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I took my 2-month-old Compass Latitude camping last weekend in the Southern California desert. Didn't do anything too crazy, but it's very sandy and there are some washed out parts to get to the campsite. The low front bumper on the non-trailhawk models is useless and terrible off road. What does it take to upgrade to the trailhawk bumper? I had to get a Latitude because the trailhawk is not available in a manual transmission (I won't buy an automatic) and I thought I could make do with the lower bumper, but it is just awful. Any recommendations?
 

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Sorry no idea, perhaps one of the Trailhawk owners here can crawl under the front of their vehicle and take some pics. If they mount up the same then switching would be easy - just the cost of buying the Trailhawk bumper cover and fascia I expect. If you haven't destroyed yours you could sell it for something too. If you know someone in the auto body industry they could look it up pretty quickly.
This is of course nothing new. Vehicles are designed for their intended use, and in reality most 4x4 never go off road. The fronts are designed for aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, not approach angle. So when owners try to go off road the front and rear bumper covers are very vulnerable to damage.
 

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I get the dislike for manual transmissions however for offroad type adventures the trailhawk should be used, the 9 speed isn't all the bad (just gets lots of bad press) its higher first gear really makes slow speed offroading much easier, there shouldn't be any issues with getting a trailhawk bumper cover though
 

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I took my 2-month-old Compass Latitude camping last weekend in the Southern California desert. Didn't do anything too crazy, but it's very sandy and there are some washed out parts to get to the campsite. The low front bumper on the non-trailhawk models is useless and terrible off road. What does it take to upgrade to the trailhawk bumper? I had to get a Latitude because the trailhawk is not available in a manual transmission (I won't buy an automatic) and I thought I could make do with the lower bumper, but it is just awful. Any recommendations?
Look for my thread on here about adding skid plates. There is a bit more to it than just plastic. I, too, have scraped the front air dam a few times. It was not anything too serious either. Jeep advertises 8" of running ground clearance, and that is fairly accurate. However, that air damn takes it down to under 5" I've left mine on for only one reason. This is my first "city" car. If figure if I do something and don't scrape the air damn, I'm golden. If I do, I'd best check stuff out! Don't waste your money just doing plastic though, add the skid plates like I did.

Lastly, I also enjoy shifting and the transaxle in this Compass is overbuilt, and that is a good thing. However, 1st gear is 4.15 and the final drive is 3.83. It is not low enough to not smoke the clutch in some trying situations. If that is what you're after, get a Wrangler. Within 2 years, I am to have this MP as my daily and a sexy Rubicon 2 door 6spd manual JL as a toy.
 

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Yeah the whole front fascia is different, you are talking about way more than simply swapping a single piece. "Bumpers" aren't what they used to be, a lone bar sticking out from the front of the body. They are now tightly integrated as a front fascia package going all the way up to the hood.

You could gain a couple inches just by trimming the bottom lip of the air dam but that lip is probably worth 1 MPG on the highway in air deflection so.. hard to say if its worth it. Its flexible enough to survive a few scrapes.
 

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I want to just take the air dam off!
I figured there is probably a dozen or so screws and a bit of trim work so I could do it myself.
My question is, if anyone in here is aware if this air dam plastic piece is a brace or cover for important under carriage exposed parts? Can I damage anything major by removing it?
Also would rocks, dirt, or debris do any damage that the air dam is blocking?
I ask because I looked under my Buick Verano and it's pretty open! Nothing really blocking or covering exposed under carriage there.
So is it really an issue if I remove it from my Compass Limited?
 

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I want to just take the air dam off!
I figured there is probably a dozen or so screws and a bit of trim work so I could do it myself.
My question is, if anyone in here is aware if this air dam plastic piece is a brace or cover for important under carriage exposed parts? Can I damage anything major by removing it?
Also would rocks, dirt, or debris do any damage that the air dam is blocking?
I ask because I looked under my Buick Verano and it's pretty open! Nothing really blocking or covering exposed under carriage there.
So is it really an issue if I remove it from my Compass Limited?
Air dams main function is to reduce the air passing under the car at high speeds. This improves gas mileage since it reduces drag. I dont think it protects anything vital, aside from giving you and early warning sign if you were to rub the under of the car to something high up..

There was a threat a while back, talking about how to remove it. If my memory is serving me right, unfortunately it wasnt that easy to remove without taking apart the whole front bumper. Hopefully, I am remembering this incorrectly and it can be removed easily.
 

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I removed mine yesterday. It's like 6 screws and a couple plastic fastners that keep it attached. I just use some snips and cut thru the plastic fastners. As you follow it up towars the wheel wells the width of the air dam gets much thinner in width. There i just snipped it off and all done. Looks much cleaner now too! Not hard to do at all.
 

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I removed mine yesterday. It's like 6 screws and a couple plastic fastners that keep it attached. I just use some snips and cut thru the plastic fastners. As you follow it up towars the wheel wells the width of the air dam gets much thinner in width. There i just snipped it off and all done. Looks much cleaner now too! Not hard to do at all.
Pics?
 
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