Electronic Hack Turns Trackhawk into Monstrous Burnout Machine

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Pulling just one fuse under the hood allows the Jeep Grand Cherokee to exorcise its Hellcat power via the rear wheels.

Doing burnouts in a Hellcat-powered Dodge Charger or Challenger is pretty easy. You basically just mash the brake pedal, pin the throttle, and hold on tight as the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi turns the rear tires into smoke. It’s not so easy in the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk because it’s an all-wheel-drive vehicle. Or is it?

Stefan Williams, host of the Youtube channel Mod2Fame Vlog, recently went to a Cars and Coffee event at MotorEnvy, a business in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey that offers high-end and exotic vehicles on a monthly subscription basis. After touring the service bays, which contain an Audi R8 and a Lamborghini LM002, Williams goes outside to meet with a friend of his who owns a black Trackhawk. Williams had previously pulled a fuse from his Dodge Durango to make it default to rear-wheel drive and now his pal wants to know if he can do the same thing with his Trackhawk.

jk-forum.com Burnouts in a RWD Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

Williams takes a look under the hood and doesn’t run into any snags. He examines the layout of the fuse box and everything seems to be as expected so he yanks out #77.

jk-forum.com Burnouts in a RWD Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The true test comes when Williams fires up the Hellcat. “We’re looking for the traction light to be off … to see if it worked.” His fuse-ectomy was a success, so his friend jumps behind the wheel to vaporize the rear rubber. The ultimate proof is in the puff of smoke it generates, which causes Williams to scream out, “It works!”

jk-forum.com Burnouts in a RWD Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

When you have 707 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque in front of you, one short little burnout just isn’t enough. The Trackhawk owner puts it into first gear, then lays on the throttle until white smoke fills the rear passenger-side wheel well and flows out from under the exhaust pipes and rear diffuser like a ghost bent on the destruction of expensive tires.

The fun comes to a quick – but understandable – end. Williams says, “We’re going to turn it back into a Trackhawk now.” Fortunately, getting the Jeep back to RWD is a quick and easy process: just unplug and play.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK-Forum.com and Ford-Trucks.com, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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