80 tire size question (1 Viewer)

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Feb 27, 2012
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Westminster CO
My dad has had an 80 since the early 2000's and we are trying to fixer her up so I can take it to college in Colorado. We thought a good place to start is tires since what is on there looks like something waiting to explode. We want it to be outfitted to handle almost any situation we could get it in and for this reason we have been leaning toward 315/75R16s but I keep hearing about the need to re-gear and how hard it will be on the transmission. I just see so many cruisers with these 35s and thought I could use a little guidance since I don't really know the lay of the land when it comes to tire size and it's impact on the gears and transmission.
If you want 315's and you're coming to Colorado... I'd regear! Ether underdrive or diffs. The mountains are big here, and LC's are sloooow. All the extra help you can get is good.
just my .02 cents
 
Joined
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For a college kid (or a sensible adult), I'd go with 33s like everyone else is saying. 285/75 or 255/85. 315's are fine, but they do make the truck pretty slow at altitude. They also don't fit in the stock spare location, so you're either clogging up your cargo compartment with spare tire or spending $2,000 on a tire carrier bumper. To do it "right," you're looking at at least 3-4 grand in bumper/gears/tires for a fairly marginal gain in off-road capability compared to 33's.

FWIW, I wheeled hard for about 4 years on 265/75-16 Hankooks. Smaller tires meant more scrapes and dents under the truck, but I got pretty much everywhere I wanted to go on those small tires. Smaller tires make you a better driver. Graduate to bigger tires when you've made something of yourself.

I'm now running 315's and still working on sorting out all the problems stated above.

:edit: there is some truth in @KC masterpiece subaru statement :) Some of my friends rate roads on a scale of "subaruable" or not (knowing some pretty gonzo subaru drivers over the years, lol) I've seen some people pretty shocked to see me show up at the trailhead in a 2wd tesla. Lots of 4x4 posers in colorado :hillbilly:
 
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clx16

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I've seen some people pretty shocked to see me show up at the trailhead in a 2wd tesla.
Funny I made it through a very shallow water crossing...maybe 18 inches and i left some jeep patriot people parking and walking only to get to the trail destination which was not a serious trail but found huge lifted trucks and a stock prius that wasn't even dirty... I used to get to some crazy places in a corolla so yeah it's about how you drive what you have.
 

flintknapper

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Motorway drivers tend to be pretty good, town drivers scare the sh*t out of me pretty much every day, they are poles apart!

Sure a snorkel accident has never been heard of in my sixteen years of living here but it comes under the road safety and vehicle modification rules..........go figure.

Regards

Dave

And that's what happens when you allow the Government to become more powerful than the 'people'.

You will do things THEIR way.....or else.

And the sad thing is: The 'people' KEEP electing the officials that make these onerous rules and regulations.
 

flintknapper

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And that's what happens when you allow the Government to become more powerful than the 'people'.

You will do things THEIR way.....or else.

And the sad thing is: The 'people' KEEP electing the officials that make these onerous rules and regulations.

Our own California (and certain other Liberal States) are prime examples.
 

Dave 2000

Not all Land Rovers are useless!
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And that's what happens when you allow the Government to become more powerful than the 'people'.

You will do things THEIR way.....or else.

And the sad thing is: The 'people' KEEP electing the officials that make these onerous rules and regulations.

Your right, but most of this stems from archaic laws from a former dictator, there is also the local provincial laws for example, my 80 has the three rows of seats i.e. 8 seat places. Now this is quite legal in Murcia but in Almeria anything over 7 seats is a mini bus! So when I reach the end of my driveway and turn left I have to stop and remove one of the seat belts, this would indicate to law enforcement that I do not intend to carry more than 7 passengers however, if I turn right out of my drive into Murcia province I can carry 8 passengers so the seat belt goes back in!

Living slap bang on the border means I should carry out this procedure depending on my direction, so do I keep swapping in and out the seat belt? Of course not, but at least readers will realise that living in Spain with a keen vehicle modifying nature is not a walk in the park.

And re who elects who, the choice is very limited, they are all a bunch of wankers out to feather their own nests, real politicians who wanted to make change for the better are no longer around!

Regards

Dave
 

on the rocks

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Since your question was focused on gearing and your tranny and pops is footing the bill, go 315’s. No, there is no gearing issue for a collage kid that will likely never see the highway, I drove my 80 on 315’s for 20 years on stock gears with no issues, especially 90% of your time driving is to and from school if that. I have had zero transmission issues and have towed quite a bit even. With that extra clearance you’ll likely rip off less body parts when you and your friends fo hit a forest road some day. And it looks cooler...
You will need springs, extended shocks, pan hard bars at minimum. So if you can convince him to go 315’s I say without a doubt go for it. 315’s will get you past 95% of the front range trails here and I’m not so sure 33’s will. I wouldn’t chose to run any of these trails on 33’s especially if you still have the OEM running boards. This is assuming you will ever choose to leave the pavement.
BTW a 35” tire WILL fit in the spare location but I would suggest pulling the third row seats and leave them behind and strap the spare in the back.
If your looking for a budget path and likely more sensible stick to 33’s. The 3 items I listed are bare minimum things you must do to stuff 35’s but you never asked for the smart path to take.
 
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Silverthorne, CO
Since your question was focused on gearing and your tranny and pops is footing the bill, go 315’s. No, there is no gearing issue for a collage kid that will likely never see the highway, I drove min on 315’s for 20 years on stock gears with no issues, especially 90% of your time driving is to and from school if that. I have had zero transmission issues and have towed quite a bit even. With that extra clearance you’ll likely rip off less body parts when you and your friends fo hit a forest road some day. And it looks cooler...
You will need springs, extended shocks, pan hard bars at minimum. So if you can convince him to go 315’s I say without a doubt go for it. 315’s will get you past 95% of the front range trails here and I’m not so sure 33’s will. I wouldn’t chose to run any of these trails on 33’s especially if you still have the OEM running boards. This is assuming you will ever choose to leave the pavement.
BTW a 35” tire WILL fit in the spare location but I would suggest pulling the third row seats and leave them behind and strap the spare in the back.
If your looking for a budget path and likely more sensible stick to 33’s. The 3 items I listed are bare minimum things you must do to stuff 35’s but you never asked for the smart path to take.

I live at 9,000 ft in the mountains and am running 315's on stock gears. Its really not that bad. I wont upgrade until it is time for lockers.

2 becomes the new D :cool:
 

on the rocks

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I live at 9,000 ft in the mountains and am running 315's on stock gears. Its really not that bad. I wont upgrade until it is time for lockers.

2 becomes the new D :cool:
I agree, Vail pass is the only pass I struggle a bit with. Towing 2000-3000lbs is a whole other painful story.
315’s and 4:10 gearing with a truckload of snowboards and friends will be fine gear wise on any road, especially the front range all day long. Same off-road for what he will likely see. Very few trails I have ever had the cruiser on have I ever wished I had lower gearing.
 
Joined
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Tucson AZ
My new favorite tire size that I have on my 80 is 255/85/16. Essentially a 33x10.50 on a 16” rim. Fills the wheel well, doesn’t hurt mpg too much, increased offroad capability, smaller contact patch (good for the dry snow we get here), all without turning it into a monster truck. It looks “right”.

View attachment 2589143
View attachment 2589144
Agreed! I love my new Yokahama MT's
 
Joined
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LA/Bay Area
Since your question was focused on gearing and your tranny and pops is footing the bill, go 315’s. No, there is no gearing issue for a collage kid that will likely never see the highway, I drove min on 315’s for 20 years on stock gears with no issues, especially 90% of your time driving is to and from school if that. I have had zero transmission issues and have towed quite a bit even. With that extra clearance you’ll likely rip off less body parts when you and your friends fo hit a forest road some day. And it looks cooler...
You will need springs, extended shocks, pan hard bars at minimum. So if you can convince him to go 315’s I say without a doubt go for it. 315’s will get you past 95% of the front range trails here and I’m not so sure 33’s will. I wouldn’t chose to run any of these trails on 33’s especially if you still have the OEM running boards. This is assuming you will ever choose to leave the pavement.
BTW a 35” tire WILL fit in the spare location but I would suggest pulling the third row seats and leave them behind and strap the spare in the back.
If your looking for a budget path and likely more sensible stick to 33’s. The 3 items I listed are bare minimum things you must do to stuff 35’s but you never asked for the smart path to take.
Is this true? Don’t intend to question you but since I’m on this very same fence about to pull the trigger on a set of tires and a dobinsons lift (1.75 vs 3inxh flexicoils) I’ve been doing some research.
I’ve read that castor is the #1 important thing to adjust, along with DS angle 2nd, and rear panhard lift bracket coming in as 3rd most important. Interested to hear why you think Panhards take precedence over castor, might just pay for my lift and not buy the plates or DC DS...
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2011
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I just wrapped up college and daily drove my 80 on 315s. Big tires are cool, but money for gas and food is cooler. I’d get 285, I really only jumped to 315s because my friend has a discovery 2 and I wanted to crush him on trails😂
You shouldn’t need 315s to crush a Disco on trails!
 

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