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This is the first bolt-on, bead-ring-type beadlock wheel our editor-in-chief has ever run. So far so good. The air pressure had been set to 30 psi about four months before a trip to Moab, Utah, when we checked the air pressure and retorqued all the bolts (on all four wheels). Almost all the bolts were fine and needed no tightening. We did break one bolt on one wheel when tightening. The biggest air pressure drop was five pounds on one wheel-and-tire combo, and the rest were two, three, and three pounds down from the original 30-psi mark.
During the Moab trip, we had no problems running on 10 psi and sideloading the tire constantly, never breaking a bead. Two of the beadlock rings are a little rock-rashed. The best part is that we can just replace the beadlock rings when they are finally too damaged.
We don’t believe in snake oil and were therefore a little skeptical at first, but when some Flex-a-Chill showed up at our office we figured “Why not?” and dumped the special coolant additive into a Flex-a-Lite radiator in a project truck. We saw a highway-speed running temperature drop of about 15 degrees—a surprise to us. This has also resulted in the electric fans switching on a lot less than they used to during slow-speed trailrides.
Our buddy, “Rock,” had these Velcro strap hangers made by Husky in his tool bag. He was helping us change some hubs when he pulled them out and hung our calipers by them. They were a Godsend. We’ve seen zip ties break and coat hangers bend as a caliper fell to the floor, sometimes ripping off the brake line on the way down. These Husky straps were heavy-duty, reusable, and are cheaper than just one of the stainless braided brake lines we’ve had to replace.
Reader Input: Rugged Terrains
OFF-ROAD loyalist Robby Kocisko:“I’m no writer, but as an enthusiast who reads your mag, I am happy to give you my impressions of the BFG Rugged Terrains. I have about 5,000 miles on them now and I love them, and they still have the tits on the tires. They are quiet and I think they might make the 55,000-mile warranty. The Rugged Terrains are load range E tires on a 3/4-ton truck with nitrogen in them at about 67 to 68 psi. They are noticeably quieter than a BFG All-Terrain. I wanted a more aggressive tire, but didn’t see the point for a mostly street-driven vehicle. I’ll be happy to keep you posted on the Rugged Terrains.”
Towing with Ford’s New 6.7L
We’ve done a fair amount of towing with our newer 2011 Super Duty F-250 already, but most of it has been on freeways, in traffic, and on flatter areas. We got many hours of seat time on a recent excursion out of state towing our new Carson trailer loaded with a big Blazer, with a combined weight of more than 8,000 pounds (behind the truck). The bed was loaded with about 500 pounds of equipment, and we set out with two guys (about 500 pounds) in the cab. We climbed from sea level to 7,000 feet elevation, up and down, for about half the trip. The towing mode on the transmission kept things easily in control on the downhill, and the mega power of the 6.7L diesel kept us at the 70 mph or 75 mph speed limits without issue except on the steepest of climbs. Overall, we averaged 8.4 mpg on the way out, and 8.8 mpg on the way back. It was definitely lower than we wanted to see, but we were towing through some higher elevations at passenger car speeds with a lot of weight in the bed and on the trailer.
We’ve towed a Jeep Cherokee XJ on the same Carson trailer on the traffic-ridden freeways of Southern California (limited to 55 mph) and gotten 13.7 mpg with the same 2011 Super Duty.
It’s not the top-of-the-line winch that Warn built its reputation on (after building a name in axles and hubs), but our VR8000 from Warn’s new VR line has certainly been living up to the Warn reputation (and getting more use than we ever thought it would). The lesser-priced winch was put on a multi-mount to be used in the front or rear of a Suburban that lives in snow half the year. The quick-connect cable kit is easy to plug together, and the synthetic line makes it a lot lighter and saves our backs when placing it into a hitch receiver.
And in a snowy climate where vehicles often slide off the highway, we’ve been able to do more than our fair share of easy extractions with this VR8000.