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-   -   Moving To Alaska - Please help me choose tires. (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f27/moving-to-alaska-please-help-me-choose-tires-62720.html)

AyokonaTJ 09-22-2010 08:05 PM

Moving To Alaska - Please help me choose tires.
 
:wavey:Hey everyone. Let me start by saying I've done all kinds of searching on the forums, I've read a lot of posts about tires / sizes / types, and there is all kinds of great information, but I have a hard time relating it to my specific situation because I don't have a lot of experience searching forums, limited experience w/ Jeeps, and even less experience w/ choosing tires. So thank you in advance for being patient with me and making suggestions. =)

Here we go:
I just purchased a 2002 TJ 4.0 w/ 150K. 4" Pro Comp lift w/ 15x8 Wheels / 33x12.5 Mud tires / My lady and I just decided we're moving to Alaska...Needless to say, I'm going to need some new tires. Given that I have a 4 inch lift, I'd like to know what everyone suggests as far as tires that will perform well in snow / rain / offroad (no serious crawling).

Things to keep in mind:
I'm lifted 4 Inches
I will be driving on Snow / Ice / Rainy conditions
I don't want my nice looking jeep to have a weak looking stance / but understand I may have to give up some posture for performance.

Are narrower tires better for rain/snow?

What does everyone suggest?

Any pictures of a TJ w/ a 4 inch lift w/ various tire sizes and widths would be much appreciated. Would love to know what you're running and how you like your setup. :)

Thanks again. And I really apreciate the help.
Here's mah rig =)
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j5...aGTA/jeep1.jpg

redneckpilot 09-23-2010 03:31 PM

Where in Alaska? Are you giving thought to having a set of snow tires separate from your "summer" tires? What about studded tires? Tire chains?

AyokonaTJ 09-23-2010 07:22 PM

Moving to Anchorage :) I think I want to go with a good AT tire because I'll be driving from las vegas to anchorage and I know I'd get in some trouble if I were to make the entire trek with studs. I'll be pulling a small trailer as well. I don't want to deal with chains if it's avoidable.

Is there a good set of AT's that I could get studded when I got there?

89yjfreak 09-23-2010 07:52 PM

if you want to put studs in later and are worried about hiway ware I suggest you get a set of 33 12.50 maxxis bighorns. they are made with a harder rubber compound for highway use and they are pinned for studs that you could install when you get there. they do excellent in the rain and mud and snow and still have pretty good road manors

grump010 09-23-2010 08:53 PM

I live in Prince George, BC and I travel regularly to Prince Rupert, BC, this is the Canadian version of Anchorage. You may find that AT tires may prove to be useless in the freeze / thaw cycles that happen while travelling away from the coastal climate inland to the more fridgid temps. Typical AT tires will be to hard of a rubber compound to be very effective in the colder climates. I use BFG 285-75-17 10 ply's for the summer and shoulder seasons, there are 2 versions of this tire, 1 has a snowflake, 1 doesn't go figure! neither are studdable. During the winter months I use a 275-70-17 (currently biggest snowtire I can find) I think they are called avalanche and I don't know who make them, just make sure they are studdable and have lots and lots of sips (not sure of spelling) and a good self cleaning tread. Just a word of warning, don't drive studded tires in BC prior to October 1st, you will get a ticket also there won't be enough weather to warrant snowtire yet. I usually put mine on towards the end of October also I drive offroad everyday as part my job and use an 08 F250 SD Diesel, I know, I know this is a Wrangler forum, but someone else pays the repair bills. I use my Teej for the hiking, hunting and fishing moments.

What brings you up to the Great White North and are you driving all the way to Anchorage or are you using the Ferry out of Seattle or Prince Rupert?

Cheers
Daryl B.

Sorry I forgot to add, nice TJ. I have an 02, 4.0 that Patriot Blue and completely stock.

AyokonaTJ 09-23-2010 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 89yjfreak (Post 785700)
if you want to put studs in later and are worried about hiway ware I suggest you get a set of 33 12.50 maxxis bighorns. they are made with a harder rubber compound for highway use and they are pinned for studs that you could install when you get there. they do excellent in the rain and mud and snow and still have pretty good road manors

89yjfreak Thank you for the input. I will definitely check out the Maxxis Bighorns! Any suggestions on where to get them for a decent price? :punk:

AyokonaTJ 09-23-2010 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grump010 (Post 785837)
I live in Prince George, BC and I travel regularly to Prince Rupert, BC, this is the Canadian version of Anchorage. You may find that AT tires may prove to be useless in the freeze / thaw cycles that happen while travelling away from the coastal climate inland to the more fridgid temps. Typical AT tires will be to hard of a rubber compound to be very effective in the colder climates. I use BFG 285-75-17 10 ply's for the summer and shoulder seasons, there are 2 versions of this tire, 1 has a snowflake, 1 doesn't go figure! neither are studdable. During the winter months I use a 275-70-17 (currently biggest snowtire I can find) I think they are called avalanche and I don't know who make them, just make sure they are studdable and have lots and lots of sips (not sure of spelling) and a good self cleaning tread. Just a word of warning, don't drive studded tires in BC prior to October 1st, you will get a ticket also there won't be enough weather to warrant snowtire yet. I usually put mine on towards the end of October also I drive offroad everyday as part my job and use an 08 F250 SD Diesel, I know, I know this is a Wrangler forum, but someone else pays the repair bills. I use my Teej for the hiking, hunting and fishing moments.

What brings you up to the Great White North and are you driving all the way to Anchorage or are you using the Ferry out of Seattle or Prince Rupert?

Cheers
Daryl B.

Sorry I forgot to add, nice TJ. I have an 02, 4.0 that Patriot Blue and completely stock.

Thanks Daryl. I really appreciate the input. I will be rolling through BC at the end of November. My girlfriend's parents live in Anchorage so we visited them over July 4th weekend. I absolutely fell in love with Alaska and have been working hard to get back there ever since. She and I both cant stand our cubicle jobs in Las Vegas and it's time for a change! We're going to drive all the way. We've looked into the cost on the ferry from Seattle to Anchorage. Tell me more about this ferry from Prince Rupert. =)

I'm a bit worried about my TJ Brick puling my little 4x8 enclosed trailer in the snow. It has standard trailer 10" wheels w/ reglular trailer tires. How do you think it will do?

I'll check out the BFG's you mentioned. I think I might look into a studable tire that I can drive to Seattle w/ then have them studded there in Seattle for the rest of the drive.

Thanks again for the responses guys. I really appreciate the feedback!:punk:

grump010 09-23-2010 10:07 PM

The Ferry out of Prince Rupert is the same one from Seattle I think only cheaper because its closer to your destination. If your coming through BC in November, definately get snow tires in Seattle, will be much cheaper. Maybe wait until you get to Anchorage before you get your AT summer tires and see whats popular when you get there. Possibly get better support from your local to anchorage tire dealer.

When towing your trailer, take your time and don't try and go the speed of light or the speed limit for that matter. you shouldn't have any issues if your patient. Really big hills in the Pacific Northwest, which I'm sure your aware of. When you get closer to launch date, keep me posted on your intinery and we can try and hook up on your way through. If you need any help or have questions about BC, drop me a line and I'll do my best to help. I've been in BC for 22 years (moved from the prairies in my 20's) and in the North for 2 of those, I get up everyday with a huge smile as I survey the view of the mountains and forest from our house. To say the least, BC and Alaska are spectacular and I've spent a great amount of time over the last 22 years traveling in both countries.

Cheers
Daryl B.

89yjfreak 09-23-2010 10:12 PM

http//tirerack.com or les shawb or discounttire .com what ever you get if yuor driving in alot of snow get them siped

AyokonaTJ 09-23-2010 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grump010 (Post 786012)
The Ferry out of Prince Rupert is the same one from Seattle I think only cheaper because its closer to your destination. If your coming through BC in November, definately get snow tires in Seattle, will be much cheaper. Maybe wait until you get to Anchorage before you get your AT summer tires and see whats popular when you get there. Possibly get better support from your local to anchorage tire dealer.

When towing your trailer, take your time and don't try and go the speed of light or the speed limit for that matter. you shouldn't have any issues if your patient. Really big hills in the Pacific Northwest, which I'm sure your aware of. When you get closer to launch date, keep me posted on your intinery and we can try and hook up on your way through. If you need any help or have questions about BC, drop me a line and I'll do my best to help. I've been in BC for 22 years (moved from the prairies in my 20's) and in the North for 2 of those, I get up everyday with a huge smile as I survey the view of the mountains and forest from our house. To say the least, BC and Alaska are spectacular and I've spent a great amount of time over the last 22 years traveling in both countries.

Cheers
Daryl B.

Daryl,
Thank you again for your thoughtful response. I really appreciate your advice. I will definitely keep you in the loop as the launch date approaches. :D

AyokonaTJ 09-23-2010 11:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 89yjfreak (Post 786024)
http//tirerack.com or les shawb or discounttire .com what ever you get if yuor driving in alot of snow get them siped

89tjfreak - I forgot all about Les Schwab. Thanks man. How does one get tires siped? What's it do? Cost? Experience w/ and w/o? =)

Thanks!
-Ben:punk:

whiteyj 09-23-2010 11:39 PM

Watch the timing of your trip. Studded tires are only allowed in WA from Nov. 1 to Mar. 31. Just did a year and a half up in the Seattle area. Lots of beautiful country

AyokonaTJ 09-23-2010 11:49 PM

Thank you whityj. Does that go for the entire state?
-Ben

89yjfreak 09-23-2010 11:52 PM

you can do it your self with a hot knife or you can go to the tire store its pretty cheap to have done and well worth it in the snow

Alaska TJ 09-24-2010 11:39 AM

If I were driving up here on 10" tires from Vegas, I'd be certain to carry at least one spare tire for the trailer. I'd also carry a tire plugging kit with me as an emergency option for the Alcan highway. It looks like you're debating between the ferry from P Rupert and the Alcan... If you do the Alcan, just be certain that your tools and emergency supplies are very accessible from your trailer.

You're probably familiar with the increased costs in Alaska. A set of tires in Fairbanks easily costs me $100 more than if I were in the lower 48 and possibly up to $200 or more depending upon the size. I'd grab them in the lower 48 if possible. If you're planning to get studded tires for winter, you can often buy used tires cheap. Throw them onto your rig on the way north and pull them off in the spring and use your old tires... (if you have room in the trailer (or on top) for a set of tires).

whiteyj 09-24-2010 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AyokonaTJ (Post 786168)
Thank you whityj. Does that go for the entire state?
-Ben

Yes..I confirmed the dates off the Washington DOT web site.

aelwero 09-24-2010 03:02 PM

We siped quite a few sets in CO back in high school. the square razor blades held in vise grips and zapped for a couple seconds with propane torch goes nice and quick :) turns mud tires into really nice snow tires, but it will noticably shorten your tread life.

AyokonaTJ 09-24-2010 03:12 PM

How do you do it? The siping? I'm not familiar with what you actually have to do the tire. And how it benefits the performance :)

grump010 09-24-2010 06:33 PM

Alaska TJ, that is very good advice for the highway. Don't know why it slipped my mind

AyokonaTJ,
Sipes are what give you the traction and control on ice and the tread/lugs is for traction in / on snow

Wildkarde 09-24-2010 07:02 PM

I can second the maxxis bighorns. I live in the mountains of maine and while it may not compare to Alaska, we do get some heavy winter weather here. I had bighorns on my silverado for 3 winters and had no complaints. My finance drives 75-100 miles a day in the truck and she loved the bighorns in the winter.

With that being said I have switched over to Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs on the silverado and put a set on my tj, they also have great winter reviews and you may want to take a look at them as well, all though I suspect you can get the bighorns cheaper and I would not hesitate to get another set of bighorns.

aelwero 09-24-2010 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AyokonaTJ (Post 786885)
How do you do it? The siping? I'm not familiar with what you actually have to do the tire. And how it benefits the performance :)

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g2...pics/002-2.jpg

the little slits all over these are sipes. they don't have to be zigzagged, and you can cut them straight across (like the center treads in the pic... you can do that to the whole tire), but the zigzags have more linear area without going all the way to the edges of the lugs, and that's what you ideally want. Mud tires will do well in deep loose snow, but they lose the advantage on pack or ice because they don't have much in the way of edges to grip... the siping adds those edges, and the more you have, the better you do on ice (and in standing water usually). you can go crazy adding sipes, but the catch is that while your mud tires will still have the nice big lugs and still do well in the mud (or deep snow), when you get on pavement, you wear them out a lot faster, and if you go too far with the siping on a soft mud tire, it can start losing chunks.

Best way is with a razor blade, as thin as you can cut, and straight across. cuts that are too thick (or too close together) will make the cuts "grow" and cup as you wear them, and diagonal cuts will cause a lot more gouging (a lot more). I'd cut em a little farther apart than in the picture for a DIY job. Can't really be more specific than that though, last one I did was almost 20 years ago, and I was never all that scientific or precise about it... and it'd also be good to note that this is all personal opinion/observation/experience type stuff and I'm not a tire professional or anything... just happen to be good at MacGyvering stuff like that up ;)

If you can swing both the studded tires and separate off roads, that'd be best, but in a pinch, any tire can be siped. I don't really recommend it unless you run short of options, but back then, in school and usually broke, I did it to several sets ;)

AyokonaTJ 09-26-2010 05:41 PM

Thanks for all the responses everyone. I think I'm going to do the maxxis bighorns and get them studded once I reach Seattle. :)

Tjeep 10-03-2010 06:28 PM

31 pit bull growler radial. They will probably come out bigger soon because the tires are so new.

AyokonaTJ 10-03-2010 08:28 PM

How does everyone feel about the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac? I'm comparing them to the Maxxis Bighorn 33x12.5x15 both are stud-able. Both have good reviews, but the Goodyear ones have the $100 rebate through treadlightly.org and a $20 rebate from Goodyear. Whatcha think?

Steel02001 10-06-2010 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AyokonaTJ (Post 789602)
Thanks for all the responses everyone. I think I'm going to do the maxxis bighorns and get them studded once I reach Seattle. :)

I could be wrong, I dont follow the weather that closely other than outside my window, but you could probably wait until Canada or even Alaska to add the studs. I would bet the price is comparable to that of the Seattle area and you will still have a lot of driving to do. I know the tires will be cheaper down here though, the studding should be negligible difference.

grump010 10-06-2010 10:02 PM

I spoke with my tire dealer here in town today and he expressed some trepidation about studding tires once they've been run on the road. He commented that once dirt gets into the hole for the stud, the stud won't seat properly. I guess just check with your dealer, don't assume that you can wait to stud your tires.

Cheers
Daryl B.

AyokonaTJ 10-06-2010 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grump010
I spoke with my tire dealer here in town today and he expressed some trepidation about studding tires once they've been run on the road. He commented that once dirt gets into the hole for the stud, the stud won't seat properly. I guess just check with your dealer, don't assume that you can wait to stud your tires.

Cheers
Daryl B.

Interesting. I'm picking up the duratrac's tomorrow. I'll ask the dealer. Getting the $100 tread lightly rebate as well as an additional $20 off through discount tire. Not bad eh?

Stick1001 10-07-2010 12:32 AM

I was just at Kal tire the other day and they have a siping machine... And they provide an in house warranty on their work. And I'm pretty sure( 99%) that you can't stud used tires. Cooper weather masters! Unreal traction


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