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Old 06-24-2012, 06:59 AM   #1
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THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

The more I look into tires the more confused I get. I read reviews and some people rave about a particular tire and then the next guy disses the same tire. So, how do I get the right tire?

What I want in a tire is low road noise for interstate driving and good tread on dirt roads (not 4wheeling type) I have 2WD.

My hubs have 7 lugs and I will have an Action Van 4" lift.

Looking at 285/70R17 with an E rating.

BFG has a new Rugged Terrain TA in this size....has anyone tried it?
Falken has the Rocky Mountain ATS but reviews are all over the place + & -

I will be doing a lot of interstate driving to get from VT to the west then a lot of non 4WD dirt roads at state and NP's.

Any suggestions as to your experiences would be greatly appreciated before I drop $2K on tires and wheels.

Thanks,

jjtwister
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

I dropped my van off at SMB Fresno last week to get some stuff done, and noticed that quite a few of the vans there were wearing Nitto Terra Grapplers. They look like a good compromise between road and trail. Sort of like BFGs but load range E. I have the gnarly Toyos on my van which I love in the dirt but have nothing good to say about their on-road performance, to say nothing of their cost and service life. (And weight).
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

Always too may choices (and opinions) with tires!
In a few 1000 miles I'll be replacing the BFG MT's with BFG AT's on my van. I've never had a problem with BFG tires (2 vehicles / 16 tires), however I've never used the rugged trail so can't comment on that. You might look at the Hankook ATM's. They have a tire in that size but unfortunately their HT (Highway Terrain) line does not. On my 4x4 Jeep Comanche I recently went from BFG MT's to the Hankook ATM's and am amazed how quiet they are. No problems in 5000 mile and very little wear noticed. Noticeably easier on the pocket book too.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:05 AM   #4
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Re: THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

The BFG Rugged Terrain TA looks like a pretty decent road tire with limited off road abilities. It should do the job for you. I prefer something with a little more open tread. I'm running a tire from Les Schwab. I know you don't have any Schwabies out in your part of the country but here is an example of what I mean by a little more open tread.

Link to what the tread pattern of a BFG Rugged Terrain TA looks like
http://www.bfgoodrichtires.com/tire-sel ... re-details

Picture of the Les Schwab Open Country XTX Sport
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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Re: THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

Another tire to consider is the Michelin LTX, either AS or AT. These tires are very rugged, last a long time (over 50K on my 10K# van), hold air, are quiet on the highway and are not cheap. The AS (All Season) is a good choice for an occasional dirt/gravel road. The AT (All Terrain) is a little more open for more trails.

A lot of users want a more off-road oriented tire than these Michelins, but that doesn't sound like your use. These are primarily a highway tire that is tough enough to use off-road. I've had mine on some nasty 'roads' in Alaska and Labrador, and I couldn't ask for a better tire for that.

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Old 06-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
Another tire to consider is the Michelin LTX, either AS or AT. These tires are very rugged, last a long time (over 50K on my 10K# van), hold air, are quiet on the highway and are not cheap.
Mike
I second the Michelin LTX. I'm on my third set (over 2 vans) and am particularly pleased.

I'm also 2WD and drive mostly highway. But, I live on a dirt road and even in the winter, I have no traction issues with my open differential.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:06 PM   #7
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Re: THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

I too will give Michelin the thumbs up. I always feel anything I have put them on has driven better after they were installed. This includes almost new tires replaced with Michelins just becasue I like them so much. I have used them on my cars and trucks for 20 plus years with no problems at all. I will also say that I have had no problems with BFG tires either and they are owned by Michelin. I currently have the LTX M/S on my van, and they have been great. The van is 2wd with traction control and a limited slip diff and I am surprised how good it goes off road, in snow, on dirt roads and even sand if you keep it going, we haven't been stuck yet even at Pismo Beach. I have most of the parts to convert it to 4x4 but picking the right tires has been a big concern, that and we use it so much. I think I will stick with some type of Michelin because we use the van for long trips and never plan to do any hard off roading. Like Mike said they are not cheap but they do last longer than most so the miles per dollar paid makes them a good value. They also usually give you slightly better fuel mileage as well.

Also I dont think you van is 7 lug. I have never seen it on a van unless its something new. The Ford hub caps for a long time have only have 7 (why who knows) but the rims should be 8. Pull the cover off and check unless you already have. If it is only 7 is it a E-150 or E-250 light duty? I know there have been some Ford pick ups through the years that were only 7 but I thought all of the vans were 5, 6 or 8. I know that in 2008 they made some changes to the vans that made more parts the same between the E150s and the E250s and 350s. Things like brakes, front and rear axles thats why I would think they would be 8 even on a 150, could be wrong, have been before.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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Re: THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

I also liked the Michelin LTX tires that came on my 2001 E-150 XLT. That van was used for high mileage business travel mostly on highways.
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #9
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Re: THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

This Ford wheel cover has the 7 lugs but the steel rim underneath actually has 8 lugs.



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Ford-7-Lug-Wheel-Cover.gif  
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:37 AM   #10
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Re: THE RIGHT TIRE & WHEEL

Thank you all for your responses. Being a "novice" I did not realize that the hubcaps looked like they had 7 lugs but the actual hubs have 8. Now I have that piece of the puzzle put together.

Regarding tires: yes, too many choices and, I am looking for a compromise. I will check out all your suggestions and make my decision.

Again,

thanks to the forum I am making good choices with less costly mistakes.

jjtwister
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