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Thread: Do I need to go big?

  1. #1
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    Default Do I need to go big?

    I run a stock Tacoma and its my daily driver. I enjoy adventuring off road but don't plan on getting into rock crawling or anything super technical. I was dreaming of bigger tires because they would look cooler, but the practical side of me wants to stay with stock diameter for the mpg. Sticking with the stock 31 size have any downsides besides not looking cool? I have been off road plenty with no issues but I ran across a thread somewhere that said 32 was minimum requirement. Any reason for that?

    Sent from my moto e5 (XT1920DL) using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferball View Post
    Sticking with the stock 31 size have any downsides besides not looking cool?
    Clearance. You can get by with smaller tires, depending on armor, acceptance of body damage, and trail selection. Ecgreen can give more specific answers on small-tire wheeling in a Taco...

    Quote Originally Posted by ferball View Post
    I have been off road plenty with no issues but I ran across a thread somewhere that said 32 was minimum requirement. Any reason for that?
    TLDR: minimum requirements are up to run leader.

    Remember that while this is not a Jeep-specific forum/club/gathering... it is predominantly Jeep. Also when the original creators of the 32" min rule/thread they were trying to accomodate for a large variety of vehicles. Enforcement of 32" is more dependant on run leader and trail selection for said run.
    Eg. For a stock/newbie run around Fitzwilliam (like what Glenn has led in the past for a newbie run) I would not necessarily mandate 32". However for a stock run as what I'm leading end of the month, its 32" & some armor or 33" (but also depending on vehicle)
    Why? Because on 32" metric (many come out < 31" measured) my truck frequently touches on the rocks ON THIS PARTICULAR ROUTE I have planned. You CAN get through without scraping provided you are very good at picking lines and the basketball to microwave-sized rocks haven't been knocked out of place by the previous vehicle... and it's dry... and you're aired down enough to prevent tire slip but not so much to reduce clearance too much...

    You can go to a larger tire and keep your mpg depending on how your truck is set up. Eg. V6 auto on 235/85/16 tires (32" metric) will lose little if any. Narrower tires weigh less for same height. Also when aired down narrow tires perform better in most situations due to longer footprint, allowing for better terrain conformity (rock wrap). They also result in less rolling resistance. And in that size most all tires are still offered. Its not till you try to run 255/85/16 you run short of choices.
    -TYLER - - Illegitimi non carborundum - -
    '14 Nissan Frontier SV 4x4 V6 Auto
    -----3" lift with Nisstec MK84 coilovers & OME leafs, HeftyFab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, WARN Winch & bumper, 32" Duratracs
    '15 Nissan Xterra Pro4X
    -----Heftyfab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, 32" Duratracs

  3. #3
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    I will chime in a little later today. Short answer...don't need to go huge. Need armor
    "I hope you get hit by a goose, right in the sway bar!" -anon

    2015 Tacoma Access 4-banger (aka 'Scratchy') -> 255/85r16 ST Maxx, FJC wheels, 3" OME 887s/full dakar pack, CBI sliders and full skids, Pelfreybilt Hybrid bumper, ****tybilt 9.5 XRC winch, sway bar go by bye, ARB on-board air, many many zip-tie
    1989 Ford Bronco II (aka 'Babe the Blue Pig') -> 31x10.5r15 Cheap ATs, 1.5" lift (RC coils/shocks and WULF shackles), 2.9l hamster-power

  4. #4
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    Your true size depends on what kind of terrain you want to run and your budget. 32" will probably run fine without hurting power and mpg.

    That said, armor is much more important. Going up to 32 or 33 inch tires won't eliminate the need for it. Without armor you will damage body, frame and possibly something more critical.

    Skill and armor can make up for large tires and keeps things more interesting. I have a coworker who started with 31s on his Toyota, kept upgrading and now rolls on on 40s. We were talking a while back and he wishes he had just stayed small, makes trails more interesting. And breakage is more likely with bigger tires.

    My recommendation, get armor and throw 32" on next time you need tires.
    Jason

    '95 Cherokee - "in progress"

    '06 Jeep Liberty - Sold to Chance

  5. #5
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    I understand the gain in clearance but I wonder if the benefit might be over stated because we are talking diameter you only gain half an inch for every inch of tire size.

    I am intrigued by the idea of narrower taller tires as I had not considered those profiles.

    I also am more about "overlanding" than "rock crawling" so I tend to drive around the mud pit if I can rather than go through it. But I do understand the appeal/need of big beefy tires for climbing walls and off roading in more aggressive manner.

    Sent from my moto e5 (XT1920DL) using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferball View Post
    I understand the gain in clearance but I wonder if the benefit might be over stated because we are talking diameter you only gain half an inch for every inch of tire size.

    I am intrigued by the idea of narrower taller tires as I had not considered those profiles.

    o ti I also am more about "overlanding" than "rock crawling" so I tend to drive around the mud pit if I can rather than go through it. But I do understand the appeal/need of big beefy tires for climbing walls and off roading in more aggressive manner.

    Sent from my moto e5 (XT1920DL) using Tapatalk
    I ran 235/85r16 (technically a 32) on my Tacoma and I loved those tires. Now they are skinny, like 9.5 inches wide skinny. With that said, I wheeled some pretty tough trails on those little tires. Also keep in mind you might need a narrower wheel for that size (mine are 7.5 inches wide). Another nice thing about that size is that you might not hit your UCAs if the backspace on your wheel is 4.75 inches or less. Finally, as Tyler said, you may actually see in increase in MPG with a narrower tire.

    Now I run 255/85r16, the skinny 33, and I have not seen much of a drop in MPG. Keep in mind I have the 2.7 manual. So I still get around 19mpg. DO NOT run 255s with a 2.7 auto without a gear change BTW. v6, your good. v6+manual = awesome combo for 255s. My 255s also fit my truck with no modifications. Is there a difference in wheeling these two sizes? ABOSOLUTLY. Do you NEED 33s to go serious places? ABOSOLUTLY not. Wheeling is a game of inches. Many. many, many, many (can I add another many?) times I have seen ppl on obstacles hung up by just a half an inch. Really, it happens constantly.

    Even so, you can go A TON of places on 32s. Tyler has wheeled some serious S*&% on 32s. You have to realize though, that this is the granite state and they call it that for a reason. Its not like wheeling out west, where you can go for miles and see no rocks. Overlanding in the northeast is no joke and you will be presented with obstacles of varying sizes eventually. Think rocks the size of microwaves (and basketballs and bassoons). With that being said, no matter what tire you decide on, skids plates and sliders are a must. I would rather wheel 31s with full armor than 33s without any.
    "I hope you get hit by a goose, right in the sway bar!" -anon

    2015 Tacoma Access 4-banger (aka 'Scratchy') -> 255/85r16 ST Maxx, FJC wheels, 3" OME 887s/full dakar pack, CBI sliders and full skids, Pelfreybilt Hybrid bumper, ****tybilt 9.5 XRC winch, sway bar go by bye, ARB on-board air, many many zip-tie
    1989 Ford Bronco II (aka 'Babe the Blue Pig') -> 31x10.5r15 Cheap ATs, 1.5" lift (RC coils/shocks and WULF shackles), 2.9l hamster-power

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erebus View Post
    Your true size depends on what kind of terrain you want to run and your budget. 32" will probably run fine without hurting power and mpg.

    That said, armor is much more important. Going up to 32 or 33 inch tires won't eliminate the need for it. Without armor you will damage body, frame and possibly something more critical.

    Skill and armor can make up for large tires and keeps things more interesting. I have a coworker who started with 31s on his Toyota, kept upgrading and now rolls on on 40s. We were talking a while back and he wishes he had just stayed small, makes trails more interesting. And breakage is more likely with bigger tires.

    My recommendation, get armor and throw 32" on next time you need tires.
    Just read this post, after I posted...what you said lol
    "I hope you get hit by a goose, right in the sway bar!" -anon

    2015 Tacoma Access 4-banger (aka 'Scratchy') -> 255/85r16 ST Maxx, FJC wheels, 3" OME 887s/full dakar pack, CBI sliders and full skids, Pelfreybilt Hybrid bumper, ****tybilt 9.5 XRC winch, sway bar go by bye, ARB on-board air, many many zip-tie
    1989 Ford Bronco II (aka 'Babe the Blue Pig') -> 31x10.5r15 Cheap ATs, 1.5" lift (RC coils/shocks and WULF shackles), 2.9l hamster-power

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecgreen View Post
    I ran 235/85r16 (technically a 32) on my Tacoma and I loved those tires. Now they are skinny, like 9.5 inches wide skinny. With that said, I wheeled some pretty tough trails on those little tires. Also keep in mind you might need a narrower wheel for that size (mine are 7.5 inches wide). Another nice thing about that size is that you might not hit your UCAs if the backspace on your wheel is 4.75 inches or less. Finally, as Tyler said, you may actually see in increase in MPG with a narrower tire.

    Now I run 255/85r16, the skinny 33, and I have not seen much of a drop in MPG. Keep in mind I have the 2.7 manual. So I still get around 19mpg. DO NOT run 255s with a 2.7 auto without a gear change BTW. v6, your good. v6+manual = awesome combo for 255s. My 255s also fit my truck with no modifications. Is there a difference in wheeling these two sizes? ABOSOLUTLY. Do you NEED 33s to go serious places? ABOSOLUTLY not. Wheeling is a game of inches. Many. many, many, many (can I add another many?) times I have seen ppl on obstacles hung up by just a half an inch. Really, it happens constantly.

    Even so, you can go A TON of places on 32s. Tyler has wheeled some serious S*&% on 32s. You have to realize though, that this is the granite state and they call it that for a reason. Its not like wheeling out west, where you can go for miles and see no rocks. Overlanding in the northeast is no joke and you will be presented with obstacles of varying sizes eventually. Think rocks the size of microwaves (and basketballs and bassoons). With that being said, no matter what tire you decide on, skids plates and sliders are a must. I would rather wheel 31s with full armor than 33s without any.
    Forgot to add that fitting 255s without a lift is questionable - may not fit.
    "I hope you get hit by a goose, right in the sway bar!" -anon

    2015 Tacoma Access 4-banger (aka 'Scratchy') -> 255/85r16 ST Maxx, FJC wheels, 3" OME 887s/full dakar pack, CBI sliders and full skids, Pelfreybilt Hybrid bumper, ****tybilt 9.5 XRC winch, sway bar go by bye, ARB on-board air, many many zip-tie
    1989 Ford Bronco II (aka 'Babe the Blue Pig') -> 31x10.5r15 Cheap ATs, 1.5" lift (RC coils/shocks and WULF shackles), 2.9l hamster-power

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecgreen View Post
    Forgot to add that fitting 255s without a lift is questionable - may not fit.
    is it bassoon sized rocks or baboon sized rocks? bassoons are more like what you wedged under your bed (and above your axle) the last Idiots run...
    -TYLER - - Illegitimi non carborundum - -
    '14 Nissan Frontier SV 4x4 V6 Auto
    -----3" lift with Nisstec MK84 coilovers & OME leafs, HeftyFab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, WARN Winch & bumper, 32" Duratracs
    '15 Nissan Xterra Pro4X
    -----Heftyfab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, 32" Duratracs

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferball View Post
    I understand the gain in clearance but I wonder if the benefit might be over stated because we are talking diameter you only gain half an inch for every inch of tire size.
    I am intrigued by the idea of narrower taller tires as I had not considered those profiles.
    I also am more about "overlanding" than "rock crawling" so I tend to drive around the mud pit if I can rather than go through it. But I do understand the appeal/need of big beefy tires for climbing walls and off roading in more aggressive manner.
    (disclosure... I hate mud. It sucks spending 4 hrs with hte hose on your back in Oct/Nov... and you'll never get it off after the Freeze run...)
    If you overland in the Northeast you will be rockcrawling and mud-slinging. Great illustrations of this is the 2 video series from Mountain State Overland where they ran NH&ME and following yr VT. If you venture off the maintained roads, be prepared for rocks. And if you stick to maintained roads, is it still overlanding?

    I could show you pretty easily the difference between 32s & 33s on the same road (but I'd need a chase vehicle to help haul tires) and the difference that one inch makes...

    also, the published tire heights are not the same as once you get them mounted and the vehicle sitting on them. My 32s are 30 1/4 (some tread wear) but my 33s are 32 3/8 Same brand and model tire (Duratrack). BFGs are different yet. As are Cooper and every other mfr. IIRC Toyo are the closest to their published height when mounted & loaded. And TSL, but they're a whole new ballgame.

    TLDR: yes, you will eventually want tires. but as Jason said, armor. ( I could show you why on that as well...)
    -TYLER - - Illegitimi non carborundum - -
    '14 Nissan Frontier SV 4x4 V6 Auto
    -----3" lift with Nisstec MK84 coilovers & OME leafs, HeftyFab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, WARN Winch & bumper, 32" Duratracs
    '15 Nissan Xterra Pro4X
    -----Heftyfab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, 32" Duratracs

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtyler11 View Post
    is it bassoon sized rocks or baboon sized rocks? bassoons are more like what you wedged under your bed (and above your axle) the last Idiots run...
    I see what you did there
    "I hope you get hit by a goose, right in the sway bar!" -anon

    2015 Tacoma Access 4-banger (aka 'Scratchy') -> 255/85r16 ST Maxx, FJC wheels, 3" OME 887s/full dakar pack, CBI sliders and full skids, Pelfreybilt Hybrid bumper, ****tybilt 9.5 XRC winch, sway bar go by bye, ARB on-board air, many many zip-tie
    1989 Ford Bronco II (aka 'Babe the Blue Pig') -> 31x10.5r15 Cheap ATs, 1.5" lift (RC coils/shocks and WULF shackles), 2.9l hamster-power

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecgreen View Post
    I see what you did there
    well... technically you did it...
    -TYLER - - Illegitimi non carborundum - -
    '14 Nissan Frontier SV 4x4 V6 Auto
    -----3" lift with Nisstec MK84 coilovers & OME leafs, HeftyFab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, WARN Winch & bumper, 32" Duratracs
    '15 Nissan Xterra Pro4X
    -----Heftyfab skids & Whiteknuckle sliders, 32" Duratracs

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferball View Post
    ...Sticking with the stock 31 size have any downsides besides not looking cool?
    No other downsides.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferball View Post
    I have been off road plenty with no issues but I ran across a thread somewhere that said 32 was minimum requirement. Any reason for that?
    Yes, the leader is too afraid to spot/pull cable/attach a strap/or "wrench" and thus hold up the group...you know, basic wheeling with a group stuff ;)
    I have gone more places on good 235 tires than most of the readers on here with >32"+, but I make up for it in experience, having solid axles(articulation & durability), and good skid plates ;)
    Traction, articulation, and gearing make a good off-road rig. Just a big lift, wide mud tires, and a winch simply do not.
    ~Shawn(the correct spelling ;)

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