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Saturday 13 October 2018

Smarter wheels

Today the refurbished alloy wheels arrived and were fitted with new Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tyres.

The wheels were from eBay and I had them refurbished by Tyre-Smart in Witham, Essex. They send them to a company, I think they said they are in Kent, which specialises in refurbishing wheels.

They have done a fantastic job, I am very pleased.

I deliberately wanted to stick to genuine Land Rover wheels. There are plenty of other alloys but I did not know if they had been designed with off-road abuse in mind. I thought it better to stick to genuine Land Rover wheels.

I used copies of old brochures to make sure that what was for sale on eBay was genuine Land Rover. There are some very close looking that were not Land Rover options. There are also plenty of already refurbished Land Rover wheels but they were more costly than having my own done.

The 63mm black centre caps are easily available from eBay.

It took me ages to select the tyres I wanted. From past experience, I know I am unlikely to swap the wheels round just to go off-road, or more commonly, not swap back for on-road use. I was therefore after a set of all-terrains that I could drive on all the time but as chunky as I could find to give me the best chance of traction in the mud off-road.

By chunky I mean that they have wide tread spacing and, for me, most importantly a more square profile, viewed front on. The idea is, that gives better side wall grip to pull out of muddy ruts. That's just my thinking, apart from my own experience, I have no evidence of this being better.

I like B F Goodrich All-Terrains but they are not available in a size suitable for a Discovery 4 without changing the rolling circumference. I wanted a standard overall size. Partly so the odometer reading remains correct but also to avoid insurance complications.

Eventually I found the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac in 255/55R19 111Q.
The Goodyear web site is hopeless, it does not show any of the tyre sizes, I nearly didn't look at them but the tyre dealers had more information and there were a few good reviews by other Land Rover people.

The DuraTrac tyres are exactly what I was after. I've driven them for about 70 miles, so far. Nearly all on-road, except for a dry grass car park, and I am very pleased with them. I can't notice any road noise, if there is any, its definitely not intrusive. Not that I worry about that, I drove the D2 on mud-terrains for a year.

I've also replaced the spare wheel and tyre. I like all my tyres and wheels to match so I can swap them round.

I am not keen on space saver spares, so that had to go.

I've fitted the spare with a security plate to reduce the chance of it being stolen.


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