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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody know what the best mode is for hill climbing, with rocks for non trailhawk models? Is it SNOW? or Auto? Is there anyway to replicate Rock mode on non-trailhawk models?

Also, anyone know if it's possible to flash rockmode to say snow mode if someone has the software to connect and flash it? The torque converter will operate differently, but the other electronic settings might be the same.

Also should you use the modes, or just turn off as much of the electronics by holding the traction control button for 5 sec?
 

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Renegades (doesn't matter if it's TH or not) use the GKN all wheel drive system (Jeep calls it "4x4", but it's not really. A "4x4" does not use torque vectoring. A 4x4 (as common understanding) locks the front/rear at an equal ratio, thus insuring traction between the two. AWD uses torque vectoring which completely disengages traction to some wheels, and using software to determine where and when to send power and you don't control it).
Jeep is playing "technicality" here, as the system CAN lock power to the rear (definition of a 4x4), but they DON'T tell people (which GKN DOES) is that even though the rear may be receiving power, it is NOT sending that power out to the wheels (being a unique differential that uses dual clutch systems to disengage BOTH rear wheels) until IT decides to (back to the AWD/torque vectoring system).

Here is the direct link to GKN and their description (notice even THEY refer to it as AWD, not 4x4. They also specifically call out the Renegade as using THEIR system):

https://www.gkn.com/en/our-technology/2016/all-wheel-drive-and-effciency/

The TH has a few advantages: skid plates, lower gear ratio, slightly taller, and tow hooks. That's it.
The "lock" button is deceiving as all it does (again according to GKN who makes the system) is "lock" the rear driveshaft to the transfer case. However... the rear diff is not a normal diff. It remains OPEN (no power to either wheel) until the system decides to send power to both/either/or none wheels. Again, despite that gimmick button, you have no control over it. All "lock" does is decrease the lag time for WHEN/IF the system decides to send power to a rear wheel.
The "low range" button is nothing more than a 1st gear hold (auto trans only). There is no real low range in this (again, misleading). 1st can be accessed and held by the auto stick anyway (no need for the button), so you're not missing out on anything there.

This leads us to the 'modes". These are actually REAL (they are different software modes that help the system decide when/where to send power). However... it will still require slip of wheels and then to think out the situation BEFORE it moves any power to the rear.
So if you're thinking it "proportions" power via mode (like Jeep would love you to believe), sorry but it does not. At least not until it senses slip and THEN decides to move power.

So IIRC, I believe jeep said:
SNOW was (unJeeped translation: COULD be up to, after slip) 60/40 with high TC.
Sand UP TO 40/60 (mild TC)
Mud UP to 50/50 (mild TC)
Rock (TH only) up to 50/50 with TC at high setting (to help prevent wheel spin)
(each with corresponding changes in throttle response, steering feedback, brakes, Stability control, and shift points).
The system does work pretty quickly (kudo's to Jeep/GKN with that). Which "up to" mode will be your call, but honestly, they'll probably all feel pretty similar (since they don't engage until slipping is already occurring anyway).
Non TH will have a fairly tall 1st, so you're going to want to pick lines that you can keep your speed up a tad. I'd advise against any technical (difficult) rock crawling.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@maverick365

yeah not crazy rock crawling I just have dirt roads that have some normal size rocks, and some places for a little while turn just rocky, again not boulder size, something like in this video.


From my understanding of the modes I guess snow would make the most sense since it has the highest 2nd highest traction control compared to rock mode? I know mud allows for aggressive wheel spin, or would auto just work out best? Lastly will turning off TC completely let me go over through almost over anything, and not suffer power cut out during a hill climb or mud?
 

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Hello,
For hill climb you shall never use Rock mode. Rock mode is programmed to avoid whell spin at any cost (to avaid tyre damage or lose control of vehicle) and will in specific situations cut power on the engine.
For hill climb the best is Sand mode with low range selected, because it permits some whell spin, higher revs and keeps the traction control on to hell you.
Many people think that Rock mode is the best mode..always. No. It is not. Rock mode is only the best option when you are really rock crawling and you need a very progressive (long/slow) accelerator, very small whell spin, an open torque converter and keep the gearbox in 1st gear. I have a Trailhawk and I like the rock mode (because is very smoth/progressive) even for hill climb, but if it is a high slope hill climb, the sand do better.

Regarding your initial question, I don't think you can have the Roch mode programmed on non TH versions.
The Trailhawk has many differences to the other versions. Trailhawk means that it has improved capability on:

- Water fording: The Trailhawk can cross water up to 48cm (20 inch) due to incleased electrical system isolation. Non Trailhawk are limited to 30cm (11,7 inches) due to more "exposed" electrical components.

- Manouvrability: The Trailhawk Steering system is diferent from non-Trailhawk. On the Trailhawk you have 2.76 turns (lock-to-lock), while on the other non-Trailhawk is 2.68. The resul is that on the TH Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb) is 10.76meters while on the others is 11.07meters.

- Clearence: The TH has better ground clearance due to a different suspension, as well as better attack and departure angles, due to different bumpers.

- Traction: Has a better final "Crawl Ratio" (20:1) due to a different rear axle (4,3 vs 3,7), that gives it more 20% torque on the wheels.

- Articulation: The TH has a different suspension with increased articulation: 21cm on the rear wheels and 17cm on the fron wheels.

It also has skid plates and, in Europe, a Diesel engine with 270 lb.ft of torque, although in Europe it doesn't has the front hooks because is not allowded:(.

Regarding the 4x4 vs AWD, I just would like to add that the AWD on the Renegade always engage the rear wheels with 50%/50% when you come to a stop, for the car launch. As soon as it gets a few speed, it reduces the amount of power sent to the rear and at a higher speed. At high speeds, it disengages the rear axle. Note that in 4x4 Part time systems like the Wrangler, you have to use 4x2 on the asphalt/paved roads, while on the Renegade you have power on the 4 wheels even when driving on the road wich is especialy good on the snow and ice roads that we drive dily. In fact, the AWD sistem on the Renegade is so clever, that if the outside temperature is very low, or if you have wet conditions, it will be sending power to the 4 whells almost always.
In Europe the Uconnect 6,5 has the Jeep Skills app that shows you at each moment the power, torque and the % on the front and rear axle. If one wheel slips, it also shows you that wheel in red color! (among many other features).
Anyway, your Renegade will be able to drive you to nice places where to mort part of SUVs necar go.
Enjoy,
Best regards from Germany,
Bruno.
 

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Hello,
In Europe the Uconnect 6,5 has the Jeep Skills app that shows you at each moment the power, torque and the % on the front and rear axle. If one wheel slips, it also shows you that wheel in red color! (among many other features).
Anyway, your Renegade will be able to drive you to nice places where to mort part of SUVs necar go.
Enjoy,
Best regards from Germany,
Bruno.
In the US, we don't have the Skills App. But I'm not sure how accurate it is, anyway. Here's a video (great tester who does real AWD/4x4 Ability tests) of the Renegade on rollers (each wheel tested individually) and it appears to not be actually doing what the app screen says it is. Also you can see the delay in the AWD system figuring things out just to get it off rollers on flat ground. This is not an optimal system for serious off road, but (like every other AWD out there), would do VERY well for on road (where there is less toque requirement at the wheels, level ground, and more importantly... HARD ground underneath so you don't dig a hole with spinning tires).

ETA: link:
 

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I should add to my above statement, it CAN do off roading, I just meant it isn't an optimal system for "serious" off roading.
AWD systems never were great at off road, and nothing really has changed there. A "4x4" system (although not great on the road), reigns supreme off road because if one (or more) tires slip, you keep your momentum as the other tires hopefully get SOME traction. With AWD it's the opposite. It will (basically) utilize ONLY what it needs (in this case ONE front wheel) until it slips. Then you lose all momentum as it tries to figure out what's going on and how to deal with it (as you're spinning wheel is now digging a hole that the other wheels will have to crawl you out of, thus making the issue worse by the second). If the system cannot figure out what's going on, or how to solve it, it will simply cut power (clamp brakes) to all the wheels to protect it's components from damage (they are not serious duty parts, as it's meant for limited power applications. So it has to protect said parts from receiving more torque than they can handle). Sometimes it's figures it out, sometimes not. On road this isn't an issue since torque demands are rarely severe to get unstuck. However, off road that is another ballpark altogether.
Here is a great example of this system (eventually) figuring out what to do, though it's far from optimal for an off road vehicle. But it DOES get it done (here). I think that sums up what this vehicle is perfectly... it's a beefed up (500x) car, with an aggressive AWD. It's not (nor was) meant to compete with a real 4x4. So long as people keep that in mind, it does GEAT at it's intended purpose.
 

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(...) Here's a video (great tester who does real AWD/4x4 Ability tests) of the Renegade on rollers (each wheel tested individually) and it appears to not be actually doing what the app screen says it is. Also you can see the delay in the AWD system figuring things out just to get it off rollers on flat ground. This is not an optimal system for serious off road, but (like every other AWD out there) (...).
Hi Maverick,
Thank's for share this video showing a very good testing. I also appreciate your comments and additional information regarding "pros and cons" of 4x4 and AWD. They are useful to keep people/drivers informed about their vehicle capabilities and limitations. I just would like to share some comments on that great video with the Renegade on the rollers:

- The Renegade took some time and well spin, but was able to transfer power to the only/unique wheel with traction, and the other 3 with no/zero traction. This is better than the majority of the SUV/Crossovers. Also, many of the true 4x4 from the 80's and 90's would fail when only one wheel has traction, because most/many of them only have a center diff locker (no front or rear locker).

- In limit situations like this, an AWD system like the one on the Renegade wastes/loses about 50% of the engine power, breaking wheels. In fact I believe (no scientific evidence) that with 3 wheels on the rollers, the one that has traction receives less than 50% of the total power the engine is producing!!! (in a Wrangler Rubicon with front/rear Lock diffs you never lose power.... because traction control don't need to break wheels).

- Why the hell does someone would go into a limit situation with 3 wheels with no traction...in AUTO mode??? (this is not a critic to the video producer, who did a great job showing how it works in AUTO). If you put yourself in that kind of terrain you shall know how to use your vehicle and which mode you shall select! Even if you don't know witch mode to select, just press the 4WD LOCK. The video bellow compares the reaction in AUTO mode vs the AUTO+4WD LOCK and confirms that there are clear noticeable improvements in faster reaction time and less spin when engaging 4WD lock at the begining, because the rear propeller shaft is always engaged and the traction control runs a different algorithm (...the video is in Portuguese ...).
Best regards.

AUTO vs AUTO 4WD LOCK link:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@bsmarado

With your explanation you honestly explained how the renegade my actually outperform say my old 2003 TJ all it had was low gear and that's it no lockers or anything. This is where I think boundaries and lines get blurred, no it's not going to outperform a lifted rubicon with lockers, but it might keep up with older wranglers, and even stock sport ones today.

I guess the question is off roading wise does it make sense to turn off as much as the traction control as possible, and just have wheels spin and try to get traction, or does the electronic wizardry actually help?
 

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An interesting video which I didn't understand a word he said :laugh:. I would love to see him do that course again with some AT tires. The Renegade had paddle shifters, must be another difference Europe/US. Thanks for posting.
 

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Hi Maverick,
Thank's for share this video showing a very good testing. I also appreciate your comments and additional information regarding "pros and cons" of 4x4 and AWD. They are useful to keep people/drivers informed about their vehicle capabilities and limitations. I just would like to share some comments on that great video with the Renegade on the rollers:

- The Renegade took some time and well spin, but was able to transfer power to the only/unique wheel with traction, and the other 3 with no/zero traction. This is better than the majority of the SUV/Crossovers. Also, many of the true 4x4 from the 80's and 90's would fail when only one wheel has traction, because most/many of them only have a center diff locker (no front or rear locker).
Yes, that's correct. An AWD CAN have an advantage (in limited situations) to 4x4 off road. However, that's against an open differential 4x4 system (which no serious off roader uses). Most serious off roader add at least one locking (or limited slip) differential.
Basically.. in stock trim, sure an AWD COULD have an edge (that's if the AWD system doesn't get over protective and clamp down on the brakes to save itself, since they are designed for light torque loads) over a bone stock base 4x4 system, but that buy a 4x4 for off road purposes usually also opt to add a limited slip or (better) lockers.
There is zero argument that an AWD excels (over a 4x4) ON road. On road (hard under surface), an AWD reigns supreme as moving power is advantageous for that (4x4's have a tendency to swap ends in snow, unless they have TC/ESC).
For the most part, though.. AWD suffers (off road) in that it doesn't keep the "slow and steady" mantra (it waits for slip, THEN has to figure things out), it uses the brakes to move power (this robs power, will entirely halt movement, and compounds the situation as now you have to power your way out of a self dug hole and the wheels that could possibly do it are now being "braked"), and the #1 issue.. the parts are not designed to handle high torque situations (thus the systems are over protective and will "brake" on all 4 corners to protect it's parts WAY to quickly/easily, thus you sit there).
Jeep is TRYING real hard to bridge that gap between AWD and part time 4x4... but this isn't it (they are opposing methods that I can't see EVER being combined).
What we'd all really like is a hard core (parts that can handle off road situations) 4x4 system that WE can control (rather than a fully automated AWD, or a simply locked 4x4 system). Jeep IS getting closer... there is a new "full time/part time" 4x4 system available on the Wrangler Sahara THIS year (merger of both systems). We'll see how that plays out. If it does well, maybe it will trickle down to other vehicles in their line up? One can hope! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, that's correct. An AWD CAN have an advantage (in limited situations) to 4x4 off road. However, that's against an open differential 4x4 system (which no serious off roader uses). Most serious off roader add at least one locking (or limited slip) differential.
Basically.. in stock trim, sure an AWD COULD have an edge (that's if the AWD system doesn't get over protective and clamp down on the brakes to save itself, since they are designed for light torque loads) over a bone stock base 4x4 system, but that buy a 4x4 for off road purposes usually also opt to add a limited slip or (better) lockers.
There is zero argument that an AWD excels (over a 4x4) ON road. On road (hard under surface), an AWD reigns supreme as moving power is advantageous for that (4x4's have a tendency to swap ends in snow, unless they have TC/ESC).
For the most part, though.. AWD suffers (off road) in that it doesn't keep the "slow and steady" mantra (it waits for slip, THEN has to figure things out), it uses the brakes to move power (this robs power, will entirely halt movement, and compounds the situation as now you have to power your way out of a self dug hole and the wheels that could possibly do it are now being "braked"), and the #1 issue.. the parts are not designed to handle high torque situations (thus the systems are over protective and will "brake" on all 4 corners to protect it's parts WAY to quickly/easily, thus you sit there).
Jeep is TRYING real hard to bridge that gap between AWD and part time 4x4... but this isn't it (they are opposing methods that I can't see EVER being combined).
What we'd all really like is a hard core (parts that can handle off road situations) 4x4 system that WE can control (rather than a fully automated AWD, or a simply locked 4x4 system). Jeep IS getting closer... there is a new "full time/part time" 4x4 system available on the Wrangler Sahara THIS year (merger of both systems). We'll see how that plays out. If it does well, maybe it will trickle down to other vehicles in their line up? One can hope! :)
I think that version of the wrangler is probably a similar system to the renegade, cherokee, grand cherokee, ect probably just a better gear to crawl in.

I think you kinda put the nails in the coffin for me, if a renegade performs just as well or has a slight edge over a bone stock wrangler, in almost everything besides massive rock crawling, that is a truly remarkable achievement.

Better on road, better fuel economy, slight edge non rock crawling off road, and much cheaper. You have to understand the market for serious off roaders is probably like literally 1%, even the lifted wranglers just go to the malls.

Even moderate off roaders don't get crazy with locking diffs unless they bought it like that from the factory say a rubicon, even then it's overkill for most.

If I can get the same performance as my bone stock lifted TJ with open diffs due to the smart electronics I'm a very very happy camper. It's also a matter of time before computers keep improving even more, where they can probably start outperforming mechanical locking diffs.

I took the Renegade the first time down a trail I did with my TJ, nothing crazy since it's not lifted yet, or has proper tires and I was surprised how well it performed, literally on Continental snow tires filled to 40 PSI!

I can eventually see the Wrangler being modernized where their current Selec-Trac systems become the norm, heck I mean they are starting to push it now, and than like a $50K Rubicon version will have solid axels, goodies ect, for "HARDCORE" people.

Technically the truly crazy hardcore off roaders, usually have insane Independent suspension systems. Anyway loving the Renegade so far and I think Jeep is nailing it on the head with these new systems, probably catching up to Land Rover if it hasn't already.
 

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I done a bunch of research and from what I learned I'm a bit disappointed in the false way Jeep represents the renagade as being a 4 x 4. The simple t case is no more than a clutch pack that slips thus you have a front wheel drive system that cares less about rear differential gearing. Or wheel speed and will easily compensate for a ring gear change kudos for that. However if you cannot get the power to the ground you still will not go up that hill. You must use a good bit of moment to keep the clutches engaged and putting power to the wheels. A very tuff Hill climb will take excellent driver abillity. And knowledge to accomplish without hitting rocks exc at speed. You best be a good yo excellent driver to avoid damage to diff or other vaulnerable undercarriage parts.
 

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I drive the European TH that's equipped with the Diesel engine but I feel it doesn't have the "guts" to do the work, especially in hill climbing. It's such a shame, so much low end power/torque is wasted just because that GKN system(whatever they call it) decides its risky to push it towards its true potential. I'm very disappointed, and I think this functioning cannot be altered(at least without loosing something else).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I still haven't tried it on a hill climb, might do it soon, just been scared given there are no recovery points, and I don't have a winch on it yet, i hope it doesn't suck, maybe someone will come up modified software to let it do what it does.

I also don't understand what kind of damage it thinks it can do? Why can't it handle the torque, this system is pretty beefy for the small renegade isn't it?

Also, driving on dry roads with 4lock turned on if there is no spinning does it do any damage, from my understanding no. I drove in snow mode a few times on dry pavement because it makes the steering might harder felt like an old BMW lol.
 

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I still haven't tried it on a hill climb, might do it soon, just been scared given there are no recovery points, and I don't have a winch on it yet, i hope it doesn't suck, maybe someone will come up modified software to let it do what it does.

I also don't understand what kind of damage it thinks it can do? Why can't it handle the torque, this system is pretty beefy for the small renegade isn't it?

Also, driving on dry roads with 4lock turned on if there is no spinning does it do any damage, from my understanding no. I drove in snow mode a few times on dry pavement because it makes the steering might harder felt like an old BMW lol.
Same page here! In diesel TH , you’ve got 260 lb/ft of torque @1750 rpm, 20 crawl ratio reinforced by the T.C, that’s enough to climb a 45 degree rocky hill given it’s weight… yet often it refuses to do even a plain 25-30 degree hill climb.
Probably the decision to quit is guided by various sensors for example, if it detects possible wheel spinning, wet surfaces etc. But the system is too slow and very sophisticated to the point it makes constantly dumb decisions. That’s so ridiculous and frustrating!
 
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