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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know a few of you have grenaded your front diffs and I think most have been running bigger tires.
I just thought I would share some info that I got from a friend that works for ARB. He said that most aluminum/alloy diffs don't do well with a marginally bigger tire size of even 1-2" bigger than stock. This is the case with Toyota and Jeep as well.
Before I even knew about the grenading issues, I had planned on keeping the stock tire size but switching to a BFG AT. I have been running the same size tire for over 5 years on my Rover and never needed anything bigger. I also ran 32s on my first Xterra. Granted on both of those vehicles I had to deal with the speedo being off and mileage sucking ass. It will be nice to not have to worry about the extra expense of a 33" or bigger tire and worrying about lost MPG, extra wear on components, possible diff grenading, and speedo correction..... all for a half inch of extra height.

I don't want to start a flame war with this post, but would just like anyone who is potentially in the market for different tires to keep this under consideration. I think a few folks that have gone to the 285/75/16 wish they would have gone to 265/75 instead.
 

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Thanks for the info mosi.
I'm on the fence on this, but I plan on running the stock tires for a while, just because of the expense.(and my other vehicle needs tires)
I was thinking of going to 255/85/16 BFG as others seem to have had good luck with them.
 

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:clown: You know I don't think I want to dampend the Trend--

--WE have to realize the limits that our vehicles can doo--

--Now , the tire size that NISSAN put on the X is OPTIMUM--

--THEY HAVE ENGINEERIRS that are paid a lot----

--Do you think they are stupid ???


-- :geek: :geek: --JIMBO
 

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JIMBO said:
:clown: You know I don't think I want to dampend the Trend--

--WE have to realize the limits that our vehicles can doo--

--Now , the tire size that NISSAN put on the X is OPTIMUM--

--THEY HAVE ENGINEERIRS that are paid a lot----

--Do you think they are stupid ???


-- :geek: :geek: --JIMBO
I'm not entering the tire discussion, but those same engineers designed the rear springs. Maybe not necessarily stupid, but maybe not designing for optimum off-road use either.
 

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:clown: --No , my point is --groupies think that 1"larger tire size will make them --the greatist off road traveler-ever--

--Off road driving means Care/ Control/ Knowledge of terrain and speed--

And believe it or not TIRE SIZE IS SECONDARY--

-- :geek: :geek: --JIMBO
 

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Thanks. I think SECONDARY may be too high on the list even.
 

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Well , LOL ya all know how I feel about this, over 2K later I find the Stock wheel and tire weighs at least 20lbs less than the 285 75 16 BFG AT KO. Like about 62 VS about 82 (Postal Scale) That is a lot of weight and it translates into about 100 miles per tank less with bigger tires. I was doing 2 or 3 tanks a week. Now that I went back to stock, man do I want a smaller set of tires and rims! So anyone who strongly disagrees, PM me a offer on 5 MB Predator Rims like new, 1 new BFG AT, 2 with less than 6K miles on em and two with 20 K miles on them that look as new also I do find a truck tire on a vehicle rated for a "P" tire lasts forever. LOL I'm entertaining offers on them! Not to mention what I read in the magazines about the axle-shafts flexing up to 180 degrees with larger tires. They look really cool, but that is where the Bennie ends if you ask me. My experience is, they put the tire sizes in the driver door for a reason. my mistake! Dee dee dee! This was the most costly mistake in my entire build up. Cost in MPG, and then proper wheels to fit a 285 75 that BFG suggested. By the way, BFG technical dept told me, that the BFG authorized dealer should not have let me put the tires on the vehicle larger than the sticker in the door states. Technically,you assume the risk once you do. I kinda feel lucky I haven't toasted something yet. I'm back on stock rubber and wheels! Love 20 Mpg Hwy! MC
 

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A few things.

No doubt larger tires will cost you MPG (I saw a calculated 1MPG less between the stock 265/75R16 Rugged Trails and my 285/75R16 BFG MT's.

That 1MPG loss was calculated using 3.7% differential because of the tire size.

Now, according to TireRack.com (which shows MC's weight number to be about right), the 265/75R16 BFG AT KO (Load Rating E) weighs in at 54 lbs. The 285/75R16 BFG AT KO (Load Rating E) weighs in at 57 lbs. Three pound difference.

The 265/75R16 BFG AT KO (Load Rating D) weighs in at 51 lbs. The 285/75R16 BFG AT KO (Load Rating D) weighs in at 55 lbs. Four pound difference.

So, sure, the BFG AT KO's are heavier than the smaller BFG Long Trails that come on the S model (and even lighter than the same sized BFG Rugged Trail that come on the Off Road model). But the wight difference between the 265 and the 285 is so small that I doubt you would notice.

I blew up my front diff, but it had nothing to do with the aluminum housing (my housing was intact), I am pretty sure it was the spider gears that gave out. Could the slightly larger tires have caused this? Sure, but I think the difference in traction was the real problem. I went from the Rugged trails which in PA mud sucked, to an MT which got a lot more bite. I have a pretty good feeling that even if I had stayed with the 265 sized tire and still went with the MT that the same thing would have happened.

If you want to play it safe, stick to a thin ply, street (or mild AT) tire. Now that I know the front diff is a weak link, I just watch what I am doing a bit closer now.

Oh, and I forget who it was, but someone blew up their front diff with a totally stock setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So are we calling it driver error for now? Did you have a bunch of wheel spin and suddenly get a bunch of traction and boom?

I think what I'm trying to say is that Nissan listened and gave us a 32" tire that is plenty big and match up with the capabilities of this truck well. In the old days, we BEGGED Nissan to offer a locker... DONE
we BEGGED them to change the suspension to coils ... partially DONE
BEGGED for bigger tires.. at least a 31.. DONE and then some
BEGGED for more power.... DONE with a vengance!

If the first X already had 32" on there, then I would have never gone any bigger. The same goes for the Disco we had. I had to re-gear to 4.11s on the Rover with the bigger tire size and it cost $$$. For me, the new Xterra OR is alot like the Rubicon for the TJ guys.... Nissan built it for us to be pretty capable out of the box. Sure a mild lift and some armor is optimum but those can be added easy enough.
 

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Wow, Mosi... sounds like your friend at ARB got you pretty fired up about this issue. I have to agree with MC and Muzikman when it comes to the tire weight and traction potential theory. I would hate to impress upon people that any 32" tire is OK, but a 33" inch tire is just an accident waiting to happen.

I don't have the numbers, but would be willing to guess that there is a considerable weight difference between a 32" BFG Rugged Trail and a 32" Mud Terrain. Enough of a weight difference that people might want to give it some consideration.

I know there's been some concerns and theories about poor design, improper gear backlash, etc. I think part of is that a lot of X drivers (I'm probably going to have include myself in this one), like to push these vehicles near their limits. I think it's going to depend a lot on where and how you drive.

But, never-the-less, it is a good discussion to have. The biggest benefit of this is that some people may be able to figure out that they would rather have warranty peace of mind than an extra 1/2" of clearance. Others may say that bigger tires are the only way to truly gain clearance and will take every 1/2 inch they can get.
 

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I'm not sold on the "too-heavy-tire" argument. I'd be willing to bet that the increased contact area and aggressive tread are more to blame than weight. That being the case, driving style and terrain play a greater role.
I'll take my chances with my 33s.
 

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I don't know why Ponyboy even bothered with bigger tires on his rig... he would have have been fine with the stockers ;-)
 

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Ponyboy cured the problem by coming through the back door, he has no worries with a SAS. But Us with IFS and the Nissan Running gear need be worried. As so stated, I do think it is a problem caused by the weight of the larger tires and that is what BFG told me. I suppose if they made a 285 75 16 the weighed even close to a factory 265 70 16 the size would not matter much. It's the mass and weight of the tire that will cause the drop in MPG (as all of us who ride Bikes know what tire/rim weight does) and as pointed out you can probably get away with it if you change your driving style and not get them turning freely and bump into a lot of traction. It's then you will tweak the axle-shafts and maybe not that time but sometime you will hear the dreaded click click click. I wheel easy, so I am not worried too much, but I am worried about the range and MPG enough so to change over to something lighter. Maybe even a brand change and a skinnier tire to get the weight down. MC
 

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:clown: -------MERRY CHRISTMAS------------

--Now please remember, I've been doing this a LONG time with Jeep/Dodge and Ford and I did all of the wild mods to my dodges (remember pics) so now it's just my wife and I that go to the Sierras to fish and camp in 4wd places only---

--So NOW I happen to have the XTERRA which is the best -out of the box--4wd SUV you can get-As you can see I've made NECESSARY mods and I'm sticking with the TIRE size and wheels NISSAN provided me--

--If I cap on you younguns please forgive me because I did the SAME thing 30 years ago---

--Enjoy your christmas and your kids first getting up today to see what Santa brought them, I've raised 4 kids for that and you have to have YOUR CAMERA---

-- :geek: :geek: --JIMBO
 

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This guy is a 4 wheeling expert, and from what he says if you read this article. going up to a 33 is a no no. " Changing the tires on your rig means a significant investment, especially if you want to go up to a bigger size. It can open a Pandora’s box!"

Tired of Your Tires? or One Thing Leads to Another! by Bill Burke
http://www.4x4now.com/bb0397.htm

Pretty much says to cure the problem of 33's do a SAS.
New tires are cheaper! MC
 

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I can't say for sure if I caught traction, but I can say I had quite a bit of wheel spin.

The quick story goes like this. I get a call at 12am that a friend of my brothers bought a Jeep that day, took it out into the woods (a place he shouldn't have been in the first place) and got it stuck (by himself). I was an hour away, so I got there between 1 and 1:30am. They hop in the X with me (they met me at a grocery store) and we proceeded to head down to the stuck Jeep. So as I am asking them questions about how is it stuck, is it going to be a front recovery or rear recovery, and does he have any sort of recovery points I realize, they have no idea where the Jeep is. We are now on some of the muddiest mud I had ever seen. It's a mix of wet clay and slag. It wasn't deep, but it was slick, so slick that you couldn't walk on it easily...and the entire trail was like this, not just one section. So we find the Jeep, I pull them out and we head out. I end up hitting a small hill of this mud and can't get more than half way up. Since it was close to 3am, I didn't want to have to deal with pulling the winch out, I figure I could make it. So I tried, I did, and a blown front diff is what I got for it.

As for tire weight, sure weight is a factor for everything from MPG to spinning mass, the problem is even if you don't go 1" larger, you are not saving much weight if you go with the BFG AT KO's. So your only option would be a lighter tire, which in most cases means a thinner ply tire which means more likelyness of a torn side wall if you wheel (at least how I wheel). I can tell you that the change from the Rugged Trails to the BFG MT's was the single most noticable mod.

I wheel a lot of the same trails. Places on these trails where I had to power my way through I can now just crawl over. So to be honest, I think going from the stock tires to the MT's probably puts less stress on my driveline when wheeling...now the only problem I try some of the harder lines now. ;) I am sure I would have probably seen the same performance increase with the same tire but in 32" form. I think it has more to do with tread than size.

The MPG thing isn't that bad either, I can live with 1mpg becuase of the tires.
 

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Bill Burke has seen my rig in person and given it his approval. He was actually contracted by Nissan to help develop the Xterra.

In the world of off-highway, the man is a god.
 

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i wonder why chevy, dodge and ford build thier axles to withstand the mass of 37"-40" tires... maybe nissan did underengineer a bit or did those others overengineer.
 

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okay, one post then no more for me on this :)

a) upgrading tires is an issue.

b) nissan/toyota trucks have some of the lowest customer satisfaction on stock tires in the buisness

c) upgrading to a stock size BFG AT ko will be nearly as dangerous as upgrading to a 285/75R16 BFG AT ko, because of the weight issue, as muzikman(i think) stated earlier.

d) not many of you are looking at c), instead comparing stock vs. 285 in BFG AT ko. i think most of us who are sorta 'pro' 285s, would not have an issue, as long as you pointed this out. i read in another thread "yeah, if you go stock OR size in 265 with the BFG AT you won't have much of a mpg drop"

fucking BS. maybe not as much...but there will be nearly as large a drop.

e) bill burke is awesome. bill burke wrote that paper about trucks with stock size is a 28 or 29" tire, which need like 3 or 4" of lift to fit a 33. (like jeep CJs and wranglers) 29-33 change is alot more drastic than a 32-33" size change with stock suspension.

f) larger tires aren't put on for off-road capability when they design new vehicles. mileage, mileage mileage. off-road capabilty is a nice secondary image bonus only. tire diameter sizes have increased in almost all areas of cars.

g) last but not least...warranty will be easier to deal with with a 265 size tire. but remember, if you upgrade your tires, they can still argue...stock size or not. especially if you put MTs or something aggressive on.

this is the one argument i've seen so far...which really gives something solid for staying with 265 in a decent tire vs 285 in that same tire.
 

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Well I am sure geographical location has it's merits. Around here a set of chains is a good Idea and 'ol Bill recommends that. With my 285's I can't fit a set of chains of for the clearance. Yet another reason.
Here is the article. http://www.bb4wa.com/articles/Chains.htm
Keep thinking. MC
 
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