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foothills
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PostSubject: Tire Advice   Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:24 pm

I know that tires are a hot topic, and a lot of it comes down to personal preference, but I'm shopping for a set of dedicated offroad tires and am hoping that some folks with direct experience with some of these can help me a bit.  The primary purpose of these tires will be offroad in dirt, sand, and mud, and for long distance overland travel (Trans-Lab Highway and Prudhoe Bay, AK are both on my list of places to take this FJ).  I'm not looking to do any rock crawling or super technical obstacles with my FJ.  It's my daily driver, so I have to play nice with it.  In the spirit of not going too crazy on mods, I'm sticking to the stock 265/70R17 size.  The only suspension mod I'm looking at is the Bilstein 5100 setup for leveling, and better LCAs.  285s seem to require the BMC unless I lift more, leaving me with 265s as the best choice.

So, that said I'm down to 3 choices.

 - Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
Looks like a good choice for grip in a variety of conditions, and has some siping which should help on wet pavement.  From my reading, I can't tell if the kevlar sidewall is a gimmick or worth the money, but sidewall is definitely something you have to worry about in tight quarters.  I like the look of them, too, although that should be low on my list of priorities.  On the down side, Goodyear uses softer compounds, so while you get a lot of grip, you don't get as much life.  Overall, a good choice but pricey.

 - tallywacker Cepek Mud Country
It looks pretty middle of the road.  Decent wear, good mud and general off road traction, and only a few people complained about wear.  Don't know the brand at all, so I'm a little hesitant.

 - Kumho Road Venture KL71
This is the cheapest tire, but seems to be a dark horse.  Traction seems good, wear is good, and most reviews peg them as good value.  Long story short, it seems like people that have them like them.  A few complaints on wear life, but not much.  Same problem I have with tallywacker Cepek, though, because Kumho isn't a brand I know.


With this being a set of dedicated tires for offroading, I'm kinda leaning toward the Kumhos.  They seem popular with the folks that have them, grip should be good, and they're also the cheapest.  Downside is a brand I don't know, and sourcing a replacement for a blown tire while in remote places like central Quebec could be an issue.  Seems like everybody has BFGs and Goodyears, but Kumho?  Who knows.  Anyway, what do y'all think?
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:40 pm

I don't know of you've looked at the nitto terra grappler at all but I've got a set I just took off with about 8000 miles on them. 265/70 17. 4 tires for $450
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:25 pm

I've got the MT/Rs on my Ramcharger, and they are a FANTASTIC tire. I've put 10k miles on them and they have almost no discernible wear. Fantastic offroad, and not at all bad on road for the level of aggression.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:28 pm

BFGs....MT......NUFF SAID.....





peace out!
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:45 am

I bought the Nitto Trail Grapplers for the good reputation they had from everyone I had talked to. Haven't seen much more than an old rough fire road though so I can't speak from experience yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:56 am

255 sized BFG km2s do not need any lift or a BMC and do very well on and off road. Just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:08 am

dwc2134 wrote:
255 sized BFG km2s do not need any lift or a BMC and do very well on and off road. Just a thought.

 Yeah if they are dedicated offroad tires and you were planning on sticking to a stock size, pizza cutters may be a great option. Give you some extra sidewall and clearance.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:31 am

iwashmycar wrote:
dwc2134 wrote:
255 sized BFG km2s do not need any lift or a BMC and do very well on and off road. Just a thought.

 Yeah if they are dedicated offroad tires and you were planning on sticking to a stock size, pizza cutters may be a great option. Give you some extra sidewall and clearance.

 I'm running mine as daily drivers with zero issue.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:39 pm

I'd looked at the BFG KM2s initially, but they're pricey.  I also saw a lot of questions about their wet pavement performance.  If I can find a good price, I'll take another look at 'em.  The pizza cutters gain you height, but how is the traction?  I've always looked at traction in the way it works on pavement: more tire surface on the road = better traction.  If offroad isn't the same, I need to look at them.  The height would be nice, without modding suspension, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:49 pm

foothills wrote:
I'd looked at the BFG KM2s initially, but they're pricey.  I also saw a lot of questions about their wet pavement performance.  If I can find a good price, I'll take another look at 'em.  The pizza cutters gain you height, but how is the traction?  I've always looked at traction in the way it works on pavement: more tire surface on the road = better traction.  If offroad isn't the same, I need to look at them.  The height would be nice, without modding suspension, etc.
Traction offroad is great, aired down you're not losing much. I have driven mine in BIBLICAL downpours and had not a single problem or squirrelly moment.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:54 pm

I see you're running stock suspension with 255/80s, any rubbing?  I do like the price on the 255s, tire rack has them in the price range I was aiming for.  Thanks for the advice, I'm gonna take a serious look at these.  I'm not huge on the skinny tire aesthetics, but I never argue with results.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:55 pm

Brian ran them (now on Casey's rig) and they've seemed to do some awesome stuff with them!


There should be no rubbing stock as they are skinny enough to bypass the body mounts while turning
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:44 pm

I'll speak up for the Kumho KL71's since I'm on my second set.  I ran the 265's as the first set and am now on a set of 315's.  Mileage was good for a mud tire.  I ran the 265s for 40k miles and still had 1/4" tread left and sold them for a decent amount on CL.  I've got 30k miles on the 315s now and still have a lot of tread left.  I expect another 30-40k out of them.  I drive them everyday and I drive them hard.  They're a very sticky tire and corner incredibly well on dry and wet pavement.  They are quite quiet to begin with and get noisier when they get less tread on them.  All around, a great tire on the street.

  Offroad:

Mud= incredible.  These things dig hard in the mud and clean out very well.  I've been frame-deep in nasty wet red mud and it's not a problem so long as you stay in the throttle and keep your RPMs up.  Great traction.

Trail/Rocks: Again, no complaints.  They air down well and flex wonderfully at low psi.  The sidewalls are only 2-ply vs 3-ply in some tires, so I try not to abuse my sidewalls too badly and they've never had a problem.  Wet and dry traction is awesome in the rocks.  The last time at URE, I was running without the rear locker or ATRAC on and was doing the same stuff as a TJ Rubicon with front and rear locked (out of necessity) on his Falken ATs.  Very pleased here too.

Snow:  Light snow, not so good.  They're not bad, but they're about the same as our Honda Accord on all season tires.  They'll get you there, but take ti slow and easy if it's under 4" of snow.   Heavy snow is a different story altogether.  They're incredible in heavy snow.  I've been in snow up to the headlights and they'll handle it.  You've got to be in low range to push that much snow, but they really shine once you get over 8" on snow.

Sand:  Sucks.  Like most tires, they're meant to dig.  Digging in sand=problems.  They were fine when they were mostly worn and didn't dig too bad, but if you're taking new tires out on the sand, don't do anything stupid and make sure you have recovery gear with you.


Overall, I've been very pleased.  They balance well, they wear evenly and I have yet to have a single nail, puncture or large chunk.  I've got a few tiny chunks taken out of the tread from sharp rocks, but nothing like the KM2s I've seen.  Beware that these tires are very sticky on the street and grip very well.  Cornering is much improved over stock tires, but that also comes at a cost.  A top heavy vehicle with sticky tires can be dangerous.  I've had my truck on three wheels numerous times and once on two wheels on the street.  (ask my wife, she was on the low side and is still mad at me)  Lot's of bang for the buck and when these tires wear out, I'll get another set of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Tire Advice   Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:53 pm

foothills wrote:
I'd looked at the BFG KM2s initially, but they're pricey.  I also saw a lot of questions about their wet pavement performance.  If I can find a good price, I'll take another look at 'em.  The pizza cutters gain you height, but how is the traction?  I've always looked at traction in the way it works on pavement: more tire surface on the road = better traction.  If offroad isn't the same, I need to look at them.  The height would be nice, without modding suspension, etc.

 This tire in the 255/85/16 or 255/80/17 size is going to give you superb traction on the trail and in mud.  The are light and therefor less strain on the other components.  If  you are not going to put a big lift on your FJ, this is the best solution for you.  You are going to get great offroad traction, best mpg, and the most added ground clearance.

The narrower tire provides better offroad traction in most situations.  90% of what you would come across on your typical trail.  If you are into deep mud (24"+) or deep sand than the narrow hurts.  Other than that these are better.
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