Project Shadowfax

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I am probably not often enough underneath my truck yet - is that a factory skid plate you are talking about or after-market?
Aftermarket! You can check out my install post on it here:


Worth noting that if I were to buy a skid plate today, I would almost certainly go for the one from Talons Garage:


They're here on the forum (@Talon2006) and here's their main thread if you want to see lots of pictures, or have any questions about their skid plate:


It seems like the skid plate from Talons Garage would run into similar issues, though, with regards to getting the oil filter off.
 

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I am probably not often enough underneath my truck yet - is that a factory skid plate you are talking about or after-market?
That’s the aftermarket skid plate/cat protector from talons garage. Despite the servicing difficulties, I consider the talons garage skid plate to be one of my best investments.
 
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Today was more time with Shadowfax, though it was more of a learning day.

First up was a brief scouting run up a forest road. About 25 minutes one way, so not long but long enough to be worth airing down. It's a pretty rough road.

The last time I aired down I went to roughly 35psi, and that was not nearly low enough. Threads on the forum make that not particularly surprising, but I wanted to play it conservative since it was my first time airing down. Today I went down to 25psi and it made a huge difference. Definitely the sweet spot for Shadowfax.

After that I was next to a Travel America that has CAT Scales, so I figured I would weigh Shadowfax for the first time. This was with a full tank of gas, my current modifications, and all of the stuff I normally keep in the truck for SAR and general life. I was out of the truck so no humans were weighed. Weights are:
  • Steer axle: 4360 pounds
  • Drive axle: 3860 pounds
  • Gross weight: 8220 pounds
Given my GVWR of 11,300 pounds, that puts my available payload capacity, above and beyond my daily carry, at 3080 pounds. This makes me very pleased. :D

Last stop was a spot up a different forest road with a berm you can drive over. It's a pretty good stress of break over angle, and I wanted to compare with my old truck as well as get a better feel of my clearances with Shadowfax.

For context, my old truck was a 2009 F-150 Supercab, 6.5' bed, with factory non-powered running boards. When my old truck went over this berm the running boards skimmed the dirt, and the frame was pretty close to touching.

With Shadowfax, I had tons of clearance! With the power running boards tucked up away, the only risk of touching was the frame/skid plates, but they had a comfortable amount of space. Probably 4-6 inches. This also makes me very pleased. :D



Side story on trying to weigh Shadowfax. Specifically how it took me a good 20+ minutes or so to fill up with gas, and it wasn't because I was waiting in line.

I wanted to top off my tank before I weighed it, so I swung into a gas station across the street from the scales. Put in my card, put the nozzle in the truck, selected my fuel and...the pump wouldn't pump gas. Pull the handle and nothing comes out. I tried another two times and still nothing, so I moved on to a Shell station next to the scales.

At the Shell I put in my card, it then asked me to join the rewards program to which I pushed the button for "No" and...nothing. It stayed on that screen. I waited a minute or two, hit no again. Wait another minute, mash no and yes. Wait a bit longer, then hit the cancel button. Still nothing. I can't leave because it already took my card, so if it does start working then someone could fill up on my card.

I head inside, get the attendant to come out and of course when she gets to the pump it's now waiting for me to pick up the nozzle and select my fuel type. 😡 Here I make the mistake of trying to fill up, rather than cancelling and switching pumps. I put the nozzle in, chose my fuel type. The screen goes to "One moment please"...and sits there. Pulling the handle does nothing. I try to cancel it, but nothing happens. I'm stuck again.

Head inside once more, attendant comes out and takes the nozzle out of my truck and puts it back in the pump. Pump resets as if nothing happened. She put cones up to block off that pump.

Frustrated with Shell I head to the third and final gas station all clumped together in this spot and finally get gas. No issues at all with that one.

Absolutely absurd.
 

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Today was more time with Shadowfax, though it was more of a learning day.

First up was a brief scouting run up a forest road. About 25 minutes one way, so not long but long enough to be worth airing down. It's a pretty rough road.

The last time I aired down I went to roughly 35psi, and that was not nearly low enough. Threads on the forum make that not particularly surprising, but I wanted to play it conservative since it was my first time airing down. Today I went down to 25psi and it made a huge difference. Definitely the sweet spot for Shadowfax.

After that I was next to a Travel America that has CAT Scales, so I figured I would weigh Shadowfax for the first time. This was with a full tank of gas, my current modifications, and all of the stuff I normally keep in the truck for SAR and general life. I was out of the truck so no humans were weighed. Weights are:
  • Steer axle: 4360 pounds
  • Drive axle: 3860 pounds
  • Gross weight: 8220 pounds
Given my GVWR of 11,300 pounds, that puts my available payload capacity, above and beyond my daily carry, at 3080 pounds. This makes me very pleased. :D

Last stop was a spot up a different forest road with a berm you can drive over. It's a pretty good stress of break over angle, and I wanted to compare with my old truck as well as get a better feel of my clearances with Shadowfax.

For context, my old truck was a 2009 F-150 Supercab, 6.5' bed, with factory non-powered running boards. When my old truck went over this berm the running boards skimmed the dirt, and the frame was pretty close to touching.

With Shadowfax, I had tons of clearance! With the power running boards tucked up away, the only risk of touching was the frame/skid plates, but they had a comfortable amount of space. Probably 4-6 inches. This also makes me very pleased. :D



Side story on trying to weigh Shadowfax. Specifically how it took me a good 20+ minutes or so to fill up with gas, and it wasn't because I was waiting in line.

I wanted to top off my tank before I weighed it, so I swung into a gas station across the street from the scales. Put in my card, put the nozzle in the truck, selected my fuel and...the pump wouldn't pump gas. Pull the handle and nothing comes out. I tried another two times and still nothing, so I moved on to a Shell station next to the scales.

At the Shell I put in my card, it then asked me to join the rewards program to which I pushed the button for "No" and...nothing. It stayed on that screen. I waited a minute or two, hit no again. Wait another minute, mash no and yes. Wait a bit longer, then hit the cancel button. Still nothing. I can't leave because it already took my card, so if it does start working then someone could fill up on my card.

I head inside, get the attendant to come out and of course when she gets to the pump it's now waiting for me to pick up the nozzle and select my fuel type. 😡 Here I make the mistake of trying to fill up, rather than cancelling and switching pumps. I put the nozzle in, chose my fuel type. The screen goes to "One moment please"...and sits there. Pulling the handle does nothing. I try to cancel it, but nothing happens. I'm stuck again.

Head inside once more, attendant comes out and takes the nozzle out of my truck and puts it back in the pump. Pump resets as if nothing happened. She put cones up to block off that pump.

Frustrated with Shell I head to the third and final gas station all clumped together in this spot and finally get gas. No issues at all with that one.

Absolutely absurd.
How close was the 8220 to what you had expected? I'm sure its in this thread someplace but I'll just ask - what does your door sticker list for payload?
 

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How close was the 8220 to what you had expected? I'm sure its in this thread someplace but I'll just ask - what does your door sticker list for payload?
Nevermind... Found it already - 3592lb.

So your weight adders vs. my truck from the factory are the 5th wheel prep, pwr running boards, and the winch.

Your factory curb is 11300-3592=7708lbs
Mine is 10000-2720=7280lbs

Doesn't that seem like a big difference? I really should weigh my truck too...
 
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How close was the 8220 to what you had expected? I'm sure its in this thread someplace but I'll just ask - what does your door sticker list for payload?

Nevermind... Found it already - 3592lb.

So your weight adders vs. my truck from the factory are the 5th wheel prep, pwr running boards, and the winch.

Your factory curb is 11300-3592=7708lbs
Mine is 10000-2720=7280lbs

Doesn't that seem like a big difference? I really should weigh my truck too...
The number was about what I was expecting. I had been over scales before (e.g. transfer station) and the truck weighed in at around 8000 pounds once I subtracted the people from it, though didn’t have all of the same stuff in it.

As you worked out, I have about 500 pounds of “stuff” added to the truck according to the scales and door sticker. Doing the rough math of how much I’ve added to the truck:
  • Tire chains: 100 pounds
  • DiamondBack cover: 200 pounds
  • Diamondback crossbin 13: 20 pounds
  • Recovery gear: 50 pounds
  • Weigh safe hitch: 50 pounds
That leaves 80 pounds of “miscellaneous” which seems pretty reasonable to me.

As for the comparison with your truck, roughly 400 pounds makes sense to me for those items you listed. The one variable I don’t think the forum has fully settled on (and I’m not in a place to finalize it myself) is whether the winch, when ordered from the factory, is actually accounted for in the door sticker since it’s installed by the dealer.

There’s enough fudge factor in my rough math above to absorb the weight of the winch.
 

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The number was about what I was expecting. I had been over scales before (e.g. transfer station) and the truck weighed in at around 8000 pounds once I subtracted the people from it, though didn’t have all of the same stuff in it.

As you worked out, I have about 500 pounds of “stuff” added to the truck according to the scales and door sticker. Doing the rough math of how much I’ve added to the truck:
  • Tire chains: 100 pounds
  • DiamondBack cover: 200 pounds
  • Diamondback crossbin 13: 20 pounds
  • Recovery gear: 50 pounds
  • Weigh safe hitch: 50 pounds
That leaves 80 pounds of “miscellaneous” which seems pretty reasonable to me.

As for the comparison with your truck, roughly 400 pounds makes sense to me for those items you listed. The one variable I don’t think the forum has fully settled on (and I’m not in a place to finalize it myself) is whether the winch, when ordered from the factory, is actually accounted for in the door sticker since it’s installed by the dealer.

There’s enough fudge factor in my rough math above to absorb the weight of the winch.
Thanks. I was thinking of the Diamondback as a big piece of your CAT weight. I guess the 5er prep may add more weight than I thought.

I am in the winch is on the payload door sticker camp since it is included on the window sticker... It also makes since with respect to the 400lbs. I recall the lengthy debate though! :p
 
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Between yesterday and today made some more Forscan tweaks! All of the changes are documented in my modifications post near the start of this thread.




First up was changing when the truck alerts you to the parking brake being on. Shout out to @Motoxxx43 in the Forscan for 2022 thread for making me aware this was even possible to change!

Default behavior is to alert you that the parking brake is on (message in the gauge cluster display and a chime) immediately upon shifting out of park. Honestly, this is a perfectly reasonable default. For some reason, though, I've gotten into the habit of putting my truck into gear before releasing the parking brake, resulting in the truck chiming at me even as my hand was already headed for the brake release.

Forscan lets you change the behavior so the truck notifies you of the parking brake being on once the vehicle is moving.



Next was tire pressure. I had previously adjusted the rear to be 60 psi, and was running 60 psi all around; however, with my newly acquired scale weights I took a fresh look at my pressures.

End result are these pressures:
  • Daily driving: 50psi front and rear
    • Up to 5000 pounds towing OR
    • Up to 1000 pounds additional weight in bed
  • Light hauling: 50psi front, 60psi rear
    • Up to 7500 pounds towing OR
    • Up to 1500 pounds additional weight in bed
  • Heavy Hauling: 60psi front, 75psi rear (factory specifications)
    • Maximum capacity.
I got there by using the Toyo Load and Inflation guide along with my front and rear GAWR. I worked out that at 50psi with my tires (factory size Toyo's) each tire is able to carry 3000 pounds. This means each axle will be capable of carrying the front GAWR (4800 pounds) with a 25% buffer.

50psi is a nice drop from factory spec, improving ride, but still leaves lots of room for daily life. I have lots of overhead to carry passengers and tow lighter trailers. The buffer accounts for variances; variances in pressures, potentially caused by temperature changes or slow leaks, and variances in loading (e.g. I accidentally overload the front axle a bit).

Without touching the front pressures, I can go up to light hauling. Again, that 50 psi is good for the full front GAWR so there shouldn't be any risk up front, and 60psi in the rear gives me more capacity back there.

Going up to heavy hauling I want to be at factory spec all around. Realistically it should be massive overkill based on the load table, but when hauling those kinds of weights might as well be safe than sorry.
 
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