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I've been kicking around the idea of new tires for the run.  I'm not sure if I trust the Super Swampers for another one or not.  They sure like to go flat and fall off the rim between runs and they're worn down a fair amount.  They are amazing tires, though.  SO MUCH TRACTION.
It would be nice to not have to deal with dragging a trailer full of tires from Texas to AZ, too.
The swampers are 35x10.5 - so if I were to buy, I'm pretty sure I'd get 35x12.5, which will be a lot more to turn than the 33x10.5" streeties I have on there now.. but then, no trailer drag.... and the lower RPMs might let me get away with leaving overdrive off.  I'm not certain if I could get the truck in the garage with bigger tires on though.... that would suck.
Also, tread pattern... I'm not sure if I would be better off with ye olde AT, or maybe I should go back to a street MT.
I think Keith said he's just going to run his ATs the whole time - would that be good enough for this year's run, or will I miss the meats?

Some options:

BFG A/T $185 each
Kumho Road Venture MT. $200 each
Yokohama Geolander MT. $198 each

Gah.  Any thoughts?

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Get some BFG ATs in the size you want and don't look back. The 35/12.5s are 7lbs heavier than your 33/10.5  47lbs vs 54lbs.  For the amount of wheeling we do vs onroad driving we do they work great, just don't air down too far below 18psi.   I have 33/12.5s on the caR50 and the trailer and didn't have any problems last year and not dealing with the tires was nice.

I'm a big fan of the Dick Cepek Mud Country tires....Tire rack has them priced reasonably.  Same carcass structure as the other decent offroad tires - 5 ply tread / 3 ply sidewalls.  Made by Cooper Tire.  They're actually round and balance well, and they're not terribly noisy compared to other mud tires, and they're much cheaper than MTR's, etc, which can be tough to source in 35x12.50/15.  I have 35s.  Difference in truck height between 33s and 35s is only an inch for garage clearance.  The meany just barely fits in my garage with the roof rack.


As for running AT's, yes, you'll probably be fine unless we get wet weather, which is impossible to predict.  We will see some higher elevations that could have some snow as well, but then again, it could all be dry and nice.  What I can say is none of the trails are overly technical when dry.  Add mud and snow and that could be a different story, but like I said...impossible to predict.



Last edited by Desert Rat

After looking at the Swampers again last night, I think I'm going to stick with them.  They're really still in pretty decent shape and... well, free. 


Thanks for the link to the Cepeks - I don't know why those didn't show up in my search.



The other big thing I want to tackle before the run is refreshing my joints... all new ball joints, tierod, draglink, and trackbar ends... plus some more normal maintenance like packing bearings, changing diff fluid etc.


Luckily, the post I made on XOC listing the part numbers for the steering from way-back-when is still up!

I just have to figure out what size the heim joints are that came with the Calmini trackbar.  I assume the D44 ball joints are standard.


Edit: There's also the radius arms, which have johnny joints on one end... I'm not sure how to check those to see if they are good - they're so beefy they probably won't budge if I yank on them.

Last edited by Kaiser

I recently put the General Grabbers on the S-10, I like them a lot so far.  Not as much traction as the Goodyears (which have more traction than swampers), except in gravel, in gravel they are better.  However they aren't bad anywhere and they're supposed to wear really well for street use.


The bonus is that 35x12.5R15 tires are only $200 each at Discount.


I was having trouble with the Goodyear tires falling apart due to the desert bashing I was doing.  I put big cuts (1"+) through 3 of the treads within a month, all while Goodyear had them on backorder so I couldn't replace them.  Luckily Discount let me cert out the 3 bad Goodyears for the Generals so I only had to buy the one.


Personally, I wouldn't trust a 5 year old swamper unless you've been storing them indoors when they aren't on your rig.

That's oddly cheap for those.  Queef said something about those being the old MTR's, but the kevlar ones are the current ones.  Brent has been tearing those up on a regular basis and actually went to something else because the MTRs were hard to find in the 35" size, but if the tires are freshly date coded, it's a matter of preference.

I think I was running too low of pressure, but yea the MT/R Kevlars run about $220 apiece at Discount, not sure where you're getting your pricing from Andy.


The General Grabbers are $199 at Discount, plus they actually had them in stock.  The Kevlars were back ordered for the last couple months of the year, they came back in stock on 12/24.

Haha - keep in mind I'm trying to find tires that I can drive on from Austin to Phoenix and back in addition to using on the run... So bias ply hardcore off road tires are out.  I'm tired of trailering off road tires out there.

I put in an "order" for the Goodyears tonight but they are not in stock, so we'll see what they say when they contact me tomorrow.

I also ordered a new red top.  I've been neglecting the Xterra for several years so I'm doing everything I can think of to minimize my chances for problems

I got a bunch of stuff planned to get my 96' TLC up to snuff..


Belly Skid Plate by Slee

Step Sliders (have to because of the kidos) by Bump It Off Road

Custom made Tire Carrier

Replace my tie rod ends and steering absorber-- Japan 555 Brand



Thinking about - 315/75R16 Tires, Rear LCA replacements


Cannot seem to find - Front Bolt on recovery points for D-Rings and a Rear Diff Skid


Last edited by mattman555
I rebuilt my steering back in October, before my surgery, so that's out of the way.

1. Start a brake overhaul this weekend. I might have more than one issue. Passenger brake caliper and/or master brake cylinder. I lost my brakes on a tight turn 3 weeks ago. Couldn't identify any pinch points, line swelling issues, or leaks, so kinda at a loss to diagnose. A week later a brake on the pasenger side started scraping only when I leaned into a turn; why I though a caliper was sticking or failing, but that shouldn't explain the one time loss of brake pressure that returned to normal 2 seconds later. Will be taking tires off this weekend and working backwards to see what's up. Master cylinder might be on it's way out, maybe? 11 years old. Any input is always appreciated.

Other than that, just the typical prep:
2. Change the oils.
3. Put skid plates back on.
4. Buy 2 more fuel cans and figure out how and where I'm going to mount them.

Check that vacuum line to the booster for condition / cracks, dry rot, etc, and make sure it seals good.

Did you lose brakes all together or did the pedal just get really hard and the truck didn't want to stop?  If the latter, it most likely has to do with the booster...either it's not getting vaccum or the booster itself could be failing.


As for dragging calipers...check the pads for goofy wear...check wheel for any "chuck" to see if you have wobble in the wheel bearings, and make sure your caliper bolts are tight.


Dumb question...hows the brake fluid?  did the brake light on the dash come on?



I made a hard U turn and as soon as I straightened to stop at the light, the brakes didn't work and pedal went to the floor, but recovered fine when I pressed them again and stopped just short of hitting a car. This is why I thought I pinched a line, but I couldn't duplicate that issue. I have not checked the vacuum to the booster yet, but I thought a hard pedal was a sign of a bad booster. Fluid level was the first thing I checked and new fluid was ran through last winter. I traced the lines from the master cylinder throughout the truck; all good. I replaced rotors and pads in 2012. Repacked wheel bearings late 2013, when I rebuilt the front suspension, so almost 1 1/2 years ago. Once I get those tires off, I'm hoping to find the answer. I'm just trying to cover all my bases before I start tearing into this thing, because I always get a surprise. My lot in life.

That just sounds like air in the system then.  Could be a MC going bad....


Try bleeding the system.  Start with the left rear, right rear, then right front, then left front.  Be sure to keep fluid in the MC through the process.  Your son can help by pumping the pedal.  Open bleeder, have him push to the floor and hold, close, release, and repeat until you find the air in the system.



38 days and counting.  How is my truck broken?  Let me count the ways.


1. The new fuel pump I just put in is not pumping fuel.

2. The CB stopped transmitting last time I was out.

3. The ARB compressor is dead.

4. There's new play in the steering wheel.

5. The power brakes are questionable at idle.

6. I'm sure there's more.

7. There always is.


On the bright side the new gas tank does not leak.

I just might take you up on that.  I need to do a radio check with the fresh CB mic.  The ARB compressor problem is a broken hex screw bolt that holds the motor shaft bushing that the bottom of the compressor piston rotates about.  The easy-out didn't work but it is drilled out to 5/32 and a 10-24'ish size tap should let me fix it with a new cap screw. 

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