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Old 12-14-2012, 02:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
eco....something or other
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Colfax, WI
Posts: 649

wood hauler - '91 Ford F-250
Team Pontiac
90 day: 18.97 mpg (US)

3800 Sunfire - '02 Pontiac Sunfire
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Tire update

I put new tires on my truck this fall. They are 235/85-16 E Cooper ST MAXX.
They are VERY heavy compared to the trailer tires they replaced. I can feel the weight when speeding up or braking. They make the truck feel a lot heavier than it really is. The traction is great. I can go anywhere a 4x4 can go except for really soft ground where I sink. They are great in the snow and on wet roads and they seem to be wearing well. The mileage dropped to about 18 mpg. I expected that, but I was tired of getting in tough spots with my old tires and figured the MPG drop would be offset by the increased traction. I have to say I am happy with the tradeoff. I used to get stuck in grass if there was a small mound or hill and could just about forget about going anywhere in the snow.

I have put a few thousand miles on them and they do a lot better once they get broken in, which can take 500-1,000 miles. I can drive through at least a foot of crappy snow without any problem, and steep dirt trails offer little resistance. There is more sway around corners now and they feel more squirmy than my old old highway ribs, those things rode like I was on rails.

The armored sidewalls make the tire heavier, but you don't have to worry as much about sidewall damage. The deep tread canyons are great at channeling water and mud. The deep tread is probably causiung a lot of the squirm and roll and I expect that to get better as the tires wear. Weight should drop by 25% near the end of their life span, since the tread is so big and deep.

I can stick my finger clear to the bottom of the tread blocks, and a penny will vanish if dropped in. They don't hold very many stones and I only hear 1 or 2 rocks hit the bottom of the truck when leaving a trail or gravel road and speeding up. This is because of the stepped shoulders on the tread blocks.

The load rating on these tires is 3,042 and they stand 32 inches tall. I have loaded them heavy and they are more than capable. My truck weighs 4,800 lbs with 2,800 on the front axle and 2,000 on the rear axle. I loaded almost 9,000 lbs of wood on the back of the truck and the tires were just starting to show it at 80 lbs. The truck does NOT have duals. They felt a little loose under that load, but I imagine the deep tread was squishing and enhanced the loose feeling. I felt confident up to 45 mph but felt uncomfortable going faster with the load.

If anyone has any questions, just ask.


1991 F-250:
4.9L, Mazda 5 speed, 4.10 10.25" rear
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