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Catalyst
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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.

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. :rocker:

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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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. :bigthumb:
 

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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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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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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... :cheers:
 

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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.
 

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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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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.

[/rant]
 

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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. :lol:
 

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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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According to my image, the best way to 'seriously' wheel is with 265 street tires at 50psi and no armor of any kind!



Or you could just do whatever the hell YOU want, and I'm sure you'll have a good time... :D
X2. I wheel with the stock dunlops and never air down. I promise I can keep up with you in Ouray no problem. Adding tires and airing down doesnt help all that much if you dont know how to wheel properly.
 

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Catalyst
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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. :bigthumb:
ha ha, who's over-analyzing things now, Woodies? :lol::rofl:
No, seriously, I totally agree.

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!
In my experience, more important than the general amount of clearance that is lost while aired down is the extra dip when you come down off of a rock or whatever.

Even though I knew it made the ride more smooth, the primary reason I usually did not air down when I still had stock tires on the FJC was because I was always very careful to make sure not to go off of things too quickly and end up bashing stuff under there.

This, of course, lead to getting poked at :stickpoke: for taking longer than others on a trail, but the other choices that were on the same trail run were 1) be lifted and/or armored under there and 2) "who cares, just bash the freakin thing" - were not my style...well, one of them wasn't my style, and the other one, well, I just couldn't afford it yet.

Once we got Sandi lifted and put bigger tires on her, now I'm able to air way down, and never come anywhere close to bashing when coming off rocks/etc like that, because there's enough added clearance that it is like slack for the dip effect. Of course, I'm still careful, but I can go a bit faster now too without the fear of bashing. ....and yes, it's definitely noticeably more comfortable going over bumpy trails....which is the case a lot in the Ouray area (and we've done it in many different types of vehicles with varying types and sizes of tires and PSI levels over the years).

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]
Yep. I agree.
Even though I had off-roading experience prior to getting the FJ, and even though, if I had the money, I would have lifted and protected it right away, it probably helped me to go stock for a while first in order to really get to know that thing....I think I knew the underside better than the back of my hand, cause I was always thinking about it, and studying the obstacle to make sure I took just the right line. :lol:

X2. I wheel with the stock dunlops and never air down. I promise I can keep up with you in Ouray no problem. Adding tires and airing down doesnt help all that much if you dont know how to wheel properly.
Ya, but I don't think we're comparing bigger tires to good driving skills here.....or is that what we're doing?.....sorry if I missed it.

I don't think it has to be one extreme or the other here.

Both things are true..... 1) getting bigger, more meaty tires and airing them down will definitely give the benefits of a more smooth ride and help with getting over/through certain kinds of obstacles, and 2) knowing your vehicle and good driving technique will help you get through some obstacles that idiot, bad drivers with lifted/plmped-up rigs couldn't get through.
 

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To me it is more about common sense. If you have driving abilities, see lines, understand the in and out angles, you can drive pretty much any trail.

Beating your truck for a three or four drive makes little sense, not to mention it makes you tired and there is too much to do and see to lose a second of being there.

As I have stated, the only trail that you might need to air down on is Poughkeepsie if you plan to climb the wall, other than that none require airing down by any means. But for ride comfort, enjoyment of others in the vehicle, airing down will make a three to four hour drive much more pleasant. Hammering around the trails with 40 pounds of air in your tires will lessen the fun of Ouray.

But if you never plan to use your truck in off roading situations, I see no need in buying a compressor, there are plenty of us that will help you air up if you decide.

The last time I checked Ouray was not a competition. It is about learning your vehicle, its abilities and your abilities and developing confidence in both. Some are obviously missing that.
 

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I didn't plan on airing down at all and I am not doing poughkeepsie either. I'll make the assumption when I get there if I need to. Heck I might even do it to see how it feels to air down. Where I well is mainly sandy conditions a little different than Ouray.
 

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The last time I checked Ouray was not a competition. It is about learning your vehicle, its abilities and your abilities and developing confidence in both. Some are obviously missing that.
Not to get far off topic, somebody didn't tell our trail leader that it wasn't some type of competition. He ran the trail at 40mph for the first part, didn't stop when folks wanted to stop for pics and went off and left me and digger to help push a dual sport bike up the mountain! i will skip any trails he leads this year.
 

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Catalyst
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...It is about learning your vehicle, its abilities and your abilities and developing confidence in both. Some are obviously missing that.
Hmmm, the last time I checked, the Summit was more about people that love the FJ Cruiser getting together in one of the most beautiful places they could find, and hang out with each other for a weekend. Did I get this thing all wrong? :lol:

I didn't plan on airing down at all and I am not doing poughkeepsie either. I'll make the assumption when I get there if I need to. Heck I might even do it to see how it feels to air down. Where I well is mainly sandy conditions a little different than Ouray.
If you get there early enough and have some extra time, it might help to drive a little ways up Camp Bird Road (the road that goes to Yankee Boy Basin, Governer Basin, Imogene Pass, etc) with it fully aired up, and then com back down to where you started, then air down (like down to 20 PSI), and do the short rip up Camp Bird again right away so you really get an idea of the difference.

I'm pretty sure that once you feel the difference, you'll just want to leave them aired down all weekend, but if not, you can just go get air at the gas station, and be all set, either way.

Not to get far off topic, somebody didn't tell our trail leader that it wasn't some type of competition. He ran the trail at 40mph for the first part, didn't stop when folks wanted to stop for pics and went off and left me and digger to help push a dual sport bike up the mountain! i will skip any trails he leads this year.
I know we've had problems in the past with trail runs taking way too long, and there's been an effort to get the trail leaders to keep the group moving along, but that kind of neglect is just unacceptable. Sorry again that you had that kind of experience. I'm pretty sure I speak for most when I say that's a unique occurrance (i.e. one of a kind) at the FJ Summit.
 

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Not to get far off topic, somebody didn't tell our trail leader that it wasn't some type of competition. He ran the trail at 40mph for the first part, didn't stop when folks wanted to stop for pics and went off and left me and digger to help push a dual sport bike up the mountain! i will skip any trails he leads this year.
Had that happen to us a couple of years ago. On a non-scary part of the trail but it was very rocky and it seemed like the leader and his buds wanted to see how fast they could run it. So we bounced all over the place and ate a ton of dust. Not good. Everyone just needs to get together before the run leaves and get a consensus on how they want it to go.
 

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Yes, fun and beauty, but a learning experience. Classes, trail leaders helping and teaching new drivers how to do certain things and developing skills to be able to tread lightly on our back road areas. There is a lot to this event. Take it all in if you can, a lot of effort by the promoters to make it the best event in the country. And without a doubt the most beautiful off roading in the country.
 

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Sarge, I think you are talking the Alpine loop, if so that person is not going this year.
No, it was one where we went into Telluride for lunch. I haven't done ALpine Loop yet. I'm thinking Imagene but not for sure.
 
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