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Old 08-06-2013, 01:34 PM
S.C. Express S.C. Express is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Augusta S.C.
Age: 39
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Vehicle: 2012 Ram Express
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Color: Silver
Engine: 2009-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 390hp 407lb/ft
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I build tires for a living , I can tell you there are lots of variables. The # of plys the tire is made with. More = harsher ride. Rubber compounds vary vastly. Summer times are generally much softer than a winter tire and ride much smoother. Most factory tires are made of harder compound rubber to reduce friction with the road. This increases fuel economy slightly. Trust me the auto. manufactuers will sacrifice ride quality for another 1/2 mpg.
Another issue is the rim/tire weight changes the way your shocks and springs respond to the road. Changing to more - offset and going wider on rim width increases the leverage force on the suspension. Which usually results in a smoother ride.
My best advice is go to tirerack.com and read reviews.
Look at the load ratings too, the higher they are the stiffer the ride generally speaking. My advice, pick a nice strong lightweight 18" or 20" wheel and find the lightest tire in the style you want.... But of course refer back to owner reviews. You should have no reliabilty issues with A/T's or M/T's with reliabilty.
Tire pressure is a factor as well but then you run the risk of uneven wear with under/over inflation.
My final remark on this, pick a tire you like and make sure it is made of a softer rubber.
Ex. My last ride came with 225/45/18 all season mild performance tires. They were hard as rocks even at 32-35 psi.
I switched to a 1 inch wider rim with a bit more -offset, they weighed 9lbs less each than the stock wheels.. I chose a 245/40/18 summer "W" rated performance tires. Tires weighed 2lbs more than the stock tires..
End result was huge. Much better braking/acceleration/ride quality and the same mpg's. You can feel the weight loss from a dead stop and it gets even more noticeable as your speed increases.
Anyways I hope I answered your question, I tend to ramble.. Anyone else feel free to fill in what I missed.
I recommend Bridgestone Duelr A/T's, they ride better than our stockers last an easy 60k miles or more with proper care. I put them on my old 4wd Nissan pickup.. I went with a 31x10.5x15 vs the stock 225/75/15's. Believe it or not i picked up 3 more mpg's due to the terrible gearing the truck came with so it was able pull stuff with it's 4 cyl. engine.
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