Road Tires? AT? MT? Locker? Oh my! (1 Viewer)

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Hey CLCC folks,
I want to get your thoughts on three ways I could go changing my tire setup:
1) Simple: 1 set of all-terrains
2) Two sets: 1 set of all-season/road tires and 1 set of off-road tires, likely MT
3) Locker: stay with AT, but get a rear locker instead of more off-road capable MTs

I've been thinking about moving to 285/75R17 (33.8") -- according to the 200 forum, this may be the best compromise of size that reportedly won't rub, and there are road, AT, and MT options. Currently I run 295/70R17 (33.3" dia) Nitto Ridge Grapplers on TRD RWs, still rubs a bit on the KDSS/sway bar, plus just looks a little small vs. the 2.5-3" lift. I have another set of 4 RWs on the shelf, plus the PO's 4 BFG KO 315/70R17, ~34.4" (rubbed too much)).

Here is more info on the 3 options, and the pros and cons of each:
  1. Simple option: get AT tires. Maybe use a RW rim for a full-size spare (if it fits below).
    1. Pros: simplest - set it and forget it.
    2. Cons: same poor mileage on my daily driver; compromise between road and dirt capability
  2. Two sets option (thx @afgman):
    1. Pros: road tires = supposedly better mileage, braking, cornering, comfort on-road. 3-4mpg better means breakeven at 2-2.5 years. Better off-road performance from MTs?
    2. Cons: having to jack up the truck, swap them out, etc. whenever I want to go off-road and back (admittedly likely only a handful of times per year)
  3. Locker Option: Compared to ~$1k for a 2nd set of tires, a rear locker isn't much more (~$1200-$1300 plus install). Would this be "as good" off-road as unlocked MTs?
    1. Pros: no hassle switching tires; locker should last multiple sets of tires. Better off-road than "Simple" option.
    2. Cons: added cost vs. "Simple" option. No on-road performance or mileage benefit vs. "Two Sets". So really it isn't "paying for itself" like a set of road tires would.
    3. Most say the 200's ATRAC works well and lockers aren't a "must have". It has kicked in several times so far. But seeing demos on YT, lockers seem to eliminate a lot of the drama.

General thoughts/reactions/advice? Is a road tire really likely to bump mpgs up by 3-4? Is a MT noticeably better for our types of trails*? Is the locker idea just Gear Acquisition Syndrome/gear envy?

Thanks for any insight you can share!
Sean

* I only go off-road in our mid-Atlantic area (e.g., Rausch Creek/CMCC, CCLC Fall Crawl, maybe the Carolina Relic Run or GSMTR). So a couple of times per year, plus perhaps some occasional easier fire roads/trails like the one y'all did for the Valentine's run.

Edit for mobile: have sliders and skidplates
 
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Crusha

Self-censoring my mud posts...
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Option #2 for what you use your truck for. You don't need a locker.

Good tires, and knowing how to wheel your truck, go a long way. :steer:

In my opinion, the order of mods should go like this: Tires, sliders, skid plate, front bumper/winch, rear bumper, locker(s).
 

afgman786

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Hey CLCC folks,
I want to get your thoughts on three ways I could go changing my tire setup:
1) Simple: 1 set of all-terrains
2) Two sets: 1 set of all-season/road tires and 1 set of off-road tires, likely MT
3) Locker: stay with AT, but get a rear locker instead of more off-road capable MTs

I've been thinking about moving to 285/75R17 (33.8") -- according to the 200 forum, this may be the best compromise of size that reportedly won't rub, and there are road, AT, and MT options. Currently I run 295/70R17 (33.3" dia) Nitto Ridge Grapplers on TRD RWs, still rubs a bit on the KDSS/sway bar, plus just looks a little small vs. the 2.5-3" lift. I have another set of 4 RWs on the shelf, plus the PO's 4 BFG KO 315/70R17, ~34.4" (rubbed too much)).

Here is more info on the 3 options, and the pros and cons of each:
  1. Simple option: get AT tires. Maybe use a RW rim for a full-size spare (if it fits below).
    1. Pros: simplest - set it and forget it.
    2. Cons: same poor mileage on my daily driver; compromise between road and dirt capability
  2. Two sets option (thx @afgman):
    1. Pros: road tires = supposedly better mileage, braking, cornering, comfort on-road. 3-4mpg better means breakeven at 2-2.5 years. Better off-road performance from MTs?
    2. Cons: having to jack up the truck, swap them out, etc. whenever I want to go off-road and back (admittedly likely only a handful of times per year)
  3. Locker Option: Compared to ~$1k for a 2nd set of tires, a rear locker isn't much more (~$1200-$1300 plus install). Would this be "as good" off-road as unlocked MTs?
    1. Pros: no hassle switching tires; locker should last multiple sets of tires. Better off-road than "Simple" option.
    2. Cons: added cost vs. "Simple" option. No on-road performance or mileage benefit vs. "Two Sets". So really it isn't "paying for itself" like a set of road tires would.
    3. Most say the 200's ATRAC works well and lockers aren't a "must have". It has kicked in several times so far. But seeing demos on YT, lockers seem to eliminate a lot of the drama.

General thoughts/reactions/advice? Is a road tire really likely to bump mpgs up by 3-4? Is a MT noticeably better for our types of trails*? Is the locker idea just Gear Acquisition Syndrome/gear envy?

Thanks for any insight you can share!
Sean

* I only go off-road in our mid-Atlantic area (e.g., Rausch Creek/CMCC, CCLC Fall Crawl, maybe the Carolina Relic Run or GSMTR). So a couple of times per year, plus perhaps some occasional easier fire roads/trails like the one y'all did for the Valentine's run.

View attachment 2378101

Go the locker route and get the Ridge Grapplers or another hybrid tire in 285/75/17. CRAWL and ATRAC are good, but not as good as a locker. When the trails get wet around here anything short of locked you're screwed. MTs are only useful when the tire that has traction is spinning. ATRAC cuts power if you need momentum in wet surface and screws you there.

Also having 2 sets of tires, I haven't bothered putting my street tires back on.. but I also don't daily the 200.

Guess it also depends on how hard of trails you're trying to tackle.. If it's dry when you're wheeling the tech we got is solid to get you thru it.
 

mdcoa

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No bad options there, really; just a question of how much hassle you want to put up with.

Based on where you wheel, a good set of ATs (I've been super impressed with my Cooper Discovery AT3 LTs) properly aired down should be sufficient, especially if you add a locker. I've been to some of those areas and don't remember any crazy mud--for rocks, I believe ATs are at least as good as MTs.

If you do go with a rear locker, consider a Harrop e-locker. No air hoses to futz with and, I believe, greatly reduced set-up time. I only was charged 4 hrs labor for the install (I brought them the diff) of that locker and a new R&P, and I understand something like 8 hrs is typical for air locker installs. Eaton is _just_ coming out with its own branded e-lockers, which use the same guts (Eaton) as the Harrop ones, that are about $250 cheaper, since they don't have to be shipped from AUS. . .

Lastly, if you do a locker, I highly recommend East Coast Gear Supply, north of Raleigh. I made an appt a week or two out, drove the diff down on a Tuesday, and they shipped it back to me, and I had it here the next Monday. They've got a great reputation and a huge part of their enormous facility is dedicated to Toyota builds. They had everything for my build, including the locker, sitting on the shelf.
 

iptman

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No chance you get 3-4 MPG better gas mileage with street tires vs. MTs. As @bkfj40 says....if it's not a super swamper it's an AT. To that end go get yourself some BFG KM3s and run them all the time. They (and any other MT) are a street tire and will probably get you 50k miles and as many wheeling trips as you can stuff in that time. A locker is certainly good but see what your truck can do with just a good set of tires. I'm assuming it has all sorts of electronic wizardry so see if those and your wheeling capabilities/limits match up. If they do, no need to install a locker. I also agree with @Crusha, a good set of sliders should be on your short list if you don't have them yet.
 

afgman786

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No chance you get 3-4 MPG better gas mileage with street tires vs. MTs.

I can vouch that you can on a 200. When I had my P-rated street tires I was able to average 20mpg driving to GA. Did the same trip but with KM3s before lift, best I got on a tank was 16mpg. Best I ever saw with my street tires was 23mpg on half a tank. There is ~1" size discrepancy between the 2 tires and a huge weight difference that plays into that.
 
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I’d get some good road friendly MTs and sliders. If you don’t have sliders, you will immediately wish they were up at the top of the list when you hear that first crunch!

a lot of mud terrains have awesome road manners now
 
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Good food for thought peeps. I welcome any other thoughts. I'll mull it over and try to reply back to some of the comments a bit later today if I can get a break at work. For the folks on mobile, (which IME doesn't show user signature info), I already have Slee sliders that have more than earned their keep, and ARB skid plates (since they're Aussie, do I need to call them "bash plates"?). Still on Tupperware(R) bumpers.

Probably less relevant, but I had to replace the PO's Icon front UCA and rear LCA with Trail Tailor. Still on the ~2.7" Icon shocks/springs lift. May look at swapping to something else if/when those crap out. But that is for a (hopefully) later day.
 
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LOL. Can't a man dream?
Re: mileage, it didn't occur to me that your HT and MT tire were different sizes, but makes some sense.

I had *assumed* I would get the same sizes so the alignment wouldn't be thrown off. But then I thought about it another second, and realized that tire size shouldn't really affect that, correct? The axle, hub, etc. is in the same place relative to the body. Scrub radius would be a little different (potential steering effort and minor change +/- in wear when turning), but not a real change in how they wear driving down the road. So *IF* I go this route, I *could* look at a shorter wheel than the 34s -- might help me squeeze into a few more parking decks. Though too much smaller could end up with this effect:
image.jpg
 

afgman786

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LOL. Can't a man dream?
Re: mileage, it didn't occur to me that your HT and MT tire were different sizes, but makes some sense.

I had *assumed* I would get the same sizes so the alignment wouldn't be thrown off. But then I thought about it another second, and realized that tire size shouldn't really affect that, correct? The axle, hub, etc. is in the same place relative to the body. Scrub radius would be a little different (potential steering effort and minor change +/- in wear when turning), but not a real change in how they wear driving down the road. So *IF* I go this route, I *could* look at a shorter wheel than the 34s -- might help me squeeze into a few more parking decks. Though too much smaller could end up with this effect:
View attachment 2380232

Size will have a small effect. I'm fairly confident it has more to do with weight of the tire that has killed my MPG along with rolling resistance. There are P-rated tires in the 285/70/17 size that don't look too small with the lift you're running.
Just to add to my example. I just checked the weight of the street tires I was running: 28lbs a tire. My KM3s are 67lbs a tire, while the RGs you're running now are 63lbs. So if my theory is true our highway MPG should be the same, or yours might be marginally better.

Or go with tiny tires like the picture you've posted, just make sure you're running wide spacers so you have ultimate poke! Cause that's the only way small tires are are accepted right?
 

iptman

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How are you measuring distance traveled and gallons used? Obviously when plussing up tire size your odometer is not reading accurately unless you've corrected your speedometer (at least in the 80). My Tacoma is the first vehicle I've had with the calculated MPG display but I've never bothered to check it based on milage driven divided by how many gallons filled up after.

When I went from 285/75/16s to 315/75/16s I went from OEM steel wheels to OEM aluminum. The worn GY MTRs on steel weighed the same 98 pounds as the new KM3s on aluminum. I have the Yellow Box speedo correction device and I saw no measurable MPG difference.
 
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afgman786

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How are you measuring distance traveled and gallons used? Obviously when plussing up tire size your odometer is not reading accurately unless you've corrected your speedometer (at least in the 80). My Tacoma is the first vehicle I've had with the calculated MPG display but I've never bothered to check it based on milage driven divided by how many gallons filled up after.

When I went from 285/75/16s to 315/75/16s I went from OEM steel wheels to OEM aluminum. The worn GY MTRs on steel weighed the same 98 pounds as the new KM3s on aluminum. I have the Yellow Box speedo correction device and I saw no measurable MPG difference.

GPS matched what speedo showed with both sets of tires, so I'm taking that as the onboard computer being accurate as well. Even upsizing to 285/70/17 is in Toyota FSM for TRD rock warriors, so it is within the margin of error with the speedo/odometer for 200s. When I get up to 75+mph the speedo reads short by up to 3mph, so yea there is a small amount of error in there but don't think it's enough to make 1 whole mpg of a difference.

So you're saying that even though you upsized, your tire weight stayed the same and your mpg stayed roughly the same as well? I gained weight at each corner with my new wheels and tires.
 
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How are you measuring distance traveled and gallons used? Obviously when plussing up tire size your odometer is not reading accurately unless you've corrected your speedometer (at least in the 80). My Tacoma is the first vehicle I've had with the calculated MPG display but I've never bothered to check it based on milage driven divided by how many gallons filled up after.

When I went from 285/75/16s to 315/75/16s I went from OEM steel wheels to OEM aluminum. The worn GY MTRs on steel weighed the same 98 pounds as the new KM3s on aluminum. I have the Yellow Box speedo correction device and I saw no measurable MPG difference.
I just figured the % difference in circumference between stock and whatever I actually have. Same ratio as diameters. So for me it was about 8-9% before (34.4/31.5) and currently about 6% (33.3/31.5). That % difference roughly matches phone GPS as well as what I see passing those "your speed is" radar signs. Although at the 25mph limit, the difference is pretty small. Much easier to see when running about 65. But those neighborhood speed bumps are pretty hard on the suspension at that pace.

re: weight of tires -- for sure! I nearly killed myself trying to lift them over head while climbing a step ladder to stack them on the shelf. And not surprised the steelies would offset the weight of much bigger tires on Alum.
 

JohnVee

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I have Patrick's steelies on Sarah's LX450 with the same tires she had on her OEM aluminums but it's not even gone through single tank of gas since the switch. I'm sorry about that because I'd like to have something useful to add. Maybe I'll start driving it this week and report back.
 
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I can vouch that you can on a 200. When I had my P-rated street tires I was able to average 20mpg driving to GA. Did the same trip but with KM3s before lift, best I got on a tank was 16mpg. Best I ever saw with my street tires was 23mpg on half a tank. There is ~1" size discrepancy between the 2 tires and a huge weight difference that plays into that.
I know discussing mpg is BORING, but I think you are right. Going from 315/70 to current 295/70 didn't change mpg at all -- probably because the two tires were +/- the same weight. All Season/Street 285/75r17 call are +/- 55 pounds (15% less), so it might be noticeable, but more like 2 mpg-ish better, putting breakeven out to 4+ years. So harder to justify.

Sounds like general consensus is locker(s) not as key at the moment, especially with all the electronic gizmos. Although some of you (who haven't wheeled with me) might not know just how much "improvement opportunity" my off-road driving skills offer. (-:

I'll think more about MT for a daily driver, good points made above, but in a "one tire" scenario I still probably lean to an AT (currently on Ridge Grappler).
Not wed to BFG, but I see they have a 34x10.5 (~267/80R17 equivalent)? Thoughts? It would offer more sidewall clearance, right? Relative to 295/285 it is "skinny," which I understand has some proponents -- and opponents. I guess airing it down would give an incrementally longer contact patch. I have no idea whether the relative difference would matter (doubt it).

P.S. MDCOA: agree, if(locker) then (Harrop). Thanks for the pointer to ECGS. Will file that away for if / when I make that step.
 

JohnVee

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The hell of it is this... make all the justifications from all the research you want, but you’re still likely to shred a sidewall on your first trip out. Ok, maybe more likely with some models but you get what I’m saying. But what you want and hope for the best. If you’re really lucky then they’ll be dry rotting before they wear out anyway.
 
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The hell of it is this... make all the justifications from all the research you want, but you’re still likely to shred a sidewall on your first trip out. Ok, maybe more likely with some models but you get what I’m saying. But what you want and hope for the best. If you’re really lucky then they’ll be dry rotting before they wear out anyway.
"You pays your money and takes your chances," eh?
 

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