Yesterday, I had a visit by a local mechanic who stopped by to ask if I could pull his son's Chevy Silverado out of a, "Muddy wash" not very far away. I agreed, hoping to get some additional mud time with my nearly 2 yr. old set of KM2s.
Here's a summary of what happened: 2WD Chevy Silverado takes a 'short cut' to avoid traffic. The go-around involved 3' water with a muddy bottom. 2WD Chevy got hopelessly stuck in mud, intake filled with water. Completely dead in the water. With a series of tugs, the Chevy was freed after roughly 40 minutes of work.
The Chevy had been in 3' of water for 2 days, and with a strong rain storm forecast for tonight, time was of the essence to pull this Chevy free of any additional water it might take on.
My KM2s unfortunately haven't seen very much exposure to mud. The lugs mostly get their use on pavement and the occasional desert trail. When they touched this sticky mud and loose dirt, they immediately packed in the sticky stuff. But, underneath the mud was a layer of dry dirt! Spinning, pulling and tugging at the Silverado revealed the true benefit of the "vibrations" - the bane of Jeep drivers who travel mostly on pavement, and must feel the "lug-thump" that transmits vibrations through the steering wheel and floorboards of their Jeeps. Today, these vibrations were lugs hunting for traction as the 5,000 pound anchor behind me was slowly pulled out of the murky pond - one tug after the other.
Without using my lockers - just the benefit of recently installed 4.88s, my Rubicon's standard 4:1 low-range transfer case gearing, and the low-end torque produced by my 4.0l, these KM2s really proved themselves. Here are a few photos to show what was involved in this mud test.
With no easy location to connect with the Chevy truck, I could only back in, and get as close to the mud pond as possible. The Dodge Ram in the background is a lifted 2WD on All-Terrain tires with a transmission that slips. Not much help.
Although a Harbor Freight tow rope and a metal chain were available for use, I volunteered my trusty Teraflex yank strap. Victor was brave enough to walk out to the cold water to pass it and a tow shackle to the unfortunate driver.
Victor tossed out the truck end of the yank strap without getting wet.
My 35" KM2s did pack in the mud, but there was plenty of traction available without using the air lockers.
After a series of tugs, the tires really packed in the mud, but they dug deep ruts from the traction they were still able to pull.