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Discussion Starter #1
Here's my first post. I searched a few times but A.D.D. kicks in and I'm on to something else. So hoping you guys can chime in on this topic.

I sold my 2009 6.4 and just picked up my dads 2001 7.3. I always wanted to figure out a different tire size specifically for winter driving. I do a lot of winter driving up north and as we know pizza cutters are much better than swampers in the snow. Also, after getting shocked with 18" and 20" rubber prices I figured it would be best to downsize the rim (i know you needed a minimum of 17" on the 08+, but I now have 16" on the 01:). Additionally this would give a better ride for the bumpy roads winter has to offer with a taller sidewall.

Anyway, my truck is stock and running 265/75r16 on an aftermarket rim. I'm curious to see if anyone has any experience running a narrower tire and how it performed?
 

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Short answer: Stick with stock size. Buy Nokians, studded if it is legal in your Province/State



Long Answer: The reputable companies that manufacture winter tires for light trucks take the wide/narrow debate, as well as a plethora of other factors into account when designing these tires. Your best bet is to stick with the stock size you run over the summer.

The only thing you need to do is ensure that you chalk-test the tires rather than stick with the MFG recommended pressures. You should do that anyway, but it's more important with winter tires for a couple related reasons:

Winter tires (like summer tires) are designed to perform optimally when the whole tread surface has even ground pressure. What you are doing with the chalk test is determining how even ground pressure is. If it wears in the middle, you have too much ground pressure in the middle. if it wears on the outside, too much ground pressure on the outside. If it wears evenly, you have an equal distribution of ground pressure.

Winter tires are generally designed so that longitudinal grip (forwards/backwards) is achieved in the middle of the tire. Conversely lateral grip is towards the shoulders/edges. Some do this backwards, some have a 45* grip pattern as well, but they all follow a scheme like this. If you have too much pressure in the middle, you can accelerate well, but when cornering or braking while cornering, you have no grip because there is no pressure on the portion of the tire designed to grip in these circumstances. Same goes for if a tire isn't underinflated and you are trying to start/stop.

This of course leads to wear. You want your winter tires to last. They are a softer compound, so they wear easier if not pressurised correctly. If you think summers are bad for wearing in the middle, winters are FAR worse. If you wear out the middle before the edges, you now have no longitudinal grip. If you still have over inflated tires, then you have no lateral grip either. Your winters would be useless in this case.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Short answer: Stick with stock size. Buy Nokians, studded if it is legal in your Province/State



Long Answer: The reputable companies that manufacture winter tires for light trucks take the wide/narrow debate, as well as a plethora of other factors into account when designing these tires. Your best bet is to stick with the stock size you run over the summer.

The only thing you need to do is ensure that you chalk-test the tires rather than stick with the MFG recommended pressures. You should do that anyway, but it's more important with winter tires for a couple related reasons:

Winter tires (like summer tires) are designed to perform optimally when the whole tread surface has even ground pressure. What you are doing with the chalk test is determining how even ground pressure is. If it wears in the middle, you have too much ground pressure in the middle. if it wears on the outside, too much ground pressure on the outside. If it wears evenly, you have an equal distribution of ground pressure.

Winter tires are generally designed so that longitudinal grip (forwards/backwards) is achieved in the middle of the tire. Conversely lateral grip is towards the shoulders/edges. Some do this backwards, some have a 45* grip pattern as well, but they all follow a scheme like this. If you have too much pressure in the middle, you can accelerate well, but when cornering or braking while cornering, you have no grip because there is no pressure on the portion of the tire designed to grip in these circumstances. Same goes for if a tire isn't underinflated and you are trying to start/stop.

This of course leads to wear. You want your winter tires to last. They are a softer compound, so they wear easier if not pressurised correctly. If you think summers are bad for wearing in the middle, winters are FAR worse. If you wear out the middle before the edges, you now have no longitudinal grip. If you still have over inflated tires, then you have no lateral grip either. Your winters would be useless in this case.
Why ya gotta be a Debbie Downer.:rofl: That chalk test, I've never heard of and will have a look at.....interesting.
 

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Why ya gotta be a Debbie Downer.:rofl: That chalk test, I've never heard of and will have a look at.....interesting.
If you want you can run narrower tires and do a chalk test on them as well. Just keep in mind the pressure will probably be higher than stock (the rational for going to a narrower tire in the first place) and your load capacity may be lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, I'm looking at these NEXEN Winguard Winspike SUV 235/85/16 tires for winter. They are a 10 ply which I think would have a little stiffer construction to prevent the folding as much with that tall of a sidewall. Has anyone used these tires before?

Also, I noticed the front tires are a little staggered out from the rear. Would you suggest spacers to line them up so they follow in the same track of the front tires? I've heard the narrower 235 tires have a tendency to get caught in ruts and wander. Just wondering if proper spacing would help prevent this.
 
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