4×4 Truck Tire and Spares Strategy

Tire strategy before dropping below the border for the 2019 Baja 1000, start/finishing in Ensenada, Baja California. I had to do something about the rubber i was running, but the intent was to hit up side trails and canyons to reach surf spots along the coast; it was brought to my attention that sometimes in Baja, one will venture down a trail where the locals would rather not have visitors, so it could very much be booby trapped with nails, spikes, and sidewall shredders.

F-350 single rear wheel (SRW) 4×4 running gear for 1997, uses an 8×6.5″ bolt pattern and at least a 16″ diameter wheel to clear front disc brakes and massive rear drums. In the past, have run outlandish HMMV 24-bolt military wheels on 16.5″ diameter double bead lock runflats weighing in at roughly 250lbs a corner, but opted to fitout the overlander with 16×10″ alloy wheels for much lower weight and wider stance, at roughly 4.5″ of backspacing in the rims. Unfortunately, only had wheel sets of 4, so a true full size spare was not readily available.

Tires originally started as 315/75R16 (equivalent to a 35″X12.5″) Load Range E All-Terrain Big-O Big Foot tires. Then for Baja went with Ironman 315/75R16 Load Range E All-Country M/T, high pressure valve stems, and internal balancing beads; very aggressive sidewalls, deep tread with sipping, and produced a set of unbalanced spares.

Full size spare was the 16×8 steel rim with 285/75r16 factory spare mounted below the rear fuel tank below the bed. With dual exhaust and 4″ pipes, and to modify the spare tire carrier to hang it below the taipipes. Later on in Baja, would find a local fabricator to weld up a tubular, fixed front tire carrier for a 315/75 tire.

Air compressor is an ARB 12V single compressor unit wired to the 100Ahr AGM battery, plumbed to a 5lb air tank, and lastly to the ARB air chuck. Tire repair kit contains multiple plugs, applicators, and rubber cement.

Published by Manolo al Sol

Learning by adventure.. will curiosity kill the cat ?

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