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post #21 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:35 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

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. . . and if you do any "serious" four wheeling, you probably won't make it over many obstacles without the additional traction that airing down affords you.
Not an argument, but just a tweak here... In my experience with the FJC (both on BFG KOs and now the MickeyThompson Baja MTZs), the main advantage of airing down hasn't necessarily been the difference between getting over/through an obstacle or not (though it has made that difference on a few occasions), but how I get over/through it.

I've seen other people with the same, exact setup as mine (same year FJC, same tires, everything) still get through some obstacles that I got through when I was aired down and they weren't, but the difference was that, in their case, it took a lot of revving and taking longer runs at things to muscle their way over/through (which often ends up leading to more damage...even if it's just a flesh wound); whereas with mine, since I was aired down, I simply put it in 4lo, and rolled right through, nice and easy, barely touching the gas pedal ...and when I lock the rear diff, at times it's as if the obstacle isn't even there.

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You can get a small $20 one that will stash away easily. It probably won't last forever but it should get you through a couple years of wheeling trips. They are nice for topping off the tires when they need it. Also, if you run over a nail it's a lot faster & easier to pull the nail, plug the hole and fill the tire back up than it is to change to the spare.
I would try to discourage anyone from getting a $20 compressor for airing up tires after a trail run. I have one of that kind, but I leave it in the Kia for flat tire repair/fill-ups.

As long as I've been offroading, I haven't even bothered to have anything like that in the vehicle since it would take so long just to air up one tire, let alone all four.

I also have a better (Q Industries) compressor, and that's the one I keep in the rig. However, after moving from the stock size of tire (265/75/16) to a bigger one (285/75/16), my air-up time with this Q Industries one went from ~5 minutes per tire up to ~20 minutes per tire (going from ~15 up to ~35).

When the combined total was ~20 minutes, I figured, 'OK...I'll just put up with it', but when it's ~20 per tire, there's just no way. If I were going to still use that methodology, I would definitely have to do soe research and get a new, much better style of compressor.

After a few years of seeing CO2 in action among my FJ buddies, I finally got a tank. Now, it's less than a minute per tire.

As has already been said (I know, way too many times), you can get air from one of a number of gas stations in and around the Ouray area. As long as you drive really slow (45 or slower), and make sure to keep pulling over to let others go by if you're on the highway, you'll be fine just airing down at the beginning of Summit and up again before you leave town. Echoing again, there are lots of others that will be willing to help you out if you decide to hold off on getting a compressor of your own for now.
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post #22 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 07:36 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

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Not an argument, but just a tweak here... In my experience with the FJC (both on BFG KOs and now the MickeyThompson Baja MTZs), the main advantage of airing down hasn't necessarily been the difference between getting over/through an obstacle or not (though it has made that difference on a few occasions), but how I get over/through it.

I've seen other people with the same, exact setup as mine (same year FJC, same tires, everything) still get through some obstacles that I got through when I was aired down and they weren't, but the difference was that, in their case, it took a lot of revving and taking longer runs at things to muscle their way over/through (which often ends up leading to more damage...even if it's just a flesh wound); whereas with mine, since I was aired down, I simply put it in 4lo, and rolled right through, nice and easy, barely touching the gas pedal ...and when I lock the rear diff, at times it's as if the obstacle isn't even there.
I know this is straying from the original point of this thread but want to respond. Let me break this down.
First, as others have already stated, the major reason for lowering pressure on trails like Ouray is for ride comfort. (PS-it's also easier on your vehicle because the tires take up much of the bumps reducing chassis flex and vibrations)
Second, in sand, the larger contact patch does amazing things. If you get into something or stuck with stock pressure, letting air out can often get you unstuck.
Third, for rock crawling there are two main advantages: larger contact patch for maximum traction and reduced "obstacle rolling resistance". This makes it easier to roll over rocks and small obstacle while also making it easier to "bump" up and over large obstacles without ripping the stearing wheel out of your hands.

Some easy reading: Tire Pressures for 4-Wheeling

A good illustration of contact patches Air Down, Airing Down Basics

It doesn't matter what tire you have, the rules are the same: lower pressure give a better ride and a larger contact patch and help roll over obstacles easier.
Personally, I prefer to make life easier on my FJ and my own spine so I'll drop em to 20psi at Ouray.

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post #23 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 08:16 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

Sorry for the hijack OP but I have a question that I don't see get addressed regarding airing down and being a newbie I thought I'd ask here as it may be educational for some of us not "in the know".

If I air the tires down for a run how much clearance under the FJ will I loose? Is it an inch or two? More?

Thanks!
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post #24 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 08:29 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

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If I air the tires down for a run how much clearance under the FJ will I loose? Is it an inch or two? More?

Thanks!
You will lose a little, but it depends on the tire (how stiff the sidewall is) and how much you air down. It's worth it though, for the reasons The Woodsman mentioned. I always air down, any time I go off-road for more than a couple of miles. YMMV.

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post #25 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 08:41 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

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You will lose a little, but it depends on the tire (how stiff the sidewall is) and how much you air down. It's worth it though, for the reasons The Woodsman mentioned. I always air down, any time I go off-road for more than a couple of miles. YMMV.
Cool. I wasn't sure since I never see it mentioned. I'm new to off-roading and the FJ and I'm still working on getting tags and then armor. I don't mind scrapes but since I have a car payment I don't want to do any real damage to it. Sounds like it would only be an issue on a very few trails and only while I don't have any armor. Really impressed with what a stock FJ can do!


Thanks OP! Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...
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post #26 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 09:23 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

You might lose 1/2" beyond everyday pressure with 32-33" tires.

You would lose more if you dropped to a really low pressure or were running really huge crawling tires.

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post #27 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 09:31 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

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You might lose 1/2" beyond everyday pressure with 32-33" tires.

You would lose more if you dropped to a really low pressure or were running really huge crawling tires.
I'm running ProComp AT's in the 265/70 R17 variety. I have no idea how stiff the sidewalls are but I imagine they aren't the best tires nor the worst in the world. I'll measure a couple of points under the FJ before and after airing down the first time I do it and have someone to help me air back up and see just what I loose going to 20lbs or so.
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post #28 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 09:44 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

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I'm new to off-roading and the FJ and I'm still working on getting tags and then armor. I don't mind scrapes but since I have a car payment I don't want to do any real damage to it. Sounds like it would only be an issue on a very few trails and only while I don't have any armor. Really impressed with what a stock FJ can do!
Yeah, the stock FJC is amazingly capable.

At the risk of opening a whole new can of worms somewhat off-topic to this thread, I will say that IMO trail armor (especially skid plates) are frequently a crutch that keeps new wheelers from learning good 4WD technique and how to pick a good line. Too many people armor-up and then just bash their way over every obstacle with the throttle. Not to say that armor doesn't have a place on some trails, just that it is over-used and over-depended on IMO. Rock rails or sliders in particular will keep you from making an expensive mistake while you are learning where the edges of your truck are, but again IMO most beginning wheelers would be better served by learning to pick lines and drive slowly and carefully over an obstacle rather than just depending on their skid plates to save them from damage. Bashing over obstacles with the throttle is also the A#1 reason why 99% of all front CV joints are broken, in my experience.

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post #29 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 10:12 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

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1911 previously said: View Post
Yeah, the stock FJC is amazingly capable.

At the risk of opening a whole new can of worms somewhat off-topic to this thread, I will say that IMO trail armor (especially skid plates) are frequently a crutch that keeps new wheelers from learning good 4WD technique and how to pick a good line. Too many people armor-up and then just bash their way over every obstacle with the throttle. Not to say that armor doesn't have a place on some trails, just that it is over-used and over-depended on IMO. Rock rails or sliders in particular will keep you from making an expensive mistake while you are learning where the edges of your truck are, but again IMO most beginning wheelers would be better served by learning to pick lines and drive slowly and carefully over an obstacle rather than just depending on their skid plates to save them from damage. Bashing over obstacles with the throttle is also the A#1 reason why 99% of all front CV joints are broken, in my experience.

[/rant]
Everyone I have talked to so far basically agrees that bashing your way up an obstacle/trail is a great way to destroy your ride and/or end up rubber side up... neither of which I am interested in. My FJ is my DD. Also I'm in my mid-30's and went through being full of piss and vinegar a long time ago. I'm just here to enjoy the ride and want to protect my investment just in case I mess up. I am new at this after all.
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post #30 of 74 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 10:13 AM
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Re: Is a portable air pump really necessary for summit

first time we did the summit, ran at 40 psi and it beat the crap out of us, after that 20 to 25 is the running pressure for the whole time we are there. Only air back up for the drive home

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