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Old 12-09-2018, 04:17 PM   #1
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Best tire pressure for 4x4 SMB

We recently upgraded from a 2006 E250 to a 2012 E350 4x4 SMB. We’re trying to figure out the best tire pressures for different road conditions. The van specifications are 60 psi front and 80 psi rear. Are these still the best tire pressures given the modifications to the van when on paved roads - it weighs 10,000 lbs. When you go off road, how do you determine the best tire psi for different conditions? Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:23 PM   #2
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We recently upgraded from a 2006 E250 to a 2012 E350 4x4 SMB. We’re trying to figure out the best tire pressures for different road conditions. The van specifications are 60 psi front and 80 psi rear. Are these still the best tire pressures given the modifications to the van when on paved roads - it weighs 10,000 lbs. When you go off road, how do you determine the best tire psi for different conditions? Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated.

There's lots of tire threads on the forum with tons of input on this topic but it depends on what tires you have. E-rated and what is the load rating?


Generally 80 psi is for the max load which is ~3600lb for an E-rated tire which is overkill IMO. You could run less psi unless your pulling a trailer and have a more compliant ride.
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Old 12-09-2018, 04:29 PM   #3
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Tire pressure recommendations from Bill Burke (F/R PSI)

Highway (60/65)
Gravel (50/55)
Rocks/sand/snow surface (30/35).
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:27 PM   #4
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Tire pressure recommendations from Bill Burke (F/R PSI)

Highway (60/65)
Gravel (50/55)
Rocks/sand/snow surface (30/35).
Those are about the pressures I run with my KO2s.
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Old 12-09-2018, 11:40 PM   #5
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Same here . My TPMS light will get triggered if it goes much below 60. Not sure if it’s just mine but you will need to manually reset it when you air back up. If so it’s a pretty easy reset. Turn the the ignition to the on position (don’t start the van) and then press the emergency blinker switch 3 times. You will then be in training mode where you will need to let some air out of each tire until the horn beeps for each tire. Start with the front drivers side, then front passenger, then rear passenger and finally rear drivers side.
I usually train the tires and then add 2-3 psi in each tire to avoid it getting triggered until the next time you purposely air down.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Marcel Huijser View Post
Tire pressure recommendations from Bill Burke (F/R PSI)

Highway (60/65)
Gravel (50/55)
Rocks/sand/snow surface (30/35).
I agree ^^^

In heavy vans (+/- 10k) with E-rated tires, even my motorhome, I run 55ish up front and 60ish in the rear. Anything more and it's just a rougher ride, no difference in handling or mpg.
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:38 PM   #7
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Thanks all for your replies! Very helpful.
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:27 PM   #8
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If I do the calculations for my axle weights vs the load rating on my tires I should run 57 front and 63 rear. After a tire delamination at speed I tend to run a bit higher pressure to be conservative. The tire failure wasn't caused by overheating but I play it safe anyways.

I've been running about 65 front and 72 rear lately.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:37 PM   #9
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It all depends on van weight, tire size, and tire load rating. There are other threads with the details if you search the forum, but my understanding is that you can calculate your minimum tire pressure using official Tire & Rim tables (https://octopup.org/car/tires). Which tire manufacturer doesn't seem to matter.

For my van, which is a lighter (<9500 lbs) RB-50, I run 35 front & 50 rear on my D-rated LT305/70 R16 tires, and then air down below that when off-pavement.

This may seem low to some of you, but I did the math after weighing the van on each corner. I do watch the tire wear, and the temperature on my TPMS.

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