The Jack Wagon

#1
Hi all,
I am a proud owner of a 2014 Mercedes G550 that I purchased about two years ago now. I have been on and off these threads for a while now and previously posted under a different name but have changed accounts to better match my other social media accounts. In the time that I have owned the "Jack Wagon", it has gone from mall crawler to rock crawler quite literally. A few simple mods have been added as this thing is so fit stock, not much else is necessary. I run 275/70/18 BFG KO2s, a GobiRacks roof rack, and a 42" light bar that mounts onto the Gobi. Not only have I equipped it with the proper gear for the off road, I have also taken it to test it out. I have ventured to OHV, State, and National Parks - so far mainly in Texas. In this thread, I hope to share some of the adventures and assist anyone who is looking to make modifications or try something new with their G Wagon.

Around the time of the purchase of the Jack Wagon, an Instagram was created (@JACWAGN) to document the journeys and keep as a journal of all of the cool places it went. Over the course of time, a following slowly began to arise on the site and I noticed people were becoming interested in the adventures and the vehicle itself. With this following has come several questions on what type of equipment I use, where I get it from, what my opinion of the G Wagon is, how it compares to other vehicles, and my opinions of the places I ventured to. Not only were their questions of the G and the locations but similar questions towards myself for taking such a magnificent vehicle in the mud. All of this led me to the creation of Jack Wagon Overlanding.

Jack Wagon Overlanding is an all terrain vehicle accessory shop as well as a lifestyle page. Here you can find (and purchase) all of the equipment run on the Jack Wagon as well as various products for outdoors adventures and merchandise/apparel of the company. It's about more than equipment for G Wagons, it's really got to do with your personality and mindset. More can be read on this at the bottom of the homepage of the website (jacwagn.com) but the idea is "embracing your journey" and being who you want to be rather it's the popular choice or not. Many Mercedes owners have a distinct stereotype to them but G Wagon owners in some instances defy this stereotype. While our business suited brothers and sisters eat over white table cloths, you find us out somewhere in the desert or in a forest getting dirty and finding a way out of trouble. Because of our adventurous spirit, our next destination is always a bit of a mystery. We can take the common person by surprise when we go into detail about our journeys and what we come from. Jack Wagon Overlanding welcomes people like this and is a growing community of people being content with themselves and living the life they choose regardless of what others think about that. Beyond just G Wagon owners, many people who enjoy off roading or just find satisfaction with the story have "hopped on the 'Jack' Wagon" and I'd like to welcome anyone from this community to join as well.

Here are a few pictures from the adventures the Jack Wagon has taken and I look forward to posting more here from time to time. If you have more questions, you can ask on here public or privately but I am most active on Instagram or by email - jacwagn@gmail.com . I am always looking for ways to grow a community and provide more products and services to the people and am open to any ideas you may have.
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-Jack
Jack Wagon Overlanding
IG: @jacwagn
jacwagn.com
"Embrace Your Journey"
 
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#3
Sweet photos! Stilled bummed that I never made it down to Marfa years ago when we lived in Dallas.. I too added the KO2 but at 275 65 18.. Still running strong with 30k+ miles
 
#4
Nice setup! Just started following on IG 👍🏼

Question... do you have any rubbing with the 275 70 18? Have a 2013 G550 with Michelin A/T (great tire) same size, same rims as you and get a few spots of rub under particular conditions. Assume you run stock suspension? Thx
 
#5
Nice setup! Just started following on IG 👍🏼

Question... do you have any rubbing with the 275 70 18? Have a 2013 G550 with Michelin A/T (great tire) same size, same rims as you and get a few spots of rub under particular conditions. Assume you run stock suspension? Thx
I've had next to no rubbing except in the rear on absolute full articulation. I have heard that the bfg's tend to be slightly under-sized when comparing to other makes in the same height. Perhaps your Michelins are a little bigger. I do run a stock suspension and I also have the roof rack compressing the springs a bit more as well. Still, very minimal rubbing!
I'm in love with my ko2s and now with the release of the km3s, I am debating what my next tire purchase will be. Have also considered going over to Nitto and trying out one of their tires just to get a true comparison.. How have your Michelins performed??
 
#7
I've had next to no rubbing except in the rear on absolute full articulation. I have heard that the bfg's tend to be slightly under-sized when comparing to other makes in the same height. Perhaps your Michelins are a little bigger. I do run a stock suspension and I also have the roof rack compressing the springs a bit more as well. Still, very minimal rubbing!
I'm in love with my ko2s and now with the release of the km3s, I am debating what my next tire purchase will be. Have also considered going over to Nitto and trying out one of their tires just to get a true comparison.. How have your Michelins performed??
That's all good to know. Wondered about BFGs, as in my previous experiences they seemed to run a little smaller, and that's always worked to my advantage actually. Look fantastic!

I have no complaints with the Michelins to date, other than the slight rubbing, but that's no reflection on the tire. They are of course less aggressive looking, but have done everything I've asked. Looking forward to running them harder later this year into fall. They came recommended from Scott Brady as an excellent option for overall performance - found them to be very solid in on/off road and in weather conditions. I have 2 wheel sets - those on 18's and AMG 20's with Pirelli for city commuting. The commute set has been on mostly this summer as I've been spending more time driving to client sites than camp sites. Powder coating the 18's matte black before they go back on :)
 
#8
Over the past few weeks, we've been getting some steady rain to bring in the Fall here in Texas. Perfect time for some mudding :devilish:

The weather is finally cooling off a bit and we're able to breathe again down here. Have a few adventures planned and am looking forward to getting the G out and having some fun! Almost as much fun as the journey itself, I've had such a good time capturing moments and sharing with others over different forms of social media. I was always into photography but I've really gotten the chance to express myself with this truck and its adventures. Each image uniquely depicts a given second of time and transcends it into another realm beyond our "time". Ageless, it just exists. Never ending, that picture and its components are immortalized.

While taking things with you in your mind is a cool thing, being able to then share them with others is very special as well. There's a fine line between spending your whole trip taking pictures and capturing key moments to take home with you, though. I feel like people miss the point when they travel and sit on their phones the entire time - seen that a few times.. Get some shots then put that thing away so you can take in everything around you! Our creativity and imagination are so amazing. Use technology to enhance them not take them away.

More pics and videos can be found on the instagram: @jacwagn

Also: Developing and fabricating a few custom parts for the G! Stay tuned to see which ones and when they will be availabe! If you're serious about using your G, these will come in handy :giggle::cool:

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JACWAGN

New member
#9
Hey guys,
Did another thing last night. Decided to finally check out the G with no side steps and do a side step removal! There's some pros and cons to getting them off and have a few pictures to show the difference and help document the process. This ended up taking a little longer than expected because there's only 6 bolts that need to be removed from the frame and 2 that are removed from the fenders ( 1 front and 1 back) but a few are tricky.

Process:
I started from the middle, removing the two center bolts to maintain stability along the step/ running board as long as possible. This proved to be a test as these were the most difficult of the six frame bolts to remove. The two center bolts are located just over 2 inches from the resonator and tucked under the heat shield. Especially while hot, wedging a socket wrench in there was not easy. I used a 16mm ratchet wrench to remove these. This took a little more time. Once those were removed, I went to the front two bolts and used a socket wrench. These came off much easier and quicker. *Note* The heat shield is bolted down with smaller bolts and can be removed for better access but I found that just bending it slightly and then putting it back into place worked good enough. Once the two front bolts were removed, I realized that the front did not go to a sag yet. Why? Because the side step is also bolted to the fender flare by one small bolt tucked behind the wheel well liner.

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This little guy was a pain. Especially with the front bolts already removed, the added force from the new angle made it tough to unbolt. I was able to push the liner back enough to loosen the bolt and then continued by hand. To gain access, I rotated the wheels. Having realized the presence of this small fender flare bolt on the front, I then went to the back looking for a similar one. Sure enough, it was there. Not being able to move the rear tires and having 33s wedged on stock suspension (which do not rub by the way) made this bolt the trickiest. Slowly but surely, I was able to loosen this bolt as well with a pair of pliers after pushing back the liner and then hand spun it the rest of the way.

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Once this was off, the rear two bolts to the frame were easy to remove. Plenty of room. Make sure to have something set up to hold the side steps during this process. I had an extra set of hands.

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Understanding the bolt pattern, the ideal process is: remove front and rear small bolts from fender flare first. Then remove central bolts. Then remove front/back frame bolts.

Thoughts:
To each his own on their opinion of the delete. Personally it is not the end goal for me but I find the look of the car to be much slimmer and deceptively taller. Actually, the clearance isn't improved at all because the exhaust still hangs there - which is the con to this modification. This exhaust system, although beastly, has proved to be the most vulnerable part of the car and with very little protection. This exposes that issue.

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The bulky exhaust is left exposed under the sides of the car and makes it go from a luxury vehicle to a project car in my opinion. It's just too exposed and out of place. From window level, it looks good because you can't see underneath but from tire level, you can definitely tell and personally, I think it looks a bit awkward.

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Moving Forward:
Two things in the works.
1) Custom fabbing a rock slider/side step combo that is slim and looks similar to ones seen on other trucks. Product may become publicly available in the near future!
2) Considering alternative exhaust system solutions that tuck underneath the vehicle better so a side step delete is a more appropriate and complete mod to the vehicle. These solutions as well may become available in the following months.

Will keep you all posted on next steps! Thanks for following!
 
#11
Some rock/hill climbing stills from a video I came across tonight! working on getting some videos posted to youtube of the Jack Wagon being used!
As you can see, the suspension was doing some flexing here and still had next to no rubbing at all! Was able to grip all the way up with no slipping and no hesitation from the beefy v8 engine. More than enough power to crawl on up the hill!

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