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Sand and 17 vs 18 inch rims

Discussion in 'Exterior' started by Port Tack, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. Port Tack

    Port Tack Member

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    I’m about to get a 2013 EL and had a question concerning tires. I will be using the vehicle to run in the sand regularly as well as tow a boat. It has 18 inch rims now and does need new tires. I was simply going to put a set of BFG all terrain tires on it. However, a friend said if you want better performance in the sand and want a smooth ride on the road, get 17 inch rims and make up that difference with rubber by tire size or aspect ratio. Meaning the overall wheel/tire diameter would be the same as with the 18 inch rims. This also would allow better or more deflation for running in the sand. The overall diameter would remain the same so I would maintain speedometer accuracy. Do people here agree with this? I really did not want to lift the truck but that is an option down the road.
     
  2. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    The theory of 17 being better in sand than 18 is true for the reasons you stated. But I had my first gen in sand on 18s and it did fine (knowing not all sand is created equal).

    I’d try the worn out 18s in sand and see how they do (also knowing that bald tires do better in sand- they don’t dig like an aggressive new tire).
     
  3. Port Tack

    Port Tack Member

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    Good idea. I will have to try them, thanks. What you say about sand not being created equal is certainly the case. Some of what I must master is pretty soft and uphill. The beach itself is pretty much a piece of cake it's getting to it and back that can be a trick. I may spring for a winch and land anchor to keep my mind at ease.:)
     
  4. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    An air compressor will probably be be cheaper (ok, definitely, not just probably) and you can air down to about 15-20 psi or so depending on tire. I'd just keep what ya got...honestly, with just an inch difference in wheel dia you're not not going to notice a difference in road ride quality, assuming tire choice stays constant.

    Now if you had the 20", let alone 22", and wanted to step down to a 17 or 18 inch, yeah, you'd notice that.

    There's some folks here who do a lot of sand, and beach driving and whatnot. Might scope some of their rigs out, see what they're running on. I'm not so familiar with sand driving, and what I was using was a Honda 400x and not long after that I was in the ER getting treated for abrasions and a sprained ankle and dislocated shoulder.
    I guess the quad decided it wanted to ride me, instead of the other way around..

    Anyway, lots of better advice to find...about all I can tell ya is to air down if you've not already. ;)
     
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  5. Port Tack

    Port Tack Member

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    Oh I'm definitely deflating before attempting some of the places I run and have a compressor. I suppose Ford did put 18 inch tires on the truck for a reason. Just hate to make an investment and have someone say "you know what you should have done is......"

    I dumped a Honda 4-wheeler one time while spinning around in circles on gravel gunning it. Lucky I was thrown clear because it rolled over right next to me. Sometimes I'm surprised I made it to my age with some of the stupid things I've done.
     
  6. Trainmaster

    Trainmaster Old School Member

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    Thunder says it. Drop the pressure and you can run these trucks through beach sand anywhere. The problem comes with skinny tires where the bead won't hold on the wheel at lower pressure.

    You may want to invest in a good recovery jack, though I've never had to use mine and I'm on the beach all the time.
     
  7. Thunderbirdsport

    Thunderbirdsport Full Access Members

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    Oh yeah.
    You have 20 years and change on me, but I say it at least 3 or 4 times a week..."I ought to not be here today" when I ponder some of the stuff I've done. There was a wreck I was in that should've put me in a wheelchair at best and in the graveyard, worst case. Walked away literally with blood streaming from my head. Still have issues from that one, and it was going on 25 years ago.

    I'm just lucky, is all.

    Not much sand around here, other than the "crick" bank, and last time I was out there, it was so overgrown the only way to get to it was via a quad or side by side. And for the obvious reason, I don't ride quads anymore.

    One last thing, this one was one of those "by a whisker" miss sort of things. Was out riding with a friend on someone's crop field (in the fall, after the beans had been cut), and I went tear-assing off across the field. Hit a terrace wrong, went airborne, came down and came to a sudden stop. Found out I'd landed right on a fencepost that was holding the terrace drain tile in place and caught the post in the front suspension of the quad. It threw me off and caused me to wrench my back aggravating the previous injury I mentioned above. That was the last day I ever rode. It still bothers me to think that just a few inches in either direction and I could've ran the post through my foot or leg..or worse..

    I've been shot at, had a jeep on top of me, fell off of a roof, been thrown by a horse several times, had the shit beat out of me a couple of times. Just luck alone that I still breathe and walk, nothing else.

    Driving slow on sand....with air conditioning and a radio....wish I was near the beach. ;)
     

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