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Old 08-05-2015, 09:05 AM   #121
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Thanks man. I appreciate it. With my plans, I'm not likely to lift truck and such. My goals are to buy truck with front heavy duty suspension, snow plow prep, etc and be able to fit a larger Cooper ST MAXX in there. That's my main interest. Will add leveling kit or minor high quality lift kit as last resort. Max tire size I'm considering is 35x12.5x18, may go with slightly less.

The tire, 295/70/18 for example, is E rated and supports 4100 lbs per tire based on Cooper Tires website. Will put link below and would appreciate any criticisms. I ruled out 90% of popular off road/mud tires for various reasons. While not as cautious as you, I have given this considerable thought.


With regards to custom wheels, it's largely so I can support a wider tire with additional rim width. Depending on tire, I will be buying 18x9" or 18x10" wheels. This will reduce the bulging tire and assorted sway issues I'm told that are created by stuffing a big tire on a small (narrow) wheel.


First comment, If you don't have a supporting improvement in the rear, the level will negatively effect you when you tow. What happens when you put a heavy hitch on your TV now without WD, the rear drops right. Then you apply WD and it levels.

Now what do you suppose will happen with the front leveled to the rear's height when you drop that trailer onto it. The front is pointing into the sky, and the WD cannot properly level the truck.

Those wider tires aren't even really necessary, not with a thing you have described below. Stop reading bro information on the truck forums. You could get buy with an only slightly wider tire.

I moved up to a larger tire, but it's not a 12 inch wide tire, but it is 35 inches tall and it is E rated. Stock size on my truck was 275/60/20 and I moved to a 285/65/20.

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And when you say oilfield, are you saying dirt roads?

I know little about Texas having driven through it only once staying with my uncle who lives in San Antonio. All I saw was flat sandy terrain. Reason I ask, here in NC we have a divide, coastal plain. I live on it, literally.

One side of county, and most points east to coast 2 hours away are sandy loam. West side of county, and most points towards Smoky mountains are red clay. I will tow an Airstream with the truck, yes. But I'm also out in woods, mud holes, and various other situations that require more agressive tread than any Hwy/Tow tire will work well in.

We haul our flat bed white water trailer up and down slippery River banks you can barely walk on. We run twisty and mud hole filled trails to get our kayak trailer in and out of put ins on lakes.

I need to run through bad terrain where I shoot 1000 yard rifles, 50 BMG mainly. Swampy area in bottom of the private land practice range half the year so I couldn't shoot with a normal tire and 2WD. Setting up targets and running back and forth is required.

So for me, there has to be some middle ground regarding truck tires. I'm aware that may result in a less than 100% ideal towing and highway tire. But I need the truck to perform in various places. Not to mention airing down with Staun deflators to drive on beach of Outer Banks surf fishing and camping. Many hats.


Dan
Dude, don't discount dirt roads. Have you driven 20 miles of continuous potholed wash board dirt road. That stuff is harsh as hell on your bones and suspension.



If you want some ideas, I have setup my truck in a certain way that might meet your needs.

My previous adventure rig went thru two phases





Phase 1 (first picture) was more than enough to handle everything that Moab could throw at us. Right off the bat, the Ram 1500 4x4 we have has a higher ground clearance, resulting in better front and rear departure angles are better. Break over angle, not so much.

A long wheelbase actually negatively impacts you off road. Especially going around things. That turning radius, ouch.

Anyways, I know we will be all over Moab in Oct, and we've already been doing a lot of off-roading every chance we get here in Montana. Lots to explore.

So I have aimed for a sensible balance. Tires, only slightly more aggressive than stock. Shocks are all Blister adjustable, front and rear. Front adjustments set to 2.8 over stock. Rear I have also added rear coils, that are 50% stiffer over stock. This brings up the rear unloaded. When loaded, the vehicle returns to a level stock position, albeit 1 inch higher than the stock loaded in the front and 1.2 inch higher than the stock in the rear, loaded.

Unloaded the rear is 2 inches higher because it does not compress under its weight like it used to. The springs however are the same height as the OE. The front is leveled to the rear's original height. I still maintain factory rake like this.

I have some other supporting mods, beefed up tie rod ends, beefed up sway bar end links.

And if you really want to get your flex on, you're going to want to disconnect the sway bars because they don't serve you off-road.

I could ramble off about my Staun tire deflators and the need to air down/air up. But probably info overload at that point. But I do air down and up between towing, not towing and off-roading.



Yes, I am eating my cake and having it too. This is more than enough to tackle anything you have described. You don't need all that other stuff unless you plan on bouncing off rocks, and even then you have half the picture with your assessment.

Anyways, if you are considering a Ram 2500 and are fine with the Hemi, look at the Power Wagon. I know I've been looking at it for awhile to get my fix and tow.

Although the drop hitch would be a B...
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:30 AM   #122
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no joke. Folks have been diagnosed with less crazy behavior than i. I can hear my wife at the support group on wednesday evening now. Cup of burnt coffee in one hand, tear filled tissue in the other. "dan was so normal until he started reading about trucks on that airstream forum".

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lol !
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:30 AM   #123
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Boldadventure,


Thanks man. Appreciate you chiming in. Great pics by the way!!

I love the Staun deflators. Learned about them driving and fishing on beaches of Nantucket. Great product. With next truck, may spring for some onboard air, Viar, or similar. Comes in handy as you know. For me, main use is driving on beaches of Outer Banks, or airing down trying to get out of a fishing hole.

I have not got far along with any thoughts regarding suspension mods, but will get there I'm sure. I'm more interested in performance than anything. If a mild suspension lift is required, that's fine. If stock shocks and springs work, fine. Just don't want to go down the rabbit hole of steering stabilizers and fixing this because of that, and the cause and effect stuff.

When I had my 81' CJ lifted recently, went with Black Diamond suspension 3.5" lift and 33 BFG tires. I've had the Jeep since I was 15, im 42 now, and never was into the blocks, shackles, stare at my armour all mud tires at gas station thing. It's the rage here and lots of trucks and jeeps jacked up to the sky. Not my cup of tea, then, or now.

As you said, that junks useless offroad. Made for parking lot duty and kids trying for second base. My CJ has just over 100k original miles, runs like a top, and looks brand new. Put new seats and carpet in it myself after POR-15 painting tub. Bikini top and no doors. She's happy.

I set my Jeep up for Uwharrie NP trails about an hour away. But fishing is where most my off roading comes in. Same with new truck, just need a high quality, but fairly conservative set up for more off road capability, yet something that won't defeat the reason im buying a truck. Towing Airstream.



Dan
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:40 AM   #124
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I updated my original post, you might not of seen it while constructing your response.

I'm from VA Beach originally, spent plenty of time down in the Outter Banks, sand driving does warrant some wider tires. The problem I had with wider tires is they negatively impacted my vehicle on the highway, especially in the rain. I always leaned towards expo rig vs rock crawler. Bouncing off rocks isn't my thing. But going long distance over highway and then long distance self sustained over land was fun to me.

Either way, your truck as 4x4 is going to have better clearance. So while a level isn't off base for the approach angle, you need to consider how to counter the effects of the load on the rear when towing or hauling.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:44 AM   #125
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I'm stuck on the fence between ordering a F-350 XLT with 6.7 PS and buying a Dodge Mega Cab 2500 with 6.4 Hemi.

I know it makes no sense. Gas in one, diesel in another, $45k truck, little in common, 3/4 ton and one ton. But at this point I wouldn't buy gasser in Ford or diesel in Dodge.
Dan, maybe I missed an earlier post but why have you taken the Cummins off your short list?

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Old 08-05-2015, 09:50 AM   #126
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Seems our goals are very similar regarding off roading. Will shoot you a PM when the time comes. Got a great local off road shop I trust. But I'm not up on shocks and springs like you. Will pick your brain later.

Regarding the Toyo A/T's, you happy with them? That and the Cooper ST MAXX were my final two selections.


Dan
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:07 AM   #127
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Dan, maybe I missed an earlier post but why have you taken the Cummins off your short list?

Kelvin



I systematically and slowly went through all major manufacturers with open mind and didn't discover, true or not, any consistent transmission woes until I was researching Dodge. I revisited the original sources of info, again, true or not (can't say), and the majority were Cummins powered.

My suspicion is younger shade tree mechanics tuning, deleting, and hopping up their diesels exceeded the tolerances of the standard 68RFE transmissions. But you know how little I know about trucks, all here know. Ha ha. I'm not ashamed of that, just being honest. Future readers of this thread take my words with a block of salt.

I can only say that my reading revealed a consistency, and it's slowly steered me away from the Cummins. AISIN $2400 transmission upgrade would likely remove my doubts, however unfounded they may be. But I can't get that in a Ram 2500, have to step up to 3500, which I'm less interested in. And depending on supply, you can't even get the AISIN in 3500 SRW, as they are only optioned with 3500 DRW and cab chassis. Further more, it bothers me that Dodge has a transmission upgrade to begin with. Nobody else does.

Alternatively, I researched the new Ford Powerstroke 6.7 with the same magnifying glass and didn't find any major areas of concern. Especially with 2013 and newer unmodified examples. My instinct says that the Ford 6.7 is just a monster of an engine and if buying a Ford F-350 8' bed, I would take the chance and go with the diesel. Couldn't pass it up. Frankly, I'm smitten.

However, the Dodge Mega Cab 2500 with 6.4 Hemi is highly attractive. If I can come up with a way to make the 6'4" bed securely hold our 14.5' Sotar whitewater raft, just for short runs between river and campgound, it may be what we buy. Likely an SLT.

Will end up buying DHarts truck. Watch.


Dan
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:09 AM   #128
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Regarding the Toyo A/T's, you happy with them? That and the Cooper ST MAXX were my final two selections.

Dan
I've been really happy with them. And I'm surprised. I actually was going to purchase General Grabbers, I had them on my TB when we drove from FL to Moab and all over the country, and loved them more than I ever liked the Nitto's I upgraded too.

But the shop had a mix up on the general grabbers and offered me the Toyo's at discount since they ordered the wrong tires. I've been happy since then, and we've put a lot of miles on them so far.

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I'm stuck on the fence between ordering a F-350 XLT with 6.7 PS and buying a Dodge Mega Cab 2500 with 6.4 Hemi.
Dude, take a look at the Power Wagon.

(Comment on Ram Diesel; it's the lowest cost effective diesel (new) for those young guys to get into, and I think your assessment is spot on.)
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:14 AM   #129
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Off to see a powerwagon...

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Old 08-05-2015, 10:32 AM   #130
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Unless I'm missing it. Payload is 1400 lbs on powerwagon.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:52 AM   #131
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Dan, you can get the Aisin in a 3500 SRW all day long.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:06 PM   #132
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Unless I'm missing it. Payload is 1400 lbs on powerwagon.
Mhem.... but solid axles with real lockers and 2 inch factory lift over the regular 2500

Ok so I'm off the practical aspect.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:25 PM   #133
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Back to proposed tire size. A match to stock wheel capacity is the right choice, IMO. Too much tire capacity means sloppy sidewalls in a tire not suitable for towing when set for the load.

As to the roads we run, one would never choose to run them in a private vehicle if at all possible. Some are fine, most are quickly worn down (a rig move involves well past a million pounds of equipment), and some are literally unreal. Most are of caliche, with varying amounts of rock.

I've run lease roads (as they're called) in lightweight FE-conscious tractors. 6-8 mph and 27-miles back to the rig. In a purpose-built truck that same road in the high side of the transmission and 19-25 mph with an empty trailer.

A two hundred mile round trip could take over twelve hours given an hour each for loading and unloading when the rig is over on the border in rough country. If it's over off Old Mines Road, you don't stop for anyone. Period. Yet another reason not to have a failure.

But then there are those paved with stones. River rock. Bulldozers and graders can only do so much.

Heavy rains on others where the river one is driving up is past the wheel hubs. Can't see the potholes. Natl. Geographic explores the Zambezi River headwaters, circa 1956. Broken wheels, broken axles.

For the most part it isn't bad. A cowboy adventure considering what you have to get done. Resource extraction doesn't take place in bucolic surroundings.

But the point about a commercial quality traction tire is to the point, IMO. Stable, low heat and plenty of sidewall strength.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:46 PM   #134
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I systematically and slowly went through all major manufacturers with open mind and didn't discover, true or not, any consistent transmission woes until I was researching Dodge. I revisited the original sources of info, again, true or not (can't say), and the majority were Cummins powered.

Dan
Found a Cummins forum and read of 2013-2014 owners experiencing hard/rough shifts and torque converter lock ups that can be felt.

A lot of 2013 owners had fuel gelling issues because a fuel heater wasn't turned on from the factory.

Many report UConnect 8.4 radio/nav consoles resetting and replacing.

Quite a few reported leaking power steering hoses.

So far not any 2015 owner chiming in yet.

Will a satisfied Toyota owner be able to switch and not have the reliability monkey on the back.

Saw online a local 2015 F350 Lariat Crew Cab 6.2L gas Ingot Silver. It would get worse mileage than my Tundra 5.7L but has a 35 gallon tank. Still 10 mpg would be OK given the weight and being a F350 I wouldn't have to worry about payload. Being gas I wouldn't have to worry about, DEF, fuel gelling etc. Price is about $3k higher than the 2015 Ram Cummins I test drove.

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Old 08-05-2015, 05:34 PM   #135
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As you highlight, much to consider. Truth is, we are lucky to have so many choices and all those we are discussing are great trucks I'm sure. I've got a low mile, perfect running 05' Tahoe out front now and would gladly take any truck we have discussed over it. Except Tundra, my Tahoe has greater payload. Haha.


Joke..


Dan
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:22 PM   #136
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Slowmover,

Thanks for the additional insights on tires. You know I'm not that smart and won't take the advice, yet you still take the time to type it. That's character!

What you might not know, I am smart enough to let the advice influence my choices, so maybe I will lessen my mistakes, if any are realized.

And more generally, thanks for all the assistance you've given me since finding Airforums last month. If your not careful, my wife and I are going to start sending you PM's when household items need fixing or replaced. Or the garage door opener need reprogrammed. Again. Ha ha. Your a wealth of knowledge man. All joking aside, thank you.


Dan
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:37 PM   #137
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Found a Cummins forum and read of 2013-2014 owners experiencing hard/rough shifts and torque converter lock ups that can be felt.

Kelvin

What I recall was same or similar. There were a few 200-300 post threads about it on two different forums. My method for weeding through meritless BS that doesn't gain steam on forums is simple.

I find a forum to investigate, then rather than scanning through all the threads, I click replies up top on first page. That shows all threads based on number of replies.

When I see several hundred posts on the same issue, it's something worth learning about. The torque converter as you suggest is what I had seen consistently mentioned, and the hard (teeth jarring) shifts were from 1st to 2nd gear.

If I can in fact order a 3500 Mega Cab 3500 SRW with AISIN, the Cummins is still on my short list. But my local dealer said he tried and was unable to get one for a recent customer and had to order a dually to get the AISIN.

I followed up on Cumminsforum and its a known supply and demand issue. Blind luck it appears will determine if you can get AISIN on a 3500 SRW. However, that would be significant to me, as I know the Cummins engine itself is a winner.

If it gets to that point, I will need to learn more about the suspension and handling differences between the Ram 2500 and 3500. As Moflash pointed out yesterday, the Ford 250 and 350 should have similar ride quality. With the Ram I think the difference is more profound. But no first hand info, just recall reading so. Anyone know?


Dan
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:17 PM   #138
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If it gets to that point, I will need to learn more about the suspension and handling differences between the Ram 2500 and 3500. As Moflash pointed out yesterday, the Ford 250 and 350 should have similar ride quality. With the Ram I think the difference is more profound. But no first hand info, just recall reading so. Anyone know?


Dan
Ram was the first to change everything over to the coils. Ford is finally playing catch up. Chevy is the dark ages. The 2500 & 3500 have similar rides.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:20 PM   #139
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Thanks. I drove a Ram 2500 and 3500 the other week. But 3500 was diesel and 2500 was gas. Both seemed smooth, but it was only a 3-5 mile drive under 45 mph in each case. Couldn't tell much difference.

Dan
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:24 PM   #140
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Does my intended usage warrant going with diesel?

A leaf sprung axle has problems with wheel hop under power. Axle wrap. Same for body movement against the suspension without a Panhard Rod.

Engine torque management and a five link coil rear suspension means the 2500 is going to be more sure footed under power. And more resistant to tripping hazards which should be a serious consideration. It is also better in crosswinds.

Hotchkiss drive is reliable, and can be made better. But it has its limits. And ride quality is not the main reason to choose another, more sophisticated type. But it can be "better" as perceived by passengers.
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