4WD MODIFICATIONS - TYRES & WHEELS
As we all know, the skinny standard wheels and tyres fitted to Japanese 4×4 trucks are useless in off-road situations – particularly the rear duals that can trap rocks between them. There are several sources for replacement wide single wheels and tyres, but the most practical we’ve come across are the Australian-made 17 x 9 wheels from AAV4x4.
AAV4x4 is best known for its range of 4×4 motorhomes on the Fuso chassis, but the company has spent a great deal of time and R&D addressing the problem of ideal single wheel solutions for these vehicles. Along the way, the company has also developed wheels for Iveco’s Daily 4×4 and the OKA.
AAV4x4 has commisioned Titan Wheels in Mildura to produce its wide-single wheel range and uses ROH Wheels’ NATA test laboratory to test any new developments. All the AAV4x4 wheels have twin valve holes – inner and outer – allowing easy pressure measurement and adjustment, regardless of whether the wheels are mounted with positive offset (front axle) or negative offset (rear axle).
Kym Bolton, AAV4x4’s principal, has an extensive background in off-road competition and international remote-area travel, so he has ample experience in the wheel and tyre suitability area.
Most wide-wheel solutions for 4×4 light trucks use common truck-wheel and tyre sizes – 17.5-inch and 19.5-inch. Some heavier vehicles even have 22.5-inch wheels. These sizes are very familiar to truck operators, being the international standard rim sizes for tubeless truck and trailer tyres, but they’re virtually unknown in typical car and 4WD tyre dealerships.
Buying such tyre sizes in the bush can be difficult and, if there is a truck tyre dealership, it will most likely stock only highway-pattern tyres. Off road carcase and pattern tyres in those sizes are nearly always ‘special order’ purchases. Also, many on-road truck tyres cannot be run at the lower pressures needed for sand driving, without risk of carcase damage.
The AAV4x4 solution was different, choosing the much more common 17-inch rim size that’s now the most popular rim size across the 4×4 wagon and ute world.
AAV4x4 offers 4×4 light truck owners a range of tyres to mount on those rims and can supply mounted tyres and replacement tyres to order. All tyres are 37-inch size.
The choice starts with Hankook’s Dynapro MT 37 x 12.5 R17 LT 129Q tyre that is 10-ply equivalent and rated for an 1800kg load (3600kg per axle). This tyre is Kim Bolton’s personal choice and he’s driven more than 230,000km on successive sets of these tyres, for an average of 62,000km per set.
Option two is for vehicles with heavier GVM ratings. The Radar Renegade is a 37 x 12.5 R17 LT 131Q tyre that is 10-ply equivalent and rated for a 1950kg load (3900kg per axle).
The third option is Gladiator’s wider, 37 x 13.5 R17 LT 131Q tyre that also has a 1950kg load rating.
All these tyres are in the $395-$500 range.