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Long-Term Updates - June 2013

Posted in How To on June 1, 2013
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Photographers: Off - Road Staff

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Air Dams

In case you didn't realize, the air dams below the front bumper on many new trucks are there for a reason—and getting you hung up more quickly off road is not that reason. All too often, we (all off-roaders, us included) remove these lower air dams for better approach angle and looks, or we just wait until they get ripped off in the dirt and then we leave them off.
As you may have guessed, they're on there to improve aerodynamics. While it may seem ironic to worry about aerodynamics on a brick wall front end, we found more than a 1.5-mile-per-gallon difference in running with and without the air dam on our '11 Ford. While we do have to be a bit more careful when in the dirt with this truck, we're opting to leave the air dam on from now on.

Bilstein 5100s

We recently put new front and rear shocks onto a first-generation Tacoma with a little over 200,000 miles on it. We pulled off the old suspension that had been on the truck for more than 120,000 miles. Surprisingly, the rear Bilstein 5100 shocks were still charged with nitrogen and still had damping capability. Considering that we can count some shocks' lifespans in weeks, we're impressed to see how well these Bilstein 5100s have held up over the years

BFG All-Terrains

While we've tried all-terrains that we've liked more in certain conditions and all-terrains that we've liked less, the BFGoodrich A/T KO continues to be the tire that all other all-terrains measure themselves against. There's something to be said for that.
The time-tested tread pattern has only seen a minor sidewall tread change over the three decades that it has reigned as the tire that almost invented the term "all-terrain."
We've found them on everything from extreme rockcrawling vehicles to daily-driven SUVs that need good snow tires.
Does BFG have any plans to change this way old-school tread design anytime soon? Not that we've heard of.

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