30 x 9.5 R15 tires for Daily Driver XJ, ZJ, YJ, and TJ
Note: Further down there is a list of all brands/models of 30 x 9.5 R15 tires made.
30 x 9.5 R15 in P rated, or especially load C rated, is a great size tire for daily driven XJ, ZJ, YJ, or TJ because it's excellent on road and good off road. An excellent upgrade for an XJ, or ZJ, and an excellent stock size for a YJ or TJ.
(Compared to load C tires) P rated tires cost less, ride softer (more comfort), and get better gas mileage, but P rated tread has less depth (less traction), and P rated are less tough for off roading. (i.e. - P might get damaged off road).30 x 9.5 R15 AT tires fit good on stock XJ, ZJ, YJ, TJ, and perhaps other Jeeps too. They are also excellent for many years of Ford Rangers and Explorers, and many other small to midsize SUVs that use 15" wheels. A 15 x 7 wheel is ideal with a 30 x 9.5 R15 tire for on and off road. A 15 x 8 wheel is OK on road.
30 x 9.5 R15 is an ideal tire size for someone who wants on and off road performance on a budget, and it's a simple, inexpensive, highly effective upgrade. IMO it's the ideal first upgrade for a new XJ or ZJ owner. I'm on my 3rd Jeep and I've tried many sizes of tires, including smaller and larger sizes, and 30s are my favorite size for a daily driver Jeep because they give an excellent combination of on and off road performance, and good gas mileage too.
I'm most familiar XJs. For that reason, the following talks about XJs mostly, but the list of tires below is useful to anyone interested in 30 x 9.5 R15 tires. This includes people with daily driver XJ, ZJ, YJ, and TJ (as well as Ford Rangers, Explorers, and other brands of 1/4 ton SUVs).
It's the largest tire you can fit on a stock XJ or ZJ. It's also awesome with 1", 1.5", 2", and 2.5" lifts. Most notably Old Man Emu (OME) lifts. It's also the largest tire that works good with stock 3.55 gearing, though someday I might regear to 3.73 because I live in mountains.
Some stock XJs might have minor rubbing (on swaybar, LCA, or front flare) while turning sharp, especially if the suspension is articulating. My stock 96 XJ did this with BFG AT, but it was so minor of a rub that I ignored it and it was never a problem. It never rubbed on road, and only rarely rubbed off road. My stock 99 XJ never rubs on or off road, even when articulating and turning sharp (front sway bar connected, rear sway bar removed). I think my stock 99 XJ might even clear my 30" tires during articulation with front sway bar disconnected. This is probably because my 99 XJ has tow package springs (so it sits slightly higher).
My 99 XJ is stock and running 30 x 9.5 R15 AT and nothing has ever rubbed on or off road. I intend to install an OME 1.5" lift (light duty springs) this summer, which will be a 1.25" lift with weight of my skid plates. My 30" tires don't need any lift. I just want a lift.
If you try 30 x 9.5 R15 tires on a stock XJ, it might rub (swaybar, LCA, or front flare) slightly during sharp turns. If this happens, it might be slight enough to ignore it; or a slight adjustment to steer stops will fix it and turning radius will still be good. Any tire store will adjust steer stops (usually for free) if you bought the tires from them.
Edited in 2 Years Later: I now have a Currie Antirock front sway bar that allows full articulation (as much as a disconnected front sway bar would). I can still fully articulate my XJ without rubbing anything. My front tire stuffs without rubbing anything. Likewise with rear tire. I have stock bumpstops. I'm using Cooper AT3 which are spec'd at 29.3" tall and has small side lugs.===
See post 41 for places to buy slightly to moderately used 30 x 9.5 R15 tires for big discounts. You can sometimes get nearly new tires for greatly reduced prices.===
The only complaint I've heard about 30 x 9.5 R15 tires is an alleged lack of selection. I have heard this from Jeep owners and tire shops. I've even seen some posts on the Internet lamenting a lack of tire selection in 30 x 9.5 R15. That is baloney. There is lots of selection available. See the list below.
List of Available 30 x 9.5 R15 Tires.
Below are sections for highway tires (HT), all season tires (AS), all terrain tires (AT), hybrid tires (part AT, part MT tread), and mud tires (MT).
Sometimes tire companies refer to AT/S, AT-S, or ATS; which I assume means it's between AS and AT, though I'm not sure what ATS means.
Kumho makes a few highway tires in this size===
All Season Tires
(between HT and AT for tread)===
All Terrain Tires
All terrain tires reviews and rankings discussed... http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f15/n...e-one-1527835/
All terrain tires available in 30 x 9.5 R15
Cooper Discoverer AT3 I'm running these right now in 30 X 9.5 R15 on stock 99 XJ. It's a great trail tire (and quite good in mud for AT), very quiet, great ride quality, reasonably soft riding on and off road, and does NOT hydroplane on wet highways. I like this tire a lot, but it has poor ice traction and mediocre snow traction. It's sand ability is mediocre. It's mud traction is excellent (for an AT) and it never hydroplanes on highway. A very good tire if you don't drive on ice or sand. It has a 55,000 mile tread warranty. Note: this tire is low flotation tire, IME. i.e. - it sinks in soft surfaces. Low flotation is a good thing on wet highways because it doesn't hydroplane. It sinks down through the water to the pavement, which is good. However, on sand, its low flotation means more sinking, spinning, and struggling. On trails and mud I have had great results with it. So either its lack of flotation doesn't matter on muddy trails, or maybe it helps since performance on muddy trails has been excellent. Also, it has hard rubber, which helps it last more miles and stand up rocky trails, but that had rubber is probably one reason it's slick on ice and mediocre on snow. Each attribute is an advantage in some situations, but a disadvantage in others, as with any tire. Over all it's a great tire.===
Hybrid Tires (Aggressive AT aka Commercial Traction) (tread between AT and MT)
Cooper ST (hybrid - crossbreed of AT & MT) I owned this tire before. It's on road performance is OK (between AT & MT) and it's off road performance is excellent. Winter road traction is terrible, until you add extra sipes to center treads. With extra sipes Winter traction is pretty good.===
The less aggressive MT could possibly be called hybrid tires. Some of the MT below are mild or hybrid like, while others are typical MT, and some are very aggressive MT.===
The 3 tires below were good in their day, and are still good for the money, if you can find them. I've read conflicting reports that they are discontinued, and other reports saying they're still made. I currently see sources on the Internet selling them under Trivant brand name.
I've heard these were/are made by BFG, Cavalier, National, and Trivant. I have no idea which company made these, or perhaps all 3 made them?
Sport King AT
This is awesome and timely. Exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks for the great write up.
I see you are in Seattle. A 9.5" wide tire is good on wet freeways because little or no hydroplaning. So there's another benefit of 30 x 9.5 R15 tires for you.
A 10.5" wide tire can make a light Jeep (stock XJ or TJ) hydroplane on wet freeway at 65 or 70 mph.
Top Rated ATs
All terrain tires reviews and rankings...
See this thread http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f15/n...e-one-1527835/
A digital tire pressure guage is most accurate.
Tire Air pressure for 30 x 9.5 R15 load C tires
I arrived at these conclusions after much experimentation for 4 weeks with 2 different brands of AT load-C 30 x 9.5 R15 on my stock XJ with tow package (tow package rides stiffer than standard springs). Experimentation on my XJ started with using tire pressure formula described below for a starting point. Then a chalk test to determine if contact patch flat, except I use duct tape instead of chalk because tape is faster and more convenient to apply, lasts much longer (about 20 to 30 miles), and gives a more accurate test. Then final tests involved road tests checking handling on curvy roads, ride on bumpy roads, and high speed driving to see if it tracks strait or wanders, and testing high speed cornering. In the final tested I changed psi in 0.5 psi increments to find the best. Tire pressure always tested and adjusted on cold tires in garage around 55F at 9 PM. Driving tests were done in various weather conditions from cold and rainy to warm and rainy, to cold and dry, to hot and dry. In addition to road test on city roads, rural highways, and interstate freeways, I also tested on gravel roads and on a very bumpy road paved with baseball size rocks. I was looking for a tire pressure that worked on all paved road conditions, gravel roads, and on the very bumpy lumpy road paved with baseball size rocks. Can one tire pressure work for all those things? Yes. It works good on paved roads and mild off road conditions without need to air down. I think it will also work well for mild Winter road conditions without needing to air down.
Note: Cold pressure, or cold tire pressure, means the car has been sitting parked in the shade for at least an hour before testing tire pressure.
Here are cold tire pressures I find work best: 27 psi front, 24.5 psi rear at air temp around 55F to 60F. If air temp is 67 F to 72F, I want 28 psi front, 25.5 psi rear. If air temp is 79F or higher, I want 28.5 to 29 psi front, 26 to 26.5 psi rear.
With less psi steering wandered on highway. With more psi ride was HARSH on bumps and front tire(s) sometimes bounced off the highway (air born) when hitting worst bumps on highway, which is adversely affects steering and hurts my back.
Note: Rural highways in NW Oregon are poorly maintained. Some rural highways are like prerunning over bumps at 45 to 60 mph.
BTW - Monroe Sensitrac shocks are the softest riding stock length shocks that I know of for a stock XJ. Though even softer (and longer) for front shocks is Old Man Emu TJ comfort shocks N66C (which will fit a stock or low lift XJ). However, the N66C shocks might be discontinued now. I'd better buy another pair while I can.My psi figures for stock XJs are for the 30 x 9.5 R15 load C tires I have used. If you use a different brand or model of tire, your best psi might be 0.5 different than my figures. My figures are for load C tires. If you have a P rated (passenger tire), the same psi might work good, or it might need slightly different psi.
If you want to carry more than 200 lbs in rear cargo area, add 1 psi for every additional 100 lbs of cargo. Note: This info is specific to 30 X 9.5 R15 size tires.Road test your psi. If adjustment is needed, adjust 0.5 psi and test again.
A digital tire pressure guage is most accurate and makes it easy to adjust in 0.5 psi increments.
Stock YJs and TJs are a similar weight as XJs. So the above applies to stock TJs, though there will be slight differences in best psi.
Stock LJs and ZJs are heavier (than XJs) and will need more tire pressure (than XJs).
Thanks for all of the information in this post. Very impressive and very helpful.
Just to add to the list, the Definity Dakota MT from Pep Boys is actually pretty good, and super cheap. I had a set on a stock TJ I used to have.
The Definity Dakota MT looks same as Hercules Trail Digger MT, which is to be expected since both brands are (to the best of my knowledge) owned by Cooper. i.e. - Definity and Hercules are subsidiaries of Cooper (I've heard). So it makes sense their tires look similar to each other, and have similarities to Cooper tires. So that makes them 1st cousins to the Cooper AT3, but at a lower price.
Schwab also makes an Open Country "sport" quiet tire and cheaper than most of the other Open country line BTW Works good in the snow i have found!here in Oregon!
What brand is this tire? Toyo? Other?
It's available in 30 x 9.5 R15 ?
I can't find it on Schwab's website, but that could be a deficiency in their Website.
Edited in Later: He was probably referring to Multimile Wild Country XTX Sport LT, or Toyo Open Country AT. Not sure which since it appears he combined the names of the two into one.
Most 30 x 9.5 R15 tires are 29.5" tall (manufacturer stated actual diameter).
Some are shorter (such as 29.3"). Some are taller (such as 29.8").
BFG AT and Hankook ATM 30s are 29.5" tall.
Cooper AT3 30s are 29.3" tall. There are many Cooper related brands of ATs that are also 29.3" tall (Hercules, Definity, Procomp, and many others). Point being, 29.3" is a common height. It makes fitment on stock Jeeps without rubbing easy, and works good with stock gearing.
General Grabber AT2 and Hankook Dynapro MT are 29.8" tall.
I owned BFG AT, Grabber AT2, and currently own Cooper AT3. The Cooper AT3 is my favorite of the tires I've tried. The Hankook ATM is my other favorite AT.
The Grabber AT2 was noticeably taller and wider than BFG AT or Cooper AT3.
I have heard the Maxxis Bighorn runs tall, but I haven't checked. Maybe it does.
There may be other taller than average 30s that I don't know about.
The below applies to XJs:
Taller than average 30s would be good, if you have 1" lift, or a tow package XJ (sits a little higher), but on a typical stock XJ the taller than average 30s might rub slightly during tight turns, but probably not enough to be a problem.
With stock diff gears, a taller tire strains the engine and tranny a bit more on hills on highway, and in reverse when trying to back up a hill.
So the taller 30s would be better with 1" to 2" lift, and maybe 3.73 diff gears, but will work with no lift and 3.55 gears.
With no lift and 3.55 diff gears, a shorter 30 x 9.5 R15 is better.
An average height for a 30x9.5R15 is actual diamter 29.5". Less is a short 30 (my Cooper AT3 30s are 29.3").
What I said about diff gears applies to 4L engine with auto transmission. I don't know anything about manual transmission XJs.
I have run 29.5" (BFG AT), 29.8" (Grabber AT2), and 29.3" (Cooper AT3) on two stock XJs with 4L, auto transmission, and 3.55 gears.
IME 3.55 gears worked great for 29.3" tires, OK for 29.5" tires, and strained the engine with 29.8" tires. However, I drive mountain highways a lot. On level highways, all those tire heights work great with 3.55 gears.
Since I drive on mountain highways a lot and will be adding 200 lbs of skidplates, someday I want to regear to 3.73 diff gears. But the 3.55 gears are good if you don't add skid plate weight, or if you live in a level area. In a level area 3.55 would be ideal.
Anyone who comes across this thread and has an interest in 30 x 9.5 R15 tires, please make a post so this thread stays alive.
Thread alive!!!! Thanks helps me...the debate in my head??? Small lift, no lift....30's no rub.... 31's some rub...
Hey Charley, you forgot to list prices!
With my previous '88 XJ, 4.0, auto, 3.55 gears at around sea level, I could run 31x10.50s and be ok. I changed to 4.10, and ran 32s, and wish I had gone 4.56. So I went back to 31s.
3.55 to 3.73 is not much difference, if you change gears, I would highly recommend lower.
30s are max tire size for stock XJ and ZJ.
Not sure what's max tire size for stock YJ. Probably 30s.
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