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Tires & Wheels/Super Swampers:

howlers wrote:
> Looking to get my first set of Super Swampers TSL (38 x 12.50 x 16.5)
> had a few questions:
> 1) Are the "Super Swampers TSL" made by one company for all dealers?

they are made by Interco as far as I know.

> 2) What load range should I get for a wagon that does minimal off road
> driving?

DO they come in different load ranges?

> 3) What should I expect to get out of them as far as mileage? (80%
> asphalt 20% dirt road)

Dunno, I haven't worn mine out yet. I suspect they wear alot faster than the GSAs and MTs though.

> 4) Do they make more noise?

heck yeah! sounds like an airplane is chasing me! I like it!

> 5) For those who have tried MTs, GSAs, and Super Swampers which would
> you choose and why? (I have MTs on my truck and GSAs on my wagon)

GSAs are better for pavement, and quietest. MTs are good offroad but can be satisfactory on pavement also. More noise. Super Swampers are LOUD, sometimes rough ride on pavement if they are cold, but in MUD the Super Swampers are WAY WAY superior to the MTs and the GSAs.

With the GSAs I could get in a little mud and lose my steering control completely, just slide around uncontrollably... NOW with the Swampers, I LOVE THE MUD that I used to avoid... it's almost like I can't get stuck! I think they are my FAVORITE mod to my truck!

but they are not as good as the GSAs were in the soft sand.. but they are OK....

> 6) How do they do in snow and ice?

dunno, Im in Texas! ;-)

Eddie Runner

> > 1) Are the "Super Swampers TSL" made by one company for all dealers?
> they are made by Interco as far as I know.

Well, Interco itself does not physically make them. The design them and work with manufacturers to actually produce the product. This way they can be reasonably priced and still be made with modern equipment.

> > 2) What load range should I get for a wagon that does minimal off road
> > driving?
> DO they come in different load ranges?

Yeah, the regular SS comes in a 6 or 10 ply. Basically at a given pressure, they carry the same weight. The 10 can just be inflated to a much higher pressure (75psi?) to carry the load (not practical for us of course). The downside is that the 10 ply are really, really stiff. Get the 6 ply. Eddie, I seem to remember checking yours and seeing that they were 6 ply rated.

The radial and TSL only come in one range.


> From: Mark Doucette 
> I just bought another set of 38x14.5x16.5 radial swamper sx's and I
> noticed that this is the first set I have ever bought that had a small
> sticker on the side wall that said 'pre-balanced'  Anyways, on the
> inside of the tire there were patches of weights I would assume to get
> the tire balanced better from the factory.  I have had many sets of
> swampers but this is the first set that I have noticed these weights

The best way to balance a tire is to have the weights as far from the center of the rim as possible. Hence, under the tread is the best possible way. Interco balances some of the tires in the manner you describe. I believe that the tires are spun after curing and checked. If they are too far off, they add the weights inside. I think the sticker is to inform the user that the funny lumps on the inside are supposed to be there :). BTW, I believe this is the way aircraft tires are balanced.


As I posted earlier, I have been having significat trouble balancing my swamper radials (38 x 15.5 x 16.5). Today I tried to have them spun balanced while on the truck, but could not find a place who would touch the job for less than $350.00 (for all four) I headed back home to the shop and did a little experimenting. Here are my results:

  1. The off the truck dynamic balancing I had a local truck shop do was useless. Half shafts, rotors, etc. seem to play a BIG role in wheel balance. If you can find a place which will balance your tires on the truck for a reasonable price, do it. This is probably going to give you the best ride available.
  2. It seems that Swampers have a larger manufacturing tolerance for key dimensions than Goodyear does. One tire of my 4 is out of round by about .225 inches. (This is taking into account the runout from the two-piece wheel.)

I am currently attempting to balance my own wheel and tire assemblies. First off, I attempted static balancing the wheels using an old wheel balancing rig I have had laying around for years. Running the truck like this I saw a significant decrease in vibration. This alone might be all you need (If you are lucky) A static balance does not take into account halfshafts, rotors, etc.

Dynamic forces ( ie from a rotating wheel) tend to increase as the square of the speed. (for you engineers out there recall Force=Mass x Radius x Omega^2)

In my case I have determined I definitely need to dynamically balance my wheel/tire assemblies. I am now using a 5 hp motor to bring my wheels up to speed. I'm using a pair of force transducers and an optical trigger to obtain data. From here, using a little math I can accurately determine the proper places to add meight. Pretty complex stuff, but is works PERFECTLY. I have only done the front wheels, and I have virtually no vibration at any speed. At this rate I might not even fuss with the rears.

In summation, it seems like the best way to balance large lugged tires is with the wheels mounted on the truck. The rotating assembly at each wheel plays a definitive role in the overall balance of the wheel at speed. If you seem to be having an irregular balance problem try having the wheels balanced on the truck. Just remember, that you no longer can rotate tires without rebalancing each wheel. (Each wheel in now balanced to the rest of the rotating assembly to which it is attached.)

Vincent Loccisano

Correct me if I am wrong...

From what I am told, Swampers generally do require more weight to balance, probably due to a wider range of manufacturing tolerance when compared to Goodyears MT, GSA. They have more heavy spots and are more out of round.

They were designed for lower speed ratings (under 40 mph), as compared to GSAs and have a different beadlock.

If more than 15 oz. is needed to balance--may need to rotate 180 degrees. Make sure the beads are sitting squarely. This can cause an artificial hop if not catching the rim correctly.


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