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Where the rubber hits the road. Discussion about drive train; (locking) diffs; wheels; hubs; suspension and, of course, tyres

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awbeattie381 awbeattie381 is offline
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Default Tyres and the Simpson

Hi All,

I have put my name down for a trip across the Simpson Desert with my 4wd club next June.

I recently fitted 32x11.5 BFG KM2 tyres on my 1989 V6 Paj. considering I only do a few thousand kays per year, these tyres will still have a lot of life left by the time the trip comes around.

Question is whether its worth changing back to a 31x10.5 BFG AT for the trip for fuel economy purposes? I do have a 146L long ranger tank plus jerry cans for the roof, but would it be worth dropping tyre size and changing tread pattern for the trip?

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
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Being a desert crossing I would go with a BFG AT over an MT as they give you the protection from staking plus the rough gibber plains etc and aren't nearly as aggressive when trying to drive over the sand instead of digging it
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I wouldn't hesitate to use mud tyres in the Simpson Desert - yes, tyre pressures will be a little more critical, but I would expect them to work well. Not that I wouldn't expect the BFG A/Ts to work well in the Simpson...

What I would be concerned about is commonality of spares / availability of replacements.

Your larger tyres have a higher load capacity, but they're still not high when compared against 16" tyres of the same overall size - no huge incentive to take them on that basis.

If things go pear-shaped in the desert, and you need to start begging spare tyres from other club members, what sizes will they be running? Have you checked rim and tyre compatibilities?

32 x 11.5 on a 15" rim may not be easy to find in remote areas, but 31 x 10.5 used to be the most common 15" tyre size in remote areas - I have no idea if that still holds true.

There you go - a long-winded way to say "I have no idea!"
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Why do you think you should drop the tyre size/pattern? Muddies will be just fine in the desert, just may need to lower the pressures a bit more.
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awbeattie381 awbeattie381 is offline
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At a very basic level, I know that road tyres are the best for sand, but obviously thats an extreme view and considering ill be on rough roads, carrying a load and doing sand, a LT tyre is the obvious choice. I also know that ATs are better on sand than muddies as they dont tend to dig in as much. I am pretty new to the muddy world and am yet to get to a beach to test them out.

My idea of dropping sizes back to a 31 is purely for fuel efficiency purposes, but nj swb makes a good point...not many people run a 32 inch tyre on a 15 inch rim! Ill be taking 2 spares but its still something to consider.

Based on your replies, doesnt seem like running the muddies is as bad as I thought...just pay attention to tyre pressures.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awbeattie381 View Post
At a very basic level, I know that road tyres are the best for sand.
I know this is "common wisdom", but I strongly disagree. Road tyres don't dig, because they don't grip the sand well enough. People think they're "best" because they don't get stuck to the point that they can't back out. But I'll bet they also get stopped a lot more often, and a lot sooner.

In my experience playing in sand, more aggressive tyres work better - at the right pressure. Playing at Peake (sand playground here in SA) the Pajeros with the most aggressive tyres seemed to have the least trouble. Years ago, playing with a mixed group around Beachport, the vehicles with A/Ts struggled where the vehicles with muddies didn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awbeattie381 View Post
Based on your replies, doesnt seem like running the muddies is as bad as I thought...just pay attention to tyre pressures.
Precisely.
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Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nj swb View Post

In my experience playing in sand, more aggressive tyres work better - at the right pressure. Playing at Peake (sand playground here in SA) the Pajeros with the most aggressive tyres seemed to have the least trouble. Years ago, playing with a mixed group around Beachport, the vehicles with A/Ts struggled where the vehicles with muddies didn't.

[1]:
That is really interesting...I would prefer not to buy 6 new (or even second hand) tyres, so hearing that muddies can perform ok in the sand is positive. As far as fuel consumption goes, I guess Ill just have to run some calcs...I used to get about 14.5L/100 on a trip running 31 ATs...havent done the calcs since the 32 muds, minor body lift and 3/4 roof rack went on...
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how about these beauties

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/4-X-New-3...oAAOSwRUhY9WyL

...

...
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Either tyre will be fine. I would be using the tyres with the most tread depth.

The KM2 at 25psi carry 716kg where as the KO2 only carry 687kg per tyre, so KM2.

The KM2 is 26mm larger in diameter so you can get a longer footprint, so KM2.

The KM2 is 26mm wider so this will create a wider bow wave than the KO2 and the KM2 will require more power to drive through the sand, so KO2.

The KM2 has a more open tread pattern so it is more likely to get punctured in the voids than a KO2, so KO2.

The KM2 will have more traction, if the desert is wet then there is some seriously sticky mud on some very long clay pans in the middle of the desert, so the KM2.

So if the tyres are of equal tread depth or close to it, then the KM2 at 3/5 vs the KO2 2/5 is the choice I would make.

"common wisdom" that a wide smooth treaded tyre are best is sand is a myth, particularly when it comes to sand dunes and a fully loaded 4wd. Largest diameter and low pressure, build up the correct amount of momentum without bouncing and getting wheel spin, then ease off on the right foot once you detect any wheel spin or just before you crest the dune so you have just enough momentum to get your front wheels over the crest and your back wheels on the crest. Aim to be almost at a stand still when you crest the dune, any faster and you risk launching off the crest ,and you have wasted fuel.

When you are fully loaded and on a hard flat surface, measure your deflated footprint length, aim for 350mm to 400mm long, depending on the tyre and the loads you are carrying it could be any where between 14psi and 20psi.

OJ.
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