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 Post subject: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: June 20th, 2016, 8:56 am 
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Currently, I have 2 Michelin LTX M/S2's up front (load E) and 4 older BFG (don't recall the name, but they are the most common I've seen) in the back. I run roughly 60-65 PSI up front and 55-60 in back. I'm going to get new LTX's for the back soon, but got me thinking.. tires are a lot of personal preference. What do you like?


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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: June 20th, 2016, 9:28 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I have the Michelin LTX MS/2's all the way around. I like them but then it's not like I've run with six different sets of tires to actually compare (maybe someone has?). I like a tire to be reasonably quiet on the highway, and while I boondock a lot, other things on the rig (besides traction) limit where I want to take it so the MS/2 tires haven't been a stopping point for me. (For me it's departure angle plus the fact that I don't want a ton of "nature's pinstriping" on this particular rig.)

I do slightly wonder about your front tire pressure, but maybe your weight is quite a bit higher due to the 4WD conversion. If not, that seems like a lot of extra pressure. I believe I've posted the pressure chart for our size tires before, but for example my front axle comes in at about 3200# (that's with my spare mounted on a front hitch, me in the driver's seat, and the passenger seat area full of tools). You divide by two to get the correct pressure for each tire, so that's 1600# for me. The recommended pressure for our size tires at that weigh is 40# (actually that's for 1650# but that's the lowest recommended pressure). I run between 45# and 50# for slightly better handling, but I can't imagine running 65# (that would be the amount recommended for a total front axle weight of 4,670# - maybe yours is that heavy with the 4WD conversion?)

My rear axle weighs around 6,800#, so the recommended pressure for those tires (at 1700# each) is about 48#. I tend to run around 50-55# since that also covers me with the additional rear axle weight when towing.

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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: June 20th, 2016, 11:01 am 
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Joined: August 8th, 2015, 11:54 am
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
When I bought my rig in March its tires were mostly 13 years old so I replaced all of them with Michelin LTX-MS/2's. I have the exact same Michelins on my Navigator and before that on a Toyota Highlander and before that on a Ford van. They made a huge difference in handling on all these cars and I've never had a failure with them. I actually did some off-pavement driving on very rugged terrain - the loop road at Capitol Reef National Monument and the Schaeffer Trail in Moab. I think they're the best tire for handling, traction and wear.

As far as pressures I'm currently running 60 in the fronts and 55 in the rears. Makes the ride more forgiving but doesn't make it wallow too much, but then I do have a larger rear sway bar that the previous owner installed along with air bags to deal with any trailer weight. When I got the rig it was running 65 in the front, 60 in the rear and 80 in the air bags, so I dropped the pressure in the tires as noted above and then adjusted the air bags down to 60. Much more forgiving ride. On my wish list is a small air compressor so I can easily adjust tire pressure depending on whether I'm doing a lot of interstate miles or secondary roads.

Paul

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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: June 22nd, 2016, 5:48 am 
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Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:07 am
Posts: 81
I also have those Michelin LTX MS/2's all around. They have been fine. But of late I have become a real fan of Pirelli's. I have a set of the Pirelli Cinturato P7 Plus on my 2008 Subaru Outback and they are THE BEST. Have never had such a smooth ride, no noise, good wet and snow traction. When I need new shoes for the Rig, I will certainly try to find a set of Pirelli tires in the right size for light truck/SUV use.

David


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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: June 27th, 2016, 2:09 pm 
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Joined: July 13th, 2015, 7:07 am
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Just returned from a two week trip down the Blue Ridge to camp in the Smokies with some old friends. On the way back, I picked up a nail and had to have front left tire plugged. I also took that opportunity to rotate the tires, and for the rest of the ride home, I felt like the balance was a bit off--ride was not as smooth. Thought maybe it was because they re-balanced the tire that needed to be plugged...it was a tire place, but I did notice that they did not have the "high speed" balance system that my local Ford dealer has. So, when I got home, I took the Rig in to have all tires re-balanced on the "high speed" device (this is the one that also has the capability to simulate real road conditions by use of a roller that exerts force on the tire while it is spinning). The difference in smoothness of ride and less vibration was immediately noticeable...I am back to being able to cruise at 70-75 comfortably.

So, all this got me to wondering what it would feel like if I paid the extra $80 to have the tires balances using the "road force roller system." Has anyone out there had this type of tire balancing done??? And, if so, did you notice any difference between that and a good "high speed balance"? If there really is a difference, I might just pay the bucks and get it done before our upcoming month-long trip to Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula.

David


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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: June 27th, 2016, 6:26 pm 
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Joined: January 12th, 2014, 7:18 pm
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Just s tip, but my reading has turned up that the LTX tire is being replaced by the "Defender LTX". Looks he same.. Supposed to last a little longer (not that the original had a problem though)


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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: June 27th, 2016, 7:51 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I had my front tires "Hunter Road Force" balanced last winter. I had a vibration from around 60-70 mph and had pretty much changed everything else. But, I changed a few variables at once, so who knows.

1) I bought two re-conditioned Ford rims for the front axle. One of my front rims was a bit "off" (very common with these Ford steel wheels, apparently) and they had balanced it out, but still.... I asked them to particularly tell me how the new rims balanced alone, without the tire, because I was curious how good they'd be. Turned out they were almost perfect.

2) I bought two new Michelin LTX MS/2 for the front. The ones I had one were still pretty good, but my spare was ancient and one of the fronts had worn slightly funny before I got the new front end, so I went with two new tires and put the better front I took off on the spare rim.

3) I had them Hunter Road Force balanced.

I did this all at once at Discount Tire, so can't say anything too specific. On the other hand the concept sounds good to me, so I will likely seek out a shop with this balancer any time I have future tire work. In fact, although the vibration is much improved, it is not completely gone, so this winter (when I'm sitting a bit more still again), I'll likely take in all four of the rear wheel/tires for the same treatment.

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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: June 28th, 2016, 8:54 am 
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Thanks for the information on the "Road Force" balancing...given the amount of time we spend on the road, I think I'm going to try this method and see how it compares to my current high-speed balance. Will report back in mid-August after we return from our trip up to the Gaspe Peninsula.
David


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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: August 14th, 2016, 3:15 pm 
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Just got back from terrific 3 week trip through the Canadian Atlantic Provinces and a circumvention of the Gaspe Peninsula--beautiful part of the world, with great camping, hiking, biking, canoeing.
As previously mentioned, I did a "Road Force" balance of all six tires before the trip, and I am writing to say that I think it was well worth the $160 bucks I shelled out to my Ford dealership to have the job done. When we were on major highways, I was able to cruise at 75 smoothly...and I mean smoothly. Even the roughly 150 miles of gravel logging roads we traversed did not seem to put anything out of whack. So, I would recommend getting a good "Road Force" balance for anyone out there seeking a smoother ride.
David


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 Post subject: Re: Tire preferences?
PostPosted: August 14th, 2016, 3:36 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Great report (not to mention the trip! That sounds amazing).

I had a vibration that started at 65 mph. Higher speed vibrations are usually wheel/tire related. Plus I'd already replaced just about anything else that could cause it (minus drive shafts and U-joints, but from what I read they tend to lead to lower speed effects).

Last winter I bought two new rims and tires for the front and had them Road Force balanced. The vibration is not gone, but I'd say it's 75% improved. This winter I intend to have the rears Road Force balanced, and I'm thinking/hoping that will eliminate the last 25%. Been pondering Alcoa rims. But the thing is, I'm perfectly happy with steel rims if I can just have true ones. When I called my source for the rims I'd bought for the front they didn't have any more, but I'll check again depending on what I find with the rear rims. They passed the test on a normal balancer, but... meh. I had the new rims I bought balanced (checked) without tires and they were nearly perfect, so I'm quite happy with them. If I do go to Alcoa rims, well, two steel rims are still used on the inside rears, so I'd move the new rims there. Last thing to check if it's not that would be the balance of the rear drums.

Okay, enough rambling (for now :D). Great to hear your trip went so well and how happy you are with the Road Force balancing.

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