Road handling on bitumen - slip sliding along.

Ron0z

Active Member
I'm new to 4WDs. So, bear that in mind. My Suzuki Jimny is still new to me. Its been raised 50mm and has larger profile tyres (B F Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A is what they are).

I had a not so interesting experience on a little run from home to the local shopping centre and back. I was driving on bitumen in the suburbs. It had been raining and was still raining, but only enough for me to put the wiper on once and then off again every minute or so. It's not that Jimnys are super powerful (they're not), but in getting up a (not so steep) hill I felt the wheels spinning a bit. I'm not the type of bloke who would do that deliberately. Then about 1 km further on I'm making a LH turn off the main road onto my own street and I lose traction (I think that it was overseer. It turned more than I wanted it to). I'm aiming at the LH kerb. A slight steering correction, and oops I overcorrected and I find myself travelling sideways and aiming for the RH kerb. I think that happened about 3 times before I got it under control. (Well, I didn't really have control when it comes to it.) Thankfully, I didn't hit anything, not even the kerb. My initial thought was that the bloody tyres are bald. So, I had a look at them. They look okay to me.

So here's the thing: Is that what you have to put up with when you're car is running around town in Mud-Terrain tyres?

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Krumpy

Member
From the look the rh tyres do look on the way out, they could also just be old and hardened which could cause that sort of traction loss.
Muddies are definitely terrible in the wet but it sounds like there’s another issue for it to be behaving that badly. I’d be checking how old the tyre are (you can google up what all the letters on the sidewall mean and one of them will be date of manufacture). The other thing I’d be doing is getting the suspension and steering components checked over to make sure there isn’t an issue there.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
I haven't had the car very long and haven't had it near a tyre gauge as yet. I'll check for ID on the tyre. The steering and suspension are okay, apparently. Been checked by an engineer.
 

Hylux

Active Member
Had many sets of BFG mud and a/t. You need new ones. BFG have a habit of going hard around 70,000. Nothing will stop your problem. Sounds crazy when you still see a bit of tread left, but trust me it only gets worse.
When they are new a normal ute pressure i found best 38 front 34 rear. Up it when loaded. Your little Jimny those tires would need very low 30s all round
 

2luxes

Well-Known Member
What has happened to you reminds me of a similar incident that I saw about three years ago. I was walking in light rain towards a two lane roundabout on a major road full of traffic. A modified Landcruiser came in at the same speed as the other cars. When it was half way around the rear tyres let go resulting it to stopping sideways across both lanes.

Working out why your car did something similar may not be easy to diagnose. Your oversize off sealed road tyres for example may have more rubber in contact with the road than the smaller standard street size so they may not have caused the problem.

Alterations to springs, shocks, sway bars, tyres, tyre pressures and weight distribution are just some of the things that can change a car from the manufacturer's understeer design to oversteer without the owner knowing.

All I can suggest is you study as much as possible about understeer/oversteer and try and work it out your self or, if you live within range of a suspension company that has a good reputation for setting up street or road racing cars to the owner's requirements, then let them have a look at it.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
Successfully correcting or even keeping up with oversteer in a shorty is always an odds off proposition. Feel free to throw it into 4 high whenever it is greasy on the bitumen, it won’t do any harm and in 4wd the way to fix any slide is just pedal it. Half worn BFG’s are nobody’s friend. They have had enough of my money.
 
That thing about lost grip with age before the tread wears down is a problem with some cheap brands.
I have heard a few bad things about BFG like losing tyres to punctures but having no trouble with other brands.
I stay away from them as it's not good enough for exy tyres and owner reports are about the only way we find out about the duds.

The first thing to check would be if the tyres are overinflated for the light car in the wet.
I don't really know how muddies grip wet roads but I would spend about 97% more time on wet roads than in mud so I know I will only ever run A/Ts.

I don't have the knowledge, but it seems that using silica or whatever in the compounds lets them get more grip without making them softer and quicker wearing.
I have not heard how it goes with grip over the tyres life but seems like a good thing if it works with muddies.

Someone may know more and chime in.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
The tyre wording gives it away "mud terrain"

So tyres will usually have some sort of grip rating, I have the below Baja ATZ P3, its 50/50.

So knowing that I know it probably has 50% less grip on the bitumen than an actual 100% road tyre.
Throw in wear, uneven wear, incorrect balance/alignment/tyre pressures & your grip on the road will be less.

Obviously you need to drive within the limit of the tyre & then take into account road conditions & weather conditions!

If you look at Mickeys MTZ's they have a 10% onroad rating, so Id say your BF's would be similar, made for offroad not bitumen!

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rogerazz

4x4 Earth Contributer
I guess if you look at the four pics it is obvious that you can see where the high treads touch the bitumen and that the deep/wide groves in the treads obviously do not. So I guess that much of the tire treads are not doing anything for grip.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
The tyre wording gives it away "mud terrain"
Logical.

It also occurred to me that with only light rain, perhaps there hadn't been much of a chance for the rain to wash any oil off the road. I drove the car from Melb to Eden (during a huge downpour and winds) and there was no slippage.

That's an interesting posting, Triton. I wasn't aware there was such a range.
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
@Ron0z
There are plenty of vehicles running around on MT on the blacktop that aren’t falling off the road. I have driven on muddies on bitumen fior the last 400,000 k and have never felt compromised but you drive to the conditions accordingly
Sure the less aggressive the tyre the better manors it will have on bitumen but likewise the scale runs the other way off-roading. You need to decide where you want to sit on that scale. The other aspect to consider particularly on a vehicle like yours is cabin road noise that the tyres produce and effects on fuel economy plus it does effect performance but that probably won’t be detected by the seat of your pants in this situation
One of the inherent downsides of a vehicle like your is the short wheelbase which will get crossed up and ugly a lot quicker and easier than a longer wheelbased vehicle.
 

Ron0z

Active Member
Thanks Alby. As I said, I'm new to this. There's a lot to consider. I have to admit that when driving my other car I know its capabilities and tend to push it around corners. I'll have to drive more cautiously in this one (ie. pretend I'm in a truck with a load of eggs with nothing tied down).
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
@Ron0z
You need to decide where you want to sit on that scale.
This is why I have 2 sets of wheels/tyres, one set with the AT's & one set with 100% road tyres on.

As most of my real 4X4 driving is on designated off road trips I swap them out when I need to in about 20 minutes with a 3 tonne floor jack & a rattle gun.

Personally if I know I am going to have a few months in between trips & will be just driving around town & freeways I can do without the noise & save money on fuel(dam thats where the saving is atm!) & wear & tare on exy offroad tyres.

Not for everyone I know but it works perfectly for me & my day to day, month to month driving.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
This is why I have 2 sets of wheels/tyres, one set with the AT's & one set with 100% road tyres on.

As most of my real 4X4 driving is on designated off road trips I swap them out when I need to in about 20 minutes with a 3 tonne floor jack & a rattle gun.

Personally if I know I am going to have a few months in between trips & will be just driving around town & freeways I can do without the noise & save money on fuel(dam thats where the saving is atm!) & wear & tare on exy offroad tyres.

Not for everyone I know but it works perfectly for me & my day to day, month to month driving.
I did the same for a long time. It is nice having good tyres for the fun times.
 

rogerazz

4x4 Earth Contributer
Ha! Ha!
Reminds me of when I put my five kids through Defensive and Advanced driving courses.
The instructor was explaining road driving conditions and said ideally when roads are dry you have slicks on .If it starts raining you pull over and change to wet weather tyres.:D
 

Hoyks

Well-Known Member
Just checked the pressures. Front: 25; Rear 28.
That would be about right, pretty sure the tyre placard on my Sierra was only 20psi.

I loved my BFG's, but the relationship soured with about 1/3rd tread left, the drought breaking and a particular roundabout next to a truck servo on the way home from work. Always spilt diesel and turned into a skating rink with a light drizzle. Really fun on a bike.
A light back end will break traction, a heavy back end and a bit of acceleration or turning too quick will swing out and break traction, either way the result can be exciting.
Intersections where cars brake and drop oil or spill diesel are always a trap too.

For a small, light vehicle with slippy tyres, drop it into 4H when it rains, you are very unlikely to get transmission wind up as everything wants to slip anyway and it will be much safer in the wet. Having it in 4x4 works as poor mans ABS as the wheels still turning at the front won't let the back lock up and spin you out either. Makes straightline heavy braking on loose/wet surfaces much easier.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
For a small, light vehicle with slippy tyres, drop it into 4H when it rains, you are very unlikely to get transmission wind up as everything wants to slip anyway and it will be much safer in the wet. Having it in 4x4 works as poor mans ABS as the wheels still turning at the front won't let the back lock up and spin you out either. Makes straightline heavy braking on loose/wet surfaces much easier.
Slowing down to road conditions would also be a good start!
 
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