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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2000, 11:15 AM
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I want more traction and better handling.

Just started viewing this web site and it seems like there are a ton of people here that are more than qualified to help me. Iíve got a í95 2 door S15 Jimmy with 4WD. Iíve never been happy with the traction and the way it blows around in highway crosswinds. I currently have some Pirelli Scorpion ST tires, which have worn down in 30K miles and have been hugely disappointing. Iíve got 80K on the vehicle and the shocks are OEM. I donít do serious off-roading, but I frequently drive in nasty snow and rainstorms and sometimes on unpaved roads. Any advice on tires, shocks and any accessories to improve traction and handling? A local mechanic says the vehicle is a couple inches too narrow, wonít benefit from heavy-duty shocks, and recommends the Firestone Wilderness AT tire. Iím not sure I really trust this guy. Does anyone have a favorite shop the in the Boston area? Thanks in advance for your help.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2000, 12:26 PM
 
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

TIRES "BFG AT/ko's" they are great on pavement and handle very well, ride very quiet, look very cool, and do very good off road, they are a very strong tire and very resistant to puncture, and are good in snow and rain! also you will get at least 50k miles out of them safely.
I agree with you the Pirelli is a crummy tire! The guy recommending the firestone Must work at a firestone store! because I have never heard anyone else recommend those tires. I have run BFG's for along time on many vehicles and have Never been disappointed with them.
SHOCKS On road or off? the Rancho 5000 is a very good shock for off road and pretty good on road, also looks cool with the rubber boot and all! But for mainly on road with a little off road, any good name brand "gas charged shock" (Gabriel, Monroe, etc...) from autozone or checker or Pepboys would be a huge improvement over your stock 80k shocks.
As far as getting blown around on the freeway, from strong crosswinds the shocks and tires should help some, but mainly it is caused from the light weight of the vehicle, not too much you can do about that, unless you want to haul around some bags of sand[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

Also sounds like you may need to shop for a new mechanic???

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-02-2000, 02:56 PM
 
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

Which kind of snow do you see more of, deep fluffy snow or compressed snow on a layer of ice? For deep fluffy snow then a mud tire such as the Cooper STT will do better for you then. For the compressed or packed down snow, it's been said that the Cooper A/T I think just called the "Discoverer" or BFG A/T tire would be best. I have driven my Cooper STT's in compacted snow and deep fluffy snow and really like them for both situations. Haven't gotten to drive them much in the rain though but the puddles I had hit with them didn't bother it much at all...

I'm using Rancho 5000 shocks on my little truck but I haven't driven it after the shock install though due to other problems...

For handling while cornering you should possibly look into getting a bigger anti sway bar for the front and get one put on the back, see about getting disconnects for the sway bars though for off road which will allow you to unhook the antisway bars to make the suspension flex better.

Do NOT buy any tire made by or Firestone! The Firestone Corporation donated a patch of land that had OHV trails and a road to a cemetary to the government and the Firestone company stipulated that OHV activity wouldn't be permitted there. Since this is off-road.com I am definitely going to have to strongly advise you to avoid the Firestone brand. I believe Bridgestone is associated with Firestone also and as such they should be boycotted also.

I think the vehicle being too narrow doesn't have anything to do with it unless you're getting it up on 2 wheels when you corner and such in which case my advice would be to slow down more going around the corner. But if you mean just driving it down the road it could probably be at least helped with the heavier shocks although your ride might not be quite as cushy...

Just my $0.02

Tim
ORC Land Use columnist
My July article on ORC

http://www.off-road.com/land
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2000, 04:35 AM
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

I have a 99ZR2 Blazer 2dr 4x4. Is your truck lifted or a body lift and what size tires & wheels do you have? Anytime you have a short wheelbase like we do you need to get quality stuff. Especially if you go up. If you go with Ranchos get the 9,000. They are adjustable and a lot better shock for the money. Go to Natltire.com and they are $60 ea. That's where I got mine. I have the part numbers for a 3" lift & 6" lift for them. Also, a BIG mistake people do is run a tire too large for their wheels. They will fit but it causes the tire to walk back & forth on the rim. The sidewalls give a lot and a top heavy vehicle compounds the problem. I am going to put 35's on mine real soon and run 10" rims. They will fit straight up and down with hardly no sidewall bulge and run their true height which is closer to 34". I have measured a dozen new tires mounted on 10" rims in the last 2 weeks and that holds true for all 35's. But if you mount them on 8" rims they bow up and gain height. I've checked the 33's too on local vehicles. But the 33's are 33" if not a hair more. They run their true height. I live 15 mi from the TSL plant and have checked there too. This also pulls the tire down and the tread lays flatter and last longer too. I am selecting the most backspaced wheels I can get without rubbing. Another problem that people have is they will just buy a wheel because it looks good and it sticks out and the tires rub the fenderwells as well as wreak havoc on steering parts and the truck will handle worse. The short truck like ours will "dance around" anyway. Mine does & it's got 12,800 on it and my 97 ZR2 did too. You have some miles, check the alignment and you may get surprised a lot of the problem is there. Anything can happen on the way to 80k miles!! Parts wear out. BFG AT's are a gret all around tire because I run them too. But one big problem I do find is the tread is so close together they have a habit of picking up rocks. Then they come off and hit the rocker panels. Go with the MT's and that will stop. They last as long as the AT's if you keep them rotated. Also the new design if you can find them has siping for the street. The new ProComp MT is cheaper and my 4x4 articles in the new books say they love them as much as the BFG's. They have the same tread pattern and siping too. Go with a bigger, wider tire and it will be more stable too. Tom.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-03-2000, 07:54 AM
 
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

Unfortunately your truck is considered a "higher profile". Given the fact that your Blazer sits higher than a car you're going to have to accept the high winds and just be able to compensate quickly for it. However, you can also upgrade to a steering stabilizer and that should cut down the wheel bumpsteer you get JUST a tad.

The Pirelli's are street tires. Some of them are pretty good, just not for your truck! I personally recommend anything BFGoodrich Tires. They have a proven track record over and over, especially in off-road racing for their durability. Sandman likes the Cooper SST's so there's another option. It all comes down to personal preference.

Firestone's quality is as cheap as their tires. My dad had a set of stock Bridgestones on his 'Yota and he put a serious gash in them just doing dirt road driving on the way to our racing checkpoint. Plus, as others have mentioned, Firestone/Bridgestone is sort of persona non-grata...

The track width is too narrow? Has he ever seen a Ford Ranger? Puhleeze... Compared to what? A full-size? Your track width is fine. It's the axles and a-arm that can stand the improvement. Depending on the type of regular driving you do should determine what upgrades you plan on making. You could go with a Limited-Slip Differential, like most stock Chevy's have and that should get you through most of what you need, unless you go rock-crawling on a regular basis, and will help greatly to keep tire wear and handling problems on your way to work on the freeway/roads. I upgraded my worthless stock tires to Bilsteins. A little pricey, but if you have a stock lift (meaning no suspension), I think they are the way to go. A little stiff but VERY responsive. I've had RS9000's on my other trucks and I'll never get them again, as I like to do a little desert pre-runner and they tend to fade very fast at speed. If you do low speed stuff they should handle quite well.

I used to live in the Worchester area. A little town called Whitinsville. Do you know where that is? Most people don't! Unfortunately for this post I was in the 2nd through 5th grade there, so I can't recommend any good shops! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

Hope that answered some of your questions.


J.R. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

http://members.xoom.com/desertride/index.htm
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2000, 11:59 PM
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

one thing is for sure never buy the rancho rs5000's unless you want your truck to feel as if it has bad worn out shocks on it. The 5000's are the biggest pieces of crap I have ever had.

92 S-10 Blazer 4x4 Vortec 4.3
85 S-15 Pickup 4x4 2.5 iron duke(mud bog qual'ed)
post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-05-2000, 01:53 AM
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

See I told ya' go with the 9,000 for sure!!!

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-05-2000, 11:13 PM
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

yea you did and my stupid but tried to save a buck and got the 5000's. Are the 9000's that much better? Because I am very dissapointed with the 5000's. They feel way too loose on the rolling bumps nad way to stiff on the abrupt bumps. Sort of like worn out shocks which is why I replaced them anyway. I am so upset I don't know if I'll buy another Ranco product.

92 S-10 Blazer 4x4 Vortec 4.3
85 S-15 Pickup 4x4 2.5 iron duke(mud bog qual'ed)
post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-05-2000, 11:54 PM
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

Sorry big guy haven't tried them yet. Still waiting on the lift. I got them when they were buy 4 get 1 free. Saved $61 this way. Posted that info guess you didn't see it. You probably payed $180 for the 5,000, sorry. Mine are 6" longer for the 6" lift I am waiting for. If he ever releases the darn thing. I know the Bilsteins are awesome on the ZR2. I know I've read allot about the 9,000 even on full size. Never heard a bad word. Why don't you call Rancho and ask for an exchange? I have their number & info on shock lengths if you get with me. Just tell them the saleman that sold them to you hyped them up. Then say you believe in their products and are willing to spend a little more if they will take those back. Got to stroke those EGOs if you want money back. They will exchange I bet, but won't refund you. Private e-mail me if you need more help on this. I told that guy from Rocknroadn with the ZR2 kit he needed to change that kit to 9,000 instead of the 5,000 or people would start bad mouthing after they bought it. Or offer an upgrade with a price hike.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-16-2000, 03:04 PM
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Re: I want more traction and better handling.

Thanks for all the info. Tom. I'm currently running a Pirelli Scorpion S/T P235/75 R15. I frequenlty do 80mph on highways for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hrs on my way to snowboarding and windsurfing. And I'll take secondary/upavened mountain roads for part of the trip. So I'll run into torrential rain storms, mixed precip. and snow. If I decide to buy BFG, what size can I safely run? Will I need to do any modifications such as lifters? Thanks again.

Pete

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