There is a marking on the sidewall of Car Tyres that denotes the age of the Tyre, it is referred to as the DOT number. Inspecting the BF Goodrichs on the 4Runner, the DOT number was 0711. That translates to a production date of the 7th week of 2011, so quite old; ancient actually, and dangerous for it.
The rubber had plasticised preventing the tyres from really ever warming up on a journey and not providing any grip with it. The Tread was cracking, and the Sidewalls had a crack line from being parked for extended periods of time. It was time to replace them.
I had researched replacing them before, with little success finding a reasonably priced choice of 32 11.50 R15 tyres other than the £200+ BF Goodrich. Calling 4x4Tyres.co.uk and speaking with Chris was the best thing I could have done; he was helpful and guided me through the options, one of which was upsizing the 15″ Wheels to 17″. Not only would this reduce the sidewall height of the tyres reducing the Boaty feel of the ride, but would also open up my Tyre choice significantly.
With this opportunity, I had to face facts – I was no Off-Roader – and so my Tyre Choice should to reflect this; I could opt for something with greater Economy, less Road Noise and increased Tyre Life [although one could argue that the BF Goodrichs had done a sterling job of surviving for 11 Years..!].
My Package comprised of:
- TUFF TORQUE MODULAR STEEL WHEEL 17″ X 9″ ET-25 BLACK
- 265/70/17 FALKEN WILDPEAK AT3WA ALL TERRAIN 115S TYRE
- TUFF TORQUE STEEL WHEEL NUT – 12 X 1.5 – 19MM – BLACK – OPEN ENDED
Opting to have them delivered, rather than organising a Fitting Garage, I set about finding a Garage in Eastbourne that would do the Job over the Jubilee Long Weekend.
Eastbourne Tyres have a good reputation, and so rocked up on the Saturday morning just before 8 O’Clock, ready for their 8:30 opening time. When I arrived, there were two Customers already waiting.
I waited my turn, and as I did, couldn’t help but check over the condition of the BFGs; it was then that I noticed a rather large Screw embedded in the Tread. Perhaps this really was the right time to swap these Wheels out.
The new Wheels slotted on with little trouble, the old Nuts clearly past their Use By Date too. I was advised to get some Spigot Rings to shim the 110mm Bore Wheels onto the 106mm Hub, so these have been duly ordered; until then I’ll just check the torque on the Nuts with my trusty King Dick, just in case they decide to shake free a bit. The odd thing is that the 15″ Wheels they replaced also had 110mm Bores, so perhaps the difference is not an issue.
Back on the Driveway, The Beast was looking fresher, and the drive back to London was definitely more confidence inspiring. It’s not as if I take the 4Runner much past 50mph anyways, but at least I know now that the Tyres are warming, and gripping, and not prone to exploding at any given moment..
Surfer. Biker. Coder. Porsche.