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Tire Width Question

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by bart, Aug 10, 2000.

  1. bart

    bart Registered Member

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    Okay. I've gotten a few different opinions on this before, and I figured I'd ask again. I have 6" of lift (via springs and shackle flip) and am wanting to run around a 36" tire. I am going to use 16 or 16.5 rims, and now need to decide what width of a tire to use...12.5 or like 14.5. Does anyone have any firsthand experience with the wider tire in snow/winter conditions and on the road use. I am looking at tires like the BFG MT and Swamper SSR. This vehicle is to be used both on and off road...I'll probably drive it less than 10K miles in a year...but it will definitely be on the road more than off. I also want to be able to drive it in winter as well. Any advice?

    Bob
     
  2. LittlePig

    LittlePig 1/2 ton status

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    First, stick with 16" rims. 16.5 rims have a poor bead seat design that makes it very easy for the tire to slide off the rim. As for width. In the snow, the wider the tire the more it will "float" up on the snow instead of biting in, same for mud (though to a lesser extent). On the other hand, in dry conditions, the wider tire might be less likely to dig holes if you spin a tire. Also, wider tires will bite more easily into the sides of ruts on muddy roads, enabling you to claw your way forward where a skinny-tired machine might get stuck. Also, in some very muddy conditions, it might be preferable for your tires to "float" as it might mean the difference between sinking into a sippi hole and blasting your way through.
     
  3. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    My first set of tire on my Jimmy were a set of Kelly DTR's in 35x12.50x15. Now I am running a TSL in 35x15.50x15.

    I really liked both tires for traction, but the TSL is better(mainly do to the more aggressive tread), but i like the wider tire.

    Like Litte Pipg said it help grab the sides of the rut and helps pull, lus it help protect you rims.
    I think I will be sticking with the wider tires for a while because I really like them.

    Mike [​IMG]
    1982 GMC Jimmy - <font color=green>Emmett</font color=green>
    http://emmett.coloradok5.com
     
  4. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    I don't think that the difference between 12.5 and 14.5 would be night and day, but the wider the tire, the scarier it is to drive on ice or in the rain. You're looking at BFG MT and Swampers, neither of which is any good on ice anyway. I know a guy with 18" wide Mickeys on his rig. In the summer, he pulls over to the side of the road if it starts to rain and in the winter, he runs puny 31s under his big lift because he has a hard time being in control of the truck on anything slippery. In deep snow, these big lug tires are cool. If you can sipe the lugs, it will improve your wet/ice performance a lot, since the number of biting edges is very important on the slick stuff and big lug tires have very few biting edges on the pavement at a time.

    85 pretending to be a 90
    350 swapped in for stock 305
    5" of suspension lift 33/12.5/16.5
     
  5. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    I've never heard of a wide tire being worse in the rain. I've ran tires from 10.5 to 14.50 and have never found the width affected the way it drove in the rain. The tread pattern...Yes...but not the width. Right now I'm running 13.50's and they do fine in the rain. You would think a wider tire would have more traction in the rain because there is a bigger contact radius.

    89 K5 Silverado
    http://mudfrog.coloradok5.com
     
  6. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    MudFrog

    Yes, more contact pattern but, NO, less contact pressure. The less contact pressure, the better the chance of hydroplaning in rain or slushy snow. However, I would think that with the amount of voids in a mud tire, there would be good water channeling and reasonable contact pressure; however, I could be wrong.

    To answer Bart's original question, you're describing some of the same conditions I plan to use my rig in and from what I've found out, narrower is better. Another point not mentioned here is the tendancy for wider tires to follow ruts in the road. In terms of the SSR, it's well siped so it should do fairly well in the slush/rain/snow. Problem is that for all that say a tire is bad in certain conditions, there's just as many to say that they are good!!
    I can't seem to get a consensus so I'm going to go with a Mud tire and learn to live with it's few drawbacks.

    Good Luck
    Brian
    89KBlazer
     
  7. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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  8. James

    James 1/2 ton status

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    I like the wider look. but whatever you do stay away from mickey thompson bajas. I have 33x14.50x15. They are by far the worst tire I've ever owned. I would go with BFG mt or ta. Problem is 36x12.50 just look to damn skinny.
    Peace
    James
     
  9. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    James,
    You mean the new Baja Claws??? I've heard great things about them tires. Those were going to be my next choice too. Why didn't you like em?
    Boss
     
  10. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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  11. James

    James 1/2 ton status

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    Boss, I was referring to the standard baja 33x14.50. Was advised by many people not to get them. But they look awesome and I had to have them. Tend to grab every rut in the street. Hince pulling the k5 into other lanes. The worst is they actually crack right in the center of the tires. At first I thought it was my alignment. Had that checked and ok. Then I started looking for other vehicles with these tires and noticed at least 50 pct of the mickeys I've seen have this same problem with the cracking in the mid of tire. Plus I don't even attempt to drive in the rain with these tires, no traction whatsoever. About the only reason I enjoy living in So. Cal (no rain). 700.00 bones down the drain.
     
  12. wickedk5

    wickedk5 Registered Member

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    how are the tsl sx's in the rain and snow?

    "And if it ain't a Chevy don't raise it up..."
     
  13. shaggyk5

    shaggyk5 1/2 ton status

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    just a thought......i dont think the bfg's come in 36" sizes do they? and they dont come wider than 12.5". correct me if im wrong.

    shaggyk5

    aint nuthin in the world like a heavy chevy!!
     
  14. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    The biggest BFG come is 35x12.50

    90K5
     
  15. BLzr4x4ngkid

    BLzr4x4ngkid 1/2 ton status

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    The only complaint I have about my 35-15.50-15 SX's is when it rains. If there is some running water that's just about half an inch deep or so.......THEY HYDROPLANE. The first time it rained and I had these tires, I was coming home and there is a small low spot that crosses one of the well traveled roads. I hit the water and had no control of the tires. Still, I wouldn't give them up for anything though.

    Alex
    [​IMG]What me get stuck? NEVER!![​IMG]
     

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