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DuraTrac sidewall fail and bent recovery hook

PHXPHOTOG

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So....you have heard the Duratracs have weak sidewalls....I didn't know that. I got 400 miles out of one of mine. New Trail Boss with 400 miles on it. Off road on easy trail outside of Sedona, AZ. There was some rocks but no big deal, it was not a rock garden. Right front went down so fast I thougt I broke a bead. Bam and it was down with both beads off the rim. I didn't find out until later when I put air to it there was a clean 3/4" slice in the middle of the sidewall. So clean it looked like a knife cut it. No rock scuff marks or tearing. You could not see it at all until it was pressurised. I never even saw what did it on the trail. Trail was so easy I had not even aired down yet.

At the time I did not know GoodYear Duratracs have a notoriously weak sidewall. I know that now. I thought it was just a freak cut. I have been 4wheeling all my life, stuff happens. So I replaced the Duratrac and I replaced the factory temporary spare with a matching Duratrack. If you replace your street tread, non matching temporary spare you have to buy a new wheel too. The factory spare is on a 17" wheel not an 18". Replacing the spare is important to me. I am in the desert and backcountry a lot. I like to get home when I want to. I also don't want to tear up a differential or other parts with a mismatch.

Back to the trail, with a flat tire. No big deal. I put my high lift jack under the right front red recovery hook. I was not about to mess with the factory bottle jack with the sun getting low and an off road retreat to be made on the temporary spare. This is what Hi-Lifts are for. Bam, bam, bam, up it went. Tire changed, no problem. The surprise came when I let it down. The red recovery hook now has a perfect curve in it. The top edge now sits over 1.5 inches higher than it used to. The 3/4" solid steel did not survive the upward force very well. In fairness to Chevy, yes I know the hooks are designed for horizontal stress. But I wanted to tell you guys they will not survive the weight of the truck even though they are the only reasonable stress point for a Hi-Lift Jack. The replacement hook is $110.00, I am leaving it bent because if I need to do it again I will.

The only good news about Duratracs is they have good grip, if air is still in them. I have been in sand, gravel, and smooth rock. They grip. In my opinion I have settled on 20 PSI being the sweet spot for off roading. I will not go a pound less than that because of the weak, low ply sidewalls. They turn to mush and you also lose ground clearance.

Needless to say when they wear out I will not be replacing them with Duratracs. So now you know....if you spot a Silverado with one of it's recovery hooks pointing towards the sky, they put a Hi-Lift Jack under it :cool:

Kind Regards,

Steve

HiLift.jpg

Instant flat tire. Ground was very hard to support jack just fine.
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20210323_103722.jpg

Bent up 1.5"

20210323_103756.jpg

Left side normal.
 

NHNightskyTrailBoss

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Well, that sucks. I’ve never trusted any good year tires but that slice is down right embarrassing. Especially with how popular the Duratrac is.

I can’t believe that tow hook bent. No winter tow truck drivers pull from the frame.

I agree, it’s ridiculous that the spare is not at least a steel 18” with matching tire. I plant to get a matching wheel and tire when I replace the Duratracs.
 

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