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99- going off road, advice


schrochem
02-28-2008, 12:45 PM
Well she hasn't done too much off road, but I'm heading to a place with rough roads and LOTS of brush. It is recommended 4X4 with high clearance and 6 ply tires.
So she's got 115K on her.
I 'm leaving on the 9th and planned on taking it into the shop to replace the rotors and drums.
The brush is thick so there will be plenty of scratches.
That doesn't really bother me, but I'd like to ensure everything holds together.
Supposedly, tires are the main issue with flats from thorns and small trees (mesquite). I just bought some new tires 10,000 miles ago and I'm not sure they are up to it.
They are GY Eagle LS with 4 ply on the tread (2 polyester cord, 2 steel cord) and 2 ply (polyster cord) on the sidewalls.
So....IF I was to plop down some more cash for good tires, any recommendations for rocky, brushy terrain? I'd keep the current tires and have these for off road use. However, it's a 500 mile drive out there on pavement.....
While the truck is in the shop getting the brakes done, any other recommendations to check on??
Much appreciate any and all responses.
Scott

Ramblin Fever
02-29-2008, 12:32 AM
I wouldn't dream of running out there with 4-ply's...you're on the right path of knowing that.

I don't even bother putting 4-ply's on my Rodeo period...had one set when I bought it new, I had so many flats/patches, it wasn't funny.

To get a 6-ply tire, in I'm guessing a 16" size as that's what my Rodeo came stock with, you'll probably have to move up in tire size, as you won't find a 245/70 R16 in a 6-ply.

I'm running LT265/75 R16's and LOVE the size, it gives extra ground clearance and fills up the wheel wells...this size *should* fit your truck perfectly without any adjustments, except maybe removing your mud flaps.

I VERY highly recommend Firestone Destination M/T tires, they are getting fantastic reviews for off-road adventures on tirerack.com

Otherwise, check into General Grabber AT2's, Bridgestone Revo's, even Firestone Destination A/T's are getting fantastic reviews on that same website.

You would probably want to actually buy 5 tires, if you're going to be some miles from the nearest black top or Mom/Pop roadside gas station/car care service center you don't want to be left with a 4-ply spare tire and have it blow too.

I'm running Yokohama Geolander A/T II's in the 8-ply series...they are GREAT off-road, haven't had a flat yet, their only fault is they are hard to balance, and they are not all that wonderful in light snow/ice, but they are an A/T tire, not a snow tire.

Other things to check into...a thorough inspection of your cooling system is an absolute MUST, you're engine works harder off-road, with less amounts of air to suck into the engine, keeping it cool. This inspection includes making sure your radiator is in prime condition with no blockages (internal corrosion), if your thermostat is original and/or it's been some time since either of these two services were performed, it may be worth swapping in a new OEM thermostat (VERY important that it's OEM ONLY) and doing a radiator flush, with a thorough inspection on ALL coolant hoses, not just the obvious ones.

If your truck is an automatic and it's been more then 20k miles since your last transmission fluid change interval, may want to do a drain/refill on your transmission, get some clean/fresh fluid in there.....I do NOT recommend a transmission flush. Also, while you're down there, or someone else, have them check your tranny cooler line hoses...these do wear out with age and road grime.

Make certain on your trip you take at least 4 qts of extra oil, depending on how much your truck uses normally. Mine doesn't hardly use any, so I generally only carry 2 qts extra with us at all times. Take a gallon of premixed antifreeze too, you never know.

If you've already had the majority of this done within the last year, you should be good to go with just a thorough look over.

Have the shop grease up your suspension too and take a peek at your ball-joints.

Don't forget to take a tow strap, shovel, and oooo, I could be here forever with all the items we take...but, I'm sure you've got your own list going.

Sounds like fun!

Here's a pic of my beast running 32" tires, which cleared my truck even before the 2" lift.

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa264/Feverramblin/Truck7-2007014.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa264/Feverramblin/Truck7-2007015.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa264/Feverramblin/Truck7-2007013.jpg

Ramblin Fever
02-29-2008, 12:39 AM
Forgot to add...if you have time, throw a couple coats of a good synthetic wax on that truck, it DOES help immensly in regards to preventing deep scratches.

Here she is all cleaned up

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa264/Feverramblin/Truck7-2007023.jpg

schrochem
02-29-2008, 09:03 AM
I really appreciate the comments.
I did have some folks recommend this (http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/findTireDetail.do?rc=TXAINT&yr=1999&cf=false&c=1&sw=false&pc=38524&tc=MTAVL5&rf=true&cs=245&dVeh=dVeh&rd=16&vid=002333&ar=70) tire.
This could get expensive.....:)
I had the coolant flushed about 20-25K ago.
I think I'll take your advise on changing the transmission fluid. I'll tell them to check the tranny cooler lines as well.

Yep, I had planned on taking extra oil. Mine seems to use it up....
I wanna get a good plug kit as well.

Thanks again for the help.
I'll take this list in with me to shop.
They are doing a free checkover, but I'll make sure they look into these specific areas.
Thanks
scott

Ramblin Fever
03-01-2008, 03:18 AM
Keep me posted....post a pic of your truck with the new tires.

Also, I'd be tempted to sale your current tires to recoup some of the cost of new treads.

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