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Old 09-08-2021, 12:01 PM #1
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Need Advice (Tires/Balancing)

Disclaimer:: I overthink/ over research things that often leads me to not doing anything, ultimately.

I have a 2021 4Runner Trail Special Edition with stock rims, stock Dueller P265 70/R17 tires, stock suspension.

I bought it in January 2021.

I have zero issues with shakes, shimmies or wobbles at any speed.

My tire PSI is around 34.

These tires suck though. They weren't #good in the snow and they're ugly.

After much research I've settled in on Toyo Open Country ATIII P265 70/R17 SL. Factory size and load.

While doing my extensive (overkill) research I came across a bunch of horror stories regarding tires that won't balance properly and the nightmare than ensued.

I would like to navigate this as best as possible.

I'm probably buying the tires from TireRack online and having them shipped either to my house or to an installer.

Should I find an installer that "road force balances" tires right away?

Or should I have them just mount and standard balance and cross my fingers?

Is road force balance even necessary for my stock size tire in SL range?

I know I'm overthinking this. I just don't want to pay for standard mount and balance at one place to end up going back to a place that actually has a road force balancing machine and pay another $120 or whatever for that service. I also don't want to road force balance if its not necessary for my situation.

I don't want any shimmies, shakes or wobbles and I will not be able to "live with it".

Thanks for reading and I greatly appreciate any insight from those who've been down this road before.
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Old 09-08-2021, 12:07 PM #2
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road force balance (with smart balance turned off) all the things
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Old 09-08-2021, 05:06 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
Disclaimer:: I overthink/ over research things that often leads me to not doing anything, ultimately.

I have a 2021 4Runner Trail Special Edition with stock rims, stock Dueller P265 70/R17 tires, stock suspension.

I bought it in January 2021.

I have zero issues with shakes, shimmies or wobbles at any speed.

My tire PSI is around 34.

These tires suck though. They weren't #good in the snow and they're ugly.

After much research I've settled in on Toyo Open Country ATIII P265 70/R17 SL. Factory size and load.

While doing my extensive (overkill) research I came across a bunch of horror stories regarding tires that won't balance properly and the nightmare than ensued.

I would like to navigate this as best as possible.

I'm probably buying the tires from TireRack online and having them shipped either to my house or to an installer.

Should I find an installer that "road force balances" tires right away?

Or should I have them just mount and standard balance and cross my fingers?

Is road force balance even necessary for my stock size tire in SL range?

I know I'm overthinking this. I just don't want to pay for standard mount and balance at one place to end up going back to a place that actually has a road force balancing machine and pay another $120 or whatever for that service. I also don't want to road force balance if its not necessary for my situation.

I don't want any shimmies, shakes or wobbles and I will not be able to "live with it".

Thanks for reading and I greatly appreciate any insight from those who've been down this road before.
First, you might read through this thread to get an idea how to do a good balance job on your new tires: Steering wheel shakes after installing new wheels and tires.

I agree that the factory mounted tires are really bad. I changed mine out right away for BFG KO2 tires in the stock size, but load range E (more plys) since I go off road quite a bit and wanted something tougher on sharp rocks. The KO2 tires are notorious for being hard to balance, but I have never had a problem with my tires balance; they ride really smooth. I bought my tires at the local Discount Tire store which did the balance.
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Old 09-08-2021, 07:56 PM #4
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Online your probably stuck with what you get

I can not claim that I thought this out or made a great decision but when I bought tires the set I got would not balance, steering wheel wobble at 60 mph after 3 road force balances, third at different tire shop. When I conveyed my frustration to the manager at Discount Tire he replied " you can return them and pick another tire" I changed to another brand and BAM smooth as silk. I guess what I'm saying is if your worried about it pay a little more and use a tire store that will allow you to return the tires. Several of them allow it.
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Old 09-08-2021, 08:11 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallcs View Post
I can not claim that I thought this out or made a great decision but when I bought tires the set I got would not balance, steering wheel wobble at 60 mph after 3 road force balances, third at different tire shop. When I conveyed my frustration to the manager at Discount Tire he replied " you can return them and pick another tire" I changed to another brand and BAM smooth as silk. I guess what I'm saying is if your worried about it pay a little more and use a tire store that will allow you to return the tires. Several of them allow it.

Iíve had three sets of different tires on different cars balanced a total of 8 times at Discount Tire and none ever balanced until I went somewhere else.

I donít care if I have to pay more. Iím not wasting another hour out of my life on that place.

They tried twice recently on my 4Runner and they just donít know what theyíre doing if the machine doesnít magically make it all happen. Reason I went to them is I actually forgot all the drama Iíve been through with them until my wife basically said Iím an idiot and asked why I went back.
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Old 09-08-2021, 10:21 PM #6
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Donít think about it and just do it. The 4Runner will look much better. Odds are , youíre gonna be so conscious about it that you WILL feel something even if there is nothing. It happened to me lol.

Definitely take it to a reputable shop were you can go back and complain if they did not do a good job.
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Old 09-09-2021, 01:55 AM #7
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Don't believe everything you read on the internet..........

Go cheap and expect cheap results.

There are way more 4runners with custom wheels/tires that have no issues than the handful of horror stories you read about in the forums.

I would think any reputable tire shop will warranty the tires, the work, balancing etc. If not I would keep looking or keep going back until they make it right.

There's lots of ways to protect yourself on the off chance you get a bad set. You just need to be willing to see it through......
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Old 09-09-2021, 06:28 AM #8
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Does anyone have a specific opinion on Toyo Open Country ATIII tires? I've been reading about many different tires since about July on the forum here and many tire supplier reviews and settled on them being the sweet spot for me. A mild(er) AT tire that will serve me well when I go camping and bombing around national forest service roads (gravel/ dirt pack). Not being too much heavier than stock (its my daily). Having the 3PMSF rating ( I live in Wisconsin). They're about $198 on TireRack right now. This isn't considered a "cheap tire" is it? In a previous life I had Grabber AT2s on my Xterra and they were good initially but ended up being pretty bad half way through their life. After that I had Michelin Defender LTX. Boring tire to look at but drove nicely. I'm rambling here.. LOL.

As of right now my idea is to go to my local Toyota dealership and see if they will price match/ order my Toyo Open Country ATIII tires I want. I looked up on Hunter's "road force locater" tool and see that they have on of those machines there. If they won't price match the tires I'll just schedule and installation appointment there and have them delivered to my house and bring them in.

This seems like a good idea, no? A Toyota dealership SHOULD be experienced in balancing the 4runner... And I think with TireRack you get 30 days to send em back and swap for a new set.

I have a dispersed camping trip exactly 4 weeks from today in the Ottawa NF Upper Peninsula of MI. And this is going to be our main vehicle for exploring all the service roads up there. I would likely be just fine on the crappy Duellers if I'm being realistic but I wanted to swap these out for a better tire in the winter soon anyways so might as well get er done before my trip. More rambling. Thanks for reading all.
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Old 09-09-2021, 06:39 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fkheath View Post
First, you might read through this thread to get an idea how to do a good balance job on your new tires: Steering wheel shakes after installing new wheels and tires.

I agree that the factory mounted tires are really bad. I changed mine out right away for BFG KO2 tires in the stock size, but load range E (more plys) since I go off road quite a bit and wanted something tougher on sharp rocks. The KO2 tires are notorious for being hard to balance, but I have never had a problem with my tires balance; they ride really smooth. I bought my tires at the local Discount Tire store which did the balance.
Thanks! This was a great read.
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:28 AM #10
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A lot of the shops with the Hunter machine have a tech that isn't properly trained on it.

I end up having to have balancing done at the Toyota dealer, and even that takes 2 or 3 tries to get it right.

Currently my "less round" Falkens have to stay on the rear so I can't rotate them. Luckily they wear like iron so it hasn't been a big deal after about 40k or so other than the noise they now make.
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Old 09-09-2021, 09:57 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenwilliams0803 View Post
A lot of the shops with the Hunter machine have a tech that isn't properly trained on it.

I end up having to have balancing done at the Toyota dealer, and even that takes 2 or 3 tries to get it right.

Currently my "less round" Falkens have to stay on the rear so I can't rotate them. Luckily they wear like iron so it hasn't been a big deal after about 40k or so other than the noise they now make.
I have a lot of pent up anger toward dealerships and dealership employees from years past. So zero issue imposing my will toward them.

I have way too much respect and adoration for honest local mom and pop places to be "that guy"

And I stay away from national chain auto shops because I know they're ran by ****tards and since I know that I have zero expectations/ feel like its my fault for even going there.

If Toyota can't even balance their own vehicles tires and I have the knowledge/research in my mind that the tires I bought are not "cheap tires" I will go ape shit on whoever it is stuck dealing with me.
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:10 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallcs View Post
I can not claim that I thought this out or made a great decision but when I bought tires the set I got would not balance, steering wheel wobble at 60 mph after 3 road force balances, third at different tire shop. When I conveyed my frustration to the manager at Discount Tire he replied " you can return them and pick another tire" I changed to another brand and BAM smooth as silk. I guess what I'm saying is if your worried about it pay a little more and use a tire store that will allow you to return the tires. Several of them allow it.
I would second this. I had a set of Toyo AT2s that were unbalancable. Had a lot of issues with them. Discount replaced 2 of the original set after one had a center tread puncture with a rock - kind of a blunt rock through the tread. Within a few months I came back in and the new ones had gone way out of balance. I got frustrated and started using street tires and the AT2s as offroad only set. But Discount tire went above and beyond IMO. They ordered another full set for me. And two of them were unbalancable new (road force called for 16+ ounces of weight each.)

We had a few conversations with Toyo who basically told Discount that they must be doing something wrong or I must be too hard on them and was ruining the tires. Discount was great - they said - "well, how do you explain the new tires that are square?" and the Toyo rep couldn't really respond other than telling him it must be the wheels or the machine.

Discount told me to pick another tire and they'd give me a full retail price credit toward the new ones. I went with some Cooper AT3's and has been smooth sailing since on the balance side. Having a good tire shop that'll spend the time to either balance the tires properly or replace them was worth a little extra up front.
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:14 AM #13
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I just checked my toyota dealers website and they are currently offering "Buy 3 get one for $1" with a total installed price not including tax of $752.80. Not bad.

TireRack had them for $198 each. Plus tax and plus installation. Decent savings. I'm leaning this route right now. Seems like a smart choice. And if anything gets ****ed up I can easily point my finger in their face and yell until it gets resolved. Maybe they'll even scratch these stock black Trail rims and replace with some of those snazzy TRD wheels yall are running. LOL
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:18 AM #14
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I would second this. I had a set of Toyo AT2s that were unbalancable. Had a lot of issues with them. Discount replaced 2 of the original set after one had a center tread puncture with a rock - kind of a blunt rock through the tread. Within a few months I came back in and the new ones had gone way out of balance. I got frustrated and started using street tires and the AT2s as offroad only set. But Discount tire went above and beyond IMO. They ordered another full set for me. And two of them were unbalancable new (road force called for 16+ ounces of weight each.)

We had a few conversations with Toyo who basically told Discount that they must be doing something wrong or I must be too hard on them and was ruining the tires. Discount was great - they said - "well, how do you explain the new tires that are square?" and the Toyo rep couldn't really respond other than telling him it must be the wheels or the machine.

Discount told me to pick another tire and they'd give me a full retail price credit toward the new ones. I went with some Cooper AT3's and has been smooth sailing since on the balance side. Having a good tire shop that'll spend the time to either balance the tires properly or replace them was worth a little extra up front.

I do recall during my research that there were quite some frustrations with the Toyo ATIIs. But seemed as if the problems were solved with their ATIII. I'm pretty dead set on this exact tire. I initially was sold on Duratracs, then KO2s, even Pirellis made an appearance. But Toyo ATIII came out on top more often than not over the hundreds of reviews I scoured.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:21 PM #15
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Quote:
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I do recall during my research that there were quite some frustrations with the Toyo ATIIs. But seemed as if the problems were solved with their ATIII. I'm pretty dead set on this exact tire. I initially was sold on Duratracs, then KO2s, even Pirellis made an appearance. But Toyo ATIII came out on top more often than not over the hundreds of reviews I scoured.
There was a lot to like about them. Traction was good. Durability as far as flats was actually pretty good considering I was using them in the rocks a lot. But the balance issues were a problem that is hard to get past. So hopefully they've fixed it by now. Rubber is soft. But that's good for traction. It's all a trade off. The Cooper AT3s seem to wear very slowly in comparison. But my Cooper HT+ street tires are wearing about the same rate as the Toyos.

I also had them in a 285/70/17 size, so it might be a totally different animal from a stock size tire.

Last edited by Jetboy; 09-09-2021 at 12:31 PM.
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