How important is matching tyres?

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:01
ThreadID: 92298 Views:2590 Replies:12 FollowUps:2
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I will need to replace four tyres on my GQ in the coming months. The present tyres are BFG All-terrains (15" rims) and I have two spare the same which have never touched the road.

BFG are not readily available where I am living and I am thinking about getting 2 Cooper AT3s to make up a set of 4 new tyres, putting one matching pair on the front and the other on the back, keeping the best of the old BFGs as spares.

Most suppliers recommend matching the tyres on all wheels but I am skeptical about this. Does anyone have advice/experience to pass on?

thanks guys.
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Reply By: Roughasguts - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:23

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:23
Every used car i have ever bought even with low Km's have never had matching tyres.

Never seemed to make any differance in the handling when they eventually got matched up.

AnswerID: 479470

Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:30

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:30

Buy a set of 4...

Different tyres different handling characteristics, if you get a flat what do you do then?

Check with your local RTA/Vic Roads, they will say the same. Check your insurance, in an accident you may not be covered.

Check how old the old tyres are. They are stamped week of manufacturer and year. 5 years and they will case harden so think about changing them anyway..

my 3 cents worth...

AnswerID: 479471

Reply By: philldeb - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:55

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:55
Make sure they are all the same radius other wise you will end up with transmission wind up
AnswerID: 479476

Reply By: gqturbo - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 21:28

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 21:28
Unless you have plenty of money I would buy 2 new tyres and put them on the front . I drove my GQ around aus with Federals on the front and Coopers on the back (guess which brand had a stone go thru the tread near Lawn Hill) no problems. As for transmission windup only if you drive on the blacktop in 4wd with the hubs in. If you get a flat put the spare on and get it repaired asap
Brian H
AnswerID: 479481

Reply By: ben_gv3 - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 21:34

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 21:34
According to the RTA in NSW you must have matching tyres front and back, ie front tyres must be the same, rear must be the same.
AnswerID: 479482

Reply By: Member - Bucky - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 04:49

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 04:49
As long as the tyres have the same rolling circumference, 1/2 your problems are solved.
This will avoid gearbox/transfer case wind up.
Next make sure that they are paired front and back, and not crossed.
I suppose lastly make sure that they are all light truck or standard design in the sidewalls, as that will aid in handling.

Personally I would bite the bullet, and put new BFG's on my truck. Can you still drive the old tyres safely, and get new BFG's when traveling ?
If so head for another town/ place that has BFG's

AnswerID: 479492

Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 05:12

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 05:12
Hi Joe

I managed to get BFG tyres delivered to my door from Tyre Clearance Warehouse
AnswerID: 479494

Follow Up By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 05:15

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 05:15

Oops, I pressed the wrong button.

However, these tyres are brand new. I saved over $70 each tyre compared to getting them locally.

I am not connected to Tyre Clearance Warehouse other than to be a satisfied customer.

FollowupID: 754974

Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 08:27

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 08:27
Unmatched tyres makes rotating almost impossible, therefore you will not get full mileage out of them. We didn't rotate our last set and the front were worn much more than the rear.

Lesson learnt.

Now all five are matched and will be rotated every trip and/or service.

AnswerID: 479505

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 08:46

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 08:46
I've been told that in QLD the vehicle is not road worthy if the front tyres are not identical.

AnswerID: 479507

Reply By: Stevesub1 - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 14:56

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 14:56
Legally, both front tyres have to be the same. Not so sure about the rears. All tyres must be the same size ie approx the same diameter taking wear into account.

I have 2 x 4WD's and a Camry - all have different tyres front to rear and all have no problems with handling (side to side the tyres are the same). You can still swap tyres front to rear in pairs.

If we use the spare (different again in every case), the punctured tyre is repaired and returned to its rightful spot on the car as soon as possible.

In the past, I have had 5+ year old tyres that had never been used and they gave me all sorts of grief - just too old. Use then as spares only and never for any great distance. They may last longer as they will be hard as but will be prone to cracking or even worse blowouts which is what happened to us. Not worth the risk.

Also I have used cheap Chinese AT tyres on one of our 4WD's with no problems other than they wear slightly quicker than some more expensive tyres and the same wear as the Firehawks the vehicle came with.

AnswerID: 479532

Follow Up By: Joe T - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 15:55

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 15:55
Thanks Steve - that's really helpful. (And thanks everyone else for your various tips and opinions).

I hadn't thought about the aging of unused tyres. The two I have are less than two years old. They've spent their lives so far mounted uncovered on the spare on the GQ or on the roof rack (also uncovered), in Central Aust, NT and the Kimberley ie hot tropics, where we are now. Sounds like I should maybe get them on the road sooner rather than later. Maybe I'll put them on the front wheels straightaway, and sort out what I do on the back later.

The current set have done good service - no punctures or other probs over the 40,000k since we bought the old GQ, including Mitchell Plateau, Kalumburu, Gregory National Park etc. Rotated once about 6 months ago. If I end up with different tyres front and rear, I assume I should swap diagonally as well as front to rear when rotating.


FollowupID: 755008

Reply By: Ray - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 18:32

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 18:32
Was always told not swap tyers diagonally only fron to rear. As far as legallity is concerned with different brands of tyres, you only get into trouble with what you are caught doing not what you do.
AnswerID: 479560

Reply By: Member - Tour Boy ( Bundy QLD) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 21:28

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 21:28
I'll throw another spanner in the works, Yes you can have different diameter tyres on an open diff axle but NEVER on an axle with an LSD or locker. The old owner of my troopie spiked a tyre driving thru water (bfg) and put on a kuhmo which was his spare. roll forward a bit of time and one of the steel lsd clutch packs shattered due to the difference in tyre dia (both 33 x 12.5) overheating the diff. That tyre is now on the front until I get some 285's.
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AnswerID: 479575

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