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  #1  
Unread 10th April 2018, 10:31 PM
Bridgestone Bridgestone is offline
 
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Default Getting 4WD Tyre Pressure Right


Iíve long said that the single best value for money modification you can make to your 4WD that will get you further off-road than anything else, hands down, is tyre pressures. Adjusting air pressure in your tyres can cost you nothing, yet it is the single best thing you can do to your rig across the board to increase performance.

Adjusting your tyre pressures increases or decreases your tyres footprint or surface area in contact with the ground. This offers lesser or greater resistance (grip) and alters your tyres reaction to the terrain over which youíre travelling.

Starting with the blacktop, I would hazard a guess that I keep an eye on my road pressures at the very least once a month but probably more frequently. A few years back I found on my GU that by increasing my road pressures well above what I had been running them at, I was able to save a litre of diesel per 100kms travelled. Just by getting my on-road pressures correct. Itís like Iím making money now as a result!


As soon as I leave the black top and venture on to any other style of terrain for a prolonged distance, Iím instantly thinking pressures. From black top itís very common to hit high speed gravel (my second favourite terrain to beach driving by the way) and to rack up some big distances on said terrain. Road pressures suck on gravel; itís uncomfortable for you and your passengers and contributes towards the creation of corrugations. Dropping your pressures, as well as your speed, smooths out the ride, makes it safer. High pressures and gravel combined with speed equals a lack of gripÖ. hold on! As a very general rule of thumb, for high speed gravel Iíll drop my tyres to around 28PSI.

I mentioned corrugations and on some lengths of track they can be utterly diabolical. Head out towards Steep Point, the most westerly point on mainland Australia and youíll see what I mean. These tracks still allow you to travel with speed but high pressures will just about rattle your rig to pieces. In these conditions Ill drop my pressures into the low 20 PSI range and then adjust my speed to find a comfortable maximum.


Next up letís think about low range conditions, steeps, rocks, ruts, mud and anything else that causes you to engage the stubby lever. Itís in these conditions that traction is key. Low pressures increase the ground surface area that your tyres are in contact with. More contact area, greater possible traction. Also, lower pressures enable your tyres to mould around obstacles, again improving contact, reducing the risk of tyre damage and increasing traction. My go-to starting point for anything low range is 18 PSI.

Then we have sand; perhaps the most critical location for correct tyre pressures. As a rule of thumb, as soon as I hit a beach, I drop my tyres to 15 PSI. I then perform a very quick test to see if Iím in the ball park; simply build speed then disengage your gears, stop accelerating and let your 4WD coast to a stop. If your pressure is correct your vehicle will come to a slow and gradual stop. If your pressures are too high, you will stop suddenly as the tyres dig in. This is a fantastic rule to work by and I urge you to give it a crack. Remember the lower your pressures, the slower you must drive and avoid sharp turns as you run the risk of busting a tyre bead, which is a real pain in the backside.

Learn to master this art and I assure you, any terrain will be looked upon differently; youíll drive more efficiently, in more comfort, with greater traction and further, simply thanks to the best value modification you can make, tyre pressures.

By Graham Cahill


LINKS:

Bridgestone Australia - www.bridgestonetyres.com.au/

Bridgestone Australia Facebook - www.facebook.com/BridgestoneAU
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  #2  
Unread 10th April 2018, 10:55 PM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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That's about what I used to do in the Outback with LT-metric KO2s.

I now use P-metric Falken Wildpeak AT3W on a Toyota 4Runner Offroad Edition and don't air down at all. I would for a beach or a consistently difficult rocky trail but they are great in rock, loose rock mixed with coarse sand, and dirt, not to mention pavement, all on 33 psi.

Also, the Falken Wildpeak has the same shoulder protectors in all tire types (P to E-load LT) and the sidewalls are very strong even in P (though even stronger in E).

Maybe others will take note and start making tough P-metric tires.
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Last edited by MiddleAgeSubie; 10th April 2018 at 11:55 PM.
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  #3  
Unread 13th April 2018, 01:19 PM
Bridgestone Bridgestone is offline
 
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Hi MiddleAgeSubie ,

Thanks for sharing your experience and opinion!

Kind Regards,

The Bridgestone Team
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Unread 13th April 2018, 03:20 PM
scalman scalman is offline
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choose right presure for situation is as much important as right tire itself and could give all grip difference in the world. subarus not heavy 4wd cars so we no need go as much extreme i guess, thou on other side as car is lighter its not put much weight on tire and making it more grippy. i know people used 1 bar/14.5psi on foresters with general grabbers in forest and sand areas and they were holding still ok .
if your car grips good enough with normal preasure , then imagine how better it would do with lowered psi. as i not lower my psi or bar when just go on short track or just in forest. never had yet any problems with my 2,1-2,2 bar/ 32psi there. using same on street as well. i like it more softer ride .
still with every car model and every tire only we can find best option for us to drive and to feel car. and every offroad style needs diff preasures as well. just local offroad in mud or rock climbing needs one thing and overlanding covering lots ground needs something else. i see no point to lower psi just for some 2-5 km on some forest track i found. if it would be planned and be like 30-50 km then sure. or if i would see its really bad track im going to or no track at all. then its good point to go low , even very low on psi. i yet need to test that , just not have that kinda terrain i guess for that.
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Unread 13th April 2018, 03:49 PM
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I drop to 25psi once I leave the blacktop. I find it works for gravel roads, mud and general off roading. As I don’t go on sand, snow or ice I cannot say but by all accounts for sand at least it would be a lot less. I remember a year or so ago we were travelling on a dirt road and the car felt quite skittish at 40 psi. As we would be on it for a while we dropped to 25 and what a difference. The car was far more stable and much nicer to drive.
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  #6  
Unread 24th April 2018, 10:24 PM
Bridgestone Bridgestone is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scalman View Post
choose right presure for situation is as much important as right tire itself and could give all grip difference in the world. subarus not heavy 4wd cars so we no need go as much extreme i guess, thou on other side as car is lighter its not put much weight on tire and making it more grippy. i know people used 1 bar/14.5psi on foresters with general grabbers in forest and sand areas and they were holding still ok .
if your car grips good enough with normal preasure , then imagine how better it would do with lowered psi. as i not lower my psi or bar when just go on short track or just in forest. never had yet any problems with my 2,1-2,2 bar/ 32psi there. using same on street as well. i like it more softer ride .
still with every car model and every tire only we can find best option for us to drive and to feel car. and every offroad style needs diff preasures as well. just local offroad in mud or rock climbing needs one thing and overlanding covering lots ground needs something else. i see no point to lower psi just for some 2-5 km on some forest track i found. if it would be planned and be like 30-50 km then sure. or if i would see its really bad track im going to or no track at all. then its good point to go low , even very low on psi. i yet need to test that , just not have that kinda terrain i guess for that.
Hi scalman,

Thanks for sharing your experience! Yes, nothing beats driving out there and knowing what your car can do and how it feels on the tracks, as every car and driver is different.

Kind Regards,
The Bridgestone Team
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Unread 24th April 2018, 10:27 PM
Bridgestone Bridgestone is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rally View Post
I drop to 25psi once I leave the blacktop. I find it works for gravel roads, mud and general off roading. As I donít go on sand, snow or ice I cannot say but by all accounts for sand at least it would be a lot less. I remember a year or so ago we were travelling on a dirt road and the car felt quite skittish at 40 psi. As we would be on it for a while we dropped to 25 and what a difference. The car was far more stable and much nicer to drive.
Hi Rally,

Thanks for sharing your experience. The drop in tyre pressures would have also saved your tyres from getting an untimely puncture!

Kind Regards,
The Bridgestone Team
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