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Old 08-17-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
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Replacing Stock BFG T/A KMs

Based on my experience with the BFG T/A KMs (sliding on wet pavement in cool (40 deg F) conditions) that came with my 2014 JKU Rubicon, I'm a bit paranoid about how well they will perform on snowy/icy pavement in the varying conditions found throughout OH, MI, PA, NY, WV, ME.

Since I spend 80-90% of my time on-road (it's a DD), I've been looking for alternatives in the stock spec only (LT 255/75R17 C 111 Q) with very good on and off-road manners . It's all stock, and I have no intention of changing that until such time as I have paid off the vehicle.

Keep in mind that I would say to anyone asking that the T/A KMs are, from my experience, a very good off-road tire. It just doesn't seem to fit the way I will use the Jeep.


To answer other questions pre-emptively
Other tires & brands I've looked at but don't come in stock size and typically have a different load rating
1.) Goodyear Duratrac
3.) Dick Cepek Fun Country
4.) Mickey Thompson ATZ P3
5.) Pirelli Scorpion ATR

Beyond size concerns, I've eliminated the following from initial consideration:
Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo --I didn't get very good mileage (25,000 mi) on a Jeep Liberty I owned. It was an "ok" tire in my opinion, but just didn't last as long as I would expect (50,000+ miles).

Michelin LTX M/S --Problems (abnormally uneven wear at less than 5000 miles with tire pressure confirmed to be correct every hundred or so miles) exhibited on a Jeep Liberty (that was an ugly surprise). At this point, I'm extraordinarily leery of putting this tire on any other Jeep brand vehicle.

The following questions are in the context of evaluating in comparison to the T/A KM.
1.) Am I being overly paranoid about the T/A KM in winter conditions?
2.) Is the Cooper ST MAXX significantly better on-road in winter conditions?
3.) Is it worth considering the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R w/ Kevlar?
4.) Is there an all-terrain tire that I've overlooked that will provide performance similar to the Goodyear Wrangler AT/S in the stock size ( see above)? (I only mention t his for comparison purposes, because I've historically been pleased with the performance of this brand and line of tire on a few Ford Expeditions.)

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Old 08-17-2014, 02:05 PM   #2
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Goodyear Duratracs come in stock size now.

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Old 08-17-2014, 02:43 PM   #3
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RedBones, where did you find that information?

I checked Goodyear's web site just now to make sure, and they do not list a light truck rated Duratrac in that size. There is a 255/75R17, but that's a passenger-rated tire, and it doesn't match spec.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:54 PM   #4
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Discount Tire Direct got them.
There is a lot of people on here changing over to them from the factory tire.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:05 PM   #5
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:56 PM   #6
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Have your stock BFGs Siped to improve wet & ice traction. About $12/tire and done. Just don't Sipe all the way to the edge of the inside and outside lugs to prevent tread chipping.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:06 PM   #7
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I bought a tire groover on ebay and siping them myself this week. None of the tire shops do it locally.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkuoh View Post
1.) Am I being overly paranoid about the T/A KM in winter conditions?
2.) Is the Cooper ST MAXX significantly better on-road in winter conditions?
3.) Is it worth considering the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R w/ Kevlar?
4.) Is there an all-terrain tire that I've overlooked that will provide performance similar to the Goodyear Wrangler AT/S in the stock size ( see above)? (I only mention t his for comparison purposes, because I've historically been pleased with the performance of this brand and line of tire on a few Ford Expeditions.)
1. No, winter conditions are serious and warrent concern.
2. Yes, even more so with studs. A fantastic AT tire.
3. I've no experience with that tire.
4. Nokian Rotiiva AT, for your needs as described, are worth looking at.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Up Hill Bill View Post
Have your stock BFGs Siped to improve wet & ice traction. About $12/tire and done. Just don't Sipe all the way to the edge of the inside and outside lugs to prevent tread chipping.
This is the answer. The problem with the MTs in wet or ice is that the tread blocks are smooth. Siping takes care of that. I drove the stock MTs that I had siped, over a ton of ice and snow last winter and they work fine. No, they are not Blizzaks, and no, you are not driving a car, so you have to adjust your driving style a little no matter what tire you use. I now have 16,000 miles on the tires and there have been zero negatives to the tires being siped.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:00 PM   #10
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.... I now have 16,000 miles on the tires and there have been zero negatives to the tires being siped.
Same here with 14,000 miles. No chipping, no problems.

This is a good read on Siping and how much it has been shown to improve traction: Siping (rubber) - Wikipedia

For instance, from the article, "A 1978 study by the US National Safety Council found siping improved stopping distances by 22 percent, breakaway traction by 65 percent, and rolling traction by 28 percent on glare ice."
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:45 PM   #11
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My groover came today and I did all 4 in about 2 hours with 2 #1 blades. I posted the info and a pic on my build thread.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:53 PM   #12
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Thanks for the feedback.

The siping is an interesting idea if I can find a shop to do it. (My luck would have me puncturing at least one tire if I did it myself. I can just hear the escaping air now...)

The Rotiva is a very interesting tire. I did look it up, and Nokian recommends a 245/75R17 for the 2014 JKUR. J have plans for my Jeep,and I think they will fit into those plans at a future date.

For now, I'm looking to buy the ST Maxx.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkuoh View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

The siping is an interesting idea if I can find a shop to do it. (My luck would have me puncturing at least one tire if I did it myself. I can just hear the escaping air now...)

The Rotiva is a very interesting tire. I did look it up, and Nokian recommends a 245/75R17 for the 2014 JKUR. J have plans for my Jeep,and I think they will fit into those plans at a future date.

For now, I'm looking to buy the ST Maxx.
Cool, the 255/80/17 ST Maxx?
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:13 PM   #14
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Just keep in mind that homemade sipes are particularly prone to picking up small sharp debris that can work their way in and the tire tread is more prone to chunking on rocks (if you like crawling them).
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:06 PM   #15
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I had no issues with my stock KM2s last winter. I even tried to drive like an idiot just to see what would happen, but the traction control kept things from getting out of hand. With the traction control off and again trying to make things dramatic, the Jeep handled very predictably. I'm sure there are better tires for snow and ice, but I didn't have any issues with mine.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:57 PM   #16
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Well, I bought the LT255/75R17 C Cooper ST Maxx tires, and I've now put about 5,000 miles on them. They are an impressive tire! They are a much better fit for the way in which I use the Jeep. So far, I've had a chance to take them on some sand two-tracks (6-12 inches deep) in northern Michigan,gravel, and far too much pavement. Now, I'm looking forward to winter, and hopefully quite a bit of snow.


A side note:
The 2014 JKU Rubicon placard size is the specification listed above, and this does differ from the other JK/JKU "trim" which ship with passenger-rated tires.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:49 PM   #17
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It's true that Duratrac in Rubi size is a higher load tire (2721 lbs), so it will feel different from our stock BGFs M/T KM. However, a few folks said they're using load class E tires (even greater, 2982 lbs), and it works fine. Yoko A/T-S is one where you must upgrade to E in order get the right diameter. Duratracs at least come in 255/75R17. TireRack says they make 653 revolutions per mile, while stocks make 649. I'm definitely going with Duratracs soon - I have 68k now on the stocks.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:30 PM   #18
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Siping works great for improved wet/ice traction but makes you much more susceptible to punctures. Not worth it imho.

Glad you like your Coopers. Next time, don't be such a stickler for exactly the factory spec size - 265/70r17 is not significantly different in size and has WAY more tires available in that size.

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