- Written by The DIY Hunter
- Category: Technical
- Hits: 2946
When I purchased my 2008 Jeep Wrangler in 2018 it came with a set of BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. I have liked the tires and felt they have performed very well on the road and on the mountain. As the tread life wore down to two 32nds it was time for a new set of tires and I wanted to try something new.
I have been studying tires for my JK since the day I bought it. While I really like the look of the aggressive mud-terrain tires, the road noise and winter road traction had me a little nervous. While the Toyo MT tires have been my favorite to look at, price-wise and their reputation of not doing well on icy roads turned me away from them. Since my JK is my daily driver it was important for me to have some decent winter driving traction.
Given where I take my JK the primary function I wanted was better off-road traction than an all-terrain but near all-terrain road traction. One of the big reasons I bought my JK was because I spent two different nights on the mountain being stuck in my old Montero. So my Jeep needed to have some decent mud-clearing tires.
In the end, it came down to two tire choices, Milestar Patagonia MTs and Hankook DynaPro MT2 tires. As you can see the Hankooks won out. While the price, winter road traction and off-road traction were great for the Milestars I preferred the look and hopefully longer tread life of the Hankooks.
Since my BFGoodrich KO2 spare had never been driven on I decide to do some comparisons.
- Measured Weight: MT2 = 75 lbs and KO2 = 68.4 lbs
- Measured Tread Depth: MT2 = 18.5 32nds and KO2 = 14 32nds
- Measured Diameter: MT2 = 34" and KO2 = 34" (at 29psi both tires run at 33" on my SuperChips tune to get the speedometer correct)
- Measured Tread Width: MT2 = 10 1/8" and KO2 = 10 1/2"
I only have a few thousand miles or so on my new Hankooks so far and so far I can only hear a little road noise. They have a more aggressive look than my KO2s but I am hopeful they will be fairly decent on winter roads with the siping in the tread blocks. We will see in a few months.
I will update this blog entry and let you know how they are working as I get more miles on these tires.
April 1, 2021 Update
I now have 10k miles on these tires and used them through hunting season with plenty of driving in the snow.
- The tire's tread depth ranges from 15 to 16 32nds. This is with a 5 tire rotation every 2K miles. (I rotate frequently because my camber is off by 1.6 and 1.9 degrees in the front. Long story...)
I have been very happy with these tires. While cow elk hunting I made a half dozen trips up the mountain with amazing traction in snow that was over a foot deep in places. I didn't even air down and they climbed right up the steep sections of ATV trails cutting fresh tracks through foot-deep snow with ease.
I felt plenty of confidence on the snow-packed roads through winter. Not once did I feel like I was slipping any on the snowy roads. Now I know they can't be as good as AT and heavily siped snow and road tires but I felt very comfortable in the snow with them.
They perform awesome on loose gravel trails and in the mud. I haven't gotten into rock crawling so I'm not sure how they would perform at Moab but for a hunting rig that is my daily driver, I love them.
- Written by The DIY Hunter
- Category: Technical
- Hits: 2424
In this article, I discuss using the Misch BigBoy seat bracket to get 2 extra inches of legroom in my son's JK and I drill holes in stock JK seat brackets to get an extra inch of legroom for my JKU.
In 2020 we added two more JKs to our family. My daughter bought her first vehicle a cute black 2011 two-door Jeep Wrangler Sport and I purchased a 2007 two-door Rubicon for my 6' 10" sixteen-year-old son.
Aside from just how cool and functional Jeep Wranglers are they offer decent headroom and pretty good legroom for taller drivers. However, not the most optimal legroom for really tall drivers.
I am 6' 7" and have been driving my 2008 four-door JK for a couple of years now and have found that often my right leg is getting cramps as I have to rotate my right foot at a 45-degree angle on the gas pedal with my right shin jammed up against the console. It's bearable but has bothered me to the point that I wanted to spend $175 for a Misch BigBoy 4x4 seat brackets.
With my 6' 10" sixteen-year-old son, there was no question, it was time to get the extra legroom in his 2007 JK, so we ordered the Misch BigBoy bracket.
Misch BigBoy JK driver's seat bracket on the left and the stock JK seat brackets on the right, Notice the three small mounting holes on the Misch brackets are two inches farther back than the stock brackets.
The process of unbolting and bolting in the new Misch bracket was fairly easy and quick. The only thing that I had to do was place large washers under the front of the bracket and the floor. The side closest to the console would not bolt flush to the floorboard because the floorboard starts to curve upward to the console so I added the thick large washer to get the bracket to mount flush and not just dig into the console side.
In the process of removing the stock brackets and comparing them to the Misch brackets, I realized that the stock seat brackets have just enough room in them to add exactly one inch of legroom. To get this extra inch of legroom I drilled two 5/16" holes exactly one inch back from the two rear holes on each of the stock brackets. There is a larger hole already behind the front mounting hole on each of the brackets so no drilling is necessary for the front bolt. Although, I used a washer on the two front holes when I mounted the seat onto the brackets. If you drill the holes back farther than an inch there is a slot on the console side bracket that a bar mounted on the seat will not fit within.
Stock JK driver seat brackets mounted one inch farther back on the brackets (top of this image is the rear of the seat). There are three bolts on each side that mount the seat to these rails. The stock holes for these bolts are an inch below all six of the bolts in this photo. Notice the washers with the two front mounting bolts.
So when I removed the brackets from the 2007 JK I cleaned up the brackets, drilled, deburred and painted the new mounting holes then I replaced these stock brackets into my personal 2008 JK and it works great. I now have an additional inch of legroom in my 2008 JK all for the cost of a little Rustoleum paint and an hour of work.
I do really like the Misch brackets and my 6'10" son needs all the room he can get but for really no cost at all the extra inch I am getting out of stock brackets feels great in my 2008 JK.
Stock JK driver seat brackets mounted one inch farther back on the brackets. Notice a bar from on the seat just touches the bracket right where the arrow is at. This is as far back as you can mount the seat.
To get the Misch bracket to work I had to place large washers under the front of the Misch BigBoy brackets.
Misch BigBoy bracket has a smaller footprint so there is a portion of the exposed Jeep body showing but it's fine, it's a Jeep.
- Written by The DIY Hunter
- Category: Technical
- Hits: 1919
I'm somewhat of a newbie to Jeeps by purchasing a used 2008 Rubicon Jeep Wrangler JK in September of 2018. I have owned a 1997 XJ for many years now but I really started learning about Jeeps with the purchase of the Rubicon.
There have been a number of servicing and repairs I have had to make to get the Rubicon in top working order. Here's something I have learned about servicing lower ball joints.
In the first year of owning my Jeep, I have had a number of repairs made on it. One of those repairs was replacing my rear axles with some heavy-duty G2 rear axles. I found out the hard way that slipping sideways in the mud on a steep incline and having a rear tire smack a hard bump, sliding sideways, with over-sized tires (35s) bends the stock axle flange that the wheel bolts to. You'll know one is bent when you hear the repetitive brake squeak and you look in your rear view mirror and watch the rear wheel wobbling.
With a bent axle, I figured that it was time to go to a 4x4 shop and have them repair it. They did a great job but in the process said I needed ball joints. So in a couple of months, I returned to get the ball joints replaced. Given this is a 4x4 specialty shop I figured they would put the best ball joints or give me some options on the joints. They didn't give me any options but upon inquiring they twice assured me that the lower ball joints would be serviceable. Greasing the lower ball joints was something I couldn't do on my Jeep with the ones that were currently installed. So this was the most important thing that I requested to have. I knew Terra Flex had great ball joints with wonderful placement of zerk fittings but I didn't insist on TerraFlex... looking back I wished I had of.
A day after the ball joints were replaced I climbed under the Jeep to have a look. Check out the photo to see what I found. There were grease zerks sticking out of the top of the lower ball joints and they were ground off from being hit by the rotating knuckles of the front axle u-joints. Nice.... not really.
After contacting the shop they offered to replace the joints for the price of the TerraFlex joints but they said they would have to be knurled because they put knurled joints in. The idea made me nervous that I would end up getting the whole front axle replaced if the knurled joints didn't hold tight. So I opted to keep the ball joints I had. At least I would get some mileage out of them before I had to replace them. But how do I service them? If I could figure out how to service them I may get a few more years out of them. Hmm...
Here's what I ended up doing that works great.
On Amazon, I found some low profile zerks (#ad) and a 90-degree needlepoint tip for my grease gun. I turn the wheel as far as it would go outward on the side I'm working on and jacked the tire off the ground on that side. Carefully I would turn the wheel to rotate the knuckle of the axle u-joint so that I had just enough room to remove and replace the zerks. Then with the help of my son squeezing the grease gun handle, I held the 90-degree needle tip in place on the zerk. Take a look at the photos and it should give you a better idea of what I did as compared to me trying to describe it.
In the process of looking at the photos I took of the ball joint I can read MAS on them. I'm pretty sure my invoice and what the shop told me that what they installed was Moog brand. Hmm.... are Mas and Moog the same company? It's hard for me to tell online.
Hopefully, I am able to get a few miles on these joints before they need to be replaced.
For all I know the shop may have not pressed in the bearings as far as they should have been and this may have decreased the amount of available space for a zerk as well.
I really like the 4-Wheel Parts store that replaced my ball joints. I have been back there a couple times since buying tire chains and gear oil. I do think that part of being a Jeep guy is that you do the research of what you want before you go to get something replaced and you ask to get the parts that you want. Jeep people tend to know their stuff and what they want. I'm still learning. Love my Jeep!
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