Friday, June 4, 2010

Meet the Pack Mule

Remember all that time ago when I said, hold me to that? You may not, actually. I don’t blame you really, it was a long time ago at this point. Anyway, refresher: I was upset with the abilities of the new Tacoma in off-road situations, specifically the technical-sounding, not-as-useful solution to faux-lock the front axle ATRAC system (among other off-road shortcomings of the new models). I said I’d go & get a 1st gen Tacoma & set it up right, hold me to it.

So, uh, yeah. Let me introduce the “Pack Mule.” I know it’s not a sexy name, most guys name their rides after girls. Always fat-sounding girls too, I don’t get that at all. Bertha? Bessie? Really? Eh. I considered naming it Marisa (after Marisa Miller, my favorite not-my-wife woman ever in the history of the world). But the thing is, it’s not a pretty ride. It’s a utilitarian vehicle. It’s specifically for getting us in & out of any situation or place we want to get ourselves into. It’s not Marissa-pretty. It’s Pack Mule efficient. So I figured since that’s what it basically is to us, so shall that be it’s name. You know, like an American Indian name. “Fast as bull.” “Quick like deer.” “Ugly as bison ass.” “Pack Mule.

I hope no one placed bets against this happening. Ladies & gents, if I say it shall be so, then clearly, it shall be so.

So Pack Mule was bought as just a regular 4wd 4-door. I put the lift on it, tires & new rims to hold the larger tires. Then locked it, front & rear. I also have put on some “Rock Wings” that run along the sides under the cab, to protect these extremely sensitive areas from damage incurred by — well, rocks of course, but also trees or anything else.

As it stands now I am not sure I could actually get myself stuck! The thing’s damned near unstoppable. However, I’m not quite done with the mods. I do plan on placing an armor-type front bumper on it as well as a rear, and additionally a winch. I figure no I have not been stuck yet, but what happens when/if that does happen, thousands of miles from civilization or even, hell, phone reception? Better have a plan, like one that starts with “W” and ends with “inch.”

Anyway, thar she blows. Hopefully I’ll have some adventure pics eventually. When I remember to take a camera with me. Been bad about that lately.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BP. Just, Wow. Wow.

Are we over it yet? I mean, really. Does “Electric vehicles” really sound all that bad now? If this had to happen, I’m glad it happened in the southern states, all the ones who supported the whole “drill baby, drill” schlep. How sad.
Take a look at these pics. Just birds mind you, but can you imagine? What’s it spewing out, 3-5,000k barrels a day of this stuff? This is what happens with corporations, this is what happens when you put profit – a $number in front of the ‘human’ & environmental components – you sully everything around you including your name & your very reason for existence.
I hope British Petroleum burns in oily hell. And I hope all that support “drill baby, drill” above “let’s innovate our way out of oil dependency” get to join them. What’s so bad about being labeled Green? Sure seems to trump being covered in reddish-brown death.

Monday, February 1, 2010

So Long, A-TRAC, and thanks for all the fish. Wait, what?

I have come to the conclusion that technology’s solutions to problems typically fail in comparison to an actual solution to the problem. I rail against things most of the time, yes I admit it. Hey look, going on and on and on about how pretty the flowers are and how lovely the bacon was this morning doesn’t make them any better or worse, and f*ck, it’s boring OK? I complain. That’s what blogs are for. It’s an acronym that stands for Boy i Like cOmplaining, Golly! Really. Look it up.
So what are we railing against today? Active Traction Control. Toyota instituted it in their newer Tacoma models, and they tout it in videos and stuff as the next best thing to sliced cheese. It’s better than anything else ever. It makes an off-road vehicle much much better than all these silly simpler, less technical solutions ever could, like a locker or good tires or something. But it’s not the truth, it’s marketing. It’s $100 worth of technical cost that they can tell you is too complicated for you to understand anyway, but trust us it totally jacks up the price $2,500 and it’s worth it. As if.
What they don’t tell you is the truth: while it’s better than nothing, it’s worse than an actual solution. It stinks. It’s twice the cost and half the effectiveness of the simpler, less technical solutions.
I had the time to try it out in all it’s glory last weekend. I’ve had it engage before from time to time off-roading, but never had I felt that I was in a situation that required it. But no sooner than I find myself in that situation, it fails. Coincidence? We had gone up to the mountains to play in the snow, and doggone it, if there wasn’t snow. White, wet, icy, traction-challenged snow. Lots of it. Of course 4-wheel drive became a must, hell they had signs posted “chains required, NO EXCEPTIONS” even, but I’m lazy and a figured I have decent tires, and a well-equipped Toyota 4x4; it has ATRAC after all!
We made it to our destination without any fuss. No problems to report. But again, I wasn’t relying on the traction control anyway, I was relying on good tires & prudent, awesome driving skills (“mad skillz,” as the kids say). We eventually landed at a makeshift parking lot filled with people who recognized that continuing along a road with 4’ of snow over it was probably not going to happen, and everyone was skiing, sledding, hiking, and had at least 1.5 dogs with them (we brought 3). It was fun.
As we were getting ready to leave, we saw some big, lifted, new Chevy’s try to arrive. I want to emphasize try here, OK? All the trucks that had arrived at this spot were either a) older models with good tires, b) small trucks, c) AWD cars, d) Toyotas, or e) some logical combination of the above. What we saw out of this big poser truck was some crazy slippage that was not under control. And I chided to The Girl, so much for spending $40K on the truck & $10K on the lift and tires, there’s no fix for quality components & lighter weight.” As we exited down the road a bit later, a turn or two away just in case so we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves, I hit the gas hard to see if even trying, I could get slippage like that poser Chevy was having trouble with.
Eventually, we came to rest against a snowbank.
It’s not quite like it sounds. We actually didn’t get the truck to slip the tires and lose control with the gas, it was just that since it didn’t slip, we gained all that energy as forward motion and momentum, which sort of f*cked us coming downhill into that turn we were headed to.
So the thing was, 2-½ wheels were firmly planted on the pavement at first. I locked the rear and managed to get THREE whole wheels on the pavement; all but the passenger front were on solid ground. That passenger front though, was on the shoulder, slightly lower and snow-covered. And ATRAC failed me.
It’s supposed to brake the wheel that’s spinning and divert torque to the other side, so in my case it would brake the passenger front so that the driver front would turn — the one that was on the pavement — and pull me out. However, it uses the ABS system to function and relies on braking power to perform. So, when the brakes get hot, the whole system stops functioning at all. I was stuck like this, with three tires having as firm a grip on snow-covered pavement as they could, and the wheel that would get me out of the mess, my driver front, wouldn’t turn because ATRAC wouldn’t let it. Because it was an overly-technical solution to a simple problem: how do you get the tires with grip to turn?
The simple answer is that you lock the differential, so that no matter what, when you hit the gas, both wheels turn at the same speed. It’s simple, but here’s the thing: it’s f*cking failproof. It works. It doesn’t need all this technical mumbo-jumbo, it doesn’t have a million links in its system that could cause failure, the differential simply turns both because it mechanically has to.
The complicated answer, is you apply a computer that has no eyes or ears to be in charge of determining when what tire should be turning or being braked, in order to do what YOU want it to do, regardless that you have no way to communicate with it what your needs & intentions are. This computer will rely on sensors to tell it which tire is spinning and then brake the wheel for a set amount of time to get the other wheel spinning. It of course will have to let go because you can’t go forward too far with a non-turning wheel, and it has to let it go so it can again gauge to see if the wheel is indeed still slipping or not, which if it is, then oh well, you just lost traction again for a second while it tried to figure that out.
What it amounts to is the computer generational equivalent of a Rube Goldberg contraption: a big, convoluted, messy, jumbled, confusing, failure-inducing contraption that solves in 20 forehead-slapping steps what a simple stick could do in one. And I’m through with it.
Simple is better. A locker is better. Good tires are better. I’m through with the hype. I’m going to find me a 1st generation Tacoma, and make it simple and great. Hold me to that.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hey! Earthquake!

So, I said I’d be back here & again to post updates when big stuff happened. Does a 6.5 earthquake count? It does? Good.

Just over a week ago we were rocked by that 6.5 earthquake I mentioned not two seconds ago. I was at work, with two hours left to go, and suddenly the world shook. I’ve seen the security tape, and all I have to say is, it’s amazing the amount of thoughts you can have in such a short amount of time, because in reality the “major” shaking lasted a whopping 5 seconds at best. And anyway I lied; I have more to say than just that.

First thing I thought of? “Why didn’t I get that earthquake insurance on the house. it was offered to us as the house was turned over to us, and we turned it down. At the time we figured the house had already stood strongly for 70 years and survived some big quakes, it seemed like money wasted. But during the shaking, that was suddenly a bad idea. Turns out though, that there’s a good reason we didn’t get it: deductibles of $40-50K. Yeah. You pay the monthly premium, and then you get to pay out-of-pocket $50K before they pitch in. Quite the deal, right?

It makes you realize the fragility of our “modern” society, though. One quick disaster, and everything about us halts. No power? Then no commerce. No gas at the station. Food in the supermarkets & your fridge go bad, and if you don’t have your own self-sustaining supply (read: garden, animals for harvest) then you’re going to be hungry until it’s restored. I could write a whole book on the absurdity of our “modern” existence, about how we’re so disconnected from all that sustains us that it’s not even funny, and that in reality a large percentage of the population is dependent upon technologies they don’t understand to give them things that are so simple they should be doing it themselves, and that one disaster later (a BIG disaster) their very lives are in danger.

Instead, I will just say that I realized that we had been being frugal to a fault. Now, I have no plans to spend more money, but as everyone was freaking out about the possibility of a tsunami coming next, and as I told The Girl to take my truck, load the dogs, and just be prepared to drive “up,” I was thinking about how much gas I had in the tank: less than a quarter-tank. Her truck that she left with me? Less than a quarter tank. Because all these ages ago, we decided to just fill up with the amount of gas we’re actually going to use in our monthly budget. Doesn’t make sense, I argued at the time, to put in $60 of gas near the end of the month if I only plan to do $10 of driving. Because then I’ve killed my budget by $50, and what’s more, now I feel as though I have free gas to burn.

I still plan on doing half-tank driving, but it dawned on me that perhaps the other half-tank is the one to be using; from now on, we’ll be driving on the top-half of the tank, filling up when it gets do half, so there’s always a reserve. 

You know, in case of emergencies. Like 6.5 quakes and possible tsunamis.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's resolution: F*ck the internet

It’s not that I don’t like it. It’s not that I don’t plan to use it still. Hey, a guy needs his porn. Anyway, for me it’s just that I don’t feel like I’m getting my time out of it. 

The internet & Football are the same in that they invariably just suck you in; there you are, on the precipice of doing something wholly productive, and the next thing you know you’re 3 hours into the future and haven’t done a damned thing. And that sucks.

I like to write. But it feels like I have an obligation to it or something when I make myself concerned for the internet. Who cares? My site gets this much traffic a day: 2-7 visits. Wow. And I’m not selling anything. I don’t have anything on the line. And I’m not going to gain in popularity. One common thread I notice among “popular” websites & blogs especially, is that they all focus solely on one, single, solitary thing. I can’t do that. I mean, hey guys & gals, I like my porn, right? I can’t blog about nothing but porn. I’m a ‘jack of all trades’ personality, even in writing.

So my New Year’s resolution is to be less involved in the internet. I may put up a post or two, if I have nothing else to do, my legs are broken, and I’m sick. But otherwise, I think that this time — for real though — I am pretty much saying bon voyage to the dear ol’ internet. You wanna know what the Bob is up to? Gimme a call man. Or Babe (if you’re hot).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lift question answered: The decider has decided

So the answer is thus: a 2001-2004 Tacoma 4-door, lifted 6 inches.

Wow, not what you were expecting, right? What went wrong? WTF, right? Let me explain how we arrived here:

We got out of the 4Runner because as it stood, it was barely big enough for us all, what with 2 full-sized people, a 70lb Labrador, and a 35lb mutt. Then it happened that we found 2 labrador puppies — brothers no less! — wondering the street, pretty much holding up a “pweez adopt us mr. Bob” sign, right? Well these two pups grow up to be 90lbs each. Where the 4Runner could barely stand 110lbs of dog, it was straining under the weight of 300lbs of dog. 

Not only that, but we go out and the dogs get wet. The 4Runner was starting to stank a little, with all that carpet & insulation holding the water in and gettin’ all musty on us; we needed to give them their own compartment, that was bigger, and could be hosed down. A 4-door Tacoma seemed like a good choice.

So then why didn’t we get an older one to begin with? Well, here’s the real story then, huh? Because The Girl didn’t like the way they looked. No, in a way I’m dead serious. I actually prefer the old ones to the new ones, but they were still pricey two years ago. I didn’t want to buy anything pre-2002, and the difference in cost between a used Tacoma & a brand-new one was literally pennies on the dollar. It didn’t make cents (har har) to spend the dough on a truck with ‘questionable’ mileage when we could get a newbie and break it in ourselves for just a few grand more. And since The Girl preferred the new ones, there was little argument against the idea. And it seemed that a lot of people were talking up the new ones, they DID have bigger motors, some new-fangled off-road options that sounded really cool, and hell I hear that the 2010 models actually give you head on road trips (I lie).

So. I had no plans to lift the truck, I was familiar with my old 4Runner, and obviously since the new model wore the same size shoes and was better, I’d have no issues, right? Well recently I got curious: was it really better? I had decided some time ago that indeed, I DID want to lift the truck and get us some better obstacle clearance. But why in the new truck but not in the old 4Runner? I began to look at the issue. Old Tacomas — built on the 4Runner frame and pretty damned identical — seemed to have me on the ground clearance front quite easily, and I am running 1.5” taller tires than stock to begin with. At least, that’s how it seemed. And then instead of observing, I decided to test. I carried around measuring tools, and when I’d find a Tacoma 4-door that was bone-stock, I’d measure. Sure enough, by as much as 2 inches, they had me. And keep in mind, I’ve got ¾” of extra ground clearance because of the larger tires! 

So. All this talk of 3” or 6” lifts on the 2nd gen Tacomas, right? Which way to go? Well it turns out a 3” lift on a 2nd gen is damned near the ground clearance equivalent of the 1st gen BONE STOCK. I’d have to go 6” to even compete with the ground clearance of the 1st gens. And you know what? That’d only gain me about ½” over a 1st gen with a 3” lift!

So then the mice are turning full-speed ahead here. I don’t want to pour money into the wrong thing. And I start fondly recalling my 4Runner. I miss it. It was not as powerful as the new truck, but it was more nimble, lighter, and taller apparently. I felt like I could go places in it on worse tires than I can in the new one with better tread. And maybe that’s really true after all. It’s lighter by a few hundred pounds at least, taller, and more handsomer — trust me being handsome helps off-road, any expert can corroborate.

I didn’t want to just take my own word on the matter of which would be better, so I decided to post the question online. Turns out that it’s not a question many have bothered to ask. And not just that, but the measurements that matter, no one had taken them. I posed the question to the internets, and was met with “dude totally get a 1978 toyota solid-axle, it’s the bomb ha ha” and “ the new ones are the best lol I got one and lifted it 3” and I can do anything that anyone else can do lol dude.”

Turns out, the internet is full of stupid people who like to congratulate themselves, and possibly can’t read. No point trying to get advice from the looney bin I decide, I will go and ask some people that actually do the sh!t, insteasd of just taking poser pictures of their trucks next to a construction site rock pile: the local off-road shop.

The conversation starts out confusing enough: “I have a 2009 Tacoma double cab —” 

“good truck.” 

“— thanks. Anyway, I want to build a moderate expedition rig, I need something with a good amount of space so I have confined my choices to what I have, and the 1st gen 4-door model. Which is a better starting point for that?”

“If I were building out a Tacoma for an off-road rig, I’d go with the 1st gen, no doubt.”

“I thought you said my truck was… never mind

We talked about it some, and it came to pass that we understood that the new trucks are good for some things, but when you start doing any moderate modding, their weaknesses shine through. Good on-road multi-purpose trucks if you don’t plan on doing anything to them, but if you want to get equipped, best to start with a different base: it’s predecessor.

Which is pretty much the conclusion I had come to. I just needed someone with knowledge to verify that fact for me, assure me that I was on the right path.

That path now consists of selling the Tundra (eventually), letting The Girl inherit the newer, fresher vehicle, and equipping myself with all the tool I need to conquer all terrains with family in tow: a 1st gen Tacoma double cab TRD.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Movie: Duplicity

Duplicity is a movie that lives up to its name, I guess. I both liked portions of it, and quite disliked other aspects of the film. A lot of today’s flicks are very devoid of any sort of compelling or interesting storytelling. Not that the overall ideas are bad, it’s just that they’re connected in practice very awfully, making logical jumps that are less than the name implies, being illogical at best and mind-numbingly insulting at worst. 

It didn’t suffer that fate, the story starts out interesting, and does something that I haven’t seen done well in a long while: build & maintain suspense. I was suspensed. Is that a word? Is now. Suspensed.

OK so what was wrong with the movie? Two things. First and most glaringly, they cast Julia Roberts as the sexy, smart, sassy leading woman. And look, I got nothing against the Pretty Woman, but let’s be real here: that was 20 years ago and she was already into her prime at that point, OK? It really was this elephant in the room the whole movie, me & The Girl looking at the screen, watching Clive Owen stare longingly into her eyes like she was Marissa Miller in a Fruit Roll-Up bikini or something, then WE look at each other, checking the screen again to make sure it wasn’t a joke, and then simultaneously saying “eewwwww…”

Because she looked like a grandma. She looked, actually, like a pregnant grandma, at about 4 months in. Clive Owen’s a handsome middle-aged man, and they’ve got him totally doe-eyed over some chubby geriatric, and honestly? It’s kind of gross. Bothered us the whole way through the film, and made me dread ever getting as old as Julia Roberts. 

I know you don’t believe me, right? I mean she was PRETTY WOMAN FOR CRIST’S SAKE, MAN! WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING YOUNG ‘BOB?!?!?! Well to that I say, watch the film for yourself. You too will throw up a little in your mouth at the sight, and owe me $20. That’s right, I just placed that bet.

Second ‘problem’ I had with the film was the lack of ending. Sort of. They DO conclude it rather well, it’s not a bad ending per se, it’s just that it almost posed more questions that it answered, and I am not one to like being left in suspense; I like conclusions that answer all my questions. I don’t want to give it away to anyone that hasn’t seen it yet (remember the bet!), so I won’t go into detail. I will only say that they answer a question that is formed in your mind 5 minutes before the film ends, then they ask another question shortly afterwards, that gets you thinking “yeah, what about that?” and then they don’t even bother acknowledging said question was asked. They just roll credits.

Would I recommend the movie? Depends. How good is your eyesight? How big is the TV? Is it HD? Because I think there’s a scale here. If your’e eyesight’s good and it’s on a big HDTV, then maybe you should avoid it, and the recommendation actually grows in inverse quantities to the quality of the image, in this regard. As far as story, if you can hold your thumb up and cover up Julia when she’s on screen, then the story’s a winner almost until the credits roll, and yeah I’d recommend it with no further qualifications (other than the thumb thing).

Of course then again, there is that bet; perhaps I should be recommending it no matter what. $20 bills in DROVES, I tell you. Just email them to me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Afghanistan game plan: Shhhh, don't tell 'em

The problem with today’s war plans is that we tend to think that the opponents don’t have TV or something. Stupid. It’s not even really TV that’s the problem, it’s the idea that we can TELL EVERYONE what our plans are, and yet expect the opponents in battle to act as though they have no idea what we’re about to do.

Because winning at anything in life against someone else requires more than just the talents of the trade; you have to outwit your opponent as well. This is why in basketball the ‘pump fake’ is a weapon of choice, and why in football the ‘juke’ is effective — you’re not just beating your adversaries with the mechanics of the game, you’re f*cking with their minds to give yourself the advantage. War is the same. D-Day, anyone?

The whole concept of D-day was misdirection. The allies didn’t just send a memo to the Axis powers, saying “hey, 3 o’clock, behind the monkey bars. Be there,” and then everyone and their aunt showed up for a huge brawl. Quite the opposite, right? They sent out metric f*ck-tons of misinformation, that they were going to attack their battleship, that the french were coming, that the dog ate their homework, whatever they had to send to convince Germany that NO SUCH ATTACK ON THEIR OWN BEACHHEAD WAS COMING. Really, what would have been the outcome of that battle had Germany known in advance?

I like Obama for the most part. I don’t agree with everything he says & does, but I know I definitely disagree with his detractors (birthers? Just another word for moron. Rush Limbaugh? Just another word for… yeah OK, moron). But here’s one of those things, you’re trying to please everyone, and by doing so you doom the mission. If you tell me “Hey ‘bob, I’m going to fight you on the playground at 3pm, for two minutes, and after the 1st minutes all my friends will go home, and then I’m going to turn my back on you, assume I won, and walk away,” then you know what I’ll do? Hide all MY friends around the corner until 3:01, take the beating for a minute or two, and then have you strung up and quartered, and send the pieces the feed village people. Sorry, capitalization was wrong, I meant Village People. Yeah, those guys. Tough finding work in this economy, man, I’m just looking out.

This is the same sort of mistake GWB made. It made sense when he did it, because he’s an actual moron, but to see someone with a legitimate education and an IQ to match?

Head-scratchingly dumb.

Some things, you do just need to keep secret.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Snarling dogs at 3 o'clock, wingman

3am, I am awake and running down the hall full-speed. Naked. What, you haven’t tried it? No I was not warming up for the naked olympics, I was rushing toward snarling dogs. 

Typing that out, I realize that maybe that’s the opposite of what a normal person would do; run towards snarling dogs with their ‘junk’ flopping around like a treat or something. Ahem. Anyway.

They were our dogs however, and around that time I was awakened simultaneously by their sudden pissy fit over each other and by The Girl’s screech that they were having a hissy fit over each other. So you see, no time to waste here, right? Naked’s the way to go. 

So yes, a little over a week later and there was another fight. It wasn’t very fruitful, there was a little blood from Chase’s ear, but other than that & a scrape by Hunter’s eye, nothing. I think I actually got the worst of it. I came in a-runnin’ and hit the carpet with my knees at damned near full-speed ahead. Been years but MAN! Rug burn still hurts like a bitch. Especially with both knees & an ankle joining in on the fun.

We’ve decided that we are just going to have to deal with this on a as-served basis. They get along fabulously 99% of the time. After I got to them and they stopped fighting, the first thing they did was to start licking each other’s wounds. Like, almost surprised that one another were hurt, you know? “how’d this happen, brother? You OK? I gotta take care of you!” if they were at each other’s throats constantly, didn’t get along, fought every time one of them did XYZ or the other did ABC, then we’d have a different take on the situation. But as it stands, they’re brothers, they get along wonderfully and play together and love each other, but just occasionally, they decide they are just too pissed at the other to let it slide.

This time? I think one got off the couch and the other took all of the space. The other came back, tried to crawl up onto the couch-bound one, and anger ensued. Normally they all share the couch without problems. Last night? Someone didn’t want butt in their face, I guess.

Can’t say as I blame them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lifting the Tacoma: going with… ?

So I think that for the most part, the 6” or 3” lift question has been answered, at least in one of two parts. These parts conflict, but I have answers to questions. I’ll explain.

In the initial installment, I posed the query of whether the 6” lift really *is* better. I had been browsing around tacomaworld forums for a while before I made my post and have continued to do so. However, I was much more a lurker than a poster. I was just sort of waiting to find the answer, for someone to post it it plain as day, that yes, this or that is better and here’s definitive proof. Problem was, MOST of the people on the site have 3” lifts, and MOST of the people on that site say a 3” lift is better for off-roading. Coincidence? Probably not. The question for me was, which was cause and what which effect? There was a lot of statements but not a lot of proof. Eventually I really began to question whether it was a case of buyer’s remorse, so-to-speak: everyone with 3” lifts say’s their ‘the tits’ because you’d hate to say you spend $2k and didn’t get what you really wanted, right? Same reason people still use Windows, too; hate to admit the other’s better and you’d been duped for so long.

Recently I saw an opening, and actually posed my questions. I stuck it to them, you could say, giving them my rationale for thinking that perhaps 3” is only half as good as 6” off-road. “If 3-inches is better off-road,” I said, “prove it.” I got a lot of statements, but no actual proof. The reasoning was invalid, and eventually people started to see what I was getting at, the logic behind the problem & the solutions. And then some 6” lifted guys chimed in as well. It seems then, that the question of a) is it really better, is solved: yes, 6” is really better off-road. There’s little doubt about that.

The other half of that debate now takes center stage: b) is it better for our needs? Included in our needs is budgetary concerns, of course. 6” may be/is now hence proven to be better off-road, but that doesn’t mean that it’s automatically better enough to warrant the cost. Example: My bicycle. Yes the Competitive XC Moutain Bikes are “better” bikes than the Hardrock model I actually bought. The thing was, for my needs, the competitive XC models don’t improve my biking experience enough to warrant the extra $2,300 in cost to get into— 3x the price of the bike I actually purchased — and nowhere near the amount better to justify the $8,800 MSRP for the top-tier model. Just no way.

The truck lift is like that. 6” is definitely better than 3” off-road. But for ME, for OUR needs & use, is it enough better to justify an additional $1,500-$2,000 in cost?

I’m just thinking out loud here. More to come.