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Unread 02-10-2008, 08:35 PM   #1
hispeed
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Are Wildcats a good choice?

Is anyone running Wildcat EXT tires? I believe they are made by Cooper. They are quite a bit cheaper than the more advertised tire? If you are running them or have run them before, let me know what your thoughts were/are on them. Thanks. Check out www.desertrat.com and use their search feature for "wildcats" (if ya' ain't heard of them). MT classic II rims and 4 tires for 899. Sounds good to me. What do ya'll think?

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Unread 02-10-2008, 09:42 PM   #2
elkfan2
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we used to sell alot of those at my work and they are a really good tire for the money. I would say they are a little better traction wise than the Maxxis Bighorns.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 03:22 AM   #3
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The Wildcats are made by Dean. Dean is a company owned by Cooper. At least that's what Les Schwabb and a couple other local tire retailers told me.

Here are some close cousins to the Dean Wildcat EXT: Cooper ST, Mastercraft CT, D!ck Cepek FC2, and Mickey Thompson ATZ. The ST and CT have tread pattern similar to the Wildcat EXT, except I feel the ST and CT have better tread patterns.

The ST tread is good if you get the center treads siped (as I just did with mine). The CT is good "as is" and already has all treads (outer and inner) well siped and many small center tread blocks (which is good). The FC2 has to tight a tread for my tastes - I think it would clog up with mud to easily. I have seen FC2's very clogged with mud.

I have heard that Cooper ST, Mastercraft CT, and Cepek FC2 have Cooper's best carcass and rubber, and are more durable than the Wildcat EXT. I don't know whether that's true about quality/durability, but I think it probably is true. I think you might really like the ST or CT. I'd recommend the CT. At least give it a look.

Mastercraft and Cepek are two of Cooper's highend brands. Mickey Thompson is another highend Cooper brand. Dean (makes Wildcat EXT) is one of Cooper's lowerend brands, but still reasonably good. At least that's what a few local tire stores tell me. Is the Dean really less quality? I don't know.

I like the Wildcat EXT, but I like Cooper ST more (with sipes added to center treads) and Mastercraft CT more. For one thing, I like the tread patters of the ST and CT better for traction reasons. Also, the ST has those suction breaking ridges between its outer lugs to aid in self cleaning and they do clean very well.

Both the ST and CT have been designed with angled, alternating, outer lug lengths and alternating sizes of outer and inner lugs to reduce noise. I think these features make ST, and especially CT, quieter onroad than the Wildcat EXT. My ST make slightly more noise than a BFG AT. The CT is probably quieter yet.

Do the Cooper ST and Mastercraft CT give better traction than the Wildcat EXT? I can't say for sure, but I think they probably do because of their sizes and arrangements of lugs and sipes, and in the case of the ST, the self cleaning ridges.

Local guys who use these tires tell me that the CT is the better winter tire, and still has some mud ability. The ST is the better mud tire, but still having some winter ability once you get inner lugs siped. The Wildcat EXT is also pretty good at those same traction things, though I'd give the edge to the other two tires.

The biggest difference is that Wildcat EXT costs less and makes more noise than the ST or CT. The Wildcat EXT is possibly not as durable as the Cooper ST and Mastercraft CT since Dean (makes Wildcat) is a lower-end Cooper brand.

However, if the Wildcat EXT price is good enough, and you don't mind some extra tire noise, then it's a good tire for the money and will give you traction on a variety of terrains with reasonable durability. I think as long as you aren't a rock crawler, it's durable enough.

In my local area, loggers with a tight budget put the Wildcat EXT on their pickups. Those with more money usually buy the Mastercraft CT. Some of them buy the Cooper ST, BFG MT with center treads siped, or Toyo MT. The Cooper STT is gaining a following here. These same tires are also popular with hunters and offroaders here.

The Wildcat EXT and Mastercraft CT are the very popular (probably most popular) with loggers on their pickups in my local area for these reasons: The Wildcat EXT is reasonably good for our widely varied conditions, and it's the least expensive tire that does that. The Mastercraft CT is the best tire for our conditions (costs about same as BFG). So the cheapest good altnerative is popular here, and the best alternative is also popular.

So will the Wildcat EXT do what you want for mixed terrain traction and durability, and highway? Yes it will, and will do it on a tight budget. However, if you have the extra money, there are better tires for the same mixed terrain and street use.
cooper_discoverer_st.jpg   courserct.jpg   fc-ii.jpg   baja_atz.jpg  

Last edited by CB3; 02-12-2008 at 03:57 AM..
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Unread 02-12-2008, 10:43 AM   #4
elkfan2
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The four tires that you have pictured aren't going to even be close to the same amount of traction off road as the Wildcat EXT. Those are more of an all season and the Wildcat EXT is a mud terrain. Also they all will have the same sidewall ply and load rating but you will get longer life out of the cooper ones becasue they are all seasons and not mud terrains.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 11:20 AM   #5
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I ran them when I was on 31's.Great tire for the money


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Unread 02-12-2008, 11:23 AM   #6
Matt Gertsch
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I've got 30x9.50s and I won't buy them again. They're okay off road, but they absolutely suck on pavement. The tread blocks have chunked pretty bad and they just won't hook up, even on dry pavement. I've run into front end push more than a few times, which is scary as hell.

I also paid about the same thing that I had for my Yokohama Geolandar MT2s and the Yokos were a much better tire on road and just as good off road.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 03:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkfan2 View Post
The four tires that you have pictured aren't going to even be close to the same amount of traction off road as the Wildcat EXT. Those are more of an all season and the Wildcat EXT is a mud terrain. Also they all will have the same sidewall ply and load rating but you will get longer life out of the cooper ones becasue they are all seasons and not mud terrains.
I was thinking of a different Lester Schwab Wildcat tire by Dean, not the one posted in pic above. So that changes things.

If I wanted a somewhat aggressive tire, I'd prefer something with more road manners like Cooper ST with sipes added to center treads, Cooper STT, Trxus MT, Bridgestone Duelor MT, etc. However, that's just my opinion.

There's so many Wildcat tires, which I'm told are made by Dean, which is owned and made by Cooper. It's good that a pic is now posted. Thanks. I was thinking of another Dean/Schwabb tire that is more of a hybrid type tire. I didn't realize which tire the OP was asking about.

Last edited by CB3; 02-12-2008 at 04:03 PM..
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Unread 02-12-2008, 04:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Gertsch View Post
I've got 30x9.50s and I won't buy them again. They're okay off road, but they absolutely suck on pavement. The tread blocks have chunked pretty bad and they just won't hook up, even on dry pavement. I've run into front end push more than a few times, which is scary as hell.

I also paid about the same thing that I had for my Yokohama Geolandar MT2s and the Yokos were a much better tire on road and just as good off road.
That's the same bad rap I heard about some other models of Dean tires. I've personally seen many of them on local guys trucks, and every Dean tire with 10K+ to 25K+ miles was chipped/chunked to some extent, though still usable. My cousins have owned many Dean tires that chunked up on our sharp rock logging roads. They've since switched to Dunlop, Cooper, Mastercraft, Toyo, and BFG, all of which hold up better in regard to wear and chunking. I like those brands, and also Mickey Thompson and D!ck Cepek too, though I think they might cost a bit more locally (since those brands aren't stocked here).

Even so, Dean makes good tires for the money.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 04:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB3 View Post
That's the same bad rap I heard about some other models of Dean tires. I've personally seen many of them on local guys trucks, and every Dean tire with 10K+ to 25K+ miles was chipped/chunked to some extent, though still usable. My cousins have owned many Dean tires that chunked up on our sharp rock logging roads. They've since switched to Dunlop, Cooper, Mastercraft, Toyo, and BFG, all of which hold up better in regard to wear and chunking. I like those brands, and also Mickey Thompson and D!ck Cepek too, though I think they might cost a bit more locally (since those brands aren't stocked here).

Even so, Dean makes good tires for the money.
They aren't that much cheaper than BFG MTs or even Swampers for that matter.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 05:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Matt Gertsch View Post
They aren't that much cheaper than BFG MTs or even Swampers for that matter.
Well, that explains why the last times I've bought tires I bought Cooper AT, BFG AT, Cooper ST, and would like to also try Mastercraft CT, Trxus, and BFG MT with sipes added to center treads.

I have never yet bought a Dean/Schwabb 4X4 tire. My cousins bought many of them in the past, but have since switched to those other brands I mentioned, due in part to Dean tires chunking/chipping and wearing to fast.

I might also like to buy some Mickey Thompson ATZ and/or MTZ and Cepek FC2 sometime, but they cost more in my local area than BFG, Toyo, Cooper, or Mastercraft. I don't think MC or Cepek are better that those others, just more expensive because they aren't stocked locally and must be special ordered here.

One of my cousins just bought Toyo M55 and another bought Dunlop Rover RT and they both like them a lot. Actually, the RT is another tire I'd like to buy someday for an XJ in 31 X 10.5 R15.

The Dean Wildcat aka Schwabb Wildcat tires don't hold any temptation for me to buy them. They aren't enough cheaper in cost, and tires are one thing that I'm willing to pony up some money for. Since I started buying good tires, Cooper and BFG mostly, I've not had a single flat or slow leak again, as I used to get from cheaper brands. Not to mention that the better brands seem to have more traction, durability (less chipping), and better handling.

But if I was short of money, I'd rather have a new set of Dean (Wildcat) tires than a used up pair of a better brand.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 05:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CB3 View Post
Well, that explains why the last times I've bought tires I bought Cooper AT, BFG AT, Cooper ST, and would like to also try Mastercraft CT, Trxus, and BFG MT with sipes added to center treads.

I have never yet bought a Dean/Schwabb 4X4 tire. My cousins bought many of them in the past, but have since switched to those other brands I mentioned, due in part to Dean tires chunking/chipping and wearing to fast.

I might also like to buy some Mickey Thompson ATZ and/or MTZ and Cepek FC3 sometime, but they cost more in my local area than BFG, Toyo, Cooper, or Mastercraft. I don't think MC or Cepek are better that those others, just more expensive because they aren't stocked locally and must be special ordered here.

One of my cousins just bought Toyo M55 and another bought Dunlop Rover RT and they both like them a lot. Actaully that RT is another tire I'd like to buy someday for an XJ in 31 X 10.5 R15.

The Dean tires don't hold any temptation for me to buy them. They aren't enough cheaper in cost, and tires are one thing that I'm willing to pony up some money for. Since I started buying good tires, Cooper and BFG mostly, I've not had a single flat or slow leak again, as I used to get from cheaper brands. Not to mention that the better brands seem to have more traction, durability (less chipping), and better handling.

You get what you pay for. The deans are not a Les Schwab exclusive brand they also sell any tire available including the the coopers that you speak so highly of.
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Unread 02-12-2008, 05:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by elkfan2 View Post
[/B]
You get what you pay for. The deans are not a Les Schwab exclusive brand they also sell any tire available including the the coopers that you speak so highly of.
Ironically, my local Schwabbs doesn't sell Cooper ST. They can special order them, but then they cost more than they would at any other tire store.

I've only ever seen Dean tires at Schwabbs, but I've heard they're sold elsewhere.

That's true, you get what you pay for, and it only seems to take a little bit more money to get a much better tire. So I don't think tires are a place to get cheap.
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