Question: Gen 3.5 Ltd 3.8L vs. 255-85-R16's

Offroadmuch

Explorer
To the Montero gurus, just wondering if I will regret 33's due to gearing and power. If I don't run these I will go with 265-75-R16's (almost 32's). I don't have money to deal with new gears so some sound advice would be appreciated.

I will have my 2" lift on soon too so not concerned about rubbing just power...

Thanks
 

Tundraguy81

Observer
I run 285-65-17 and didn't notice much of a difference. My Montero is an 05 with no lift. I did have to grab the lower metal bracket in the fender wells and pull it towards the front of the Montero to keep from rubbing. But after that it hasn't rubbed any.

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cnutco

Adventurer
I have 255/85-16 BFG KM2's with an OME HD 2" lift. For what the Montero is, I still have the needed power to send me down the road at an adequate rate and decent off the line for the weight.

The only down side is that the transmission may work a little harder, but no issues so far.

This is my second set of KM2's. Currently I have just over 200,000 miles. My OME lift is a few years old and may need to be replaced, cause I am not sitting level from side to side.


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plh

Explorer
I run 285/75R16 with OME 2" (medium) springs on my '05. Not a lot of difference in speed that I can discern. You may need to trim a little with 255's and a 2". I'm really close at full turns and ruts to rubbing, and I think 255s are a tad bit taller the 285s I'm running. CNUTCO can probably comment.
 

MoabRefugee

Observer
I think it depends largely on what you are currently running, their weight, and how often you are at altitude. I drove an 02 onroad at 8100 feet in NM, with a fresh rebuild, and it was a dog, particular with wind. By that I mean, you aren't passing with a 20 mph headwind. Maybe the 3.8 is appreciably better(having been told that is), but I am looking at going 4.9's here in Moab, specifically in order to run 255/85 16's. I currently have 265/75 KO2's, and I definitely felt the extra 14# per tire over the P-rated 265/70 16's that were on there. IMO if you are primarily under 4500 ft, go for it!
 

Swank Force One

Adventurer
Our 3.8 Gen3 didn't have any issues going through Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest at 70-80mph in overdrive with OME HD lift and 235/85-16s at up to 10k' elevation. I've also not had a problem towing a car with it leaving it in overdrive. Yeah it kicks down to pass at high elevation and while towing, but that's what a transmission is for.

I've never driven another Gen3, but this one feels plenty powerful.
 

Offroadmuch

Explorer
I was on board for 235-85-R16's but some people have said it gives a mushy ride and not a good feel for the road so I was looking at something else.
 

Swank Force One

Adventurer
I am some people. I absolutely hate this tire size.

I dont know that 255/85 is going to be any better. Still a pretty narrow tire and by design is going to have even more sidewall.
 

Offroadmuch

Explorer
I am some people. I absolutely hate this tire size.

I dont know that 255/85 is going to be any better. Still a pretty narrow tire and by design is going to have even more sidewall.
I see what you are saying. I would like the extra clearance but not a real mushy ride. Also planning on Load Range-D not E.
 

MoabRefugee

Observer
I see what you are saying. I would like the extra clearance but not a real mushy ride. Also planning on Load Range-D not E.
Load D in the 255 might be a bit flexy under a Monty's 5200# +. Surprisingly, am incredibly pleased with KO2's E rated ride quality on the highway, and trusting the construction doesn't hurt.
I was strongly considering load C, to give you an idea how concerned I was about ride quality.

Additionally, having experienced how vague the KO2 are in the twisties at 28-31psi(could be my alignment, to be fair) and even though I am looking at the 255/85 16 (or 17" equiv.), I am expecting somewhat of a puppy on linoleum experience on road if pushed. Frankly, I was expecting a "sportier" feel given the E rating.

I am thinking, "Whatever a 235/85 feels like, amplified, with taller gearing to boot". Maybe someone that has run both in the same tire can elaborate?
 

Swank Force One

Adventurer
Load D in the 255 might be a bit flexy under a Monty's 5200# +. Surprisingly, am incredibly pleased with KO2's E rated ride quality on the highway, and trusting the construction doesn't hurt.
I was strongly considering load C, to give you an idea how concerned I was about ride quality.

Additionally, having experienced how vague the KO2 are in the twisties at 28-31psi(could be my alignment, to be fair) and even though I am looking at the 255/85 16 (or 17" equiv.), I am expecting somewhat of a puppy on linoleum experience on road if pushed. Frankly, I was expecting a "sportier" feel given the E rating.

I am thinking, "Whatever a 235/85 feels like, amplified, with taller gearing to boot". Maybe someone that has run both in the same tire can elaborate?
We have E rated Duratracs in the 235/85. Have to run 50-55psi just to make it livable in terms of steering feel, which means it rides a bit rougher than most people would like. Doesn't bother us, we prefer firmer ride a good feedback in our vehicles. But in this size, we just get the firmer ride still with zero feedback. I'll be swapping to a 265/75 or 285/75 sometime this year i think.
 

Offroadmuch

Explorer
We have E rated Duratracs in the 235/85. Have to run 50-55psi just to make it livable in terms of steering feel, which means it rides a bit rougher than most people would like. Doesn't bother us, we prefer firmer ride a good feedback in our vehicles. But in this size, we just get the firmer ride still with zero feedback. I'll be swapping to a 265/75 or 285/75 sometime this year i think.
I hear what you are saying. I was thinking the 285/75's would be wide and heavy. I know some guys are running these.
 

Swank Force One

Adventurer
I hear what you are saying. I was thinking the 285/75's would be wide and heavy. I know some guys are running these.
Yeah I personally probably won't try the 285/75s on stock wheels. The Gen3 has room to swallow that tire with the correct wheel/offset with the OME lift, though.

Unless we're talking about a 6hr+ haul, i personally prefer driving my completely hammered and worn out Gen2.5 on 33x12.5r15s. Steering feels less "spooky" to me.
 

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plh

Explorer
I was on board for 235-85-R16's but some people have said it gives a mushy ride and not a good feel for the road so I was looking at something else.
Had 235/85R16 on my '05 for a couple years. Absolutely hated them. 285/75R16 are a dream. Great ride and handling. I thought the 235's were down right dangerous, "spooky" is a good description, terrible road feel, twitchy, was never in a dangerous situation with them, would have hated to be in one. I would be cautious going with 255s as well. Had a set of 255s on my Gen 1 for a while. Not bad on the shorty, but this is not a Gen 3.
 
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Offroadmuch

Explorer
Had 235/85R16 on my '05 for a couple years. Absolutely hated them. 285/75R16 are a dream. Great ride and handling. I thought the 235's were down right dangerous, "spooky" is a good description, terrible road feel, twitchy, was never in a dangerous situation with them, would have hated to be in one. I would be cautious going with 255s as well. Had a set of 255s on my Gen 1 for a while. Not bad on the shorty, but this is not a Gen 3.
I really appreciate the feedback you gave here. It is easy to forget how heavy the Gen 3's are and how demanding they are of the proper tires. I was looking at a full size Chevy truck today and the Goodyears LT (maybe Duratracks?) it had were rated for 1900 pounds each. I looked at my Yokohama Geolandars (HT-S?) and they are rated for 2400+ pounds each and not E rated. I do like the idea of a strong tire.

So as far as 285/75R16 I know they weigh a little more so I might see a loss of power, mpg and more wear on associated components like bushings, wheel bearings, transmission? Or do our very sturdily engineered Monteros tolerate heavier tires without problems? I already trimmed my bumper and will be lifted soon so I am less concerned about rubbing...
 
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