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Long-Term Updates - February 2012

Posted in How To on February 1, 2012 Comment (0)
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Go Ahead—Ask Us!

What do you want to know about? Is there something we tried out in the pages of this magazine that you would like to know more about? Send an email to jerrod.jones@off-roadweb.com and we’ll make sure we get you an answer.


Dodge Control Arms

We’ve built our Dodge to our liking (you can check it out at www.off-roadweb.com) with a number of components that we felt meant our standards and every piece has really worked beautifully for what we needed. One modification we’ve really liked was the addition of the DT Pro Fab control arms to the truck. They’re fixed arms so there is no worrying about adjustment, and you can order them in stock length, half-inch longer, or 1-inch longer than stock. We’re running the 1-inch-longer-than-stock arms with around four inches of suspension lift, and 37-inch tires can travel completely into the fenderwell without hitting and tearing up the fender.

The DT arms have urethane bushings on them, which makes for a nice ride and allows the arms to flex during off-camber situations. We recently took a look at the arms and the urethane bushings are still in great condition, and the arms look brand new after a wipe with some water and a rag.

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Chevy Mid-Travel Kit

The JD Fabrication mid-travel IFS kit on our 2000 Silverado Z-71 has proven to be a boost to our off-road capability. After the install of the upper control arms, we’ve found the extra couple of inches in droop travel helps keep the tires planted better, especially on cross ruts. We’ve run dirt roads and some hilly, eroded mountain trails, and in our experience the truck articulates better. We find that we have a tire in the air less often now and the traction is improved with the better travel. We’ve had no reliability or durability issues with the kit.

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S-10 Lift Kit

We’ve been pleasantly surprised at the durability of our BDS S-10 suspension. It’s not a suspension that’s in high demand as many ’Dime enthusiasts go custom these days, but we wanted to try out this kit on our S-10 Blazer before getting crazy with our own. Honestly, the kit has worked well enough to set our timeline back over a year now. We figured we’d have this suspension on the truck for a few months, then move on to some type of long-travel or solid-axle-swap suspension for more hardcore use. But this S-10, adorned with a BDS lift kit and 33-inch Hankooks, has really been great as a commuter and weekend warrior. The 33-inch tires rubbed the heck out of the fenders with the 6.5-inch lift kit so we had to go with fiberglass fenders, but it gives our S-10 a cool look and we can stuff these 33s where only a 31-inch tire was supposed to fit.

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Bronco Torque Converter

Before meeting the gang over at Continental, we didn’t put all that much thought into torque converters.  We figured choosing a torque converter was a simple matter of matching an appropriately-sized unit to a transmission.  That kind of thinking might work for vehicles that don’t see much strain, but our vehicles get flogged pretty hard.  Continental has been producing performance-oriented torque converters for more than 40 years, and they take note of almost every aspect of a vehicle when they build a custom converter, from tire size to engine idle speed.  The result: an almost bulletproof converter that can last the life of your truck.  Check out www.off-roadweb.com for a step-by-step creation of a Continental Torque Converter for our project Bronco.  Believe us, the thing is solid.

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Terra Trac A/T

As you might guess, we’ve got a number of things in the works as we gear up for future stories. One of these happens to be a giant all-terrain tire test that we’ve been putting together for the better part of a year. We’ve had prior experience with most tires in the test, but one tire in particular—the Hercules Terra Trac A/T—is completely new to us and has been a pleasant surprise from a company we don’t cover enough. The Terra Trac is one of the least expensive tires in our test, yet it’s been great at freeway cruising, around-town driving, and mild off-roading and trail cruising. In the rain, the tire has performed remarkably well on a test Suburban (versus other all-terrains we’ve had on this truck in the past) and we’re looking forward to the first snow (this entry was written in October—no snow yet).

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