MX5: Disco Gets Some New Shoes

When the vehicle was purchased it came with a mismatched set of over sized tires. They did look good and only rubbed a little.

All the tires were 265/70 R16’s and were dry rotted on the tread surface.
So new tires were in order.

A used set was purchased from a used tire shop. They all matched, had decent tread left and would get the Disco down the road for a few weeks. The down side was the only size I could get a full set of was 235/60 R16’s in a highway terrain. Being a budget build I didn’t flinch when I was quoted 100 bucks, mounted and balanced. Good enough for now.

I was invited on a trip through the Bradshaw Mountains and over to Sedona with Lance Blair and a few of his friends. This would be a good test run to see how the vehicle handles forest roads and a few rock climbs.

Forrest roads weren’t a problem at all. The rock climbs did prove a bit challenging. Choosing the best lines was more crucial with having an inappropriate tire for both lack of tread adhesion and low clearance. At one point I did become high centered on the rear differential.

Overall the highway tires did good. Especially since I didn’t air down. With 35 lbs of pressure and being a small tire the ride was rough. Most of the big rock obstacles required everyone to lend a hand stacking rocks. Eventually at the top of the climb we were all impressed.

On the next trip in Southern Arizona, I decided to try out airing down to 15 psi. We would only be on dirt roads, so I wasn’t too concerned with clearance. At lower pressure the ride was smoother. This and some cross lateral forces pulled the bead from the rim and wedged dirt between the bead. Using the Lance’s X-Jack and compressed air we cleared the debris. Later down the road I had a small puncture in the passenger rear tire. Now with a good baseline I know where to start searching for the best suitable budget tire.

So after much deliberation I finally decided on a tire. Kumho Road Venture AT in a 245/75R16. There slightly smaller hight wise than the 265/70R16, which rubbed a little. These so far have done well in the few thousand miles I’ve run them. Any tire will do good in a short distance though. It was difficult for myself to go with a tire other than BFG ATs. Quite funny, but I really did have a very hard time. Almost like breaking up with a girlfriend. I took the plunged though, venturing into a new brand and hopefully a good decision. So as comparing the new girlfriend to the old, I’ll be sure to keep a non-bias account of how the Kumho’s do.