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Rookie tire and rear suspension questions

Frontier Eagle tires suspension

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#1 cabinfever

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 12:29 AM

Greetings -- I've been an occasional wallflower on this forum for a while now, I always find useful stuff on here! Now I am a bit overwhelmed and thought I'd reach out for some feedback. I have a 2016 Nissan Frontier with a 2001 FWC Eagle and am looking to beef up our tires and rear suspension. FWC has recommended the Timbren SES for the rear suspension and one of three tire options, all E-rated: BFG KO2 all-terrain, Toyo Open Country (although they said these would be louder, lower mileage), and the Goodyear Wrangler. My dad has also recommended the Supersprings to me for the rear suspension. 

 

We do a lot of highway miles since every summer we do a camping road trip between OR and WY. Also a fair amount of dirt/forest service/BLM roads and a bit of 4WD roads but limited these days now that I have a toddler. Camper is on the truck between April-ish and November-ish. 

 

I try to go to Les Schwab when I can since they have such good warranty/customer service and lots of locations for repairs where we often travel, and they recommended their Backcountry 10-ply tire instead of the ones listed above (I guess they don't carry those other ones?) 

 

Long story short my questions are these:

1) Does anyone have experience with the Timbren SES and/or Superspring rear suspension upgrade kits? Pros/cons of each? I am pretty sure I have decided that I want this option rather than an added leaf or air bag based on our usage. 

 

2) Can anyone provide a comparison between the Les Schwab's Backcountry tire vs. the BFG KO2 or Toyo Wrangler? 

 

Thanks!!!


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#2 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 12:50 AM

I have Schwab Open Country on my Ford Ranger, and I think they’re overkill. I’m running Cooper’s on my F350 and very happy with them. If I were to do it over again, it would be Coopers on the Ranger.

Ski3Pin has a comparison thread between the BFGs and Coopers that is worth finding and reading. I’ll try and get a link for you.

http://www.wanderthe...sonal-critique/
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#3 Beach

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 12:59 PM

Ran super springs on my 1st gen Tundra with Michelin E range MS2 tires. Very happy with performance. Now running Cooper ATP on a 3/4 ton and very happy with them. I did try BFG ATs KO2 on the 3/4 ton but didn't like them, they felt squirmy, even at 80psi. Don't know if it was sidewall flex or thread squirm but all is well with the Coopers now.Don't forget about upgrading to HD shocks

Edited by Beach, 06 May 2018 - 01:02 PM.

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#4 Optimistic Paranoid

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 03:43 PM

As a general rule of thumb, a chain like Les Schwab is ALWAYS going to try to sell you their house brand instead of a national brand - they make more money that way.  Which is not to say that they are necessarily BAD tires, just that they probably aren't putting YOUR needs first.

 

Why don't you take a look at THIS article:

 

https://expeditionpo...meets-the-road/


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#5 Advmoto18

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 09:53 PM

I used 3 sets of BFG KO A/T tires on my (now with a new owner) 2003 F-250.  First set lasted 50,000 miles, second set went ~45,000.  Could have gone perhaps another 5k but changed them for a new set of KO for a 6000 trip out west.  For the conditions I encountered, I thought they were the best tires I had ever used.  Now these were the KOs, not the new KO2.

 

I'm planning on going with the KO2 on my F-350 in a year or less.  I like the Michelins (great fuel mileage, low noise, comfortable ride), but, off-road performance in sand and dirt is poor to nonexistent.  And the Michelin performed very poorly in snow as well. 

 

Costco will be ordering/installing a set of KO2 for me when I decide to change over.

 

I think most folks have mileage issues with these tires on heavier trucks due to perceived/proper inflation.  When you get into the 32"+ diameter tire range, it is very important to inflate the tire for the actual load carried by that tire and/or axle.

 

Ever since the Firestone tire fiasco a decade ago, tire manufactures are very reluctant to publish any inflation data (if at all).  And all but one (to my knowledge) defer to the vehicle manufacturer for proper tire inflation.

 

Fortunately, Toyo tires still offers inflation tables based on load.  I've used these table for years for my BFG and Michelin tires.  I have a psi for a fully loaded truck/camper (wet) for a trip and another inflation psi for a dry camper in the bed.  The camper is in the bed 24/7/365.  Using a Toyo tire of same size, style and load rating as the tires installed on your rig will get you close enough to make a difference IMO.  Of course, proceed at your on risk and YMMV.


Edited by Advmoto18, 06 May 2018 - 10:10 PM.

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#6 JHanson

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 06:52 PM

I would strongly recommend staying with an E-rated BFG or similar tire. A 10-ply carcass is simply overkill.

 

I also recommend staying away from Timbrens, which are overload devices that only engage once your suspension has sagged. You need a proper rear suspension that maintains a level ride. You can do this with aftermarket springs if you plan on leaving the camper mounted all the time, or with air bags such as the Firestones if you'll remove it between trips. In fact if you're going to take the camper on and off air bags are the only way to maintain proper ride and handling both empty and loaded.

 

Possibly the ultimate rear suspension setup for a camper would be a set of springs that levels the truck with the camper on and empty, with an additional set of air bags to fine-tune the ride and ride height.


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#7 cabinfever

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 09:18 PM

Thanks for all the helpful responses! I have a few follow up questions: Beach, regarding HD shocks -- is this in addition to installing supersprings or the timbrens? 

 

 

Ran super springs on my 1st gen Tundra with Michelin E range MS2 tires. Very happy with performance. Now running Cooper ATP on a 3/4 ton and very happy with them. I did try BFG ATs KO2 on the 3/4 ton but didn't like them, they felt squirmy, even at 80psi. Don't know if it was sidewall flex or thread squirm but all is well with the Coopers now.Don't forget about upgrading to HD shocks

 

Note that I'm not a regular off-road driver; lot of highway miles for long road trips to see family, good amount of graded gravel roads, only a small amount of 4WD road/trail travel compared to the hwy/gravel roads. 


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#8 cabinfever

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 09:20 PM

I would strongly recommend staying with an E-rated BFG or similar tire. A 10-ply carcass is simply overkill.

 

I also recommend staying away from Timbrens, which are overload devices that only engage once your suspension has sagged. You need a proper rear suspension that maintains a level ride. You can do this with aftermarket springs if you plan on leaving the camper mounted all the time, or with air bags such as the Firestones if you'll remove it between trips. In fact if you're going to take the camper on and off air bags are the only way to maintain proper ride and handling both empty and loaded.

 

Possibly the ultimate rear suspension setup for a camper would be a set of springs that levels the truck with the camper on and empty, with an additional set of air bags to fine-tune the ride and ride height.

 

Here's where my tire ignorance really comes out: isn't E-rated and 10-ply the same thing? 

 

Regarding the Timbrens, my understanding is that the air bags and timbrens do the same thing, only with the timbrens there is no air pressure to worry about maintaining. 


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#9 Optimistic Paranoid

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 11:09 PM

Here's where my tire ignorance really comes out: isn't E-rated and 10-ply the same thing? 

 

The "ply rating" is a holdover from the old bias ply days. When they needed to hold higher air pressure to handle more weight, they would literally go up from 2 plies to 4 plies to 6 plies, etc.

 

With radial tires, they ALL have two ply sidewalls, with the exception of certain off-road tires that add a third ply - often kevlar - for protection against sidewall cuts.

 

They are actually listing Load Range E as being "10 ply equivalent".


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Regards

John

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#10 ntsqd

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 01:36 AM

I bought a pair of the very first BFGs to come out with 3 ply sidewalls. They only came in the 10.50R15 size initially. I'm not even sure I want to guess how old this pic is! This was the result of the first trip out with them, a sidewall hole. I had previously banged the (2 ply sidewall) Armstrong Norseman's into that same point many times w/o a problem. Moral of all of this: There's more to sidewall puncture resistance than just sidewall plies. BTW, I saw that same point claim a sidewall on a JK going down Odessa Cyn. 3 years ago.

 

i-R2TZLXT-M.jpg


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