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  1. #1
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    Default The importance of 3-ply side wall?

    Evening all, I'm in the predicament of replacing my tyres on my Pajero at the moment. I've currentky got BFG KM2's on, and they have served me well, albeit very noisy in the last year (which was expected when I bought them)

    My predicament is when I do go offroad, it's generally into a serious overlanding situation where replacement tyres are not at hand. I do an annual trip to Mabua, this year now going to CKGR, have done south Zim to Gonarezhou etc.

    How important is a 3 ply side wall really? I'm asking this, because the price difference is quite large (R1000 per tyre) between the 3ply (usually mud terrains) and the 2 ply all terrain options available to me.
    Last edited by PajeroMan3500; 2015/02/09 at 07:10 PM.

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    I run on Cooper STTs which have a 3ply sidewall. Most of my travel is fairly hardcore expedition stuff, and on my first set of STTs I had two punctures in around 80 000 km, both caused by steel spikes on tar roads. Both were bottom of tyre, ie not sidewall. Second set is new, so can't comment, but I would go for the 3-ply any time.

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  4. #3
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    Thanks for the reply Tony, much appreciated!

    STT's are currently on my shortlist, but I heard yesterday that they were very difficult to balance? Have you had any issues with yours in this regard? Or should I shrug that comment off as heresay?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PajeroMan3500 View Post
    Thanks for the reply Tony, much appreciated!

    STT's are currently on my shortlist, but I heard yesterday that they were very difficult to balance? Have you had any issues with yours in this regard? Or should I shrug that comment off as heresay?
    Muds are often difficult to balance due to shop not knowing what they are doing.

    When I got my KL71s, on brand new rims, they shop used 2 STRIPS of lead to balance them.

    Took them to TWT. They moved the tyre on the rim and they used 1 block only.

    On side wall plys. There is a lot of speculation on 2 and 3 plys, but never about the quality of the plys. I ran my BFG AT 3 ply at 1.5bar on gravel. The KL71 2 ply I have to run at 1.4 bar to get the same comfort. Is the Kumho ply thicker, because the sure FEEL stiffer?
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    Not only quality of plys (plies?), but construction material? You get polyester, and you get Kevlar. You cannot compare the two.

    Next is the question - does the "ply rating" mean how many layers in there? Or does it describe how strong the sidewall is as a comparative rating? Because the "ply rating" of a tyre determines its load carrying capacity according to Google, not necessarily the construction detail.

    In that case, the question is what you need to do with the tyre. If you are going to load the tyre (trailer hooked, heavy roofrack load) you need a stiff/strong sidewall (high ply rating, i.e. high load rating), and all other requirements are secondary. It doesn't help you have a wonderful rock crawling tyre (when deflated) which disintegrates at 90 km/h fully loaded.
    Last edited by ZS6HDV; 2015/02/10 at 07:24 AM.
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    I've been using Bridgestone Dueler A/T's with 2 ply sidewalls since 1999 and we do more overlanding trips than most people I know of. No problems to date.

    At the moment I am picking up a fair amount of punctures in the Bushmanland area, but they are all pieces of wire that penetrate the tread part of the tyre.

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    I used to run 2 ply Bighorns & never had a sidewall puncture. Personally I think it's something that we shouldn't worry about too much.

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    Have a look at these also as they are great value for money at R1600 to R1700 a tire for the A/T. I will not buy another A/T ever again, mine now on 40000km including some 4x4 trails and still perfect. The E load range has 3 ply sidewalls just make sure when u buy.
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    3 ply helps a lot in thorny areas, thorns easily punch through 2 ply side wall especially if a balloon type.

    I fitted BFG on my farm vehicle due to too much side wall punctures. Now its the odd puncture where in the past maybe two a week.

    On my touring vehicles with BFG I never had a flat over the 60 k km so far, more off road then road kms. I did lost one tyre due to iron peg on the side of the road.
    Last edited by JLK; 2015/02/10 at 11:01 AM.
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    If you dont want to sukkel fit 3 ply. I have had 9 sets of tyres fitted to my various 4x4s over the last 12 years. 4 sets being BFG. Neverhad a puncture with BFG and many with the others. My next set will be the new BFG KO2 when it arrives in my size.

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  13. #11
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    The Cooper ST Maxx also has a 3 ply sidewall which was one reason for getting them, they are also quitter than the muds and at this stage I can only hear them when cornering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    I used to run 2 ply Bighorns & never had a sidewall puncture. Personally I think it's something that we shouldn't worry about too much.
    That prob because our tyres have more thread along the sidewall than what an HT has on it's surface! 8)
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    Thanks for the replies everyone, I appreciate it! I do 80% on road with the vehicle, so I guess an AT tyre would be better for my application, but I really don't feel like punctures when I get into the bush hence me wanting to go for a 3 ply side...

    The comment above by XJ Junkie for the Bighorns: I took them off my list purely because of the 2ply side in my size... but you do make a valid point saying that you didn't have issues in the past, and possibly we do all place too much importance on the actual ply's rather than the strength of these ply's?

    Initially I was thinking Cooper ST Maxx, a friend has them on his Fortuner, but I honestly don't like their sidewall flex when deflated, it doesn't flex much at all, so his footprint only increased lengthways in the thicker sand.

    BFG AT: Id love to wait for the KO2 to come out in my size in SA, but I see that on their product rollout, they don't even mention my size! (31x10.5x15) (http://outdoorx4.com/main/2014/09/24...rain-ko2-tire/)

    Yokohamas & Bridgestones: Ill check them out now that they were mentioned above!

    Again, thanks a lot for everybody's replies. Its a large amount of money to pull out of your pocket for 6 tyres, yet they are such an important part of ones vehicle. I just don't want to regret the purchase of between R15k and R18k!
    Last edited by PajeroMan3500; 2015/02/10 at 12:06 PM.

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    very big difference between kevlar ply and normal ply.

    As with toilet paper. It's not the ply number. You get what you pay for.

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    Thanks Marius, I do understand that... those kevlar tyres are slightly pricey though! R1000 per tyre more than some awesome M/T's...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankster View Post
    Have a look at these also as they are great value for money at R1600 to R1700 a tire for the A/T. I will not buy another A/T ever again, mine now on 40000km including some 4x4 trails and still perfect. The E load range has 3 ply sidewalls just make sure when u buy.
    The best price on these at the moment is R2480 per tyre! 31x10.5x15

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    Quote Originally Posted by PajeroMan3500 View Post
    Initially I was thinking Cooper ST Maxx, a friend has them on his Fortuner, but I honestly don't like their sidewall flex when deflated, it doesn't flex much at all, so his footprint only increased lengthways in the thicker sand.!
    A lot depends on the weight of the vehicle & obviously pressures. My 2 ply Bighorns made a lovely footprint vs my current 3 ply.

    The quality of the ply is what matters. ST Maxx is turning out to be a very popular choice too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    A lot depends on the weight of the vehicle & obviously pressures. My 2 ply Bighorns made a lovely footprint vs my current 3 ply.

    The quality of the ply is what matters. ST Maxx is turning out to be a very popular choice too.
    Yeah, totally agree... the difference on my mates ST Maxx and my BFG KM2 was remarkable though... both similarly loaded. We took his down to 0.8 bar, and he still didn't have the footprint I had at 1.6 bar! Obviously a very tough sidewall, which has its advantages, the footprint being the only disadvantage I see...
    Last edited by PajeroMan3500; 2015/02/10 at 01:12 PM.

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    Thats the compromise. Load rating vs low pressure footprint.
    Gandalf: '77 Series III 109" SW (He's old, he's grey, he smokes, but on an adventure you want him as companion...)
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    Default Tyres, Tyres??

    I have been following this thread with interest. Also have a Pajero fitted with Hankook MT that need replacing. And it is a major expense with lots of conflicting info.

    I was/am ready to get the Cooper AT3's having read all the comparative tests I could find. My feeling is too much emphasis is placed on 3 ply. A manufacturer today will not put a tyre on the market that won't stand up to conditions expected of a 4x4 vehicle.

    The only issue has been the price so now before I buy I want to be sure that I get good value, long life, capable both on and off road.
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