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BFG AT's?? (long, sorry)

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by dyeager535, Jan 22, 2001.

  1. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    Well, was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but it has. I am forced to decide between BFG 33X10.5r15's in AT, or 32X11.50 in MT.

    I am asking you folks' opinion on what I should do. I'll give you the specs and my driving style (for everyones benefit, I REALLY wanted the MT's)
    1986 K5. Heavy duty suspension. 15x8 wheels.

    Sees serious (as in dangerous conditions) off road 10 days a year, hunting in the mountains of the NW. The danger comes from snow. A typical "dangerous" situation would be 4-6 inches of powder, or even compressed snow on frozen dirt logging roads. Some of these are extremely steep, and almost none of them, should you lose control, have anything to stop the vehicle short of a 300ft tumble down a clearcut hillside,or into a creek gorge.

    FWIW, I've stopped on a hill, and had the vehicle sliding backwards. Not on good tires mind you, nonetheless, it is a little more than exciting.
    Some of the not as dangerous conditions are relatively high speeds on muddy and/or frozen dirt/gravel roads, and stream crossings, with wet/torn up rocks and dirt on the steep banks.

    Also near the same crossings, low gear river rock crawling.(just so you don't destroy the suspension) Sometimes the smooth river rocks (400+lbs) are frozen also, providing a low/no grip surface, but I doubt either tire would perform very well there. Not that dangerous really, thats only one section where the road was washed out, and a local 4WD club snaked a path between the boulders that were too large to move. I drive that about 30 times total a year.

    But most of the year(more than 50% of the time) I will be driving my car, and noise from tires does not bug me. The truck will, in any instance, obviously see more time on road than off. I know the AT's are superior in road grip, but thats what the car is for, so besides cutting through standing water on pavement, I am not looking for serious on road performance..obviously don't want the sidewalls to flex on an off ramp, but I take it easy on the corners anyway. Again, handling is for the car.

    I personally think that the tall tires (33's) on my non-lifted truck (lifting not an option) will LOOK much better, as in filling the wheelwells. Not only that, the extra 1.5" lift over the 31" tires (if my math is right) will be valuable for the times I need to climb over fallen logs, or straddle larger rocks that have fallen from the cliffs above. Besides saving my oil pan from the rocks at the creek crossing. The reason for not using 12.5's is because there are too many people running them that have clearance issues when not running a lift. I want to COMPLETELY avoid any clearance issues.

    Has anyone run the AT's, and if so, what have their opinions of them been? Especially in any of the conditions I have described...I understand that this is a compromise situation in many respects, but I am hoping to hear that the AT's will perform good enough in Snow and Hard packed yet slippery logging roads that I can rest assured buying them.

    My only choice that I know of are the BFG's since I am using Discount tire (www.discount.com) and don't want to spend anymore than $135 per tire, since I plan on buying a full size spare as well.

    Thanks for any input, I really do appreciate it, and especially any words to calm my misgivings about the AT's.....

    BTW, I am so adamant about using discount for many reasons. They will mount all the tires, let me take them home to mount on my truck to check for suspension flex/tire rubbing at hoome, and if they won't work, return them with no cost for mounting and balancing should I need to return them. On top of that, even these tires (the 33's) are covered for the life of the tire against ALL damage, including rock or stick through sidewall, with no pro rating. Add on top of that free mounting and balancing for life, and that they fix the ANY make flat tire for free, and you can see why I am almost advertising for them. But I have had such good experiences with them, that I do plug them at every chance I get. Too often have I seen tires that cost an arm and a leg pro-rated, or not covered at all when damaged. Personally, I can't afford that...my tires seem to have some attraction to foreign puncturing objects.

    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html>http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html</A>
     
  2. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    If you are going to be driving in any type of snow/ice get the AT's, they are far better suited for that(siped). The MT's are great in mud as they AT's arent. The ATs are also better on-road(although not by much) than the MT's. I have MT's and they are great for mud and street, but they aint the right thing for rain or snow.
    What did you do to the suspension to make it "Heavy Duty"? 33's may not fit on a none lifted K5, I've seen them with them but all the owners say that they rub all the time and they usually dont wheel them that much.

    Murphy's Law :
    "When you don't know what your doing, do it neatly."
     
  3. yeild2me

    yeild2me 1/2 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    i am a big fan of bfg's and although i have never owned the at's, i am on my second set of mt's..the first set was 33's, and i have drove on them from l.a. to maryland, all through the midwest, along the beaches of mexico, from frankfurt germany through switzerland, on down to france across the alps to italy..i owned them for 4 1/2 years and put over 45000 miles on them, they are still in decent shape and if my front end wasnt so jacked up (ball joints, tie rods etc) and i would of rotated them more than twice they may still be on there.. but to answer your question, i have driven through a lot of snow in them and they dont perform that bad..maybe not as well as the at, but from what i hear all they need is to be siped then they will be truly excellent..i love mine and from the way you say you are going to use your truck, they may be exactly what you are looking for.....some of these colorado guys may be a little more help because of their exp. with the snow!!!! good luck!!!

    AIRBORNE!!
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    Hence the 33x10.5r15's. I've had list members, tire store people, and my own measurements/research (ha) come up with the same conclusion....33's don't rub because of height. It's width. They rub on the edges of the fenders, at full turn, on bumps. Its the outer most edge of tread that hits. If it was the center of the tire, I would be more worried the 10.5's won't fit. Backspacing would also have an effect, but again, on the stock wheels, it appears that the backspacing is correct to prevent the narrower tires to fit. A 32" tire with 11.5 fits, but not a 12.5...the difference in height is 1/2", but the width difference is 1" in that case...I think that also points to, but does not conclusively prove the narrower 33's will fit with no problem. Other list members experience do though. NO offense, thats why I am stuck on the 10.5's.

    The heavy duty part comes from whatever GM called the optional 3 leaf front, 6 leaf rear springs. I assumed, perhaps wrongfully, that with the added spring rating, the overall height of the vehicle might change from the 2/5 springs stock. At least I know it doesn't sag as much as it did with the non-optional setup.

    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html>http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html</A>
     
  5. K5Jimmy

    K5Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    I have a set of AT's on 8" Stock Rally's and a set of MT's on 10" Rally's.....both are 33's....I use the AT's for long road trips and most of my daily driving around town....the MT's are for mud and short trips to trail rides (under 400 miles)....the AT's don't like mud, but actually outperform the MT's on dirt hills, gravel roads, and dry streambed type stuff....and ice...(we don't get snow in Texas)....There's a guy at work with a 90 with the factory 3 leaf front...I'll bet that the 33's would fit...I'll check to see what he's running...the post about the width being the prob is accurate on regular stock suspensions..the HD may be just enough different to make it work on an 8" wheel...I'll try to post tomorrow for ya....good luck....those slick sidehills sound like a real butt pucker....JD

    I'm at 10th and Plum....10 miles from nowhere, and Plum out in the sticks....
     
  6. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    I wish I had 3/6 combo [​IMG] Those 33's will probably fit then, my idiot self never thought that the rubbing was with 12.5's [​IMG] Take some pics, I'd like to see it [​IMG]

    Murphy's Law :
    "When you don't know what your doing, do it neatly."
     
  7. rugger03

    rugger03 1/2 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    Funny, i was contemplating this same thing last week and decided to go with the 33/1050/15. I was also worried about the 33/1250's fitting so went with the narrower ones. I have not tried these off road yet, but so far No rubbing lock to lock and they do not appear to rub when flexed. To test this i ran a tire on each side up on a snow bank to stuff the tire into the wheel well. While this may not be the best test there was no rubbing. These tires replaced a set of almost new conti mud tracs (31/10.50). They are far less noisy and seem to handle better, propally due to the stiffer side walls. From earlier experiences with the bfg A/T's they tend to work better in packed snow and on icy roads than M/T's due to the sipes. On wet pavement there is no comparrison a/t's hands down. i paided $129 tire, $10 for mount and balance and got a deal on road hazard $5 per tire at tires plus. hope this helps.
     
  8. KENBARBOUR

    KENBARBOUR Registered Member

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    I've run AT's and MT's in 31" 33" and 35" The AT's worked way better in the snow and they weren't that bad in the dirt.
    If you plan on driving on ice go with the AT's they were the best tire i have ever had for the winter. My AT's also lasted longer. I have 35" MT's now and for 90% of what i do i should have stayed with AT's. I'd definatly buy them again but they don't have anything taller.
     
  9. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    I've had a set of BFG A/Ts on a toyota and HATED them. Got nearly 40K out of them, but those few times when you're stuck in the mud or can't climb a hill due to such a tight pattern are enough to convert you. In my honest opinion, I'd go with the BFG MT if that's the only two choices you have. If I was open to choices, in your situation I'd choose the Cooper STT or Procomp M/T (same tire). Just my .02

    Bryan

    [​IMG]
    Durant, Ok
     
  10. CV202

    CV202 1/2 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    I swapped to BFG AT/KO's 33x12.5x15's before the winter really hit up here. I must say, they can handle a Maine mountain winter, and they still rock off road. Definitely happy with my choice. Don't bother trying a mud tire on snowy/icy roads unless you like spinning around alot!! Just my opinion though :)

    Why do people keep calling it a Bronco!!!!!
     
  11. Goose

    Goose 1/2 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    I have 33" BFG MTs and really like them. 4wheel&offroad did a comparo between the MTs and ATs a while back. Their results showed the MTs were close or better in most situations. Only problem was the tests were for mud, sand, rocks, and pavement. No snow/ice/packedsnow from what I remember. The MTs aren't that great in packed snow (under 1") but do good when more snow on the ground. Having said that, I believe the ATs would be the better snow tire by for. Traction in snow is gained by the horizonatal ridges in the tire that make little shelves of packed snow to push off against. The AT design is no doubt better at this. They do suck in mud. If you don't have much mud, but lots of snow, ice, and gravel roads I would go ATs. If you have more rock crawling, mud, sand I would go MTs.
    Also, If you have the old tires what about putting a bunch of sheet metal screws in what is left of the tread for spikes.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    2 words: Tire chains. [​IMG] When I head into the mountains hunting in Colorado, I take along chains for all 4 tires. When the trails get really snowy and/or muddy, mount them up and it's like you suddenly bought a tank. Get the tires you like and buy a set of chains that fit them. You'll be amazed at the traction they provide. Be careful that they clear the fenders. The back isn't usually much of a problem, but the front can get pretty close. You may need to use cable chains up front to clear the fender on a full-stuff, wheel cranked situation.

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com>http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com</A>
     
  13. Wheels

    Wheels 1/2 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    Sounds like my kind of hunting paradise...I ran BFG AT for about 3 months on my 79. Had problems getting them to balance without extreme amounts of weights (which would sling off while going down the road). They replaced them with MT's and have work fine so far. I did run the AT's through some Oklahoma mud/clay/wheat field/ cow dung combo and found them to become slick and they wouldn't clean out with increased tire speed. About 5 miles down the road, the thumps from clumps in the fender wells would finally cease. Took them back for a rebalance and they couldn't get them to balance still so they ordered me a set of MT's to replace them. For snow, ice and general offroading I would recommend the AT's. I wouldn't recommend them for mud or sand (wider is better) but of course airing them down for the chance mud crossing is still an option. For mud, the MT's. Myself, I have one set of 33x12.50x15 BFG MT's mounted on 15x10 rims and right now I have a set of 31x10.50x15 Wrangler ATS mounted on 15x8 rims that I put on in place of the MT's depending on the weather. Eventually I will replace the Wranglers with BFG AT in 33x10.50 (or 9.50)x15 (tire size really screws up the speedo readings).
     
  14. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    AMEN HARRY, You took the words right outta my monitor!!! LOL!! Im in Tennessee and we sledom get snow but we get lots of rain that likes to freeze over night. In my past and current experience, there is no tire that does good on ice. I dont care what kind of tread pattern they have. The chains have always, ALWAYS been the way to go when dealing with old man winter as far as ice goes. Now in snow, I've never had any problems other than the stuff that was packed in real hard, just like ice. But hell, you cant have your cake and eat it too. I would get the m/t's and get soem chains like old man Harry said. :)

    Will work for parts, beer and sex.
    90 Jimi,350/700R4/241/10bolts/3.73's/33's/4"
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  15. OFFRDK5

    OFFRDK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    I got a set of M/Ts. Let me tell ya a little story...
    I went out to go snowing in my tank and had the M/Ts on for just a few days. To get there you had to go through a huge tunnel of snow from where the plows had been and packed it on the sides of the roads. I hit some ice..guess...yep...ditched it. I was in 2wd. Got out to see how burried I was. The door was not fun to open since it covered some door. I locked the hubs, put it in drive. Hi the skinny pedal. It DUG...and DUG and DUG. I could hear the snow and top layer of goo flying around. I got out to see how deep I was and the door wouldn't open...the diesel must have made it sink. I was too lazy to get out and dig so I got on the skinny pedal again...it kept diggin and sinkin. Finally the front end went up and I went out. Got on some more stable ground and went back to see the hole I made...actually 4 holes. Foot and half to 2 ft deep. I don't know how I got out of there other than the BFG M/T. They DIG.

    I also have a set of A/T on my S10 4x4. They work great in snow and are great in the rain and dry pavement. Mud....they don't do jack except get clogged. otherwise they are a good all around tire.

    SK-15
    J**P...it's whats for dinner!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://SK-15.coloradok5.com>http://SK-15.coloradok5.com</A>
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  16. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    Thanks all for the replies. i guess I will try my luck (gulp hehe) with the AT's. I know the chain deal, definitely carry them, but most of the time, you are gaining or losing a couple thousand of feet many, many times aday, so you are breaking in and out of snow, sometimes traveling 15 miles on hard pack dirt road, yet you start going up a hill, and you are back into snow. You can see where going in and out of snow, and also doing lots of high speed running around, tires that do well in snow are more practical, to keep from doing the multiple add/remove of chains.

    The most snow I have seen overnight was from nothing, to just under bumper height....enough snow that forward movement was stopped by the snow you were pushing up in front of you with the vehicle, not the tires...but in some cases, I could be seeing 4-6 inches of powder..where I can see the AT's performing well in snow that isn't so deep that the tread clogs up fast, I can see the MT's with deeper lugs taking longer(?) to clog up, thus providing better traction. In any case, think I'm gonna hit the AT's, I hope the AT KO is a relatively aggressive tire....does siping help at all with mud or snow? I guess the KO really comes from more siping.

    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html>http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html</A>
     
  17. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    Dorian, living in the NW (Gresham, OR) I would recommend not going to AT's...........any kind of mud, especially during hunting season (rain, rain, rain) they are WORTHLESS. I can't wait to get rid of mine...........almost got stuck in a goshdarn field recently with them AT's. Knowing what kind of terrain we have here.............and the RAIN, go MT's.

    <font color=orange>'79 - 406 TPI -<font color=orange> K5#5 - <font color=blue>See it at---&gt;<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com>http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  18. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    One other thought on this issue....does everyone else think, on an 8" wheel, the 33x9.5r15's would be too narrow? I think the tread width on that tire size is 8.5" or so, which would, I think, look pretty funny from the rear, as well as having some lateral stability problems. Only plus is that they come in MT....thoughts on this??

    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html>http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html</A>
     
  19. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    A buddy of mine has an 86 Blazer with the 33x9.50's on factory aluminum rims. It doesn't look bad, I'm more used to a wider look than that. They are a narrow tire thats for sure.
    He likes it just fine because he didn't need a lift and he lives in an apartment and being able to use the underground parking is important to him. They would do well in the snow being so narrow.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  20. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Re: BFG AT\'s?? (long, sorry)

    No chance that you or he have pictures? Any stories about way too much flex due to the narrow contact patch but tall sidewalls? I'd have to assume they would do really well in deep mud and snow being tall and skinny though. How about tread life? What are his anyway, AT or MT?



    Dorian
    My K5 and Chev/Olds tech/links page: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html>http://yeagerd.home.mindspring.com/index2.html</A>
     

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