Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’ve always had a thing for big tires. The bigger and wider the better!
There is something primal inside me that gets excited when I see those big tires. Which is why it strikes me as odd, that ME of all people would ever consider putting a “PIZZA CUTTER” tire on my beloved FJ.
However, that was before I read a white paper published by Expeditions West written by Scott Brady back in 2005. That website has gone dark for the time being. I will post a link to the article that I saved from the internet way-back machine at the bottom of this post. Suffice it to say, that write-up changed my entire way of thinking about how tires work off-road.
I’ve been going about it all wrong all these years. Not to mention the wear and tear on my FJ. I’ve replaced all four wheel bearings, tie rods, axle seals, brake pads and rotors. You name it. Anything to do with the excessive unsprung weight was replaced or worked on at one time or another. Oh, and the crappy gas mileage goes without saying…
I did my homework on any tire available in the 255/85R16 size. There are a few forums out there that cover it, but I found the best information on Tacoma World (link). I went full-on geek and even created a Pinterest page to help organize all my thoughts.
I finally decided to go with the Toyo Open Country M/T Radials. There are a viariety of actual size differences in the 255 width category and the Toyo’s seems to be the “largest” of the group.
I placed the order for the tires and waited for their arrival. The 315/75R16 Falken Rocky Mountain tires that I’ve had for the last five years have been great tires. But they were damned near bald and needed to be replaced.
Once I got them installed, I will admit I was a little in shock at first. I mean, I am missing a whole TWO inches of tire from before! After getting over the first impression, I realized that I really like the look of it!
It takes the look of the FJ back to the good ol’ days of the original FJ40
The wheel and tire combo of the skinny tires are 90 lbs each. This is a weight savings of 14 lbs each over the old 315’s. The FJ steering is SO much easier now. You can feel the FJ accelerate and stop faster now as well.
As promised above, here is the link to the white paper that changed my mind. I have reached out to the original author to see whether or not their website was ever going to be back online and have not heard back. I had nothing to do with the content of this white paper. I am presenting it here as an archive of the original until the author can get his back online.
Please take a moment to read that article. It was “life changing” for me. 😉
Here is another article that talks about the skinny tire for use in overlanding. A great read!
Tacoma World discussion on Skinny Tires
My Pinterest board for Skinny tires:
NOTE: Toyo is in NO WAY sponsoring this. I reached out to them originally and got the cold shoulder. I will sell you a set of Toyo’s all day, but don’t expect me to put their sticker on my rig!