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Old 06-03-2014
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Cooper ST Maxx Review

Just put on a new set of ST Maxx 265/75/16 load range E. First impression is I really like them. So far just about 50 miles on them. I am going to be moving to Bishop, CA in 3 days. I promise to beat the heck out of these tires and keep this topic updated. I will be putting thousands of miles crawlin down rocky high sierra trails. Also lots of high speed down graded dirt roads and occasional deep sand.I will put pictures up this week.

A little background on my tire experience. Had the truck since new. Has 110,000 and I estimate 30,000 of that is on dirt no problem.

Punctured sidewall of original p255/70/16 within the first few months. Replaced with Toyo A/T 265/75/16 load range D. The Toyo was cheap at the time and performed well. They went many thousands of miles down gnarly 4x4 trails and never let me down. After sustaining many sidewall gashes on the trails around Ouray, CO I felt they were not safe but they never punctured. The tread wore well and there was no chunking to speak of. Quite on the road and really good on road handling. softer ride than the original tires(probably just because there was so much sidewall to flex)

I replaced those with 285/75/16 BFG A/T load range E. Only had them a few months because I couldn't stand the loss in power. Much louder on highway and rock hard ride even after playing with air pressure.

Moved down to 265/75/16 BFG A/T load range E. Not nearly as loud as the 285 and a softer ride. Just a little harsher ride than Toyo. Not sure how many miles on them but had them about 4 years. They were ok I can't complain to much. On road they were ok, not as good of handling as the Toyo but not bad. Found no improvement in snow, sand, or mud. They don't clear well at all and retain a lot of stones. Some improvement in the rocks and high speed on graded roads. Tread wear was fine. I been rolling around on sidewalls full of gashes, chips, and holes. I removed a stick from the sidewall with needle nose stuck in about 1/2" deep. Wheeled hundreds more miles down roads that I only see modified jeeps on and never let me down.

Now the bad.... The BFG chunked and chipped like crazy! Some spots half the lug had ripped off! VERY unhappy with the chunking. Eventually there was dry rot/cracking between all the lugs. Still had about 4/32 over most of tire and some areas had a little less. With all the damage I felt it unwise to spend 3 months in the sierra on remote trails alone or just as bad on the highway in 110 degrees. The chunking and just ok offroad performance is why I did not get another set of BFG.
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I was between Cooper ST Maxx, Duratrac, and Nitto Trail Grappler. Duratrac has bad review of sidewalls, Nitto Trail too expensive and not in stock. I could not find a single bad review of the ST Maxx. Seemed to offer a midpoint between M/T and A/T that I am looking for.

First Impressions:
1. Looks aggressive, almost a M/T. Runs a little big and has deep 18/32 tread.

2. About the same noise as BFG. No idea how that is possible with those huge voids. Only seems slightly louder when cornering like exiting freeway. The BFG was a low pitched hum. The ST Maxx is a higher pitched whine. On the freeway with windows up I put it in neutral going 80. The wind noise is louder than tires and can't really hear them. At 55-65 there is less wind noise and I can hear them slightly.

3. Ride seems slightly softer for sure. Not as plush as the Toyo, what do u expect they are E's.

4. On road the grip seems good. Took a lot of high speed turns to test tire pressures. Seems to understeer a little more and they howl during fast U turns. The sidewall flexes and sort of causes front outside tire to skip. The Toyo A/T did this too but the BFG not so much. The BFG would just slide smoothly and not skip unpredictably. I mostly take it easy on pavement just need to know what happens in an emergency.

5. Did the chalk test from 38 down to 25, taking out 2 lbs at a time. Even with camper shell, and about 100 lbs in offroad gear I could not get the shoulders to fully touch. Only about half the width of the outside lugs would loose the chalk. Less pressure helped but not a huge difference. Handling got so mushy though. I'm guessing just because they are E rated on a light truck. I ended up just going with 33lbs front 30 in the rear for my daily driving, same as I liked in the BFG. I will pump the back up to 33 when its loaded down with camping gear. Offroad I usually run 25 because I don't have onboard air and have to get back to town. I will go 15-20 for the very roughest roads.

I will keep this updated all summer and post before and after pictures to see if there is chunking or damage from all the rocky trails in the Sierra.

Last edited by stockranger; 06-04-2014 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 06-03-2014
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I will start with some pictures of the old BFG's.








Last edited by stockranger; 06-04-2014 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 06-04-2014
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dReserved for photos and updates.

Wheeled a short trail and roamed some graded dirt. Put 500 on so far.

1. An improvement on rocks for sure but not night and day. Haven't got into any really rough stuff yet but more sure footed and less slipping. Can't make a final conclusion yet.

2. Retains more stones but spits them out at about 50 mph. No stone has stayed in up to highway speed. Just big voids where more stones can fit.

3. The biggest improvment is on graded dirt! This is a huge difference. At speed between 40 and 75, when the back end starts drifiting, just stomp on the gas and the back hooks up. More stable on the straight aways. Harder to initiate oversteer with gas pedal, really have to keep up rpms now to break it loose.

4. Tire is definently slightly taller. The BFG runs a little small. The speedo with BFG was about 1 mph off at 70 pushing 2 or 3 mph off at 80 +. Now its a solid 2 mph off at 68 mph but I haven't gone over 75 yet. Used gps to verify speed.

Airing down to 20lbs on hot tires. Air temp 80. 40 miles at highway speed to get here. The tires don't even show any flexing at all until under 25 lbs. With 20 lbs it looks like most other cars on the raod with the bottom of tire slightly flattened. Sure wish they made load range E or I had 15's and 32X11.5. I'm now down to running 28-30 cold PSI. 30 for highway. 28 for combination highway and casual offroad mix. Tried 25 for a day it was just a wee bit too sluggish on highway.




Turning around because shelf road was blocked by snow. Even backing way up onto side of mtn like this still a 5 point turn. Note the bumper is almost touching. Pulled rocks off control arms , cross member(think thats what its called), and radiator before going forward. No chunking or gashes yet.



You can see the road switch backing up and part of the lake.




Last edited by stockranger; 06-09-2014 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 06-16-2014
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I can't wait to hear more. I just bought my Ranger, a 2003 XLT FX4, and it needs tires badly.
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Old 06-16-2014
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Put on about 250 miles this weekend. Maybe 40 on some mellow dirt roads. Been doing a lot of drifting up to 80 mph. Doing lots of U turns using the gas pedal to avoid 3 point turns. Still an awesome improvement for this kind of driving. No chunking yet.
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Old 07-28-2014
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I have about 4,000 miles on the tires now. Many miles offroad. Took them on one really really tough road. I actually had to get out and build the road, use a spotter, and I still hit the bottom of the truck numerous times on the boulders. Unfortunately didn't take pictures or film most of it.

There is some chunking starting. I noticed a few before wheeler ridge. It is minor and only on the outside of the shoulder lugs. There are 3 torn lugs on the RF tire. One on the LR. Noticed I gained one more after wheeler ridge. I am not positive when the lugs get damaged but I believe it was trying to drift at about 50 on a road that was blasted out of solid rock but had just a rough solid stone surface. It would not drift....

Been in soft sand a few times, better than the BFG but really can't say how much.

Much better in the rocks.

On the highway still very quite on the straights. Now that I been on many twisty roads I can say they howl when cornering hard, much louder than the BFG. I beleive its because the tire rolls onto the shoulder which has large voids.

absolutely no sidewall damage even though I know I have abused them while climbing over boulders. Very happy with this so far.

Here is a short video of wheeler ridge. Should of filmed when going up the first obstacle in the video. It took a couple of attempts with the truck getting stuck and tires spinning. In 30,000 miles offroad I don't think I have ever had to try 3 times to get over something! The problem is the biggest obstacles are all right after switchbacks so you have to take them on with the wheel almost locked in one direction. Straightening out to hit it straight on means going over a cliff.


Last edited by stockranger; 07-28-2014 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 08-24-2015
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Up to 16,000 and still going strong. Not too many more miles offroad. The drought meant no birds to hunt in the winter, and I had to work all summer.

Ran 30 lbs for a while but have gone back to 28. Been rotated 2 times (due for another). Wear is even. They are getting a little bit louder now that they are wearing.

Still happy, and still plan to get these same tires next time around. I will probably go down to a 15 inch rim though so I can get a tire in load range C. I'm tired of the rough ride of E rated tires.
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Old 07-16-2016
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I'm up to 23,500 miles. They have been rotated every 5,000 approximately. Wear is still even. They are still getting louder. At very low speed starting to feel the lugs. Not a whole lot of hard wheeling since last update, but probably a few hundred miles on rough rocky trails and 1,000 on graded dirt. Still like them much better than BFG A/T. The shoulder lugs have suffered some chunking, the center has little or no chunking. Chunking/Chipping I can say is certainly better than the BFG. The stone retention is better too. It just spits them out when you return to the pavement. With the BFG I sometimes had to pick one out with a screwdriver that was really stuck. I am looking at the MT atz p3 for the next tire, only because they don't make the st maxx in 32x11.5x15. The atz is basically the same tire.
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