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New Wheels and Tires, Again! (Stealth6 and ST Maxx)

January 12, 2018.

The day has arrived, finally. For three months, I've had a set of SCS Stealth6 wheels stacked, in the boxes they arrived in, in the living room.

@mrs.turbodb has not been happy.

In that time, I've been trying to decide what tires I want to run on those wheels. I knew I wanted 33's, and I knew that I wanted as little rubbing as possible, but that left me with three options:

  • BFG KM2's or KM3's @ 255/85R16 - these have the right profile (tall and skinny) for less rubbing, and a nice aggressive tread pattern, but I didn't love that they were a pure mud terrain (I prefer an AT/MT hybrid) since I do a lot of freeway driving. The one time I hit some snow, they also lacked traction compared to the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac's that I previously had installed.
  • Cooper Discoverer ST Maxx's @ 255/85R16 - these too have the right profile, and they are an AT/MT hybrid, which I like. The downside is that they don't look quite as "grr" as the KM2's.
  • Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac's @ 285/75R16 - I knew I'd love the "grr" and AT/MT traction profile of these tires, since I was coming from a 31" version of the same tire. However, these tires are a full inch wider than the other two, and I knew that'd lead to a lot of rubbing - which I really wanted to avoid.

For the last several months, I've been running a set of KM2's, and I'd decided that while I wasn't a huge fan of the KM2's on a daily driver, I'd wait for the KM3's to see if they'd have better snow performance before making the final decision. But then, my hand was forced when we decided that we'd make a January run to Death Valley.

For that trip I'd need a spare - something I'd been running without on the KM2's - which immediately eliminated "waiting" for KM3's. I also convinced myself that the "grr" look of a tire isn't as important as the overall fit and performance, which ruled out the Duratracs.

So I ordered up a set of ST Maxx's and scheduled an installation appointment.

During the appointment, I was flagged down by three different people asking about the truck. The UPS driver wanted to know how I liked the RTT (he'd just gotten a SmittyBuilt, that could "only open backwards"). The store manager remarked, "I knew that was your truck - that's a nice looking rig." And another customer asked, "What's that black tube on the back?" (the shower)

An hour later, they were done.

Someday soon, I'll need to go get some better pictures on a sunny day. For now, I can say that

  • the tire/wheel combo looks great - the "lack-of-grr" from the ST Maxx's is definitely offset by the additional width provided by the Stealth6's,
  • I love that these things are way quieter on the freeway than the KM2's,
  • the 3.5" backspacing is going to mean a lot more dirt on the sides of the truck in muddy conditions,
  • I've got some more work to do with rubbing - the 3.5" backspacing means that the outer edge of the tire contacts the fender liner on inside turns a bit more than the steelies I was running previously.

2 Comments

  1. Keith
    Keith October 30, 2019

    So I gotta ask, are the ST Maxx as good as people claim they are? My BFG KO2 are decent but suck on wet asphalt when starting out and sometime when stopping. Which is a bit of a surprise since they do so good in the snow.

    • turbodb
      turbodb October 30, 2019

      There are several parts to that question for me, even though it seems simple.

      • Traction wise - they seem great for the kind of adventures I do. Haven't ever really let me down.
      • I have noticed in wet mud that STT Pro's do better, but I'm not in that situation enough to want to trade (because there are other tradeoffs - size, wear, etc.).
      • I also liked my Duratrac's better from a tread pattern perspective, but sadly there are none in 255/85 R16.
      • Size (255/85 R16) - love the size. Honestly a big reason I went with this tire - there aren't a lot of tires out there in this size.
      • Highway road noise - they are great; reasonably low noise. Not a nuisance at all.
      • Wear - they wear great. Rather, they don't wear quickly. I'm going to get 50-60K easily out of a set. That's amazing IMO.
      • Weight and ride - total crap. They are Load E tires and weigh a ton and ride like crap. If there was a good AT/MT hybrid in Load C, I'd much prefer that.

      Since you specifically brought up snow - IMO, Duratracs are the best snow tire I've ever run (well, hybrid tire really, since I've never run a dedicated snow/winter tire). Really great. Another reason I'd go with them if I could get them in the right size.

      So, all that said, I envision my next set of tires being another set of Maxx's. Unless a Load C hybrid 255/85R16 comes out from a reputable mfr.

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