Here it is April 22nd, it's 88 degrees outside and I am trying to remember what
I learned and what I observed last weekend in three feet of snow.
The first thing I learned is when you can't see your wheels and you're winching, and you stop forward motion - stop winching. (I didn't, and blew a tire and snapped my drag link in half!)
(As I started to write this I found I was ranting and raving. So, I think I will divide it up into different rants and raves.)
In this article I will rant about tire pressure.
I have heard in a roundabout way from several people that I am considered one of the better drivers in the club. At the risk of getting a swelled head (it may be too late for that) I will agree that I am better than most. I have met plenty of drivers from around the country that I consider better than myself. I find that I am still learning. One way I learn is by listening to people who are better than I. I also watch where they go and how they go. I ask why they went that way. I not only let them spot me, I try to understand why they had me go there. I did not emulate the guy that had the most wheel spin, or threw up the most mud! I emulated the one that made it look easy. Because if he could make it easy here, where everyone else was having a hard time, I figured he would have a hard time where everyone else found it impossible.
I am tired of hearing the excuse, I don't have lockers. Lockers are highly overrated! Picking a good line and airing down is better than having lockers. Driving off road is not point and shoot. To be done right you need finesse. Yes, I have lockers. No, I rarely turn them on! I have ARB lockers. I run open difs until I throw a switch and only then am I locked up! On the trip last weekend I didn't use my lockers until I was in the mud hole! I did use them more on the trip out, because I had to replace my left front tire with a 31 inch bald tire.
Air down the left front
Air down the right front
Air down the left rear
Air down the right rear
Airing down is not going to 16 psi ---- unless you're driving an
F150 with 235 X 75 15 tires, in which case 16 psi is just about right. I was running 11 psi and could actually have used a little less.
Yeah, yeah, I know, "but you lose too much ground clearance." Well, ground clearance be damned. Yeah, I know, "I don't have 33 inch tires. I only have 31 inch." I am running 33 inch tire's but I am also running 11 psi and I also have a
Dana 60 rear end. I actually have less ground clearance than a Stock T. J.
1. With reduced ground clearance, pick a better line.
2. With sufficient TRACTION I can drag the jeep across anything
(airing down gives you more TRACTION! )
3. Rolling over obstacles -- when you encounter a rock face, the natural tendency is for the tire to bounce off the rock See the video (to see the video, you will need real player). By airing down you allow the tire to flex and thus roll over the rock and not bounce off of it. You won't need as much momentum to get you over an obstacle because, instead of bouncing around, you'll keep a larger contact patch on the ground (TRACTION).
4. It makes the ride so much SMOOOOOOTHRE!! But only if you air down enough
That is the whole name of the game - TRACTION !!!! That is what lockers give you - TRACTION! You get your best TRACTION when ALL your tires are on the ground (picking a good line). Airing down helps keep them on the ground. And airing down increases the amount of tire on the ground (TRACTION ).