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General Articles - Projects

Product Testing Update

Article written by Adventure Bob

Date Added: 10/07/2006

The semi-annual review of test products on the Turtle.

Every 6 months we review the products we have in long term test to let you know how they're holding up under fire.

The Nth° Tummy Tucker has been a phenominal product. Installing this flat skid pan was easy and gives an additional 3 inches of clearance over a stocker. The Turtle has a 2 inch body lift, so installing the Tummy Tucker flattened out the bottom. Everything now hangs neatly between or above the frame rails. The ultimate impact of this mod is gained clearance and breakover angle. Sporting 33s, the Turtle has a measurable breakover closer to that of a Jeep on 35s. I have abused this product hard over the last 2 years, and I have yet to dent it. It has some scratches that go through the powder coat, but none have left more than a scuff on the Tummy Tucker. I have had some issue with the allen head bolts backing out, but a slathering of locktight seems to have corrected the problem. I'd buy this product again. It's well made and has performed flawlessly.

Superiors Super 30/35 Kit with ARB lockers front and back. Anyone who's followed our exploits knows I've had some issues with this test. One of the things I don?t do well is ring & pinion installations, so we let Four Wheel Parts handle this one. First let me say that 4WP and ARB have been admirable in their efforts to make me a satisfied customer. There is a crucial step in the ARB instructions for the S35 installation that has to be done: notching oil relief journals into the inner ends of the axle tubes. The installer failed to perform this crucial step, and it caused pinion bearing oil starvation. When the pinion seized, both it and the ring gear were destroyed. 4WP covered the labor and the new R&P; ARB replaced the carrier under warranty. About 6 months later, I snapped the front ARB in half. The autopsy showed no preload on the carrier bearings. I took the Jeep to Moab Offroad in Kentucky on the recommendation of ARB and they re-built my front end. While this upgrade is well worth the cost, buyer beware and armed when choosing who you let do the work. Aside from the installation issues, this has been a trouble free product. It has performed excellently for 3 years. I beat the snot out of the Turtle and have yet to break these axles or lockers even running 35s in Moab.

When I bought the Turtle, she had a rear Tomken rack and bumper installed. A flip in Moab totaled the rack but the bumper survived unscathed. Based on that survival, I added a newer, but same style, Tomken front bumper. I have mixed results with the bumpers. The rear seems indestructible; I have bashed it on everything imaginable (and at some decent speeds). The front, on the other hand, is doing just OK. I managed to dent the front on the face when I made contact with a tree. That's not the performance I was expecting. The front does pretty well and provides an excellent pulling surface, but it doesn?t appear to be as well built as the older rear bumper. After denting the front, I would think about other brands before buying a newer style bumper from Tomken.

I love my Tuffy Center Console! It?s a very secure way to keep some of my valuable stuff in the Turtle. It makes a Jeep a more realistic daily driver in my opinion. Who wants to drive a vehicle that you have to empty every time you park it for fear of everything of value getting stolen? Tuffy has put an end to this. Definitely order this thing with the arm rest and cup holder options. It really adds to the functionality. I would buy this console again.

Final Thoughts

We test products to ensure you can make informed decisions. We try to show you that when they are installed as the manufacturer says, they perform as expected, and the companies support their products.

The Turtles current test products are performing well. While long term testing has shown an issue with the Tomken Bumper, the other products have been well worth their price.

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