MORE 4BY4TECH

TIRE & STEERING TECH

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BFGoodrich KM3s

It was Moab two years ago that Gary Braun the former lead at BFGoodrich off road tires showed me a few sneak peek pictures of the new KM3 tire. I was sworn to secrecy – and I did a pretty good job of keeping my mouth shut. I didn’t however think it would take a full two years to finally see the end results and the new tire introduced but BFGoodrich knows what’s at stake with such an iconic brand and the need to get the tire right. Let’s put that in perspective – the Baja 1000 just took place and again BFGoodrich took bragging right with the bulk of the race competitors in the top finishing spots rolling on their tires.  Click the picture for the full article...

Beadlock buyers guide

Now we are talking bead locks! Gotta have them if you really want to play in the deep stuff and no you don’t need huge tires to have some fun, low tire pressure is critical though – your 12-15psi trail tire pressure won’t cut it. In the past I’ve done well with a single outside lock ring, I’ve used a few different brands both steel and aluminum on an array of tire sizes. Width matters though as a wider rim will allow your tire to stretch our flatter without too much leverage on the stock bead retaining lip. For my fat 39.5inch Pitbull Rockers I started with on my TJ and up to a 44 inch tire I ended at I had a set of steel 12-inch wide rims with a single outer bolt-on bead lock that were made for me custom by Allied Racing. They were steel so if I hit anything hard under the snow at speed in the sub 5psi range and bent anything I could hammer the rim straight again – pretty tough to do that with an aluminum wheel – they tend to crack and shatter. I even pulled the cores right out of the rims on one trip with the 39.5inch Pitbulls and ran “0” in the tires to keep going in snow 2-3 feet deep. I did not loose an inner bead! So, one tag up for ugly boring steel!Click the picture for the full article...

Coyote Internal beadlocks & Weld On beadlocks

We check out some alternatives to pre made outer ring bead locks with the Coyote internal bead locks for use in DOT wheels and if you need something you can't find - like a width issue - weld on rings to make your own with a steel wheel.

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CJK8

Sponsors

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BFGoodrich KO2 Allterrains

The BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A tire is one of the most recognizable tire tread designs on the market. He large square footprint and interlocking lugs has been an all around off-road all-terrain tire staple. When you combine the pedigree of 80 wins in all classes in the Score Baja race – which takes place each Nov on the Baja peninsula, you have a company committed to making the best off road tires in the business. While the All Terrain KO performed admirably in most conditions, other manufactures are making improvements in their tires as well and without taking away from the distinct tread design BFGoodrich went about reinventing the All Terrain to be the toughest and most durable tire in its class.Click the picture for the full article...

Wheel Spacers

There can be a lot of discussion at times about the use of wheel spacers on your rig, but in some cases I think they are a positive addition. Heck the Dana 60 I’m using in my current project was a dually front axle and it had the largest factory axle spacers on it you have ever seen -now removed to narrow it up – but the fact is they can be used in the right situations. When I did the solid axle swap into my Toyota 4Runner, the IFS front axle was 2-1/2 inches wider than the factory front solid axle trucks. Its pretty typical to use a good quality spacer with all new wheel studs and nuts There are also conversion bolt pattern spacers where your matching to dissimilar axle bolt pattern and need to keep all 4 wheels the same. All require extra nuts, lock tight and the spacers and at times trimming of the stock wheel studs if they stick to far out past the end of the spacers.Click the picture for the full article...

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Mickey Thompson MTZ 3 Radials

The next generation Mickey Thompson MTZ Mud Terrain tire has been designated the P3 (the original MTZ is now in limited production). The new tire was enhanced with a silca reinforced compound for better wear and wet weather traction. Sizes cover from 31-37 inch sizes (metric and standard) for 15.16.17 and 20-inch rim sizes to fit most popular trucks and SUVs. I ran a set of the original MTZs back a few years on a TJ I built and they were a comfortable riding tire on the street and worked well in regular trail situations.

The P3’s were mounted onto a 4 door Jk that sees regular trail duty. The previous set of tires – well work and trail ridden where Nitto MTs in a 33-inch size so going to the LT315/70R17  (equivalent to a 35X12.50R17) was a bump up of tire size for this rig that sees regular trail duty.

Robert Straw put the tires through their paces for a few weeks now and reports “As you can see from the photos at about 15psi they're still a really stiff tire not much flex at all.  I'll try going lower next time I'm out. Balancing was super easy 1 or 2 weights at the most. Street psi I got a good footprint with the chalk test between 30-31psi, Mud wise didn't see a bunch but from what I did see it cleaned out pretty damn well. Performed very well on the dirt roads had to try very hard to slip at all, even in wet sections. On the highway noise was noticeable but not more so than would be expected from a MT.”

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PSC Motorsports JK ram assit steering

As we get closer to completing the CJK8 (about time!) I have progressed into the steering of the Jeep. When the plans started, I wanted to use as many JK aftermarket parts as I could. Even though the end result will not be very JK like, starting with a Wrangler Unlimited frame gave me the opportunity to use some great aftermarket parts – like the complete JK ram assist steering system from PSC Motorsports. The heart of the system is a new JK steering gear modified to direct flow from a pair of hose ports on the side of the steering gear to a ram assist cylinder mounted to the tie rod and front axle. This moves 50% of the load from the box and frame (A known weak point) down to the axle. Click the picture for the full article...

Rock Jock 4x4 - Currectlync steer

The name Currie Enterprises is synonymous with Jeeps, There Rock Jock axles, Ford 9-inch axles for Jeeps, suspension systems featuring the legendary Johnny Joint system – imitated industry wide and even bumpers have been gracing Jeeps for as long as I’ve been into four wheeling (and that’s a while now). Currie also has a version of their Currectlync Steering system available for JK, TJ and XJ Jeep models.

Their first modular system for the JK was beyond beefy but for the every day wheeler it was a little on the expensive side. When speaking with Ray Currie at SEMA this past year he introduced me to a new version of the steering system that retails below $600.00 for both the tie rod and the drag link. There is also version to “flip” the tie rod to the top of the knuckles for better ground clearance and that kit comes with the sleeves to complete the flip. Even right had drive versions of this system are available – all still under that $600.00 threshold. Ray also mentioned the “roll” tolerances of the tie rod have been tightened to help reduced the annoying steel on steel impact when the tie rod flexes and rotates during normal use. Unlike the stock steering system that has one end crimped onto the center link – both ends are adjustable and replaceable. The tubular tie rod is 1-½ inches in diameter while the drag link to the steering box is solid cast. Click the picture for the full article...

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Grant steering wheel lock

While sourcing out steering system for the CJK8 I wanted to add some security to the vehicle. I now live in a larger city than I use to and with seeing vehicles stolen daily I though a little investment in this area would be a good idea. I’ve known about these Grant Security Systems for sometime and after researching removable steel wheels – this popped up and I ordered one from Summit Racing right away. Priced at $131.97, it was really a no brainer.

Simply called a Vehicle Security System by Grant the steering wheel disconnect comes with a keyed lock and a steering column cover so there is no way to even clamp a couple sets of pliers onto the column stub. I ordered a pretty basic steering wheel to go along with it and everything got mounted to our Ididit tilt steering column.

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TJ Steering box relocation

If you own a TJ you know what its like to try and stuff some big meats under the sheet metal. Trimming the hood for high clearance fenders squeezing a little more length from your control arms – and if you don’t drive on the street stretch kits that stick tires out the back of your rig can get you there but steering is still an issue.

 

Its no secret I like big tires on my wheelers. The new CJK8 is going to get 44s for snow wheeling just like my TJ had, and I’ve been planning around them on that project from the start as well with a front axle push. For the TJ I did it as an after thought as I had two rigs when I built the TJ and no need for bigger tires than a 37.

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