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Old 06-06-2019, 03:06 PM #1
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Advice request re: tire sidewall strength and offroading

2018 4Runner SR5 stock, currently running the DeanTire Back Country SQ-4 in stock size (got it from Les Schwab).

These tires have about 18k miles on them, thread looks ok, but sometimes I can see slight undulations on the sidewalls, especially when I am offroading and the load is distributed unevenly on the wheels.

This is my daily driver and weekends I regularly go offroading and car camping by myself Ė mostly unmaintained forest and mountain roads, and I have seen plenty of sharp rocks sticking out of these roads. Last year I had one of these sharp rocks sliced the sidewall of one of my tires and it wasnít fun at all.

Also, my tires spin pretty easily offroad (dry gravel and rocks), and I got stuck in (light) show a couple of times. Thinking to get an MT tire for that reason.

I am looking to get a different tire that can mitigate the sidewall puncture risk, since I will be mostly by myself in these offroading trips. Better offroad grip would also be nice to have.

I am asking for a reality check, since I am too deep into this and I canít seem to see clearly into this whole situation.

From this perspective, is the 3-ply reinforced sidewall going to make a big difference over the ďregularĒ 2 ply sidewalls ? Most MT (and some AT) tires advertise how strong their sidewalls is, etc. (BFG KM3, General Grabber X3, Cooper Discoverer STT Pro / Maxx, etc). Is this what I am looking for ?

What if I move from a P to an LT tire Ė From what I read, the LT has stronger sidewalls. I did a lot of data mining on tires recently and I understand that LT tires require higher air pressure to carry equivalent loads, which will result in a (lot ?) harsher ride on the road. They also have deeper threads, which might help with traction, but harder compound, which might not helpÖ

I have shortlisted 2 tires that Iím looking at:

General Grabber A/TX
General Grabber X3 --

I have seen mostly good reviews on General tires + good wet traction on road, which is important since I live in Seattle.

BFGs are a close runner (KO2s or KM3s) on my list but from what Iíve read about them, there are 2 concerning issues with them: (1) wet traction seems to be a problem, and (2) I understand BFGs quite often have balancing (and/or going out of balance) issues, which concerns me because I had steering wheel vibration on OEM tires and the current tires had to be Road Force balanced to eliminate that.

Coopers and Toyos seem high quality tires, but are VERY expensive Ė Money is not a big concern, but I have a hard time to justify to myself (no wife ) spending close to, or over $2,000.- on a set of tires.

Appreciate your time and advice.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:24 PM #2
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I think you may want to review my posts in the Wildpeak AT3W thread. I think that in between Tacoma007, Decipher, and I we have covered all the various scenarios in the West and the Midwest on P-metric AT3Ws in 265 70 17 (and Decipher now went to 285).

The only one to get a sidewall puncture was me and that was once in 1930 miles so far offroad, when I was aired down (Tacoma007 has had no issues aired down but I do not air down except for soft stuff) and going twice as fast as the Jeeps. Not sure what happened.

I have been through tons and tons of rocks, literally, in S. Utah and Arizona and some in Montana. The only area where having the Wildpeak is a bit of a concern is parts of the Sonoran Desert but, again, it only happened once in an unusual for me situation.

Honestly, for anyone not in a highly modded 4Runner and/or one doing the Rubicon and Golden Spike and the like, a P-metric AT should be good enough. The spare is there for that one time when things go wrong.

I have 80 trails and nearly 100 runs in 15 months and don't think I can justify an MT or put up with an MT for the rare trail where it might be better than my AT3W.

Also, my tires are 142/each. If I had to pay 200, then, yes, I would be really mulling over the question of whether an MT might be worth it (Firestone MT2 in 255 75 to be precise).
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:35 PM #3
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Having owned P rated road tires to E load KO2, I settled on a C load or 3 Ply sidewalls. Iíve had good results in all areas of consideration from performance and compliance both on and off-road.

Currently using a 3 ply BFG MT and I have no desire to change it to something else as I donít daily driver the truck. That said, I would be pretty happy with a C or D load (at most) all terrain if this was a daily driver with weekend warrior duties because with an MT on road you do give up a lot, but off-road itís absolutely wonderful.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:27 PM #4
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From a SIDEWALL strength perspective and all-terrain, BFG AT KO2 is #1 by far over pretty much the rest of the tires.

The closest AT tire (tested officially) is the Goodyear Wrangler AT with Kevlar which came close but still behind BFG KO2.

The rest of the ATs are much lower than those two tires in terms of sidewall strength.

There is an unknown that i think has a strong sidewall...Nokian Rotiiva: Nokian Rotiiva AT

The problem with Rotiiva is that it is from a small (but establish) company and i am not sure how competent it is on-road. There is a guy on Tacomaworld that ran these tires and he did manage to blow out 2 tires while off-roading. Hard to say if he blew the sidewall or tread.

Now, if you want a highway tire that can stand some abuse, then Michelin Defender LTX is probably the next best thing. The sidewall is reportedly pretty stout.

For me, BFG KO2 is overkill for my needs. Thus, i am down to Goodyear AT with Kevlar and Michelin Defender. Just deciding which i value more...on-road goodness with proven heritage but looks so damn boring (Michelin) vs. more off-road ready and looking pretty good but more expensive (Goodyear).
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:33 PM #5
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Here is a great article on some common ATs with sidewall testing: https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...6&d=1497265431
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Old 06-06-2019, 07:44 PM #6
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Just found this:

MILESTAR PATAGONIA M/T MAXIMUM TRACTION OFF-ROAD TIRE

They claim it has a 3ply sidewall. There is a bunch of youtube vidoe reviewing this but some are paid by Milestar so I don't if they can be trusted. Found other reviews, pretty positive.

A buddy of mine at work is running these on his FJ (that's how I found out about them) and he's pretty happy with them.

YouTube

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Old 06-11-2019, 10:45 PM #7
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Thank you everbody for your input, I ended up installing a set of General Grabbers ATx LT256/70R17 (E load rating).

Discount Tires ordered, installed and Road Force balanced these for $1060,- including tire certs valid for 10 years.
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