After running the stock Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armour tyres for nearly 40,000km over some very rough terrain, they ended up looking like this:
All five have looked like this for the last year, and aside from painting the sidewalls with tyre paint, they were just starting to look a bit ratty. Time for UPGRADES!
After looking around at the offerings in the AT market (Cooper ST Maxx, Mickey Thompson P3, Bridgestone Dueler, BFG AT KO2), I started looking at a few of the more aggressive packages: Goodyear Duratrac offers a decent 70/30 tread (this was a really close second choice - I just couldn't come at the 2 ply sidewall); BFG MT KO, and the Cooper STT Pro - the new kid on the block. All were roughly in the same price range, and I wasn't about to squabble over $20 a corner when the only thing you need to keep moving out here in remote NT is reliable (inflated) tyres.
Being a relatively stock Jeep, I needed to make sure of several aspects - that the tyres were going to fit the stock wheels, that they would fit within the wheel well, that there would be no/minimal rubbing. After reading through a LOT of forum posts on here, the 285/70R17 was identified as the way to move forward.
Considering the big change, my wife and I decided to take advantage of the time the wheels were off the car and get them sandblasted and powder coated to match the bullbar and sliders - texture black. As this undertaking required the removal of the TPMS units, new valve stems had to be sourced in a hurry. My local dealership wanted to sell me these TPMS units as a single item - at a cost of $192.38 EACH. Fortunately, Stuart Murchison
was just a phonecall away, and a quick over the phone transaction had 5x valve stems in an airbag and on their way to my door for less than $100.
Here is the final product mounted on the wheel (white lettering to the inside) and ready to go back on the Jeep:
and leaving the showroom floor:
First impressions are as follows:
- there is the faint hum that is the trademark of the mud terrain tyre , but not much of it - there is not enough noise coming from them that the air conditioner fan can't block out.
- there is less feel at the steering level for where they are on the road, an expectation of anything with over 15mm of tread when compared to the previous tyres of <5mm tread
- there is the slightest change in gearing when driving between 60-80km/h where the transmission can hunt for the appropriate gear for a second or two longer than normal, but this was also expected due to the increase in rolling diameter.
- the rolling resistance is negligible at road pressures (currently running 34-36psi around town), though its possible the Jeep does slow down a little easier with engine braking than it did prior to.
Next post: Driveway dimensions and kitchen window admiring