Lift, Tires?? but a unique reason.

Pokemon

 
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
30
Location
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Ok, I'm back but with a different vehicle that I just purchased. It's an 07' FJ Cruiser with the off road package and HD winch and bumper combo.. It currently has a spacer lift in front for leveling and it has the 265/70-17 studded Duratracs on it. Yes, it also has the rear diff lock and A-Trac, I would like this rig when done to possibly get me to our property in 2 feet of snow when needed. I have snow wheelin'experience in other rigs but not sure where this FJ C would need for upgrades. Anybody who's had to make a similar trip let me know what you got please. Thanks for all the wealth of knowledge here. limits yes, I would like to keep it with out changing the gears and doing 35's. So yeah 33's max. So yes a budget snow wheeler and still DD if needed. ideas?
 

1911

chupacabra
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
5,387
Location
Parker County, Texas
Chains for the rear wheels. Chains may not work on the front wheels due to clearance, but it depends on your wheel, tire, and upper control arms combo.
 

lgrt

 
Joined
May 27, 2007
Messages
371
Location
Seattle Area
Deep wet heavy snow is tough with an IFS like the FJ Cruiser has. As you drive into deep heavy snow, the front diff (or skid plate if you have one) and LCAs acts like a toboggan lifting the front tires off the ground as the snow piles up under the front end. Unless you run a long travel front end, chains up front are not a good idea since there is not much clearance between the tire and UCA. Rear chains help significantly allowing you to backup if your front end lifts and looses traction. If you run in dry light fluffy snow it is a lot easier going.

You can absolutely run in the snow but carry a shovel to dig out if you get stuck.

Here is a video of me having to push through about 3 feet of snow. had to back up and push forward until the front lifted then back up and do it again a lot. had to dig out some too.

it was a lot of fun but it was also some work.

 

Pokemon

 
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
30
Location
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Thanks for the input guys. After looking at my rig in depth, it has a basic 3” Revtek lift. I’m getting some 285/70-17 Bfg ko2’s. C load ratings as well. And I will get chains for the rear as well. But I will keep those 265 studded Duratracs for now. I’ll get pics up Saturday
 

H8PVMNT

 
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
297
Location
Highwood, MT
I live and work in rural north-central Montana. This winter I worked as a farm hand and my daily commute was 12 miles of unplowed dirt road with constant blowing and drifting snow conditions. We had a huge winter with a good 3 feet in the prairie. My tracks would be blown in fresh every morning. Temps were typically -15F to -30F so getting there dependably was pretty important.
My work pickup, a 1980 hilux, has lockers front and rear, OME lift and only a set of worn out 32" Nankang Mudstar tires, siped (the Nankangs are barely even 31"). I know I have a lighter rig than an FJ, but I frequently haul anywhere from 700-1,700 lbs in these conditions so I think that makes us even :). I used chains some of the time but when it got really deep I ended up having better success just running 5-7 psi and going for it. I used to think we needed 35" tires or better for deep snow wheeling but this winter has changed my opinion.



Have some decent on board air and get a set of tire deflators. Chains certainly work too but a nice gushy footprint seems to work better for me. Basically the sweet spot for tire pressure in the deep snow is where your contact patch becomes longer than it is wide. Siped tires make a huge difference in forward progress vs. digging down. Worn out mud terrains work notably better than fresh ones. Cheesy side walls tend to work better than nice thick ones.



If you don't want to air down much, skinny, narrow, pizza cutter tires will work WAY better than normal width tires. If you are willing to air down wide is fine. If you don't air down all that sexy width just builds a wall in front of your tire that you have to overcome.

As far as chains go, I like what they call "mud service chains". They have bigger links, less crossovers which seems to be better and they don't break. I have ran a bunch of chains over the years and the ones that are thicker material but less aggressive seem to be the best.

Nankang Siped (1).JPG


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Pokemon

 
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
30
Location
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
I’m 40 minutes from Mt. Hood there is a lot of trails under the summit at 11,245 feet. I have wheeled the majority of them in my long lifetime. I have had a few LJ Jeeps and a few other rigs as well, my brother still has his LJ and Samurai. Totally understand the weight thing, coming from a previous 90 series unit. One of my wheelin buddies was a guy called the “air nazi” his name not mine. Single digits is our friend. ;) good points. I have wheeled a stock LJ on 3 feet of snow with a group on 31’s. Yes I did have a winch. I find the type of snow on the ground is sometimes more important than anything else. Temperatures, Direct Sun exposure, North side, South side. But an FJ reacts within reason uniquely as seen by the comments above. That was the inside scoop. Some of those things now being a new FJ owner I could not have predicted.
 

H8PVMNT

 
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
297
Location
Highwood, MT
The many different kinds of snow and changing conditions of snow sure do come into play. Snow wheeling is my favorite kind of wheeling. This was the first time I've had an extended experience with having to deal with deep snow on a day to day basis rather than for sport.



 
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