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Unread 04-02-2012, 07:36 PM   #196
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Subscribed!!! Just spent the last few hours at work reading your entire thread, keep it up!!!
Thank you! I hope you continue to enjoy it!

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Unread 04-02-2012, 07:37 PM   #197
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Tire Review: Falken Wild Peak AT - 1000 miles.

I've now put right at a thousand miles on the Falken Wild Peak AT's, so I thought it would be a good time to write a short performance review. Pictures and commentary updated on 4/3/12

The Skinny: In case you don't want to read any further about tires, know this: You need not worry when you have them on your rig, because these puppies get the Wasteland Survival Guide Seal of Approval.

Pressure: When first mounted, these tires were stiff. Seriously stiff. The tire shop set them at 28 PSI per their gauge and the tires showed 28 PSI on three different tire gauges when I got them back home. Since they're a 35" load-range D tire, I knew 28 PSI was likely to be too stiff and, man, was I ever right. It was a painful first lap around the neighborhood.

I began a process of airing down the tires in increments of 1 or 2 PSI, but by the time I was down to 23 PSI I was beginning to get worried that I simply didn't have enough air in the tires. So, I put in an e-mail to Falken and got in touch with one of their senior field engineers. After a few missives back and forth, we arrived at the conclusion that the 315/75's could be aired all the way down to 19 or 20 PSI and still have plenty of load-bearing for the Jeep. Let me emphasize the fact that the 20 PSI threshold is only for running on pavement or solid road surfaces (gravel, dirt, etc). Off-road, it's another matter entirely. You can air down as much as you like when you're going slow.

Valuable Information: During the e-mailing, Falken's engineer asked me some pretty specific questions about the weight of my Jeep. Believe it or not, even taking out the back seat and normally running with a mostly-full tank of gas figured into his equations. If you have questions about what PSI is safe to run on the road you need to know what kind of total vehicle weight your tires are going to carry, and you need to be as specific as possible. For many reasons - not just tire capacity - a trip to some truck scales to figure out your total weight and corner weights would not be time wasted. Load your rig as it's going to be driven and go get some numbers. Then you'll know, and knowing is half the battle...

22 PSI turned out to be a magic number for these tires...once they hit that pressure, they softened a lot. I like to think of it as passing into a "comfort zone" that still allows proper tire contact and wear, but not being so stiff as to not allow any flex. Their hot pressures were 26 PSI in the front and 25 PSI in the rear. The ride quality at 22 PSI cold does not degrade as the tires heat. When I set them at 25 or 26 PSI cold the ride became progressively more harsh. According to the weight you carry in your Jeep - and also tire/rim size - your mileage may vary. Literally.

A view of the non-existent sidewall deflection at 22 PSI. This gives you an idea of how stiff this tire really is. The rear is in the foreground. Note the clear view of the front tire in the background...no deflection at all. Also note the lack of rounding or tearing in the tread...and this tire was on the front for 1000 miles. It was only recently switched to the rear.




Just in case that picture wasn't clear enough, here's a view of the more heavily-loaded front. No view of the tread here, but I shot this to highlight the straight sidewalls.




Balance: Mounting and balancing wasn't easy with these big babies...I can now tell you that when you're told to get a tire balanced PERFECTLY you'd better listen. Any amount of imbalance can cause a shimmy. And a shimmy is exactly what I got. On the first test run, I got a slight steering wheel wobble in the low 40 MPH. range...it was spread over no more than a 4 MPH bracket. This indicated tire imbalance more than mild death wobble...it was too easy to power through. After two weeks of daily driving, the wobble hadn't disappeared so it was really a fault of the tire shop for not getting one of the front tires perfect. I swapped the fronts to the rear and the wobble vanished. So: balance is crucial on these tires.

Performance: In a word, astounding. The wet and dry traction on this tire completely eclipses the old Terra Grapplers that I was running...I haven't felt one of the Falkens slip yet. In fact, I've barely shifted the transfer case into four-wheel drive due to the increase in traction. I've had them on loose dirt, gravel, a wet dirt road, light mud, mild hills covered in slippery grass, unimproved forest roads, and lots of pavement. I have no complaints in any of these terrain types.

On-road, these are a major step up from the old tires. They're solid, comfortable, very predictable in cornering feel (yeah, not much of that in a lifted Jeep) and most of all - quiet. Seriously quiet. To be completely honest, you can't f****** hear them on the highway...the wind noise from having the windows down is louder than these tires by a long shot. Very mannerly.

I haven't gone to a full air-down situation yet, but based on what I've seen at 22 PSI - especially considering the fun we had mounting them - I won't have much to worry about. I'll amend the review once this has been done.

Wear: Basically nonexistent. Since everyone loves pictures, here's what we've got after the first thousand miles...no noticeable treadwear at all. Examine center-right section of the picture and take notice of the mold line between the tread lugs: even, smooth wear on all but the outermost edge. This seems to indicate a decent contact patch.




I see a bit of corner rounding on the outside tread blocks, but nothing severe. This is actually less than I expected at this point. Some of the small rubber molding projections are still present at the extreme edges, which tells me that my alignment is in good shape. What appears to be rounding of the tread corners is not, in actuality...the corners themselves are chamfered slightly from the factory. The ultra-crisp edges you see on other tires are not present, here. The shoulder looks good.

A view of the face of the tire shows even wear so far. Here you can clearly see the variances in tread depth across the tire.




Conclusions: A great tire so far. Stable, predictable, mannerly, and capable in most mild off-road situations. If you're going to cross a lot of pavement and then leave it at a moment's notice, these are a great option...especially if you're on a heavy rig and need a tire that can still hold shape with less than maximum pressure. If you want them, get them.

Falken Wild Peak AT: Wasteland Survival Guide - Approved




Further updates as the mileage piles up...stay tuned!
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Unread 04-02-2012, 09:09 PM   #198
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Unread 04-02-2012, 09:27 PM   #199
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I know you had a talk with the rep from Falken and you decided to air down to 22 PSI....but how about wear, performance, and mileage. Its almost a general rule to run tires at a higher pressure for highway driving for better fuel economy, wearing of the tires, and overall performance. I usually run BFG A/Ts and now i am running some Goodyear Wrangler ATs. On my Tahoe the BFG's are at 40 PSI, and in my 03 TJ with the Goodyears at 34..... at lower PSI the tires also heat up more.....

Just my thoughts.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 09:49 PM   #200
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Nice review on these tires! I almost pulled the trigger on the WP's.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 09:53 PM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contdevelop View Post
I know you had a talk with the rep from Falken and you decided to air down to 22 PSI....but how about wear, performance, and mileage. Its almost a general rule to run tires at a higher pressure for highway driving for better fuel economy, wearing of the tires, and overall performance. I usually run BFG A/Ts and now i am running some Goodyear Wrangler ATs. On my Tahoe the BFG's are at 40 PSI, and in my 03 TJ with the Goodyears at 34..... at lower PSI the tires also heat up more.....

Just my thoughts.
Actually, the standard rule of thumb for a 35" load-range C tire on a TJ is between 24 and 28 PSI. Increasing to the D range means a lot stiffer tire overall...and the suggestion from Falken for a working highway pressure was 24 to 26 PSI, which they thought would increase by a few pounds once the tires heated. This has been exactly the case...and being 2 PSI below what's normal for a C-range tire isn't anything that worries me. As stated in my review above, I could go to 19 PSI and still have much more load capacity than is needed for my TJ. Wear, tear, performance, etc...it's all based on the weight that's on the tires. I'm sure I could get better gas mileage if I aired them to 34 or higher, but I'd be tearing myself up from doing it.

I may go back up to 24 PSI once the sidewalls break in a bit, but that's still a far cry from the 40 and 34 that you mentioned. A Tahoe at 40 PSI...not surprising: it's a heavy truck. A TJ at 34 isn't out of the realm of possibility, depending on tire size. However, I'd be genuinely surprised if you're running a 35" tire at 34 PSI and not hating your life. You didn't mention what size tires you're running on your TJ, or the weight of the Jeep, or the load range of the tire. BFG A/T's come in C, D and E load ranges, as do most of the Goodyear Wrangler series. If you're running a small C-range tire on a heavy Jeep...sure, 34 might be possible. Again, it's all about weight.

With that said, it basically comes down to this: Falken's calculations for my specific TJ supported the basic rule of thumb for 35" tire pressures on a TJ, taking into consideration both vehicle weight and tire construction.

I've seen no adverse effects on mileage, performance, wear, etc from running at 22. I think anything between 20 and 25 is fine, and Falken is backing me up on that.

As always, your mileage may vary.

P.S. I also talked with Falken about the factory-spec E-range Goodyears that my TJ came equipped with. They couldn't figure out why anyone would spec an E-range tire on a TJ, unless they just liked the look of the tire. Also, the factory air pressure of 35 PSI was discussed: this, too, was surprising to them. One tire at the factory size and pressure had more than enough capacity to support the entire weight of the Jeep. That's overkill in the wrong direction. Food for thought.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 10:03 PM   #202
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Thanks for that review! I want to see some pics of those Falkens getting dirty. With how worn my bfg's are, I think a set of these in 33x12.50x15 will be my next purchase. Do you know your tread depth at this point? I know it can go up to 18/32, but they just don't look like it at some angles. I'm sure I need to see these in person to appreciate the aggressive styling.
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Unread 04-02-2012, 10:17 PM   #203
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Thanks for that review! I want to see some pics of those Falkens getting dirty. With how worn my bfg's are, I think a set of these in 33x12.50x15 will be my next purchase. Do you know your tread depth at this point? I know it can go up to 18/32, but they just don't look like it at some angles. I'm sure I need to see these in person to appreciate the aggressive styling.
It gets deep in various places, and it's not uniform at all. However, it's not really a matter of tread depth that gives them traction...it's more a design and pressure equation. If you're not in deep mud, I think you'll be in good shape with these.

I'll take some better pictures and update the review tomorrow.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 09:55 AM   #204
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Tire review updated this morning with better pictures.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 10:15 AM   #205
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How do you think the falkens would do in the rocks? Where did you buy them? Price comparable to other tires or ?

Edit: Also, is the weight of the tire comparable to others?
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Unread 04-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #206
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How do you think the falkens would do in the rocks? Where did you buy them? Price comparable to other tires or ?

Edit: Also, is the weight of the tire comparable to others?
My instinct is that these would be a better rock tire than they seem. As I've looked at them I've started to think that the tread pattern is somewhat designed to collapse in upon itself...i.e. to be more flexible under lower pressures than is readily apparent, due to the overall stiffness. Whereas the more conventional designs have larger lugs to "grab" the rocks, these act more like a piece of coarse sandpaper...the smaller tread has a lot of gripping surface that can catch hold of the terrain.

I didn't include any information about airing down, earlier, because I haven't done much of it yet. However, I can tell you that when you get to lower pressures the sidewalls roll pretty flat when pressure is applied.

I don't think anyone's going to beat out a set of Krawlers with these, but you're also not going to spend mile upon mile on the pavement with the Krawlers, either. The Wild Peak is an all-terrain tire, no doubt. It will do fairly well in rocks, but it won't replace a rock tire.

I got my set through Discount Tire Direct. Good prices, free shipping. Weight is not terrible...in the mid-70's. I've seen both lighter and heavier tires...these are middle of the road. I can tell you that they're heavy enough to start severely taxing the stock brakes...that's for sure.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:16 PM   #207
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How do you think the falkens would do in the rocks? Where did you buy them? Price comparable to other tires or ?

Edit: Also, is the weight of the tire comparable to others?
Look up the Jk-Experience on youtube. A lot of these guys have run these tires through the rocks in Utah and Colorado. The majority of the guys were pleased with the performance, and I think a few now swear by them.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #208
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It gets deep in various places, and it's not uniform at all. However, it's not really a matter of tread depth that gives them traction...it's more a design and pressure equation. If you're not in deep mud, I think you'll be in good shape with these.

I'll take some better pictures and update the review tomorrow.
I believe performance comes first, but looks definitely come second. Post up a few pics of the whole jeep. I'd like to see the tires from a distanceplus haven't seen the whole jeep in awhile anyways
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Unread 04-03-2012, 02:15 PM   #209
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I thought I'd post a few shots from roaming around the back woods today. I love old farm and forest roads...they take you to interesting places that you don't see on pavement, and that aren't really visited by anyone, anymore. And here, you can see why: this road seems to lead into some sort of alternate dimension where nothing good ever happens.




Seriously, what's going on there? Sunlit field to the right, blue skies in the distance to the left...but straight ahead? Wherever this road leads, curious college students get murdered by axe-wielding psychopaths. This is either that kind of road, or Tim Burton's driveway. Here's the dialogue that transpired as I was driving...

Me: "What the f***, Road? Why can't we go through the happy field on the right?"

Road: "Sure, we could do that...but I have a better idea: let's forget the happy field and picturesque fence and go straight ahead, into a place where happiness is not welcome."

Me: "Sounds like a really horrible plan, but, okay."


I've actually been down this road about a six million and four times, and it doesn't go anywhere too horrific (that includes Tim Burton's house, by the way). It leads into pine forests and old logging trails. Sort of like this one...




Eventually, that little path across a low ridge dumps out into old, overgrown farming fields. The winter broomsage is beautiful in the afternoon light. Here's Greta playing in the weeds. Those 35's look big.




So, nothing too "actiony" but it was a hellishly good afternoon to be out for a drive. I had my little Rollei 35 with me and a copy of Dirt. The sun was out. Life is quite good.
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Unread 04-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #210
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Nice shots! Beautiful countryside! And your right, those tires are frickin HUGE! LOL!
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