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2004 MB G500 Black
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I just bought Nitto AT tire (285/60/18, 32", reinforced). I have 2004 G500 with stock OEM rims (ET43). I am getting Gollygwagen's spare tire adaptor in 2-3 weeks. For those interested, the adaptor will cost around $150...and Matt Peterson at Rock Ware (www.rockware.net) can make it. Matt is the person Golly used originally to make it. This adaptor will allow you to put the spare with the pretty face out.

Anyway, first impression after 30 miles of driving:

1. It is rock solid on the highway...my G has never track so straight before. It seems more stable.
2. Steering effort has increased a tad.
3. Road noise is increased. There is a slight tire hum...hopefully, this will go away with time.
4. Acceleration is noticeably slower, but still good.
5. Ride quality so far is about the same as OEM Yokohama Geolander H/T. It is not softer...about the same.
6. Needless to say, it looks great!
7. Turning steering wheel to right and left leaves plenty of clearance...no chance of rubbing from steering for sure. I will test flexing soon.

I got these tires at Discount Tire Co...and i have 30 days to testdrive it. They are saving up my Yokohamas.

I will give more input over the next few weeks. So far, the only thing that bothers me (slightly) is the road noise.

Thai.
 

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Just to let you know, I have the same tires and the road noise does not dissipate with time. It really isnt that bad to begin with compared with BFG AT's or anyother rugged tire for that matter. But regardless, they are very nice tires. They get through the rough stuff really well, just dont expect them to do good in the mud. [;)]
 

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ML, is mud performance why you switched to the BFG at's from the nitto's?

From reading tirerack reviews, it seems like generally tires get noisier with age. I'm guessing it's because even if they run quiet with a little extra air in them, thus running on the center of the tread, eventually you have to wear down the sidwalls which can have larger spacing and be noisier.

Saigon what's pressure do you run in the nitto's and in the stocks. Generally (i believe) with a wider tire you get worse straight line tracking... which makes me think if your getting better tracking you might have the tire pressure up on the higher side so your running more in the middle of the tire than on the sides (this would also make some sense maybe because your running a little narrower rim for the tire, so it'll round the tire top a little)... not that you'd want low pressure and wear out the sides. I tend to run mine a little higher so they wear more evenly. I wonder if there's some way that the taller tread is more compliant and somehow makes tracking feel better.

Oh, how's your highspeed balance/vibration? Wasn't someone else having a little trouble over 70mph? How about you?
 

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2004 MB G500 Black
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Discussion Starter #4
Well, before i left the tire shop, i put in 32 psi all around. I wanted this psi because of the narrow rims and that i want don't want the center to wear too fast. I am going to check this morning again to see what exactly is the pressure. My plan is to keep it at 32 psi...any other suggestions??

I got them to do roadforce balance my new tires. No vibration whatsoever, even above 70 mph. Of interest, somehow, my Yokohamas have gone out of balance...probably due to mercedes dealership's shitty balance machine/technique. In addition, the roadforce machine recommended me to get new tires on two of four Yokohama tires because these two tires needed excessive amount of weight to balance...double of what Nittos were requiring! The Nittos, on the other hand, balanced very well with little weight.

I did complain of steering vibration previously on this forum. Now, I believe that it's probably due to uneven wear and my tires out-of-balance rather than my steering damper. I checked yesterday...i have the new steering damper model. No vibration in the steering wheel after i put on Nittos.

I am going to drive more today and see....
 

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ewalberg - 3/1/2005 5:06 AM

ML, is mud performance why you switched to the BFG at's from the nitto's?

From reading tirerack reviews, it seems like generally tires get noisier with age. I'm guessing it's because even if they run quiet with a little extra air in them, thus running on the center of the tread, eventually you have to wear down the sidwalls which can have larger spacing and be noisier.

Saigon what's pressure do you run in the nitto's and in the stocks. Generally (i believe) with a wider tire you get worse straight line tracking... which makes me think if your getting better tracking you might have the tire pressure up on the higher side so your running more in the middle of the tire than on the sides (this would also make some sense maybe because your running a little narrower rim for the tire, so it'll round the tire top a little)... not that you'd want low pressure and wear out the sides. I tend to run mine a little higher so they wear more evenly. I wonder if there's some way that the taller tread is more compliant and somehow makes tracking feel better.

Oh, how's your highspeed balance/vibration? Wasn't someone else having a little trouble over 70mph? How about you?
I still have the nittos, but I'm getting Super Swampers mounted on my stock 16 inchers for real off road use. I keep 40PSI in my tires. But then again, my rims are 9" wide. They track dead straight on my truck, and I'm very happy with them. The only reason I would be going to the BFG's is because I'm getting a lift and I could use the extra inch the BFG's would give me.
 

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Thai,

I would go along with the notion that the tires will get louder with age. You will get used to it though, after all I run MT's and they don't bother me anymore.

You were very wise to get the tires roadforce balanced, that is the way to go. The G has always been very sensitive to wheel balance, everyone I have ever had anyway.

Now you are really set for Moab, let me know when you guys are planning on doing it, I'd love to tag along for a day or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This morning, i set the pressure to 30 psi all around. The stock recommended pressure is 32 psi...so, i figure that 30 psi may be good for my slim rims.

Yeah, i am sure that i will get used to the tire hum on the highway. Brent, i bet those M/T's cause some noise!

I am up for Moab trip, but my brother's vacation is limited this year...so, i will have to see. But if we do go, i will call you for sure due to your off-roading skills!

More comments later today...i am gonna drive more on the highway.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just an update. I asked a friend of mine to drive the G today while i sat in the back. At 70 mph, the road noise is not bad at all! Tire hum is noticeable only if you really listen...otherwise, the wind noise will easily overwhelm it. You notice the tire hum more as you slow down because the wind noise goes down.

The ride comfort is slightly BETTER than my original Yokohamas!! This is noticeable at low speed over bumps. You feel as if the tires are heavier and that it just smothers the bump. At higher speeds, the difference is less, but still slightly better than stock tires.

Now, i just can't wait for the spare tire adaptor to come in to complete my ******* look.[:D] My car will lose a bit of class (i think the spare tire cover is beautiful), but it will gain in testosterone![8D]
 

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Thai,

Sorry I couldn't get back to you before you made the purchase -- but I think you made the right decision. I actually experience slightly less tire noise now than right after I installed my Nitto's (either that or I just don't notice the difference any more - in any case the difference is slight). I too keep my tires at 32 p.s.i., unless I am fully loaded with people and gear. When the tires were first installed by the tire shop all 4 were pumped up to 40 p.s.i. and my rig bounced around like it was sitting on 4 superballs. As you said, the ride is quite improved over stock Yoko's if p.s.i. is kept in the low 30's. Let us know what you think about performance when you run the tires through some nasty weather/off-road conditions.

C.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, so far, it's been good. The only adjustment that i have made to accomodate the new tire size is on the NAVI screen. I went to SETTINGS and input in the new tire size. I wonder if this just adjust the NAVI or more??

Chaz, how do you mount your spare?? Do you have Gollygwagen's adaptor?? Mine is on order.
 

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I just mount the spare with the factory mount. My dealer had a soft cover made for me and my hard cover is in storage. I believe that there is a separate on-board computer that your dealer should adjust for ESP and speedometer, etc.
 

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saigonsmuggler - 3/3/2005 8:41 PM

Well, so far, it's been good. The only adjustment that i have made to accomodate the new tire size is on the NAVI screen. I went to SETTINGS and input in the new tire size. I wonder if this just adjust the NAVI or more??
Only the Navi.

But this size can be activated in your speedo ( = 235-85-16 ), then the transmission, ETS, ABS,BAS etc. is 100%.
When your dealer will do it [:eek:)]
 

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Just food for thought, at 70mph your really going 74-76 mph at or so the frendly radar tells me with the 275-65-18's
 

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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE

I just switched back to my stock Yokohama H/T G038! The Nittos were great...some notes:

1. Acceleration was noticeably slower...i know, i knew that it would be...but still, i got used to the pickup of the old tires.

2. ESP lights go off like crazy. Again, this may have helped if i went to Mercedes to recalibrate the computer. I wasn't interested in letting those people touch my car. I know...i didn't give the Nittos a fair fighting chance.

3. Ride was OK and noise levels were decent for AT tire. I remembered BFG AT KO being a bit quieter. Stock Yokos are much better.

4. Sidewall...well, i took a close look at the sidewall thickness between Nitto and stock Yokohamas. IMO, the Yoko's sidewall is slightly thicker! Can someone else confirm this?? It sure felt like it. From my trip to Colorado, the Yokos sidewall was impressive.

5. The reason i was concerned about the sidewall is because on STOCK RIMS, the Nittos bulged out quite a bit. Yes, this will protect your rims IF you have a strong sidewall (like BFG AT KO). However, because of the bulging, the Nittos sidewall is fully exposed to sharp rocks.

6. Because of the width of the Nittos, the rims looked a bit undersized for the tires. Probably just my perception...like the Nittos were too wide for the rims (which is partially true).

So, after switching back to Yokos, my G-wagen feels better...i feel like a heaviness has been lifted from my powertrain. It's hard to describe the driving feeling...it's quite significant.

Anyway, i will keep on searching for the "perfect" tire...something in stock size or very close to it (maybe 275/60-65/18 range).

BTW, i have the spare tire adaptor...just got mailed to me today from Rockware. So, if anyone is in desparate need of one, i can probably sell it. It's a good paperweight at this time.:D

Thai.
 
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