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Old 11-12-2019, 12:59 AM #1
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More tire confusion on the 5th Gen Limited

[Please don't get on me for yet another tire post. Yeah, I've already read all the relevant and recent posts on this site and others... and weeded thru a TON of outdated posts etc.]

Still, I find myself more confused than before.

I'm looking for tires for my '14 Limited I bought new. Geolandar 96s got me to 47K but are done. I am keeping the stock rims and I want the 245s. Summarizing it all, it seems like more people have had the overall best experience with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus is probably second. Both happen to be at the top of the price list but oh well... that's OK.

I want all-seasons that will be decent in Chicago snows and rainy Springs. I also want to stick with the 700+ UTQG rated tire if possible.

Today I went to talk to a local 40-years-in-biz tire guy who came recommended. He actually doesn't sell tires but makes a living installing tires bought online so he has no real skin in the game that way, which gives him more credibility. Anyways he basically trashed both those tires. His claim is that the squared shoulder of the Michelin will cause noise and cupping. Never was 100% clear about his beef with the Bridgestone.

He highly recommends the Cooper Discoverer SRX, which from what I read quite a few people complain of terrible road noise. THat'd be a deal-killer to me.

I've decided to buy from a guy down into the city where I've bought several times before as his prices are unbeatable and his service great. However thanks to YELP he is so busy now that he almost never can come to the phone, meaning to ask him questions I have to probably drive down there.

So where's all this going?

I'm actually not looking for recommendations, but rather a sanity check. Do I trust my research, or do I throw my faith in this guy I just met today? He did say a few other things about the 4R which made me think he doesn't know the truck that well (or maybe it's me?).

Still it's kind of hard to dismiss him, so yeah... I'd love to hear some reassurance that I am on the right track with those two choices. Maybe he's simply biased?

And, I guess if you have recent personal experience with either the Alenza Plus of the Defender LTX M/S I'd like to hear it. They seem like 2 very different tires despite similar numbers overall.

Any opinions or experience is appreciated, thanks.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:33 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayw View Post
[Please don't get on me for yet another tire post. Yeah, I've already read all the relevant and recent posts on this site and others... and weeded thru a TON of outdated posts etc.]

Still, I find myself more confused than before.

I'm looking for tires for my '14 Limited I bought new. Geolandar 96s got me to 47K but are done. I am keeping the stock rims and I want the 245s. Summarizing it all, it seems like more people have had the overall best experience with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus is probably second. Both happen to be at the top of the price list but oh well... that's OK.

I want all-seasons that will be decent in Chicago snows and rainy Springs. I also want to stick with the 700+ UTQG rated tire if possible.

Today I went to talk to a local 40-years-in-biz tire guy who came recommended. He actually doesn't sell tires but makes a living installing tires bought online so he has no real skin in the game that way, which gives him more credibility. Anyways he basically trashed both those tires. His claim is that the squared shoulder of the Michelin will cause noise and cupping. Never was 100% clear about his beef with the Bridgestone.

He highly recommends the Cooper Discoverer SRX, which from what I read quite a few people complain of terrible road noise. THat'd be a deal-killer to me.

I've decided to buy from a guy down into the city where I've bought several times before as his prices are unbeatable and his service great. However thanks to YELP he is so busy now that he almost never can come to the phone, meaning to ask him questions I have to probably drive down there.

So where's all this going?

I'm actually not looking for recommendations, but rather a sanity check. Do I trust my research, or do I throw my faith in this guy I just met today? He did say a few other things about the 4R which made me think he doesn't know the truck that well (or maybe it's me?).

Still it's kind of hard to dismiss him, so yeah... I'd love to hear some reassurance that I am on the right track with those two choices. Maybe he's simply biased?

And, I guess if you have recent personal experience with either the Alenza Plus of the Defender LTX M/S I'd like to hear it. They seem like 2 very different tires despite similar numbers overall.

Any opinions or experience is appreciated, thanks.
Iíd trust the experiences of many 4Runner owners over the word of a single tire guy. Not saying he doesnít know what heís talking about, but my Michelin Defender LTX M/S have been awesome tires and are my favorite out of the three sets Iíve had (OEM were Yokohama, next were Michelin Premier, and now the Defenders). They are incredibly quiet, traction is great, and they are wearing beautifully. I really couldnít ask for much else from them. Youíll also find that they have a fairly good reputation for light off road use too!

That being said, the Discoverer SRX may be a perfectly good tire, but I have no experience with them.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:43 AM #3
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Bought 4 Michelin Defender Ltx M/s in 275/55r20 six months ago.

Couldnít be happier.

Bought online. Had a local guy mount them. Costco and Discount Tire refuses because of the Size.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:25 AM #4
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im a michelin loyalist for sure. had defenders on my tacoma, got my 4 runner fitted with premiers before dealer delivered it and will go to defenders when they wear out. wifes rav4 also came from dealer with defenders. unbeatable life and performance of any tires i know of. worth the price??? you bet your ass they are and if you try them youll never look back... i live it the northeast and you know we get some weather up here !!!
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:39 AM #5
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Thanks for all the responses. It confirms what I was thinking too. I'm sure he is a fine tire guy but the preponderance of info I've gathered says he is wrong on the Michelins and likely the Bridgestones too for the 4Runner. The Defender LTX M/S is about $1000 out-the-door plus $130 alignment at the Toyota dealer so I am going with that plan. The Alenza Plus's are $900 and is Plan B. Everything else seems too much a compromise.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:42 AM #6
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The Defender LTX are the perfect tires for New England on the Limited if you're realistic about your needs. I'm 90+% driving on pavement so I'm more than willing to compromise some off road capability.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:07 PM #7
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I went another direction. I took off the 20s. Bought some 17s and use 265/70 on them. In that size you have tons of choice. IN the 20s very little choice, lower sidewall and increased costs. The 20s dont do anything well. Check the price but with cheap new wheels and 265/17s you may end up comparatively priced.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:13 PM #8
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Lets talk about alignment after tire install.....Im of the opinion that alignment only needs to be done after a suspension change. It is not necessary after new tires. In fact, if it ain't broke don't change it. If it's not out of alignment now, how do new tires put it out of alignment? Agree, tire shops recommend an alignment but I don't buy it when I have history on the vehicle. If investing new tires on a "new to me" used car it is different.

By the way. I have the Bridgestone Dueler Alenza and they are fine. Had them for 5,000 miles. good enough in rain and snow. No problem with them. Why not another set of Yokohamas?

At some point I'll switch to a 17 inch wheel so I have more choices, no rush.
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:20 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badattitude View Post
Lets talk about alignment after tire install...
In brief, if the tires that are being replaced were worn evenly then there should be no need to perform an alignment after the install. Yet if there are signs of cupping, feathering or uneven wear... then an alignment may not be a bad idea.

-2 cents
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:24 PM #10
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IMO - You live in snow country, get a set of real winter tires and a set for the rest of the year.

Look at articles about the difference winter tires make compared to a good all season tire.

Next choice could be an all weather tire, snow capable, better than all season tires in snow and OK to leave on all year. Good choices from BFG and Michelin.

I may be paranoid from watching too many snow driving videos on YouTube.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:44 PM #11
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One of the OE Yokohamas wore much more quickly that the others. It seems real odd. The couple tire guys I've met with seem none too concerned and attribute it to alignment. To me, there's a distinct quality difference in that one tire. Was it from from a different plant or something? Must be.

Still, if I'm spending ~$1000 I want to get everything reset. So I'm getting the alignment. Only question is where.. dealer or local shop? I'm thinking, dealer for $130 which is high.

As to why I don't buy another set of Geolandars, see above. Also they were great traction at first even in snow but haven't been great in a while. I snuck by last winter, but this year no way. We've already had two 3" snows and I can tell, driving would be treacherous w/o new rubber. Slipping an sliding around now where I **never** did before.

These Yokos also cost more $$ than the Michelins so that's another no-brainer. The Geolandar 96s are rated '360 BA' which is not impressive vs 720 AA for the Defender LTX.

My last Michelins on a Ford went 80k. I once had Bridgestone Desert Duelers go 60k. All the other stuff I've owned - the Generals, BF Goodrich, Firestones, Dunlops etc - all were half those numbers.

As for changing wheels, nah. Not for me. I like these. Not big on the mods - except my "semi custom" running board setup which looks and works way better than those dumb factory ornamental ones.
################

I went to the city today and talked to my old tire shop. The LTXs are actually $100 less than I was told so now I'm getting them for $900 out the door. Next Friday installation. I will take a photo and post.
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:56 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobsTrail View Post
IMO - You live in snow country, get a set of real winter tires and a set for the rest of the year.

Look at articles about the difference winter tires make compared to a good all season tire.

Next choice could be an all weather tire, snow capable, better than all season tires in snow and OK to leave on all year. Good choices from BFG and Michelin.

I may be paranoid from watching too many snow driving videos on YouTube.
Interesting ideas, thanks. I could get another set but I'm trying to be minimalist about things in general. My garage is already full of equipment and "toys" plus 2 cars so no room really. I really think a good set of all seasons will do it. I did OK on the Yokos, the Michelins will seem a HUGE upgrade in winter I'm sure. The LTX is fairly aggressive tread - another reason to pick it.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:32 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayw View Post
One of the OE Yokohamas wore much more quickly that the others. It seems real odd. The couple tire guys I've met with seem none too concerned and attribute it to alignment. To me, there's a distinct quality difference in that one tire. Was it from from a different plant or something? Must be.

Still, if I'm spending ~$1000 I want to get everything reset. So I'm getting the alignment. Only question is where.. dealer or local shop? I'm thinking, dealer for $130 which is high.

As to why I don't buy another set of Geolandars, see above. Also they were great traction at first even in snow but haven't been great in a while. I snuck by last winter, but this year no way. We've already had two 3" snows and I can tell, driving would be treacherous w/o new rubber. Slipping an sliding around now where I **never** did before.

These Yokos also cost more $$ than the Michelins so that's another no-brainer. The Geolandar 96s are rated '360 BA' which is not impressive vs 720 AA for the Defender LTX.

My last Michelins on a Ford went 80k. I once had Bridgestone Desert Duelers go 60k. All the other stuff I've owned - the Generals, BF Goodrich, Firestones, Dunlops etc - all were half those numbers.

As for changing wheels, nah. Not for me. I like these. Not big on the mods - except my "semi custom" running board setup which looks and works way better than those dumb factory ornamental ones.
################

I went to the city today and talked to my old tire shop. The LTXs are actually $100 less than I was told so now I'm getting them for $900 out the door. Next Friday installation. I will take a photo and post.
Definitely get an alignment, and the dealer might not be the best. I would personally find a well trusted independent shop (note Firestone, etc.) which preferably has a hunter alignment machine. The important thing is that you want to be able to tell them to get your caster as close to 4 degrees as possible, with all other adjustments in spec. This made a very noticeable difference with my 4Runner - before that, steering was kind of vague and it tended to wander on the highway even though it was technically within Toyota specs with caster at the lower end.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:43 AM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KP Texan View Post
Definitely get an alignment, and the dealer might not be the best. I would personally find a well trusted independent shop (note Firestone, etc.) which preferably has a hunter alignment machine. The important thing is that you want to be able to tell them to get your caster as close to 4 degrees as possible, with all other adjustments in spec. This made a very noticeable difference with my 4Runner - before that, steering was kind of vague and it tended to wander on the highway even though it was technically within Toyota specs with caster at the lower end.
That is awesome thanks. I found a local guy who looks very good so I will ask him about the machine and the caster.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:44 PM #15
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Bridgestone Alenza's all the way!!!
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