Load Rating: N/A. Great... that helps. What to Buy???

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E Load Rated BFG ATs... What to Buy??? And a Review

My stock 100 needs tires... okay, doesn't "need" tires. But well, you know. With the flares and running boards removed, torsion bar adjustment coming... it's getting some new tires - today if I can pick them. And yes, this is primarily for looks... I don't "need" bigger ATs.

I have an appointment today at Discount Tire to have a set of these put on: BFG ATs; 275/70/18s; Load Rating: E

My current tires: Michelin Latitude Tour HP; P275/60R-18 111H BSW, apparently aren't load rated. Well, there's nothing on the tire to indicate a load rating. Even Michelin's website leaves this off. Via other sites, I've found this in regard to load rating...
- Load index: 98
- Load index / speed rating: 111h
- Load rating: Standard (uhm... standard for whom?)

So, I've got to assume they're A rated or something in the "plush; don't exceed two golf bags and two retrievers" load rating. They're supposed to be for "luxury SUVs"

My concern is that, with E-Rated 275/70/18 BFG ATs, the 100 will look great... and ride like crap. My truck is NOT a trail rig. It will see occasional, light trail use. It is usually empty - I don't have drawers, bins, shovels, axes, spare parts, aux tanks... I'm usually on my way to the store... not a safari. Getting cold feet on the E-rated tires... which are VERY common in the larger 18 sizes.

Thoughts?
Should I cancel my appointment and find a D rated tire?
Will I notice the difference in D and E?
If I keep the Es at 36psi will they be mildly compliant?
 
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jonharis

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As usual with a tire thread, you will find many opinions mostly in accordance with what tire people are running themselves.

As for myself, I run load range E tires (BFG AT) and I don't have any issues or complaints about the ride quality whatsoever. I will probably always run them. Some people will tell you they are nearly identical to D and some will tell you they are much stiffer. I I personally believe the former.

Your tires are p-metric (passenger vehicle) designated, which is standard equipment on a lot of smaller trucks and SUVs. They are intended for light duty and do not have the standard "Load Range" nomenclature. They are designated Light Load, Standard Load and Extra Load. Your tire is probably similar to an LT load range C tire in ride quality.

Load Range is a measure of the tires max psi rating. The more air pressure a tire can safely hold. The more air, the higher weight rating. That said, just because you have an E rated tire doesn't mean you should run it at 80psi. On road, I run mine at 35-45psi depending on what I am doing.

Hope this helps. Maybe we can avoid the whole D/E which is better battle.

Edit: haha, see what I mean. the 2 above post were added while I was formulating this one. :flipoff2:
 
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Thanks for that ^ guys... I have spent an inordinate amount of time (like I'm sure we all do/have) on this... and am no more sure what to get. It seems 95% of tires in this size range, e.g. 275/70, 325-60, etc. are E-rated. All searches via Google yield discussions on Dodge, Ford, Chevy sites - 3500 series, F350 series, etc. That scares me.

I'm not as concerned with road noise (just drove 30,000 miles on a set of BFG ATs) Those were on a 2007 FJ Cruiser. That truck is load and rough as compared to the 100. Just a lighter, cheaper truck. The tires on it were BFG ATs; 285/70/17s; Load Rating: D. I ran them at 35 psi and they seemed fine. Actually, seemed at least as compliant as my current Michelins on the 100.
 
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BFG's are dropping the D rated tires and going with E only as they are being used on full size pickups that tow. I would get Michelins if your truck is mainly a street truck that occasionally sees dirt roads. The tread life and ride/noise would far outweigh "look".
 
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I've had BFG ATs - not concerned with noise... it's that E load rating. But the more I look, it does appear that just about EVERY tire in that size range (Michelins included) are E rated.

The guy at Discount Tire confirmed Trunk Monkey's comment - "Ds are going away". He also confirmed other info I've heard here such as "D and E are going to feel very similar - all things being equal, e.g. same tire D vs. E.... the difference is 2 plies and the fact that you can go up to 80 psi on the E rated tires..." He also said for my 2006 100, BFG calls for 35 PSI for those tires. He was surprised by that... and suggested 40 to assure good tread wear.

Oh... the 100 is on the rack right now - getting 275/70/18 BFG ATs... E-rated. I'll report back (-;
 
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I've now got 10 miles on the BFGs. So clearly I'm in a position to write an extensive review of the tires. Discount Tire matched any price I could find, gave me $100 for my used tires and of course the BFG rebate. They talked to me about balancing weights, e.g. not on front. Their opinion was that stick on weights fall off (vs. clamp on) and the best balance results in weights on the front and back. I let them do it as they saw fit - a few on the front. PSI set at BFG's specs for a 2006 100: 35 psi. They also blacked out the white letters before mounting them toward the inside. Nice touch.

Okay, seriously. I'm not sure how. I'm not sure why. But the new E-Rated BFGs are MUCH smoother and at least as quite as the stock Michelins. The stock tires had about 40-60% tread left and no visible defects or wear issues. But I always (well, the 6 weeks I've had the 100) thought they rode like bricks - even at 36 psi.

I left Discount Tire and hit the road. I drove 35, 60, 70 and 85 mph. They were SILENT! But really, the big surprise - from speed bumps and potholes to expansion joints on the highway - the BFGs are amazingly smooth and comfortable. This is not me being optimistic. I'm not in denial. They are quiet and smooth - much, much smoother than the Michelins. I hit an expansion joint and it felt like a shadow. If anything, the Michelins had a problem? Really didn't expect the results. Guess it's obvious - I'm stoked.

Before:
IMG_1328.jpg


After:
IMG_1331.jpg


Before:
IMG_1329.jpg


After;
IMG_1332.jpg
 
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Okay, seriously. I'm not sure how. I'm not sure why. But the new E-Rated BFGs are MUCH smoother and at least as quite as the stock Michelins. The stock tires had about 40-60% tread left and no visible defects or wear issues. But I always (well, the 6 weeks I've had the 100) thought they rode like bricks - even at 36 psi.

Did you still have Winter Air in the Michies? Summer Air is much more compliant. :)

The tires look great on your truck!
 
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Can you do me a favor and measure the tire diameter? Do it front to back so the inflation pressure won't bias it. I have a friend considering that size and would like to compare it against my 295/70's.
 
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Can you do me a favor and measure the tire diameter? Do it front to back so the inflation pressure won't bias it. I have a friend considering that size and would like to compare it against my 295/70's.

The BFG ATs have a defined shoulder lug... from shoulder to shoulder: 32.5"
Using a straight edge, determined center of tire is .25" larger/taller. So measuring at the center of the tread and measuring from side to side: 33" on the nose.

That ^ was surprising. Most tires are well under the stated size. These are damn close to the stated 33.2".
 

jonharis

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They talked to me about balancing weights, e.g. not on front. Their opinion was that stick on weights fall off (vs. clamp on) and the best balance results in weights on the front and back. I let them do it as they saw fit - a few on the front.
Good for you. Sticky weights are horrible and balance poorly. I'm glad they were willing to tell you to balance both the front and back of each wheel. One other thing for everyone to look out for is cross balancing i.e weights in two locations on the same side of the wheel. This is a result of a lazy tech and absolutely 100% unnecessary. Any tire can be balanced by placing weights in one location. Also look out for a huge weight right next to a small weight. If more than one weight is used they should be similar sized. This too is laziness.

PSI set at BFG's specs for a 2006 100: 35 psi.
I'm very very skeptical about this. Unless they showed you this in writing I would be hesitant to believe that BFG recommended that pressure. I've never seen a tire manufacturer recommend pressure based on make,model especially for a non stock size. That said 35psi is what a lot of people run so you are probably fine.

Okay, seriously. I'm not sure how. I'm not sure why. But the new E-Rated BFGs are MUCH smoother and at least as quite as the stock Michelins.
Don't say i didn't tell you so :D

The tires look great on your truck. Congrats and good job on doing your research before hand.
 
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[/U] skeptical about this. Unless they showed you this in writing I would be hesitant to believe that BFG recommended that pressure. I've never seen a tire manufacturer recommend pressure based on make,model especially for a non stock size. That said 35psi is what a lot of people run so you are probably fine.

Okay, now you got me skeptical. Standing at the counter talking about the PSI ranges of D and E tires - and that he'd never recommend anything close to 50 PSI for a light SUV "Probably 42-45 PSI", the manager said "Huh, check this out" and spun the monitor around - showing some specs. He pointed to the "35 PSI" and said "They recommend 35 PSI for your truck".

I thought the "they" was BFG... but in retrospect, really not sure. Could've been Discount Tire's installation site.
 

jonharis

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Okay, now you got me skeptical. Standing at the counter talking about the PSI ranges of D and E tires - and that he'd never recommend anything close to 50 PSI for a light SUV "Probably 42-45 PSI", the manager said "Huh, check this out" and spun the monitor around - showing some specs. He pointed to the "35 PSI" and said "They recommend 35 PSI for your truck".

I thought the "they" was BFG... but in retrospect, really not sure. Could've been Discount Tire's installation site.

I just know from experience (4 years as an installer for large tire shop) that 35psi always seemed to be the old timers answer to everything. I actually has a shop manager tell me that the door jam meant nothing and they always went 35psi. I have tons of manufacturers manuals and no one has mentioned it. The official policy of the shop I worked for stated that the door jam should be used. Then again the policy said that we couldn't install non factory sizes but we did. :D Think of the infinite combinations of tire size/vehicle weight/make/model.
 
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The BFG ATs have a defined shoulder lug... from shoulder to shoulder: 32.5"
Using a straight edge, determined center of tire is .25" larger/taller. So measuring at the center of the tread and measuring from side to side: 33" on the nose.

That ^ was surprising. Most tires are well under the stated size. These are **** close to the stated 33.2".

Good information! Thanks!
 

jonharis

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^ That was in the day before the Firestone problems on the Exploders. Now it seems that shops go by the book to avoid liability.

It was well after that fiasco. Most reputable shops still go by the door jam. Remember, the tire only states maximum pressure. Not recommended pressure. The 35psi thing still happens, every day, all over the place. :frown:

Bottom line is check your tires yourself after a rotation or oil change or any service for that matter.
 

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