to reduce slippage and help remove stripped fasteners. Introducing the Craftsman Extreme Grip 6-piece diamond tip screwdriver set. First, let’s start with the grip. You’ll immediately notice the larger handles. They’re more ergonomic than your typical screwdriver and are made of a dual material that is not only comfortable, but allows you to add more torque than normal. Then there are these killer tips! They offer up to 4 times more gripping power than standard black oxide tip screwdrivers. Also, the shanks are laser-marked and easy-to-read so you can quickly find the one you need. This 6-pack comes with 3 slotted in sizes 3/16″, 1/4″, and 5/16”. as well as 3 phillips in sizes 1, 2, and 3. As always, they’re backed by the incredible Craftsman hand tool full warranty and available right now. Check the full line of Extreme Grip products at today! E3 DiamondFire spark plugs are the most powerful spark plugs you can buy They deliver a more complete fuel burn. More power. Better economy, and reduced emissions. E3 DiamondFire spark plugs. At auto parts and lawn and garden stores, everywhere. Letterz, brought to you by E3 Spark Plugs. Born to burn. Welcome to Letterz! So there you have it, folks. We not only built up our Jeep Wrangler JK through the show, but also took it through a challenging off-road safari. And that’s not the only time we’ve taken it off-road, either. Go ahead and Google “Pancake Rock” here in San Diego. Yup, we did that too. It was crazy! So, your letters! But first I want to make sure you know how to follow us on social media. Look right down here, below. And, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to Genuine Hotrod Hardware for this cool MOPAR shirt that I’m wearing! Now our first letter comes from George, who asked me… I have a 1969 Mercury Cougar and I need to replace the rear main seal. I was wondering what tips you might have about sealers for the pan gaskets, and whether to use a rope seal or rubber? Love your show! -George Kalata Well thanks, George! Fel-Pro manufactures a really nice one piece pan gasket for those classic small blocks that make replacement a breeze. Now rope seals are way out of style and ineffective, so be sure to go with a heavy-duty 2-piece seal kit and use Permatex “The Right Stuff” between seals and the engine and make sure the seal lip is pointed toward the inside of the engine to prevent oil from leaking. And now Curt asked me…. When the engine is cold in my Thunderbird, the automatic transmission doesn’t want to shift from first to second gear. All the fluids are within range. What would cause this problem and how can I fix it? -Curt Brooks Well, Curt, it sounds to me like your transmission suffers from what’s known as “morning sickness” in the transmission trade. As automatic transmissions age, their seals get hard and tend to leak cold, which delays the shift. As the transmission warms up, the seals become more flexible, and the seal pressure improves, so you can shift properly. I hate to tell ya bud, but the only fix is a transmission rebuild and new seals. And finally Neil wrote in and he asked me… Are the aftermarket parts you buy at auto parts stores as good as OEM parts? I have bought some in the past and they just don’t seem worth buying. Do you have an opinion on this? -Neil Salter Well hey, Neil! Of course I do, man! It really just depends on the part and the manufacturer. It’s true that you get what you pay for, and it’s always safer to go with OEM parts. However, with that being said, you can save quite a bit of money by going with an aftermarket part instead and in many cases, that aftermarket part might be a whole lot better than the one you’re replacing. So what should you do? Well, before you go buy, go online and look up that specific part number at various online retailers. Read what real people are saying about it. Look at the star rating, too. Now if you can’t find anything, I would first check to see what their return policy is for the aftermarket part, and if it doesn’t look good, default to the OEM part. Well, a huge thanks to Neil, Curt, and George for sending in your letters. They all get free E3 spark plugs for their ride. Now to learn more about its DiamondFire technology and to see if it’s available for your ride, just visit! Now I just mentioned a place called Pancake Rock. This is what it looks like when you get to the top of it. It’s actually a trail off the side of the road in Jamul, CA. Now after pulling off the side of the road, we aired down the tires and headed up the trail. The trail itself is pretty challenging, actually, but any 4×4 trail-ready vehicle should be able to handle it just fine. Now once you get there to the base of Pancake Rock and look up, it looks pretty challenging. It looks nearly vertical. But it is possible, and trust me, it’s worth it. And this is why they call it Pancake Rock, because it looks like a big ol’ flapjack! The 360 view atop Pancake Rock is absolutely stunning as you can see. I highly recommend it if you ever go off-roading in San Diego.

About the Author: Michael Flood


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