Tyres, a new slant

Submitted: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 12:51
ThreadID: 5021 Views:2727 Replies:15 FollowUps:6
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Theres been at lot of talk about which tyres etc but I wanted to ask how people find the standard Grand trek's on Toyotas handle out back conditions as they are really only road tyres. I am off on the gibb rivver road in a couple of weeks and wonder if I should give the standard tyres a go or fork out big bucks for Coopers.
As an aside to this every Tyre fitter I have talked to (5)in the last few days has said they are haveing cracking problems with the BFG's and can nolonger recomend them, any comments. One told me they are now made in Asia and the compound has been changed. This is mainly in the North west so I don't know if it a long term problem with the heat.
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Reply By: Allyn - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:16

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:16
I live in Port Hedland and used to run BFG A/T's. Dumped them after 35K's as the sidewalls had split and tread got chewed out dramatically on Gibb River Rd.
Heaps of threads on this forum with similar responses.
I now run Goodyear Wrangler MTR's but was looking at Cooper ST's initially. Either will suffice I'm sure.
AnswerID: 20532

Reply By: Member - Martyn (WA) - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:23

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:23
I've heard some tales about BFG's coming out of Asia, delaminating of the sidewall was one issue plus excessive wear was another. I haven't experienced this myself but the tyre house I go to still gets BFG tyres from the US, he showed me the stamp on the tyre so as far as I know you can still get BFG tyres out of the US in Australia. He also told me he hadn't had any warranty claims against BFG. Another tyre house told me of the BFG issues and told me thay had changed over to Coopers, a little bird later told me that they had had the franchise taken away from them for whatever reason so I imagine there was some politics involved and ill feelings etc etc hence the tales of "extreme" woe. Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 20533

Reply By: Member - Bob - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:47

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:47
I've just put BFG A/Ts on after starting with Grandtreks (20,000 kms and hopeless) Bridgestones (45,000 kms and not much better) Pirellis (70,000kms and not bad). The BFGs are the best gravel and sand road tyre I've had so far. They're a bit noisy on tar, but I can live with that. Hopefully, I'll wear them out before they split (sorry about the split infinitive for any pedants out there).
AnswerID: 20537

Reply By: Chris from North West Camper Trailers Hire & Sales - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:57

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 13:57
The local OL dealer here in Karratha is recommending the Coopers 265 AT's as they have 10 ply walls and not to go to MT's as I was going to because the sharp rocks have been tearing lugs off, it's a hard choice as conditions change so much.

AnswerID: 20540

Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 14:31

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 14:31
Dave, I commiserate. You're facing the age-old dilemma - whether to risk the stock road biased tyres all fourbies are sold with, or fork out $1500 for a 6-pack of more capable tyres. Of course, it's made even harder when your current tyres are still fairly new but not worth a pinch of anything second-hand.

I guess running the GrandTreks would be a good way to justify to the other half that new tyres are required - after you've shredded a few, and the spare, of course.Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
AnswerID: 20542

Follow Up By: diamond(bendigo) - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 17:38

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 17:38
gday rohan.i disagree with second hand(nearly new)tyres being worth nothing.we buy and sell second hand 4wd tyres all the time .i recently sold my 31/10.5/15 cooper s/t for $150 each with 35000ks on them.
that way someone who is looking for a cheaper decent tyre can save a few bucks.and also dosnt cost me as much to replace mine.
cheers mate.looking foward to september(landcruiser park/fraser island)
FollowupID: 13207

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 09:15

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 09:15
Diamond, that may be the case (and Truckster has made similar comments in a recent thread), but you are both talking about "off-road" tyres (AT, MT). However most fourbies (except the latest Patrol, I think) are delivered with HT tyres.

Given their often specialised sizes, there doesn't really seem to be a market for them. At least that's what I've found. No one wants to offer me more than $50 each for my Dueler HTs with only 10,000 kms. That makes a change to a decent set of AT/MTs and expensive exercise. I know it will always be expensive - now or later - but given the new car price probably included $1,000 for the tyres ...

BTW, did you survive the Bendigo hurricane unscathed?Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13265

Follow Up By: Member - Bill- Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 17:58

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 17:58
I got caught with my new Patrol, the standard tyres are Dueller AT's, but only after putting a 20mm piece of aggregate gravel straight through a tread block and the casing, I discovered they were "passenger rated" as opposed to "light truck". I had incorrectly assumed that all AT tyres were LT, but it's not so. More fool me or I would have had them swapped over as part of the deal. I have been told most dealers will do this if not as part of the deal, for around $300.Regds

FollowupID: 13292

Reply By: Bruce from Budget Signs - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 14:56

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 14:56
i had bfgs on my patrol & lost to tyres to spliting on the side walls both wre rat sh*t
by half life due to non repairable splits in the side wall complained to bfg & got 25% discount on a new set they claimed splitting was due to under infaltion with in 3 months the new ones had big splits dont how they becauce sold the car with them on it

Regards BruceBudget Signs
AnswerID: 20546

Reply By: colin - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:40

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:40
Also have a look at the load carrying capabilities, the bfgs have max load of 1360kg and the coopers have a max load of 1550kg and have a straighter side wall, in brissy if you shop around you can pick up coopers for $220. I run coopers and have found them excellent value for money and a top allrounder, and have found them to be very quite on the black stuff. Col
AnswerID: 20552

Reply By: chapo - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:44

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 15:44
forget the rest and buy the best, Goodyear Wrangler, either A/T or MTR, much more robust than Coopers or BFGs.
AnswerID: 20554

Reply By: duncs - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 16:26

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 16:26
I had a set of Coopers and they were fine until the tread got worn down a bit. I left for a trip with about 45k on them and had 10 punctures in 8 weeks. No the pressures werent too high about 30psi. No I wasn't really flogging it, my mate kept up and had no punctures.

When I got home I picked up 4 2nd hand BFG's and ran them until the belt was showing through. So I bought a full set of new ones, no problems from the tyres. I did tear the side out of one but that was definately my fault

The new car has the roadies on it that come with it. I have had no probs with them and that includes a run out along the Strezlecki and plenty of rocky tracks around Broken Hill.

I have read here before about probs with BFG's but this is the only place I've heard it mentioned. Plenty of offroaders around Broken Hill use them exclusively.

All this probably only confuses the issue more. I know it does for me.
AnswerID: 20567

Reply By: Mal58 - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 18:09

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 18:09
Back to the original question of Grandtreks. I ran a set of the standard Grandtreks on my Prado for 67,000 km. (4 wheel rotation) They probably still had another 5-8,000 km on them when I changed them out.
In that time, I did a moderate amount of 4wd'ing. They survived Flinders Ranges at 55,000 km including many rocky and shaley tracks around Arkaarola.
I put the fact that they survived down, to the following factors,
a) Appropriate pressures for the terrain and load I was carrying,
b) Not going too fast for the conditions,
c) Watching carefully all the time where I was placing the wheels, so I did not drive over sharp points of rocks and sticks..

Now I don't know about the Gibb River Road, and how it would compare, with the tracks that we covered.

Having said that, the original Grandtreks in the Damp or Wet Clay surfaces where absolutely slippery and had me terrified (as we slid totally out of control) a couple of times on relatively easy 4wd tracks.

When I came to replace my tyres, I wanted an AT tyre, that had a good reputation and in the size and load rating that keeps my vehicle legal in the state I live.

I could not get Coopers as they did not make a 265/70/R16, plus I had heard that a few people had problems with the sidewalls delaminating. At the same time, it was suggested that the BFG had a similar problem of delaminating and as they came out of Japan, where not as good as the USA ones.

I asked the opinions of tyres on several forums, and found the answers depended on which forum you ask the question.

On Exploreoz most will say Coopers are Good,
On Overlander most say BFG's are Good provided they are USA ones,
On Prado (series 90) site, most say BFG are good irrespective of source, but some say tyres like Pirelli Scorpians, Goodyear etc are also good, depending on the sort of driving you are going to do.

In the end I bought a set of BFG's, and I could only get the ones made in Japan. They have had an easy life so far, and so far so good.

However, I drove at Christmas Time to Sydney along the Hume Highway, on the days that where 42 - 43 degrees. I figured if they were going to delaminate, they might of at those tempertures when travelling 100km/hr on the hot bitumen. No signs of problems.

AARHH tyres, the perennial problem


AnswerID: 20586

Follow Up By: Dean - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 13:34

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 13:34

How did you find the noise levels and ride harshness of the BFG'S compared to the Grandtreks, also are they the new ones with the S speed rating,


FollowupID: 14247

Follow Up By: Mal58 - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 13:57

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2003 at 13:57
The noise levels with the BFG's are certainly higher than the Grandtreks. Around town I notice them a little bit, and on the highway they make quite a whir, but I mainly notice their noise when turning at low speed. You do get used to it though.

As far as harshness, it's hard to tell as I still have the original Prado suspension, (it is quite soft) and I suspect that it tends to hide the differences between tyre types.

The BFG's I purchased were Q speed rating as there was no S rating at the time.

I checked (prior to purchase) and it is OK in Victoria (where I live) to fit tyres with a lower speed rating to a 4X4 provided the speed rating is greater than 140 kph.

Hope this helps.
FollowupID: 14248

Reply By: Peter - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 19:56

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 19:56
from what i have been told, i repeat told, there is a good chance the grandtreks may find the going too tough on the gibb river road. having talked to quite a few people who live and work in the outback(lived there myself) the grandtreks are not a strong enough tyre for the harsh outback conditions.well that is the story from a few years ago.not sure now as i believe the newer grandtreks have been toughened up.
anyway all that said i would go do the gibb river with them on your vehicle. my theory is this. having none the gibb river a few times, talked to tyrefitters in kununurra and broome and observed what the station vehicles have on it doesnt matter what tyre you go up with if you are unlucky enough to hit a bad spot you will puncture or worse still disintegrate a tyre. i have seen or experienced everything from 2nd $40 tyres to $350 bfg, coopers etc. blow up, puncture, warp or simply disintegrate. did the gibb river once.lost 4 tyres.another time.barely scratched them.the name on the tyre had less to do with the success of the tyre than did the way it was treated
of course get as much sidewall strength as you can. keep the tyre pressure around the 34 to 40 psi.this i would say is the most important thing to do. on one of my very first outback trips i made the mistake of having mine around 44 psi and above and blew up tyres like they were free.ouch.changed that practice real quick when i asked the tyrefitter what i was doing wrong. also the way you drive is a big issue. having the vehicle overloaded and going at a million miles and hour is a sure fire way to damage not only tyres but vehicle and you. keeping speeds around 80 on the dirt of the gibb river seemed to save car, tyres and occupants.
so anyway keep the grandtreks.make sure you have 2 spares and a few tubes and puncture repair kit handy.
save your money for the trip.new tyres wont guarantee you anything.use the grandtreks and replace them if you need to, if and when, they need to be replaced.
enjoy the gibb river.its a wonderful beautiful place.oh yeah if your staying at kalumbaru make sure you stay at honeymoon beach.best camping, power and water and SENSATIONAL fishing. say g'day to les(he owns it) from me.peter from melbourne.
AnswerID: 20601

Reply By: Big John (QLD) - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 20:18

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 20:18
Go the Cooper ST's, I have done 1000's of off road Ks and yes I have had puntures but have always been able to repair (only to I can Get to a propper tyre repairer) the tyre with a plug kit The largest hole took 6 plugs, Yes you can use more than one plug for those of you that did not know. Just keep pushing them in until the air stops coming out. My thougths are that you keep your spares as long as you can, you may need them later. but that's another debate . The main thing is that I have never distroyed an ST yet and that is what really counts when you are in the bush. I am also very carefull of tyre preasure amd probably run lower preasure than most. No matter what tyre you use, take a good quality plug kit (ARB sell a good one) I can not remamber the last time I had to change a flat tyre.

P.S. I ran my grand tracks that came on my 100 series TD the Cape York and back because I was to mean to get rid of perfectly good tyres. Just about any tyre with full tread is less prone to puntures. I had no problems, though I was very very carefull especially in rocky water crossings.

regards Big John
AnswerID: 20607

Reply By: Nordave - Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 23:48

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 at 23:48
Thanks for the replys, I have a good repair kit and am booked in to get a set of coopers on Friday. I guess the tyre issue is as same as most issues its horses for courses and depends on too many variables to have one answer. I am going to keep the grand treks and put them on when I have long road trips etc. (lucky enough to get a spare set of rims cheap.)
AnswerID: 20635

Reply By: Billy - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 09:22

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 09:22

You get lots of good stuff come back anytime you mention tyres 'round here.

A couple of points. Blokes should really preface any comments about brands of tyres and so forth with the size they are talking about. Tread compound in particular can vary a great deal. I was out at my mate's BJT Mart the other day and noticed a set of Dunlop AT2's in the corner in pretty bad shape (lot of uneven wear) with "warranty" written on them in chalk. I quizzed him about them and he said they were bad and going back with 16K on them. He said it was only a problem in the ONE SIZE (265/70/16 from memory).

My own experience says that new passenger rated off road tyres will hold up pretty good until about 40% wear, if you are carefull, then on gibber in particular will start to puncture. From what I hear Grandtreks are better than most in this regard, IMHO certainly keep them.

I've had two sets of BFG KO AT's in 245/70/16 and 265/75/16 on a Jack and Patrol (both USA made) and Nil problems (Oodna, Strez, Plenty etc etc). Did a trip through the centre last year (6K) with a total of three vehicles (80 series and 2 Jack's), all on BFG's. Nil problems. As you see, plenty have good things to say about Coopers too, but as we tend to do, I'm stickin' with what I personally know works.

So you are forearmed, I understand the Cooper warranty requres you to have a balance and wheel alignment (at your cost) every 10K and that the warranty is pro rata on wear against a new set of Coopers only. Also, check availablity around the areas you are likely to travel, they are not as easy to get some say.


AnswerID: 20650

Follow Up By: Allyn - Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 21:59

Wednesday, May 21, 2003 at 21:59
good point on the warranty. I recall now from when I was in the market that you must have them rotated and balanced every 10K (By a dealer) in order to maintain your warranty which offsets costs and warranty sweeteners.
FollowupID: 13318

Reply By: Vojta - Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 02:42

Thursday, May 22, 2003 at 02:42
Almost two years back my dad and i had two BFG blow out on us in a short period of time (he was lucky he had a rear one, i had the front right blow out, not a nice feeling travelling 100k/h luckily there were no cars coming in the opposite direction) and we were lucky to catch another two which were developing bumps and round spots on them. After doing a bit of shopping around for new tyres we quickly discovered the reason for this, which as pointed out earlier the BFGs were now made in an Asian country by an asian company i cannot remember the name but. Anyway the new tyres i ended up getting were the A/T Silverstones from a small local dealer. They were made in Malaysia (hence a good price) but by a an English owned/operated company (hence reasonable expectations of quality). I have now driven a touch over 40k km and expect to get atleast another 15-20k km before replaceing them. At the time (late 2001) it cost me $640 for 5 new tyres, fitted, balanced all five tyres plus another four existing ones, a good deal i thought. Don't know the exact size of the top of my head but its the standard size for a GQ Patrol.

Goodluck tyre hunting and have great trip.


AnswerID: 20735

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