Tires

#1
I would think that this topic has been talked to death about, but in my search on the topic only 8 responses showed up, so with hesitation, I ask this seemingly obvious question:

It looks like my Primewell tires are wearing badly, so I may need to make a change in tires. I live near Lake Tahoe and (usually) get a lot of snow (still bare ground this year). I've been searching the forums for tire threads, but don't see any that exactly apply to my question, so here goes: I am currently running 30x9.5 15 Primewells (came with the Monty). Any recommendations on appropriate brand/type and size for a stock 95SR? I have no intention of lifting it, but I do want to have good manners on road (low tire noise- Primewells were loud), decent performance on dirt, great performance on snow, and still work well for the occasional situation where I am doing serious dirt-trial four wheeling in the nearby mountains, (no sand). I am assuming if you add wider tires, the fuel economy goes down along with adding more noise. comments? Also how does the performance of the 3.5L suffer when you add larger diameter (or width) tires? The engine isn't what I would call "peppy", so I would think as you add larger tires the performance drops off drastically. Now take into consideration I live at 6000 ft, so maybe my elevation is affecting my performance too. Comments appreciated. Also do certain tires "air down" better than others?
 
#3
Any "aggressive" tire is going to likely have more road noise and worse wear than the primewells. I am not a fan of the KO2s because they are an old design and have poor "siping" which is what gets you better wet and snow traction. My recommendation would be the Cooper AT3 or ATP. Great road manners and the AT3 I know comes with a 60k mile warranty (maybe the ATP too?).

If you are made of money, you can get the Michelin LTX AT/2 and have fantastic gas mileage, whisper quiet road noise, and from what I've read; great off-road manners.

Regarding airing down; yes all tires will behave a little differently. One of the things you want to pay attention to is the load rating of the tire. A bad way of explaining load range is that a heavier load range or rating will have more plies and a thicker side wall that may be less prone to puncture, and more resilient against damage occurring from reduced pressures. That does not mean that a "C" rated tire is "worse" than an "E" rated tire, but it is something to consider. Generally speaking, the higher load range tires deliver a stiffer ride.

Performance will suffer with larger diameter tires at your elevation, but it is not a "deal breaker" in my opinion depending on how large you go. Also in my opinion, the tire weight will affect your gas mileage more than the width.

I know you didn't ask, but I am running the Cooper ST Maxx in a tall/skinny configuration of 235/85r16 on my Gen 3. They have insane off-road traction, and excel on ice and in snow. I can provide some "kill stories" if you like, but I cannot imagine better performance on snow and ice. When I air down I run a pressure of 10-12psi and I've had no issues with some pretty severe side load. Worth noting is that the ST Maxx has "armortek 3" sidewalls which is a kevlar 3 ply sidewall. The downside to these tires is that they cup easily and require frequent rotations. They are also noticeably noisy when they begin to cup, but not as bad as the KO2 IMO.
 
#4
If you are made of money, you can get the Michelin LTX AT/2 and have fantastic gas mileage, whisper quiet road noise, and from what I've read; great off-road manners.

Regarding airing down; yes all tires will behave a little differently. One of the things you want to pay attention to is the load rating of the tire. A bad way of explaining load range is that a heavier load range or rating will have more plies and a thicker side wall that may be less prone to puncture, and more resilient against damage occurring from reduced pressures. That does not mean that a "C" rated tire is "worse" than an "E" rated tire, but it is something to consider. Generally speaking, the higher load range tires deliver a stiffer ride.

Performance will suffer with larger diameter tires at your elevation, but it is not a "deal breaker" in my opinion depending on how large you go. Also in my opinion, the tire weight will affect your gas mileage more than the width.

I know you didn't ask, but I am running the Cooper ST Maxx in a tall/skinny configuration of 235/85r16 on my Gen 3. They have insane off-road traction, and excel on ice and in snow. I can provide some "kill stories" if you like, but I cannot imagine better performance on snow and ice. When I air down I run a pressure of 10-12psi and I've had no issues with some pretty severe side load. Worth noting is that the ST Maxx has "armortek 3" sidewalls which is a kevlar 3 ply sidewall. The downside to these tires is that they cup easily and require frequent rotations. They are also noticeably noisy when they begin to cup, but not as bad as the KO2 IMO.
Tell me more about your tall skinnies. What is the advantage of the bigger wheel & skinny tires, vs the smaller, other than 1/2" taller wheel. Being an "older guy" it has been my assumption that the big, wide tires is mainly for looks. If the manufacturer thought that it made that much difference, they would offer it as an option- at least that is my thinking. Or was it because in 1995, the 15" tire was more common than the taller ones now? I want to keep it as stock as the engineers designed it for. No sense throwing everything out of alignment and spending thousands to bring it back to an adjusted state. If the 1995 SR was being manufactured right now (2017), with the same engine, hp and setup, what sized tires do you think it would come with stock? As a slight upgrade? The problem with taller tires is I need to also buy new wheels. What other vehicle wheels fit my Monty? I am not looking for fancy wheels, just anything that will work and I could find on craigslist?
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
#5
Tell me more about your tall skinnies. What is the advantage of the bigger wheel & skinny tires, vs the smaller, other than 1/2" taller wheel. Being an "older guy" it has been my assumption that the big, wide tires is mainly for looks. If the manufacturer thought that it made that much difference, they would offer it as an option- at least that is my thinking. Or was it because in 1995, the 15" tire was more common than the taller ones now? I want to keep it as stock as the engineers designed it for. No sense throwing everything out of alignment and spending thousands to bring it back to an adjusted state. If the 1995 SR was being manufactured right now (2017), with the same engine, hp and setup, what sized tires do you think it would come with stock? As a slight upgrade? The problem with taller tires is I need to also buy new wheels. What other vehicle wheels fit my Monty? I am not looking for fancy wheels, just anything that will work and I could find on craigslist?
Lots of great info here, most of which are from this forum https://www.google.com/search?sourc.....0j46j0i131k1j0i46k1j0i22i30k1.0.gWtwHsxkwhM
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#6
Jeep-N-Montero is correct. I also agree with everything the other guy said, except about KO2's, which are a new design, with modern silicone based compounds. However, the STMaxx's are quite good too, though possibly more agressive than what you are looking for. Think about the Falkien AT's also.

Skinny is great, and is what I ran on my Monty. Lighter weight, better mileage, better traction in the wet and slippery due to increased pressure per inch thanks to the smaller contact point. When you need to air down, the contact patch gets longer, not wider (think about it, do your tread blocks increase in width? No, they don't), so floatation on loose material like sand or deep snow is still excellent on skinny's.

Lastly, your truck will fit 33's without a lift, but you will see a degradation in engine performance, especially at altitude. I'd stay with 31's with your described usage.
 
#7
Yup, BFG K02... i always get the E rated versions,,,,I have them on several vehicles from 5,000-12,000, they go all for seasons in Montana, where we go from +60f to -60f in a couple of days... snow, mud, heat, rain, slush, ice, gravel, you name it, they are great, and nice and quiet on the Hwy....it is the only thing I will use on 6 vehicles, including plow and fire truck..and farm truck... great tireS

I have destroyed other tires on my high speed gravel roads, including Toyota open country... not the k02s
 
#8
Do you guys know anything about the Kumho AT51 tires? The guy at the alignment shop suggested them (I want to decrease road noise), and upon reflection, most of my time will be spent on the highway, with occasional slow speed travel down occasional difficult rocky dirt roads. No serious rock crawling or baja bashing. I am an old guy... so my days of hauling *** all over the place are done. So I checked the reviews of the tire, and it looks like it may fit the bill. Reasonably aggressive, good in the snow, and dirt and best of all, much cheaper than the BFG's.
 

normal_dave

waytoomuchwritinginposts.
#9
I've had Kuhmo all season highway tires, ok for the price. My tire/alignment guy of 30 years did not recommend their AT51s.

What he did recommend, and I now have as what I'd call a budget Michelin LTX M&S is the Sumitomo Encounter HT. Great all season, wisper quiet, blockier tread than my prior favorite Michelin, great in wet grass/etc., and a great price. Said all that to say, Sumitomo just released an All Terrain version of the Encounter HT. Check into a set of those, if they are anything like the all season version with the benefit of all terrain, they could be a winner...and you could be our guinea pig!:sombrero:

http://www.sumitomotire.com/trucks/products/Encounter/EncounterAT.aspx
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tiresWillFit=true&tireMake=Sumitomo&tireModel=Encounter+AT&partnum=67TR6EAT
Edit: manufacturer tire video

So, if our legendary BFGoodrich KO2s are out of my budget, I'd blindly get the Sumitomo Encounter AT over the Kuhmo, based on my happy experience with the Encounter HT (all season) so far.
 
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#11
Did a bunch of research online and from what I can tell the Falken Wildpeak AT3W is the best buy @ $132 per tire @ 31x10.50/15. Upon reading all the reviews I cannot find any serious negatives about that tire. People like the Sumitomo Encounter HT, but it isn't as aggressive as I want and the ratings for that tire are overall lower than the Falkens. I cannot find but 2 reviews on the Sumitomo Encounter AT, the two who reviewed them liked them, but the sample size is too small for me to take a chance. People liked the Kuhmo, but the downside was an apparent soft sidewall which a couple of people have said they had rock damage to them. The other mainstream tires (BFG, Coopers, etc) were more than I wanted to spend $ and effort to keep rotating them to keep them from cupping. I also found out that my Primewells are garbage (such garbage that they quit making them)- a lot of people were very unhappy about the wear and cupping issues (my problem). Originally, I was considering wearing them down before I replaced, but after reading the reviews of them, I think I will just go out and buy some Falkens tomorrow. Thanks for all the insight gang....
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
#12
Did a bunch of research online and from what I can tell the Falken Wildpeak AT3W is the best buy @ $132 per tire @ 31x10.50/15. Upon reading all the reviews I cannot find any serious negatives about that tire. People like the Sumitomo Encounter HT, but it isn't as aggressive as I want and the ratings for that tire are overall lower than the Falkens. I cannot find but 2 reviews on the Sumitomo Encounter AT, the two who reviewed them liked them, but the sample size is too small for me to take a chance. People liked the Kuhmo, but the downside was an apparent soft sidewall which a couple of people have said they had rock damage to them. The other mainstream tires (BFG, Coopers, etc) were more than I wanted to spend $ and effort to keep rotating them to keep them from cupping. I also found out that my Primewells are garbage (such garbage that they quit making them)- a lot of people were very unhappy about the wear and cupping issues (my problem). Originally, I was considering wearing them down before I replaced, but after reading the reviews of them, I think I will just go out and buy some Falkens tomorrow. Thanks for all the insight gang....
I just hope you don't find yourself with a slashed tire on the trail wishing you had spent the money on BFG's instead, I have been using them since 1999 and never had an issue.
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
#13
The Falkiens are a good tire. Remarkable well behaved on road, and they get the job done off road. I rented a Jeep from Barlow's and that's what they used, and I was really impressed. I had BFG KM2's on my Jeep, (and also my Montero) so I had a good baseline to compare too.
 
#14
I just hope you don't find yourself with a slashed tire on the trail wishing you had spent the money on BFG's instead, I have been using them since 1999 and never had an issue.
Honestly, I read through literally hundreds of reviews on the Falken and didn't read one that talked about slashed sidewalls- or ANY negatives for that matter. And realistically, I have no plans on taking the Monty on the Fordyce or Rubicon trail type roads. If they are that bad, I will most likely walk. I learned a long time ago that the amount of abuse you subject your vehicle to directly relates to how long it lasts and how expensive it gets. For you guys who go to all ends of the earth, the BFG KO2 is probably the tire to get, but for a vehicle which will spend 90% of its time on the highway, it appears the Falken is a reasonable answer- both cost wise and dependability. I am almost tempted to try the Sumitomo Encounter AT, but there is literally NOTHING on the internet about it. It DOES come with a 30 day money back guarantee and a tread warranty, but by the lack of discussion ANYWHERE (youtube, hundreds of google searches), I think rather than me being the guinea pig, maybe someone who has a clue about tire brands ought to take a stab at it. There are a lot of positive responses to the Sumitomo Encounter HT, but as I said before, nothing on the AT.
 
#15
I was in the same boat as you when it came to tires. I live in Idaho and needed to dump the old Cooper STT's (way over 10yrs old). I did the research and was looking at the KO's also for some snow travel and off road stuff. Ended up buying the Falken Wildpeak AT3/W. 55k warranty,$130 a tire. Couldn't be happier. I went with a group through the desert where we drove across lava rocks, sand and some mud without having to drop the tire pressure and remained in 2WD. I run 31/ 10.5 size, and my Jeep XJ is not full of power. It does turn these fine though. I also compared Duratracks. Both the Duratrack and KO's tread was shallow. The Falken's have nice deep tread and grip great on rocks. Currently, we received some snow on the roads and they work great, both on and off road. The STMAXX I run on my truck and H3 work well but are very heavy. I would not use them on the gutless wonder of the jeep. Good luck on your choice.:coffeedrink: