D rated options in the venerable 255/85-16

tacollie

Explorer
I went from a D rated 255/85r16 ST to a E rated 235/85r16 Duratrac on my 00' 4runner. The Duratrac was heavier but I got better milage because it was over 1" shorter. They also rode better. That's why I havn't gone back to a 255. Also, some tires have higher rolling resistance.

Is your 4runner an auto? Mine was a manual and with the 255s I was averaging 16-17 mpgs.
 

owyheerat

Adventurer
It's that time again to start thinking about new tires for my Gen 2 Tacoma, and this time I'm really hoping to land on the perfect compromise. I've experimented with a number of tire sizes, load ratings, and casing designs. My current tires are the Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx in LR-E. The tires before that were 235/85-16s in LR-E. I've run LR-P, LR-C as well, in a variety of sizes. My current thinking is that probably the best compromise is the 255/85-16 in a LR-D, but that particular combination is not so common. I love the durability of the E tires, but they do ride a little rough for two reasons. One is that the unsprung weight is high relative to the weight of the truck. My suspension is well tuned so it's not terrible, but it could be better. The second issue is that the casing is really overkill for a truck this light. I have also noticed a difference in power on grades after switching to the heavier tire. One tire that has really caught my eye is the Cooper Discoverer S/T. In the 255/85-16D size, it is a full 10 ten pounds lighter than it's S/T Maxx E cousin! That's 40 pounds of unsprung weight lost, and puts it within a couple of pounds of the S/T Maxx 235/85-16.

So, my question for you all is this. I know there are a few other choices in this odd size/rating. Not all are actually lighter. I am trying to assemble a portfolio of potential choices that weigh in under 50 pounds. I want an aggressive A/T or M/T tread pattern. The Discoverer S/T is listed as a "Commercial Truck Tire", so maybe that is where I should be looking. Does anyone know of any hidden gems that meet this criteria?? Anyone with experience with the S/T?

I agree with your thinking. I drive a 99 4runner that is modified, and I have been running 255/85r16 tires for 3 years. In my opinion, I think it the perfect size for this vehicle. I am currently running Maxxis Bighorn, and have been mostly happy with them. My 4runner is not my daily driver (so bear that in mind). They have performed well in all conditions I have had them in, except hard packed snow / ice. My dislikes, are they have worn quickly (which I knew they would) and they are too loud on the highway. I chose them, because at the time, they were the lightest of the options in that tire size. They will need to be replaced this next year, and I have been looking hard at the new Mastercraft courser CXT. It is an E rated tire, but I believe it is a 2 ply tire and one of the lighter tires in its class (56 lbs). I have ran Mastercraft tires in the past on other vehicles and have been very happy with them.

Good luck with your decision and keep this thread updated.
 

owyheerat

Adventurer
It's that time again to start thinking about new tires for my Gen 2 Tacoma, and this time I'm really hoping to land on the perfect compromise. I've experimented with a number of tire sizes, load ratings, and casing designs. My current tires are the Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx in LR-E. The tires before that were 235/85-16s in LR-E. I've run LR-P, LR-C as well, in a variety of sizes. My current thinking is that probably the best compromise is the 255/85-16 in a LR-D, but that particular combination is not so common. I love the durability of the E tires, but they do ride a little rough for two reasons. One is that the unsprung weight is high relative to the weight of the truck. My suspension is well tuned so it's not terrible, but it could be better. The second issue is that the casing is really overkill for a truck this light. I have also noticed a difference in power on grades after switching to the heavier tire. One tire that has really caught my eye is the Cooper Discoverer S/T. In the 255/85-16D size, it is a full 10 ten pounds lighter than it's S/T Maxx E cousin! That's 40 pounds of unsprung weight lost, and puts it within a couple of pounds of the S/T Maxx 235/85-16.

So, my question for you all is this. I know there are a few other choices in this odd size/rating. Not all are actually lighter. I am trying to assemble a portfolio of potential choices that weigh in under 50 pounds. I want an aggressive A/T or M/T tread pattern. The Discoverer S/T is listed as a "Commercial Truck Tire", so maybe that is where I should be looking. Does anyone know of any hidden gems that meet this criteria?? Anyone with experience with the S/T?
Any update? Did you find the 'perfect' tire?

Thanks
 

bigoldford

New member
Just ordered som mastercraft cxt for my 4th gen and will report back on snow driving since we have about 2.5 feet at my house right now snowpocalypse


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Dipodomys

Observer
I run the BFG Mud 255/85/16 on my 2008 Tacoma, with stock steel rims like the kind that comes with the underbed spare. I absolutely love the tire because they provide additional clearance and I like the tall, skinny look. I've never actually used them in mud (who wants to clean up the mess?), but they perform extremely well in tough desert rock conditions at reduced pressures (<20 PSI).

But there are downsides to this size tire, some of them significant. Some of the issues I've experienced are related to my particular tire (BFG Mud), but many come back to the fact that the 255/85/16 is a very tall tire. In my case, it's close to three inches taller than what the truck rolled when new.

1) Weight. I wish I'd weighed my old tire/rim combination so I had a comparison, but I'd venture to say that my new BFG Mud setup is probably a third again heavier. Maybe more. They are very chunky tires, with lots of rubber. The steel rims are probably also heavier than the original SR5 alloys. If you want a lighter tire, the BFG Mud is not for you, but I expect that your research has already told you that.
2) Climbing hills at highway speeds is a problem. This is a tall tire, and you'll soon recognize the need for a regear. Like, within the first five miles. I need to switch my gearing from 3.73s to 4.88s, which would address that issue, but that's a big expense that I haven't gotten around to yet. I only use my truck for trips, so its not like its something I have to deal with every day.
3) Towing capacity has decreased, based on the gearing issue noted above. Pulling a little utility trailer to the dump is fine, but anything more than that would be a no-go.
4) Braking ability took a hit. Safe braking distances have definitely increased, and I carefully keep my distance from vehicles in front of me. There's not much that can be done about that, and I'm not sure if that's a function of the increased weight (likely) or the larger diameter.
5) The BFG Mud is very noisy, especially when new. It's very noticeable, especially in the back seat where there is less sound deadening insulation. Folks back there have a hard time hearing conversations up front.
6) Fuel mileage. Tacomas have never been known for getting great mileage. With the stock tires and the usual list of modifications, I never broke 18 mpg. Now I'm down to about 14 mpg, which is clearly ridiculous, though it is admittedly self-inflicted. A regear would probably help that too, but there's no getting around the fact that I'll still be trying to turn a lot more weight.
7) The diameter is too large for the spare to fit in the stock underbed location. That is, unless you want to reroute your exhaust and do a bunch of other fabrication. $$$/PITA. As a result, I still have my stock spare under there, which isn't the end of the world, but its not ideal, either.

So I'd advise you to approach this with caution, as there are significant tradeoffs. Regardless of the tire brand you purchase, the 255/85/16 is a substantially taller tire, and the reduction in power and fuel economy is a real thing. Otherwise, they're great. Happy tire hunting.IMG_5363.JPGIMG_5363.JPG
 
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pittsburgh

tacocat
I run the BFG Mud 255/85/16 on my 2008 Tacoma, with stock steel rims like the kind that comes with the underbed spare. I absolutely love the tire because they provide additional clearance and I like the tall, skinny look. I've never actually used them in mud (who wants to clean up the mess?), but they perform extremely well in tough desert rock conditions at reduced pressures (<20 PSI).

But there are downsides to this size tire, some of them significant. Some of the issues I've experienced are related to my particular tire (BFG Mud), but many come back to the fact that this is a very tall tire:

1) I wish I'd weighed my old tire/rim combination so I had a comparison, but I'd venture to say that my new BFG Mud setup is probably a third again heavier. Maybe more. They are very chunky tires, with lots of rubber. So if you want a lighter tire, the BFG Mud is not for you, but I expect that your research has already told you that.
2) Climbing hills at highway speeds is a problem. This is a tall tire, and you'll soon recognize the need for a regear. Like, within the first five miles. I need to switch my gearing from 3.73s to 4.88s, which would address that issue, but that's a big expense that I haven't gotten around to yet. I only use my truck for trips, so its not like its something I have to deal with every day.
3) Towing capacity has decreased, based on the gearing issue noted above. Pulling a little utility trailer to the dump is fine, but anything more than that would be a no-go.
4) Braking ability took a hit. Safe braking distances have definitely increased, and I carefully keep my distance from vehicles in front of me. There's not much that can be done about that, and I'm not sure if that's a function of the increased weight (likely) or the larger diameter.
5) The BFG Mud is very noisy, especially when new. It's very noticeable, especially in the back seat where there is less sound deadening insulation. Folks back there have a hard time hearing conversations up front.
6) Fuel mileage. Tacomas have never been known for getting great mileage. With the stock tires and the usual list of modifications, I never broke 18 mpg. Now I'm down to about 14 mpg, which is clearly ridiculous, though it is admittedly self-inflicted. A regear would probably help that too, but there's no getting around the fact that I'll still be trying to turn a lot more weight.
7) The diameter is too large for the spare to fit in the stock underbed location. That is, unless you want to reroute your exhaust and do a bunch of other fabrication. $$$/PITA. As a result, I still have my stock spare under there, which isn't the end of the world, but its not ideal, either.

So I'd advise you to approach this with caution, as there are significant tradeoffs. Regardless of the tire brand you purchase, the 255/85/16 is a substantially taller tire, and the reduction in power and fuel economy is a real thing. Otherwise, they're great. Happy tire hunting.View attachment 500692View attachment 500692
I love that setup looks great!!! I just called a local shop yesterday about changing gears on my TJ/LJ form 3:73 to either 4:11's or 4:65's and I was quoted only $1,300

Have you gotten quotes on a gear change? I can't see a Tacoma being much more expensive.
 

Dipodomys

Observer
I love that setup looks great!!! I just called a local shop yesterday about changing gears on my TJ/LJ form 3:73 to either 4:11's or 4:65's and I was quoted only $1,300

Have you gotten quotes on a gear change? I can't see a Tacoma being much more expensive.
I live in the Bay Area, and everything costs a lot more here. The quotes I've gotten hover around $2,500, which would include the new ring and pinion, new bearings and seals (recommended given the truck's 140k mileage), an alignment, and labor. I could save some by removing the pumpkins myself and taking them up to the shop, but probably not enough to make it worth the hassle. Those guys can do in an hour what would take me half a day. Plus, gear oil is stinky!

Consider your selected gear ratio carefully. I've found that nearly everyone has an opinion, and many of those opinions aren't based on real knowledge or experience. Choose wisely!
 

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pittsburgh

tacocat
I live in the Bay Area, and everything costs a lot more here. The quotes I've gotten hover around $2,500, which would include the new ring and pinion, new bearings and seals (recommended given the truck's 140k mileage), an alignment, and labor. I could save some by removing the pumpkins myself and taking them up to the shop, but probably not enough to make it worth the hassle. Those guys can do in an hour what would take me half a day. Plus, gear oil is stinky!

Consider your selected gear ratio carefully. I've found that nearly everyone has an opinion, and many of those opinions aren't based on real knowledge or experience. Choose wisely!
Its true you get lots of feed back from "know it all" lol. I ran 4:88's on my 4cylinder 5 speed YJ with 33x10.5 BFG KM's and it was great. if my current jeep was a manual I would go 4:56 and 33's for sure, but as an auto I am leaning towards 4:11 and 32's of some kind.

But, after seeing your truck I might sell the jeep and pimp the yota :unsure:
 

TernOverland

Supporting Sponsor Ternoverland.com
I'm seriously considering the Cepek Extreme country. The 255/85-16 E tire is 8 pounds lighter than the Cooper STT Maxx in the same size. Both are made by Cooper, and the extreme appears to have been patterned after the Cooper STT Pro. At 50 pounds, it is also the lightest tire in that size that I have found. Cooper has apparently dropped the Discoverer S/T. I don't get Coopers naming strategy. 15 models all named "Discoverer"
 

TernOverland

Supporting Sponsor Ternoverland.com
So I did order the Cepek Extremes and the scale weight is exactly 50 pounds. I'm surprised to be honest. I asked several suppliers for real weights and got answers from 49.6 to 58.2 pounds. I have a calibrated scale and the tires weigh 50.0 pounds These tires are only about a pound heavier than the Cooper STT Pro in 235/85-16. It does appear that this tire is a little lighter construction, which as actually perfect. The sidewalls are more like a D rated tire, even though they are rated E. They have a lot of tread depth too, so I'm guessing the carcass under the tread is a little thinner. I would say these are "E-light" .From the looks of things, this may be just the tire I wanted! The softer sidewall E rated tires do give a nicer ride, and flex more offroad at higher pressure. I'll be razor siping the inner tread blocks and getting these mounted up soon. More info to come.
 

Clymber

Adventurer
I run Maxxis Bighorn in 255/85 and have yet to have a complaint about them and im on my 2nd set. They are good on rock, mud, snow. They are a wee bit pricey but i dont really care since i dont drive my truck daily and no long highway drives.
 

RusD

New member
So I did order the Cepek Extremes and the scale weight is exactly 50 pounds. I'm surprised to be honest. I asked several suppliers for real weights and got answers from 49.6 to 58.2 pounds. I have a calibrated scale and the tires weigh 50.0 pounds These tires are only about a pound heavier than the Cooper STT Pro in 235/85-16. It does appear that this tire is a little lighter construction, which as actually perfect. The sidewalls are more like a D rated tire, even though they are rated E. They have a lot of tread depth too, so I'm guessing the carcass under the tread is a little thinner. I would say these are "E-light" .From the looks of things, this may be just the tire I wanted! The softer sidewall E rated tires do give a nicer ride, and flex more offroad at higher pressure. I'll be razor siping the inner tread blocks and getting these mounted up soon. More info to come.
Been a few months, do you have an update on how the Cepeks are performing?
 

TernOverland

Supporting Sponsor Ternoverland.com
Been a few months, do you have an update on how the Cepeks are performing?
Sorry to say, no! I have them ready to go on the truck, but the truck is undergoing some upgrades that are not quite done. They balanced very well. One of them got perfect balance by moving it around the wheel, and has no weights on it at all.
 

FishingDude

New member
Every listing I can find for the Cepeks says they're 58lbs now. Which is strange since yours all weighed in at 50lbs.

How do you like them now? I'm looking to find some 255/85r16 for my frontier for highway and mild to medium off-road trails.
 
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