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Review: Interco SS M-16 tires (updated again - 9.26.10)
"STUCK" pictures are at the end of page 2 and on page 3!
Updates in red
Update 2 in green
Update 3 in blue
Update 4 in purple
Update 5 in orange
Snow update - December 26, 2010
Model: Super Swamper M-16
Price: $251.98 (eBay from CarParts.com -- w/ 8% cashback: $231.92)
Size: 295/70R-17 (33x11.6)
Mileage when installed: 99,505
Current mileage: 128,421
Total mileage: 28,916
Comparison Tire: BFG A/T (33x12.5-16.5) -- really no comparison... I could get stuck on a dry, paved road with these things.
An aggressive looking tire to say the least. It has bullets on the sidewalls in between the lugs, assumingly to go with the M-16 name. I've received many compliments on them thus far.
I figure I'll include noise up toward the top since that is a common question. There is some road noise, but is to be expected from this style tire. You can hear the noise at about 30 MPH and up to highway speed it does get progressively louder. After about 50 MPH the noise is pretty constant up through 80 MPH the noise is the same. With the windows up and the radio on low you can barely hear them. With the windows down you can still hear a hum but with the radio at a reasonable volume above wind noise it should drown out most of it.
I made a 12 hour long drive with them on the interstate with no complaints on the noise.
I've put around 5k to miles on them now. The noise has gotten a little bit louder to me, but still not very unbearable. It could just be that I'm more cognizant of the noise so it seems louder. I'm going to rotate them soon to keep them fresh.
Noise is definitely getting a lot louder than what I remember them being. Haven't rotated yet
Rotated the tires and that helped with road noise.
Rotated the tires again and have a vibration in the front. I'm guessing they are out of balance.
The tires have gotten more bounce and vibration to them now, and the tire shop won't even try to balance them. Noise is pretty decent from the tires especially in turns.
Rain: Previously not tested. With the recent downpours I had a chance. So far the traction seems pretty good. I hit a few "puddles" on purpose and you can feel them but the tires don't really "train track" them. They stayed pretty straight and had minimal hydroplaning at around 45 MPH. I'm sure if you hit the at a higher speed it could be scary.
Mud: Previously not tested. I had some chances to drive through a wide open clearing full of flooded, red clay. I started off in 4WD high just to make sure I didn't get stuck. With some spirit they definitely got some traction in the soup and had constant rooster tails of mud from the rear tires. I turned off 2WD and even with a heavy pedal they found grip. I made it through the mud holes, but at a slower pace. Being that it was more mud bogging than driving through mud holes I expected it to spin a lot. The difference between the 2WD and 4WD was about 10 MPH through the mud as far as traction. I finally got the truck stuck. It was in extremely soft sand/mud and the truck just sunk into the front differential. The tires kept biting but and buried themselves but they would not self clean. I don't think it's a design flaw or negative for the tires. I think it was just a bad place to go.
I went offroad again and didn't bother locking in the front hubs. I went through a mud hole that I had went through before in someone elses truck a few years ago and didn't think much of it. Went through this time and the left front wound up sliding into a rut and buried it to the leaf spring. All this in 2WD and no hubs locked. I gave it some heavy gas to try to get out and the back tires started to dig. I let off slightly and they started to pull out. I learned that throttle control plays a huge part in how the tires get traction. The more you throttle the more they'll just dig until they bury. Less is more in this case.
Sand: Not really tested. I drove through a sandy portion and once they dug in a little they seemed to bite.
Grass/hard ground: Very well. I tried to kick the rear end out to turn the truck sideways and it refused to do it. Even with the torque of a diesel I kicked it hard and all it did was sling dirt but kept the sideways traction. Most of the blocks cleaned out and only a few of them had clumps of dirt and grass.
Other: Riding around in the woods I turned around in a spot that put me on a downhill slope. I had about a foot of clearance between the truck and a tree so I had to go backwards. I slowly tried to pull back but the tires hit some rock and wet clay and spun. Every time I hit the gas harder they'd slide sideways. It didn't help that the front tires were over a slight hump of wet leaves. I put it in 4WD and slowly backed up without any wheel spin.
I got stuck in 2WD on an off road dirt hill that was VERY steep. Put it in 4WD and didn't spin a tire.
Snow: I'm pretty impressed. I went through about 5" of powder and my buddy's truck with Geloanders (to the wear bars though) was having trouble. They slid very little on packed snow/ice mix and were very controlled on the slopes. It bits really well on the powder though and would take them through snow before mud any day.
Only had them for 2,000 miles and don't have any noticeable wear, but I would hope not at that mileage.
Almost 14,000 miles on them. The rear tires are definitely showing wear as are the front. Rear definitely more than front. The "squiggles" in the center of the treads are completely gone on the rear and have traces left on the front. They may last to 25,000 but it's not looking promising. Alot of this driving was high speed highway and also towing through curvy roads.
The rear tires have worn quite a bit compared to the front. I have towed 5-6k loads about 3 or 4 times with them and seems to really wear them down quickly. I have also noticed that the side of the treads are starting to chunk and rip off. Also some of the treads are wearing more than others causing high and low spots. You can run your hand across some of the blocks and feel a definitely elevation change in the same block.
These tires ride pretty well. There are a few issues I've noticed though. When almost to a stop you can really feel the treads and it's almost like a slight bounce to them. Also when coasting down in speed between 30 and 40 MPH you can feel the tires. It's not really a bounce but almost a slight vibration from the treads.
Other than those two issues they ride very well and are very responsive to steering input. They aren't sluggish at all which I was surprised given the tread block design.
Lots of vibration that is making the ride uncomfortable. The whole truck rattles and vibrates now.
I like these tires and they ride pretty nice. I can't wait to test them out off road. I will probably buy these again depending on their treadwear.
I am looking at other tires at this point when these wear out.
One of my tires got punctured by a 6x2" piece of copper today and rendered it useless now. Since the wear on the tires doesn't warrant a new one I'll be looking for another set of tires to throw on. I would estimate these tires may have had another 10,000-12,000 miles but probably not much more.
All of the tires have roughly 1/4" of tread left but the one that got punctured had a wierd wear pattern. See attached picture. The curve on the top is not normal. It does that all the way down the tire with the center of the tread on the left side definitely have a "U" shape to it.
I won't be getting these tires again mainly because I've discovered that I need a winch, not better tires, on this truck for offroading. I will probably go with some of the other well known tires that others have reviewed on here.
Thanks for looking!
Mods: Nitto Trail Grapplers, Diamo 17 Karat wheels, Red-head Steering box, Autometer gauges, Tru-Cool #4739 trans cooler, BFxenon HID lights
'03 Mustang GT
Mods: A bunch. --> Clicky
Last edited by merc123; 05-23-2011 at 05:55 PM.