A completely unplanned for upgrade took place last week. We had to get new tires on the Jeep.
A few weeks back we went to Crossbar Ranch in Oklahoma to run some trails. The Jeep performed well and we didn't see that anything had happened to it. The rear passenger tire has always had a bit more wear on it which is common on most vehicles. The off roading took its toll on that tire while we were there with the rocks taking out some pretty good chunks of rubber. When we got home I decided to rotate the passenger side tires to put the lesser used front one on the rear. That is what began the road to replacing the tires.
While We Were Out
The day before heading out with a group of off roaders from the North Texas Jeep Club we decided to take the Jeep out and have Car Toys install a new radio. The old one that I hated finally stopped working. While driving I noticed some shaking of the steering. This was not happening before I swapped the tires. The shaking is a common issue with balancing. After Car Toys installed the radio we headed over to National Tire and Battery who had balanced them before. That's when the manager told us we had a slipped radial belt and it could not be balanced. I could only assume with the excessive wear that was showing on that particular tire and the excessive use as the main drive wheel that it had been damaged the previous week while off roading.
Decisions to be Made
It was late in the afternoon and this brought us to a new problem. Money. We had just spent quite a bit on drive train upgrades. We had 33" tires on the Jeep and have been building it to handle 35" tires. Moving to a larger tire is more expensive though. Then came the expense of the 33" tire vs the 35" tire. There is a significant cost increase between the two. We also had to get 5 tires so we would have a spare if we moved up to the 35" as we had been planning. Another factor was a small amount of dry rot on our tires. They had dry rot when we got the Jeep and we new they would need to be changed soon. It was just bad timing for us.
What Tires Did We Get
We asked what brands of tires and pricing NTB had available. We asked a lot of questions about the characteristics of the different brands as well. The final result was the NEXEN Roadian MTX RM7. It's not one of the big popular names of tires that most people seem to run but the specifications of the tire equaled or exceeded even those. The price was also manageable. Each tire was about $50 less than the average of the big name tires. Here is a breakdown of the specs for comparison to other tires.
Tread Depth: 21/32
Load Range: "F"- 12 Ply
Max Load: 3195
When it comes to the numbers the tires rank with all the popular brands most people gravitate towards. Only time will tell how they hold up on the road and trails.
How Did They Perform
On the road the Nexen's were a bit rougher than the tires we had. This is partly due to the "F"-12 Ply rating where most other off road tires are "E"- 10 ply rated. The noise level was the same as before, maybe even a bit less. Off road they seemed to perform flawless. We got into a variety of terrain. Mud, rocks, loose dirt and gravel and the tires grabbed perfectly. We did notice quite a bit less slipping while climbing rocks than before as well. Some of that could have been from the new rubber. For the first run with the new tires we were completely satisfied.