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Old 12-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
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Winter Tires for Stock JKU Sport S?

Where I live it is mandatory to have winter tires. With all the options Jeeps have (lift kits, level kits, various rims, and other stuff I'm still learning about!) it is quite overwhelming trying to figure out what tires to buy.

I will hopefully have a stock JKU Sport S, auto, 3.73, with 17" rims. I will need to buy winter tires right away, and would like to buy the biggest ones possible. I have no plans of gearing up or adding spacer/lift kits. No extra money and no need! I gather from the thread, "Largest Tires on a Stock JK" the biggest tires I can get that won't cause problems or necessitate upgrades are 285/70/17's (?).

The Jeep will be used for country outings: a few hours on highways, than a few hours on logger roads. Lots of snow and ice. Lots of badly maintained roads.

Does anyone have any recommendations of tire brand and models I should be looking at?

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Old 12-08-2013, 04:36 AM   #2
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This is an excellnt recent thread on this subect:

[URL="http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/235-80r-17-tires-on-13-jku-sport-s-380498.html"]

The experinced winter warriors suggest tall narrower tires with a modern ice traction compound (e.g. Blizzaks) or winter Nokians if you are ok with studded tires.

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Old 12-08-2013, 04:47 AM   #3
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To add to other post......may want to consider tire and wheel package just for winter. It will save your "stock" tires and rims. Your tires will last longer. (both sets) and when you do need new tires for the stock rims, could add a "more aggressive" tread pattern for summer/ good weather use on your stock rims. This will also help your "overall" MPG as Jeeps GENERALLY get the best mileage as they come from the factory.

Random thoughts, your Jeep, do what you want.....GOOD LUCK Congrats on new Jeep!!
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Another_Guy View Post
<snip> I will need to buy winter tires right away, and would like to buy the biggest ones possible. I have no plans of gearing up or adding spacer/lift kits. No extra money and no need! I gather from the thread, "Largest Tires on a Stock JK" the biggest tires I can get that won't cause problems or necessitate upgrades are 285/70/17's (?).

The Jeep will be used for country outings: a few hours on highways, than a few hours on logger roads. Lots of snow and ice.
The salient point for your situation is to _not_ go for bigger wider tires. Ice traction depends on psi, not a big contact patch. Thus hockey players use skates, not skis or snowboards!

Handling will also be better if your cg stays at stock height.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:33 AM   #5
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Just went thru first ice/snow event. The Goodyear silent armor performed better than expected on ice covered interstate to snow and ice covered rual roads. I admittedly don't have much experience in these conditions and was surprised at the number of 4x4pickups in the ditches. Was stuck on I-71 for 3 hours. I have heard stories of people stuck in these conditions without gas or emergency supplies. This forum has taught to be prepared.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:55 AM   #6
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<snip>... was surprised at the number of 4x4pickups in the ditches.
First, congratulations on your good driving. Skill and patience have far more to do with winter driving success than any 4wd/AWD, magic tires etc. There's sure nothing special about the stock Goodyears; _you_ kept it on the road!

In Colorado big SUVs and fancy 4x4s make towtruck drivers wealthy men evey winter. Overconfidence and false sense of invincibility, offen with an unfamiliar rental. Don't see as many Wranglers in the ditch. Though it does happen, upside down all too often. Big lift is not always your friend.

PS - Wow St Augustine Beach! Know it well. Great place to own a Jeep! No jeeping on the beach down here in stuffy Palm Beach county. \:-[
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:31 AM   #7
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Roads are iced over in the DFW area (again, WTF, this is TX) and I couldn't be happier with the performance of my 35x12.50-15 Pro Comp XMTs. I know this does not meet the skinny as described but these have done well by me for my 90+ mile a day commute on our icy roads for the last 2 days. Now, living in TX, we really don't know what qualifies as a "winter tire" by your local DOT.
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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@ Baxterpass- Thank you for the link. It was an informative read. I will look for narrow tires, but I think I will still go for ~32's for the extra bit of clearance.

@ Mikel01- Thank you for the feedback on the GY's.

@ CJ7nvrstk- You fit 35's on a stock Jeep?
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:52 PM   #9
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Been reading all day

Am I going to need a Procal if I buy 285/70/17's? It's not a big change in tires, but it is an auto transmission.

What's that saying? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing...
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Another_Guy View Post
@ Baxterpass- Thank you for the link. It was an informative read. I will look for narrow tires, but I think I will still go for ~32's for the extra bit of clearance.<snip>
Exactly right, stay with the stock diameter tire; just go for a taller aspect ratio. E.g. 235/80x17 still has the 32" diameter (31.8") like the 255/75x17. But the narrower contact patch makes for greater psi.

Another benefit of a narrow tire is lower rolling resistance --> better fuel economy. Plus generally better acceleration due to lower wheel mass. And better handling due to less unsprung weight.

A Jeep will never be a Prius or Porsche -- thank Odin -- but it all helps.

Good jeeping!
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #11
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I up sized my tires from 245/75/17 to 275/70/17 before the lift and no rubbing even at full flex. I stayed with the GYSAs
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:49 AM   #12
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E.g. 235/80x17 still has the 32" diameter (31.8")
Thank you for the number! I've been trying to figure out the right combo doing backwards math... what a pain. Who invented a label that uses mm's, inch's, and percentages to designate an object. WTF were they thinking?!

One last question, since it is an auto transmission, will I need to have the computer reprogrammed? Can the dealership/garage do it or should I pick up a Procal? I would need a speedo gear swap too?
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Another_Guy View Post
Thank you for the number! I've been trying to figure out the right combo doing backwards math... what a pain. Who invented a label that uses mm's, inch's, and percentages to designate an object. WTF were they thinking?!
Yeah there is a lot of variety in tire sizing. Tirerack.com has full specs for almost everything. Select a tire size and then click on 'full specs'.

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Originally Posted by Another_Guy View Post
One last question, since it is an auto transmission, will I need to have the computer reprogrammed? Can the dealership/garage do it or should I pick up a Procal? I would need a speedo gear swap too?
As long as your tire diameter doesn't change you should be good to go.

For the best overall performance stick close to what the engineers designed your Jeep for. You wouldn't run a 10k with oversize rubber boots and ankle weights instead of your Nike's.

Putting gonzo tires on your athletic Jeep just weights it down. Bigger diameter also gives a taller final drive; not good.

If you really want to understand Jeep tires this is an excellent read: Expeditions West: Tire Selection for Expedition Travel

Good Jeeping!
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Another_Guy View Post
@ Baxterpass- Thank you for the link. It was an informative read. I will look for narrow tires, but I think I will still go for ~32's for the extra bit of clearance.

@ Mikel01- Thank you for the feedback on the GY's.

@ CJ7nvrstk- You fit 35's on a stock Jeep?
No it's lifted though they make sizes that will fir a stock Jeep.
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:42 AM   #15
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Thank you for the feedback everyone.

Baxterpass, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and provide links to relevant information. I know how it can get frustrating answering the same ol'questions on forums.
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by baxterpass View Post

If you really want to understand Jeep tires this is an excellent read: Expeditions West: Tire Selection for Expedition Travel

Good Jeeping!
Interesting read though I must say that all comp rock crawlers and off road racers use a wider flotation type tire for a reason. They don't use the tall skinny, just sayin.

If the tall skinny were the way to go you would certainly see more of em on trail rigs. There is a reason why very few tire manufacturers make the tall skinny and most just don't.

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Old 12-13-2013, 09:53 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Another_Guy View Post
Thank you for the feedback everyone.

Baxterpass, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and provide links to relevant information. I know how it can get frustrating answering the same ol'questions on forums.
No worries glad to help!

You asked a good question and seem to be motivated by function more than appearance. The modern Jeeps have so much great engineering rolled into them. A lot of the mods people do may look cool and racy but they often reduce real world performance and efficiency.

Jeep automotive engineers strive to reduce unsprung weight and rolling resistance, keep cg as low as possible consistent with adequate ground clearance, and generally stay true to the original Jeep ideal of athletic and light general purpose vehicle.

Not a bad vision!
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:33 PM   #18
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Looking for info on wheel specs I ran across this good post by WXman, from weight of stock rim and tire:

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<snip> FWIW... I've run multiple wheel/tire combos on my JKU over the past year and have logged all my mileage and going from the stock setup to an aftermarket alloy with 33" tires cost me about 2-3 miles per gallon, which is about $40/month for the average driver. That's a pretty steep penalty to pay if your JK is a daily driver.
WXman brings some real world experience into a theoretical discussion! His math is right on for someone driving ~1000 miles/ month, and assuming a drop from ~20/mpg to ~17 mpg. $40/month ~=$500 per year.

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