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Long-Term Updates - December 2010

Posted in How To on December 1, 2010
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Photographers: Off - Road Staff

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PSC Hydraulic Assist
Before we put the PSC hydraulic assist on our fullsize Cherokee with 47-inch tires, we could only turn the tires when the truck was actually moving. It was a night-and-day difference once we added the PSC kit. We could turn the 21-inch-wide, 47-inch-tall tires even at a standstill. But even with the PSC kit, the giant tires are still tough to turn and if we got into a rocky section with a tire wedged up against a wall, we'd probably be stuck. With this size tire, only full hydraulic would be enough to get really hardcore.

Falken WildPeak A/Ts
These tires have been on a daily driver of ours for a number of months now. Though we haven't put more than 5,000 miles on them yet, we've had a chance to feel how they worked. The middle center tread rib seems to really hold the tread steady, even when sidehilling. Obviously this is an all-terrain tread design, but it still hooks up fairly well in loose dirt. The tread depth is not as deep as some other all-terrains, but we haven't seemed to knock too much tread off these tires yet, and they wear well. Our biggest complaint is that these tires weigh more than some other all-terrains. But they are fairly quiet on the highways.

Heavy-Duty NP231 Build
At the beginning of the year, we put together a hardcore build onto a NP231 transfer case. We added an HD chain, a six-pinion planetary set, and a fixed-yoke kit to the rear tailhousing. The owner proceeded to drive the Cherokee on front-wheel drive for the next couple months, using it as a daily driver in Southern California without buying the rear driveshaft that met up to the fixed-yoke kit. Somehow, this ended up literally smoking all the fluid out of the transfer case-there was absolutely no fluid in the case when we opened it up, yet there were zero drips and zero puddles under the vehicle where it parks. Even with zero fluid, we still managed to burn up only the HD chain kit, with the bearings and the six-pinion planetary still surviving.

Aftermarket HID Headlight Kit
A while back one of our freelancer writers tried out a pair of HID conversion headlights. He went with a typical company he found through the Internet, and immediately ran into a problem of two wires being reversed in the harness that triggers the lights to turn on (getting signal from the stock headlight harness). That was no big deal, and simple to switch, but since then we've had a couple other problems. One problem is that sometimes one light doesn't turn on, and we have to flick the headlight switch a couple times to get it to work. On top of that, the high-beam function has stopped working. Furthermore, the high-beam option isn't really a brighter beam, but just physically angled up a little more when the high-beam switch is activated. What did we learn? Well, pay more and buy the highest quality, and only look into a headlight conversion kit that offers an actual high beam with a brighter light.

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