7.3L Power Stroke Diesel Tire Q&A

I received the email below asking for input, and with the reader’s permission, decided it would be nice to respond to his question on the blog and share with everyone.

Do you have a question for RoadTraveler.net? When you do, send  an email, maybe RoadTraveler can help.

Question:

I was wondering if I could pick your brain for a minute. I just bought another F350 CC today. 97 Powerstroke with built E4OD. It is going to need rubber soonish, and I have also recently bought a 2700 lb slide in camper. I am looking for a load range E 315-75 R16. All i have found so far is the Toyo MT. I am fine with those, aside from cost vs wear ratio. Any other hats you could throw in the ring?

Much appreciated, Red Thies


Answer:
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I love the old, first generation 7.3L Power Strokes, sounds like you found a good one. As you know, you have a substantial load with that slide-in camper. I assume you desire a load-range E 315/75R16 because you want the added capacity of over the typical load-range D, and possibly the added stiffness to reduce sidewall flex and heat.

Does the camper weigh 2,700 pounds dry or is that the gross-vehicle-weight-rating (GVWR)? My guess is that with the weight of that camper you will be very close to the maximum capacity of two typical 315/75R16Ds, which is 3,195 pounds each at 50-PSI. Depending on how you set-up the F350, you might have close of 3,000-pounds riding on the rear axle (I do) when you are wet & empty before you install the camper. Using these estimates, you would have about 690-pounds of total rear axle tire payload remaining.

I’m generally a fan of the Toyo M/T because it’s a high-quality, rugged tire that balances well and rolls nicely down the road. However, you raise a very valid point; value. The Toyo M/T is generally pretty expensive, and depending on the application, wear is not always fantastic. I also know a few people who didn’t get great mileage out of their Toyo A/Ts either. As the saying goes, your-mileage-may-vary, there are always others who can share they get great wear out of Toyos. Depends. Do you want a mud-terrain tire? Diesels can be hard on tires, and so can maximum loads, therefore starting with a tire that has a spotty reputation for wear is a big gamble.

The GoodYear DuraTrac LT315/75R16 is a load-range E tire, rated for 3,860-pounds each at 65 psi, a very healthy increase in capacity. But like the Toyo M/T, some seem to get great wear out of the DuraTrac while others receive a very short life. I like the appearance of the tread, but it hasn’t been able to lure me away from the Dick Cepek F-C II.

The Firestone Destination M/T is a load-range E in 315/75, and comes with a whopping 20/32″ of tread. The Firestone Destination A/T is also a load-range E, but is a very conservative 5-rib all-terrain tread design.

What say you?

Toyo M/T LT285/75R16E on 7.3L Power Stroke F350

Copyright © 2012 James Langan

 

12 thoughts on “7.3L Power Stroke Diesel Tire Q&A

  1. The 19.5 route is not an option for me. I have two sets of 16″ wheels. One alloys, and one strong factory steels. I will likely run the steel wheels.
    I need an aggressive tread for my winter work, and only want one tire for year round use, so I am looking at MTs primarily. Firestones will be something to look at. Wish the FCIIs came in a high load capacity.
    I also have two friends who have both killed multiple Dura Tracs. Goodyear has replaced the tired free of charge, but I don’t want similar issues. Love the tread design, but I’ll pass.

    • I prefer the OE 16″ wheels and have the same two sets as you, one aluminum and one steel. Unless you have something rare and different, those OE wheels are a mere 7-inches wide. I have done it, but don’t like to put a 285 tire on a 7″ wheel (min. spec. is 7.5-inches). Putting a 315 on a 7″ wheel surely can be done, but doesn’t sound like a good idea, the minimum recommended wheel width for a 315 is 8-inches.

        • Eight inch Dodge wheels are Perfect!

          I only know one friend who has run Hankook DynaPro MT tire on his Jeep TJ. Overall I think he liked them, but it was a couple years ago and he didn’t run a second set. I don’t think he was wild about the total lack of siping during winter.

          I like the chevron shape of the tread, looks similar to a “drive axle” traction tire for a semi-truck. For me, the total lack a siping is not very attractive.

          Are they a load-range E in your size?

          • Yup. The lack of siping is down side, but at $256 per, vs $339 per for Toyo MTs, I can afford to buy a siping tool! I used to run the old style BFG MTs year round with no issues.

            • I ran the old BFG MT siped too.

              That price difference is huge.

              Are the Hankook 315s load-range E?

              • Yes, they are. Same weight rating as the Toyos. 3800 lbs ish.

                I bought a set of Goodyear MTRs with the truck that are not in bad shape. I am going to run them for a bit (they are 3195 lb D rated), while I decide on the Toyo vs Hankook thing. If the money is there, I think Toyo will be the better choice.

  2. Perfect timing. I too have just started researching the benefits of running a commercial tire on a 19.5″ wheel (Insert brand here…). This would be for mostly for daily driving and on road travels, switching to a different combo for the real off highway adventures.

    My question is this; Does one really experience a benefit by running the 19.5″ wheels and is the only benefit increased mileage out of the tire?

    • The primary benefits of running 19.5″ wheels and commercial tires are the potential for increased longevity, higher load capacity per tire (depending on the tire/wheel you are currently using), commercial tread choices, and reduced heat/flex/wear from possibly overloading a light-truck tire. If you haven’t already, make sure you read this post about wheels, tires, sidewalls (http://roadtraveler.net/wheels-tires-and-sidewalls).

      Some of the disadvantages, depending on the application are: 19.5″ tires & wheels are heavy, they don’t flex because of the all-steel construction, there is no safety bead area on the wheels to help retain the tires if you try to run lower pressures, cost (probably the wheels more than the tires these days).

      For on-highway travels, mostly unladen, I think running a 19.5″ wheel/tire on a light-truck is a waste. If you’re already running a load-range E light-truck tire, I suggest filling them to their maximum PSI all around, then drive around for a few weeks or months, including on bumpy pavement and see how you like the performance.

      For some applications, like the very heavy slide-in camper that prompted this post, they ‘may’ be a good choice. For most people with single-rear-wheel (SRW) trucks, that are often driving around unladen, they are not.

  3. WOW ! 2,700 lbs is a heavy, heavy camper. I do like the Duratrac for its tread design and E load rating and although I am very interested in the 315/75R16 size for its outside diameter (generally 34.6″, but called a “35 inch” tire), I wonder if Mr. Redthies might not also want to consider some of the even higher load rated tires in the 19.5″ wheel diameters? There are some very good Toyo tires with a M&S rating in that size that would help to make the truck can camper very stable and there is a size that has an OD of 35.1″. Of course, if airing down for off-road work is a primary consideration, then this might not be the best direction to consider. Perhaps Mr. Redthies could have a look around the Rickson Engineering website for some reference?

    • Yes, the 19.5″ tire & wheel option is interesting if one is primarily going to use their truck for heavy hauling, and doesn’t mind spending the money for new wheels. Many years ago I had the opportunity to run Rickson wheels on the pictured F350. While they would have been great when the truck was used for maximum loads and towing, I declined the offer as they are very stiff, heavy, and not great for off-highway travel and airing-down, as you mentioned knarf.

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