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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey y'all,

I've got a variety of questions here. I'd appreciate your input since I'm only now returning to wheeling 13+ years after selling my little Bronco II I used to have fun with in college (LSU). :beer

Here's the deal. I want to do some off roading somewhere near the Austin area (or within a few hours of Austin). I've done the mud thing back home in Louisiana and while it's fun, I'd rather try my hand at more "solid" wheeling like rocks and small ledges and such. I like the low speed stuff. I don't mind the mud from time to time, but that's not going to be the focus. To be honest, though, I don't know what kind of terrain we've got access to around here! I'm hoping y'all can provide some input so I can "build" my rig to best tackle the trails we have. :thumbup

Height: The first limitation I've got is that my truck is garaged so I'm limited in height. While I'd love to do a 4" lift with 33's, I don't know if it'll fit in the garage. I may have to opt for a 4" lift and 31's or a 2.5" lift and 33's. Any suggestions on what would be better for this part of the state and trails I may encounter, i.e. more lift, shorter tires or less lift, taller tires?

Locations: Where are places to go? I hear Katemcy is cool with a variety of trails for different skill levels and truck levels. I'd prefer to keep it all nice and legal, too. Don't want to give off roaders a bad name! A place with a campground (so I could make a weekend out of it) would be cool.

Wussy Factor: Yeah, call me a pansy. :whiteflag The truck I just bought is super clean and nice (too nice?). While I want to go wheeling in it, I also don't want to do trails that are so aggressive that I'm risky crunching body panels around each corner. This is my daily driver and I don't want it turning into a beater before it's time. ;) I know I'm not the only one around here who wants to have fun on the weekend, but still keep his rig looking sharp.......or am I? :doh0715:

Tires: Keeping in mind my requirements of being a daily driver (for now) seeing 40 miles/day and light-to-medium wheeling on the weekends, I'm guessing I'd be better off with an all terrain versus a mud terrain tire. Or would I be hating life on the weekends with the all terrains in this part of Texas? FYI, I don't mind if I only get 30k miles out of a set. Suggestions on brands that won't break the bank?

Well, I know my situation is rather unique.....and borderline "pavement pounder", but I hope you can steer me right. I wish the budget was there for a "nice" daily driver for work and a purpose built trail rig, but it's not. So this truck will see double duty for a few years.

Thanks! :beer
Tommy
 

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Both Katemcy and Long ranch are relatively close to where you are and offer good camping. Cline ranch is south of San Antonio. If you get more adventurous Trees ranch and SPORV are in the 3-5 hour range out west respectively.

I'm not sure how high your garage header is but I would personally go with as much lift as would allow you to still get in and buy a seperate set of tires and wheels to swap on for when you leave to go on a run. This also takes care of the how aggressive a tire can i get problem. Don't forget when you get to the trail your gonna air down the tires so it will measure out a bit shorter than with full pressure when determining how tall you can go before it will start rubbing.

and welcome.
 

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Tommy R, I'm from the Austin area and often mess around up there. The places already mentioned in the Hill Country should do just fine to introduce you to trail riding. I have been thru some wicked trails with a stock-height Bronco and 31" Pirelli AT's, so a 4" lift and taller tires is not absolutely needed. You may find that the stock Bronco you buy will barely fit in your garage or not at all or may need to air down the tires to fit inside it like stated. That's a chore to have to do if you drive it every day, too. A portable air tank or small air compressor that plugs into the cig lighter comes in handy, since you may want to air down when offroading.
 

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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter #4
jfraymond said:
Both Katemcy and Long ranch are relatively close to where you are and offer good camping. Cline ranch is south of San Antonio. If you get more adventurous Trees ranch and SPORV are in the 3-5 hour range out west respectively.
Thanks! I checked out the link in your sig and it definitely looks like it'll be too challenging for me and my truck....at least for awhile. Are there wimiper alternatives out there? :)

I'm not sure how high your garage header is but I would personally go with as much lift as would allow you to still get in and buy a seperate set of tires and wheels to swap on for when you leave to go on a run. This also takes care of the how aggressive a tire can i get problem. Don't forget when you get to the trail your gonna air down the tires so it will measure out a bit shorter than with full pressure when determining how tall you can go before it will start rubbing.
Measured it out this afternoon, actually. It appears that I've got 6.25" of clearance at the tallest point. In my case, it's the back of the hardtop after the back tires are inside the garage. I believe a 4" lift will only lift the rear 2"-3" so even with another 1" from the taller tires I think it'll fit! :thumbup

and welcome.
Thanks!

Tommy
 

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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter #5
Justshootme84 said:
Tommy R, I'm from the Austin area and often mess around up there. The places already mentioned in the Hill Country should do just fine to introduce you to trail riding. I have been thru some wicked trails with a stock-height Bronco and 31" Pirelli AT's, so a 4" lift and taller tires is not absolutely needed.
So would you say a mud terrain tire would be overkill for what I'm looking to do? I'd really like to meet up with some "Austin locals" to venture out to some trails nearby one day. :)

Tommy
 

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Thanks! I checked out the link in your sig and it definitely looks like it'll be too challenging for me and my truck....at least for awhile. Are there wimiper alternatives out there? :)
The cool part about our place is you can make it as challenging or as easy as you want. Last time out a couple of guys in stock cj2a's with maybe 31" tires had a blast. There are ranch roads that follow along almost all the canyons so at any obstacle you can climb out and jump ahead a few hundred feet to rejoin the action.
 

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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter #8
Really? That's interesting. So exactly how does your place work? We pay for a guided "tour" so to speak or do we run solo? I'd want to run it at least with another buddy with a tow strap since I don't have a winch. ;)

Thanks!
Tommy
 

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For right now everybody breaks up into same class groups. ie. easy/beginner, intermediate, and hard core. very much the same as the other parks do. basically, vehicles of roughly the same capabilities run together so as to not hold up the more capable groups.
Our ultimate goal once we have all the trails marked and classified is to give you a map and let you go wherever and run as a group how you please or feel comfortable.

So let's say you decide to come out with a near stock vehicle, you will run with a group of like near stock vehicles. you will run trails and should the need arize the trail leader will assist you in completing the obstacle (if winch is needed) or suggest that you take the cutoff depending on your level of confidence with the specific area. And also allow the more adventurous members of the group to try more demanding terrain along the way.

Based on what you've said so far, there should be no fear of trying any of our trails. our main goal is to provide an enjoyable off roading experience and at any time you feel you are exceeding your limits you should tell your trail leader so, and he will make sure to help you along the way. After all, even the most extreme of us at some point were just learning too.
 

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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter #10
That sounds great!! I'm new to...shall we say organized....off roading. :) It's nice to know there are places like yours around. Can't wait to try it out!

Tommy
 

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I'm exactly like you. I cannot afford to bust up my truck. I had a BLAST at Gilmer. TMTC's Barnwell mountain is great, I'm a fully stock truck with 31x10.5's and I had a great time and messed NOTHING up (just a hell of alot of dust in the truck because all my windows were down!). The thing is, it's really far away from you, close to Shreveport and such..but if you're in the area, I'd check it out. They have an annual mega run (first weekend of March this year, you just missed it!) up there, it's really cool.

Edit, here's the thread for Gilmer's run.
 

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Welcome Tommy R.

There are still a few dirt roads with ledges near South Lake Travis where you would be able to test a stock, near stock and modified truck. These are public roads that were cut and have never been paved. They are legal.

I can show you some of them after work some evening if you would like.

The sad news is that some of the best of these roads have been paved and now have houses.

Reply back or send me a PM.
 

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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter #14
I'd love to do some mild wheeling sometime real soon just to see what we've got around here. I'd imagine we should be able to get 4-6 people in the area to go, right?

I'm pretty limited with my tires at the moment, but I'll still try to do what I can. :)

Tommy
 

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It would be cool to have a few more trucks. The deal is, not all the ledges are on one road. We have to get on some pavement to go from one to another.

My guestimation is that some ledges are less than 12 inches, there are some that might be up to 18 inches. One in particular is about 3 feet to 5 feet high overall. That is the largest one.
 

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Tommy R said:
So would you say a mud terrain tire would be overkill for what I'm looking to do? I'd really like to meet up with some "Austin locals" to venture out to some trails nearby one day. :)

Tommy
For both a daily driver and a weekend trail rig, I would stick with some all-terrain tires. Less noise, longer life, better handling, etc. Mud terrain tires are good for crawling over slick boulders if aired down, like out at Katemcy. And don't get me wrong, you don't have to air down the tires every time you leave the pavement. I run some mudders on my 98 Z-71 down here on the beach often, with 40 psi. As long as you don't spin the tires and dig yourself a hole, MT's will work on sand. AT's will work on gravel, dirt sand, etc. The main reason you want to air down is to get more grip on bigger rocks and protect the sidewalls from getting cut. JSM84
 

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YOu can count me on some of this. I have purchased my first 4x4, and have no idea how to go offroad with it. So this will be a learning experience for me :D

I have a 94 Bronc with some 33-36's on it I think . I cant do anything till after April 1 when I get married :D
I could probably talk bigric into joining us really easily too :D
 

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After April 1 is cool.

I checked out some of the stuff I hadn't been to in a while on the south side of Lake Travis.

The last availble hill top has been posted....it wasn't exactly legal anyway....now it really isn't.

The other stuff is good to go....they are public roads that have been there 30 to 40 years and haven't ever been paved.
 

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I would recommend Mud terrains for anything that might see more than a typical ranch road. I had 33" Mud Kings on mine (~$500 for the set) and lasted 35K and had plenty of tread left before I swapped them to my jeep. Drove all over the state on them, just a bit more noise than all terrains. Just make sure to keep it in alignment, check the air pressure(I ran 30 PSI all the time), and rotate frequently.

As for suspension, I would look at getting the best setup you can in 4", extended arms, barkelines, shocks, etc. From my research I prefer skyjacker for a bolt on lift. Also gears, at a minimum 4.10's with 33's.

As for the height, I could fit my bronco with a 3" bodylift and 33's under a 6 foot 10 inch garage header with about a inch and a half to spare. Also remember that the tires don't match the sidewall size. My 35" swamper SX's on my trail duster only measure 33 actual inches tall.

If you haven't done some searching in the 80-96 tech forum, have at it, there is a ton of stuff pertaining to everything in there. ;)

Good luck:thumbup
 

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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter #20
I'm not against running a mud terrain tire even if I only get 35k miles or so out of them. Compared to what I'm used to, that's a long tire life. :) What I'd be more concerned with is the day-to-day mannerisms of a mud tire on my daily commute. I'm mainly concerned about wet weather performance. I don't mind "less than ideal" performance, but I don't want "totally sucky", either. ;)

I'd planned on either a BFG AT or MT, but am open to other suggestions. I certainly don't want to spend more than what these tires would cost. And ideally, it'd be great to get 40k+ miles out of them. From what folks are telling me, the AT may do me fine, but I'm still open to suggestions since the tire purchase is at least several weeks away still.

I should also mention that I'm on a budget and while a nice long radius arm suspension would be ideal, it'll have to wait. For now I'll be doing a 4" kit with drop brackets and likely blocks. I'll probably go with the Rough Country setup. I may upgrade to an AAL rear and longer arms up front down the road.

I've done plenty of searching on the subject, but what I found didn't quite answer my questions. Thanks for the suggestion, though... :)

Tommy
 
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