Tyres - Passenger or Light Truck for touring Oz

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:00
ThreadID: 57121 Views:5752 Replies:12 FollowUps:17
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Hi again

Hoping some of you more experienced travellers can solve another dilemma for me, this time its tyres. I will soon need to replace the original Geolanders on my NP Pajero and have decided to go with ATs. I want to stick with the size on the tyre placard - 265/70R16. From my research, there seems to be only one AT tyre made in this size in LT construction & that is the Bridgestone 694 (it is also available in passenger construction).

In the Aust 4WD monthly tyre test, the Pirelli Scorpion AT out-performed the Bridgestone on clay, gravel boghole and steep hill, and was deemed to be the overall best. The Scorpion AT is not available in 265/70R16, but they do an ATR which is available in passenger construction only in 265/70R16 and according to the Pirelli website it is more capable than their AT both on and off road.

I like the idea of maximising the off road performance but a lot of comment I read favours LT construction.

I plan to travel Australia with an 1800-1900KG dirt road van in tow. Would like to do some of the iconic "tracks" like the Birdsville, Oodnadatta, Stretzlecki (maybe not Gibb River), as well as a few treks without the van such as Victorian High Country and maybe even the Simpson, but that said most of the k's will be on bitumen.

Will passenger Scorpions do the job or should I choose light truck Bridgestones? (I don't want to go to MTs)

Regards
Ross
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:09

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:09
I would go for Light Trucks, The bridgestones gave me exceptional service on a 3.00 nissan.

They are generally tougher construction, thicker tread, stiffer sidewalls. generally longer life.

They will ride a bit harshe.

AnswerID: 301185

Follow Up By: Ross NP - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:22

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:22
Thanks Notso - I guess everything is a compromise and a harsher ride may have to be endured to gain the benefits of LTs. Is noise also more significant with an LT compared to a passenger construction?

My concern is that everythinng is cumulative, and if I go ahead with the planned suspension upgrade to HD/EHD Kings/Bilsteins as well as changing to LT tyres the noise and harshness may make the vehilcle unpleasent for the bitumen which in reality is where its gonna be most of the time.

Regards
Ross
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Follow Up By: Notso - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:35

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:35
I did 90,000 on my first set of LT Bridgestone ATs and I"d say that 80% of it was on Bitumen. Aside from a bit harsher ride I don't think there was that much difference between the Normal Bridgestone ATs.

The tyre dealer did recommend running the LTs at a lower pressure than the others, around 28 to 32psi was his recommendation. At those pressures the tread wore level across the tyre. I travelled the Road to Arkaroola, Oddnadatta Track, Gibb River rod on them when they had 70,000 on em never had a puncture. A mate who had the standard bridgestone ATs ended up with 6 flats during the trip
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Follow Up By: Ross NP - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:43

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:43
Thanks Notso - I think I'm getting convinced - sounds like the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Regards
Ross
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Reply By: On Patrol (East Coast) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:29

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:29
Ross, I personally prefer AT light truck tyres as they are ply rated and TEND, IMHO, to be a bit more puncture resistant.

My ATR's (Reinforced) are 10 ply and have seen service on Cape York, Victorian HC, Stockton dunes + a fair bit of local Blue Mountains rock climbing etc, so far (55000km) & NO punctures at all.
They give good traction in Sand, Dust, on Rocks & I have NEVER been left stuck & needing a assistance in Mud & Wombat Holes.
Colin
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Follow Up By: Ross NP - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:33

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:33
Thanks Colin - which ATRs are you using?

Regards
Ross
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Follow Up By: On Patrol (East Coast) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:50

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:50
Ross
It's that brand we should not mention on this forum, sounds like "Hooper" and comes from the USA. Wink Wink, say no more.
Colin.
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Follow Up By: Ross NP - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 08:49

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 08:49
I won't say a thing!

I did seriously consider coopers - they were the _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx performer in the 4wd monthly test, but their onroad performance was weaker than the pirellis. They also have the same problem as the pirellis in that they don't come in LT construction in 265/70/R16 which means going with passenger construction, or as Phil has suggested below, changing sizes - but I need to find out a bit more about the legalities etc before I can consider that as a viable option.

Regards
Ross
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Reply By: Tony - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:58

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 19:58
I have had a great run out of the Geolander AT-S tyres, mine are 265-75-16. I think they come in the 70 series.

Only one puncture, a tec screw, on a 5 month trip up through thr Pilbara and CSR last year.
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Follow Up By: Bagwon - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 13:03

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 13:03
Tony plan on doing Canning in a couple of months,running ATR.Any info on cond of track ect would be great.

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Follow Up By: Tony - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 15:31

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 15:31
As you can guess the trak can change month to month, but over all you can expect rock, sand and corrigations.
I found 26psi was good for my vehicle, plenty of traction, softer ride and as long as you stay on the track no stakes.

I thought the bottom end from Well 6 was the roughest, with a lot of stony sections. A great trip, this was our 2nd and on our own.
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Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 20:40

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 20:40
Have you tried the Paj owners web site......silverback
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 20:50

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 20:50
There are others with LT construction in 265/70R16 that you may want to consider. BFGATKO would be the most popular, and I'd guess that Maxxis is probably one of the cheaper ones.

If you really want an LT tyre with a high load index, go for the 245/75R16 size - same diameter as 265/70, but come in many brands in a 10ply rating. Or do the upsize to 265/75.
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Follow Up By: Ross NP - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 08:36

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 08:36
Thanks Phil - I am convinced to go with LTs, and 245/75R16 or 265/75 would certainly give me many more options in terms of brands but is it legal to change from the size stated on the tyre placard? Also how would I stand for an insurance claim?

Regards
Ross
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Follow Up By: RalfR - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 08:44

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 08:44
I purchased a MP Pajero from a Govt Auction, and it came fitted with a partially worn set of BFG AT's - LT 275/70/16.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 09:17

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 09:17
If you want to stay squeaky clean, just buy the BFGATKO or the new LT Bridgestone. The BFG have a good track record in that size.

Theres absolutely no issues with using 245/75. The laws relate to diameter and track - neither of which are altered and they fit up nicely to your 7 inch wide rims.

265/75 increase your diameter by about 30mm which some people get touchy about, and many others ignore it. If you think your insurance company would notice the difference between a 265/70 and a 265/75 then don't upsize.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 09:21

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 09:21
I should have also mentioned that I wouldn't use the Maxxis LT 265/70 because it only has a load index of 110, which is lower than you want, and may be lower than your placard. The BFG and Bridgestone are 115 or 117 from memory in the same size.
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Reply By: lifeisgood - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 21:15

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 at 21:15
For that trip My vote goes to LT as per most above. Have seen many vehicles fixing punctures but have avoided any in my GQ / LTs over a few of those tracks with a van. Harsher yes but best let a bit of air out and slow down a lot. Saves time and tyre plugs.
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Reply By: marq - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 06:03

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 06:03
It's also to do with load ratings.

Try and obtain close as possible to 120 or higher in the large 4wd's

PT's and cheap LT's are normally <= 112
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Reply By: Waynepd (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 10:02

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 10:02
Ross,
Go to a tyre dealer and stand a PT and LT tyre of the same brand and type side by side.

Push down on the top of the PT to try to squash it then try the same with an LT Tyre and you will see a big difference in the deflection. The LT is much stronger and is usually the recommended tyre for travel off-road.

If you are doing the tracks you mention, there will be plenty of rocks to contend with and this is where this extra strength will come into play.
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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 10:54

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 10:54
If I were you I'd go for the 265/75/16 size. If you need to pick one up on your trip that's the most common size.

Don't be concerned about ride/handling with 265/75/16 tyres and a 2" suspension lift. You'll find it rides and handles better than new.

Definitely go fot the LT construction. I run Cooper ATR's in a 265/75/16 with a 2" lift (King Springs) on my NM and love it. Handles and rides superbly.

If your scared off by all the horror stories about Coopers, give the Brigestone 694's a go. The 693's have a good reputation and the 694 is supposed to be it's new generation replacement.
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Follow Up By: Ross NP - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 17:16

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 17:16
Thanks John

I think it was you that convinced me to go with the Kings/Bilteins so its good to know from someone who has already been there that adding LTs won't compromise the ride quality.

Regards
Ross
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 11:50

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 11:50
Ross,

I agree with MrBitchi (john) and have fitted Cooper ATR's 265/75/16LT to my NP......they have been great for my purposes.

I would say go with LT for the extra protection and better load rating. Brands are really up to you, as i wouldnt push one over another like some (there is no perfect tyre for all conditions, just the best compromise). I made a choice between Coopers ATR LT or BFG ATKO. Tyres pressures and road speed are the key in many cases.

If you have the Diesel NP, then you won't notice any extra road noise IMO.

Andrew
AnswerID: 301294

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 11:54

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 11:54
I forgot to mention....what do you have on your off-road van at the moment?

Good idea to match them if possible to gain an extra spare.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Ross NP - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 12:16

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 12:16
Hi Andrew - Yes it is a diesel so it will probably drown out the road noise as you mentioned - although provided I keep the valve adjustment done regularly its not too intrusive at cruising speed. I find it is most annoying around town under acceleration but I'm pretty much used to it now.

I hope to order the van a bit later this year and am still in the process of making the decision, but at the top of the list at the moment is a golf outback. Not marketed as a dirt road van but from my research very capable on rough roads provided as always one drives to the conditions. (Independent coils & shocks, 6" integrated chassis/A-frame.) Unfortunately I think the outback is only available with the standard 15" wheels but I will check to see if 16s are an option.

Out of interest - how do the 265/75s affect the speedo? My NP seems to read about 8% high so I figure an increase in overall tyre diameter may bring it a bit closer to being accurate.

Regards
Ross
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 12:30

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 12:30
Almost spot on at 100 Ross ....maybe 1km difference now (still reading over which is a good thing).

I just read the review on the Golf Outback at http://www.myrv.com.au/E-Magazineissue1/GolfsClassyOutbackCaravan.pdf ..... looks like a good setup with the Pajero pictured.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Ross NP - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 12:53

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 12:53
Thanks Andrew

Sounds like another good reason to upsize.

The Golf I am looking won't be as big as the one in the review - I want to keep the external length down to about 17'. The Brisbane dealer is having discussions with the factory about building vans with tunnel boots. If they go ahead, he is confident Golf can do an outback around 16'10" - 17' external body length with full ensuite (sep. shower & toilet), single beds, centre (smallish) kitchen and L shaped dinette. To keep enough weight on the towball it will have to be single axle as with a tandem it will not be possible to position the wheels far enough towards the rear. All up ATM should be around 1900Kg or less. I have not found any other van with a separate shower and toilet under 20', and they seem to be significantly heavier so I am really sweating on Golf making the decision to run with tunnel boots as the standard front boot adds around 1'6'' or more to the external body length.

Regards
Ross
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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 16:01

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 16:01
Have a look at BF Goodrich tyres they make the size Viz
265/70 R 16 AT KO LT tyres Q Speed rated.
I traveled round the block 3 times using 265/75 R16 BF Goodrich AT KO LT tyres with only 2 punctures One from wire and one from a teck screw both on the black top.
This was towing a 16ft Off Road Regal van with a loaded mass of 1800kg. The roads traveled were , Great Central, Gibb River Plenty, Buchanon, Back roads from Pardoo Road house to Newman, Most of the Savanah way also some of the Gunbarrel as well as numerous dirt and gravel tracks throughout the inland.
The Van is wearing 235/65 R 15 Lt tyres.
When I traveled the back/dirt/gravel/rough roads I always lowered the tyre pressures to the road requirements and sometimes these were as low as 15psi for sand but usually around 25/30 psi for the others. I also decreased speed accordingly.
Yes the tyres do wear quicker, only managed around 60 thousand out of the wagon and 70 thousand out of the van tyres.
Vehicles weight fully loaded was 3400kg. But these weights are short lived as you use fuel water wood and food etc.
The weights I have stated were at maximum load including SWMBO and myself.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: Ross NP - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 17:17

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 at 17:17
Thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge & experience, you've been a great help.

Regards
Ross
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