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1980; 347 stroker; Holley Sniper EFI
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know very little about tires, so I need some advice. I need to get winter tires (for deep snow and ice) and if possible, I want to use the same 15" rims that I have. I currently have BFG all-terrain tires (35 x 12.5 R15). I don't know much about tire sizing, but I know that the tire needs to be less wide than 12.5 for deep snow. I think I read somewhere that tires with a thick sidewall will ride smoother, which is pretty important because the truck is pretty stiff and I feel every tiny pot hole in the road.

Also I think the truck is slightly lifted and I like the look of the 35" tires. A lot of the tire websites are suggesting 235/75R15, but I think they would be small and funny looking. I'm also not totally against getting new rims with the tires, so I could potential go up in rim size

Does anyone have any other advise for tire shopping? Thanks in advance!
 

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I disagree, although narrower tires will cut through snow the wider tires should provide better traction with more of a footprint, that being said stay away from mud tires, they are for mud not for snow. Id stick with a good all terrain, personally ive never had a problem with wide tires in snow.
 

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I ran 33 x 12.5 R15 BF ATs in the winter with no issues at all. I agree with fordbronco1995's comment as well.
 
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1988 5.0L E/B AOD, bone stock+ 1993 5.8L E/B, E4OD, 4"lift with 33's
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My 93 has the same B.F.Goodrich 12.5, 33's on it. They are a 10" wide Dick Cepek rims. But I don't drive that Bronco in the snow EVER! I drive the 88 Bronco with Hankook Dyna pro 10.5 x 31 x 15 on stock rims. Been driving the 88 since 2004 and gone thru a bunch of different tire brands. Hands down, a new set of Hankooks are going back on as this set has 50,000 miles on em. They kick butt in the snow!:thumbup
 

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'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
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FSB - Wheels/Tires Section It's been discussed for years and years and years and years.

I live with snow and ice in an Inland PNW rural county. I have been really enjoying the GoodYear Wrangler Duratrac Tires for the last few years. I run a 10x15 wheel with a 33x12.5x15 Studded Tire now and I'm very happy with the performance, both on and off road in considerable snow/ice conditions. Great middle of the road choice between an M/T and an A/T tire. Doesn't matter for you though. GYWD's don't come in a 35x15 size, regardless of width or metric considerations. Now if you went up to a 16", you move into a whole other class of available tires as larger brake calipers on many rigs are forcing the 15's out of the market.

As for the old "skinny vs. wide" arguments, cutting through the snow for traction doesn't work so well when the bottom is all ice or the snow's so deep you bury the axles. Conditions matter and what works in some won't work nearly as well in others. I'll stick with my wider tires as I find them to be better at varied rural and extreme weather conditions. If you live in the city... you have different concerns than I do.
 

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84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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Although I am on the "skinny tire" team, the tread design will probably do more than the width of the tire. Get a good all terrain with lots of siping(the tiny "knife slits" in the tread). I hear good things about duratrac's, though I have never run them. I have run BFG AT's and had good luck with those in the snow. Just stay away from any of the dedicated mud tires, BFG MT's, Goodyear MT/R, Firestone M/T, Boggers, etc... will all do terrible in snow

The air pressure you run will make more difference than the tires themselves on the ride quality. I dunno what pressure you are running now, I think something around 28 or so psi should be more than enough to handle the weight of your Bronco but still ride nice

Also, I see you said 35" tires, but I see 33x12.50 in the picture??? Was that an old picture or a typo?

Do you have a tire machine, or a buddy at a tire shop? If not, it may become cost effective in a hurry just to buy cheap steel wheels for your winter tires instead of swapping them back an forth onto your wheels. Like was mentioned above, going to a 16" wheel opens up a lot more tread design choices. I would be tempted to try 235/85 R16's (about a 32x9.50), I used to have a buddy up near you in Bowmanville, and that's what he swore by in the winter. Or you could run a 285/75R16(33x12.50), or 305/70R16(35x12.50)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Although I am on the "skinny tire" team, the tread design will probably do more than the width of the tire. Get a good all terrain with lots of siping(the tiny "knife slits" in the tread). I hear good things about duratrac's, though I have never run them. I have run BFG AT's and had good luck with those in the snow. Just stay away from any of the dedicated mud tires, BFG MT's, Goodyear MT/R, Firestone M/T, Boggers, etc... will all do terrible in snow

The air pressure you run will make more difference than the tires themselves on the ride quality. I dunno what pressure you are running now, I think something around 28 or so psi should be more than enough to handle the weight of your Bronco but still ride nice

Also, I see you said 35" tires, but I see 33x12.50 in the picture??? Was that an old picture or a typo?

Do you have a tire machine, or a buddy at a tire shop? If not, it may become cost effective in a hurry just to buy cheap steel wheels for your winter tires instead of swapping them back an forth onto your wheels. Like was mentioned above, going to a 16" wheel opens up a lot more tread design choices. I would be tempted to try 235/85 R16's (about a 32x9.50), I used to have a buddy up near you in Bowmanville, and that's what he swore by in the winter. Or you could run a 285/75R16(33x12.50), or 305/70R16(35x12.50)
You're right thats a typo, the picture is current and I meant to say 33" tires.

I don't have a connection at a tire shop or a tire machine, so now I'm starting to lean towards getting 16" rims. Thanks for the input

The Duratracs have come up here and in other searches so I will do some more research on them
 

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Yo Ian,
Tire Circumference Differences; ensure that the tires you decide on buying are not discontinued (not now manufactured by the tire maker). Ask around - don't rely on verbals by just one dealer. Because; A tire slasher messed my plans up $ wise in JAN when he slashed two 32x11.50 Daytons; they were just a year old at the time. I found that Dayton stopped making em (in 32s) right after I bought them and None are avail anywhere....; so I ended up w/ two Michelin LTX® M/S 32x11.50R15 in an emergency buy that late Saturday afternoon; guess what? right, they stopped mfg em too! Prob is finding tires in the future to replace the Daytons that have an actual inflated diameter close enuf (see below) to whatever is in in-place so that we can do the std rotation & don't rip up the Xfer case, etc.

This is by Ford for its Xfer cases, esp the 1356 in Four Wheel Drive (4X4) General Information, Operation & Troubleshooting TSB 92-1-8 for 92 & Prior Year Bronco, F Series & Ranger; Includes Electric Shift On The Fly (ESOF) Troubleshooting after 92 & Hub Operation @ http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/s420/2010-03-31_004214_93_Ranger_4wd_TSB_92-1-8.pdf

; "...You will recall that at the beginning of this section, we mentioned that we had made sure that all four tires on our truck were the same size, were worn the same amount, were inflated to the specified pressure and were subjected to reasonable loading. Avoiding driveline windup was the reason for this. Figure 18A shows that tires of even slightly different size roll different distances every revolution. Figure 18B shows that the same effect is true for tires that are the same size but inflated or loaded differently. Operating a 4 x 4 in 4WD with tires of different size or inflation will produce driveline windup, even when driving straight ahead! If the vehicle is being driven in 4WD on dry, hard pavement, the driver will notice drag and may experience the hop, skip, bounce effect as the front or rear wheels release the windup..."

If you want to buy on-line, after picking out the combo you need, go to a local privately-owned tire shop and see if they'll beat/match total installed cost w/free life-time rotations and anything else you can get (road hazard...etc.)

When it comes to determining the age of a tire, it is easy to identify when a tire was manufactured by reading its Tire Identification Number (often referred to as the tire’s serial number). Unlike vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and the serial numbers used on many other consumer goods (which identify one specific item), Tire Identification Numbers are really batch codes that identify the week and year the tire was produced.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that Tire Identification Numbers be a combination of the letters DOT, followed by ten, eleven or twelve letters and/or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size and manufacturer's code, along with the week and year the tire was manufactured.

Tires Manufactured Since 2000;
Since 2000, the week and year the tire was produced has been provided by the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number with the 2 digits being used to identify the week immediately preceding the 2 digits used to identify the year.

Example of a tire manufactured since 2000 with the current Tire Identification Number format:
See image @ http://www.tirerack.com/images/tires/tiretech/determining_age/Post_2000_Full_Dot.jpg
In the example above:
DOT U2LL LMLR 5107
51 Manufactured during the 51st week of the year
07 Manufactured during 2007

While the entire Tire Identification Number is required to be branded onto one sidewall of every tire, current regulations also require that DOT and the first digits of the Tire Identification Number must also be branded onto the opposite sidewall. Therefore, it is possible to see a Tire Identification Number that appears incomplete and requires looking at the tire’s other sidewall to find the entire Tire Identification Number
See image @ ttp://www.tirerack.com/images/tires/tiretech/determining_age/Post_2000_Part_Dot.jpg

The use of a partial Tire Identification Number on the one sidewall (shown above) reduces the risk of injury to the mold technician that would have to install the weekly date code on the top sidewall portion of a hot tire mold.

Tires Manufactured Before 2000;
The Tire Identification Number for tires produced prior to 2000 was based on the assumption that tires would not be in service for ten years. While they were required to provide the same information as today’s tires, the week and year the tire was produced was contained in the last three digits. The 2 digits used to identify the week a tire was manufactured immediately preceded a single digit used to identify the year.

Example of a tire manufactured before 2000 with the earlier Tire Identification Number format:
See image @ http://www.tirerack.com/images/tires/tiretech/determining_age/Pre_2000_Dot.jpg

In the example above:
DOT EJ8J DFM 408
40 Manufactured during the 40th week of the year
8 Manufactured during the 8th year of the decade

While the previous Tire Identification Number format identified that a tire was built in the 8th year of a decade, there was no universal identifier that confirmed which decade (tires produced in the 1990s may have a small triangle following the Tire Identification Number to identify the decade).
"
And finally, hold on to your sales receipt. Most tire manufacturer's warranties cover their tires for four years from the date of purchase or five years from the week the tires were manufactured. So if you purchase new tires that were manufactured exactly two years ago they will be covered for a total of six years (four years from the date of purchase) as long as you have your receipt. If you lose your receipt, your tires' warranty coverage will end five years from the week the tire was produced (resulting in the tire manufacturer's warranty coverage ending only three years from the date of purchase in this example)."
 

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For snow, a fat, aired down tire will work best. For ice, a super skinny tire works best.

I have to disagree on the "no dedicated mud tire" thing. I've ran super swampers on both Broncos and they are fantastic. On snowy paved roads, the bfg AT is great. But that's the only time I would want those. Drove through a blizzard at 11,000 ft on the way to Moab last spring. The 37" iroks never slipped a bit at 30 psi and 55 mph

Whatever you choose, the more siping it has, the better.
 

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84 Bronco, 351w, c6, custom doubler, np208, 5.13’s, TTB44, 9”, locked f/r
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I dunno, I still stand by my no mud tire for ice/snow on the street. IROK’s have enough siping they grab a bit, but I’ve run old school bfg KM1 mt’s and the old Firestone mt’s that look the same and they were absolutely useless when there was ice on the ground. Deep snow off-road is a different story, but I assumed the OP was talking about driving on the street in the winter, not off-road
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dunno, I still stand by my no mud tire for ice/snow on the street. IROK’s have enough siping they grab a bit, but I’ve run old school bfg KM1 mt’s and the old Firestone mt’s that look the same and they were absolutely useless when there was ice on the ground. Deep snow off-road is a different story, but I assumed the OP was talking about driving on the street in the winter, not off-road
Yeah I never really go off road, mostly talking about snowy paved roads and the occasional dirt road. Seems like lots of people use the BFG A/T tires in the winter, so I'm now undecided if its even worth spending ~2 grand for new tires and wheels. I think my current tires area a few years old so probably not much sipping left at this point...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I ran 33 x 12.5 R15 BF ATs in the winter with no issues at all. I agree with fordbronco1995's comment as well.
I'm thinking I might just try keeping mine for the winter, I'm undecided. Do you use them a lot in snowy and icy conditions?
 

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So I live in Aspen, Colorado, with my house at 8,200 feet, so I see a little snow. For me, I wouldn't put somebody I love into a car in winter without dedicated snow tires -- specifically studded snow tires.

I see tons of traffic crashes involving cars with "all season" tires.
 

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96 5.8, 4.10 gears with truetrac 4 inch lift, 15x10 with 35s, 50 series flow master, 3 inch catback.
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Here is an alternative that I have used for years. I have 35-13.50-15 Toyo mud tires on 15x10 rims. I have them siped just in the middle tread as siping on the outer lugs will chunk them up in gravel and large rock. They work exceptionally well in deep snow and good on icy roads both paved and off road. Admittedly I also have chains for all 4 oif the need arises. Just saying that mud tires can and are still a good alternative if properly equipped. I do run a truetrac in the rear.
 

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I run the Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs on my Bronco and on my Wrangler and really like the way they ride and handle the snow. It's a good tire for all-seasons.
 

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Icy roads in Texas. :histerica:histerica:histerica
 

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I dunno, I still stand by my no mud tire for ice/snow on the street. IROK’s have enough siping they grab a bit, but I’ve run old school bfg KM1 mt’s and the old Firestone mt’s that look the same and they were absolutely useless when there was ice on the ground. Deep snow off-road is a different story, but I assumed the OP was talking about driving on the street in the winter, not off-road
Aye, all three sets of swampers I've had have had good siping, except the 13 year old tsl radials my 85 came with.

I WILL agree that the Firestone destination MT is terrible on ice. Unless you stud it, like its pre-drilled for. I have two sets of those and loved them, except on the ice.

I absolutely hated the BFG AT. Absolutely hated it, but damn in was good on wet pavement. Wet grass, not so much.
 

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This
for snow and ice. if you don't think so, start cutting your pizza with a rolling pin
For skid steers, they make tires half as wide as normal for plowing icy parking lots. It puts the same weight on say half as much surface area. This creates more friction, which equates to traction.
 
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Because we get patchy ice on the highway to town, I bought a set of Michelin X-ice tires in 265/70/15 and had them mounted on a set of steel wheels. I just swap them out in the driveway. They work just dandy! Rated VERY high by Consumer Reports...
 
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