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"Airing down"

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Offline Sneed1979

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"Airing down"
« on: June 29, 2017, 03:59:04 PM »
I'm not new to BiBe but I'm a newbie at 4wd. If I intend on doing the "smoother" of the primitive roads (e.g. River Road East to Mariscal, Glenn Springs Rd,, Old Ore Rd just from the south to Ernst Tinaja), do I need to let air out of my tires like they do on more serious trails? FYI, I have a stock Wrangler Unlimited.

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Online Flash

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 04:05:10 PM »
Done all the roads mentioned in a stock 2WD Tacoma with standard tire inflation. I guess the answer is no.  :)

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Offline Reece

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 06:11:38 PM »
Wrangler here also, no need to air down unless you just want a little softer ride. In the unlikely event that you get stuck, you can always air down for that larger footprint.


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Offline rocketman

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 07:39:51 PM »
Agree with the others. Airing down is generally done for more traction (larger footprint), but is not necessary on those roads unless you just want a smoother ride as Reece said.
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Offline elhombre

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2017, 08:46:03 PM »
Airing down in Big Bend is a mistake.  When a tire is running low, the sidewall pooches out a bunch more.  The sidewall of a tire is the thinnest part of the tire compared to the tread.  The roads in Big Bend are made of hard sharp rocks.  You take a slow turn and roll the tire over a little, or ride around with the sidewall hanging over the thick tread, you now have put your thin sidewall right on top of the sharp rocks. PISSSSSSSSSSSS.   No patching that!

Airing down is mainly for slick rock (and deep sand).  Slick rock is another word for sandstone rock.  Think Canyonlands or Moab. Sandstone by it's nature does not develop sharp pointed edges because they get worn down quickly and easily, or the rocks break in a way that does not leave a vicious sharp point.  Of course this isn't always the case but.....

Serious Off roaders  run bias ply tires that completely suck at highway speeds.  No steal belts.   Keep the street pressure, and hope for the best.  Be sure to have a real size spare and you'll be just fine.
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Offline RichardM

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2017, 10:11:33 PM »
Be sure to have a real size spare and you'll be just fine.
A compressor and plug kit are useful, too.

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Offline presidio

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 11:40:30 PM »
Airing down in Big Bend is a mistake.  When a tire is running low, the sidewall pooches out a bunch more.  The sidewall of a tire is the thinnest part of the tire compared to the tread.  The roads in Big Bend are made of hard sharp rocks.  You take a slow turn and roll the tire over a little, or ride around with the sidewall hanging over the thick tread, you now have put your thin sidewall right on top of the sharp rocks. PISSSSSSSSSSSS.   No patching that!

Airing down is mainly for slick rock (and deep sand).  Slick rock is another word for sandstone rock.  Think Canyonlands or Moab. Sandstone by it's nature does not develop sharp pointed edges because they get worn down quickly and easily, or the rocks break in a way that does not leave a vicious sharp point.  Of course this isn't always the case but.....

Serious Off roaders  run bias ply tires that completely suck at highway speeds.  No steal belts.   Keep the street pressure, and hope for the best.  Be sure to have a real size spare and you'll be just fine.

And that covers everything you need to know.
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
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Offline presidio

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 11:41:28 PM »
Be sure to have a real size spare and you'll be just fine.
A compressor and plug kit are useful, too.

Indeed.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Txlj

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2017, 07:24:23 AM »
05 Unlimited here on 35" radial tires. On the unimproved park roads you could air down to 30 to 25 PSI without damage, at slower speeds, less than 30 mph and have a smoother ride. But have a compressor for once you reach blacktop or you will heat the sidewall and blow it out. On slick rock, Moab, I run between 10 and 12 psi. On the rocks of the Bend, I run 12 to 14 psi but that is true offroad/rockcrawling

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« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 07:33:48 AM by Txlj »

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Offline DuneYeti

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2017, 07:44:13 AM »
   Ok so normal tire pressure in the Wrangler is 35psi.  A lot depends on what you consider airing down, if you think going down to 5 or 10 psi for maximum footprint and traction then no I would not air down in BB.  If on the other hand you want a smoother ride (and I do) try going down to 25psi, it will make a big difference in the ride quality and you will not even be able to tell the difference (except for the tire pressure monitor warning on your dash) in the profile of the tire.  Since the speed limit in BB is 45mph you can safely, IMO, drive around all week before you air back up to hit the highway.  There's even air at the service stations so you don't have to break out the compressor if you don't want to.  That being said I would never go off-road without a capable (read not $10 Chinese special) compressor.  And carry spare fuses for it also, test it at home, time it, feel how hot it gets to the touch and determine the duty cycle you think is best.
   The above advise/opinion is assuming you have already hit the internet and/or are familiar with the techniques involved and are simply trying to get a feel for their application in this park. 
   Best of luck and don't forget to let us know what you did and how it worked.
"The less you want, the richer you are."

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2017, 10:06:58 AM »
Be sure to have a real size spare and you'll be just fine.
A compressor and plug kit are useful, too.

Add: a pair of limb cutters to trim any vegetation hanging into the roadway.  Reduce 'pinstriping' if you have a newerish Wrangler.

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Offline presidio

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2017, 10:48:34 AM »
Add: a pair of limb cutters to trim any vegetation hanging into the roadway.  Reduce 'pinstriping' if you have a newerish Wrangler.

That will get you undesirable consequences when the NPS sees you doing that.

Folks worried about pinstriping really shouldn't be off pavement.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline CC

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Re: "Airing down"
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2017, 11:46:07 AM »
Don't forget the lug wrench.  Last time I was out there an unfortunate fellow was asking around the RGV store parking lot if anyone had a wrench to fit his truck.  Alas, my factory wrench was not a match.  Some like to buy a nice big 4-way wrench for compatibility and speed.

Decent all-terrain tires rather than street tires make a lot of difference.  They reduce wheel-spin which reduces chance of getting cut by sharp rocks.

-CC

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Offline Reece

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Re: &quot;Airing down&quot;
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2017, 03:59:28 PM »
Elhombre: Good point about the weaker sidewall getting cut up!
The airing down for a smother ride I'm talking about is from 35 down to 30 or 25 psi. at the most. If you're stuck like Chuck running pizza cutters, airing way down can get you out. Of course you have to be able to air back up to continue.


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Offline PLucas

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"Airing down"
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 03:58:11 PM »
If I were you I would air-down some, why wouldn't you want a softer ride and a little more foot print on those sharp pebble size rocks. Here's a pic on how it's done.


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« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 06:51:21 PM by PLucas »

 


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