Challenger - new tyres - gibb river road

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:38
ThreadID: 20283 Views:2901 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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Challenger owners, what tyres are you running and how are you finding them? Looking to upgrade in the next month in preparation for a gibb river trip towards middle of year. Live in Port Hedland and do quite a bit of sand driving, nothing too hardcore. Have given the standard geolanders a fair thrashing (rough gravel roads, launching boat off rocks) and they have stood up OK, they are a bit cut up, but for a reasonably cheap road tyre they have been some places. Seems to be general opinion that something more serious is required for Gibb river road.

So far the contenders are, (in no particular order)

Coopers AT
Goodyear ATR
Bridgestone dueler AT D694
Goodyear MTR (outsider)

A lot of vehicles in the shopping carpark up here running the D694, maybe because one of the 2 tyre shops is a bridgestone dealer, also BFG AT and Goodyear MTR are popular.

Any comments?

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Reply By: slyonnet - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 20:03

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 20:03
Hi Cookie,

I had my Challenger for nearly a year now and before buying it I actually considered switching the tyres for somthing a bit more adapted for off-road work. I asked ARB and Opposite Lock what they thought and they both told me that the tyres fitted to the car are usually the most suitable for it as long as you don't go to extrem places. They advised me to keep them on cause I would not get any real benefit from switching money wise and to see how I found them. That's what I did and kept the standard Geolander on. Now I haven't got too many occasions to take the Challenger offroad between finishing the house and the arrival of the baby. Anyhow, I managed to do some beach driving a few times and had found the Geolander were OK. I found that 18psi even in soft sand was still allright: I did not have wheel spin, didn't get the "sinking feeling" you get once you start to dig in, and let very shallow tracks behind me. In fact the only time I found it hard was when I was driving into deep tracks dug out by someone else cause I did not have the same wheel space and my wheels had to push some more sand on the sides. The fact I went OK with 18psi tells me also that I still have some margin to reduce the pressure further for even softer sand so I am happy with that.
In mud or rugged terrain I will not expect them to work as good so it is probably right to get something more adapted to those for the Gibb River Road. But that's just my impression by looking at them and I may well be wrong (well I hope so cause that means I won't have to change mine then).
I think some of the other Challenger owner on the forum got some of the tyres you are looking at so it will be interesting to see what they say.
Also did you try your local 4wd shop? They might be able to tell you what will be better for that particular car and trip.
Good luck,

AnswerID: 97528

Reply By: Member Eric - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 20:25

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 20:25
Fitted up a set of 33" with a 2" lift to a mates not long ago . Running the MTR's best al terrain tyre in the market today
AnswerID: 97537

Follow Up By: cookie - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 16:32

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 16:32
I also have a 2 inch lift but how does the challenger go with 33's? The 3 litre does the job but is nothing startling for performance?

FollowupID: 356248

Follow Up By: Member Eric - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 19:01

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 19:01
Does have some issue on very steap hills . ran a chip in the computer that helped , but now looking at supercharger
FollowupID: 356262

Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 21:47

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 21:47
A mate off another forum has a challenger fitted with Goodyear MTRs and he is full of praise for them. I think he posts here occaisionally and might see this topic.
AnswerID: 97553

Reply By: The Rambler - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 23:38

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 23:38
You will find that theGibb River Road whenyou plan to go will be no problem with any tyre with decent tread as it has become almost a highway with standard vehicles crossing all the time .I went across last year(fourth time) and averaged 80km./hr without doing anything stupid.Going up to Mitchell Falls or Kalumbaru is a different story.
AnswerID: 97581

Follow Up By: DD64 - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 13:57

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 13:57
Any knowledge on the track down to Mornington Wilderness Camp re tyres?
FollowupID: 356210

Follow Up By: cookie - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:17

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 14:17
Yeah that's what I'm starting to find out, seems to be some conflicting stories, all relative to what you are used to I suppose. Some people say how rough it is and hard on tyres and I have spoken to a person up here who drove a holden cruze through, another guy with a stock 99 prado and tyres, no problem. Their opinion was that is was no rougher than most of the tracks around hedland. Have heard it depends a lot on how recently the graders have been through. Have been told mitchell falls is well worth the drive but still contemplating if we have enough time.

FollowupID: 356214

Follow Up By: beatit - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 15:05

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 15:05
Is the Mornington Wilderness Camp the same place as Old Mornington Camp? What's there and how good? Just planning my own trip!

Kind regards
FollowupID: 356223

Reply By: Grumpybum - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 12:57

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 12:57
Gibb River road conditions depend on where/when the graders have been. Often really seriously corrugated........... need to pay good attention to your tyres and wnything you decide to tow. The numbers wrecks along the road (cleaned up annualy) attest the the road conditions and inexperieced drivers who think 4x4 = bullet prooof. Most std tyres should be OK if looked after.


AnswerID: 97636

Reply By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 20:18

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 20:18
Like all good myths about how hard things are, there is an element of truth and lots of embelishment. I have not done the GRR but have done lots of corrugated, rough, sharp rocky and gibber roads. My summary is as follows

Lots of people run too hard (high pressure) and too fast. Anyone who doesn't beleive this, ask at Oodnadatta Pink Roadhouse and Arkaroola resort servo. 90% failures due to too hard and too fast according to the guys who have to fix em.

My rules

Any reasonable quality tyre these days is up to the job except probably low profile if-

1. No more than 50% worn
2. Inflated to no more than about 28psi ( for typical 4wd tyres) -consult manufacturer for minimum pressure for your tyre, as some differ.
3.You drive conservatively. 1/2 the speed is 1/4 the impact!!!

AnswerID: 97719

Reply By: Member - Camper (SA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 21:28

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 21:28
We have done about 6000k on Yoko AT's and are happy. Haven't given them huge curry but they are good in the mud and over rough limestone. Sing a bit round the city and travel well on the highway.

AnswerID: 97736

Reply By: Bitsumishin - Mike (WA) - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 22:03

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 22:03
I did the GRR on the Geo rubber and got 7 flats. I found them far too soft for the trip. Since completing the trip & speaking to others, I found the road was particularly bad at the time but I would certainly go tougher rubber. By the time we got to El Questro, the spare was completely ripped & it cost me $360- for one Kelly HT the same size as the others (& that was 2-3 years ago). Basically they said if I didn't like it I could walk to Kunnunurra & chose an alternative. When we did get to Kunnunurra we could have bought 3 All Terrains for that price but at a different size. The first thing I did when I got back is ditch what was left of the rubber for Bridgestone 693's 31x10.5x15 and 70,000ks later, they are still going strong. Although I haven't done GRR or similar since, I still get some pretty decent trips in & they have given me no trouble at all.
p.s. The pic below does not show the 693's. the Mud Mongrels get used for.....? well mud.
AnswerID: 97748

Reply By: Pterosaur - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 23:21

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 23:21
Spent a bit over a week on the Gibb River road 4 years ago in my 91 Jackaroo, Tyres were 8 ply Goodyear AT's.

I had no problems, although I noticed lots of vehicles with damaged tyres (only flat on the bottom !). The graders hadn't got as far as the Durack River (from the East) and the road was corrugated and rocky, with occasional patches of bulldust.

Why I have responded, and am curious about, is the matter of tyre pressures. I have an open mind about the correct way to approach this, and am aware that the majority of opinion seems to support lowering tyre pressures when travelling in such conditions.

When I travelled the GRR, I was unaware of the majority opinion, and chose to do the trip on overinflated tyres (50kpa rear, 48 kpa front), as I reasoned (wrongly ?) that with radial tyres, the majority of damage that I have seen happens to tyre sidewalls, and that if I overinflated, then there would be less chance of the (relatively) softer sidewalls on the tyres coming into contact with nasty, sharp, gibbers capable of knocking a hole in my tyres, than if I underinflated, lowering the profile of the tyres (as I do in sand). Several people I spoke to about this thought I was mad, BUT I travelled the Gibb River road, Cape LeVeque, Roper "Highway", and the Oodnadatta track on the same principles (and trip), and the only punctures I had (2) were in Adelaide.

While travelling the GRR, I passed a couple of Toyotas whose drivers had reckoned I was wrong, but they had the flats, not me.

BTW the vehicle was pretty well loaded (back seats removed) and full up to the window line.

There was also a young bloke with a Sandman panel van who had to rebuild his wheel bearings on the trip, but had no other problems, except having to repack them after the Pentecost crossing.

Wotya reckon ? Just lucky, or some sense in my thinking. ?

AnswerID: 97767

Follow Up By: Pterosaur - Saturday, Feb 12, 2005 at 11:05

Saturday, Feb 12, 2005 at 11:05
in the post above scratch Kpa, substitute PSI (duhhh).
FollowupID: 356552

Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 17:25

Sunday, Feb 13, 2005 at 17:25
Acording to the guys who fix them, sidewall punctures are EXTREMELY rare in suchj conditions. Most punctures are un observed, and occur in the tread area. Those in the know say overinflation is the primary casue, along with high speeds.
FollowupID: 356654

Reply By: Wizard1 - Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 13:59

Friday, Feb 11, 2005 at 13:59
You can get the best tyres in the world that money can buy, but you can't tell what is under the bull dust.

Have Cooper ATs. Not one puncture caused by a rock or alike, but by nails and screws between the tread blocks! Things drop off vehicles on these roads and you may drive over it.

It all comes down to tyre pressure and driving technique. We drove part of the Roper Hwy. We were passed by a Cruiser that ended up doing 4 tyres (their first 10 km into it) before they got to Booraloola. We were towing a van and had no problems

Sometimes it is just pure luck.................

I carry 2 spares as well as a Safety Seal repair kit and compressor. If need be I carry a spare (used) casing which saves a few hundred dollars in these outback garages.

Prado TD
Gold Coast
AnswerID: 97857

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