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Swamper TSL's.....Highway / City manners?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Greg72, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Well, as much as I wanted to go with a radial tire to get the best "street manners"....I just can't find a tire I like.

    I thought about the Super Swamper TSL-Radials (38.0 x 15.50 x 16.5") but they just don't "look" right. They claim to be a 15.50" wide tire but the actualy treadwidth is only 11.5". They just look too tall and skinny IMHO..... To me, a 38" tire should have a more "massive look" [​IMG]

    The only other option appears to be the standard Super Swamper TSL (38.5 x 16.0 x 16.5") it's got a treadwidth of 13.0" and I have to believe that will give it a more "serious look".....but unfortunately this is a Bias-Ply tire.....and I've never driven on this type of tire before. I'm a little concerned about the way it's going to behave for "normal" street and highway driving.

    I'd like some opinions on this. I'm not really looking for input on treadlife, or noise levels or the "beadlock" issue. I'm already aware of what I'll have to deal with in those areas. Mostly I'm wondering if these tires will vibrate like crazy....wander all over the road, or get all "squirmy" every time I come to a stop.

    I'm not sure how much of an effect the rim with will have....I suspect a wider wheel will help to stiffen the sidewall and may help it to drive better on the street. Interco reccommends a 9.75" x 16.5" size for almost ALL of the tires I looked at (except the TSL-SX 38.5"x14.5"x16.5"...where they say to use a 12" wide wheel....Hmmm?) Maybe going to a 12" wide rim would help it to be more civilized on the street?

    Anyway.....whatever I decide to get, they are going to have to take me to Moab Blazer Bash 2002 and back! That's about a 2000 mile round trip on the highway....so I really need to consider the on-road performance, not just the OFF-ROAD capabilities!

    OK.....I'm ready for your opinions now! [​IMG]



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  2. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    The only problem I have with mine is that they flatspot if left sitting too long. It is a bit worse when it is cold (read: 40 deg.F) out. They ride stiff but most of that is because my suspension sucks. I would sugest ear plugs for the drive to Moab. If you have problems in a panic stop I think it would be more because of the hight than the fact that they are Bias-Ply's.

    '71 Blazer CST w/ a 400sbc, 4" lift, 36" Supper Swampers, and alot of rust
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/triaged>See it Here </a>
     
  3. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Dan,

    EARPLUGS! That's a good idea..... [​IMG]

    I'm planning on driving out with the same "bikini top" that I used at BlazerFest 2001....just a simple tarp over the front seats. It's going to be a loud trip for sure....but there's no arguing with "style"!!!

    How long do you have to drive before the flat spots "warm up" and go away? Is it just a few minutes at highway speed?



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  4. jcg

    jcg 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    I got a set of 36" TSL's a couple months ago and they weren't bad accept that two of them are out of round. One isn't real bad but the other one is hell. After an hour on the highway my tranny cooler split in half from the vibrations, it's completely unbearable. Normally a shop will replace a tire that's that bad but the one I went to wouldn't. Other than that, they weren't really that bad on the road. Wet or snowy roads are pretty much the scariest thing ever but siping them takes care of that. They are kind of stiff but that's to be expected, and your truck will sound like a flight of WW2 bombers when you do anything above 20mph. The flat spots aren't bad once you get used to them, it depends a LOT on what tire pressure you run too. If you keep your pressure up a bit they don't flat spot as badly, and it goes away after a few minutes of driving anyway. They do tend to wander a bit on the highway, espeically if you have a locker. The first time I let my foot off the gas and then got back on it on the highway, my lockright almost threw me into the next lane. It's all worth it though when you can air down to about 10 psi off road and walk right through everything. I just got a set of 35" BFG AT's for the street since the out of round tsl's were tearing my truck apart (literally). Make sure the shop can powder balance them for you, or at least pad balance them... and watch them while they're on the machine to see if they're out of round. I would have the shop agree to replace any tires if you run them for a few days and find out they're bad... I wish I knew that ahead of time!

    Joe
    RIT Mini-Baja www.rit.edu/~bajawww
    Team Mudnuts www.mudnuts.org
     
  5. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    My friend has a set of the 42/15/16.5 on 16.5/9.75 steel wheels and he runs about 22 psi in them. He got them balanced by shaving the tread and they are so unbelievably smooth. Under about 55 they are loud as hell, but above that, you can't tell they're big swampers. It rides like a Cadillac at 70 with no vibes or excessive noise. If you get them balanced correctly, I'm sure they wouldn't be that bad. Hell, I'd put up with the noise to say that I had Swampers.

    Red 1989 GMC Suburban SLE V1500 - TBI 350, 700R4 w/ shift kit, Quad-shock front, 31/10.50/15 Pro Comp MT, 4.10 gears, Duals off cat
     
  6. ZZ4x4

    ZZ4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Greg,
    I have the 36x12.50x16.5 TSLs and I agree with the flat spotting, but no big deal. A little bumpy for a few minutes, then no problem. To me the biggest thing in buying tires is where you buy em. I always go to Discount Tire now after some bad dealings with other stores. I get the lifetime balancing option and boy its worth it for truck tires. Certain sets of tires I've had needed balancing every few thousand miles (Goodyear MTs) but Discount never even flinched. Another balance? no problem. New tire warranted? No problem. Those guys are great! Just my .02. JT

    PS. How's that second new carb? I'm waiting for a progress report.
     
  7. KRAZIE87K5

    KRAZIE87K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    They do tend to wander a bit on the highway, espeically if you have a locker. The first time I let my foot off the gas and then got back on it on the highway, my lockright almost threw me into the next lane.

    <hr></blockquote>

    You aren't lying either!!! LMAO!!! [​IMG] I have 36x12.5x16.5 Bias TSLs... The on-off the gas thing is REALLY scarry at about any speed, but they do tend to knock the truck around A LOT more than my BFG ATs did. [​IMG][​IMG] And as for the noise thing... I'm sorry, but I can't quite hear you because my hearing has been fading since I installed these badboys on my rig. [​IMG] But I have to admit - I LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT!!!! [​IMG]

    Flat spots... I lost 3 fillings from my teeth before I finally wore the tires enough not to shake the He!! outta me on way to work. Granted, its no warmer than 40* around my area now, and mostly around 10*, so these tires are a little bit out of there habitat.

    SNOW? If you have a death wish, go for it.

    As for balancing them - no normal tire place can handle the task. I went to Just Tires, and all the guys there laughed in my face when I asked if they would balance them for me....

    Other than that, they are a great tire!!! [​IMG]

    <font color=red>GOT MUD???</font color=red>
    My license plate reads:<font color=blue> 8 YR SUV</font color=blue>
    454/TH400/NP205 - 14BFF/D60/w/ 4.10s - 36" TSLs
     
  8. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    ZZ4x4,

    Thanks for the info on the tires....

    I'm going to post an update on the carb situation on the previous thread.....IT'S NOT GOOD! [​IMG]



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  9. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Heym Shawn SPickler has those 38x14.5x16.5 SX's on a 9.75 inch wide rim. No probs at all. I saw them when i was picking up my tires from him, nice wide open tread pattern. Just sipe whatever you get, that'll take care of about 75% of the bad characteristics.

    1978 K20 - 355ci, np205, th400, D44, 14F, 7" of Lift, 36 x 14.5 TSL Radial
     
  10. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    I called around til I found a place that would balance my 36"x12.5" TSL's. It took a bit of time and weight but they're smooth past 80 MPH.

    The flat spotting is a non-issue for me...a couple of miles and they're fine. My truck spends a lot of time on wet pavement and I haven't had much problems at all. I've made one long trip with them last summer, 3000 miles down to San Diego and back. The return trip was towing a 74 Blazer rolling chassis back home (2400 lbs or so) Aside from the endless drone of the tires on the highway it was an uneventful trip. I wouldn't hesitate to get another set.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  11. 69K5

    69K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Greg,

    The Swampers will ride much better on the wider rim. At least they have on all my othet trucks. They grab a lot more with the wider rim puttin more rubber on the ground. This also means they are gonna grab more frame unless you get offsets. I dont recommend these. I stripped all the studs on my front tires of my Z-71. Should of been goin slower when i hit that swamp. If you leave these tires sittin for 2 weeks or so they will definatley egg (get flatspots) if it is hot and humid out. if it is cold they wont do it nearly as fast. It only takes 20 minutes or so to round em out at highway speeds, but its a rough 20 minutes. If they sit too long you will just have to use the warranty and get some new ones, because they wont reshape. If you are goin topless then you will have to have the stereo bumpin too. But remember the saying. The louder they hum, the harder they dig. Ya'll probably dont say that up yonder come to think of it. If you call the factory in Raine, Louisiana you might get a cheaper price.
    You might want to check on some Ground Hawgs. They make those and Gumbo mudders at the super swamper factory. The ground hawgs are seriously agressive tire, but I'm not sure if they would work on rocks for you. They are tractor style tread. They dig harder than anything else in the world though.

    Nathan
     
  12. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Resurrection,

    Please define what you mean by "siping"....I've seen that term before, and the context seems to imply something about "grooves" in the tire to wick-out the water? Do you have a photo or link to what the tire would look like after this "siping procedure"?

    Also, I'll check over at Offroad.com and see if I can see Spickler's rig with those tires....from your message it sounds like they're pretty new for him, so there may not be photos available yet.

    You guys have pretty much convinced me that the TSLs are really nothing to be afraid of.....now I think the only remaining question is: 9.75" x 16.5" OR 12.00" x 16.5" ??????

    Anyone besides Nathan want to provide some comments on THAT part....?



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  13. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    I would have to say go with the 9.75" rims. I have 10" on mine and it seams a bit much width for my 36x12.5's (that acually measure 13.5). When I go to 38's I think the 10" rims will be perfect.

    You need to keep the rims away from rocks and a narrow rim helps. I just broke one of my wheels on a rock[​IMG]...of course a good spotter would have helped.

    '71 Blazer CST w/ a 400sbc, 4" lift, 36" Supper Swampers, and alot of rust
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/triaged>See it Here </a>
     
  14. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Oh boy oh boy oh boy! I get to show off! I just wrote a siping article a couple of weeks ago! All the info on what I did including pictures are on there.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://usor.topcities.com/superswampersiping.htm>http://usor.topcities.com/superswampersiping.htm</a>

    Yes siping will let water go out through the line when the tread block is pressed down, and on ice its the same concept, but 10 times better, ice melts under pressure and creates water, but if you sipe, water will be channeled out the grooves. Not to be scientific, but in summation, for the 90 minutes you'll spend doing this, you'll get enjoyment for the life of the tire.

    BTW - If the pictures arnt big enough I can send you biger ones.

    I dont think he's posted a pic lately, but if you search the ORC BBS you'll be able to see a few. He never posts anymore, so just click on "show all useres posts" and look for a post O made called "Off Road" theres some nice pics of him stuffing them to the top of the fenderwell. Looks great.

    I say norrow rim as possible. The bigger ones are harder on the steering and can get bashed on the rocks. If you have bad ride with narrow rims because of the tire not having a flat tread but a rounded one, just air down untill the tread makes full contact with thte ground, tah dah!

    Oh yeah thanks for the interest in siping. It's great!

    1978 K20 - 355ci, np205, th400, D44, 14F, 7" of Lift, 36 x 14.5 TSL Radial
     
  15. Headbanger

    Headbanger 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    I don't know how big a tire you want, but I recently bought Swamper SSR radials in 35x14.5x15 and have no complaints so far. They're quieter than any tires I've owned before and seem to be wearing well. I'm running 27 psi in them. they're on 10" wheels.
     
  16. blazingboy

    blazingboy 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    I got 33/12.50/15 SSR's they ride bumpy about 10 mph then about twenty they ride pretty good as far as noise they aren't too bad I have to turn the radio down all the way to hear them.
     
  17. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    I guess here is my $.02 worth... basically with the size of tires you are looking at, obviously freeway travel isn't gonna be the best. Any wider treaded tire like a swamper tends to grab every slant in the road and wander. I think the best idea would be get a set of used MT's and drive on them to Moab and back put the swampers on when you get there.

    I have been looking into the same kinda options as I want to run 36-38's on mine and drive it daily. I agree with Joe on the sipping... it does wonders. From what I have read the SX's are better for ride quality then the TSL's. SSR's also sound like they would be a good compromise but not sure on all the actual hieght and width specs.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     
  18. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Mikey,

    INTERESTING!!

    Do you remember where you saw the info in the TSL-SX having better "on road" manners? I'd like to read up on that if I could. I assumed that since the SX was their most "hardcore" tire, it would be the worst on the highway.

    I think the Interco site even mentioned something about the TSL-SX and said that "Highway use requires Critical Attention to tire pressure"......I suspect because the sidewall is SO stiff, that you'd hardly know you were low on air, until the tire overheated and blew out!

    Anyway....if you can point me to an "info source" I'd appreciate it! [​IMG]



    -Greg72

    '72 K5 Blazer - 427BB/TH350/NP205/6" Lift/35x12.50's
    <font color=blue>See it here: </font color=blue><a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/albun38</a>
     
  19. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    That's a nice write-up you did. I like it!

    Ken

    January 28, 2002--The NEW Adventure Begins...
     
  20. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Swamper TSL\'s.....Highway / City manners?

    Greg, I honestly can't rememeber if it was here on CK5 or over on Pirate board that I was reading a post on the similar TSL v.s SX's. I would do a search in each and I'm sure you find some good info. BTW... if it was over on pirate (which I'm pretty sure it was) it would be in the general 4x4 forum... not the chevy forum. Sorry I couldn't be more helpfull.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     

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