After a glowing review from Four Wheeler Magazine (Oct 2000)
we decided to give them a try.
Comparison vehicles and tires
98 Jeep Tj, open diff, 31X10.5 High-Tec, and stabilizer disconnected Jeep YJ, open diff, 31X10.5 Pirelli Scorpion all-terrain , & stabilizer disconnected Cherokee Sport, open diff, stock tire size Goodyear Wrangler all-terrains 00 Dodge Ram, limited slip, BFG AT's
First let me say the people at High-Ted were very helpful; even after numerous questions about their tires.
We ordered a set of five tires that arrived in five business days via UPS. Each tire was packaged in its own plastic bag with the blue colored white lettering of new tires. As promised by High-Tec, all were a matched set of Michelin LTX A/T carcasses.
Each tire weighed in at 40lbs. 1 inch gapping between shoulder lugs, alternating scalloped lugs, and 4 inch spacing between non-scalloped lugs. Shoulder seams & tire beads all looked excellent. There was no sidewall damage on any of the donor carcasses.
On the road again
The tires were mounted on the 15X8 wheels of my Jeep Wrangler TJ. In the first 5 days the tires were on the vehicle, I accumulated 400 road miles (33 psi) and 30-40 low pressure (18 psi) off road miles.
At less than 5 mph, you get the standard vibration feel of the lugs hitting the pavement. Above 10 mph, they smooth out. At highway speeds, they feel stable; but you are aware that you are driving a mud tread.
As for the road noise, the tires have a hum that is a little louder than the wind noise at 70mph on the freeway. After 1.5 hours of steady driving, I had a minor hum in my ear. Not unbearable, but not something that I would want to do daily for more than one hour.
Over the river and through the woods
We tried these tires in plenty of conditions off road. We drove in snow, mud, slick rock, smooth steep hills with and without snow, and steep rocky hills. I chose 18 psi because that was the point at which the sidewalls started to bulge, but I was not losing height.
Snow & mud: Tires cleared well and went through many areas in two wheel that would have required four with the all terrains.
Slick rock: Traction was excellent, which is a no-brainer on dry slick rock. As for wet/muddy slick rock, they had no better or worse traction than any of the other comparison vehicles (listed above).
Smooth STEEP hills with and without snow: On this type of hill, the all-terrain tires performed better. It came down to more rubber contact with the smooth surface.
**Note: Keep in mind the differential on the Jeep is open. With a limited slip or locker there would not have been a problem.
Steep rocky hills: In the rough and rocky, these tires shined. They paddled through the looser stuff and grabbed on to the solid stuff beneath.
Moab tire test
The tires performed outstanding! As before, we set the tires at 18 psi and we're satisfied this is the correct psi for this (little) tire on a Jeep TJ. Rubber grip, as expected, was excellent on the slick rock.
One Year Update 2 Jan 2002
After one year/10,000 miles of on and off road driving the tires are doing great.
Our initial concern was whether or not they would hold together under the 100+ degree temperatures of the hot Utah sun. Not too long after installing them on the Jeep we noticed some peeling along the edge of the re-tread. It was nothing, just the extra residue on the carcass. Once the tires cleaned themselves of this residue we continued to monitor them for any peel up. With just over one year on these tires they show no signs of peeling away from the carcass.
Without a doubt we recommend these tires. You can't beat the deal: $320 including shipping for 5 tires with a 2 year 24,000 mile warranty. Best of if you ever slice a sidewall, ruining a tire, you're only out $40 instead of $100+