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I just bought an 88 Samurai and want to install new tires. I want an aggressive tread in stock size. It appears there are very few choices in this size, 205/70/R15, but I would prefer to run this size. There are many choices at 215/75/R15. Would there be any problems running the 215's on a stock Samuari, rubbing frame, too much power loss, bigger turning radius, etc. ? What tires are people running on stock samuaris?
I don't know if the springs still have the correct arc. Can anyone give me a measurement from ground to top of fender opening or ground to front end of spring or some measurement to check spring arc with the load of the samuari on it. This is in case I have to run the bigger tires.
Thanks Don
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yeah im running 215's on my samurai right now with not a problem in the world
Thanks for the replies.
I was just down at the tire store, they told me the BF Goodrich All terrain TA tires would be very rough riding for the Samauri. I didn't talk to them about tire pressure. What is the experience out there?
Don
 

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Thanks for the replies.
I was just down at the tire store, they told me the BF Goodrich All terrain TA tires would be very rough riding for the Samauri. I didn't talk to them about tire pressure. What is the experience out there?
Don
Those tires work great for all-around trail tires. Just don't do like many folks and read the number off the side of the tire as a guide to how much pressure you put in...

The 32lbs is a MAX tire pressure, not fillup instructions.

Look on the side of the dashboard and you will find a suggested air pressure table. A Sammy tire will run best at 16 to 20 psi depending on the sidewall thickness. The object is to find the pressure that puts the most footprint on the road without losing the center tread pressure.

You can drive through a puddle (or spray the tire with water) and then drive forward and check the track. If you don't see the full width of the tread, then let out some air. If you see a full tread pattern but the center is lighter, add some air.

When I run off-brand AT tires, I ran about 18psi.
When I run standard street tires, I ran 20psi.
When I run Swamper Radials, I run 16psi.
When I ran Swamper SX's, I ran 14psi
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Those tires work great for all-around trail tires. Just don't do like many folks and read the number off the side of the tire as a guide to how much pressure you put in...

The 32lbs is a MAX tire pressure, not fillup instructions.

Look on the side of the dashboard and you will find a suggested air pressure table. A Sammy tire will run best at 16 to 20 psi depending on the sidewall thickness. The object is to find the pressure that puts the most footprint on the road without losing the center tread pressure.

You can drive through a puddle (or spray the tire with water) and then drive forward and check the track. If you don't see the full width of the tread, then let out some air. If you see a full tread pattern but the center is lighter, add some air.

When I run off-brand AT tires, I ran about 18psi.
When I run standard street tires, I ran 20psi.
When I run Swamper Radials, I run 16psi.
When I ran Swamper SX's, I ran 14psi
Thanks for the good information. I am buying the BFG tires tomorrow.
Don
 

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... down at the tire store, they told me the BF Goodrich All terrain TA tires would be very rough riding for the Samauri. I didn't talk to them about tire pressure. What is the experience out there? Don
I've been running BFG AT 215/75R15 for about 4 years now. I run 20 lbs. on asphalt at freeway speeds, but 10-12 lbs. offroad. (Read the sticker near the door jamb!). Their triple ply sidewall gives me confidence that I won't often be changing tires alongside the trail. And the rim protector ridge may help keep my rims from getting all dinged up. They are spec'd to fit rims from 5.5" (stock) or rims up to 7" wide. I suspect the wider rims can help provide a flatter footprint.

Edit (for Don): For about half that time I ran with the stock, stiff springs. But a spousal request for a better ride led me to install OME springs and the softer Gabriel shocks from Petroworks (at the same time). The Zuk rides higher now, and the combination has made the ride more comfortable. With the additional clearance, I can now move up to the 235/75R15 size when these tires age out in a few years. After about 2 years, I installed the PW 3/4" (3/8" lift) HD shackles. I expect I'll still have to have to pound the inner fender seams flat at that time -- they can really tear up a tire. I'll most likely stay with the BFG AT's -- they're a great compromise (AT) tire for a car that spends most of its miles on asphalt, but has to bring me home from the boonies.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Springs

I've been running BFG AT 215/75R15 for about 4 years now. I run 20 lbs. on asphalt at freeway speeds, but 10-12 lbs. offroad. (Read the sticker near the door jamb!). Their triple ply sidewall gives me confidence that I won't often be changing tires alongside the trail. And the rim protector ridge may help keep my rims from getting all dinged up. They are spec'd to fit rims from 5.5" (stock) or rims up to 7" wide. I suspect the wider rims can help provide a flatter footprint.
Thanks Merlin
Are you still running with the original springs?
Don
 

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Thanks for the replies.
I was just down at the tire store, they told me the BF Goodrich All terrain TA tires would be very rough riding for the Samauri. I didn't talk to them about tire pressure. What is the experience out there?
Don
ive had these tires on my car since i bought it a year ago, size 215/75r15 and i swear by them. only problem is that i was told that the materials that the sidewall is made from doesn't like being run at low pressures.
i was told by my local tire dealer to run these at 40 psi... the recommendations in the door are for regular road tires, not big 4x4 tires. i run them 15-20 offroad, because i had one at 10 that let go at me up a trail once.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ive had these tires on my car since i bought it a year ago, size 215/75r15 and i swear by them. only problem is that i was told that the materials that the sidewall is made from doesn't like being run at low pressures.
i was told by my local tire dealer to run these at 40 psi... the recommendations in the door are for regular road tires, not big 4x4 tires. i run them 15-20 offroad, because i had one at 10 that let go at me up a trail once.
Thanks Whincup
I've had the tires on for 3 weeks and am happy with them at 24lbs on the road. I will be up in the serria nevada mountians in October to check them on the trail(deer season).
As an aside the new tires eliminated the severe shimmy that occured at about 35-40mph. The shimmy was so bad with the very old, cheap tires that came on the car I bought kingpin bearings without checking wheel play to see if they were worn. I will replace those bearings in the future.
 
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