Overall, I'm happy with them. The Goodyear MTR Kevlar is still my first choice for tires. The MTR has performed the best in all the conditions I typically find myself with the exception of hardpack snow/ice. They need to be siped to help them in this area.
The new Mickey Thompsons were a compromise purely because of cost. I needed to replace my MTR's around Christmas time and with the holidays I just didn't have the funds to go for another set of MTRs so I looked at options that I felt were comparable in terms of performance in a wide range of conditions but were also extremely durable. Sidewall strength is an important factor to me. I settled on the Baja Claws with a 10-ply equivalent sidewall and a similarly aggressive tread to the MTR, but at a cheaper price than the MTR.
So far, they have been very good on the trails. On the road they are noisy at slower speeds. The large tread voids make it so you can "feel" the tires on the road with a bit of vibration and noise at speeds below about 20mph. Speeds above 20mph the vibration and noise subsides and on the highway they are about as quiet as the MTR.
The Baja Claw has been better in deep snow, hardpack and ice (although its definitely no Blizzak). It's been outstanding in the mud. Seems to grip well in the rocks although winter time on the rocks is a bit different than in warmer months so I'm looking forward to spring when I can test them more. I expect they will perform well.
There are a few changes in the tread design with the TTC version that I have when compared to the "regular" Baja claw. Mostly a few extra voids that run the circumference of the tire and along the shoulder to allow the tire to flex and conform to obstacles better. It seems to work as designed. On this last trip they did well at forming to rocks etc even with a heavy sidewall.
They seem to hold a bead well at low pressures. I was running 10psi for many miles with some pretty high speeds and cornering in the dirt and never had a problem.
So all in all, my only complaint so far is the low speed noise and ride. But that's a very small percentage of the experience so I can put up with it.
For a rig that is mostly "overland" type travel on graded dirt tracks without a lot of technical terrain or mud, or a rig that sees a majority of road miles, this is probably more aggressive than you'd need and there are other options that could perform well and be more comfortable. But if you need something for more aggressive for technical terrain and find yourself dealing with snow/mud frequently and don't mind a bit of road noise, I think these are a good option. But again, overall the MTR is still my favorite.
I've been wheeling with the new Trail Tailor control arms for a while now but never had a chance to really check clearances etc. Found a ramp near my work to check everything. The new control arms are great. Zero binding and the poly bushings aren't being stressed at all since the Johnny Joints handle any deflection.
I still had 4" of shock travel and plenty more from the springs so this is not at the limit of suspension travel. Still have both front and rear sway bars attached too. Really happy with the Slinky suspension and Trail Tailor arms.
The Slinky suspension has got to be the best flexing "bolt on" suspension for the 80 series out there. Last year I had thrown around the idea of doing a 3-link up front, but really don't feel the need anymore.
Lousy pics but I whipped out a simple fuel can basket last night. I have a trip coming and needed a better way to carry extra fuel. Have debated a second swingout but didn't really want to go that route. Solution? Single can holder added to the existing swingout. It meant moving the hilift mount. That's getting relocated to the hinge side of the swingout.
That's a kind thing to say. I try to take care of my cruiser and do my best to use good parts. But it's still a well used truck and far from pristine. But like most cruisers, it just works really well.
Best of luck on your cruiser build when you find one. Be sure to share your progress!
Been scratching my head about where/how to mount my new HAM radio. My radio does not have a detachable face which makes installation a bit more difficult when trying to keep it discrete and not completely exposed and in the way.
Couldn't use the stereo location since I have a double din unit. Already have a CB in the ashtray location, so.......
I decided that it was worth some minor sacrificing of the center console since I don't use the front pocket of the console that much. I still have some room in the pocket but this made for a little cleaner install than the alternatives I had come up with.