What can my TJ handle at Moab?


HardSell

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SecondChanceTJ said:


Hi y'all!
I'm planning on making my pilgrimage to the holy land at Easter Jeep safari this year, and I'd like your input on two questions I have:

1. What difficulty rating of trails can my TJ (and myself with not much offroad experience) handle at Moab? (without damage, because it's my ride home too)
It's a Rubicon with a 3" coil lift, 265/70 17 Duratracs, otherwise stock.

and 2. What equipment should I seriously consider bringing with me or adding to my Jeep to be better prepared for the trails?
-tool set, water, recovery points, recovery straps, CB radio?, oil, coolant, ATF for PS, fire extinguisher already on the list

I don't want to miss anything, and as I'm doing my homework for the trip, I'd like to hear some advice from people with experience at Moab/EJS. Thanks!

Your rig should be capable of everything you are comfortable doing on the trail and then some. I’m sure you will be checking fluids and under the Jeep to make sure everything is in working order for this big of trip. Get the portable air source as suggested. Not a bad idea to bring extra spark plugs, ujoints, brake fluid, and even a set of front axle shafts. Don’t worry about SYE and clearance concerns until you wheel it enough to know it will make a difference. You should only need the lockers briefly on certain parts of the trail and utilize 4 low. Study the lines the other rigs take and you’ll know who to follow... Enjoy!

This is completely accurate....excellent advice! Also, bring a hat, gloves, hand solvent, rags, sun block, 48" farm jack, bailing wire, electrical wire and tape, duct tape, knee pads, crawl rug and folding chair, tire pressure gauge and airdown valves. If you bring all the stuff, you'll most likely never need it; if you don't, you'll need all of it. "You should only need the lockers briefly on certain parts of the trail" I especially like that advice as there are conflicting opinions regarding when to use lockers. Also, to prevent axle breakage, be sure to release lockers when turning. If you're still spinning in a turn without forward progress, briefly engage rears to nudge you forward until straight then you can reengage both if needed. I've done nearly every trail in SE Utah in my vastly less capable XJ and only recall once needing that maneuver climbing the Z turn on the Rim. When I arrive in Moab, I disconnect at my parking area and reconnect when I leave to return home. If you plan to make 60mph leaning turns on tarmac, yeah you should connect. Your life's fun is indescribably enhanced in a Rubicon.
 
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SecondChanceTJ

SecondChanceTJ

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This is completely accurate....excellent advice! Also, bring a hat, gloves, hand solvent, rags, sun block, 48" farm jack, bailing wire, duct tape, knee pads, crawl rug and folding chair. If you bring all the stuff, you'll most likely never need it; if you don't, you'll need all of it.
Thanks, I'll add those to my list. That reminds me of yet another question I've been meaning to ask.
When airing down, what's the lowest pressure everyone would safely recommend? stock moab wheels and 265/70/R16 mud terrains
 

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Thanks, I'll add those to my list. That reminds me of yet another question I've been meaning to ask.
When airing down, what's the lowest pressure everyone would safely recommend? stock moab wheels and 265/70/R16 mud terrains
6psi. I only do that for snow. I air down to 10psi on rocks.

There is no reason to turn your lockers off unless you have a sharp turn and you would want to turn the rear off while leaving the front engaged.

You can slip on Slickrock (which was slick for horses hooves when wet, this the name, but is very grippy when dry for tires). Lockers will help alleviate this bc once you have one tire spin with no lockers, you are effectively in 2wd. Also, it will not harm anything turning on Slickrock with lockers on. But, it’s your rig, do whatever you want, this is all subjective anyway, I mean, who needs lockers, lifts, bigger tires anyway, just put a 20” lift on with 31’s if that floats your boat. There is no right or wrong way to do anything.
 

HardSell

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When airing down, what's the lowest pressure everyone would safely recommend? stock moab wheels and 265/70/R16 mud terrains
18-20 psi is sufficient and will vastly improve your ride over gravel and washboard. On slickrock, 22-24 psi is ideal. Too low and you lose clearance. In sand, go down to 8 if 12-14 won't do. Much lower and you chance slipping the bead. It's a real hassle if not impossible to reengage the bead on a trail. The Smitty Built Air compressor is not over priced and airs up 33s from 20 psi in less than 7 minutes per tire; 31s much faster. Mud terrains are not ideal around Moab slickrock and sand, nor are they great on tarmac. I'd get a set of BFG K2s or K3s before you leave. I couldn't believe their performance when I got my first set of those; it was like adding a lower gear in the tranny. They really grab, are quiet and will get you 2mpg better tarmac mileage @ 45psi. I've always gotten 40k+ from a set before replacing. Save your muds for Jaws 4 above Como Lake on Blanca Peak......yup, your Rubi can do that as it is if you don't need a tuck. I've also favored the 10" width over the 12" for 33s if those are still available. Your 31s are adequate for everything you plan to do. 33s do make life easier. One of our group, doing Blanca peak had a real scary time bouncing his 35X14's on Jaws 2....too wide. Our 10X33 muds were perfect for that terrain. Those with K2s did well except for the steep muddy Jaws 4. We used our winch to get the others up. I think 33s (285s) are the best and most versatile/practical when going up in size.
 

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Ton of advice here and probably like most, I'm taking notes regarding best trails. I've never been there so it's on my list.
I’d recommend watching videos of the trails you want to do on YouTube or Amazon Prime.

@The IsARubicon has the In4Lo series on prime and there’s a good episode on Moab.

otherwise red rock crawlers and trail recon made some good videos of different trails.
 
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SecondChanceTJ

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Mud terrains are not ideal around Moab slickrock and sand, nor are they great on tarmac. I'd get a set of BFG K2s or K3s before you leave. I couldn't believe their performance when I got my first set of those; it was like adding a lower gear in the tranny. They really grab, are quiet and will get you 2mpg better tarmac mileage @ 45psi.
I assume you mean KO2/KO3's? Appreciate the advice, but I'm not in a position to buy another set of tires only for a trip. I'll keep that in mind when I replace/upgrade them though.
 

1904-06LJR

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I’d recommend watching videos of the trails you want to do on YouTube or Amazon Prime.

@The IsARubicon has the In4Lo series on prime and there’s a good episode on Moab.

otherwise red rock crawlers and trail recon made some good videos of different trails.
Yep...I've been doing this. I've seen the In4Low series on Amazon. Those cats crack me up!! Thank you.
 

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18-20 psi is sufficient and will vastly improve your ride over gravel and washboard. On slickrock, 22-24 psi is ideal. Too low and you lose clearance. In sand, go down to 8 if 12-14 won't do. Much lower and you chance slipping the bead. It's a real hassle if not impossible to reengage the bead on a trail. The Smitty Built Air compressor is not over priced and airs up 33s from 20 psi in less than 7 minutes per tire; 31s much faster. Mud terrains are not ideal around Moab slickrock and sand, nor are they great on tarmac. I'd get a set of BFG K2s or K3s before you leave. I couldn't believe their performance when I got my first set of those; it was like adding a lower gear in the tranny. They really grab, are quiet and will get you 2mpg better tarmac mileage @ 45psi. I've always gotten 40k+ from a set before replacing. Save your muds for Jaws 4 above Como Lake on Blanca Peak......yup, your Rubi can do that as it is if you don't need a tuck. I've also favored the 10" width over the 12" for 33s if those are still available. Your 31s are adequate for everything you plan to do. 33s do make life easier. One of our group, doing Blanca peak had a real scary time bouncing his 35X14's on Jaws 2....too wide. Our 10X33 muds were perfect for that terrain. Those with K2s did well except for the steep muddy Jaws 4. We used our winch to get the others up. I think 33s (285s) are the best and most versatile/practical when going up in size.
Have you measured how much clearance you lose per psi as you air down? What happens to the center tread when you run 45psi?

The Viair 88P is around $60 and will air up a 33 from 10psi to 26psi in around 4 minutes. We would be there shooting the bull for quite a while to get up to 45psi.
 

HardSell

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I'm not in a position to buy another set of tires only for a trip.
Fully understand. You'll have a great time, regardless. I Just took possession of an, '05 Rubi, 6sp, came with K3s...KO3s...whatever... (Update: K0s) went for some quick wheeling under transmission lines on challenging trackless terrain near my land. Kid brother, who has a tricked out FJ Cruiser rode with me and said, "I wouldn't be able to do this as easily in the Cruiser". The TJ's turning radius and manual tranny is something to be savored. I drove a $57k 2020 JL 2.0L Rubi last fall and can't imagine why anyone would part with the ride I just bought....advantage, me.
 
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Vasq

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I didn't think there was a KO3, only the KM3 which is a mud terrain.
 

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One thing I would definitely do before you arrive is service your cooling system. It always amazes me how often people overlook the cooling system for general maintenance. Since you'll be doing a lot of overworking and slow moving, it can really warm things up. I would do a real good flush and new antifreeze before you leave home.
 
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HardSell

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I didn't think there was a KO3
It's KO2. The older all terrains, (KO) had slightly deeper tread, but more pronounced edging. No such thing as KO3...my bad. "The new BFGoodrich All Terrain TA KO2 delivers 10% more traction when driven on mud and 19% more traction on snow over the previous KO all terrain tires. ... We attribute this due to the tire's improved design. The tread compound is tear, chip and cut resistant which results in the tire lasting longer."

Because these last so long, I thought the KO2s were KO3s. I've only had the KOs which I thought were KO2s. Have had three sets of BFGs over the past 16 years, hence, from my perspective, KO1; KO2; KO3 L0L!

The pics are worth a thousand words. BTW M is for mud...makes sense.
BFG K0 tires.jpg
 

Vasq

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i got ya. you got me all excited, i thought there was something new i didn't know about.