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Old 01-06-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
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Falken Rocky Mountain 33x12.5x15 on Chaos 5

Yes, I know...all the cool kids run Duratracks.

This write up is for those considering alternatives to "the combo" and either have different uses in mind than would be suitable to the GY's or maybe they just wanna do their own thing....Jeepers dont always like to follow the trail set by others. Whatever...

These...are ONE such option

I just replaced my OEM Bridgeston Dualer S/T 255/65/18 tires and factory 18" "Gladiator" wheels. The decision was PURELY aesthetic. Im not gonna try to pretend there was any sort of rational justification other than I wanted a different look. The Bridgestones were awesome, quiet, smooth, efficient, and never broke traction in the minimal off-road I did. They just looked like city tires and I wanted something more...Jeepy. Not necessarily more "aggressive"...I dont wanna paint a frowny faice on my ride or accessorize with vampire fangs, or install an exhaust system that makes it gor Grrr or try to be intimidating. I just wanted to look more...Jeepy. Take it for what it is.

I ready HUNDREDS of posts/threads/articles/reviews/blogs/etc etc etc....researching tires and wheels. Its a lot of money changing hands, and there is a significant element of safety in play as well, and I was in no hurry to pull the trigger, so I was able to ponder and plan this move at my liesure and make thes choices very carefully.

The few tire sites that review Falkens LOVE them. Yall know the usual scenario where reviewers either love or hat something? Well in this case it was that reviewers either didnt know about Falkens...or they Loved em. No negative reviews from "professional" sources. Interestingly, I've found that reviewers of any commodity rarely actually say anything negative about whatever they are commenting on...its usually a contest to see who can say the nicest things....If you get a rep for being too critical, manufacturers will stop sending you stuff to rip on. So read ALL reviews...professional, user, mine, with a grain of salt.

The variety of sites I've stalked that have user reviews of the Falkens...seemed to love em. Here, there were some negatives reported. Users said the tires smelled bad, the tires were heavy, the tires picked-up rocks and spit out when back on the highway. Well, I park outside, not in a garage, and I dont spend a lot of time sniffing my tires...so the "smell" didnt matter to me. Weight was irrelevant cuz once its rolling...its rolling...inertia takes over and revolutions are revolutions. The only thing this could effect is the power needed to make the revolutions which would only be a factor when initially starting out...no biggie. Picking up stuff and throwing it...sounds like "traction" by any other name. They are all-terrains, not mud-terrains which are designed NOT to pick stuff up.

The good side was that users reported smooth, quiet rides on the road, unbelievable durability for tradwear and side-wall durability, and down-aired retention of the wheel bead, etc. They also reported that the tired were easy to keep balanced which was not the case with some of the other off-road ravorites (but I am still wondering if the problems reported with those TIRES was actually more a problem with the weights...different discussion). The Falkens come with 50k mile treadwear warranty, for whatever thats worth...but many other dont even offer it. The Falkens were MUCH more affordable than any of the "popular" options. Lastly, The falkens had a nice "cash-back" incentive. It wasnt a huge incentive, but it was more like a cherry on top of the sundae.

First question: Falken Rocky Mountains, or Falken Wild Peaks?
Answer: Same tire. Rocky mountains are simply the version of the Wild Peak that are made specifically for Discount Tire. Same materials, same design.

Although they arent as common as many other brands, there are still plenty of places where you can get Falkens...and Discount Tire will match any price you find...so thats a no-brainer.

Honest, folks, Im trying to keep this brief but comprehensive.

Observations:
Falkens are heavy. Yeah I know I mentioned it above, and dismissed it as insignificant...after all its just 30 pounds difference...each...150 pounds total...what could that matter? Well...you can DEFINATELY tell a difference. Just maneuvering in a parking lot "feels" heavyier. Not bloated or flabby...just very...dense. Hard to articulate, but it is a good feeling. I have notives that it takes a tiny bit more power to start off at a light (rolling resistance) but once I get up to speed the weight is as irrelevant as I predicted. 65mph is still turning 2300rpm on the tachometer. That will mean decreased city MPG, with virtually unchanged cruising mpg. But as we all know...if you are worried about MPG, you are on the wrong site.

Interestingly, although I went from 32" outside diameter factory tires to 33" outide diameter Falkens...I didnt need to make any changes to spedometer. THe Dash Speedometer showing 65 also shows 65 in the GArmin Gps which agrees with 65mph in my hand held GPS...so Im not gonna sweat "reprogramming".

Using the Decibel app on my iphone (not precise but better than guessing), I showed 71db at 65 on factory bridgestones, 72db at 65 on Falkens over the same road surface.

I did notice a barely perceivable "vibration" as the cleats make contact with the surface. You wont notice it unless tou are looking for it. My wife didnt notice it until I pointed it out and demonstrated in a parking lot...even then she just shrugged. The bridgestones are the clear winner at 80mph...smooth as glass. The Falkens are perfectly nice at 80...but feels like a truck and not a honda.

Bumps...Falkens beat the Bridgestones. Heavier, wider, bigger diameter, different sidewall...whatever the factor is that makes it different, the Falkens handled bumps in the road noticabley better than the factory tires.

Laslty, while I like the look of the tires being wider than the fender flares, the down side is that you get a lot more "spray" on the sides of the vehicle. No biggie...looks cool "dirty". But I anticipate that running doorless might have added complications. Still to early in the game to tell if this is gonna be a headach for me. I'm not interested in extended fender flares, in my mind it kinda makes it look droopy like the Jeep is wearing one of the floppy gardening hats. But thats my opinion. Its works well for others...and who knows, I might end up there some day.

I went with the Chaos 5 wheels cuz I like the look, I didnt want any narrow channels to hold onto rocks etc and make it more troubling to clean (if I ever decided to do that). In the end..its a wheel. It does its job....turn the tire. One point to keep in mind about the MB Chaos 5 (and other MB wheels that Ive read about). The socket wells on the wheel are verry narrow. A "normal" impact socket wont fit. The set I got from Discount Tire came with a set of locking lugs and a special "narrow" socket to reach down into the narrow well to grip the lugs. Keep this in mind.

I will say: Mission accomplished on aesthetics. I do like the look. My wife likes the look. And a few strangers have stroked my ego by complimenting on the tires and wheels in the week that I've had them. So...my admittedly cosmetic decision to change tires and wheels...wasnt a waste.

Again, the Factory Bridgestones were perfectly good, very practical and efficient. But my Falkens are fantastic...and Im not just saying that to make myself feel good about parting with a fist-full of cash.

Happy trails, all.

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Old 01-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #2
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Before
And after
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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You pretty much summed up my complaints with them. Never had a tire throw stones so bad. I don't know about you, but I don't want my $29K ride covered in rock chips and dents. Leaving a gravel road with the Falkens and pulling onto the highway was like being under gunfire. I'm sure the windshields of the cars behind me didn't appreciate it either. Unacceptable.

The weight was too much also. It's not just killing your takeoff power, it's robbing horsepower even with the cruise control set. Every 10 lbs. of added tire weight is equal to putting 100 lbs. in the cargo area and hauling that around. You're mileage IS being murdered. The 33x12.50-15 version won't be so bad. I ran 285/75-16 and they were horrible. A MB wheel with Falken was 84 lbs. Unacceptable.

Wet traction was horrible. Even in 4 wheel high or low I couldn't make it up a wet grassy hill. If the trail was damp or wet it was like being on street tires. Unacceptable.

I also had numerous balancing issues but I chalked that up to the fact that the tires were thick and had strong sidewalls and those types of tires never are easy to balance.

But I will admit that they wore well and they were super quiet on the road. I also didn't ever worry about getting a flat. So it wasn't all bad.

Nice Jeep BTW.. they look good on there.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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Yeah... I might have come accross wrong...

I wouldnt call any of the factors I've observed "unacceptable".

I was just trying to be objective and illustrate the good and the not so good....I dont want to look like I work for Falken and I dont wanna give off an all "sunshine and puppy-dogs" review.

I love them.

As for throwing pebbles....the only reason its a slight concern FOR ME is the width of the tire lets the missiles out of the wheel well containment. Wider flares would resolve that. Im pondering options. With regards to the windshields of those behind me...I think I'll consider that an idiot-tax for anyone following that close at highway speeds (slower and the cast-offs wont be flying that far).

Again, I love em.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:44 PM   #5
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Vrooom,

Great observation. I am considering these tires along with the Interco TrXus MTs I have been buying the past 9 years. Not entirely sure, but the Falkens cost considerably less.

One complaint I have with WXMans observations is that he *NEVER* mentioned if he bothered to air his tires down before testing for traction. Neither did he mention if he was at 65 psi, 30 psi, or 12 psi - where the tires allegedly find their "sweet spot" according to the Discount Tire people.

At the Off Road Expo near Los Angeles in October '11, I spoke with a representative who told me that, "The Falken does not have the best, nor the worst traction." In my travels, traction is at a premium as is a quiet ride for my Wife to enjoy going on the Off Road adventures with me. Thanks for your opinions - I will continue to sit on the fence while I gather my fistful of cash for the next set of 35x12.5r15s I hope to install this Spring.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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O.P. did you get the P-metric or LT tires?

I put on a set of LT Falkens about three months ago and have no major complaints. The only time the tires let me down was in a mud slicked hill. I had no traction, but that was expected as I knew that thick mud is the Falken's kryptonite.

The Falken LT's are tough. I do a lot of driving on sharp lava rock, and had one too many sidewall tears on the stock SR-A's. Not so much as a scuff on the Falkens.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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Fourwheeler Magazine Falken Wild Peak review

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Old 01-06-2013, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dew View Post
O.P. did you get the P-metric or LT tires?

I put on a set of LT Falkens about three months ago and have no major complaints. The only time the tires let me down was in a mud slicked hill. I had no traction, but that was expected as I knew that thick mud is the Falken's kryptonite.

The Falken LT's are tough. I do a lot of driving on sharp lava rock, and had one too many sidewall tears on the stock SR-A's. Not so much as a scuff on the Falkens.
Hmmm... Made me look...
I got the 33x12.5x15 BW 108S
Falken Rocky Mountain ATS Tire Review by Tire Reviews & More
Discout Tire in ROund Rock made me a hellova price match deal on the rubber AND the wheels...Just thew latest of many MANY demonstrations of superior service and technical knowledge...I'll never step foot in NTB again.
I didnt see any LT options for 15" rims. As lite as the Wrangler is, I dont think Id want LT sidewalls...mine are PLEANTY stiff enough (uhh...the sidewalls).

As yall commented above, I dont know of any AT rubber that does well once it is clogged with black clay mud....thats why they make mud terrains. Other wet surfaces, I havent tried yet, but slimy streets and tollways around here (first rain in quite a while) felt like dry clean concrete. Absolutely NO insecurity. That is specificly why I bought on the day I did, I wanted to push it in yucky weather so that I could back out of the deal withing their generous "trial period" if I didnt like the way it felt and wet roads.

Again, I am in no way claiming that they are perfect or that everyone will be happy with them. Im merely reporting my experiences so far and that they fit my needs (and budget) perfectly.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vroooom View Post
Hmmm... Made me look...
I got the 33x12.5x15 BW 108S
I looked up the Size chart on the Falken site, it looks like they only make your size tire in LT. edit: just looked again... in 15" rims, LT's come in 2 ply.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dew View Post
I looked up the Size chart on the Falken site, it looks like they only make your size tire in LT.
Oh...

well...

Looky thar....I reckon can say Im a badass after all.



I gots me some LT tars...... "Little Tank"
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:03 AM   #11
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:52 AM   #12
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I ran mine at 28 psi. Also, I didn't realize it until after the fact, but MOST sizes of this tire do not have 3-ply sidewalls. And lastly, there is a Rocky Mountain ATSII/Wildpeak AT2 version of this tire out now that has a better rubber compound that should work slightly better and wear slightly better.

I have used dozens of ATs and MTs over the years, and I consider this tire to be a HT with strong sidewalls. I don't classify it as an AT regardless of what the press materials say. The tread design is way too ribbed.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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I honestly dont have any experience with the other all terrains or mud terrains to be able to make an intellegent arguement.

Most of my experience has been highway tires or General Purpose tires like the Micheline Cross Terrain and Cooper Discoverer. Both were great. And as I commented above, the Factory Bridgestones on my Wranger were great too. I generally believe that being able to get into and out of spots is about 90% technique and 10% equipment. Every time I've gotten stuck it was cuz I was doing someting wrong, not cuz of any limitation of my gear. Admittedly, Im not nearly as hard-core as many of the folks on here.

The Falkens just seem perfect for my uses.
80% Highway
15% Street
5% Gett'n dirty
Lots of rock
Very little dirt
Hardly ever enough rain to make mud.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:14 PM   #14
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They look fantastic and if they work for you that's all that matters.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
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Hey Vroooom, and others already posting on here (and anyone else that wants to chime in).......

Your opinions please:

I have a stock 2004 TJ Rubicon, 5 sp. with 16" MOAB wheels (see profile).

I was just at Discount Tire and was thinking of the Falken
"Rocky Mountain"......... $875.00 otd for set of 4 installed - 285/75/R16.

Was also going to install a 2" Old Man EMU lift kit (coils and nitrogen gas shocks only).

May also add 1" body lift but not sure yet. Will see how it looks with just the 2" OME lift kit.

I will be doing 95% road driving with the occasional forest service/gravel road, light sand, sometimes playing in the dirt/mud etc. Mainly sightseeing and recreational.

What do you think of this set-up? Any recommendations? Kinda sounds like a heavy tire to be getting in motion?

Vroooom, WXman and TheDesertOutlaw.....thanks for the in-depth reviews, debate, and opinions. That's why I love this website. I have learned a lot.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:10 PM   #16
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TJ Rubicon wheels are forged, not cast. They are extremely heavy. I think they go 30ish lbs. each. If you put 285/75-16 Falken on them, you're going to have almost 95 lbs. per corner of unsprung weight in your setup. That is harsh even for a full size truck. On a TJ I can't imagine running that kind of weight 95% road. Holy crap. Just something to think about.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WXman View Post
TJ Rubicon wheels are forged, not cast. They are extremely heavy. I think they go 30ish lbs. each.
TJ Rubicon wheels are cast - unless you have the Tomb Raider edition, and then you have FORGED ALCOAS. Ask me, I had a set that I sold in 2003.

MOPAR 82208904 - MOPAR® MOAB Rubicon Wheel in Machined with 5x4.5" Bolt Pattern in 16x8 Size & 5" Backspacing - Quadratec

When you go with off-road equipment, sometimes heavy isn't always a bad thing. I bent a set of cast aluminum American Racing wheels and couldn't figure out where the "Death Wobble" was coming from. Dave's Alignment in Riverside missed the bent wheels as the cause. Not until I went to America's Tire here in Riverside did we figure out the cause for why my Interco TrXus MTs wouldn't balance. Sorry guys!

But, with your Rubicon 4.10 gearing, your Jeep will perform great with a set of LT285s. I have been running 33" tires with my 4.10 gearing since 2003 on my Rubicon.

Running my 93# combo on the sand of Baja California (for Four wheel drive & Sport Utility)
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:56 AM   #18
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Oh what a difference

Alrighty, then...

So, I been rolling on my Falkens for about a month now.

I love them. No complaints.

As previously noted (above) They do ride pretty stiff (no, I dont mean just cuz they are excited to be on a jeep, like me). Its not harsh, its just very clear that they arent passenger/touring tires...and they were never intended to me. So: No complaints.

However, the other day I was standing there, admiring my ride (way too much spare time on my hands that day) and I notice that while the entire tread surface of the tires were making contact, the three center bands of tread were a teensy bit darker than the outer bands on either side.

I surmised that ther wasnt even contact across the face of the tread. The center was getting more...which mean the center was bulging out...which meant that it was over-inflated.

I sat down my coffee...fetched-up a pressure gauge and did me some gauging. Nope not OVER inflated. I almost panicked cuz I was so UNDER inflated. Each of the four tires was at 23 pounds. I've never run a tire that low before. THats basically the same as flat. THe only thing keeping me off the ground was side wall strength. Or so I thought.

I ran back inside, jumped on the forum and saw other running 28 pounds. THats closer than the 32-35 and sometimes 40 and up to 55 that I have had on previous sets of tires.

But then I thought back to the tread wear. "wear" isnt really the right term. The tread "smudge" where it was clear that the outer bands werent making as much contact. Again, the logic chain takes me back to being OVER inflated.

Despite every instinct telling me to get back above 30 pounds....I let 3 pounds OUT and dropped it down to 20 pounds on each tire. And very carefully took it around the block, expecting to roll off the bead at any moment.

Rode like a dream. All the roughness gone. All the vibration...gone. All the wander...gone.

Lesson learned. Wider tires need MUCH lower tire pressures than you might normally be used to. Ive not run them from dirt trails to 85mph toll roads and they are amazingly smooth and quiet.

at TWENTY pounds.

I love those "Ah-Ha!" moments.

Happy trails, yall.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:37 PM   #19
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With the lower PSI, I am eager to hear how good your traction is on the trail.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:28 AM   #20
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Funny you should ask that.

I spent all day, yesterday, in my new office.

The black dot in the wide shot is me.

I never broke traction. Not on wet grass, rock, mud, clay, or gravel. Now I never got in a hurry. And I never tried to climb a pecan tree in my jeep. But the jeep, and the tires got me into and out of some spots that gave me a pucker factor of about 8.

Never got over 2k rpm

Jeepers KREEPers.

Had a blast. (Did get tired of parking and running out a ways to just turn around and take photos of my jeep from a distance then run back before I got frost on my important bits.....gotta have something to snivel about)
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:33 AM   #21
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Oooops. Wrong wide shot

Gotta love iPhone paragraph
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2012 Black Unlimited Sahara (mine)
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:41 AM   #22
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Nice open place to wheel... I like my rocky mountains also. Just not a fan of them in sticky clay mud, couldnt get traction and couldnt get them to clear out... lol.. My 285/75/16's have a 3 ply sidewall. The guy behind me had the duratracs, slow speeds they got caked up to but his would clear once the wheels got moving faster..
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:52 AM   #23
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Yup. Unfortunately Texas Clay is somewhat cantankerous. Once it gets in the tread it just slicks over and you might as well be wheeling in butter. I've never seen any tread design that can "self-clean" clay out of it..not civilian or G.I.

Still fun.

Good avitar too. Looks similar to the 24" RRA Varminter that I was just about to order when some dumbass in CT decided to get famous and make everyone else miserable. Now they cant be found.

Your Jeep photo looks like yall made a day of it. Nice.
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2005 Black Suzuki C50T (ours)
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:20 AM   #24
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It felt like I was wheeling in butter at times. I wish you would have picked up that Varmiter before that crap happened. The one in the avatar is a DPMS LR.308, NOT fun to carry around. lol.
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:52 PM   #25
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Dug this up looking for photos for another thread.

Figured I should give an update.

STILL love them!!!

53,000 miles so far.....toll roads and rocky trails everyday.

side walls are so strong that they are essentially run-flat.

Took a 1000 mile road trip to Big Bend last summer had a blast. Didnt realize until I got back that my right rear had zero pressure. (all others still running 22 pounds to keep the TPMS from bitching)

Couldnt be happier.
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2012 Black Unlimited Sahara (mine)
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2005 Black Suzuki C50T (ours)
"Hope" is NOT a strategy
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:56 AM   #26
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I figured this was a good excuse for another update.

Summary : Still LOVE these tires!!!!!

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Yesterday I noticed my TPMS was saying something was wrong. I got out and looked....everything seemed fine. Drove it about 70 miles...everything seemed fine.

TPMS warning stayed lit all day.

Finally decided to put a gauge on the tires to find out what my pressures were. I checked me all....yup....22 pounds on all but one. Right front was low.

Now in previous posts in this thread I mentioned how its difficult to tell if you are low air pressure in these tires. I mentioned that I drove these home the day I had them installed at 32PSI and that was too stiff...and I mentioned that I found 22 pounds ideal for ride quality as well as even traction. And I mentioned that after a 1000 mile road trip to AND THROUGH Big Bend National Park, I discovered that I had made the whole trip with one tire at ZERO pressure. And I understand how that could be difficult to believe.

So yesterday...when I checked my tire pressure after a day of riding around with the TPMS saying there was a problem....I thought it would be a good chance to take a photo and show the tire at ZERO pressure ( the one in the front ) and the tire at 22# (the one in the rear).

I am somewhat comforted to know that the only way for me to tell when I have a "flat" is when I stick a gauge on the tire....and then quadruple check the gauge because I dont believe what its telling me. Oh, and I use a real hand gauge, not one of those POS things that is inline with the air hose at the gas station.

Leaky valve stem let all my air out.

Now at 71,000 miles on these tires. Still running them 80% on toll roads at 80mph, 10% town roads at 30mph, 5% gravel roads at 20 mph, 5% NO roads (rock trails) at 1-3 mph. All adds up to about 120 miles per day....every day.

roughly 30% tread remaining.....probably get another 6-9months at current wear rate.

I've started pricing them for replacement to catch a good deal when its convenient and not when its necessary...at $144 each I could not be happier.

Again, to each their own. Everyone should love whatever they have.
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Threads wander aimlessly....always refer back to post #1
2012 Black Unlimited Sahara (mine)
2011 Black Corvette 3LT (wife's)
2005 Black Suzuki C50T (ours)
"Hope" is NOT a strategy
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:32 PM   #27
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i got the falkens also 315/70/17 only complaint was dificult to balance,the 3rd place i went got them perfect.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:50 PM   #28
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I had Wild Peaks on my Grand Cherokee and now have Rocky Mountains on my Wrangler. I, like you found that you couldn't see a flat tire. It had to be gauged to know it was flat. They have been great tires for what I do with them (Mostly city/highway driving with an off road trip on the weekend.)

Did you have the TPMS reset to run a lower tire pressure? Mine is always lit with the pressure I have been running lately (30 lbs.) I'm working my way lower in pressure.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:37 PM   #29
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I did not have to reprogram my TPMS. 22# gives me no TPMS warning. 20# will trigger the TPMS.

As for balancing problems....I dont see how it can be a tire issue. That is a constant unless you have uneven wear which is most likely a suspension or damage issue.

You can, very easily, throw a wheel weight which will subsequently cause the WHEEL / tire assembly to be unbalanced. Both crimp-on weights and the more modern (cheaper) adhesive weights can be cast-off pretty easily....especially if you are rattling around rocky trails much to loosen them up.
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Threads wander aimlessly....always refer back to post #1
2012 Black Unlimited Sahara (mine)
2011 Black Corvette 3LT (wife's)
2005 Black Suzuki C50T (ours)
"Hope" is NOT a strategy
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:16 AM   #30
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I just got a set of 37"s, they were hard to balance and 2 tires took 13.5 oz of weights.
They are heavy at 82 lbs each.
There is a balance issue and at 50 mph and up they shake badly.
As far as being 37"s, no way, at 30 psi they measure at 35.75,
(Used a level on top of the tire and measured to the garage floor)
At 26 psi where I get a good contact patch they are only 35.5" ?
I changed the settings with a Superchips today and I had to set it at 35" to match the speed with the GPS and my speedo.

On road they wander like you're driving in a cross wind, but there is no wind.
I call them "Twitchy", the tread is very rounded and the center is high.
I have taken them to my offroad shop and after a bunch of people looking at and driving, we all think it's the round profile of the tires.
On road I am disappointed and kind of pissed they are really 35" tires when I paid for 37"s.

OFFROAD...They have been great, no slips, do well on dirt and grab well on rocks.
Off road I am happy with them, very little chunking after some hard trails and many rocks.
Offroad they install confidence.

I just wish Falkin would send me the other inch and a half of tire that I thought I was getting and they didn't wander all over the road.

The balance thing is another issue and I'll be heading back the Discount Tire to see if they can get that straightened out.

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