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Thread: Are all tires E-rated these days?

  1. #1

    Are all tires E-rated these days?

    Yes, I'm posting a wheel/tire thread, sorry.

    It's time for new tires on my 4Runner and I've been looking into options. Currently I'm running 265/75R16 Maxxis Bighorns which have worked pretty well but are now very loud. The nice thing about these tires is that they are almost a true 32" tall and they are fairly light at 48 lbs.

    For my next set of tires I'd like to go with a less aggressive tread pattern that still works well offroad and in the snow, something like a BFG KO2. This truck does see quite a bit of trail usage so being able to air down and have the tires flex is important, and I'd like to keep the weight down to help with mpg. The problem I've run into is that almost all 265/75R16s these days are E-rated and stiffer and heavier than I need. For example the KO2 in this size is almost 54lbs, 10%+ more than my Bighorns. My bigger concern is that the truck is not heavy enough for E-rated tires which will result in a rough ride and loss of compliance when aired down. I know paddlenbike ran into a similar issue last time he looked at tires.

    So... I've started considering moving to a 17" rim since it opens up more tire size possibilities. I loose a little sidewall and the wheels are a little heavier, but I think it's a good trade off. I'd like to stay with an 8" wide wheel with ~0mm offset to keep tire placement the same as my current FZJ80 wheels (21lbs each). The top contender is the FN f(x) Pros which seem to be well made, are 24lbs, and cost $700+ shipping for four. Then the question gets to be tire size, and there are a lot of options. I have a 5spd with 4.10 gears, so I can't go much taller than 32".

    BFG KO2
    - 255/75R17 C ~32" 45.5lbs
    - 265/70R17 C 31.6"x8.8" 46lbs

    Cooper Discoverer S/T
    - LT265/70R17 C 31.65"x8.39" 47lbs
    - LT275/70R17 C 32.2"x8.82" 50lbs

    I'm leaning towards the KO2s in a 255/75R17 which are a true 32" and are an expedition portal approved width. Since this is the stock size for Jeep Rubicons there are a lot of options on the market.

    What do you guys think? Should I keep the FZJ80 rims and go with a KO2 in 34x10.5? I know there are already a ton of tire threads, but the market has changed and I wanted to throw some ideas out there. Any input is appreciated.

    Here's a picture showing the truck with the current wheel/tire setup.

    - Matt
    2000 4Runner Sport / 4x4 / 5spd / E-locker / SS 1.2 / 265x75x16 Bighorns / ARB Prado / HD-SKO

  2. #2
    The new General Grabber X3 is a more aggressive tread pattern than I was looking for, but they do have a 265/75R16 in load range C which is 31.6" and 49.2lbs. So not everybody has abandoned load range C's in a 16" diameter size.

    - Matt
    2000 4Runner Sport / 4x4 / 5spd / E-locker / SS 1.2 / 265x75x16 Bighorns / ARB Prado / HD-SKO

  3. #3
    For all the reasons you mentioned I stepped away from my favorite all-time tire (BFG AT KOs) and moved to a 17" wheel and 275/70R17 Cooper Discoverer STs in load range C. Here's what I've noticed compared the load range D BFG's I had:
    -ride is noticeably better
    -tire flex is better when airing down
    -cornering is a little worse (related to above...softer sidewall on a load range C)

    It's clear the load range has a big impact on the way these trucks ride.

    I will speculate that the more compliant sidewall that gives me the better ride and better tire flex (and slightly worse handling) would also have a detrimental effect on rolling resistance and therefore gas mileage. It's hard to do a direct comparison because with the move to the Coopers I went to a 17" rim and a wider, taller tire, but I lost more MPG than any combination of modifications I have ever made to the truck, including lifts, roof racks and supercharger. I used to consistently get 21 MPG on the highway and now it's around 19.5. The truck performs great in any conditions, but I'm curious how a narrower tire might affect (or not affect) fuel economy. Hint Hint. The wider tire does look great though.
    Last edited by paddlenbike; 01-10-2017 at 08:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Matt, like you and Paddlenbike I'm in the same boat. I'm kind of in the market for new tires and currently run the 265/75/16 BFG AT's, in load range E. Knock on wood, I've had zero problems with them and I believe the are near 60,000 miles if not over. I love these tires and honestly have noticed no difference from the Revo 2's that the BFG's replaced (in terms of ride quality, sidewall flex, mileage, etc).

    As you know, I too have the 5 speed and I'm able to get 20+ mpg on the highway even while loaded. If I try I can get 22+. As far as I can remember my mileage didn't change when I went from the Revo's (265/70, range C) to the BFG's (265/75, range E). Since I know I'll be needing tires and there is always the desire to go bigger I bought some 17" 4th gen rims. My first choice of tire is the BFG AT in 275/70/17. Tire rack shows these tires as being 55 pounds and the 265/75's I currently run at 53 pounds.

    These are the new rims. I bought them off of CL and they were in perfect condition. I scuffed and gouged them up a little removing the tires but that's my own fault. I stripped the finish, which was a major PITA, because the plan was to paint them. I went with Dupli Color wheel coating, 2 coats of white then 2 coats of graphite, covered with gloss. So far they are in the attic awaiting tires which I'll probably end up getting soon. I'd like to eek out a few more miles from the existing ones as they are still plugging along. When they're ready to retire these will be ready to go.

    My current tires have had a long life and I really like them. The load range E doesn't bother me but it was something that came up when I bought them. I believe I had a post here and on Expo but honestly after owning them whatever it was that concerned me flew right out the window.

  5. #5
    Matt, I believe you took this picture. Load Range E airs down and sidewall flexes just fine. In this case I prefer the thicker sidewall.

    Last edited by 4x4mike; 01-10-2017 at 02:59 PM.

  6. #6
    Mike, Ken, thanks for the responses. You seem to have opposite opinions on load range E tires, so you should battle it out and let me know who wins.

    Weight is a major contributor to mpg loss, here are various weights of KO2s and Discoverer S/Ts.

    BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2
    265/75R16 E 31.6"x8.5" 53lbs
    255/75R17 C 32.0" 45.5lbs
    265/70R17 C 31.6"x8.8" 46lbs
    275/70R17 E 32.2"x9" 55lbs
    285/70R17 E 32.7"x9.2" 58lbs

    Cooper Discoverer S/T
    LT265/75R16 E 31.8"x8.11" 48lbs
    LT265/70R17 C 31.65"x8.39" 47lbs
    LT275/70R17 C 32.2"x8.82" 50lbs

    Of course the important number is the total weight of the rim and tire.

    16" FZJ80 + 265/75 Bighorn = 21lb + 48lb = 69lb (current setup)
    16" FZJ80 + 265/75 KO2 = 21lb + 53.6lb = 74.6lb
    17" FN FX Pro + 255/75 KO2 = 24lb + 45.5lb = 69.5lb
    17" FN Fx Pro + LT275/70R17 S/T = 24lb + 50lbs = 74lb

    I like the look of a wide M/T tire, but I've had those on two trucks already and it's not optimal for my use. If I want a good combination of on and offroad traction and mpg I think the 255/75R17s might be the best bet. They are relatively light weight, a full 32" tall, C rated, and since they are narrow and a less aggressive tread they should help with mpg. The 275/70R17s like Ken has are also a good option. They are 1/4" taller, 1" wider, but 5lbs heavier per corner.

    A taller tire like a 33" would be better offroad, but wouldn't work well with my 4.10 gears and manual transmission, and would get worse mpg.

    Moving to a 17" is also an issue. I looked at all the factory Toyota rims and couldn't find one that worked for me. One thing I really like about the FZJ80 rims is their 8" width and their 0mm offspacing which increases the track width. As far as I can tell all of the Toyota 17" wheels are 7.5" and would require spacers to get the same track width, and I'd like to avoid spacers if possible.

    So... I really should just buy something and stop thinking about this, but what's the fun of that?

    - Matt
    2000 4Runner Sport / 4x4 / 5spd / E-locker / SS 1.2 / 265x75x16 Bighorns / ARB Prado / HD-SKO

  7. #7
    Oh, and I'm amazed at the mpg Mike can get with his KOs. I can barely get 20mpg on the freeway, and I suspect it is because of the aggressive tread pattern on the Bighorns. The only other differences between our trucks is that mine is slightly taller and my ARB bumper has hoops while his TJM does not, though admittedly the hoops could make a big difference in aerodynamics.

    - Matt
    2000 4Runner Sport / 4x4 / 5spd / E-locker / SS 1.2 / 265x75x16 Bighorns / ARB Prado / HD-SKO

  8. #8
    In my experience speed makes the biggest difference in mpg's. I'm no speed demon, none of us are in a NA 3rd gen, but I stick around the speed limit. I'll push it here and there but in mild traffic I'll hang low just as much. My Grandparents used to live in Bakersfield and while the driving is flat there tends to be a lot of lane jockeying in the 300 mile trip. The speed limit is 65-70 for the trip and I find at 65 I get the best mileage and get to stay in cruise control longer than if I was traveling faster.

    My load range E findings are as I've experienced. My last truck, full size Chevy PU, had 285's in E and the 4runner with the KOs. I'm sure the load range E's are heavier than the C or D but all I've ever known are that tire in E and I've had great mileage and wear. To me the ride is the ride. It's definitely not a car ride but I'm also in a lifted vehicle with stiffer springs and shocks. I've driven other 4runners and other vehicles with many different tires and I don't feel my setup is at any disadvantage. I like the KO's and they seem to put up with me so I've stuck with them.

  9. #9
    I saw no difference between my D and E rated BFGs.
    2005 Lexus LX470 - Stock for now...

    1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6 4x4 + a bunch of goodies. Lifted, Locked, Illuminated and Armored. Winner,"Best Offroad Truck" - 2010 Pismo Jamboree. It's been upside down and still drives me to work.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by slomatt View Post
    So... I really should just buy something and stop thinking about this, but what's the fun of that?
    The term "over thinking" has come up a lot at work lately, but I can relate.

    This thread reminds me that I'm behind on my gas receipts and therefore behind on my excel sheet keeping track of mpg. I have gone through quite a few tanks of gas since getting my KO2's so this would be an opportune time to get updated and see how they compare to the same size Duratracs I had.
    1993 4runner, SAS, 3.0L, Auto Tranny
    2007 4runner, stock. For now.

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