Goodyear Duratrac Review
After a long cold snow winter we finally got a chance to hit the trails after a week of rain. There was 470cm or 15 feet of snow fall over the winter and the trails still had 3-4 feet of snow in most areas.
With proper air pressure the Jeeps broke trail no problem but as the day went on and the weather warmed up we started to dig deep and deeper and things started to get rough. However in the end we all made it out thanks to a bit of winching.
First Published: July 21st, 2010
Updated: April 14th, 2015
Tire selection is really the most critical part of any Jeep build. All too often well built Jeeps will not perform as they should because of poor tire selection. This often is because of lack of budget, understanding of wants vs needs and understanding the differences between different patterns, compounds and brands.
Trying to keep a Jeep both trail and street worthy is a difficult task and one you shouldn’t cheap out on. This is often why I suggest people buy tires before suspension even if the tires will not fit yet. It is better to spend money on the right tire than it is anything thing else.
I traded Ultimate Weekend Warrior project for a 2008 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon (6-Speed) in the fall of 2011 because I wanted more space for my weekend projects and a Jeep for long distance overlanding.
It wasn’t really something I was planning on doing but a great deal came up and I basically traded one for one plus $2000… Not bad.. I even kept the winch off the TJ. The Jeep was cheap because you could tell it had a weird previous life. It had a new factory JK front bumper, 2 inch spacer lift, bald JK Rubicon tires and the fenders that showed tire rub. So obviously this jeep had bigger tires and off-roaded at some point. And it only had 47,000km on it! All great for me because I planned on modifying all those things.
My last Tj was a great off-road warrior but on-road manors with 4.5 inches of lift, 36 inch bias iRoks, automatic lockers front and rear and $30 shocks was horrible.. if not unsafe.. I even started to tow the Jeep to events.
Manufacturer’s Part Number 70477
I’m not certain what happened but the lights on my 98 Tj were decent and when I got my 05 it was absolutely horrible. I’ve heard people complain about this before and never realized how bad it can be.
I was up at National4wd a few weeks after I bought my Tj and they had a pair of Hella Vision Plus Conversion Headlights for a decent price in stock. I remember reading in a magazine that for the price this model was a good option. I had a tight budget on this build so they seemed like a great option and a excellent safety upgrade. Continue reading
Loud squeaking sound coming from the wheel area.
- Raise the jeep so the suspected wheel is off the ground
- Grab the tire at 12 and 6 and wiggle up and down. There shouldn’t be much play or wiggle.
- If there is wiggle then check to make sure it isn’t the ball joints or steering. Chances are you got a bad bearing.
Cars/Trucks/Jeeps should have their axle fluid changed much more frequently if they are used in off-road or towing situations. If you have any thought you may have gotten water into your housing change your fluid immediately.
This writeup is written for a 98 Jeep TJ however it should apply to any vehicle. (Check your own manual for correct fluid types)
- 4.5 Rubicon Express with 1 inch body
- 36×13.5×15 Iroks
- Lockrite in front
- Super D44 – Detroit Locker in rear Dana 44
- 4.56 Gears
I decided to try out Iroks even so I had no major problem with my BFG MTs but with a new lift (RE 4.5) they were looking small. The tire industry had also changed a lot in the last two year and options are now endless and mind numbing.
I could go with a more aggressive tire this time because the Jeep has migrated into a weekend warrior and no longer serves the daily drive role. I had always loved the Iroks since they came out but I was a little unsure about going 36×13.5 and really unsure about getting bias ply. After costing them and finding out they are cheaper than even the budget model 35s I was sold and kind of wanted to take a risk to try them out. (Edit bias Iroks are no longer a budget tire)