Is wider actually better?

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Sep 12, 2003
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I have just aquired an '86 HJ60 5 speed and plan on giving it an OME lift and I will probably have two sets of 33" tires, one for on-road one for off. My question regards the width. What width is best for off-road? 12.5", 10.5"....? What about for on-road? Thanks in advance!
 

woody

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On road, narrower will provide the easiest handling and steering, and the least effects on mileage, tho it will not corner like a porsche...

Off road is a tossup...it depends a LOT on your terrain. Tall/skinny is best for snow (think cross country skis). If you trails are not terribly off camber but are very twisty, a narrow tire will steer better and require less 20 point turning. Off camber favors width. Thin mud favors a skinny tire that bites the bottom, thick gooey mud favors a wide tire to float. Heavy right foots with available horsepower favor a wide tire.

IMO, there is no perfect solution, only a series of compromises. Seeing what the people you wheel with for tires is your best bet...I know I ended up with my 38.5x14.5 SX's based on the recommendations of a few people I wheel with frequently and their opinions on the 14.5 vs 12.5 sizes.
 
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for on road the 10.5's are better, no if and or buts IMOP. Off road, well it depends on the terain, if its mudd and has a bottom then the 10.5 might work better, if it has no bottom then the 12.5 is better. If rock.....I would say 12.5

FWIW I run 33x10.5 on my fj60 with OME and rear ARB.....but I don't wheel it.

John H
 
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I don't know where you are in VT, but down in SW corner, we don't get much deep creamy mud or powdery snow. I'm going to assume narrower will be better. I'm thinking of putting 33x9.5s on my 40. FWIW, I have 31x10.5s on my 62 and have never failed to get where I wanted off-road. Even during mud season, you'll still be better off getting down into the substrate. Probably, better in the slush and crusty snow too. I've had this discussion with my father who grew up in VT (w/Army surpls WWII jeep) and he swears that narrower is better. He also swears that his 1930 Model A pickup could go more places than the jeep, which he says was a piece of junk.

Bill
 
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I'm half time between West Arlington and Boston (MA). Good school, I hoping my daughter might go there when the time comes.

BTW, nice catch getting the HJ60. Is it in good shape?
Bill
 
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Vermont
Use the pizza cutters for winter (10.5 or thinner). If they're only winters you may even look into studded. Makes a world of difference stopping on icy wet days. I have a place up in Waterville, VT and they've worked for many winters on an unmaintained road.

Go with the 12.5s for summer fun. Spring time beaver ponds make for some serious mud.
 
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Sep 29, 2003
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You guys are making me pine for VT - spent 5 higher, drunker education years in Burlington. Love the place but never really been back.

Real winter rocks.

Ben
 

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