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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
The approved rim measurements for the 245/70/17 Terra Grappler tires that Jsport uses is "6.5-(7.0)-8.0" inches. This wheel is 8.5 inches. Does that make a difference?
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 · (Edited)
I started this thread about 6 weeks ago, and a few things have changed for me, not the least of which are my new 245/70/17 Cooper AT3-4S tires and Ultra 402S Alpine rims that I put on my RL on Friday. Though the new wheels have only been on the vehicle for a couple of days, and I've only driven about 40 miles, I feel like I made the right decision.

I knew I would be upgrading my tires when I bought the RL, and that this was a $1000+ expense I just had to swallow. I live rurally in an area in upstate NY that is called 'the snow belt.' There are plenty of places in the US that get more snow, but we get it often, and though our ridiculously high property taxes pay for decent snow clearance, there's plenty of residual snow on the roads for most of winter, which can last until the end of April. I use the RL to go into the woods to cut firewood, to travel on fire trails to go hiking and snow shoeing, and will be travelling overland to Big Bend in Texas and Anza Borrego in CA. I get the vehicle dirty and muddy and often fill the back with topsoil and gravel. I use it like a work truck. Ground clearance is another a big issues for me, and was almost a deal breaker when I started looking at the RL, but I figured I could - with modifications - deal with it.

I spent a lot of time reading through the forums to get info about tires and lifts. There is a lot of opinionating that goes on and a lot of people whose interests veered more to the *look* of the truck than to its performance, which was not a consideration for me. I love the feel of the RL just as it comes off the assembly line, and especially the way it hugged the curvy and hilly roads around where I live and where I spend most of my time driving. But I knew I'd have to give a little bit of that up if I was going to build the vehicle to suit my usages.

So, I decided to look more closely at what Jsport was offering in their packages because they have done their homework, and their offerings are now going to be part of the Honda Ridgeline lineup if I understand the SEMA press releases correctly. Forget the wheels - simulated bro beads are just not my style - but the 245/70/17 size tire made sense to me. I liked the extra height and sidewall and thinner wheel, which is going to perform better on potholes, gravel, ice, and snow. They use the Nitto Terra Grappler (1st gen), which weighs 37 lbs and has a 30.3" diameter. I appreciated that they kept the weight of the tire down - as opposed to the BFGs and the Falkens or even the Terra Grappler 2s - and that they kept the diameter under 30.5 inches, which seems to be the diameter where the rubbing begins (depending on the specific tire and the offset of the rim). But the Nittos don't have a snow rating, and I needed that, so I started to look elsewhere. I wanted to juggle comfort (because I really liked the way the vehicle drives) and performance, so the tires that stood out were the AT Hankooks, the Kumhos, and the Coopers. I chose the Coopers because they were actually just shy of 30.5 inches and the UTQG was slightly higher than the others, though I probably would have been happy with any of them.

I looked at a lot of rims, but couldn't justify spending mucho dollars on decoration, and I knew I was going to eventually put the rims through their paces. If it weren't for the extra weight, I would have chosen steel. My tire guy suggested the Ultra's. He puts them on a lot of big trucks around here, and they hold up. On the spec sheet, the offset of the rim is 40mm, and the distributor was dubious about my plus sizing for the RL, but they did their research and sent over a 45mm offset rim to try out.

No issues. No rubbing.

So, how does the tire feel? Well, I'm getting used to it. There's no question that it grips the road much, much better than the Firestones. I've been through rain and ice and mud already, and the truck felt really secure. Because I've changed the center of gravity with a larger diameter tire and, perhaps, because I've diminished the amount of tread hitting the road with the thinner wheel (is this even true?), the RL doesn't hug those curves quite as well as with the OEM set-up. So, it feels a little less sporty but a lot grippier.

I'll give an update when I've had a chance to drive on these new wheels some more. I know just the roads to take, and I'll put it on the highway as well. BTW, for the moment I've given up only .2 mpg from OEM mileage.

Now, thinking about skid plates. Does anyone know how much clearance you lose with the Jsport skid plate? Burtman costs you 3/4 of an inch. Ouch. First the skid plate, then the lift. Either Truxx or Jsport.
 

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^^^So are your Ultras 40mm or 45mm offset? Thinner wheels may affect the tire's cross-sectional width but probably not the amount of tread on the road. Comparing actual tread widths should answer that question. I think the greater sidewall height of the 17" tires is responsible for reducing the RL's road-hugging qualities -- there's bound to be more flex in the tire compared to the 18" Firestones. Depending on other differences in tire construction, your 17" Coopers may offer more cushioning for off-pavement travel but somewhat less stability on those curvy roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
Yes, definitely more cushioning especially over potholes and such. As soon as I cross the river I'm in PA, where the roads are in abominable shape, and this is where my tire guy works. So, the ride home was a pleasant eye opener. I think my next move will be the skid plates. Then I'll see about the levelling kit. Oh, and BTW, 45mm offset.
 

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Looks good!

I am not familiar with the Ultra rims, but looks like they are right package for you.
You will feel a lot more squish because of the taller sidewall and with that, you will also have a lot more tire overlap; thus the not so sporty feel.

Cooper is rated at 110 and carries 2337lbs with a max inflation of 44psi. Tire depth is 13.5 and 620AB
Hankook is rated at 108 and carries 2205lbs with a max inflation of 44psi. Tire depth is 13.0 and 560AB
Nitto is rated at 108 and carries 2205lbs with a max inflation of 35psi. Tire depth is 12.9 and 500AB

General Grabber is rated at 110 and carries 2337lbs with a max inflation of 44psi. Tire depth is 16.0 and 640AB

I provided the above information because, as you know, I have had the Grapplers and run the Grabber and the Grabber rides hard due to the higher load rating, which is essentially a stiffer side wall. So your cooper will be rather harsh as well and many of the specs are very close to the Grabber. I think you will really like your Coopers and for the price, they are a bargain though the Hankooks are a lot cheaper now :frown:

I think this thread has been very insightful and I have to say you have done a lot of research and spent ample time talking to folks and getting enough information to make a solid judgement. Kudos.

BTW Burtman Industries skid plate is 10Gauge Stainless, which is essentially 9/64" or 0.14 inches or 3.57mm. Contact Jsport and ask them about their skidplate.

Last tidbit: on Jsport website, under Ridgeline products, if you look at the sections for the Sidestep, Skid plate, and the Graphics kit, the tires they picture are the Grabber AT2s :wink: So not only the Nitto Grabber is on their lineup, they are also using the Grabber AT2s.
 

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I thought I read in another thread that the Burtman skidplate was powder-coated steel but also available in stainless by special order (pricey).

I'm guessing Jsport uses the 255/60R18 Grabber AT2 in their "The Basics" kit.

efeinblatt: what did those Ultras weigh?
 

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I thought I read in another thread that the Burtman skidplate was powder-coated steel but also available in stainless by special order (pricey).

I'm guessing Jsport uses the 255/60R18 Grabber AT2 in their "The Basics" kit.

efeinblatt: what did those Ultras weigh?
I am not familiar with Jason's skid plates, but do like the Jsport's plain shield.

I read the Basics package and the information they include is Nitto. All three packages mention Nitto. :nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 · (Edited)
Praveen, thanks for all your advice and wisdom - you, too, Mike - in helping me weigh all the variables for my tire/rim choice.

I did look at the Grabbers more than once. They pretty much fit the bill as well. Just 38 lbs. and a very aggressive tread. Finally decided that I would make a move for a little bit more road comfort - thus, the Coopers - and sacrifice a bit of mud-slinging performance. BTW, Praveen, have you mounted your Hancook's yet? Thoughts?

Somewhere in the belly of this forum, someone measured the clearance loss with the front Burtman skid plates: 3/4 in. His measurements seemed pretty precise, and I'll try to locate the post. (Can't for the life of me find that post - maybe it's my imagination. Came across one measurement that says you lose .3 inches, which is a lot better than .75!) That's a lot to lose, which is why I'm hoping the Jsport skid plate might be less. I think the Burtman weighs in at 35 lb. Not sure of the Jsport, but I'll ask them once SEMA is finished and they're not so busy.

I am still up in the air about the lift, and DogOnBoard reminded me that because of the construction of the wheel wells, I could experience rubbing as a result. I think I have read both results on the forum - rubbing after lift and the opposite.
 

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The rub with lift is simple geometry. The front wheel well has a slight undercurve. Lifting the front suspension places the full diameter of the tire at the tightest clearance point for the wheel well. Pictures were posted on the forum which clearly showed the problem. IIRC, the poster was Mr. Black who had installed a Truxxx lift on his RL.

Jsport says their skid plate weighs 11 lbs. It appears to use the same mounting scheme as the Burtman plate and has a similar single angle design. Jsport says it doesn't reduce ground clearance but I don't see how that can be true. I suspect the loss of ground clearance would be about the same at the Burtman plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
The rub with lift is simple geometry. The front wheel well has a slight undercurve. Lifting the front suspension places the full diameter of the tire at the tightest clearance point for the wheel well. Pictures were posted on the forum which clearly showed the problem. IIRC, the poster was Mr. Black who had installed a Truxxx lift on his RL.

Jsport says their skid plate weighs 11 lbs. It appears to use the same mounting scheme as the Burtman plate and has a similar single angle design. Jsport says it doesn't reduce ground clearance but I don't see how that can be true. I suspect the loss of ground clearance would be about the same at the Burtman plate.

Thanks for that explanation. I'll take a look at how much wiggle room I have with the tires. Passenger side seems to be where the issues are.

11 lbs vs 35 lbs is quite a difference. Do you know the anything about the material that Jsport uses for their skid plate?
 

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...11 lbs vs 35 lbs is quite a difference. Do you know anything about the material that Jsport uses for their skid plate?
Aluminum, as mentioned in other posts. They probably went over to the Ford plant and got some of that "military grade aluminum" that Ford claims to be using in the F150. Dunno if I'd trust that stuff, though, after the Chevy ad showed a steel tool box being knocked off the bed rail and tearing a hole in the bed. :laugh:
 

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@efeinblatt, just got them installed last night. Have to wait till I further bleed my brakes and bed them in before I can do a full on test and see how the tires feel on the road. Oh yeah, I need to get an alignment first as I had to change both my Tie-rod ends yesterday...... and all the brakes.......... and the master cylinder.
 

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Those look great! Can I ask, what wheels those are and if you are experiencing any rubbing issues?
They're MST Suzuka 17x7.5 +25. I really wanted some black RPF1s but these were too good a deal. I haven't had any tire rubbing issues but these wheels clear by so little its not even funny. The tire place had to move the wheel weights because they were hitting the caliper is how tight they fit.
 

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They're MST Suzuka 17x7.5 +25. I really wanted some black RPF1s but these were too good a deal. I haven't had any tire rubbing issues but these wheels clear by so little its not even funny. The tire place had to move the wheel weights because they were hitting the caliper is how tight they fit.
Thanks for letting me know. Sounds like those tires barely fit, but do fit, and look awesome. Your chrome delete looks awesome too; I have the same color and plan on doing the same.
 

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The tires are fine it's the wheels that are tight. Not all 17" wheels are the same either some might have bette clearance and some might have worse just depends on the barrel design.

The tires seems to fit well I've never gone full lock and got underneath it to look though. Might just barely be making it but who knows. Fits well for me even gone off-road a few times without issue.
 
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