What studded snow tires?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Naphtali, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Naphtali

    Naphtali

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    I've gotta preface my query with some information nobody mentioned to me about auto transport brokers and actual delivery of the truck.

    I bought a 1997 LX450 the first week in October -- that is, my cashier's check was delivered. I received bill of sale, title, etc.

    "Everything's going great," I told myself. And then it happened. Auto transport companies, of which you find many links throughout the auto buying web sites, well, they don't transport anything. They TRY to arrange for an independent auto transport vehicle to pick up a vehicle to transport it to its destination.

    I live in Montana, and here it is November 16 and still no truck. The good news is that I should have it delivered by the weekend. I understand this "middleman" system works well among larger metropolitan areas, and along the coasts.

    Prospective buyers: Be aware that if you live inland and rural, you may be in for a L O N G wait for actual delivery.

    I thank my stars that the seller is a man of integrity and compassion. He kept me informed by E-mail and telephone throughout this "ordeal by waiting."
    ***
    Okay, I got that off my chest.

    We've got snow -- lots of snow. For the LX450 what studded snow tires do I want, and do I want four or five?

    I think chains are still necessary away from towns, so are there any preferences for durable snow chains?
     
  2. SR.GRINGO

    SR.GRINGO

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    When I lived in the NW and got to ski 50+ per year the best was the Bridgestone Blizzak duelers. It is not studded but they are great on ice. You can slam the brakes and actually stop. You can get them in 285/75-16's. I used to run them on a Toyota 4Runner, Acura legend(3), Lexus LS, Jeep Grand cherokee. The rubber is real soft and lasts for about 2 seasons--check them out on www.tirerack.com
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2005
  3. Nay

    Nay

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    Nokian makes a great tire that will last longer than the Blizzak...not sure about sizes though. The Hakka Q is the car tire...again not sure about truck sizes. These tires are awesome. The Biizzaks only have the micro-cell compound through half of the tread because the tires are too squishy otherwise. The Nokkians have a directional tread design that will be better at highway speed on dry pavement and should last you an extra season, maybe two if you really spend most of your time on the snow. There isn't much reason to stud with 4wd and a tire like this unless you have snowpack all winter and won't suffer the dry pavement performance.

    Keep in mind that the premise of these "studless" snow tires is the billions of microscopic cells that pull water off of the surface so you can maintain grip. And these compounds don't freeze even in very cold temps, so you maintain performance in extreme conditions. As the snow gets deeper, lug spacing and the ability to "paddle" gain more importance over wicking action and tons of siping and even studs. A studdable microcell tire plus chains would be your ultimate combo, but that's kind of a PITA and a studded microcell tire is going to suck on dry pavement. Certain mud tires can be a suprisingly excellent choice.

    I just put trxus MT's on my 80. Cannot say enough about this tire for both deep and packed snow, and you can actually wheel the snot out of it in the summer, and it is nice on dry pavement. You can also leave the chains at home. I have the microcell Nokians on my van, but I wouldn't put them on my 80 because the trxus have handled both hardpack and deep stuff so well in Colorado conditions (our champagne powder packs to ice in a big hurry). If you deal with black ice, that would be another story, and you need those studs. You could look into the Dunlop RT if they still make it. That tire is studdable and would be outstanding for mixed ice and heavier snow usage.

    Nay
     
  4. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    I've run Dunlop siped/studded muds (Rover RV?), Kelly Safari DTR siped/studded, Michelin Arctic Alpin 4X4 (modern studless design) and Cooper Discovery S/T siped/studded on my 80 here in N. Idaho.

    Michelins were best when things on road got ridiculously dangerous (black ice, ice storms, sheets of ice at intersections) as the new generation rubber grips ice better than studs. They're also better on wet roads and dry roads. These are not like the Blizzaks that only have the winter rubber for half their depth - they're full depth. Michelin has a new version out.

    Coopers were best for snow over 3 inches deep on the road, and any conditions offroad or on deeper snow. The tread is more open and evacuates slush at freeway speeds better.

    So, my wife's 80 carrying the kids has the Michelins as I feel the most likely danger scenario is unexpected ice sheets at an intersection. Mine has the Coopers as I'll be more likely to be out in a storm, out in the backcountry on a Search and Rescue mission, etc. I put new siped but unstudded Coopers on mine this spring and plan to run them year round I like their manners so much. This will be the first test to see how they do in the winter without studs.

    If you go with a separate set of tires, you can get a set of steel Tundra wheels brand new from many tire shops from an owner who brought their new Tundra to get snazzy wheels. I paid $80 for my 4. I'd only get 4 winter-only tires and have them on separate rims so you can slap them on the day the snow arrives to save wear.

    DougM
     
  5. brent

    brent

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    Nap

    I think Doug and Nay are on the right track, Nokian are awesome tires, and this season I picked up some Cooper Discovery M/S studded tires and they are doing great, we have already gotten some snow and I'm running them on my Mitsubishi Montero and I haven't even put it in 4WD yet, which I think is something, we 5 miles up the side of a mtn. about 20 miles from Anchorage, tonight we are suppose to get some freezing rain so I'll let you know how they handle on ice.........as for chains, I'm still looking myself, I am thinking if I'm going to get some might as well drop some cash and get some nice cleated ones???
     
  6. John E Davies

    John E Davies

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    I think the Yokohama Geolander I/T+ is a simply phenominal tire on packed snow and ice. It isn't so great in really deep snow, but the LX will get you through just about anything. I have never had to install chains, though I carry a pair of HD truck chains just in case.

    Discount Tire can get you these.

    http://www.yokohamatire.com/pdf/geoit.pdf

    You do NOT need studs if you run tires like these.

    You only need to buy 4 if your spare is the same diameter - I use one of my MT/Rs as a spare during winter.

    John Davies
     
  7. MTNRAT

    MTNRAT

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    I second the Yoko Geo I/T+. I chose them because they were and still may be the only dedicated ice radial in a 315/75R16. They work really extreamly well on ice and hard snow. The deepest loose snow I have been in with them is 2 1/2 feet and they did well. Not sure how they would work on really deep more packed snow. Hey anyone here Inuit and give us the proper vocabulary for describing different snow. :)
    Cheers,
    Sean
     
  8. bjowett

    bjowett

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    My new studded "tire" for extreme snow travel... :flipoff2:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Chain-wise, I've used a set of high end cable chains for the last 12 years on the 80 with good results. These have a steel hoop that lets you put them on quickly and easily. I've used them offroading on a trail with snow over 6 feet deep and I've used them on the road. They are simple and quick to install and have never given me troubles even on the trail where guys were having constant trouble with theirs.

    I think the traditional chains work better on heavy ice as they can slap and break it up. But you have to ask yourself if they're worth the pain of install and possible slippage in use (huge damage), plus they make the truck feel like you're on square tires.

    Just a thought for someone who keeps them around for emergencies but not regular use.

    DougM
     
  10. alia176

    alia176

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    Dunlop Radial Rover R/Ts are studdable tires. They are a decent set of tires for an all around on road/off road tires with mud lugs on the sides and A/T tread in the middle. They also balance very nicely and come in D rating at a smaller size. Also, they're very quiet on the road. My set survived couple of Moab trips, tons of hwy and lots of Midwest snow/ice. However, I've done no backwoods 3' of snow type stuff.
     
  11. Montana Cruiser

    Montana Cruiser

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    I feel your pain with the auto-transport. I JUST got mine back, it was shipped from my home in Maine one month ago:mad: :mad: According to the driver that dropped it off, it had a lovely sunny week in Orlando,FL and then a nice weekend in Palm Springs,CA where he picked it up .... I'm in Bellingham<WA by the way, north of Seattle. I have some "rubbing" on the paint on the front doors that went all the way through the paint .... needless to say, the moving company got a phone call this morning:frown:

    As far as tires, living in MT and MN for years, I cant say enough about Nokian Hakka tires, awsome grip. I ran them on Saabs, but I know you can get them for trucks as well. I would think studs on the 80 is a bit of overkill for normal getting the the snowhill driving. If you have to chain up on the pass in an 80 with snowtires, things are pretty bad up there. from my experience, studs wear fast and are annoying on dry pavement.
     
  12. Naphtali

    Naphtali

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    Many thanks for all these data.

    A question: Are there any acceptable-for-you studded run-flat snow tires?
     
  13. mot

    mot

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    Do you not know how to change tires? :flipoff2:

    I don't think studded run-flat tires exist, but haven't researched for them lately. ;)

    Mot :D
     
  14. Nay

    Nay

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    Just so you know, the Geolander I/T+ is made out of a silica compound and is not the microcell compound of the studless snows. This compound is designed to resist freezing to maintain performance at low temps (unlike all seasons), but does not have the "wicking" ability of a studless snow and should not be thought of as an ice tire regardless of the name. The tread design is very similar, but it is a step down in snow/ice performance unless you are talking about high speed winter performance, in which case it is a major step up. This compound is used in the performance winter tires marketed to high performance AWD cars like Audi, because it has a much higher speed rating than the studless snows.

    I've run this type of tire (Nokian WR) on a Subaru, and they are an excellent choice for snow and road performance on a 4wd. It has all of the tread/sipe design elements of the new breed of snow tire....just expect performance to fall off as the snow really gets deep.

    Nay
     
  15. John E Davies

    John E Davies

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    That is very interesting. I once read a tech article describing the two basic approaches toward winter tire design:

    The Japanese tire design tends to be focussed on ultimate braking grip on glare ice, because in that heavily populated country that is the typical "Oh sh*t!" encounter that they are most familiar with. This is the Traffic Light Scenario - the waste heat from idling cars melts the snow and it re-freezes into a skating rink.

    The European (and Scandinavian tires especially) tend to focus more on drivability and lateral grip. This is the Rally Car Scenario - keeping out of the ditch on that snowy backroad, or trying to maintain steering control when the moose ambles out in front of your car.

    I personally prefer to be able to have enough surplus lateral traction to maintain steering ability rather than relying on getting stopped 6 feet shorter with the brake pedal pinned to the mat.

    I have run both Bridgestone Blizzacks and Geolander I/T+ (tho on different vehicles) and I would never recommed a Blizzack to anyone unless they were in a 2wd car and had a severely steep driveway. I think the really soft microcell compound of the Blizzack gives dangerously squirrely handling on dry pavement, and the tread simply evaporates when they are mounted onto a high performance car. I tried a set on my Saab 95 Aero Wagon, a high torque (280 ft lbs) FWD car, and I measured tread wear at the rate of 1/8 inch per 1000 miles on the front tires, and I was driving VERY conservatively. I also drove a Taurus 3.0 SLO (Super Low Output) with Blizzacks and noticed the same handling defects, tho the tread did not vanish nearly as rapidly on that car!

    The I/T+ may not have the ultimate grip on glaze ice, but as you say, it beats the other type of tire hands down in other areas and I am never going back to a Blizzack that is half useless when the tread is half gone, and the micro-whatevers have worn off.

    John Davies
     
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