Tyre Size and BFG vs Cooper

Submitted: Monday, Apr 22, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1002 Views:5418 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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My Dunlop Grandtreks (265 / 70 / R16) are to be retired, and something more suitable is required. After much reading, observation and discussion, I have short listed the choice to either the Cooper Discovery ST or the BFG AT/KO. Before I make the final decision and run the rigmarole of the insurance company notification / approval etc, I would like the candid opinion of this forum on a couple of issues that I would like assistance in understanding.

{ As background, I have a 98 GXL Petrol Prado, its basically stock standard. The type of 4wd driving that I like doing is up to the moderate level type of tracks, that are found in and around Victoria. (That’s the state where I live.) I have also done some trips to the Flinders Ranges and parts of "outback" QLD and have at this stage one in the planning stages to Central Australia next year. Other than that, the 4wd is used mainly at weekends, but sometimes during the week as the "Taxi" for the kids and their friends. }

The 265 / 70 / R16 size is not a popular tyre in the AT / LT construction and it has been suggested that I move to a different size.

a) For the BFG AT/KO in either 265 / 75 / R16, or 275 / 70 / R16 I have been offered them at $239ea (cf 265 / 70 / R16 at $288ea - Its out of budget.)
b) For the Coopers, the only suitable profile is 265 / 75 / R16. (I've not checked the exact price, but understand it's on par with the BFG's.)

If I go to the 265 / 75 / R16 size tyre, I will gain approx 12 mm height, but will loose some engine braking on steep descents.

If I go to the 275 / 70 / R16 I will have a wider tyre, that may give better grip, in some circumstances, and not in others, but will retain the same engine braking on steep descents.

For the type I driving I like to do (can be wet / muddy / steep in the Vic Alps,), in your opinion, which size is the better compromise and why ?

If the consensus of opinion is the 265 / 75 / R16, which would be the better tyre, the Cooper or the BFG.

(Also, I would appreciate comments on the cost of ownership of the Cooper, eg, The Balance and Rotation scheme that is required to maintain the 80,000 km warranty.)

Thanks in anticipation.

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Reply By: Geoff - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
Mal, when I bought 5 BFG AT/KO's for my GU Patrol 18 months ago they came with a free balance and rotation every 10,000k for the life of the tyres.
They've done 30,000k and look like making 80,000k very easily. Cost of ownership - nil. As for your questions regarding BFG vs Cooper, I can't comment (never had Coopers), but I doubt the difference between the sizes you mentioned would have a huge effect in tight going.
AnswerID: 3029

Reply By: Joanne - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
We have a gxl prado 2000. We have just replaced the grandtreks april 02.After a lot of running around looking at different tyres and asking advice we were advised against getting B.F.G.s. We were shown quite afew sets of them with cracks around the outside edge . We settled instead for Bridgestone duelers 265/70/R16..
AnswerID: 3032

Reply By: Dale - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
I have just had to make the same decision on tyres, BFG A/Ts or Cooper STs I ended up going for the Coopers for a couple of reasons, I also live in VIC. and the more aggresive tread pattern of the Coopers is more suited to muddy conditions around here ( I spoke to a couple of blokes with BFG A/Ts and there only bitch about the tyre was it struggled in muddy conditions )The other reason was my local tyre dealer said BFG were having trouble with ply separation. If only had the tyres a week but so far very happy with noise etc.
AnswerID: 3034

Reply By: Mark Wilson - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Mal, have been through a similar process deciding on what tyres to fit to a 1995 Tdi Land Rover. Advised against purchasing BFG's by local tyre outlet,( they have looked after my tyre needs for over 20 years and give good independant advice), apparently BFG are not honouring warranty in cases where tyres have failed under legitimate use. I've been steered off them, no pun intended, as a result. We've just fitted 4 Bridgestone AT dueller 235x70x16 and have only travelled about 35 kms so way too early to tell. The reason I've switched tyres from the original Michelin's was the ability to access replacements at fair cost in some of the more remote areas of Australia. We're heading off next week for six month trip.
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 3053

Reply By: Deano - Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00
Gday Mal, Know your concerns, it is a problem deciding on tyres. I'm curious though, how did the dunlop's handle the places you've been, eg. punctures etc, as my original yokohama H/T were alot better than expected, I will upgrade too A/T shortly, not sure which tyre either.

Good Luck.
AnswerID: 3161

Follow Up By: Mal - Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00
My Dunlop Grandtreks have lasted 65,000 Km. (4 Wheel Rotation - The spare is basically unused). Based on what I read, I think this is towards the top end of the distance you can expect from these if treated with care. I have always run them 34 / 36 psi, where-as the recommendation is 30 /32. I always had them rotated at 10,000 Km intervals, and have had the front end re-aligned at least twice.
The only puncture I have had was around town when I had done 700 Km. It was a 2" nail.
With regards to how they handled, well, in the beginning I wasn't very adventurous, so they seemed OK in most places I went 4WD'ing. As I have explored further, I have found that they can be quite slippery in damp/wet clay based tracks you find typically in the mountain areas in Victoria even in summer time.
As far as QLD was concerned, except for the sand driving on Fraser Island, the "outback" tracks we went on were dry and really just graded / bumpy dirt roads.
For Flinders Ranges, the tracks we went on were quite rough, with lots of sharp small rocks or shale. I was quite sure we would have a puncture, but we didn't. I think mainly due to the fact I took my time, and also took a lot of care with wheel placement.
I think the AT tyre is ultimately the way to go if you want to do some of the moderate level tracks. Which tyre, though, is a most difficult choice as any tyre is a compromise.
FollowupID: 1255

Reply By: Greg King - Saturday, May 11, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, May 11, 2002 at 00:00
hi mal i have 100 s/crzer i have 285/75/16 bfg/at ko i was very happey with tham 10,000km has past i have change tham to coopers 285/75/16 and found beter in all condisons but VERY NOZEY going to change to cooper a/t thay are aparentley very quite thank you greg
AnswerID: 3471

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