Another Scrambler Purchase/Road Trip - UPDATE- BODY ON FRAME AGAIN

spankrjs

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Biloxi
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MS
I installed the weatherstripping to the vent window frame in this order, using lots of lube:

Bottom first:

IMG_20190330_103716145.jpg

Then front edge:

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Then top:

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Then the back edge:

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Screwed on the top:

IMG_20190330_103740384.jpg

Then tightened the nuts/spacers/washers on the bottom:

IMG_20190330_103747260.jpg

The hardest part is getting the bottom rubber to snap into that channel. It is a huge PIA.



A few years back, when I finally installed interior door panels, I used wax paper as a "water shield". The wax paper worked great. Where I messed up, I used 3M weatherstripping adhesive to glue it to the door panels. Big mistake. That stuff is a PIA to get off of anything!!!!!!!!!!

Notice the nice black lines:

IMG_20190330_162520622.jpg


This is the only stuff I could find that would remove it, without hurting the paint:

IMG_20190330_162555980.jpg

That stuff is expensive, about $25 for that can, and is very strong smelling, but it works. I would dampen a rag with some remover, rub it on the glue, the glue would soften, and start coming off. After about 1/2 hour on each door:

IMG_20190330_162533625.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
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Biloxi
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MS
Since the wax paper worked great last time, I went ahead and used it again, to make new "water shields". The "water shields" protect the back of the interior door panel from getting wet. Even with all new weatherstripping, rain water leaks in around the window. With out the shields, the cardboard would get wet, and eventually fall apart. I also used window glazing putty to attach the "water shields" to the doors. It stays soft and sticky, easy to reuse or remove in the future. The thin strips work great!!!!!


IMG_20190331_112907368.jpg

I used this size wax paper, it was the perfect height to cover the opening in the door:

IMG_20190331_112912078.jpg

You can see the outline of the putty behind the wax paper. This putty must be similar to the stuff the factory used?

IMG_20190331_112921881.jpg

The bottom of the door panel has two long horizontal slits in it. You are supposed to tuck the weather shield into the slits. This makes sense. If you don't do this, water will run down the shield and leak inside the vehicle. By tucking it into the slits, any water will run down inside the door, and then leak out the drain holes in the bottoms of the doors.

IMG_20190331_112930817.jpg

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IIRC, I purchased my interior door panels from Collins Brothers, but they are made here:

IMG_20190331_131858639.jpg

The panels have held up pretty good, look pretty good for none OEM. But, on the back side, where the vinyl is glued to the panel around the edges, the vinyl has started to come off. I tried to glue it back on, but that was a disaster. So, I used some clear Gorilla tape to tape them back in place. I pulled the vinyl tight, wrapped it back around the panel, then taped it in place. So far, so good.

IMG_20190331_131854558.jpg

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The tape is not visible from the outside, so the repair is invisible.

And just for JeeperDD (who reminded me a few years ago), I reinstalled the chrome pieces that secure the panels along the top:

IMG_20190331_135024993.jpg

That's it for now:wave:
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
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Biloxi
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MS
More work on this one, trying to get it ready for Nationals.

I purchased my Rubicon Express 4.5" lift for this one back in 2010. It has been on this Scrambler for 9 years, 32,000 miles, and more off-road adventures then I can remember all over this country, driving there and back, no trailer.

After my first Moab trip, the rear was not sitting level. I removed all the u-bolts, spring bolts, put it back together, and it was fine. This issue might have been caused by spinning an axle tube and welding on new spring perches at the Moab campground, at night, LOL. Two of the RE shocks eventually blew out, I replaced all the RE shocks with Bilsteins. I have also tore up spring bushings, but that is to be expected, with the use this Scrambler sees. I have not ever tried to warranty anything, have heard horror stories, my system is so old they would probably laugh at me. Anyway, all in all, I have been happy with this lift, would buy it again. I have tore up some parts, but I would say that is more from my use/abuse then any real fault with the product.

The RE leaf springs are soft, which is good. They ride great on the road, flex well off road. The only problem with the soft springs, they eventually wear out, start to sag. On my tan Scrambler, which I sold, I had to add an extra leaf to the rear packs on relatively new spring packs. With the V8 and Detroit locker in the back, the rear felt too soft at high speeds. An extra leaf in the rear packs fixed this issue, and it still rode great.

The rear on my Red Scrambler finally started to sag, feels a bit loose on the highway at high speeds, feels way too tippy/soft off-road, especially on side hill. So, I am going to add an extra leaf to the rear 6 leaf packs, making them 7 leaf packs. This should give me some height back, and help stiffen up the packs. I might add a leaf to the front packs, too, but surprisingly, they still feel/work fine.

Anyway, these are the extra leafs I bought, though it was funny that I ordered four identical part numbers, but got two pairs of slightly different leafs:

IMG_20190408_181544469.jpg

IMG_20190408_181552343.jpg

IMG_20190408_181601834.jpg

The part number is listed on the above picture. I believe they are marketed toward YJ leaf packs, they work just fine on their CJ leaf packs, too.

http://www.rubiconexpress.com/Suspe...0.aspx?t_c=1&t_s=101&t_pt=5488&t_pn=R/ERE1400

I also bought new u-bolts, main eye bushings, and shackle bushings, have plenty of new spare center pins, just in case, and good to have spares:

IMG_20190408_181615966.jpg

This little 1' level shows the sag:

IMG_20190408_181638545.jpg

The front frame height, off the floor, 29-1/8":

IMG_20190408_181733289.jpg

The rear cross member height, off the floor, around 25-7/8":

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So, the rear is down about 3-1/4"!!!!!!

Nice in progress shot:

IMG_20190408_191133357.jpg

Too bad these springs still don't have this arch when they are mounted up on the Scrambler!!!!!

IMG_20190408_191140733.jpg
 

spankrjs

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Amazingly, all of my rear spring bushings/bolts are still in great shape. I tore up one center pin while removing the nut, but other then that, pretty lucky so far.

To add a leaf to the pack, clamp the pack together with a big C-clamp, take out the center pin, and also remove the two other bolts that kind of hold the pack together.

Picture of a leaf pack in pieces. I am adding the extra main leaf below the second leaf, so third one down from the top in the following pictures
:

IMG_20190408_192503187.jpg

IMG_20190408_192512638.jpg

When I went to reassemble the leaf spring packs, I used a really long 3/8" bolt as a center pin to keep all the holes lined up, then easily clamped the pack back together:

IMG_20190409_171654210.jpg

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Once the pack was clamped fully together, I removed my really long centering bolt and replaced it with the correct center pin, and finished:

IMG_20190409_172443487.jpg

While I had the packs apart, I cleaned them up. Surprisingly, no real rust on the leafs, not a lot of grime, either. Took about 10 minutes per pack to wipe down the leafs.

Bolting the leaf packs back in place:

IMG_20190409_193655467.jpg

With the leaf springs at full droop, the top leaf just makes contact with the little bolt retainer things. I do not think that you can have more then seven leafs using the stock pack clamp thingies, an 8th leaf will not fit:

IMG_20190409_193704828.jpg

Need to finish up the re-installation, go for a test drive, and repeat on the front end, if necessary.

That's it for now:wave:
 

spankrjs

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Finished installing the extra main leafs to the rear packs last night, finished installing the leaf packs on the Scrambler, and at first I was disappointed.

I bounced the Scrambler up and down, snugged up the main eye and shackle bolts, and the rear was still down:

IMG_20190410_173021532.jpg

It did pick it up a bit, 26-1/2" versus the initial 25-5/8", so 7/8" gain:

IMG_20190410_173049586.jpg

I drove it to NAPA to pick up some grease, and also used it to drop off the five chrome wheels to the tire shop to get new tires installed. So, after the 10 mile drive, and removing the five chrome wheels from the bed, I rechecked the rear end.

IMG_20190410_181608343.jpg

Now, the rear was up a hair. I do not think that the weight of the five chrome wheels made much of a difference, I think driving it made the spring packs settle in/up? Anyway, the tape measure does not lie:

IMG_20190410_181740827.jpg

Now, the rear is at 27-1/8", versus the original 25-5/8", so I gained a total of 1-1/2" of lift back to the rear by adding the extra main leafs to the rear packs.

So, I am happy about regaining some height back. I am more happy with how it drives. The rear is no longer "too squishy" feeling, and it still drives smooth. I am going to go ahead an add an extra main leaf to the front packs, too.

So, the extra main leaf additions have helped "revive" these spring packs. That being said, it probably still is not as good as brand new spring packs. But, for around $160.00 for all four extra main leafs, pretty good bang for the buck. If this helps me get another 10-20,000 miles out of these spring packs I will be happy. We will have to see.
 

spankrjs

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Biloxi
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MS
Well, since the rear leaf spring pack additions went so well, let's do the front:

IMG_20190412_174705371.jpg

Original five leaf pack removed, that center pin head looks funny:

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Yep, bent center pin. I have bent/broken quite a few of these over the years:

IMG_20190412_182916400.jpg

Cleaning up the leaf springs and associated parts:

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Adding the extra leaf to a spring pack, using a long bolt to pull the spring pack back together:

IMG_20190412_183152069.jpg

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And a freshly assembled six leaf front spring pack:

IMG_20190412_184521931.jpg

IMG_20190412_184527065.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
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Biloxi
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MS
That was going too easy. The second front spring pack also had a bent existing center pin, too.

IMG_20190413_085446771.jpg

The center pin issue was no big deal, I keep a bunch of extras. I also have extra u-bolts and leaf spring bushings, sleeves, and bolts. The one thing I don't have spares of, and of course, was the one thing I needed:

IMG_20190412_190149209.jpg

The front shackle hanger bushings, on both sides, were slightly tore up; and the center holes where the shackle bolt goes through were also elongated.

Seems like I have tore these up before. The Rubicon Express lift DOES NOT include new shackle hangers. I installed M.O.R.E HD hangers when I rebuilt the Scrambler. Even though the hangers are "HD", they use the small, stock size Jeep CJ shackle hanger bushings. IIRC, the bushing OD is 1", the center bolt is 1/2", not a lot of meat, so no room for a metal sleeve around the shackle bolt at the hanger. I am not sure if this is why these bushings keep getting tore up? There was no noise or loose feeling suspension handling issues, I only noticed the damage because I pulled it apart. One other note - The RE lift uses the wider 2.5" YJ springs, but includes "conversion shackles" that let you keep the stock CJ width 2" front shackle hangers. Not sure if this contributes to the problem, either?

The BDS YJ conversion I installed on my green Scrambler came with new shackle hangers which use the larger YJ bushings, and a steel sleeve around the shackle bolt. It also uses a wider 2.5" shackle hanger, to match the front leaf spring width. Not sure if this is the better way to go or not?

So, waiting on parts:

IMG_20190414_113335197.jpg

I ordered three sets of front shackle hanger bushings, two sets of rears, plenty of spares for next time LOL :wave:
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
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Got impatient waiting on bushings, so I went ahead and hung the leaf springs through the shackle hangers without them:

IMG_20190415_185423368.jpg

By doing this, I was able to install the u-bolts and u-bolt plates to the axles, so just waiting on the bushings now:

IMG_20190415_185414993.jpg

I can place a bottle jack under each spring pack, jack it up a hair to free the shackle, slide in the bushings, repeat on the other side, then finished.

Bushings came in today, so I hope to finish the front suspension tonight :fingerscrossed:
 

spankrjs

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Biloxi
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MS
All my bushings showed up yesterday, lots of spares now!!!!!!!!

IMG_20190416_172653456.jpg

I ordered three front sets, two rears. Each package contains enough bushings to do one end. So, I will use one packet of front bushings to replace both front shackle hanger bushings, have two spare sets for the front and rear.

Close up of the part numbers, left is for the Front (2" wide CJ), right is for the rear (2.5" CJ):

IMG_20190416_172700877.jpg

These bushings are for aftermarket shackles that are flat, NOT domed for stock shackles.

And installed:

IMG_20190416_174707714.jpg

All of the broken parts, front and rear:

IMG_20190416_174715507.jpg

Rear - one center pin I stripped out while removing it
Front - both center pins bent, both front shackle hanger bushing sets, passenger leaf spring shackle end bushings

And this:

IMG_20190416_191948023.jpg

That is a driver side front sway bar lower attaching stud. These screw into the RE u-bolt skid plates. I bend these on the front, they use the same parts on the rear for lower shock mounts, I bend them here, too. I keep spare LOL.

I finished getting the front end back together, put it on the ground, bounced on it, then snugged up the shackle/main eye bolts. The front is showing to be a hair low:

IMG_20190416_192049598.jpg

After I drive it some, this will probably change.

Just need to finish greasing all the suspension bolts and rear driveshaft, then I can test drive.
 

spankrjs

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Biloxi
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MS
Finished greasing all the suspension/steering components, and I also removed the rear CV driveshaft so that I could grease it. It is a PIA/impossible to grease the rear CV with it installed in the Scrambler.

A test drive confirmed that the front is a bit firmer then before, but I am happy with it. The whole Scrambler felt too mushy before the addition of the extra main leaf to each spring pack. So, a worthwhile project.

I also changed out the Dana 300 and axle gear oil. I couldn't remember how old it was, but it still looked OK. The Ox Locker covers have built in drain plugs, so changing out axle oil is super easy.

One last issue, hopefully, before the long trip out west - The Scrambler still smells like it burning oil. Not out the tailpipe, more like a leak. I crawled underneath it, looked like the rear main seal was possibly leaking. I cleaned up the bottom really good, and even bought a new rear main seal and oil pan gasket. Before I pulled it apart, I checked up top. Yep, the valve cover is leaking?

I installed a new valve cover and top of the line Felpro Permaseal gasket back in October. It wasn't leaking then, but it is now. This is where my oil burning smell is coming from - oil runs down the back of the engine, hits the exhaust pipe, burning oil smell.

Anyway, this is where it gets interesting. I am running a 7120 head, think 91-95 YJ. I am running the valve cover and gasket for a 0331 head, think 05-06 TJ. The "Internet" says you can mix and match heads/valve covers, but I am not 100% sure on that. The only "internet" info I could find about running the 05 style cover with a 7120 head mentioned potential interference with the temperature gauge sending unit. I have plenty of clearance here:

IMG_20190420_082016024.jpg

Looking at the above/below picture, the driver side head bolt location looks like it could be a problem:

IMG_20190420_084947729.jpg

You can see oil on the head bolt above, and the rear valve cover screw threads were saturated in oil:

IMG_20190421_091924446.jpg

The thing that is strange, the valve cover/gasket did not leak when I first installed them. I was super anal about checking for leaks the first few weeks after I installed them. And, all the bolts were still tight.

In the below picture, you can see how close the edge of the valve cover is to the cylinder head bolts:

IMG_20190421_092623235.jpg

Without a gasket installed, the valve cover seems to be resting on the tapered lower part of the head nut:

IMG_20190421_092713307.jpg

With a gasket in place, it appears to raise the valve cover up enough to clear this tapered portion of the nuts:

IMG_20190421_093109383.jpg

Not the best picture, but the gasket easily clears the temp sending unit and the rear most head bolt/nut:

IMG_20190421_093121524.jpg

I cleaned everything up really well, put it back together, carefully torqued down the bolts, and went for a drive. It is leaking bad, you can see the oil running down the back of the head:

IMG_20190421_093142350.jpg

So, cleaned everything up again. Checked the head/valve cover for flatness, they are both fine. Without a gasket installed, the valve cover does hit the bottom tapered part of the head nuts, you can see how the cover is up against the head studs:

IMG_20190421_095625476.jpg

IMG_20190421_095640501.jpg
 

spankrjs

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I know that the heads changed throughout the years, but I am assuming the blocks/location of the driver side head bolt remained the same? Not sure how the location of the head bolts could change? So, more confused then ever, I went out and looked at my 05 LJ. Yep, the vlave cover is close to the head bolts here, too:

IMG_20190421_095802812.jpg

IMG_20190421_095819432.jpg

On my LJ, I had to change the valve cover gasket last year. I used the same Fel-Pro Permaseal gasket, stock valve cover, no leaks.

At this point, I was pulling my hair out. I then remembered that the Dorman valve cover I installed on the Scrambler came with a new rubber gasket. The Fel-Pro is blue, the Dorman is black:

IMG_20190421_100838026.jpg

The gaskets are the exact same "foot print", but one important difference - The Dorman gasket is 15 thousandths of an inch thicker then the Fel-Pro. I even went to the part store and put my calipers on a new Fel-Pro gasket, it matched my used Fel-Pro gasket. So, I figured why not, lets install the thicker gasket.

Before I installed the gasket, I also used my calipers to check the height of all the "anti-crush" sleeves that the valve cover bolts go through. The use of the anti crush sleeves prevents you from over tightening the valve cover bolts and damaging the gasket. Anyway, all 15 of my sleeves were the same height:

IMG_20181017_175133503.jpg

IMG_20181017_175201106.jpg

Anyway, long story short, no leaks so far with the slightly thicker Dorman gasket?????? I am not sure the thickness difference is what stopped the leak, not sure what else could have? I drove the Scrambler yesterday on the interstate, and around the yard all day, no leaks so far:

IMG_20190421_163907443.jpg

The thing that is crazy, I know for a fact that the Fel-Pro gasket did not leak when I first installed it.

I thoroughly cleaned the gasket, inspected it, I could not find any damage to it?

With the crush sleeves in place, you can not over tighten the valve cover bolts UNLESS you really try to. I just use a 1/4" ratchet, turn them till they "stop". I then checked with a torque wrench, they are all at 84 INCH Pounds.

Maybe the Dorman valve cover is not as thick as the OEM cover on my LJ, maybe that is why the 15 thousandths thickness difference helps out???

Maybe I had the gasket on backwards? You can flip the gasket around, and it will fit? Maybe it fits better one way?

Any thoughts or ideas?????

As long as it doesn't start leaking again, this one should be heading to Utah on Saturday :fingerscrossed:
 

ag4ever

Average Nut
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Richmond
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TX
Did you take that awesome trailer on the interstate too? Do you plan on hauling it to Utah for that parts stash?
Harbor Fright Tools trailers rock! Only thing I would do is swap the tires and rims out for a smaller diameter so you can really get some heat into the hubs on the interstate. :rotfl:
 

spankrjs

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MS
Did you take that awesome trailer on the interstate too? Do you plan on hauling it to Utah for that parts stash?
When I first put the trailer together, I took it on the interstate. Drove it about 20 minutes at 80 mph. The Made In China hubs and tires were hotter then JJ's snow pose :eek:

I did drive it 22 times, with 5,000 - 7000 pounds of dirt on it (it is rated for 1,200), on the highway at 60 mph. On the 22nd trip, the tongue broke in half 10' from my drive way :eek:

The rear axle is now more crooked then a Louisiana governor :eek::crazy:
 
Last edited:

spankrjs

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Biloxi
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MS
Harbor Fright Tools trailers rock! Only thing I would do is swap the tires and rims out for a smaller diameter so you can really get some heat into the hubs on the interstate. :rotfl:
For my purpose, it is perfect. I think I paid $250 for the trailer, another $100 for 2x4's and plywood. For clearing 4 acres of land of brush and small trees, it works great. It was cheap, so I don't care about tearing it up, pushing it down the cliff to the river and winching it back up, hitting trees with it, dragging it over ditches and downed trees, basically destroying it through use. It is small, 4'x8', so very maneuverable :twocents:

I even hauled about 90 yards of dirt with it. We have a big Caterpillar front end loader at our lay down yard, which has a two yard bucket, and lots of spare dirt. I would drop two buckets of dirt in that the harbor freight trailer. A yard of dirt weighs about 2000 pounds, so due the math :eek::eek::eek:

The dirt did snap the made in China steel tongue, right where it went under the trailer. I built a new tongue out of some spare steel, back on the road. But, i won't be pushing my luck hauling dirt with it anymore. The rear axle looks like it is smiling at you :rotfl:

I would not advise pulling this thing across country. The hubs/bearings/seals/tires/wheels are all some weird, non-standard sizes, so spare parts are hard to find. I also would not haul anything really valuable in it, like say a Harley or something :twocents:

But for my destructive purposes, it works out great :twocents: If a hub/tire/axle ever fails, it will be cheaper and easier to just buy another trailer, and keep parts off of this one for spares :twocents:
 

Jeep Addict

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Baton Rouge
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La
When I first put the trailer together, I took it on the interstate. Drove it about 20 minutes at 80 mph. The Made In China hubs and tires were hotter then JJ's snow pose :eek:

I did drive it 22 times, with 5,000 - 7000 pounds of dirt on it (it is rated for 1,200), on the highway at 60 mph. On the 22nd trip, the tongue broke in half 10' from my drive way :eek:

The rear axle is now more crooked then a Louisiana governor :eek::crazy:
Now that’s funny
 

spankrjs

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Biloxi
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MS
Good news on the valve cover, still no leaks :fingerscrossed:

Bad news, my front driver side tire decided to start shedding lugs this morning on the interstate :eek:

IMG_20190423_105527633.jpg

Looking close at all four that are on the ground, most of the lugs are chunking, lots of cracking:

IMG_20190423_105534166.jpg

IMG_20190423_105548117.jpg IMG_20190423_105548117.jpg

IMG_20190423_105554888.jpg IMG_20190423_105554888.jpg

And the side walls have some cracking evident:

IMG_20190423_105605586.jpg

Plus some other sidewall damage:

IMG_20190423_105612121_HDR.jpg

IMG_20190423_105620672.jpg

I bought these tires new, in February of 2012, so they are over 7 years old. I have put about 35,000 miles on them, HARD miles. Two trips to Moab, and back, which means almost a week straight of aired down driving on slick rock each trip; it's been to Michigan for aired down driving on the dunes; countless trips to Hot Springs, Sicily Island, Hawk Pride, Bogg's and Boulders, Mountainside, Kentucky, and countless other trips. Drove on the interstate at 70-75 mph, aired down to single digits for off-road use, drove back home at 70-75 mph. No failures. I have been pretty happy with their performance off road, especially considering their "dual nature" - they still drive pretty decent for mud tires at high speeds. I did have some cupping on the front tires, but that was due to my lack of rotation.

I was hoping to get a few more trips out of them, but the lug separation is the death knell for them, for my usage. They would still be good on the farm, around town, off highway use only, but once summer temps come, I am sure interstate driving will kill them.

So, I ordered four new KM3's, I will get them installed tomorrow. No way I am going to risk driving to Utah on the current BFG's.

So, tire poor this month, since I just bought five new BFG All Terrains for my green Scrambler :(

I was kind of surprised by the amount of cracking on the rubber, they are only seven years old, and the Scrambler stays in the garage when not being driven, so out of the sunlight :shrug:

I was happy with my KM2's performance, hopefully the new KM3's will be equal or better. I only bought four KM3's, my spare KM2 has never touched the ground.
 
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