A Tale of Two Tyres

Submitted: Monday, May 31, 2004 at 20:49
ThreadID: 13346 Views:2767 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Evening all

I have a Troopy that I purchased 4 years ago. It weighs 3.5T fully loaded.

After purchase I put on a set of brand new BFG A/T’s (On original split rims)

I racked up 30,000 Kms, the majority of which were around the Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola, Inamincka, Cordillo Downs, Birdsville & east side of the Simpson down the K1, and Birsdville Track. The rest were racked up by getting to these places from Melbourne.

Fact 1: Ran those tyres at 45PSI Rear & 40PSI Front everywhere except the QAA line on the Simpson where I lowered them to 18PSI over the Dunes on the very last trip that they did.

Fact 2: After 30,000Kms they were 50% - .70 % worn. (Even on all four)

Fact 3: Never had a puncture.

Fact 4: Had a blow out on the last trip they did (Left Rear inside wall) on the Bitumen after Renmark on the SA/VIC Border. (vicious 3inch split)

Inspection revealed a myriad of fine splits on the inside walls of both rear tires.

Fact 5: On arrival back in Melbourne, ripped these tyres off and replaced them with Cooper S/T’s on same rims. (4 plus spare)

Fact 6: Just completed 5,000 Kms (May 04) on the Coopers - Melb, Oodnadatta, Mt Dare, Birdsville via Simpson, Cordillo Downs Road.

Fact 7: Never spared them one iota (Fairly flogged them). Ran them at 35Psi Front 40PSI Rear on the dirt. 30PSI Rear & 25PSI Front on the Simpson. 20PSI Front & 25PSI Rear on ‘little Red’ and never had a problem.

Fact 8: No Punctures and no &^$%$** splits on inside of the sidewalls. Minimal wear with the actual tread surface looking like it had scuffed up by a grater.

This ‘polished off ‘on the bitumen on the way home.

Moral of the story:

(1) Its horses for course when it comes to tyre pressures and the individual vehicles they are fitted to.

(2) I know what type of tyres I’ll be using from now on.

This may add to your information re tyres and/or relevant presures.

It may also confuse you some more.



Ken Robinson

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Reply By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 21:40

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 21:40
Hi Ken
a bit unfair to compare a tyre thats done 5000k against one thats done
30,000K on some unforgiving roads/tracks. At Arkaroola Resort they are lucky to get 10,000k on a set.

AnswerID: 61095

Follow Up By: Member - Ken - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 22:09

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 22:09
Evening Bernie.

I am not comparing, you are.

I've just stated the facts so far. Might be further down the track things may change. who knows.

What I was getting at more than anything, is the 'religion' of tyre pressures.

There are no set rules, and I firmly believe that lowering to 18PSI on the QAA line, killed those BFG'S. referring to the sidewall splits.

In that vehicle it will be highly unlikely that I will do that again in a hurry, only for a real crap, necesary, situation.

Regards and have a good one.

Ken Robinson

FollowupID: 322673

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 00:09

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 00:09
You are in fact also comparing the tyres, your statement of
"I know what type of tyres I’ll be using from now on" is testamony to that.

Bernie is right you can't compare those tyres based on what you have listed in terms of distance etc.

How will the Coopers perform in 30,000 km plus and then lower the pressure in them to 18psi and replicate the loads and ambient temps, driving style etc.

I fail to see what your post sets out to acheive and is actually a load of crap in my view.

By the way I use BFG Alterrains on my Troopy alabet a wider version than yours and I have just replaced 4 after 55,000 km and they still had around 10 to 20 % usable tread depth left.
These tyres had done all the areas you listed plus Vic high country etc with high loads around the 3 to 3.5 tonne and run down to 18psi in sand 25 to 28 in rocky tracks.

I had two punctures in 4 years one a nail, one a stone penetration.
The reason I changed the tyres is I schreded one in the Little Desert, my fault ran to long on a flat in soft sand, why was it flat, not sure suspect that I dislodged the valve on a tree root and did not realise it was down until I went to turn a corner.

When I removed all the tyres all insides in excellent condition, No cracking at all in the side walls.
I kept the 3 left for spare carcases in future outback trips.

I'm in the Toyota Landcruiser Club and to date the vast majority of tyres I have seen fitted to the vehicles in this club are BFG's probably about 60 percent Muddies the balance AT's.
All owners I speak with say they will replace their tyres with the same.

The point is if you have a sudden dislike for one brand of tyres then don't Bull$hit about the reason you want to change just change them because you want to try somthing different, don't feel that you have justify the change by blaming a problem with the tyre

I have no personal objection to Coopers or Nissans for that matter, and maybe one day I will buy some Coopers just for the hell of it.
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FollowupID: 322689

Follow Up By: joc45 - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 00:11

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 00:11
Hi Ken,
Interesting stuff. I've had a set of AT BFGs (KO series) for 95,000 now on my GU, covering most surfaces except deep mud, about to look for a new set. Stuffed a sidewall on one about 3 yrs ago on a sharp rock (pressures about 42psi on rear), and fitted a spare BFG AT (non-KO; ie earlier version). This has now developed sidewall splits inside and out. Has been suggested that pressures were too low when in sand, causing the damage (I drop them to about 15psi for beach sand). Fair comment, but the other tyres, running the same pressures are ok.
Haven't tackled BFG about the tyre, as it's over 5 yrs old, perhaps I should. But the KOs I can't fault - good life, good off-road, quiet on sealed road and no scalloping on the front. Had a set of non-KOs on the old GQ and was very happy with them.
FollowupID: 322691

Reply By: Peter 2 - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 21:57

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 21:57
Ken, I agree with all your comments, I've had troopies since 1981, usually kept them for a few years and then traded to a later model, as time went on and the kids got bigger and funds got tighter I tended to keep them longer, the last one for ten years.
I always used the original split rims and 8 ply Roadgrippers, the last two sets being the grippers from base model 100 series which are a 235 x 16 and roughly equivalent to a 6 ply. The troopies were always used for travelling, all over Oz, lots of fully laden outback trips, Len's roads, CSR, simpson dozens of times etc etc.
Fully laden for the CSR the 75 series weighed over 4t. Usually around your 3.5- 3.7 with 2A and 3 K on board. I always ran 40 front and a minimum of 45 rear with a more usual pressure of around the 50 mark with the 8 plies. The 235's ran 35 front and 40-45 rear as they are a lighter tyre. In all that time I never blew a tyre and had about 10 punctures, all nails or wire. Tyre pressures were dropped for sand to around 15 front and 20 rear, occasionally less as loads decreased or conditions warranted, with a full load, never bothered dropping pressures on dirt. The 235's I always dropped pressures by about 5 lb on dirt/rocky roads as they were a lighter tyre then the 7.50's.
Tyre wear was usually around 45k to about 5mm of tread at which point I wouldn't take them on a long trip.
As has been mentioned here when you lower your pressures lower your speed, drive to avoid the worst rocks and holes, don't drive down outback roads like you are on the freeway admiring the scenery and above all check tyre temps by placing your palm on the tread at each and every stop, you will notice any temp increases which are due to slow leaks and avoid turning a repairable puncture into a destroyed tyre.
I also follow the 4 lb rule to arrive at correct tyre pressures for any given situation.
AnswerID: 61098

Reply By: Member - Ken - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 01:42

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 01:42
Hmmmmmmmmmmm! Some of you boys forget to take your 'pills' today/tonight.

The whole point of the post was not to:

(a) Complain about how many Kms the BFG'S had done. If so I would be still using the remaining 3 to get the last 30-35% of rubber out of them.

(b) Compare the two different tyres. Saying I am know what I am going to be using from now means -tyres that don't get splits in the side walls.


(c) To point out that I highly suspect there is something amiss with BFG'S at low presure in sand.

And from the followups of those without a rush of blood to the head, I now believe I may be heading in the right direction.

I also suspect that there may have been a particular batch of the BFG's that were susceptible to this trait.

Also, for those with high blood pressure, I have just purchased a new JEEP Cherokee that comes with Goodyear's.

Did I say take those nasty old Goodyears off and fit a set of 'those which cannot be named in this forum'. Not on your life. I am going to give them a go and experience something different.

Now as before, you all have a nice day.


Ken Robinson
AnswerID: 61118

Follow Up By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 02:25

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 02:25
Hi Ken
I was NOT comparing tyre's just that the BFG had done 30,000k & the Coopers only 5000 I hope they standup to there gaurantee.
As John said most at TLC would be or have been running BFG, some still on splits but most on tubeless rims,
I did not pickup on the split rims in the original post and i think they generate more heat which is a problem.
I don't have a problem with - what type of tyre/vehicle/petrol/diesel or any other item that people use, I just like to see people getting out in the bush and enjoying themselves.
We are all free to say what ever we choose on this forum.

When are you going to get your rig pic up ?
Good to see another Member from (Vic)

FollowupID: 322695

Follow Up By: Member - Ken - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 08:07

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 08:07

Now your on the money mate.

I think ( only think at this stage) that it is/was the Split Rims that may have caused the problem.

So I am going to wack a set of ROH Steels on it and see how that goes, keeping in mind that the BFG's aren't on it anymore. It will increase the width from 6" to 7" .

I spoke to a couple of guys at Dalhousie in May who reckon that it was the splits running at under 30PSI that most probably caused it.

Thats what I was saying in the original post, this time I only ran it under 30PSI once and that was to get over 'little red'.

Also the Cooper sidewalls don't seem to balloon as much at lower pressure. Could be an ST, as opposed to an AT.

Once again it's a 'horses for courses' thing.


Ken Robinson

FollowupID: 322701

Reply By: floyd - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 15:13

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 15:13
30,000 does not sound like very good milage for a BFG but I guess that is because of the weight and the time spent at low pressure. I ran a set of 33x9.5x15 on a Lcruiser ute and sold the vehicle with the tyres done 80,000kms and only 50 % worn. I towed a race car with it with and about 1.5 tons of spares on the back every weekend and did numerous 4WD trips with the tyres also. I reckon that they are the bees knees on AT tyres after that sort of milage.

Incidently I have had only 40,000 kms out of a set of Yokahama Geolander AT's and they are almost up for replacement. They are a great tyre in all conditions but I will not put them on any car again after such low milage.
AnswerID: 61187

Follow Up By: Member - Ken - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 19:08

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 19:08
Evening Floyd

The 30,000 account for about 65-70% wear, however I am not bitching about that as it was on splits with tyres, higher pressures etc.

It was the myriad of splits on the inside sidewalls of the rear tyres that was the 'interesting part.

I have since searched the internet to death so to speak re this phenomena
and now believe that it was caused by the split rims, tubes, pressures etc etc.

Maybe the answer is, don't run BFG A/T's on those type of rims. Who knows.

I am going to switch to ROH Trak II and give them a run and play around with the pressures in different conditions on the ST'S.

Thanks for your feedback and its all forward from here.


Ken Robinson.

FollowupID: 322782

Reply By: Zita - Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 22:29

Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 22:29
If you were running the tyres at 40 & 45 on gravel roads I guess you had to replace your false teeth regularly as well. If you talk to anyone who spends their life travelling on gravel roads you will find that 30 psi is the most they will ever run. My BFG A/t's have done 30000 k's and are not even 40% worn. I run 26 &30 on gravel and 40 & 45 on tar. You will kill a lot more tyres runniing 45-50 on gravel than you will running 28 to 30. You have to be consistent with raising and lowering pressures. I assume you have a compressor in your vehicle. most people we have seen on our trips load their vehicle up way too much. They take enoughbleepto last them for half a lifetime. You can buy supplies most places in outback Aussie. The extra you have to pay helps the economy and saves you money on fuel and tyres that all the extra weight costs you.
Leave some at home and enjoy the trip, Doug
AnswerID: 61582

Follow Up By: Member - Ken - Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 23:20

Thursday, Jun 03, 2004 at 23:20
Good evening Zita

Mate! you're 93 posts behind the 'eight ball', however its good to see the BFG emotion pills are still kicking in. (Just Joking)

If you look at my original post and follow up/s you will ascertain that I am not fussed about the $'s one iota.

I am beside myself with the mega splits in the side walls of the BFG'S

At this stage I believe it is the split rims. Therefore tomorow morning a brand new set of sunraysia'a are going on tubeless) which will widen the the rim walls from 6 to 7 inches. This I am told allows the tyre walls to stand straighter with less ballooning when the pressures are lowered in sand.

I am sure that is what killed my BFG'S. they were going ok untill the dunes on the Simpson.

Now as for weight. Yep! I run at 3.5 ts fully loaded. That includes 170 L of fuel and 200L of water. I couldn't care less about the weight as the suspension has been upgraded to Kings Mining packs, Koni Shocks and polyairs. I have removed everything I dare to, considering I travel alone.

Not a tooth rattle in it. As I have alluded before, if you can't afford it, don't do it.

Also I have yet to be convinced that lower tyre presures are the way to go.

Yes in a tight situation on sand, mud & rocks but nothing else. I do however come down on the dirt, but not as low as you would like/suggest.

Yes I have a compressor which I use on a regular basis for the Front and Rear ARB diff lockers. It also has a 10L air tank which I use for other things as well as raising and lowering tyres.

Now this is another aspect I haven't highlighted before. My troopy does not travel around town as a family car. It is only used for trips into extreme conditions like the desert areas.

Therefore the bitumen use is fairly minimal in the 'abuse stakes'.

In view of the above it is now my opinion the at the COOPER ST's are a better tyre for my conditions of use.

Again I reiterate, its the side wall splits with the BFG's that I have a issue with and a couple of other contributers to this forum have indicated that they have had the same problem.

By the way, I'm picking up a new JEEP Cherokee next week and when the original tyres wear out, I most probably will replace them with BFG A/T's because there is no way in hell that I will be playing around with pressures on that machine. ie it will not be going off of made roads.

It will be interesting how long the COOPERS last and what my opinion of them is at their end.


Ken Robinson

FollowupID: 323076

Reply By: 10 Para (Qld) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 18:08

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 18:08
Well that lot did me no good at all i run BFG 275/70/R16 A/T and to date not a punture also low milage 22,000 still has had some work in that time, had thought that i would change to Copers ST 285/75/R16, after through investigation decided to stay with the BFG just change the size, now in the death throws of deciding what i dont like about them both is the bulge at the sidwalls and yes i know run them at 40-45psi and they are Radial's but i still look at them each time i get in and out and think of them sharp rocks that are around the corner, and the money i have 9 of the buggers to change why cant they just make a tyre a little bit stronger in the side wall, now that would be nice, not so strong that it would be to firm of course, think i might toss a coin.
AnswerID: 62103

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