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Stock LR4 on hard tires in Death Valley

- - - - - LR4 Death Valley PSI airing down

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#1
mirowsky

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My points here are (1) the LR4 traction control system is incredibly good, and (2) hard street tires did fine on some level 5 or 6 trails.

 

I took my stock 2013 LR4 to Death Valley the first week of November. The two most demanding trails I took were Dedeckera Canyon heading south from Eureka Dunes to Steel Pass, and going down from Mengel Pass heading east from Barker Ranch.

 

I was running fully inflated (36 cold psi front and 42 rear) Toyo Open Country H/T all -season 255/55 R19 light-truck street tires. I will attach a photo showing why I opt for  hard tires. It shows the deformation of a 42 psi tire on a small rock. Clearly, airing down would have put the sidewall in contact with the rock. In the past I ruined all four original tires by airing down in Mojave and Death Valley (Continentals as I recall).

 

The LR4 in low-range rock-crawl mode pulled smoothly and surely over the steps in Dedeckera Canyon and Mengel Pass: no lurching, sliding, etc. Easing down the far side of a rock was like gliding. My only difficulties were self-inflicted. Luckily I was with an excellent spotter. (Justin M., who comes to some of the club MORGs in a black 2-door Wrangler with plates "MI6 D6").

 

So, those running street tires take heart.

 

My sidewalls look unscathed, BUT one front tire now has a pinhole leak in the sidewall. The leak is tiny -- found only with a soap-bubble test.  There also appears to be a ripple in the sidewall between the leak and the rim. This looks more like a manufacturing problem than like rock damage to me. I am open to argument to the contrary.

 

Comments welcome.

 

 

Attached Files


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#2
DHappel

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I agree on the airing-down front with these trucks.  The stock low profile tires don't take well to it.  Even with larger tires we can't air them down like a 'traditional' 4wd would.  I've seen that same thing happen at 25 psi on my LR3 with 275/65-18s which have significantly more sidewall than the stock size (about 1.5" more).  

 

I haven't experimented with the 255/55-19s much since I got rid of mine as soon as I bought the truck.  I suspect you could air down *some* for a softer ride on washboard but certainly not to the pressures earlier trucks run.

 

FWIW on my current LR3 I run 275/70-18s which have a sidewall about 2" taller than the stock tire.  Even with that I only go below 25 psi for snow or sand.


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Don
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#3
alpaca

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My stock pirelli scorpion verde a/s ran pretty well on most trails without airing down - but for sand it made a big difference to go to 25 psi ... and having all- terrarian tires on 18” wheels made an even bigger difference in the dirt ... without a big street trade off (some extra noise - but not bad)

The pirelli did get sidewall cut and shredded itself in Mendocino forest trip ... so I think that is definitely weak point of the street tires on rocky trails ....
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#4
Elherbinator

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Here is an interesting visual on tire pressure. Not sure how much weight is sitting on these or other details, but probably still applies to most cases.1dc366d92947104d2345930edcec4e3e.jpg


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#5
El Solis

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Andrew St Pierre White (ASPW) took on a super tough trail in S Africa in a LR4, aired UP to increase the sidewalk.
 



 
https://youtu.be/a81JPyo7J50
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#6
AA Journey

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Hi, 

 

We just got back from DV and didn't run the same trails you ran but my tires on 20 inch wheels did good.  No cuts or punctures and I was running fast to smooth out the wash boards.  I was thinking in changing my 20 inch wheels to 18s so I could have a better tire choices but for the kind of wheeling I do and the trails I have been able to run with my current setup.   I am happy with the setup. 

 

 It was a good time to visit DV with temperatures in the mid 70s.  It was just a little more crowed than I liked but we camped remotely so we stayed away from the crow. 

 

AA

 

 


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#7
mirowsky

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Thanks for the feedback.

 

One question on switching from street tires to all-terrain or off-road tires: Does on-road breaking distance suffer?

 

I ask for two reasons: a) The tire speed rating apparently drops with the  move to more off-road designs. B) I read an article by a reporter who tested breaking distance on about 20 or so different SUVs and pickups at a meet. About half had street tires, half all-terrain, and one off-road (Wrangler Rubicon). The pattern of shortest breaking distance on was H/T - A/T - M/T on pavement and M/T - A/T - H/T on dirt. If this holds water, then A/T is probably best for me.

 

Chris: special thanks for the link. An Andrew St. Pierre-White YouTube summarizing his Baboon Pass trip influenced me to try full inflation in Death Valley. Great reviewer and off-roader.

 

On the graphics showing increasing tread contact patch with deflation: they illustrate the benefits but not the risks -- chiefly sidewall exposure and contact. I notice that the more a tire is designed for off-roading the more the tread wraps the sidewall. There might be invisible adaptations too, such as thicker or tougher sidewall rubber and more or stronger belting. 



#8
mirowsky

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Oh yeah -- about sand. I agree that soft sand requires airing down. Luckily, the risk to sidewall is low on soft sand. 



#9
Elherbinator

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You are right, most off road tires have been designed to have stronger side walls in addition to the more aggressive tread patterns. Many have additional layers of material and side lugs designed for abuse. There are a lot of good all terrain tires perform well on and off road that are a good compromise for dual use vehicles. The BFG KO2's are a popular example. I've run the KO1 (old version) and KO2, both have similar tread pattern and both had excellent on road characteristics while still performing well offroad while giving you the piece of mind to roll over rocks and roots with confidence.
Does the lr4 brakes require at least an 18" rim?


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#10
DHappel

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Yes the LR4 requires at least an 18" wheel unless you want to change to the diesel's smaller brake calipers (never sold in the US).  Even the stock LR3 18" wheels require a spacer.

 

Though I don't have a link to a specific test, it would make sense that the more off-road biased the tire the longer the braking distance for the same reasons a street oriented tire will handle better - it's optimized for pavement grip instead of trying to be good at multiple surfaces.  The question is how much of a change you would see?  You'll find a difference even in two different street tires, but in day to day driving I don't think you'd see a significant difference between the OEM rubber and say a moderate AT tire like the BFG KO2 or the Cooper AT/3.   However you will find those tires offer superior grip in dirt and soft surfaces and are built stronger to handle rocks and sharp stuff better.  

 

Just as the braking distance would change, you should expect to see an increase of noise and a decrease of gas mileage.  Again, how much will depend on exactly what you change to and it may be negligible but some degree of change is inevitable.

 

For a street driven LR4 that sees some trail use the two tires I mentioned above, the KO2 and the AT/3, are both excellent options and many people in the club are running them and are happy with them.  I don't personally run them as I'm not using my trucks as commuters but more as dedicated trail trucks, so I'm running MTs on my rigs.  Not specifically because I'm planning to wheel in mud, but because they tend to be tougher/stronger tires in general.  The downside being they are heavier, more expensive, don't last as long on the highway, louder, etc...

 

Tires are like religion.  People can be super-fanatical about them.  But for any truck that's going to see a fair amount of off-road driving (or even 'bad road' driving such as DV) an upgrade to even a mild AT like the AT/3 is generally money well spent.


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Don
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#11
mirowsky

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I think I should go with the all-terrain compromise.

 

I had two tires on my short list: Cooper Zeon LTZ and Pirelli Scorpion Zero. I've been leaning toward the Coopers.

 

I will look up the mentioned BFG K02, Cooper AT3 and Pirelli Scorpion Verde.

 

QUESTION: I live in San Francisco. Should i ask British Motors to get and install the tires I specify? Or is there another strategy I should consider?   



#12
Elherbinator

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I think I should go with the all-terrain compromise.

I had two tires on my short list: Cooper Zeon LTZ and Pirelli Scorpion Zero. I've been leaning toward the Coopers.

I will look up the mentioned BFG K02, Cooper AT3 and Pirelli Scorpion Verde.

QUESTION: I live in San Francisco. Should i ask British Motors to get and install the tires I specify? Or is there another strategy I should consider?

I get my tires from tirerack.com or tirebuyer.com. I have found that's the best way to get a deal. You may have to pay shipping, but you won't have to pay sales tax and the price per tire is lower than you'll get locally. They can ship it direct to an installer. An installer will typically charge about $100 to install. I get them installed at wheel works. They offer a lifetime alignment for about $170. The lifetime alignment is great, especially when you go off road or tend to modify your steering or suspension. The lifetime alignment is also transferable one time to either a different vehicle or you can transfer it to a different person if you sell the car. I bought the lifetime alignment when I replaced the tires on my old 2001 disco, and now it has been transferred to my 2004 for no additional money. I highly recommend it.
On the tire front, dick cepek has some great deals on some tires on both those websites. I have nitto mud grapplers on my disco, but I run dick cepek's on 2 of my other vehicles. I have the Trail Country (all terrain) on a gmc sierra and extreme country (mud tire) on a Chevy Tahoe. I have been very happy with both tires. The trail country would probably be what you would be considering, but the extreme country has surprisingly good on road characteristics considering the aggressive tread. It is the quietest mud tire that I've ever driven on. Both were dirt cheap compared to other similar tires. b606e865b5a61a6c04ea2709c3262de2.jpg84ebb5cef7196aed35997afe8d7cd555.jpg


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#13
DHappel

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I too recommend TireRack.  Nothing but good to say about them.  I've bought a lot of tires there over the last 20 years or so and they have a warehouse in Reno so shipping is fast and pretty cheap (and no tax as mentioned).  

 

I haven't run any Dick Cepek tires myself, but they are part of the Cooper world - Cooper owns them as well as Mickey Thompson.  I wouldn't be adverse to trying them if I found something that met my needs and as mentioned they seem to be a good deal.  

 

Of course the universal stand-by tire seems to be the BFG KO2 - everybody loves it for a slightly more aggressive AT tire.  I wasn't a huge fan of the prior generation but you'll have a hard time finding anybody who speaks poorly of the KO2 as a great all-around tire.  They will certainly be a little more expensive as a 'name brand' offering though.

 

You may need to look around a bit to find tires in your size.  255/55-19 is a bit of an oddball and can be difficult to find.  There's actually a bigger selection of tires in the 20" size used on later LR4s and the 18" of earlier LR3s.  Of course 17 seems to be the hot size these days since it's standard on the Jeeps - even more-so than the old stand-by 15".


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Don
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#14
mirowsky

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R19 does seem to be a hangup. Oddly, I found the BFG K02 255/55 R19 on a British site, but not so far in U.S. Seems they must be out there somewhere.

 

I'm still looking.

 

John



#15
AdvRovr

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I've heard very good things about the Cooper Zeons. They were one of the first (and still one of the few) to make an all-terrain 255/55/19, and the Range Rover Sport guys that bought their trucks early on were quick to use them offroad and said good things about them. I've run Coopers on SUVs for about a decade and been very happy with all of their tires. It sounds like that may be a good fit for your style of off-roading if you don't want to drop to 18" wheels. 

 

One thing I can't stress enough - avoid the Pirellis. I've never had a Pirelli that I've liked....ever.


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#16
Jethro

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I have the coopers in the 19”. Biggest difference is the noise, incredibly louder so something to consider.

I found many different tires that would fit but the load ratings were off so the local tire shop wouldn’t install them.

Wrangler also makes one but they have discontinued it. Was the reason I found great deals on it but becomes a challenge if you need a replacement.

Regarding performance they seem to do well. I haven’t done anything too aggressive. Climbed some boulders with them at Folsom lake and then used them going to white rock lake plus various other fire roads.

Let me know if you have any questions, got mine from leschwabs during one of their sales.


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#17
DHappel

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I have the coopers in the 19”. Biggest difference is the noise, incredibly louder so something to consider.

I found many different tires that would fit but the load ratings were off so the local tire shop wouldn’t install them.

Wrangler also makes one but they have discontinued it. Was the reason I found great deals on it but becomes a challenge if you need a replacement.

Regarding performance they seem to do well. I haven’t done anything too aggressive. Climbed some boulders with them at Folsom lake and then used them going to white rock lake plus various other fire roads.

Let me know if you have any questions, got mine from leschwabs during one of their sales.


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Wait, weren't you talking about getting some Swampers for your D1?  And you think the Zeons are loud?   :o


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Don
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#18
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It's also worth noting that sometimes the tire companies may not offer all sizes in all markets.  Goodyear was doing that with the Duratrac or MT/R a while back as i recall.  


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Don
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#19
Jethro

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Wait, weren't you talking about getting some Swampers for your D1? And you think the Zeons are loud? :o


on the D1, the noise is part of the build! ;-)

Just saying as it’s something my better half likes to mention...they are a lot better in the rain than the michellens were.


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