Wheels, Tires, Tips & Techniques

Cracks in BFG A/T's. Images from Marnus Meyer !

Rebeading a Tyre ! Article and Images contributed by Morne Stevens !

A Tire Size Calculator submitted by Pieter van Niekerk !

1. Powder Coating is a neat and reasonably cheap way to restore rims that have been scratched and chipped with offroad use !

2. The BF Goodrich Mud Terrain and All Terrain tires are arguably the most popular (if somewhat expensive) tires amongst the Overland Forum community !

3. The Cooper Radial tires are the second most popular choice of tires amongst the Overland Forum community ! About a third cheaper in price than BFG M/T's !

4. Using a "Valve Spanner" as a Valve Cap is a good idea ! Sometimes when deflating the tire sand particles may get into the valve mechanism which may require you to unscrew it to clean it. Always carry a few spare valve mechanisms !

5. Contribution from Rudi Coetzee ! Heavy Duty "Wolf" rims are very popular amongst Land Rover owners. Rudi had his widened and then galvanized !

6. Lessons Learnt ! Even BFG's aren't indestructable. Tires are expensive and the roads in Namibia are notorious for the deep tears they leave in sidewalls, no matter how good the tires ! Drive with caution & always carry more than one spare (if possible...) !

7. Lessons Learnt ! Continental Conti-Trac's ! Ivor Rimmer wrote: My D90 Tdi came fitted with Conti tracks, the smooth ones. These cracked as per normal at about 35K and TW&T changed them no hassles for new ribbed Conti tracks. At 76k I noticed that the ribbed ones were also beginning to crack. Whilst returning from a week end away on the 5th of December the left back wheel blew / disintegrated.
On closer inspection one could see all the tears in the rubber emanated from the original cracks. Fortunately I was on a straight smooth highway, only doing 110km/h ( can only do) and towing my trailer. All credit to Landy. The car stayed on track, no problems, no swaying and allowed me to pull over safely.

Needless to say I was at TW&T Sandton first thing on Wednesday. TW&T had no quibble, offered me five new Conti tires, giving me three at 100% rebate and two at 50% rebate. When I said I was not once again going to chance my family in the car with Conti's they understood and suggested BFG's. I took five new BFG tires 235x85x16)

My five Conti's were sent to Conti Germiston and within a couple of days a call from TW&T told me my refund cheque was waiting for me from Conti. I also could have written my family, car and trailer off if the front wheel had gone...

My advice to anyone riding Conti (including the "new" ribbed version) is when you see the first crack don't wait. (the more you wear the tire down the less refund you get) Take them in and swap them out for a safe tire.

Image below from Steve Patriquen (who had similar cracks in his Conti's) !

8. Lessons Learnt ! BFG Mud Terrains will only take you *so* far !

9. Lessons Learnt ! Conti Tracks are not immune to sharp sticks concealed in the grass ! (Jaco Pauw on the Huntersroad in Botswana)

10. Lessons Learnt ! Brand new Good Year Wrangler A/T's are not immune to sharp rocks ! (Martin Cleminshaw in Angola)

11. Lessons Learnt ! BFG A/T's are not immune to sharp rocks ! (Fanie du Plessis in the Kaokoveld [Epupa to Ruacana])

12. Lessons Learnt ! Yokohama Super Diggers are not immune to sharp sticks ! (Gardiol Lamberts on the Savuti to Maun Track [Botswana])

Please email any contributions to this page to Hennie Rautenbach!