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Under The Pentastar

Under The Pentastar

“Under the Pentastar” is a weekly recap of some of the major stories at Chrysler Group LLC. This week’s stories include: May sales figures, Jeep brand and USA Basketball’s “Power by Design,” Mopar Ram Runner’s desert duel, and Brad Keselowski’s NASCAR Nationwide series victory.

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Ram Runner

Ram Runner

Leaves Ford SVT Raptor in the Dust

  • Mopar Ram Runner 33 seconds faster than Ford SVT Raptor on punishing 4.73-mile loop
  • declares Mopar Ram Runner the winner
Jeep Wrangler Fording Water

Jeep Wrangler Fording Water

Thursday, June 2, 2011,  Alan and Jackie Ellis-When you own a Jeep® brand vehicle, it’s hard to resist the urge to take your vehicle off-road. We bought our Jeep vehicle to not only experience the adventure lifestyle, but also to go places without the benefit of a paved road. Trail Rated® Jeep brand vehicles offer that opportunity. So with the next series of articles, we’ll talk about some basic off-roading techniques and how you can safely enjoy your Jeep 4×4 on the trail. Off-roading can involve many different types of obstacles, each one presenting different challenges for both the driver and the vehicle. Water fording and driving in mud are two obstacles that are fun and exciting if done properly and safely.

Knowing how to ford water and get through mud is a useful skill for every off-road driver. Almost every off-roading area in the United States (including the desert) will eventually have a place where you will need to cross a stream, ford a large water obstacle, or drive through mud. The two primary concerns for water and mud obstacles are safety and potential damage to your vehicle.

Jeep Wrangler Fording Water

Jeep Wrangler Fording Water

Water Obstacles: Crossing streams and water obstacles are fun and exciting! While you’ve probably seen drivers speed up and roar across a stream, it may not be the smartest thing to do in certain situations….especially through an unknown water obstacle. The first thing you’ll need to know is your own vehicle’s capability. It is important to check your owner’s manual to determine your vehicle’s maximum water fording depth. As an example, a 2010 Trail Rated® Jeep Wrangler’s maximum water depth is 30 inches at speeds under 5 mph, and a 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee is 20 inches for standing water and 9 inches for flowing water, both under 5 mph. If you don’t have your manual handy when you get to the water, a general rule of thumb is that water up to the bottom of the bumper is a safe depth to cross to avoid damage (but some models may be lower). Water that is too deep can cause damage to the engine, transmission, differentials, and electronics.

Once you arrive at the water crossing, use a long stick to determine initial water depth, or get out and walk out into the stream if it is not too swift and can be done safely. Put your vehicle in 4WD Low, drive slowly, and be ready to back off if the water gets too deep. Watch for large rocks or holes that may appear as you cross. It’s also important to remember to keep moving at all times and not to stop mid-stream. Never cross a water obstacle without another vehicle to assist with recovery equipment if needed. After crossing, use your brakes lightly until they dry out. If necessary have your vehicle inspected to check for water in the differential or transmission.

Jeep Wrangler Fording Water

Jeep Wrangler Hittin' Some Mud

Mud: Usually, if there is water present, there will also be mud. Mud can also take us by surprise as it can sometimes be camouflaged by other debris. Or….maybe you just want to go mudding! Either way, mud can be a fun challenge on an off-road trail. Unlike water (where you can sometimes see the depth), the depth of mud can be hard to judge. You can get seriously stuck in mud, so it’s essential to make sure you have recovery equipment and another vehicle close by to pull you out if needed.

Do not proceed if there are no tracks on the other side of the mud hole. The important thing about mud is to make sure you’re in 4WD low, avoid excessively spinning the tires, and KEEP MOVING. Beware of the middle of deep ruts where you could easily high-center. If you start to get bogged down, slightly turn your steering wheel from side to side to gain more traction while continuing forward momentum. Once you get back to civilization, use a pressure washer to clean the underside of your vehicle to get rid of excess weight and prevent corrosion.

Water and mud can be fun and challenging off-roading obstacles. By keeping these tips in mind, you can enjoy your Trail Rated® Jeep vehicle as it was meant to be used without compromising safety and without damaging your vehicle. Do you like water and mud obstacles? Where is a great place in your area where water and mud can be enjoyed with your Jeep brand vehicle?

As always, click any of the pictures in this post to see more images of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

The 2011 Mopar Ram Runner catching some air

The 2011 Mopar Ram Runner Catching Some Air

Turn Your Ram Truck into a Desert Racer

May 26, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Ram Truck owners may now transform their truck into a Mopar®-powered desert racer.

Just a little more than one year after Mopar debuted its Ram Runner image vehicle to much acclaim at the 2010 Moab Jeep® Safari, the brand today announced details of its new Ram Runner kit for off-road enthusiasts.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

“At Mopar, our image vehicles showcase potential directions that we may take and the new Ram Runner kit is a good example. We saw the reception that Ram Runner received last year and quickly moved to offer kits that will allow off-road enthusiasts to transform their stock Ram 1500 into a desert racer.”

-Pietro Gorlier
President and CEO, Mopar

The Mopar Ram Runner Kit, developed with successful Baja off-road racer Kent Kroeker, includes the following: Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit, off-road front bumper, off-road front and rear fenders, off-road rear-tire carrier, sport performance hood and cat-back exhaust. Each element of the kit may also be purchased separately. The street-legal kit may be installed by do-it-yourselfers or in a Ram dealership.

The Mopar Ram Runner Kit is equal to or better than its competitors on a number of fronts. The heavy-duty suspension system can handle practically any abuse the off-road dishes out. Front upper and lower control arms, which are three inches longer than production arms, provide added width and allow greater wheel travel over rough dirt trails.

Front lower control arms are constructed of 4130 chrome moly steel in order to withstand off-road punishment. Upper control arms include rebuildable high-angle ball joints. Both inner and outer tie rods are substantially strengthened and contribute to the rugged, off-road steering characteristics and capabilities. Outer tie rods, constructed of forged steel, measure 1-inch in diameter. Inner tie rods also are nearly 20 percent beefier, increasing from 0.62 inches to .75 inches.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

At the rear, a 5-link coil spring rear suspension is utilized and helps provide a 30-degree departure angle.

The Pre-Runner Stage II kit offers a boost in suspension travel, 14 inches both front and rear, which is superior to the suspension travel on the Ford Raptor. The Ram Runner kit, which includes Fox 3-inch internal bypass shocks, offers performance on par with that of an off-road Baja race truck and outperforms the 2.5-inch shocks of the competition.

Ground clearance is approximately 13 inches at the center of the front cross-member and 16 inches at the rocker panels.

Body parts included in the Mopar Ram Runner Kit, created with Trophy Truck inspiration, feature a tough-yet-stylish look built to handle the rigors of the off-road while turning heads on the street. The front bumper is constructed of steel with an integrated aluminum skid plate. With a 41-degree approach angle, ample clearance is assured over the deepest off-road obstacles.

Front and rear fiberglass fenders are lightweight, tough and durable with wider wheel wells that allow for tremendous suspension articulation with zero tire-to-body interference. The three-inch wider track also provides an imposing, aggressive look.

The stamped aluminum, dual-scooped sport performance hood adds even more to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner kit. The spare-tire carrier is located in the bed of the pickup and enables easier access and provides the ability to transport a larger spare tire, contributing to the overall appearance and “Baja truck feel”.

Ram Truck and Mopar are joint sponsors of The Off-Road Championship (TORC) Series in 2011. Both brands will share sponsorship of the Traxxas Racing team fielded by Mike and Mark Jenkins along with the Menzies Motorsports team owned by Steve Menzies. Ram will be the official vehicle of the TORC Series and the Mopar Ram Runner will serve as the official pace truck. The Mopar graphic that appears on the Mopar Ram Runner pace truck will also be made available to consumers.

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

2011 Mopar Ram Runner

Here’s more information on the Mopar Ram Runner kit, which is available for owners of 2009 to 2011 model-year Ram 1500 models:

MOPAR RAM RUNNER KIT (Each part of kit may be purchased separately)

  • Pre-Runner Stage II Lift Kit: 5-link coil-spring rear suspension, 4130 chrome moly lower control arms, upper control arms, rebuildable high-angle ball joints and forged steel, high-angle tie rods. Fourteen inches of suspension travel in front and rear, 3-inch internal bypass Fox shocks. (MSRP: $13,270, Part No. P5155662)
  • Off-Road Front Bumper: Steel construction with integrated aluminum skid plate, high approach angle of 41 degrees provides greater clearance over off-road obstacles. (MSRP: $1,250, Part No. P5155663)
  • Off-Road Rear Tire Carrier: Rear placement allows for easier access and ability to carry larger tires needed for the off-road. (MSRP: $1,010, Part No. P5155664)
  • Off-Road Front Fenders: Tough, durable fenders feature wider wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive look. (MSRP: $1,020, Part No. P5155665)
  • Off-Road Rear Fenders (6’4″ bed): Tough, durable fenders feature wider wheel wells allowing for tremendous suspension articulation, zero tire-to-body interference, and provide an imposing, aggressive appearance. (MSRP: $1,020, Part No. P5155665)
  • Sport Performance Hood: Stamped aluminum, dual-scooped hood with molded bezels adds to the forceful appearance of the Ram Runner Kit. (MSRP: $978, Part No. 82211065AD)
  • 5.7L Cat-back Exhaust: Dual exhaust with chromed tips for bumper with cut-outs. (MSRP: $1,135, Part No. P5155280)
Mopar also shot some footage of the 2011 Mopar Ram Runner in action during the 2011 Moab Easter Jeep Safari last month. You can check out that video below! To see more photos of Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Vehicles, simply click on any of the images in the post.  Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!
Ram Truck / Mopar® sponsored TORC Series Truck

Ram Truck / Mopar® sponsored TORC Series Truck

April 5, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Ram Truck and Mopar® today announced joint sponsorship plans for The Off-Road Championship (TORC) series in 2011.

The sponsorship will see five PRO-class drivers behind the wheel of a Ram truck during the 14-race series that gets underway Memorial Day weekend at Red Bud MX in Buchanan, Mich.

Ram Truck and Mopar will share sponsorship of the Traxxas Racing team fielded by Mike and Mark Jenkins along with the Menzies Motorsports team owned by Steve Menzies.

“I couldn’t be more proud to have Ram partnering with these great off-road drivers, championship-caliber teams and the TORC series itself. Off-road racers and fans are extremely passionate about their trucks just like we are. This partnership is a perfect fit for us to connect and share the passion in a fun and exciting way.”

Fred Diaz, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand
Head of U.S. Sales, Chrysler Group LLC


Mopar Ram Runner

Mopar Ram Runner

The new sponsorship has several other elements, as well:

  • Ram will become the official vehicle of the TORC Series
  • A Mopar Ram Runner will serve as the official pace truck of the TORC Series; Mopar now offers a Ram Runner conversion kit for the aftermarket
  • Ram and Mopar will bring a significant trackside presence to each stop of the TORC series. That presence will include off-road Ram Truck test-drive opportunities for fans

“From the drag strip to the circle track, the Mopar brand has a proud heritage in racing. We are excited to extend our presence into off-road racing, where many of our Mopar fanatics reside. In fact, off-road accessories and performance parts make up more than 30 percent of our portfolio, so this is a critical market that we want to reach.”

Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar
Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand


Mopar Ram Runner

Mopar Ram Runner

The 2011 driver lineup includes:

Traxxas Racing

  • Rob MacCachren, No.21 PRO 2 class (two-wheel drive) Ram, sponsored by Ram Truck
  • MacCachren brings 20 championships and more than 180 off-road event wins from various series throughout his outstanding career that began in the early 1980s. In 2010, MacCachren won the Lucas Oil Pro 2 Unlimited championship and finished second in TORC after capturing the 2009 TORC championship
  • Samuel Hubinette, No. 77 PRO Light class Ram, sponsored by Mopar and Ram Truck
  • The two-time Formula DRIFT champion is adding off-road racing to his ongoing drifting and stunt-driving duties

Menzies Motorsports

  • Ricky Johnson, No. 48 PRO 4 class (four-wheel drive) Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • The 2010 TORC PRO 2 champion makes the move to PRO 4 in 2011. The seven-time AMA Supercross champion founded the TORC series in 2009
  • Bryce Menzies, No. 7 PRO 2 Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • New TORC driver brings three years of racing experience in the CORR (Championship Off Road Racing) Series and the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series
  • Luke Johnson, PRO Light Ram, sponsored by Red Bull with associate sponsorship from Ram Truck and Mopar
  • The son of Ricky Johnson is one of the youngest drivers in the sport with a bright future ahead

If you didn’t have plans for spring, you do now. Clear your schedule, kiss your loved ones goodbye, and head directly to your garage. This will be your new home for a little while, that is, if you think spending some quality time creating your own Baja-style desert race truck is a challenge you’re up for.

We believe you are, and since we’re convicted by this belief we are putting Mopar® 4×4 Ram Runner accessories into production this March. Very soon you’ll be able to add a Stage 2 Ram Runner suspension kit to your desert toy. The Mopar® Ram Runner package is designed to accommodate some serious off-roading. The cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust systems will provide you with the power needed to get up and over that sand dune…and maybe a little air as well.

Mopar Ram Runner Stage 1 Kit

Mopar Ram Runner Stage 1 Kit

Parts may be purchased as a complete kit or individually, if you prefer. The full package provides tough and durable suspension, wider fender flares and increased ground clearance capable of sustaining higher speeds and tractions through rough terrain. Front and rear fenders can be replaced with fiberglass components, reducing weight and allowing for suspension travel and chassis clearance, which of course translates into… air? Yeah air. Have fun, and uh… keep it safe.

Mopar’s offered a more in depth look at their Ram Runner package in the video below. Thanks again for checking out Chrysler Catchall!

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