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Author Topic: Everything about tires  (Read 2425 times)

Offline Special T

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Everything about tires
« on: August 24, 2017, 10:07:10 PM »
Every year there are numious threads about picking tires.  Which are the best kind and why.  I've decided to tackle this issue over a series of posts as a reference for my fellow sportsmen. Tires are application specific so it always bothers me when people ask for help but don't give any of the pertinent information. So here is a list.
Vehicle make model, tire size,  use of the vehicle, % on/off-road, load especially for trucks, desired compromise (tire life, traction, cost)

I think one of the biggest decisions is whether to go all terrain or mud terrain. This is an informative slightly funny video from an Austrailian perspective.

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2017, 05:37:07 AM »
I will give dated information, but I had a 1997 F150 and a 2001 f150.

My favorite tire is the Fierce Attitude MT by goodyear.

275/70/18. load range E
Primary driver, so it had 20k miles per year on pavement, 20% gravel/off road,  no real heavy loads, these cost less than most mud tires, snow and winter traction, and tire life was very good. Sold both pickups with high miles on the tires.  1997 sold with 46k miles and 30% tread left, and the 2001 with 50k miles with 25% tread life.  I carry a tread depth gauge in my truck and check them at least every other tire rotation.

My compromise is noise in favor of traction when needed.  these were a little harder rubber compound in the snow than I would prefer, but they cleaned really well in the deep snow, just wish they had more factory siping.  My favorite tire and wish they made them in more tire sizes

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 05:40:58 AM »
Cooper AT3
I put these tires on a 2003 explorer. The explorer gets 8-10k miles per year, and is generally the rig we take to the ski hill about 75% of the time for 25-35 ski days per year.

It gets about 5% gravel, but lots of snow.
245/70/17

I have been very happy with the winter traction, tire life mileage.  We are over 55k miles and going to buy new ones in the next 60 days.  These are a front runner for replacement but looking at other options to see what cost looks like this time around.   selling the explorer before too long and don't feel like putting $1000 worth of tires on it just to sell it in 5000 miles.

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 06:06:32 AM »
I am participating in this thread as I want to see about what people put on their 3/4 ton and 1 ton for mud tires.  I am currently looking at replacing the stock Michelin's on the F350 with some mud tires in 295/65/20.  currently looking at the Cooper STT Pro, but also considering a few other options.

Haul 11,000 lb 5th wheel about 1000 miles per year, otherwise it is lighter loads and 2000-3000 miles per year on gravel.  Lots of snow depending on the winter and opportunities to ski

Offline KNOPHISH

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 06:44:42 AM »
I'm looking at BFG all terrains now. Are they noisy on the road?
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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 06:56:41 AM »
I put the new design KO2 on my 2500 hd chevy I tow a ton of weight less than 10,000 miles on them and they had tread separation went back to discount tire and they gave me 75% of my money back got the goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
love them
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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 11:45:10 AM »
I'm personally not brand loyal and have ran all matter of new And used tires, but I have spares 99% of the time. Im personally a big fan of some kind of all terrain  and link chains in the truck, but i settle for cable chains on my 2wd pavement pounder.

Some of this is covered in the video but...
The larger the voids between the lugs the greater the traction off road. Additionally the more horizontal/across the tire the more traction think TSL Boggers. The more traction you achieve the less wear more noise. Most people look for the sweet spot for their daily driver.  My favorite mud and snow tire Was the old BFG design. I dont have any real prefference now.  The more open the void between the shoulder lugs the louder the tires. I have seen some cool AT designs where the shoulder was fairly closed but there were large voids in the center of the tire. Kind of an attempt at best of  both world's, which is a compromise.

They say the average person only drives 12k miles a year. Freeway miles are easier on your tires than around town. More twisting turning, and scuffing.  I have almost always had 2 sets of tires and wheels for my hunting/commuter. A set of all seasons and a set of mud tires for when I know I'm going to be pressing the limits. I currently  have more than 3 sets for my cherokee that are 33" all of which were purchased on wheels used off CL.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 02:33:29 PM by Special T »
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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2017, 12:09:37 PM »
Lots of people have no clue if a set of tires and wheels will fit a given 4x4.  This site is a great reference tool when searching out used stuff on wheels. It covers how to measure potential wheels. A tape measure or cheep plastic harbor freight caliper for $3 is a good investment.
http://www.crawlpedia.com/bolt_patterns.htm
It covers vehicles up to 2008.

The current trend in tires and wheels is a larger rim diameter to accommodate larger brakes. Really important when we are talking about trucks hauling trailers. The worst rim size to currently have on a 4x4 is an 18" tire. There are not many offerings, and they are expensive. The best way to find out what rim/tire size will fit is to look at the spare.  New vehicles with aluminium wheels most often have a steel spare that is equal in dimensions but a different size. This tire wheel combo will be your cheapest option.
16,17,20" seem to be the most common sizes now for trucks will plenty of options.
16&17"Will be the cheapest because they are the most common.




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Offline STIKNSTRINGBOW

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2017, 12:23:39 PM »
What I want is a reasonably priced set for my Cherokee that can handle those damn rocks they are using on gravel roads now. Tired of changing flats, but cannot see spending $1000 for tires on a $750 jeep.
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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 12:25:35 PM »
I often hear questions like. Is X tire loud? Or does it have good traction?  The problem is no one states what they want it compared to.  Is a mud tire noisier than an All Terrain? Almost with out exception yes. 

Here are some things that effect every tires noise, wear, & traction. 

Air pressure plays a huge role in all of these factors.  Unfortunately it is one of those things that you have to play with because manufactures won't give you a guide due to liability. They do for heavy equiptment.

Many wheeler know that if you air down your tires you get a lot more traction. This is great for slow speeds but once you hop back on the road it can be a cause for disaster.  If you run the tire at its maximum psi it will have the most load capacity at speed, but it will  have a lot less traction and will wear down the middle if you drive around a bunch unloaded.

A tires width changes handling a bunch. Usually the wider the tire the less wandering on the road, more traction off road, flotation, and stability. The down side is they don't get as good fuel mileage or wear generally.
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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2017, 12:36:41 PM »
Fortunately you have lots of options to find used rubber and a very common bolt pattern. Wheels that fit Ford rangers also fit most Cherokees.

Shot rock on many western logging roads is one of the hardest surfaces on a tire. Lots of sharp rocks.  Deep rubber is the main thing that protects a tire in this case.  People will get a lot more flats by several fold on the last 30%of their tread as opposed to the first 30%.  Additionally  max air pressure is bad on logging roads because it doesn't allow your tire to flex over sharp rocks.

For example most logging truck tires  are made to be run at 110-120psi. I know of a few loggers that run them less than 90psi so that they Don get flats as often.  This works best with short runs down the road where heavy loads and long distances at 60mph arnt happening.

Always have a spare!  In my cherokee I have a harbor freight air compressor, spare tire jack etc, and a plug kit. Pretty cheep insurance when off in the woods.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 12:42:53 PM by Special T »
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Offline follow maggie

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2017, 12:42:08 PM »
KNOPHISH I run BFGoodrich all terrains on my Chevy 2500HD, and they're quiet tires. Before this pickup, I ran them on my F150, and they were quiet on that rig, too.

Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2017, 10:47:04 AM »
When my brother was Mountain Logging the company he worked for used 2 different tires. The Toyo M55 & the Cooper STT.

The Toyo is more of a all terrain/commercial truck design that has been around a long time and is a favorite amongst loggers for some time.  I have seen several variations of this tread type and what i would run on a  truck. My brother said he loved running this tire on his service truck and thought it was the better of the 2 tires.

The Cooper STT is a Mud Terrain tire. They transitioned to this tire when several other loggers they knew tried them out. He said they performed really well.

I have not run either of these tires personally, but bring them up because they are favorites of people I know who do more off road shot rock driving than 99% of those on here.  The consensus  from the guys at my brother company was that the M55 was a better tire. That said they wernt able to over come the big price difference of the STT tires.  I'm pretty sure their fleet of crew busses mostly ran 235/85r16. Which were the standard 3/4to one ton tire size for many years.  I'm certain one of the big advantages for them was the fact they could order the Coppers online, and they had the ability to change them themselves. I'm not sure about the current market prices on these tires.
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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2017, 04:18:15 PM »
Special T - that was my experience as well with the M55.  I know lots of folks that still run them in the woods for work and pleasure.  I am looking at $336 a tire for Cooper STT Pro and also considering the Nitto Ridge Grappler, their new tire.  $352 and is their newest attempt at bridging the gap between all terrain and mud terrain.  295/65/20 is the size.

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2017, 04:33:27 PM »
I'm looking at BFG all terrains now. Are they noisy on the road?

No.
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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 05:57:46 PM »
I love the Cooper STTs'. Had at least 4 sets on 3 different vehicles. Hoping to get the STT Pro's pretty soon. From my own research I've found walmart the cheapest for them at store pickup. :tup:
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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2017, 07:05:29 PM »
My brother in law probably spends close to half of his time on gravel roads in eastern wa. He was a big fan of BFG all terrains but ended up with a set of general Grabbers and loves them. They are big lugs that are tapered like a pyramid. Lots of traction when new, and seem to last forever for the last 30%. Probably the only tire that has decent puncture resistance in the last 30%of tread but traction isn't that hot.
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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2017, 12:32:42 PM »
I want to add that this thread isnt about the best brand to buy. It is about how to buy a tire that fits your needs best. Even the gold standard of logging crew busses the M55 will have impact breaks at a lower tread.  DEEP rubber is your best protection and AIR PRESSURE! TIRES with a higher load/ply rating than the proposed use and weight tend to last longer due to the ability to air up/down according to terrain needs.

I think it's great sharing your experiences on here on this subject.

Another tire that worked really well on shot rock were the surplus military Humvee Tires. My brother and several friends ran them on their personal trucks and got great wear and traction out of them for a "work truck". 16.5 wheels are hard to find and so are the tires at 37" tall they don't fit a lot of peoples needs but they do look damned good on a high boy ford!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 02:46:35 PM by Special T »
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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2017, 01:26:31 PM »
Some people run with out a full sized spare.  (for lifted rigs) Many folks have never busted out the OEM lift and lug nut wrench to check them out. This is a mistake.  On my dodge one ton it is not physically possible to break the lug nuts loose with the wrench.the tourqe specs are pretty high and the stock wrenches are horrible. I have used stock ones on past rigs like my Cherokee Subaru, and S10... even on my cousins half ton... with his Passenger rated tires...

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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2017, 02:05:04 PM »
Cheap insurance against flats are a plug kit. You can buy them at nearly any auto supply place, Wal-Mart, or harbor freight. They come with 2 tools. A reamer and an applicator. My neighbor came over with a nail in his rider mower tire. Pulled the nail gave a couple of strokes with the greener and pushed in the sticky roap. These work best in the tread of a tire. If you catch your tire hissing quickly enough some times you can throw the plug in before you loose too much air pressure. If it's in the tread you can likely run it for quite a while, however if you run into town a reinforced patch won the inside will make it last longer.

I have not used these in a side wall of a tire myself but have several buddies whom have.  No tire shop will patch a tire with a sidewall hole so it's best to leave it on the rim as a spare unless you trim it up and do a repair your self, and remount it as an emergency spare. (I'll try and find a you tube video later)  I have a full size spare that I patched up for my wheeler.

I normally push as much of the rope as I can into the tire leaving about an inch of tail on the outside of the tire. The air pressure will try and push the rope out, and the tail will get smashed.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 02:17:59 PM by Special T »
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Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2017, 02:20:23 PM »
Less than $5
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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2017, 02:23:04 PM »
Cheap insurance against flats are a plug kit. You can buy them at nearly any auto supply place, Wal-Mart, or harbor freight. They come with 2 tools. A reamer and an applicator. My neighbor came over with a nail in his rider mower tire. Pulled the nail gave a couple of strokes with the greener and pushed in the sticky roap. These work best in the tread of a tire. If you catch your tire hissing quickly enough some times you can throw the plug in before you loose too much air pressure. If it's in the tread you can likely run it for quite a while, however if you run into town a reinforced patch won the inside will make it last longer.

I have not used these in a side wall of a tire myself but have several buddies whom have.  No tire shop will patch a tire with a sidewall hole so it's best to leave it on the rim as a spare unless you trim it up and do a repair your self, and remount it as an emergency spare. (I'll try and find a you tube video later)  I have a full size spare that I patched up for my wheeler.

I normally push as much of the rope as I can into the tire leaving about an inch of tail on the outside of the tire. The air pressure will try and push the rope out, and the tail will get smashed.

 :yeah:

I have one kit in every vehicle.   Once you've had enough flats, carrying a plug kit and a small 12v air compressor is almost a requirement.  Beats the hell out of walking miles down a dirt road looking for help. 

Offline Special T

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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2017, 02:45:26 PM »
I wouldn't want to use it all the time but harbor freight has a $10 &$35 12v air pump
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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2017, 03:53:28 PM »
I really liked the M55's on my truck, really good in snow, mud gravel. BUT when they got worn they were bad on wet pavement or compact snow ice. I think because they are so hard.
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Re: Everything about tires
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2017, 09:13:03 PM »
It's of edges are necessary for good traction on wet pavement, compact snow and ice. Many off-road tires have small relief cuts in the big blocks of tread that disappear after 50% or so. Some people are a fan of syping  for this reason. Issue is you want the cuts for enough to last but too deep they will chip off in rock.
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