To improve streetability, we thought it might be good to switch from a mud-terrain tire to an all-terrain. We took our tire guru Jimmy Nylund's advice and tried a set of 35-inch Toyo Open Country ATs. These larger meats would improve the approach and departure angles while providing valuable additional ground clearance. These particular tires run quietly on pavement and provide excellent traction when conditions get slick. A bigger tire begs for a larger wheel diameter so we opted to step up from the stock 15-inch rims to a 17-inch American Racing Mojave wheel with the nonstick black Teflon coating. Aside from a 1-inch spacer needed to correct backspacing, our owner was completely happy with the look of this tire and wheel package. The only weakness was gearing. With a larger tire, the Cruiser's stock 4.11:1s wouldn't cut it, so we ordered up a set of 4.56:1s from Precision Gear. Also, while we had the third members out, we thought we might as well throw in a limited-slip for the rear axle. We went with an Auburn limited-slip because it's nearly transparent on the street, and offers decent traction when conditions merit a posi. The results? With the stock suspension in place and the vehicle riding on 32-inch rubber, ground clearance under each axle was no more than 9 inches at the lowest point. The SUV scored a whopping 471 on our 20-degree RTI ramp. Once our installs were completed, ground clearance had improved by 3.5 inches, and the SUV scored a more respectable 511 RTI. The good folks at Arabia's Automotive in Campbell, California, performed the trick installations. 7. Longer stainless-steel braided brake lines front and rear were also needed to ensure that increased suspension movement wouldn't stretch out the existing plumbing. These also came in a kit from Man-A-Fre.7. Longer stainless-steel braided brake lines front and rear were also needed to ensure th 8. These super heavy-duty greasable anti-inversion shackles were necessary to ensure proper ride height for the rear of the vehicle. These units from Man-A-Fre are very stout and undoubtedly increase bushing life.8. These super heavy-duty greasable anti-inversion shackles were necessary to ensure prope 9. Reider Racing supplied us with a pair of Precision 4.56:1 gears and install kits for each third member to ensure all worn items were replaced.9. Reider Racing supplied us with a pair of Precision 4.56:1 gears and install kits for ea 10. West Coast Differentials supplied one Auburn limited-slip differential for the rear axle. If driven daily, it's suggested that the gear lube be changed every 20,000 miles along with the necessary friction additive. Regular fluid changes should provide years of trouble-free operation.10. West Coast Differentials supplied one Auburn limited-slip differential for the rear ax 11. Another worthwhile investment is this OME steering stabilizer. It's always necessary to use a better-than-stock steering stabilizer when increasing tire diameter. A noticeable reduction in steering wander is the result.11. Another worthwhile investment is this OME steering stabilizer. It's always necessary t 12. The secret to the Toyo Open Country's excellent performance is the abundance and zigzag design of the sipes. We were impressed with the smooth, quiet road feel provided by these square-shouldered tread blocks. Once installed, we found two spots on each inner fenderwell that required minor trimming to allow friction-free stuffing. A thin layer of Teflon like the one American Racing applies to its Mojave wheels prevents mud, brake dust, and road grime from spoiling their lustrous appearance. We're pretty sure the stuff works because it makes the wheels feel slicker than snot. We picked the black versions because they provided some much-needed anti-bling for our Cruiser's over-chromed street habitat.12. The secret to the Toyo Open Country's excellent performance is the abundance and zigza SOURCES American Racing Wheels 19067 Reyes Ave. S. Rancho Dominguez CA 90221 310-635-7806 Reider Racing Enterprises Taylor MI www.reiderracing.com Arabia's Automotive www.arabiasautomotive.com Toyo Tires 6261 Katella Avenue, Suite 2B Cypress CA 90630 8-00/-678-3250 www.toyo.com Man-A-Fre West Coast Differentials www.differentials.com « | 1 | 2 | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!