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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so being rather new to 4wd and snow I know very little.

We already have a vehicle that is great in the snow and we use it daily so it has hakka 9 studs. It has very little off road ability and is limited when snow passes 6 or 7 inches.

Looking at some blizzak studless tires so we have something that can road trip up to and over the pass for christmas and such then not destroy tires on the warmer coastal highways. They are gonna grip the snow and ice but will they basically destroy my off road winter ability?

Am I better off with one of the winter oriented AT tires knowing from experience that something like a falken wildpeak w the 3 mountains will NOT behave like a true snow tire?

They will be winter only and off roading in winter will be limited to forest service roads and up to 12 inches of snow. Nothing major.

We live in the kittitas valley so local roads will frequently be icy enough to warrant studs but are generally well plowed. Just packed and gravelled streets. But it can start in early October and last til March.

Thoughts or experiences?
 

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I run Cooper Discoverer AT3 on my 2000 trooper. I take it up in the mountains in western Montana elk hunting in the winter I have taken it up some pretty sketchy mountain roads, I do take snow chains , a shovel and recovery gear although have only had to use the recovery gear to pull other people out.
 

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right now I have 255/70R16 on the 2000 trooper but when I replace them will likely go to 245/70R16 just to match some other vehicles I have .
 

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245/70 16 is the stock size and you'll find slightly better prices in that size because it's more common (on LOTS of older GM trucks and others). I'd shop that size and then not worry about it.

Here's what I'd do if I were you:

A) wait until October and then when GM's fall tire rebate is on, get a set of Hankook AT2's installed for about $300 OTD (Yes), with lifetime balancing/rotation/etc. Twice a year GM will give a $200 rebate on tires purchased from them if a) brand is Hankook, Bridgestone, Pirelli, Conti, Goodyear. Less rebate for other brands. Must use the GM buy power card for maximum rebate, but you don't have to pay interest. Just pay the card off when it comes. GM will price match the lowest dealer/installer price within 100 miles, so if you have a Walmart in that distance, you get their prices PLUS the rebate. Amazing deal.

B) Since they do Bridgestone, you could do Blizzaks, too. I am putting either Blizzaks or Hankook I-cept on my (new to me) Volvo XC70 to use a a ski car to go up to Snoqualmie Pass, over to Wenatchee and Mission Ridge a lot this winter (instead of the Trooper/SLX).

c) Last fall, I used the GM deal to get the Hankook Dynapro HT installed (highway tread). it was about $270 after rebate (245/70-16). Rebate was fast and painless, btw. Anyway, a month after I went with the HT, I decided to start skiing again after a big break. I started teaching lessons up at Snoqualmie Summit and was going up there three days a week. I was really hating my decision to go with the HT instead of the AT, BUT - the truck did fine in ALL conditions all winter (until Covid at least!). I was surprised. Given what you said, I'd go AT2, take the great deal, and not look back.

I did some "mild" offroading on the Dynapro HT tires this past summer. Deflated them to 25lbs and they were great on dry forest roads and some trails, like the stuff above Liberty if you know that. I had zero complaints with them. In retrospect, I should have gone AT2 and I'd be happier all-around.

If you want dedicated snows, the Blizzak is good, but know two things: 1) the soft winter compound is the upper 1/2; it gets harder down lower so once you are down to 1/2 tread they are toast for pure winter use. 2) Also, in your heat in the summer, they will wear badly and be really soft and floaty - I have run winter tires year-round before on the East coast (I used to live in NY and VT, and norther VT at that). You could run the winter tires in norther VT in the summer, but if you went south where it was hotter, they got sketchy at speed and with heavier vehicles.

Oops, just re-read and saw this:

"They will be winter only "

In that case I would get the Hankook I-cept. It's a better non-studded tire than the Hankook I-pike (a lot of gripes with them when not studded), and will give longer winter service than the multi-compound Blizzak.

I focus on Hankook and Bridgestone here as those can give you very good snow tires at great prices, and thus maximize the GM rebate and price-match. There are lots of good other snows out there, but these can be had at amazing prices. Usually the rebate period is for tires purchased 10/1-11/30 (and again march/april they do it), so I'd wait until at least the first of October to see that deal pop up. here's a link to the terms for the last deal:

https://media-dmg.assets-cdk.com/teams/ ... 8ba825.pdf

It ran sept. to Nov last year, I think normally it's Oct to Nov. Also, sometimes Ford dealers do the exact same deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok I followed uo on that link and I'm gonna look into that card... I have a discount tire card but the deal they have going is half that even using the card.

I ran i pikes and even with studs they PALE to the Nokian hakka 9. Those grip so well that snowy roads become a playground. They not only grip like crazy but they handle like the best sport tires Ive ever used. Breaks away gradually and ultra predictably. You can alter your line through the turn with just a quick throttle adjustment and in 3 years of trying Ive never spun out.

But i am not asking for that kind of performance from the squarebody trooper platform lol. My real concern is if a studless pure snow tire will work on forest service roads that arent plowed and have 6-12 inches on top of some hard pack, ice or gravel.

Also having never run studless I am unsure what to expect from them in general. The hakkas love deep snow on fs roads but the civic only has 6 inches of clearance.

Thanks for the great post!
 

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nateintacoma said:
= My real concern is if a studless pure snow tire will work on forest service roads that arent plowed and have 6-12 inches on top of some hard pack, ice or gravel.
Oh sure, no problem.

I lived in northern VT for years and I worked as a ski patroller. I had to be at the mountain before the roads were plowed. I never bothered with studs - just good tires (Blizzak and Yokohama snows), and Quattro. Never a problem - at all. I even drove it on snowmobile trails sometimes for fun.

I thought last winter, in a lot of snow, I'd be disappointed with the Trooper TOD system vs. the pure mechanical TorSen I was used to. I was wrong - the TOD system is quite good. It and four snows w/o studs will suit your needs and not have the downside of the noise, performance on wet/dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So now its wearing blizzak dmv2 in stock size and they are quieter and comfier than the all terrains. It was icy in the canyon on the 30 mile trek back from discount tire with flurries and I was glad I got them installed when I did.

Also got replacement certs so if they get damaged off road....who cares?

Ill be back once the snows come to review.
 

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Good to hear. Coincidentally, I was looking at a used range rover yesterday that had pretty new set of those same tires on it and was wondering about them; I have read they have a great reputation.

Two weeks ago I put snow tires on the Volvo XC. Hankook icept Evo2. They are quite nice and better than the Cooper all-season that were on there. I've only driven it in dry and wet conditions 40 to 50 degrees, so no ice or snow report yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After a winter of use I cannot recommend the blizzak dmv2. It is competent but not confidence inspiring except in deep fresh snow.

Compared to hakka 9 they do not grip well in many driving conditions.

For general slow driving they are fine and grip well. Once you exceed their grip and theres some slip angle involved they fall flat on their face though. The hakka 9 tires pull the front around once they understeer with just a little throttle application in 4wd. They dig into the surface and continue to provide control in say, an emergency maneuver.

The blizzak tires just slide once they understeer and you have to straighten them, brake to reduce speed and transfer weight before they regain control. Applying just brake or giving it ANY throttle just makes things worse. Much less intuitive, confidence inspiring, and in my opinion less safe as well. They also are way more squirmy on ruts and are ill suited to icy conditions.

Being that we are moving away from the valley of ice and fire back to Tacoma, studs are a thing of the past for us. It will be nice to have a winter tire that is well suited to the heavier less frequent snow of the westside and is more daily drivable in predominantly 32-40 degrees and rain conditions.

The deep snow performance will also be an asset off road as heavy snow is much more common in the cascades on the wet side.

Next set we get years from now will be from the nordic company 100% though. No question that nokian makes a more effective winter tire.
 
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