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How much does airing down help?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 84k5, Jan 21, 2001.

  1. 84k5

    84k5 1/2 ton status

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    I've never aired my tires down for offroading before, only because I do not have a compressor to air them back up. I am wondering how much it really helps? The mags. always make a big deal about it. Seems a little more dangerous to me because you could lose a bead or damage the sidewalls of your tires. Losing the bead at the wrong moment could result in a roll over. Thanks.

    Brian
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://84k5.coloradok5.com>http://84k5.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  2. Stoopalini

    Stoopalini 1/2 ton status

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    It helps A LOT!

    I never go wheling without airing down anymore. I forgot once and turned off the road onto the entrance of 'The Slab' and immediately got stuck. I got out, aired down to 23psi, got back in and pulled right out without even spinning.

    When you air down, your tires get wider at the base which gives you more surfact area on the botton of the tire.
    It also makes the tire more maluable (sp?) which really helps out when you're out rock climbing.

    ............at least that's my opinion ........

    Thomas

    -- '84 K5 Blazer --
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://Stoopalini.coloradok5.com>http://Stoopalini.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  3. rock.monkey

    rock.monkey 1/2 ton status

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    It helps alot. Running at street pressure will cause MORE sidewall cuts because the tire cant "fold" over the rock. Also airing doen gives you a larger contact patch witch equals greater traction.

    HTH

    Bill Innes
    88' Jimmy
    [​IMG]
     
  4. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    It means being stuck(street pressure) or not stuck(trail pressure), but I agree its a pain-in-the-a$$ when you dont have a on-board air compressor(anybody got a QuickAir I could have? [​IMG])

    [​IMG]
     
  5. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    yes it dose make a big difference. i used to think it did not but i tried it out and it helps. next time you are out wheeling try it and see what you think

    s.smith 77blazer lookin 4 mud
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Airing down is huge!! You will not believe the difference! I have had my old Generals on 16.5" rims down to 16 psi on the trail and it does make a big difference. We always scope out which gas stations are closest to the trail head and then at the end of the run we drive somewhat carefully to the nearest gas station to air back up.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  7. 84k5

    84k5 1/2 ton status

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    Looks like I'll have to try the less air thing then. I'll add a compressor to my list of things I would like. Anyhow, what about losing ground clearance when airing down? My 10 bolts scrape every now and then, so by airing down I would lose even more clearance. Is this a problem, or do you not lose much in clearance?

    Brian
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://84k5.coloradok5.com>http://84k5.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Just buy some 38's [​IMG]
    I would rather pick my lines a little more carefully and have killer traction on the trail than leave them aired up and maybe have 1 more inch of clearance.
    Not only that but the comfort factor on aired down tires is pretty significant!

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    I'll tell you how to sell it to yourself. This is a demonstration my club uses when we teach United's back country awarness class. Go get a rock or a brick. try to drive over it in your driveway at street pressure. Let 10psi out and try it again. You will find aired down the tire will fold around the rock/brick and go right over it. with full pressure if it doesn't slide out it will be much harder to go over.
    Your teeth will also like it on that next washboard gravel road you go flying down.
    Like the others said...be aware of the closest place you can air up. If it's a long drive you may not want to air down as much. You definetly want to keep the speed down till you air back up. I also air down the front about 2-4 psi less than the rear. This will help keep from rolling a bead (it's much more common to roll the front) but still give you a lot of traction. I have 32 inch BFG M/T's that are rated 50 psi. On the street I run 38 front 36 rear. If i'm close to air I run 22 front 18 rear for the trail. If I have some distance to travel I run 26 front 22-24 rear. For me those are reasonable pressure. I would get more traction with less but increased chance of rolling the bead. The K5 is a heavy beast and I feel mush less you really run the risk up. So far I have not lost a bead at those pressures. I have onlyripped out one side wall and I think that one I would have lost regardless of the pressure. With 33's you probably want to be less air. I haven't run 33's so now what to tell you there. Probably want to be about 18f 16r maybe a bit higher.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  10. EDdaTREE

    EDdaTREE 1/2 ton status

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    I realize airing down is real effective on rocks, but does it really make that much of a difference for mud? Anybody had any mud in the tire bead problems...etc? Seems like nobody I run with airs down and I think I could USE a "secret weapon" HEEHEE!

    "I'm not stuck...I'm just exploring the depth and texture of this mudhole for a while"
     
  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Ed, I've run mud at street pressure and then came back a few weeks later and ran the same goop at 22 lbs. I found a big difference. As long as you don't go down too low or sky the truck too much you should be OK. They just seem to hook better with a little less air, although I wouldn't drop down to single digits or anything.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     

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