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David A. Wright

New Sneakers

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After being spooned on in March, 2007, it's getting time to replace my well worn (but still legal) B.F. Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires on my 2002 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 pickup.  These tires have never let me down.  But, a set of four is costly nowadays, the Tacoma is now 14 years old, I don't do off road like I used to anymore nor do I have the income I did back in '07.

So, I'm looking for a cheaper alternative that won't give me countless flats just from gravel stuck in the tread (I had a set of Goodyears that were terrible in that way on a former truck of mine), have an agressive enough tread for snow and light mud, and last for more than two or three years.  I don't carry heavy loads in the truck (it seldom has anything in the bed) and when I do have to haul a ton of heating pellets I use my trailer.

I haven't done an exhaustive search yet.  Local stores here want within a hundred dollars of my Goodrich's or Toyo tires for even off brand LTrated tires, so that's out (if I have to pay $1,000 than I'll just go with BFG's).  But I've come across a couple of interesting looking alternatives, both available in Reno.

First, is the Big O brand Bigfoot A/T.

RoadSideStitch.aspx?TireId=31349&Size=la

 

The other looks even more interesting, the Cooper Discoverer RTX.

TrailcutterRT.jpg

 

Just wondering if anyone here has had any experience with these or has other recommendations.

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Never have heard of the brand.  The one you mentioned looks nice, but I'd like a bit more agressive tread.  I'll take a look at their line.  Thanks.

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Anyone have any experience with Cooper Discoverer AT3 or its Mastercraft equivelent, the Courser AXT?

Someone suggested on another forum the Toyo M-55, which looks nice on paper.  Anyone have/had these?

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Basically I'm trying to find the best value within a total cost of $750 or less for a set of four tires.  Otherwise I'd just go back to what works, the BFG All Terrain T/A tires, but they're now north of $1,100 locally.  Just can't spend more than a month's income on tires or put it on a credit card and pay high interest for months.  My tax return will pay for most of the cost in the range I mentioned above.

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4 hours ago, El Polvo said:

 well, I liked those Faulken wild peaks but Bob had a bad experience with the set he bought. 

I think it was a fluke, so I would say give the Faulken a shot. I would hate to steer you away from good tires due to my own issues with them. I do love the BFG AT's though, plan on putting those on my new Armada soon. I am digging the new Nissan!

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Thanks for everyone's input. I've chosen door #3.

Behind door #3 is the Cooper Discoverer A/T3. This tire is available in 4-ply and 10 ply. I've chosen to go with the 10-ply, which is the same number of tread plies as my BFG All Terrain T/As. I hope this will give me the best protection between flats from gravels and rocks.

I've chosen my local Winnemucca OK Tire store, who quoted me $825.85 total for four tires, mounting, balancing, old tire disposal, taxes and such. I called around to the big box Reno tire stores and their quotes were from $25-$27 less. In other words, I keep my money local (not a chain store), and I don't have to drive 335 miles round trip to Reno for such a small savings; plus have to repeat everytime I am ready for my "free" tire rotation or warranty issues.

By the way, the Mastercraft equivelent of the A/T3 is available in 4-ply only.

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New tires on the Tacoma were spooned on the truck February 18th, 2016.  The Tacoma had 160,395 miles.  Tires installed are Cooper Discoverer A/T3 in size LT265/70R16 (10-ply), which is the same size as my former B.F. Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires; as well as the same size the truck came from the factory with (though the OEM tire wasn’t an LT spec tire).  The Coopers cost me $825.85 total cost (including tax, installation and old tire disposal) at OK Tire in Winnemucca.

I checked Reno big box stores and prices ran an average of $27 less; that is not enough savings to justify the nearly 350 mile round trip for tires; let alone routine rotations, warranty issues, etcetera.  And I keep my money supporting a local business.

This is the fourth set of tires since purchasing the truck new in June, 2002 – OEM rubber was B.F. Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A’s; next up came two sets of B.F. Goodrich All Terrain T/A’s; now replaced with the Coopers. 

A note, last month I was visiting family near Twenty Nine Palms and the Discount Tire in Yucca Valley was around $40 or so less than Reno prices for these same tires.  So I assume Southern California and likely other big city locations will be less than the Reno area stores (there are four in the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area).

The tires have an acceptably aggressive look, and the tread is quite deep.  They don’t have multiple plies in the sidewalls, as do B.F. Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires, but it will be unlikely that my truck will regularly tackle stony dim trails like it did in it’s (and my) younger days.  Topography in north-central Nevada isn’t as rocky or rugged as farther south.

First impressions: The truck is considerably quieter in the cabin and the ride seems to have softened a little over sharp frost heaves in my local roads.  Though there is still plenty of snow within a few minutes of my home, I haven’t yet tried them out in muddy and snowy conditions.

Experience with B.F.G. All Terrain T/As are that the tires get noisy and incite wander and wiggle to the truck at speeds in their last quarter of tire life.  However, the Tacoma is still wandering a bit, likely due to the fact that it’s getting old and the first 123,000 miles of its life included a high percentage of rough off roading in the Sierra Nevada, Death Valley and southwestern Nevada countryside.  It’s going in for an alignment next week and I’ve asked the mechanic to check the suspension and alignment parts for wear.

A timeline: The previous tires were purchased March 9th, 2007 at Simpson’s Tire in Bishop.  The truck had 94,196 miles on it when the tires were purchased.  I think I got my money’s worth out of the B.F.G.’s – just shy of nine years and 66,199 miles.  The tread was still within legal limits, with no irregular wear patterns.  Zero flats.  Zero issues.  I paid $916.00 total for those tires.  Prices are considerably higher for them now.

I’ll update this thread in time as circumstances warrant.

tires1.jpg

tires2.jpg

tires3.jpg

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Just checking through my old threads and see this needs some updating.

I've put about 2,200 miles on the truck since installation. Zero issues with the tire. Ride is rather stiff, but it's a heavy tire and a light truck. The truck went into the shop for the alignment that I mentioned in my original post. Front end was out of line, which was the cause of wander. The mechanic gave all the front end parts a clean bill of health. Given that all is what the truck came from the factory with, all the off reading I put the truck through, speaks to the quality design and manufacture that Toyota put into it.

I did have the tires rebalanced once. Vibration in one front tire was apparent starting right at 70 mph. Since legal interstate speed limit hereabouts is 75, meant it was at its worst at that speed. There is still some vibration, though the truck is seldom used on the Interstate except for short jaunts.

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I noticed yours have a little 3 at the end, I wonder if they fixed the issues I had with them with an update? I lost three of them near Rye Patch, but I didn't have the 10 ply, so that could have also been the reason I had the issues. Thanks for the update Dave. :-)

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I recently put some LT285/75 R16 E Hankook ATm PF10 on my Frontier.  So far I like them.

  Those Coopers look pretty good on there. Those older Tacomas are built well!!!

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2 hours ago, Bob said:

I noticed yours have a little 3 at the end, I wonder if they fixed the issues I had with them with an update? I lost three of them near Rye Patch, but I didn't have the 10 ply, so that could have also been the reason I had the issues. Thanks for the update Dave. :-)

I haven't a clue as to the history of that tire model. I chose the tire primarily on an educated guess/hunch based on research, value and price. My experience with the tires remains to be seen, but so far, I am happy with my purchase.

The Tacoma came shod from the factory with B.F. Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A tires. I have to admit that they stood up to some pretty harsh off roading before I spooned on my first set of B.F. Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires. Lots of slice and dice with zero air loss. I can't say the same for the Goodyear Wrangler passenger rated, 4-ply tires that came shod on my former truck, a 1996 Chevrolet S-10 4x4 pickup I bought new. Ten flats in one year, all but one flat from stone punctures of gravel stuck in the tread. That truck never saw the off road action during its lifetime that my Tacoma saw in its time with its factory equipped tires. My experience with those Wranglers are the primary reason I went with an LT rated tire today.

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1 hour ago, El Polvo said:

Those older Tacomas are built well!!!

I can't complain. It currently sits in the drive with 162,300 miles.

I just replaced the rear passenger side tail/brake light bulb last Monday. That is only the third lamp I've replaced since I drove the truck off the dealer lot June 22, 2002. I replaced the same bulb two or three years ago, one license plate light in 2008. Both headlight bulbs are still those that the truck came with brand new.

The AC still blows cold. The truck has never been in the repair shop except for the recommended timing belt/water pump replacement in 2007. It is on its second battery, third set of shocks, fourth set of tires. Only the door handles on the driver side have been replaced (covered in another thread).

The truck has been on its side. It has been largely submerged (enough to fill the cab with water. White is a great color for planned neglect, but the truck cleans up very well. The truck has never been waxed. When I lived near Bishop, my big trees shaded the truck for a major part of each day. But here in Winnemucca the truck sits daily in full sun. The truck also spent its first two years sitting in the Death Valley sun on work days. The interior still looks good, only a couple inches of wear on the driver seat back edge where my butt rubs getting in and out of the truck.

I retired at the end of July, but still haven't washed the truck, but did rub out the headlight lenses and cleaned up the interior.. The lights were pretty hazy and it had been a couple years since they last got some attention.

The brakes have never been serviced, they feel like they will need new pads and shoes soon. The clutch feels like it might be getting long in tooth.

It's been a darned good truck.

 

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Those older ones were built better for sure. I got my 2000 frontier in sept. 1999.  I did replace the lower control arm, (got a little rough with it one day and cracked it on a jump) and drove the dog poop clean out of it. Oh, and I was hit from behind at a light on the way to work and was paid for a rear bumper but fab'd  one instead. It was the 2wd desert runner but that never stopped me. I would load up a 275 gallon water tote in the bed and drive the 25 miles back to my property like a vato low rider in the back on the dirt roads for yrs.  Lol , I could count the oil changes on one hand when it finally quit at 241k.  Bet that Tacoma would do the same just keep taking a beating. 

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I admit it. I am a procrastinator. A long time has passed as I tell myself that some day I will check into it. Yesterday was finally when some day came.

My truck was riding harshly. Too harsh. I know, LT rated truck tires on a relatively light truck, I should expect a stiff ride. But sharp pavement irregularities were abnormally jarring and I knew this wasn't right. A slight wobble in the steering wheel driving straight ahead also wasn't there before the new tires were spooned on. For some time now, I kept thinking to myself that maybe the tires had too much air in them. But I kept procrastinating in checking the air pressure. And every day getting irked about how harsh the ride was.

The factory sticker on the door post suggests fairly low pressure for OEM spec tires. Years ago, when I replaced those OEM tires for stock size B.F. Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires, the dealer put in 35 psi at all four corners, about 5 psi higher than suggested by the door sticker. With those tires, I immediately dropped the pressures to what the sticker said. In short order I started noticing accelerated tread wear. Those tires were also LT rated, 10-ply tires, as are my current Cooper Discovery set. The dealer back then told me that with the size and weight of my Tacoma, 35 psi was the best pressure for those Goodrich tires. Time and miles on two sets of Goodrich All Terrains proved him right.

Yesterday I took a pressure check and my hunch about too high pressure was correct. The pressure in all four tires were between 51 and 56 psi. Not sure what would be the best pressure for the Coopers (mainly due to the fact that my Goodrich tires were triple ply sidewall, versus single ply for the current Cooper tires), I figured that I would start with 35 psi at all four corners. And so I dropped pressures in all four tires.

A 10 mile run over paved roads that I normally run that have proven jarring showed a markable improvement in ride quality. I didn't expect a pillow soft ride and I didn't get one. But the results were obviously tangible. And the light steering wheel wobble went away as well.

I will keep an eye on ad normal wear and adjust if needed. Maybe. Some day.

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 I run the E rated tires on my mid sized Frontier. It rides stiff partially due to the rear springs are stiffer than stock. I run 35-40 psi on mine. The '05 & newer ones have sensor valve stems and over pressure will set the alarm off. 

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2017-01-07_06_sighting-in-ruger-10-22.jpg

2017-01-07_07_grass-valley-view.jpg

Had a few inches of snowfall.  First relatively real test of the new tires in the white fluff.  The snow was deeper than it looked, plus there was fresh powder over three or four inches of crusty snow/ice.  Went to an abandoned quarry above a friend of mine’s place.  Two track road up a slope, with a couple of off camber pitches.  Went to sight in the scope of my Ruger 10/22.  Had to make three attempts to clear the steepest section to the level shown here.  Never had that issue with my BFG All Terrain T/A’s, even when worn.  BFG's have a definite edge in snow traction.

First photo shows my truck, which was turned around and backed in where we had set up a target, so I could use the hood of the truck to brace myself against.  The second photo shows the way we had come in and the view east out over Grass Valley, south of Winnemucca.  The slope where I had issues is not in the photo.

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Nice update, sounds like they aren't too bad in the snow.  I have been enjoying my BFG's, been putting them through a lot of off road conditions, mud, snow, etc. We have been getting a ton of snow here. 

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