ICON Rebound Pro – New Shoes

I did a lot of research on wheels, and my decision aligns with my goal of keeping weight down, and not going overboard. My needs are different now that I’m doing less rock crawling and more overlanding. Yes, I need to air down when I go offroad. But I don’t have to air down as much as serious rock crawlers do. I usually take my tires down to 15 PSI, but I’ve always wanted to go lower. Not a lot lower, but to 10-12 PSI.

I looked into beadlocks, but learned pretty quickly that the only ones that are DOT approved weigh more. Not a little more….a LOT more. I’m talking 45-55 pounds. That’s a significant amount of rotating weight. I know wheel weight is not as important as tire weight, but it is still important. So beadlocks are out of the question, for me, since this is my daily driver, and I do a lot of cross country trips.

So I scratched beadlocks off my list. I wrestled with wheels that had deeper bead grooves, but they didn’t make much sense. After a few weeks I started to give up. Then a buddy FYI’d me about the ICON Rebound Pro. They’re not technically beadlocks, rather they’re more like bead retainers. They’re fully DOT compliant and they weigh 32 pounds.

Of the DOT approved beadlock offerings, weight varies but all are heavier. Hutchinson lists at 35.6 pounds, which isn’t too bad. Traction Off Road lists at 48 pounds. Both of these are designed to lock both beads, so not too surprised. The problem with these options isn’t just that they’re heavier, they also require a lot more work when mounting/unmounting tires.

One thing I thought about was rim damage. Traditional beadlocks have a replaceable ring, which is cool and all, but, not DOT approved. I’m not risking being stopped and cited for driving on highways with offroad-only wheels. Not only would that be costly, it would also be a huge inconvenience. Why spend money on wheels that you can only use until you get caught?

I looked at the Teraflex Nomad, and I love the built in air-down option. I also love that they sell rim protectors, full ring or even partial ring, and in different colors. However there were some concerns. For example anyone can walk over to your car and with a simple twist, your tires are down to whatever you set the valve to. I’ve also heard that some people found their air down valve came completely off when they were airing down. Nope. Not for me.

I want to secure my bead, but I want DOT approved, and I want the lowest weight of all beadlock options. So I decided to go with the ICON Rebound Pro. They’re DOT approved, and they’re light. The company picks up the phone, which to me is a huge plus. The outer rim edge is much thicker than standard wheels, so while they might get scratched up, it would take catastrophic impact to break them.

I like to go to 4WP, even if they’re 100+ miles from home. They have 90+ locations, they always have stock, and they hire very experienced techs and sales people. They’ve always done a top notch job on my Jeeps.

Side note, I love how the wheel looks when I’m backing up. I’m going to see if I can extend the camera out a bit, since the backspacing cuts the downward view a bit.

Goose Gear Platform

Sometimes you’ve got to make mistakes before you get it right. Take the choice of platform for your Jeep. I tried a couple alternate brands, convinced that I didn’t have to buy the good stuff. What a waste of time and money. I finally broke down and bought a Goose Gear full platform, and their fridge slider. I really wish I bought this brand in the beginning. Oh well, lesson learned.

The platform is made of extremely durable sealed plywood. They’ve got platforms that’ll fit perfectly into whatever vehicle you have. In my case, a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with the factory subwoofer, and with the rear cubby opening on the passenger side. It took a couple hours, but given the 65 pound total weight of the platform, wasn’t very difficult.

Lots of lockable cubby holes, which is very handy for securing stuff, as well as storing stuff that you don’t need to access all the time. Or stuff that you’d need to access after you’ve set up your tent and stuff.

The fridge slider was easy to bolt down, since the plate is designed for it to be mounted on either side of the back of the Jeep. I didn’t expect the slider to have a cutting board, since I already have a tailgate with one, but it offers some flexibility, which is always welcome when overlanding.

Speaking of bolting things down, I was very happy to find their platform uses reinforced 1/4″x20 threaded bolt holes, and plenty of them. A trip to Home Depot and I’ve got plenty of tie down loops and bungee cords for securing cargo.

Not sure if I’ll plunk down for a two drawer stack. I like being able to use my Expedition 134 and Front Runner Wolf Pack containers.

Mopar 2 Inch Lift

Transitioning from moderate rock crawling to overlanding, I’ve come to terms with the need to have the most reliable and supported kit. Nothing is more comforting than traveling around the country, confident that I can go to any Jeep dealer for support.

Mopar made some improvements to their 2″ lift this year. The new redesign (77072395AE) includes 2.5″ Fox shocks, and coil springs that no longer bow. Those were two of the complaints folks had about previous designs. Of course I ordered the kit at my preferred dealer Jeff D’Ambrosio (Downingtown, PA). I had them do the install, and I had them add a Mopar stamped Fox steering stabilizer.

I was asked to take it for a test drive, brought it back for a minor adjustment, and it’s been awesome since! The lift sits higher than I expected, but after some research I now know why. The Rubicon model comes with a 1″ lift. The new 2″ lift is supposed to add to that height, even though the 1″ is removed, so at the end of the day it is actually a 3″ lift. Mine sits 3 3/8″ high with the new lift – that’s after comparing the old height (which includes the stock 1″ lift) to the new height.

The install tech told me it’ll settle down to around 3″ after driving it a while. I’m totally good with that, since I’m looking at Teraflex Nomad wheels (17×8.5) and BF Goodrich KO2 tires (315/70R17C) 35″ tires. That’s as high as I’ll go, since I will be overlanding more than rock climbing. The lift is perfect for this combination. I hope to have the tires/wheels upgraded before Spring 2022.

I did a quick walk around so I can show how the shocks, coils, and steering stabilizer look.

Two corrections. (1) Jeep gained 2 3/8″ (2) decided to go with Teraflex Nomad wheels.

I found a slightly used Goose Gear stealth platform. Apparently it was installed then removed when the owner decided to consolidate his funds into one of his two Jeeps. Lucky me, I should be picking it up on Sunday. More to come.

Whatever you do, don’t tell my Jeep that I was flirting with the new Hemi model.