For years, most of the staff had said, "Who in their right minds would drive down the highway on 44-inch tires?!" Well, we still don't know anyone who would drive on 44s, but we decided to give some 47s a try. Last month we introduced a fullsize Cherokee on 47-inch Pit Bull Growlers that we started to drive back and forth to work, out around town, and for one final trip in the dirt. A short excursion to take a few pictures in the dirt turned into a few-hour rescue after both rear axleshafts and one front hub broke loose while we were trying to get over a tiny berm. But before everything let go, we were able to get a pretty good feel for what we needed to do in order to make these tires fit and to keep everything alive. Obviously, this 4x4 was going to need a lot more axle to live under this truck. The engine had enough power to push the big Jeep at freeways speeds without problem, and the 727 transmission was built to take the abuse, but the steering and axles were going to need some improvement. We used the downtime to take a step back and figure out what we really need to feasibly live with 47-inch tires on a daily driver.
Next month we're going to address the axles, the steering, and maybe even add some new shocks to this FSJ (fullsize Jeep), but this month we're going to make the tires fit while we wait for axle parts to show up. We found a few spots on the body and chassis that we didn't feel comfortable with, but were able to improve the tire clearance without changing out the nice Deaver spring packs. We used some bigger rear blocks, Offroad Design zero-rate add-a-leafs in front, and some wheel spacers from JT's Parts and Accessories to make the 47s fit (along with some generous cutting, of course). Once we get different axles on this truck, we'll give it a shakedown run to make sure everything is kosher, and be able to successfully daily drive 47-inch tires every day after that.