Again, as the name states, I'm new to this, so please forgive anything I screw up in this posting (but bring it to my attention so that I can learn).
I've had my TJ for almost a month now. LOVE IT (naturally).
All stock '03 Sahara Auto, nothing to brag about, but its a goot starter.
When I got "it" (gender still to be determined), it had a set of Michelin LTX M/S 30x9.5x15 on OEM Canyon wheels. 2 of the tires were in good shape and two we worne to the tread wear indicators. They handled like Michelins....top of the line, increadible tires (all highway use) Unfortunately it is one month from needing a new inspection.
I just happened to have a set of Falken Zeix S/T 04 LT245x70x15's sitting around needing a job. So I mounted them. Not quite as nice as the Michelins. Side-wall was a little soft and gave the TJ a tiny bit more sway when I wiggled the steering wheel, but in terms of normal (highway) driving it did great, quiet, smooth, and absorbed speed bumps nicely (the closest I've been to rock crawling, so far). Averaged 13.8mpg but I drive easy.
I run Cooper Discoverer M+S on my '02 Suburban and love em enough that I'm on my second set. They are almost as nice as the Michelin Cross- Terrains I wore-out.
So.... When I decided that I needed to hang something more "Jeepy" on my TJ and something less....carish. I started reading forums. I was leaning towards Coopers, but read in one entry that they are considered too soft and chunk-out very easily. Well thats doesent sound very good. Cant have that happening when I get into the deep (stuff)...you know...like when I have to hop a curb to get in line at the drive-through first.
So this past weekend, National Tire and Battery had a 2-fer sale. Buy two tires...get two free. Well, DUH....that was my omen that it was time to do something, so.....I got new tires.
Now....dont judge me....usage is like 80% Highway (70+mph), 20% City (gawd-awful roads in my town)...with dreams of someday finding a place I can go have fun trying to get stuck. So I browsed the Wrangler and Jeep forums, I shopped the various websites for info, I asked around, and I just stopped ond stared at any wrangler I came-accross....trying to get an idea of what works well....and what just works.
I went with Sumitomo A/T 31x10.5x15, Still on my Conyon wheels. I know, nobody has ever heard of them. I'm sure I'll get more than a few laughs if someone gets close enough to see the sidewalls. But I gotta tell ya....I'm like'n these tires....A LOT. VERY smooth, VERY quiet, NO sway. Just enough stiffness to remind you that you arent in a Prius. Without seeming like you are riding a bar-stool down the highway. And they look pretty decent, filling the wheel wells with an irritated (just shy of aggressive) appearance.
The company that manufactures Sumitomo, Ows National Tire and Battery, Tire King, Tire Rack, and serveral other outlets. So, they give incentives to try their products. My Sumi's come with a 3-yr road hazard and replacement policy, a 3-yr roadside assistance policy (like I would ask someone else to change a tire for me...hell-no!) 3-yr of 20% discount on oil changes, and 3-yrs of 10% discount on routine (preventative) maintenance.
While they are very unlikely to ever be used, its nice to have the perks. I just hope that in the long run, it doesnt end up being bait to bite into a lemon. For now, the tires are seriously comparable to the various Michelin tires I've run...and I am quite happy. 2000 rpm gets me 68mph. 2250 rpm gets me 75mph. Havent used enough fuel to refill and get a mpg figure, yet. But Ill let yall know when I do.
I'll try to remember to check back in and give yall updates on how thry run over the next several months/years. Hopefully they will prove to be a viable option for affordable rubber for those who spend most of their time above 70mph....day dreaming about going somewhere real real slow and dirty. Ahhh....someday....
Sorry to write a novel, but it helps, sometimes, to know the back-story and decision-making process that goes with the discussion. Stay tuned for more....
Welcome to the forum.. Those look like pretty decent street tires, should be nice and quiet on the road and give you good performance for your daily driving. I wouldn't think it would take a whole lot to get them stuck off road, but if you don't do mud you'll probably be fine. When (if) you do go hit some mud holes, make sure you have a tow strap, some recovery points and a buddy in a 4x4 with you... Stock jeeps are great, and really the biggest limitation you'll have with it will be the tires, but if you pick good lines you'll be fine. We wheeled mine several times on A/T's that were about the same as yours, and never got stuck... Enjoy your new Jeep!
TJ-Newbie: Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed reading your post. I picked up an '03 Sahara 5-speed in November '09 and went through a similar thing with the tires. I ended up with BFG AT's, same size as yours, same wheels etc. This is my second set of these and, for the driving I do, they work well for me. Good luck with your Sahara...and the Sumitomos!
Yeah, I'm in central Texas, so pretty much the only mud holes around here are the ones under the front bumper after your radiator blows from overheating.
Ya gotta work pretty hard to find mud. Sand is easier to come by, and Rocks are everywhere. But for now....I'm just "wheeling" on asphalt....which is more like...."rolling" I reckon
But, when the times comes, I wont go IN....without a plan to get back OUT....which involves lots of help and hardware.
I was embarrassed the other day when my wife pointed out that her corvette was dirtier than my jeep. That's just wrong...and a little cruel.
Maybe some jeep outfitters should consider making some sort of fiberglass "mud" stick-on thingies, like those rediculous fender vents you see stuck on whoopti-rides. That way trail-virgins (like me) can look less dirt deprived, without getting themselves in trouble.
BTW...that was a total joke....dont flame me. I dont ever want to go down the "Drugstore cowboy" path of accessorizing beyond my skill-level...or intended usage.