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Old 03-27-2011, 12:33 AM   #1
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An Experiment With Tire Width

Posted this on Rubicon Owners Forum, but thought y'all would be interested also.

Basic Story:
Due to an accident, I recently had to replace my Goodyear SilentArmor tires. I really like the tires, great traction, great wear, and quiet as the name suggests. But, I had been reading a lot about tall tires (pizza cutters) and decided to go skinny. Unfortunately, except for Interco, there aren't any DOT approved options.
I was running 265/85-16, load range E. According to Goodyear, 31.7 inches diameter. It just so happens Goodyear SilentArmor, 235/85-16, load range E had a listed diameter of 31.7 inches also. Exactly the same tire except for width. My scientific curiosity took over and I ordered 4.
General Impressions:
The ride is much smoother. Probably due to lighter weight and fresh, deep tread. Also, it feels like I have ram assist on the power steering, less scrub from a narrower tire, it is much improved. Traction seems the same, actually very good.
Mileage:
This blew me away. I love tracking my mileage, even have an iPod app for it.
Mileage before, 265's, averaged about 16.1. Not too shabby for a 4.6 stroker. New 235's, for 4 tanks, was 17.1, 17.8, 20.1, and 18.2.
Now, that's 16.1 to 18.3 mpg from a 30mm tire width change, same 31.7 diameter (not counting wear on older 265's!). That's a 13.7% increase.
Sum it up:
Why didn't someone tell me about this sooner?

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Old 03-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #2
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Well yeah, a narrower tire weighs less, so it will give you better mileage, and less rolling resistance.... You'll also find in deep stuff like snow or mud, they perform better... Not so good in sand. Also, I can't tell from your post, but it seems like you switched brand of tires, weight differences there can be astounding. I'm glad you made the choice that works for you. You are not alone in your admiration of "pizza cutters" there are lots of fans out there... Sorry you didn't get the memo.....

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Old 03-27-2011, 12:47 PM   #3
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^^^What InfernoGirl said.


IIRC, Basic rule of thumb for rotating mass weight (i.e., tires, rims, etc.) is for every pound of rotating mass, multiply that by 4 and that is the approximate equivalent in additional vehicle weight.
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