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Old 09-08-2014, 10:11 AM   #11
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
... People often get confused these days by "ply ratings," which come from the old days and don't necessary identify how many belts are built into the tire. They aren't necessarily more puncture proof, although they might be; the primary reason for the difference in constructions is load though, not puncture resistance. ...
There's no need to be confused about ply ratings. It's true that the rating no longer indicates the physical number of ply layers in a tire. That's because newer materials like Kevlar are stronger than the old standard nylon ply. They kept the old nylon ply equivalence number as a relative indication of strength. So a modern 10 ply tire might have only 4 or 5 physical layers but in any case it's stronger than a tire rated at 8 ply.

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the primary reason for the difference in constructions is load though, not puncture resistance.
Very true but added puncture resistance is a secondary, and for me necessary, benefit of higher ply rating.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:41 PM   #12
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

I wish somebody would test puncture resistance, but alas no. At least before I get a new set of shoes. I guess there are SO many variables it would be pointless.

When I last looked at BFG T/A KOs, for example, the sidewalls were the same construction on each. The rep said the belts (same number but higher ply rating) were thicker on the E's, and that made the tire more "rugged" (he sorta notably didn't use "puncture resistant," but that's maybe caution). The tires definitely do not deflect as much in E range, which for some of us offroad that means more prone to puncture. But they do resist heat more, which especially if they lose some air, can be a big safety factor.

The D's used softer compounds and bigger treads, so were better (and higher rated) in snow and ice, and where stickier rubber helped. The tread depth is deeper by 13% on the D's; I dunno whether that would make them more or less puncture resistant. And they give a softer ride by a bit, if aired to conform to weight.

I dunno why they still use ply ratings. I would have thought they'd have been superseded by load range ratings, which do the same thing. Do they even list ply ratings on the sidewall anymore?
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:22 PM   #13
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Quick update after driving from the tire store back to work: Questioning the decision to go to an E rated tire was a pretty silly question in the end. Driving on the new E rated tires at 45 PSI all around in a totally EMPTY van is already night and day better than the junk P-tires that were on it. It literally feels like a different vehicle. I was a little concerned about putting some weight in this little 1/2 ton based on how it rode previously, but it is so much better now.

Once the snow flies I'll give an update on how the 'boring' Michelin M/S2's are working.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:44 AM   #14
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Hi Rockbender,
I just picked up an 06 AWD Express for camping purposes. I need some new tires on it (currently lt265/70/16) and I'm debating between P and LT ratings. How does your van handle the bumps with the new LT rated tires? I have my current tires at 50psi and can feel the bumps a bit more than I'd like for a long road trip. I've read a few articles that under inflating an e rated tire causes a lot of heat so I'm hesitant to go with an e rated if I need to under inflate it to get a decent ride. Thoughts?
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:45 AM   #15
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

To be honest I haven't put many miles on the Express thus far - it has been in the garage while I am building out the interior. From the little bit that I have driven it, I personally would not go with anything other than an LT tire (D or E range would be fine). The LT's may not absorb small bumps as well as a P tire, but they sure handle better and give a firmer feeling for the road. If you are putting any weight at all in the van I would lean towards the LT tires and I think most around here would agree. The van will drive better with a little weight in it too.

As far as pressure goes, the MS2's are rated for 3,000# @ 80 PSI. I'll probably start in the 45-50 PSI range (my van when complete shouldn't be more than 8k gvw / 4 = 2k per tire. 2000/3000 x 80 PSI = 53 PSI) and adjust for actual weight and do chalk tests on the tread for wear pattern.

What tires do you currently have?
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:44 PM   #16
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Thanks for replying.

It currently has BFG KOs on the back and two different brands that I can't remember on the front. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the Firestone Destination ATs in the stock size (245/75/16) as replacements.

You're probably right about it riding better with weight in it. There might be about 200lbs in it right now. Once I put the roof rack back on and add all of our gear, and possibly the trailer + car, she'll probably ride pretty nice. The more I think about loading it up the more the LT rated tires make sense.
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