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Jeep Wrangler (1992)

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Jeep XJ Cherokee 4WD Sport 4-door (1999)

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Added: 15 September 2013 - 01:16 PM


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What new off-road product or accessory is on your wish list?

4WD products OHV dirt motorcycle ATV SUV 4x4 four-wheel drive aftermarket products

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16 replies to this topic

#1 Moses Ludel

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:28 PM

Many of us know what 4WD or OHV products we would like to get next.  As we move into fall and the perfect season for dirt motorcycle and ATV riding, or taking an SUV or 4x4 into the changing seasons at the backcountry, there are many items that make our wish list.

 

Whether you're thinking about four-wheel drive accessories or aftermarket products to enhance your outdoor lifestyle, please share with us!  We'd all like to know what others have discovered or find most useful for traveling to distant destinations and into the backcountry, including camping, hunting, fishing and overall recreational pursuits!

 

Moses



#2 biggman100

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:39 PM

Moses, i have one id like to have on my truck, after driving a friends Ford and Dodge with them on it in heavy snow. The downsides are, they are pretty expensive, and the tracks have to be replaced regularly, because just like a tire, the tracks are rubber and wear out over time.

 

MatTracks, as well as a couple other suppliers make them, and they are built to fit almost any Jeep, Dodge/Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, or any other SUV or Pick Up on the market, as well as most 4x4 ATVs and UTVs. I have them on a Yamaha Grizzly 660, and i leave them on year round. I enclosed some pics of my Grizzly, as well as the Dodge and Ford my friend owns. both trucks can also be seen in the gallery on: http://www.americantracktruck.com/ Both of his trucks were test vehicles for American Track Truck.

 

Attached File  grizzly tracks.jpg   10.6KB   1 downloads Attached File  Jasons Dodge.jpg   262.12KB   0 downloads Attached File  Jasons F-150.jpg   357.93KB   0 downloads



#3 Moses Ludel

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 05:35 PM

This is the slickest thing!  I saw the promotional video some time ago and sent links to industry colleagues.  Your Grizzly looks "tough" and should work very nicely at that track width—versatile with that snow plow, too!...What a great product...

 

What is the setup time for the Grizzly and these two trucks?

 

Moses



#4 biggman100

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 07:00 PM

Actually, when i got the grizzly, the tracks were already on it, and i have never had them off, so im not sure about total setup time. I do know changing the track on one took me a couple hours the first time. It is a pretty involved job. The Grizzly was partial payment for helping tear down a barn after a friend acquired a property in a tax sale, and we found it in the garage.

 

As for the trucks, i know the Ford took about an hour or so to swap the tires to the tracks, but that was also done in ATTs shop, where they have done many of these installs. It isnt really that hard to do from what i saw though, just jack up the truck, pull the wheel off, roll the track up, and then use the jack to set the truck even with the hub on the track, and bolt it up. The Dodge i would assume didnt take much longer than the Ford to do, but i wasnt at the shop for that one.

 

I did find another downside to the tracks though, and that is that they are limited to 45MPH, so that would severely limit where you could drive them on the road.  The guy who owns both trucks told me he only installs them in the winter, and takes them off in the spring, but he also lives in northern NY, so they come in handy for the snowstorms. He also said that he usually only installs them on the Ford anymore, and then only uses it when the snow comes. So they definitely arent for everybody, although in deep snow, sand, and mud, i could see where they would be useful. On the Grizzly, which i use in mud in the summer, and to plow in the winter, i havent gotten it stuck yet.

 

I was looking up to see what Mat Tracks said for install time, which i didnt find an answer to, and came across another type of tracks, called the trak n go system, that you can use without taking the wheels off the vehicle. The website is: http://trucktracks.com/en/ and i attached a pic of what they look like.

 

Attached File  TrackNGo.jpg   105.07KB   0 downloads



#5 biggman100

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 07:24 PM

Ok, enough with the wishing for ultra expensive accessories! This one is more practical in many ways, and not just for lights or a winch or tow point. It's the wincher bumper from TAG (Tactical Armor Group). The parts i like most about the winch is it's integrated, there are various places to install lights, it also helps as a crash guard, and can even be used as a solid place for kids to sit while watching outdoor events if the kids are small enough. It is built pretty sturdy, and as i have learned from experience, doesn't bend easily either.

 

Attached File  Wincher 2.JPG   208.1KB   0 downloads Attached File  IMG_0250e.JPG   179.93KB   0 downloads

 

The pics i attached show it attached to my 1989 Dakota, which i let them use as a research vehicle. If you own one of the vehicles they are still looking for, then you can get the bumper at no cost as well, like i did. This is a list of the vehicles they are looking for, taken directly from their site: http://tacticalarmor...e/TAGStore.aspx.

Quote from TAG:  "Our Research & Development department needs vehicles for product research, inspection, fitment and testing. If you own a vehicle that is included in the list below and would be able to leave it at our facility for a period of 10 to 14 days, we would be able to develop new products for our product line. You would benefit by receiving our new products, installed and guaranteed to function properly. That would be a cost savings for you (components and installation) from: $500.00 to $1200.00 or more!

2007+ Toyota Sequoia for Front and Rear bumper

Jeep Liberty Gen. 2 for Front Bumper

Hummer H3 for front and rear bumper
        
Toyota 4Runner 2010+ for front and rear bumper

 

 



#6 Moses Ludel

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:03 AM

Wow, the Dakota looks great!  What an opportunity for a "wish list" item...Presume you paid for the winch and add-ons, still a fantastic value for those with access to TAG and time to leave the vehicle!

 

Thanks for sharing, Biggman100!

 

Moses



#7 biggman100

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 11:54 AM

Actually, because they used my truck as a test vehicle, i didnt pay for the bumper, winch, lights, or tow hooks. If i would have though, with installation, it would have been in the neighborhoow of $900 to $1200 installed. The bumper for the 1987 to 1996 Dakota, with no accessories, is right around $500, and im assuming that is the price for the bare bumper for most vehicles.

 

The price might seem steep, but considering i have hit several deer, a couple trees in the woods, and have used it as a push bumper without hurting it, it is definitely worth it, and it will last an extremely long time. ( i have had that bumper for almost 7 years, and have had it on 3 different Dakotas!)

 

As for the Dakota, that is what it looked like a few years ago. My nephew has it now, and it is definitely showing signs of age.



#8 jj_jeep

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 07:30 PM

It's not very new anymore, but I think the AEV highline body kit for the TJ is a pretty cool innovation.  Since I don't have a lift kit, I've wondered about the economics of this kit vs. a lift kit.  I like the idea of the lower center of gravity, and I my driver's side fender has a big rust spot starting.  But I did read Moses's write up on the Full Traction kit and wondered if that would be a better choice since many chassis parts on my Jeep have 250k miles on them and could probably stand to be replaced.  But for now these are on the "wish list" as these are some pretty spendy items! 



#9 Moses Ludel

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:23 PM

Hi, JJ_Jeep!  One comment:  If you want ground clearance gains at the axles, raising the axle centerlines (via tire diameter increase) is the only solution. 

 

The catch is that the "right" diameter tire necessitates a suspension and/or body lift kit.  The chassis or body lift demand widening the track width to restore the center-of-gravity and roll center.  The lift and oversized tires also lead to the rest of the trickle down effects—and required modifications like axle ratio changes, speedo correction, driveline angle issues, and so forth.

 

It all starts with the intended use of the vehicle...When lifting, I much prefer a quality chassis/suspension lift.

 

Moses



#10 jj_jeep

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:11 PM

Hi Moses,

 

From what I've read about the highline kit, it takes the approach of replacing the factory fenders and hood with higher clearance fenders that fit bigger tires, thus providing more clearance but doing so without altering the driveline angles or lifting the tub on the frame.  From what I've read, the suspension and driveline can remain bone stock but 33" tires can fit under the fenders.  Pretty interesting to compare the costs of the fenders and hood vs. a suspension lift, SYE, driveshaft, etc. 



#11 Moses Ludel

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:24 AM

Hi, JJ_Jeep!  Yes, this is a boon, as the worst aspect of typical "body lifts" is the relocation of so many critical items: radiator, all hoses and tubing, steering column angles and so forth...Post some photos, we'd all benefit from seeing what you have in mind!

 

So, the only remaining issue would be your Jeep's axle gearing.  If you had a 2.5L model with 4.10/4.11 gearing, that might suffice with the 33" tires.  Since you have a 4.0L six, you may have 3.73s, and that could possibly work—especially if you do the 4.6L stroker engine build.  If you have the 3.55 gearing or even taller like 3.08s, then there's no alternative but ring-and-pinion gearing changes.  I would recommend at least 4.10 for 33" tires, 4.56s would not be overkill for planned trail use. 

 

Note: On our '99 XJ Cherokee, I could have done 4.56s but opted for the precise speedometer correction at 4.10 from stock 3.55.  With the plethora of accessories and weighty items like big bumpers and a winch, the XJ could use the rpm boost.  Peak torque is way above the cruise 2000 or so rpm! 

 

When I built the 4.0L for my son-in-law's former 2.5L YJ Wrangler, his existing 4.56 ratio gearing was retained for the 33" tires.  He likes it a lot.  I'd like to see 4.27 gear sets available, but the axle/pinion centerline and axle cavity size apparently eliminate this option.  It would be nice to have an alternative to the 4.10 jump to 4.56.  I also found this the case for the AAM 11.5" and 9.25" axles in the Dodge Ram 3500 and had to opt for 4.56 gearing—with a rationale that we're planning to tug a travel trailer around and will be content with a 65-68 mph ceiling for fuel efficiency when towing.  Can go faster, just have to pay the price in diesel fuel consumption.

 

Moses



#12 jj_jeep

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:50 PM

Here's a couple links to the AEV highline body kit.  Quadratec has it for $2k.  Maybe after I figure out my airbag light, cruise, and lack of third gear! 

 

http://www.aev-conve...e-body-kit.html

 

http://www.quadratec...503_0300_07.htm

 

Attached File  AEV High Fender Kit.jpg   74.6KB   0 downloads

Photo courtesy of AEV.



#13 Moses Ludel

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:52 PM

Now this is slick!  Looks like AEV did its homework, too...The need for paint and minor body work could be timely if your 250K mile 1998 Jeep TJ Wrangler is due for a paint job...You do need to consider axle gearing and a speedometer correction. 

 

There is one additional consideration with this approach:  You will only gain the height advantage of the increased tire diameter.  A bona fide suspension lift would raise the frame and body sill height plus improve the approach, break over and departure angles more than just the tire diameter increase. 

 

The AEV approach would effectively raise the axle centerlines by approximately 1.5" over stock (assuming a 30" diameter stock tire).  Compare this to the typical 4" suspension lift required for the 33" tires on a Jeep TJ Wrangler.  Definite AEV height gain at the axle housings, minimal gains elsewhere.

 

Moses



#14 joemac51

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 07:34 AM

Hi Moses,

 

What's your take on the benefits of adding a Stableload Quick disconnect to the lower overload springs of a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado Ext Cab Long Bed HD 3500 Diesel.

http://www.torklift..../stableload.php

 

My question relates to whether there is a benefit to the factory spring set of relieving and assisting it when carrying a heavy load (truck camper and gear 4000lbs) and traveling on off pavement roads into the back country for a camping adventure.

 

Right now my truck handles the load very well - but would it behoove the vehicle dynamics and assist the spring set if this was added??

 

As always - Thanks!

Joe Mac



#15 Moses Ludel

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 03:34 PM

Joe Mac, your consideration of taking a camper and load of 4,000 pounds off-pavement (primarily in the pickup bed) is of concern.  Is the camper a "cabover" design?  If so, the center-of-gravity and roll center of your truck is altered by the load height.  Also, if I recall, your truck is not a "dually".  With a single drive rear axle, the raised weight bias is more of an issue than with a dually (a wider track width plus two tires per side at the rear).

 

I would refer this question to Torklift, as I'm unclear how this product affects a shift in C.G. or the roll center.  Is it intended as an enhancement for load only, or does it also compensate for roll center and body roll? 

 

What kind of roads are we talking about?  Would they include slanted, off-camber backcountry two-tracks as part of the "camping adventure"?  If so, this could wind up more than a "camping" adventure...Or are you considering milder, graded gravel roads?

 

Moses



#16 joemac51

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:03 AM

Hi Moses ,

 

My intention would be milder gravel / dirt roads / some washboard like roads - nothing very serious or off camber as the camper / truck combo are not for that.

 

With what would be a 4000lb payload I would not subject the truck to anything severe but would like to reach some more remote camping destinations safely, with the least amount of wear and tear and abuse to the suspension and the truck as possible.

 

My thoughts were whether this stableload device would be a beneficial addition to the spring pack and the truck when heading down a dirt road to a camping spot? Frankly I have camped 6 times with this Truck / Camper and have gone down short dirt roads to get to a state park or BLM campsite. There is some rock and roll and the OEM suspension works great as is.

 

It seems to me that engaging the helper spring earlier is all that is going on here - and I wonder if that is beneficial to the system or not?  

 

Thanks!

 

Joe Mac



#17 Moses Ludel

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:21 PM

Joe Mac, I read the Torklift specs and engineering intent, and this does seem like a possible solution for sway and body roll or lean control.  The device appears well endorsed by users, that's a consideration, including folks who carry a cabover camper.

 

Apparently, the system offers a transition to the overload leafs plus support during the load and leaning phases that lead up to full overload spring action.  OEM main spring stacks are actually "progressively" rated as they approach the overload mode, applying more resistance as the springs flatten.  Apparently, Stableload takes this a step further by increasing the main stack spring rate even further when you carry a load and connect the Stableload links.  The device applies the overload spring's force to the main stack—earlier in the cycle.

 

By design, your Chevy or my Dodge Ram 1-ton trucks keep the overload spring some distance from the spring stack.  The Torklift helps to take the "gap" out of the overload spring application.  This also means that your spring rate would be stiffer than the non-overload leaf stack when the Stableload is linked.  Essentially, you'd have a stiffer resistance to the load at all times.  This could be useful if you have two tons in the bed and cab! 

 

Two tons in the bed and cab is a lot.  If OEMs set up the rear spring main stack rates to handle this kind of load, the ride when empty would be impossibly harsh.  Instead, they use an auxiliary overload spring set apart from the rest of the spring stack.  This provides reasonable ride quality when empty or loaded—running on the main stack...If you were to leave the Torklift Stableload Quick Disconnect hooked up when unloaded, you would have a harsh and rigid ride. 

 

Note: Maybe an OEM could incorporate an electrically actuated or automatic Stableload type device that would operate like quick disconnect sway bar links on a JK Wrangler Rubicon!

 

If used correctly, the Stableload Quick Disconnect does sound like it offsets the OEM rear spring set's "on" or "off" use of the overload leaf.  When hooked up, you're adding the additional tension of the overload much earlier in the spring rate cycle.  The more gradual transition could improve both the spring rate and handling.  The stiffer rate would reduce sway and body roll, and the smoothness of the more progressive transition/rate could make vehicle handling more predictable. 

 

Carrying two-tons in the bed and cab is really a hefty load.  You must be running at gross vehicle load rating all of the time when the camper is onboard.  The Stableload may help handling and spring rate transitions; however, the actual load on rear wheel bearings and tires remains constant—and very high.  Something to consider.

 

Footnote: I recall seeing this Torklift package at the SEMA Show last year.  There was discussion around drilling the spring leafs to install one version of the device.  The kit includes a special drill bit and guide.  This is spring steel if you're considering a home installation.  Drilling could take a while...

 

Moses





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