Off Roading In the Braptor with Steel City Broncos, Western PA

BigP

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Sep 21, 2022
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Bronco Nation is strong in Western PA. I had the oppertuniy to wheel with Steel City Bronco’s at Ben Franklin Range last week. I have been wheeling multiple times in mud and tight terrain in PA. Its very different from western style rock crawling so here's my ramblings! :cool:

First and most importantly, this bad ass vehicle turns heads 😲. When I drove into the 4wd park, people turned their heads and wanted to see it. 4WD enthusiasts knew what it was immediately! It’s a great feeling.

Wheeling in the truck is fun and its is very capable but the learning curve is STEEP. The technology, settings and goat modes are awesome. But, if you show up to start wheeling without spending several hours learning the controls (prior to getting on terrain) you can get into trouble. For example, I was on a VERY tight turn and used trail turn assist to make a sharp left 100 degree turn to I traverse down a steep and tight embankment. After completing the turn, I forgot to deactivate the trail turn assist. I almost got into trouble because I FORGOT to deactivate the feature (resulting in a very close call with a tree.) 100% user error because I was concentrating on the terrain not the settings. User controls take hours to learn and I need to work on making every move in the cockpit muscle memory. My fault not the truck.

The truck is WIDE. Its important to understand that the flares are out there. The cameras and proximity alarms do a GREAT job on the trail. They remind you how wide you are!

Handling- this truck is powerful and gobbles up the terrain like no other stock vehicle I have ever owned. Stock clearance over rocks, logs, ruts and water crossings is INCREDIBLE.
The rear end and center of gravity tend to get the ass end sideways going over and down steep hills. Get your approach angles perfect on slippery DOWN hill terrain or you’ll get sideways quickly. Go slow because - slow is smooth and smooth is slow.

If you have your rear doors on- they become USELESS in the mud and snow. The fenders WILL accumulate mass amounts of mud and your doors WILL NOT open. (picture)

The SILVER front cover around the tow hooks is F’N PLASTIC. :mad: I broke it when I traversed a partially frozen water obstacle. A large piece of ice slid up the skid plate and broke the plastic. The good news, its super easy to replace with 8 plastic pop pins holding it in place. $235 from Ford in 3 days. When I add a winch, I will change this part out with the 2 piece smaller black covers found on regular broncos w/modular bumpers. (See last picture I posted)

Baja mode is the BOMB.💣 This truck is fast over wide open terrain. It eats up the bumps and you feel VERY much in control.

The fog lights in the front bumpers need to GO. They are not very bright. More importantly they hold onto every piece of mud and crud you pick up on the trail. The dirt and debris accumulate behind the plastic enclosure and there is NO easy way to clean it out. If you're not careful to get it cleaned out with LOTS of water it will eat up the wires and connections (look for yourself on your truck). I am gettin these lights out of the bumper and will replace them with lights that sit up high (above the bumper and winch). That will also allow me to get the bumper caps off the truck for better approach angles on rocks.

The Running boards are GREAT- I take them off for wheeling. 6 screws and 5 minutes . Someone posted about this- thanks.

Power- there is NO shortage of power. I pulled a stuck Jeep out of some deep mud easily. BUT I need a winch and a good relocation mount! If anyone has added a winch to the modular bumper- please let me know!

I look forward to hearing your feedback. If you happen to be in Western PA and wanna get muddy look me up on Steel City Broncos on Facebook! There are more pcitures and video on that site. Most importantly, I am greatful to this group for sharing your knowledge with me.
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TurboS

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Feb 24, 2022
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Bronco Nation is strong in Western PA. I had the oppertuniy to wheel with Steel City Bronco’s at Ben Franklin Range last week. I have been wheeling multiple times in mud and tight terrain in PA. Its very different from western style rock crawling so here's my ramblings! :cool:

First and most importantly, this bad ass vehicle turns heads 😲. When I drove into the 4wd park, people turned their heads and wanted to see it. 4WD enthusiasts knew what it was immediately! It’s a great feeling.

Wheeling in the truck is fun and its is very capable but the learning curve is STEEP. The technology, settings and goat modes are awesome. But, if you show up to start wheeling without spending several hours learning the controls (prior to getting on terrain) you can get into trouble. For example, I was on a VERY tight turn and used trail turn assist to make a sharp left 100 degree turn to I traverse down a steep and tight embankment. After completing the turn, I forgot to deactivate the trail turn assist. I almost got into trouble because I FORGOT to deactivate the feature (resulting in a very close call with a tree.) 100% user error because I was concentrating on the terrain not the settings. User controls take hours to learn and I need to work on making every move in the cockpit muscle memory. My fault not the truck.

The truck is WIDE. Its important to understand that the flares are out there. The cameras and proximity alarms do a GREAT job on the trail. They remind you how wide you are!

Handling- this truck is powerful and gobbles up the terrain like no other stock vehicle I have ever owned. Stock clearance over rocks, logs, ruts and water crossings is INCREDIBLE.
The rear end and center of gravity tend to get the ass end sideways going over and down steep hills. Get your approach angles perfect on slippery DOWN hill terrain or you’ll get sideways quickly. Go slow because - slow is smooth and smooth is slow.

If you have your rear doors on- they become USELESS in the mud and snow. The fenders WILL accumulate mass amounts of mud and your doors WILL NOT open. (picture)

The SILVER front cover around the tow hooks is F’N PLASTIC. :mad: I broke it when I traversed a partially frozen water obstacle. A large piece of ice slid up the skid plate and broke the plastic. The good news, its super easy to replace with 8 plastic pop pins holding it in place. $235 from Ford in 3 days. When I add a winch, I will change this part out with the 2 piece smaller black covers found on regular broncos w/modular bumpers. (See last picture I posted)

Baja mode is the BOMB.💣 This truck is fast over wide open terrain. It eats up the bumps and you feel VERY much in control.

The fog lights in the front bumpers need to GO. They are not very bright. More importantly they hold onto every piece of mud and crud you pick up on the trail. The dirt and debris accumulate behind the plastic enclosure and there is NO easy way to clean it out. If you're not careful to get it cleaned out with LOTS of water it will eat up the wires and connections (look for yourself on your truck). I am gettin these lights out of the bumper and will replace them with lights that sit up high (above the bumper and winch). That will also allow me to get the bumper caps off the truck for better approach angles on rocks.

The Running boards are GREAT- I take them off for wheeling. 6 screws and 5 minutes . Someone posted about this- thanks.

Power- there is NO shortage of power. I pulled a stuck Jeep out of some deep mud easily. BUT I need a winch and a good relocation mount! If anyone has added a winch to the modular bumper- please let me know!

I look forward to hearing your feedback. If you happen to be in Western PA and wanna get muddy look me up on Steel City Broncos on Facebook! There are more pcitures and video on that site. Most importantly, I am greatful to this group for sharing your knowledge with me.
Thank you for your writeup and the off-roading advice.
@JohnGalt has added a winch, as he detailed in his post
 

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