When to air down, and when not to? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
clg82
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When to air down, and when not to?

Hey everyone. When do you air down and to how much? What is wrong with running with the stock tire pressure, say in rocks (sharp ones) or while climbing thru mountains and valleys? And how do you re-air when you are done wheeling and about to drive home on the regular road?

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post #2 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 02:54 PM
wushaw
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Air down for trails you plan to run. 8 - 10 psi for me. I have OBA for air so I can air up anytime.
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post #3 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wushaw View Post
Air down for trails you plan to run. 8 - 10 psi for me. I have OBA for air so I can air up anytime.
So any trails?!?!? sand or sharp rocks? I won't pop a bead at 8-10 psi?
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post #4 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 03:06 PM
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There's a lot of different factors that determine what PSI you can go down to, but you're usually pretty safe down to at least 12psi.

You should always air down when wheeling. The miniscule amount of ground clearance you lose is more than made up for by superior traction and lack of bouncing which keeps your wheels in better contact.

From a Leave No Trace perspective, it's the responsible thing to do *every* time out because it prevents wheelspin and tearing up trails.

If it's a mountain road, you don't really need to worry about it, but basically anytime you're going to be using 4-Lo, it's a good idea.

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post #5 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CrawlingForward View Post
There's a lot of different factors that determine what PSI you can go down to, but you're usually pretty safe down to at least 12psi.

You should always air down when wheeling. The miniscule amount of ground clearance you lose is more than made up for by superior traction and lack of bouncing which keeps your wheels in better contact.

From a Leave No Trace perspective, it's the responsible thing to do *every* time out because it prevents wheelspin and tearing up trails.

If it's a mountain road, you don't really need to worry about it, but basically anytime you're going to be using 4-Lo, it's a good idea.
Even thru sharp rocks and rugged terrain?
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post #6 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 03:32 PM
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Even thru sharp rocks and rugged terrain?
I would think especially on sharp rocks at low speeds. The concern, as I understand it, is for your sidewalls. Airing down would probably help the tread, as it lets it conform instead of just puncturing.

However, at higher speeds I've heard a lot of debate, but I don't air down at higher speeds anyhow.

If it was so sharp and pointy that your sidewalls would be in danger, I would assume that they would be in trouble either way, but someone with more knowledge may pipe in.

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post #7 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 03:36 PM
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I hear airing down in mud gives you much better floatation and traction haven't done it yet but I will my next go around.
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post #8 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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I hear airing down in mud gives you much better floatation and traction haven't done it yet but I will my next go around.
Mud is not my concern as there is very little of it in the desert...........But sharp rocks etc are a different story.
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post #9 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 03:43 PM
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if your doing real basic stuff you really dont have yo air down at all. So far i havent aired down ever but i mostly do shallow mud and very little rocks and stuff. so if your not wheeling very seriously dont worry about it.

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post #10 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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if your doing real basic stuff you really dont have yo air down at all. So far i havent aired down ever but i mostly do shallow mud and very little rocks and stuff. so if your not wheeling very seriously dont worry about it.
Some of my wheeling can become serious rock ledges etc, very sharp rocks at times bigger rocks etc..
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post #11 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 04:11 PM
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So any trails?!?!? sand or sharp rocks? I won't pop a bead at 8-10 psi?
"I" won't pop a bead at 8-10psi, I have bead locks that's why I said it was good for me.
12psi like Crawling forward said sounds good for non-bead locks on rocks.
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post #12 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wushaw View Post
"I" won't pop a bead at 8-10psi, I have bead locks that's why I said it was good for me.
12psi like Crawling forward said sounds good for non-bead locks on rocks.
Ok sorry I misunderstood you...I didn't know that you had beadlocks....
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post #13 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 04:28 PM
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me, I air down anytime I'm going to be offroad for more than 10 minutes or so. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to air back up (I don't have an air tank, so it's slow with my 12 volt air pump), so I don't air down unless I'm going to have time to enjoy being aired down to make the 15 minute air-up time worth waiting for, haha! So if I'm just going offroad real quick to get to like an overlook or something to take photos, I won't air down, but if I know I'll be offroad for a while and driving slower than 20mph or so, I'll air down.

Traction is helped yes, but man the ride quality is MUCH smoother when you air down, it's just more enjoyment when the ride isn't so jaw-breakingly rough even on small rocks when aired up to street pressure. I don't know what PSI you need to drop to before you start getting a nice smooth ride, but before my beadlocks when I was at 12-14psi the ride was noticably smoother, and now at 8-9psi with the beadlocks it's nice and smooth. I suppose even dropping 5-10psi would be smoother than leaving it fully aired up. But the lower you go, the smoother the ride. Even on trails that I don't need the additional traction, I'll air down just for a ride comfort factor.
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post #14 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by danielbuck View Post
me, I air down anytime I'm going to be offroad for more than 10 minutes or so. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to air back up (I don't have an air tank, so it's slow with my 12 volt air pump), so I don't air down unless I'm going to have time to enjoy being aired down to make the 15 minute air-up time worth waiting for, haha!

Traction is helped yes, but man the ride quality is MUCH smoother when you air down, it's just more enjoyment when the ride isn't so jaw-breakingly rough even on small rocks when aired up to street pressure. I don't know what PSI you need to drop to before you start getting a nice smooth ride, but before my beadlocks when I was at 12-14psi the ride was noticably smoother, and now at 8-9psi with the beadlocks it's nice and smooth.
How much and what kind of bead locks do you have if you don't mind me asking
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post #15 of 73 Old 07-18-2011, 05:00 PM
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mine are from Champion, I think they were almost $300 per wheel with all the hardware included. You don't need beadlocks to air down, you can just air down farther with more confidence on the beadlocks. Try airing down to about 12 or so, see how you like the ride quality, it should be noticably better than when not airing down. (I'm on 32" tires right now, by the way)

Here they are at 12, and 8 psi. The tire doesn't bulge out that much on flat ground.



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