Sometimes it’s hard to mess with a good thing. Our ’78 Jeep J-10 pickup, Project Piggy the Pig Truck, is unquestionably eclectic. There’s no need to take a perfectly good stock truck and ruin it with silly aftermarket modifications that change its looks or off-road capability, right? Well, no. Somehow Piggy has made it through the past 35 years with super deep 4.10 axle gearing, 27-inch tires, and no Overdrive. Sure, this setup offers tons of torque, but the old 360ci V-8 is literally screaming down the highway just trying to keep out of the way of modern-day traffic. And Piggy, though we love it just the way it is, is a freaking lowrider, man. Even with its larger 32-inch tires, most modern 2WD work trucks were looking down on us. We are talking El Camino height here.?>
Piggy has way too much style to be looked down upon like some trar (truck/car), that’s for sure. She is a big green, patina’d, V-8 powered, manual trannie’d, pure American 4WD slap in the face. She needs to carry herself with a little, no—a lot, more attitude. Solution: a lift, big retro tires, and wheels that fit the patina.
We went with a tried-and-true 4-inch suspension from Skyjacker. The company pioneered “Softride” technology and still makes one of the best leaf springs in the industry. The bulletproof suspension parts not only get our framerails away from the ground and trail obstacles, but clear room for some 36-inch STA Super Lug 9.00-16 bias-ply vintage tires (PN 71014) that we mounted on 16x8-inch Wheel Vintiques13 Series Chrome/Bare Smoothie wheels (PN 13680604). These are the same vintage-looking 36-inch tires Mopar Underground put on its J-12 concept truck. Super cool! Follow along while we set Piggy up with some new shoes and a better stance.
Retro Tire and Wheel Performance
The STA Super Lug 9.00-16 bias-ply vintage tires (PN 71014) from Summit Racing look retro, but also grip very well off-road. For the trail we aired them down to about 8 psi, though we probably could have gone to a slightly lower pressure. On-road these tires are relatively quiet despite the aggressive tread pattern. Bias-ply tires do flat-spot when parked overnight and tend to ride rough for the first few miles until they become round again. The look and performance of the tires is well worth this little side effect. The 16x8-inch Wheel Vintiques13 Series Chrome/Bare Smoothie wheels (PN 13680604) and baby moon center caps from Summit Racing got some almond-colored rattle-can paint. These wheels are functional and certainly eye catchers. We can’t wait to get a few more on- and off-road miles on these beasts. We’ll let you know how they hold up to our Jp-style testing. Another outing in Piggy yielded at least two more offers to buy her. Everyone loves Piggy. Sorry folks, she ain’t for sale.