The Jeep Geek

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Tires

A Few Notes on Tires

The Jeep Geek has a new favorite tire. Over the years he has gone back and forth between BF Goodrich and Goodyears. However the new Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar has captured his cold hard heart.

One wonders if The Jeep Geek will have enough to say on the subject of tires to fill a blog article...doubtful, but he can be surprisingly pedantic and verbose.

We digress, tires make the world go round. Well maybe they don’t, but tires are an often overlooked consideration when contemplating modifications that will perform both on and off-road. The quality of tires will either provide the traction needed to gain full enjoyment out of your 4 wheel drive system, or slip and slide on both the rocks and snow covered roads. The Jeep Geek is often surprised to see someone spend thousands of dollars on lifts, bumpers, body armor, winches, compressors, engine modifications and then purchase awful tires that don’t perform well and make a ton of howling noise on the highway.

So the primary job of the tire is to transfer the torque of the drive line to the ground via traction. Traction is measured on various surfaces. A tire that works well on dry pavement may not provide much traction on a slippery rock, or snow. Designing a tire that performs well on all surfaces is extremely difficult...if not impossible. Design trade-offs have to be made to provide a tire that excels on a particular surface. They will not perform as well on other surfaces. So the trick is finding something that is balanced for a number of surfaces.

Off-road tires have, historically, had two annoying characteristics: They tended to be noisy on the highways, and the tread life was low. Improvements have been made. While there are still in-expensive off road tires out there with these same short-comings, the BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/As and the Goodyear Wrangler Kevlars are notable exceptions.

Both of these tires use a variable spacing on the tread to reduce highway noise. This makes for a much more pleasant highway driving experience...much quieter than other off-road tires. They also have great off-road traction as well as good traction on roads. The Goodyear tire also has very good traction in snow which makes this an ideal tire for our conditions here in Colorado.

As far as tread life is concerned, the BF Goodrich tire is rated at 40,000 miles (The Jeep Geek’s experience is that the BF Goodrich gets just under this lifespan). The Goodyear tire really excels here. It is rated at 60,000 miles. This additional lifespan makes the premium paid for the tire a more cost effective choice.

One further advantage of the Goodyear tire is the quality of the construction of the bead. The tire bead is so well formed that for tackling slippery rock, the tire can be aired down to 8 lbs. This increases the surface patch. This larger surface patch allows for more traction. In fact the tread of the tire extends pretty far down the sidewall of this tire. The BF Goodrich tire can also be aired down to about 15 lbs allowing for a large surface patch as well, but smaller than the Goodyear.

One final advantage for the Goodyear tire is that it uses Kevlar belts which makes it much harder to puncture that other
blogEntryTopper fabric or steel belts. All-n-all this Goodyear tire is a great tire and is the recommended tire for all of The Jeep Geeks friends.
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