InterCo TrXuS M/T Steel Belted
4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!
Interco TrXus Mud Terrain
Tires Part II
After about 40,000 miles on
my Pirelli Scorpions, I had enough incidents off-pavement that I decided it really was
time for me to get a tire that had a little more height and a lot more bite. I still
wanted to have good behavior on the pavement but I was willing to trade some tire noise
and even some mileage for off-road grip. Lots of people had good things to say about
the TrXuS tires from InterCo. When I finally saw them, I was sold. With only
half the tread-depth left on my Pirellis, I knew it
wasn't going to be pretty if I got caught in wet weather on the trail, so I decided it was
time to retire them. The Pirellis served me well,
and are a great all-around tire. I would definitely buy them again if I was going to
spend more time on pavement and less time on the trail.
I shopped all the brands
that offered 31 x 10.50 x 15 light truck, aggressive terrain tires. I still wanted
to have a good compromise between highway handling and off-road capability. After a
process of elimination, I settled on the InterCo TrXuS M/T Steel Belted Radial 31 x
10.50 x 15.
B / RWL
They are about 31 inches
high. This is over an inch taller than the Pirellis
that I had. This should give more ground clearance but I have not yet measured the
difference. The wheel and tire to the right are stuffed into the wheel-well with the
front swar bar disconnected. The tire fits fine with just a shade of rubbing on the
control arms when turned all the way to either direction. (Old Man EMU 2.5"
I wanted to adjust the
steering stops but they are tack-welded...? Upon closer examination it turns out
that the nut that sets the depth of the steering stop bolt is tacked on to the bolt but
the bolt still unscrews from the steering assembly. I added three washers to it and
re-installed it using some blue thread locker just for peace of mind. They no longer
rub the lower control arms but I might have put too many washers - will watch it for a
while and see if it rubs when disconnected.
The speedometer is reading a
little lower by about 2 m.p.h. I couldn't wait to compare tire performance off
pavement so I went to my little proving
ground near my house and tried a hole that I got stuck in with my GS/A's, and again
about a week or so ago with my Pirellis. The hole
had water in it this time instead of just mud like last week. I crawled in and out
on my way up the trail, and again on the way out. No problems and done without any
running start. Last week I had to blast through it with my 1/2 tread-depth Pirellis.
I think it's safe to say
these new tires are giving me better off-road performance right from the get-go. I'm
still happy with the performance of the Jeep though fifth gear feels a little taller than
it used to. I don't think there is any need to do anything with gears etc.
On the highway, they are a
little less firm than the Pirellis. Handling is a
little less precise but that is to be expected - these are trail tires that work well on
the road, unlike the Pirellis that were road tires that work well on the trail.
It takes a little longer to stop but there is no skidding or squirrelly
behavior. They're just a heavy tire and it takes longer to spin them down. I
noticed some noise when starting and stopping but nothing unbearable. At regular
highway speeds with the soft-top on, the air conditioning running, and the roof rack
contributing, the noise of the tires is barely noticeable compared to the Pirellis which
were marginally quieter when new and about as noisy when I removed them to install these
These are very aggressive
looking. There is no mistaking what these tires are about. They did not just
get rotated off of someone's Caddy. These tires are made to stomp terrain, and you
can tell just by looking at them. The lugs are huge and the gaps between them like
canyons. My first outing with them was on muddy terrain and they self-cleaned in
true Swamper tradition. The sidewalls are black letters on both sides
but one side has deeper lettering than the other - I put that side out. They
balanced up well, with only one tire taking a lot of weight and having a very slight
run-out. It is starting out on the spare and will rotate in to a rear axle position.
Maybe after some wear it will get better? They should last about 30,000
The funny thing is that I
asked my wife what she thought of the ride and she said that she liked it better because
it seemed softer to her. HAHAHA! There you go! Tell her that it will
make the Jeep ride better...
Tomken Spare Tire Relocator TMH-0102-ST
4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!
Along the way, I figured I
would be getting a larger tire than the ones I have and knew that I would have to address
the spare tire storage issue. While I now think it inevitable that I will end up
with a beefy front and rear bumper, I am still not sure I want a huge tire rack back
there. For now, I managed to snag a used adapter on eBay that partially solves the
problem of larger tires on the stock spare mount. With it installed, the 31"
tires are too narrow to touch the snubbers on the rear door. There is a 2.5"
gap there. So I cut some spacers out and bolted them between the snubbers and the
rear door using new phillips-head 6mm-1 x 80mm stainless steel bolts that I ordered from boltdepot.com. This provides the
needed support for the tire. (Note: It was a pain to locate the Torx Head (T30),
6mm-1 80mm long bolts that need to reattach the snubbers to the rear door. I sure
wish the U.S.A. would quit dragging feet with the metric thing... I went to Home
Depot, Lowes, Track Auto, Pep Boys etc. Some of them had 6mm bolts but the longest I
could find was 50mm (about 2 inches - I need almost 3 inches) If you were installing
12.5 inch-wide tires this would not be an issue...)
I bought some stainless
steel nylock bolts to attach the spare tire adapter to the stock tire carrier (also from boltdepot.com), and used some
stainless steel split washers for good measure. These bolted on without any trouble.
These photos show the gap between the
snubber and the tire before and after it was fixed. I got 5 6mm-1 x 80mm, Metric
machine screws, Stainless steel 18-8, Phillips pan head, from BoltDepot.com that allowed me to reattach the snubbers with 2.5 inch
spacer blocks behind them. I really think the tire needs that support to keep from
vibrating itself off the rear door.
These shots (before and
after snubber extensions) show that the rear air chuck was going to be the limiting factor
with mounting the spare without using the Tomken adapter. Even
though many people argue that I should have mounted the chuck to one side or the other
away from the spare, I like it here as it is protected and it is not in the way of using
the bumper as a step - something I do quite often.
Third Brake Light
It is also clear from this shot that the
3rd brake light will need to be raised so Honda drivers can see it... I corrected
this by going to Home Depot and buying four 5/16-18 x 3" stainless steel carriage
bolts, 16 stainless steel washers to fit the bolt, 5/16" lock washers (four used),
and four 5/16" stainless steel cap nuts.
The only reason I used the
carriage bolts is because I needed thread all the way up the bolt and there were no full
threaded hex-head bolts in stock. I removed the stock bolts. I threaded one
nut onto each carriage bolt and tightened it against the head. Then I threaded the
assembled carriage bolt into the hole, from the bottom, with a washer between the nut/bolt
and the mount. Next, I threaded a nut onto the bolt just down several
I temporarily placed two washers and a lock washer on the bolt above the
nut, and adjusted the height of the nut until the cap nut threaded all the way on without
going any further. In the image right, you can see the adjusted height of the third
brake light and the spacers put in for the spare to compensate for the adapter. Note
that the longer bolts are not easily visible even from the side.
The cap nuts do not have a hole in them so they cover the bolt end for a
finished appearance. Here you can see through the gap in the spare tire.
The cap nut is near the center of the shot. Below and to the right you can see most
of the stainless-steel nylock nut used to hold the spare tire adapter bracket to the
Cleaning and Black bolt covers
Cleaning and Black Bolt Covers
In order to have it go on
just far enough, this step was needed. Then I removed one washer and the lock nut,
leaving one washer and being careful not to disturb the adjusted nut on each
I removed the third brake
light wire from the clips in the housing to give me some slack.
Then I placed the third brake light
assembly onto the four bolts, placed a washer, lock nut, and finally cap nut onto each
bolt. (shown without black plastic bolt covers, cut to size after test fitting)
Using a spanner to hold the nut from below, I tightened the cap
nuts. I cut some black tubing to length to cover the exposed threads of the
bolt. Honda drivers can once again see my third brake light, now raised about 1.5
inches above my spare.
4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!
15 Months and over 30,000 miles after installing the TrXuS
tires, I felt it was time to get new tires. I passed on the ones I removed with
about 3 or 4/32nds of tread left (see above). I took advantage of a deal I could not
refuse and bought another set just like the ones I had before. I have driven these
tires under just about every on and off-road condition imaginable and was greatly
impressed. These tires are sticky, grippy, and conform to terrain when aired
down. They are tough and stand up to hazards. I have nothing but good things
to say about these tires.
I rotated them about 8 times during the life of the
tire. I did this whenever I started to develop an out-of-balance condition, usually
as a result of losing a wheel weight while wheeling. In each case, the tires
balanced perfectly and continued to wear evenly in the new position. When removed,
all tires were worn about the same amount, and none had any chunking, cuts, or other
Consider this an endorsement. If you want to have
a tire that serves both on and off pavement with a daily driver, you can't go wrong with
this tire. Read my trail reports starting when I installed these tires in July of 2002 and you will often see
comments about the tires and how they greatly improved my vehicle handling and
performance. OK, Interco, send me some tires for free! No, seriously, I am
saying this without receiving anything from the manufacturer.
One year almost to the day. I didn't rotate the tires
and the front ones wore out in the middle with every other lug a bit more worn than its
neighbor. The rear tires are about 1/2 used so I put my unused spare on and got
Carl's unused spare and another nearly new tire. I put the used one on the spare and
the new spares mounted up front.
I ordered two more tires from 4WD Parts and went over to
Merchants to have them installed. They put them on and balanced them for me.
Miles at the time of installation was about 142K.
These tires ROCK!
I neglected to rotate the tires as
faithfully as before and was penalized with a fair amount less mileage.
I ordered the tires from National Tire
Warehouse in Wheeling, WV, drove up there and picked them and up then
across town to a Merchant's tire where I had them mounted and balanced.
Good tires! I kept the old spare and just bought four tires.
This time I managed to keep the tires
rotated and got the usual mileage out of them - about 30K Miles. I
swapped them off at 187500 miles. Somewhere along the
way I got a puncture and plugged it with a repair kit. That tire
is my spare (brilliant) and four new tires from NTW in Wheeling, WV are now
mounted courtesy of National Tire and Battery (a division of
Merchant's). Well not courtesy, they took my money...
having too much fun today and put a piece of a fallen tree through
my right-front tire.
Great mileage on that one - about 1500
miles before ruining it completely... But it was my bad.
That spare that I had with the plug? I ended up using it for five
days without any problems. The replacement tire came from
Wheeling, WV in that time and I mounted it on the vehicle. Time
for a retry!
I had not driven the Jeep as much as I did
on the last set of tires. Between driving the Cherokee and
Commander, and then the Crossfire, not to mention a fair amount of
business travel keeping me close to home on the weekend, the tires
lasted a lot longer. Indeed, they still had half the tread left.
I had problems in January with the charging system and that kept it down
until the end of May. I decided to take the Jeep to have the tires
rotated and to have three of the beads cleaned because of slow leaks.
I left the vehicle to be serviced and went to have lunch. When I
returned the vehicle was sitting unfinished and the technician
approached me to describe a problem. The tires, it seemed, were
leaking because there were separation cracks where the wire bead that is
embedded in the center of the tire had separated from the rubber and
left a rather large gap that penetrated one half of the tire thickness!
There was no way the tires could be used safely. So I left the
vehicle at the tire shop and ordered a new set of tires.
The following week, when the tires had
arrived and been installed, the tire shop called back and told me the
Jeep was ready. The timing could not be better - it was coming up
on Memorial Day weekend, and I had tentative
plans to go to George
Washington National Forest with some old friends. I can't imagine
what a disaster would have awaited me if I had not found the problem
with the tires and had gone wheeling. So I was pleased with the
outcome, and very grateful for the stroke of good luck and deciding to
have the tires serviced.
Interco TrXus Mud Terrain
4X4 ICON 2000 - 2008 The DVD!
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