Tires. There are few topics that will initiate a more varied and often heated discussion. Everyone has their preferences, and most are more than willing to share them with you, regardless of whether you asked. Lol. To avoid any long drawn out discussions on the selection process, I went with Toyo Open Country M/T in 315x75r16 for the FZJ80.
So why did I choose the Toyo M/T? “Those are expensive, why not get something else?” Yeah, I hear that a lot. So let me tell you reason number 1 for selecting the Toyo M/T, they balance like no other mud tire I have ever seen. Yep, that’s my single biggest reason for picking them. The FZJ is a daily driver and few things are as frustrating in a DD as tire/vibration/steering issues. Jeep people in particular can relate, and anyone that has ever had a true death wobble knows. I had these in 37×13.50r17 on my old TJ and could run 70 MPH without the tires ever having been balanced. And that is typical, not the exception. Worst tire on the FZJ only took about 4 ounces of weight.
On-road handling is quite acceptable. While not a top performer on pavement, they won’t try to kill you with every application of the brake or throttle especially in wet or icy conditions. With the stiff sidewalls, they suffer from very little rollover which results in nicely predictable turning even under heavy braking.
- Tough as nails. Being a E-rated 10 ply tire. Yeah, you can bring a spare, but it is doubtful you will be needing one. Tire durability is a huge seller when talking about overlanding with the family.
- Strong sidewalls. These tires lose very little sidewall height when you air down, yet still give great flexibility and traction when needed. Take them from 32 psi to 20 psi and I would be surprised if you even lose 1/2″ of ride height.
- Wheel protection. These tires protect your wheels very well, and that can mean the difference between losing a bead and shredding a tire, or not.
- Awesome traction. Even in the muddy clay hills I frequent in MD.
- Wear like iron. Toyo M/T’s should last as long as most AT tires if proper rotation frequency and on-road air pressure are maintained.
- Relatively quiet. While not silent by any stretch, they are better than average and quite tolerable for long trips.
- Available in MANY sizes
- Expensive even when compared to other premium mud tires
- May be difficult to buy due to limited manufacturing quantities
I would not hesitate to recommend these to anyone needing a serious traction tire yet still retain good on-road manners. Add in the extreme durability, and long tread life, and the Toyo M/T is a clear winner for overlanding and even rock crawling purposes.