FAQ: 90 Series Prado
to replace those balding Grand Pukes, or just looking for a more
suitable tyre for the work you do with your truck? I’m
attempting to decipher this can of worms. There
are lots of opinions about tyres and lots of them conflict but
models come standard with the 16x7 inch rims and 265/70R16. Steel
on the GXLs.
models come with 16x6 inch rims and 215/80R16.
standard Dunlop Grandtreks had a chequered history when they
came out on the 80 series (many punctures) but the 265/70
fitted to the Prado are better tyres. They usually give
60-100,000km but when used offroad occasionally get a sidewall
bulge to tell you that a cord's busted and the tyre
is dead. These
tyres are light, quiet and give good fuel consumption. They
are a bit underrated.
Prado owners who go offroad will upsize to the LT265/75 tyres. Those
who don’t offroad usually stick to P265/70. Hard
core people upsize to LT285/75R16.
of 265/75 are greater diameter (+30mm)(longer footprint,
better floatation), greater ground clearance (+15mm), stronger
LT construction and higher load index (usually 119 to 122
instead of 112), and they are actually cheaper.
the legalities of taller or wider tyres and check with your
local authorities and insurance company.
265/75 or 235/85 tyres will change your speedo by 3% on a
GXL,VX,TX or by 6% on an RV.
tyres, and more aggressive tyres will increase fuel
consumption by as much as 10%. They
weigh more and may have increased rolling resistance.
tyres should be accompanied by a suspension lift to avoid the
slight rubbing that can happen with some (square shouldered)
place to rub is on the bulge of the front mudflaps.
fat tyres use more fuel than the Grand Treks which have a low
models with 7 or 8 inch rims will require flares.
are no advantages to using 8 inch (80 series or Patrol) rims
on a Prado. Tubeless
265 tyres are easier to inflate on 7 inch rims than 8 inch
inch rims don’t fit Prados as they touch the rear calipers.
noise is rarely a problem on Prados (good sound insulation).
BFG Muddies give a pleasant hum only.
are a lighter vehicle than Patrols and other Land Cruisers –
tyres are not stressed as much and can be run at lower
pressures than our friends with the heavier vehicles.
RV owners with 215/80 Grandtreks on 6 inch rims replace them
early because of poor handling and rapid shoulder wear.
tyres only come in 225/75, 245/75 and 265/75 sizes for Prados. 255/85
and 285/75 are pretty tall (840mm dia) and require some work
with the grinder and FB hammer at the front to get adequate
rims are available on all other Land Cruisers. They
were once popular because it was sometimes easier to fix
punctures. I had
many years experience with splits but would
never go back to them because tubes fatigue, seams
splitting, and the tyres wear out quicker because of heat
build up. Split
rims are also about 6 kgs heavier. If
you’re desperate for splits, you can fit the 80 series
splits. The 60
series splits have about 55mm less backspacing which exposes
the brakes, may make the steering a bit heavier and may lead
to front tyres touching the front mudflaps.
fat tyres that fill up the wheel wells look the part!
RV models: 215/80R16 Dunlop Grandtrek TG20 fitted to 16x6 rims with 118mm backspacing. These have a 107S load rating (975kgs per tyre). Diameter 750mm.
265/70R16 Dunlop Grandtreks TG35M2, fitted to 16x7 rims with 118
mm backspacing. These have a higher 112S load rating (1120kgs
per tyre). Diameter
* Upsizing should be accompanied by a suspension lift.
(dia. 742mm). Must
have a load rating of at least 107. So
BFGATKO are OK (LR 110) but Grandtrek AT2 are not (LR
forget them as the load ratings are usually too low.
(810mm dia) (I’ll leave you to decide the legalities). They
fit the rims well, but may scrape the upper inside rear wells
if mounted on the 6 inch rims and standard suspension is
prefer to fit the 7 inch rims when fitting 235/85R16 tyres.
(dia 778mm) – come in heavier LT construction and have the
same diameter as the 265/70 for those who want to keep the
original diameter, gearing and speedo accuracy.
(dia 810mm) – Skinnier tyres are popular with desert
travellers and these will also fit up to the 7 inch rims
(dia 810mm) – Popular choice because they fill up the wheel
(dia 790mm) – Usually don’t come in LT construction except
for BFG. They
are slightly taller but still legal re diameter.
(dia 840mm) – touch everywhere – need an angle grinder to
fit, and then have to consider the legalities, insurance etc. 255/85
are probably the same.
Required for all models with 16x7 rims. For RV upgrades, the factory RV flares are probably the most popular because of price (~$350) and quality considerations. They come in black (looks fine) but can be sprayed. Rubber 35mm flares (~$125) are the cheaper and durable alternative.
Here's where we open up the can of worms!!!
think its fair to say that anyone who sticks to the bitumen will
be happy with ANY choice of tyres on a Prado. Offroad
may be a bit different.
have earned a great reputation with offroaders over many years
because of the great mileage and puncture resistance of the AT
tyres. They were
replaced by the ATKO’s about 2000, and some owners have been
disappointed with the apparently softer rubber compound which
can chunk out on sharp rocky outback roads. This
is probably exacerbated by excessive loads, tyre pressures and
seem to happen as much on the Prados (less weight). Still get
very few punctures, are quiet and many owners still get good
mileage. The Mud
Terrains are popular with serious offroaders in the eastern
popular opinion, they are a very good sand tyre, and probably
better than the ATKO in this respect.
actually have a pretty good range of tyres. I
know a lot of Prado owners who DO go offroad and who have had
greater than 70,000 trouble free kms out of
the 265/70 Grandtreks. I’ve
heard good about their AT2 and MT2 in the 265/75 size although
the load ratings of these tyres (112) is less than other LT
604V was an excellent tyre in the 750R16 and 205R16 sizes and
gave great mileage in the 10R15. They
replaced this with the D693 a couple of years ago and the
first batch of these were prone to punctures. Bridgestone
Australia altered the construction and came out with a much
stronger casing that they claimed was more puncture resistant
than BFG. The
Bridgestone 661 is a very strong tyre in the 235/85 size.
entered the Aussie market with some good marketing. Like
every brand you hear good and bad reports, but their Suretrac
S/T is popular. The
265/75 looks nice on the Prado – bit more aggressive than
many A/T tyres. But the siping is very close and the outer
edges of these tyres easily chip out on rocky terrain. They
are pricey. Their
“80,000km” warranty is pro-rata and has too many
conditions on it, so leave that out of the equation.
have a good reputation in South Australia for being a strong
tyre at a good price. Not
sure about elsewhere.
becoming one of the most popular of the aggressive offroad
tyres because they have a strong tread (don't easily chip),
three ply construction to resist punctures ('a la BFG) and
look nice and aggressive. Not very noisy either. Pricey as
Kumho, Yokohama, Toyo, Pirelli, Firestone, GT Radial, etc etc
– I can’t comment from experience.
Another can of worms.
recommendations for the GrandTreks are Front 26psi and Rear
pressures give a good ride, but the fronts may wear out on the
edges. Most owners
run a few psi higher than this on bitumen. Tyres
with the higher load ratings need higher pressures on the
Mud-terrains need 38/40psi on bitumen.
vary from “never below 40psi off road” to “never above 24
high pressure lovers usually have done so for many years and
often are referring to their split rims, which don’t like the
the tubeless rims and tyres on the Prado, lower pressures as
soon as you’re off the bitumen seems to make sense. Adam
Plate’ from Oodnadatta roadhouse advises to use no more than
25 psi on outback dirt roads. This
pressure allows for some “give” in the tyre and prevents
sharp rocks from penetrating the tread. (Tried puncturing a
balloon at low pressure?). Seems
to hold true on a lot of our club trips in recent years. Corrugations
are better at lower pressures, and shocks don’t seem to suffer
sand can be handled at very low pressures. (20>16>12>8
psi) Just make sure
you don’t turn sharply because this tends to roll the bead off
tubeless rims. This
is a minor problem as most of the time, a 265 tyre on the 7 inch
rim can be reinflated with a good pump.
trips – 18/20psi does me fine – makes life easier for your
suspension as well.
are best avoided. Lower
pressures, don’t overload, never drive faster than 80 kph on
the outback roads, use
tyres that have greater than 50% tread, LT tyres with higher
sweat methods: Always take a tubeless plug repair kit and know how to use it. Every
kit seems to use a different method. Most punctures
are easily fixed with one or several plugs often without having to
take the wheel off. Get
the tyre repaired properly at the next town because casing damage
may be more extensive than it appears from the outside. In
the bush, partial sidewall splits can be temporally repaired using
Loctite 406 superglue, but a split in the sidewall will often
spell the death of the tyre so get it checked when back in
method: Beadbreaker, levers and hammer. Leave it to the experts if possible. I’ve
got better things to do when I go bush! Always
carry a spare tube in case a tyre can’t be reinflated tubeless
or you need to salvage one for a spare if desperate. See
the LCOOL tech pages for a no sweat beadbreaker using the
vehicle’s jack – actually best for alloys.
inch rims are mostly steel, although the “Getaway” and “World
Cup” models in Oz came with 6 inch alloys.
inch rims are steel on GXL (very good strong rim) while
there were at least 3 types of factory alloys. Early VX had 5
spoke Kimberley alloys; Later VX/TX had three spoke alloy while
the last of the GXLs had 6 spoke Kimberley alloy. All
alloys require different wheel nuts – the VX/TX require
21mm nuts with a long shaft, while the 6spoke Kimberley require
19mm nuts and an adaptor for the brace. Also have to remove the
steel washer off the spare tyre locknut.
make 16x7 and 16x8 rims with about 104mm backspacing. These
rims increase the track slightly so fit up to the Prado very
well. Plenty of
aftermarket alloys around as well. Prados
have the same thread wheel nuts as all other Land Cruisers prior
to the 100 and 78 series.
studs: Have been
known to break! Avoid
this by lubricating the threads of all studs with a dab of
grease or antisieze. Tighten
nuts to 113Nm only. I carry spare studs – the front and rear
studs are different, so carry a couple of each.
most offroading: My
personal preferences are to use a 265/75R16 on a 7 inch rim, with
a load rating of about 119 (8 ply equivalent). I
run two sets of 4 rims – one set of MTRs and one set of Kelly
ATs. I carry one
spare casing and tube on most trips.