Whew things are hectic. Yours truly does a lot of writing, testing, writing, and well writing. Someday something will have to give but right now it’s a lot of fun. So Project Overland update here we go!
New shoes for the Big Red Rocker (BRR). OK silly name but with three Jeeps I have to differentiate somehow which one we are working on. That and my son digs it. The delivery man stopped by today and we got a metric truckload of parts. Not the least of which are some new shoes.
BRR is getting fitted with a set of Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 tires fitted to Mickey Thompson Classic III’s in black. After reading a review by another publication of these tires we had to give them a try and see if they really were the jack of all trades they appear to be. Designed by Brian Deegan they are a hybrid between an AT tire and a MT tire. I bet you want to know what size! We went with 17×9 wheels with 4.5 inches of back spacing and a 37×12.5×17 tire. BRR will be sitting high and proud. The biggest benefit to this combination is the wheel and tire weigh less than most 35 inch tall tires. That’s the benefit of a racer helping to design a tire.
So how will we fit those tires under the Jeep? ARB has come to the rescue with their 4 inch Old Man Emu lift for the JK. Old Man Emu are noted for their ride, comfort and control, and capability so testing this setup will hopefully be smooth sailing. They go about it differently than other manufacturers by reusing the stock control arms which helps reduce costs both initially and to replace them. You can buy a new set off Craigslist for less than $50. In order to also facilitate this size lift the JK needs either an exhaust spacer or a new drive shaft to clear the crossover pipe. We opted to upgrade the drive shaft and ordered the J.E. Reel drive shaft from ARB as well that was designed specifically for this kit.
New wheels with big tires mean a new tire carrier. TeraFlex offered up a HD Hinged Tire Carrier that will thankfully accommodate a 37 inch tire. It replaces the stock hinges with their new much beefier setup that removes the weight from the tailgate and still allows the entire thing to open in one motion. Very excited to fit this and give it a go.
ARB also supplied some new IPF driving lights in the “Aussie” setup. That’s one driving light and one spot light. They will be fitted to the new brackets from Maximus-3 once those arrive.
We will be reviewing each item individually and then of course as a full wrap up with the project as we go forward. We will be taking the stock setup to the local off road area this week to do a before and after comparison and get some updated photos.