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2011 2.3 (auto) winter tire options/opinions


Danno1985

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It's October, and in Wisconsin that means it could be 70 one day and snow the next, lol, so I've been looking to get a set of winter tires for my 2WD truck to mount on some rims so I can just swap them over myself later in the month when I see average temps start to drop. I really, really like the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2s, and have had them on a couple trucks, a 2003 Tacoma and my last Ranger, a 2010 2.3 (manual regular cab).

Unfortunately, the only 15" size the Blizzaks are offered in is 235/75r15. I actually had those on my regular cab 2010, but with the auto (only four gears) and super cab this current truck feels noticeably less peppy than the last one, so I'm a little reluctant to go a size up, but I definitely think the Bridgestones are superior to the Firestone Winterforce which is the only winter tire offered in the stock size.

Anyone have experience running 235/75r15s specifically on a stock AUTO 2.3 Ranger? How doggy does it make the truck? Be honest. I'm not planning on regearing and I'm just trying to get a feel for how much the drivability will change.
 


franklin2

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Don't have any experience with your combo, but I have had a lot of snow driving experience, and doggy can be a good thing in snow and ice. Much easier to get it going gently if it doesn't have as much get-up and go. If you look in your owners manual, most transmissions usually have a feature where if you put it in 2nd gear, it starts out in 2nd, not 1st just for this reason.
 

Danno1985

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Don't have any experience with your combo, but I have had a lot of snow driving experience, and doggy can be a good thing in snow and ice. Much easier to get it going gently if it doesn't have as much get-up and go. If you look in your owners manual, most transmissions usually have a feature where if you put it in 2nd gear, it starts out in 2nd, not 1st just for this reason.
Oh yeah, that's what I did in deeper snow with my manual truck. What I'm more concerned with the 4 speed auto about is whether or not it'll drop the revs too far into the "lugging" zone at freeway speeds so it's constantly downshifting to keep up speed. That kinda thing gets old real fast.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Not sure what tire size you have but i run tfe general grabber ATX on my 87 2wd, they are an A/T so you can run them year round....kick ass in the snow too
 

racsan

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I have the older 2.3 lima and a manual with 4.10’s, 235/75/15’s “work” but 225/70/15’s work much better. I have a set of bridgestone blizzacks in that size, but this winter I got some wheel adapters to run the hhr snow tires which are 215/60/16’s. just a bit smaller than the 225/70/15’s. They are nearly brand new and my bridgestones are 10 years old, this was cheaper than new tires or new rims for the hhr 16” snows which are a summito ice edge.
 

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bobbywalter

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Danno1985

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That looks like a solid option, but it's not offered in anything close enough to my size (225/70r15), unfortunately. I'll probably just get the Firestones and maybe do a half size up to 225/75r15 which is really as big as I want to go on this truck.
 
Last edited:

Danno1985

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Got the Firestones mounted up today. I haven't had a chance to test them in any kind of weather yet, but I'm impressed with their pavement manners. The Hankook highway tires I have made the truck ride like a donkey cart and these are a welcome relief without being too squirrelly in the corners. The 225/75r15 size gives the truck a subtle but noticeable boost in ride height, but doesn't seem to affect drivability in an objectionable way.

0165CF2E-C3CE-4E6D-8A45-297D89DA3CD1.JPG
 

Danno1985

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Just want to follow up with this post now that we've finally had a couple (literally, two) snowfalls, both admittedly pretty wimpy compared to what I'm used to growing up in upstate NY in the 90s. Basically, I've had a chance to test these up to around 2-3" of snowfall, freezing rain etc - nothing extreme. The truck handles really well with them - doesn't feel spin-happy in slick conditions at all. I have two 60lb tube sands in the back, but that's it - the truck does not lack for traction. I have no idea how well they'd do in deep snow, but... this is a stock 2wd truck. For someone looking for snow tires for a daily driver, these are a great choice. We'll see how long they last, but so far they look to be wearing evenly.
 

Danno1985

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Follow-up part 2: we got another 8" or so dumped on us last night, so I got a chance to test these out a bit more thoroughly. Still very very happy with these tires. Getting the truck rolling from a stop was not an issue, even on hills, and turning and braking felt very secure. We don't have a ton of elevation here, but there were a couple spots where front wheel drive cars with regular tires were trying to make it up a hill and kept sliding backwards, and I was just able to drive through without issue. I still would've preferred the Bridgestone Blizzaks had they been offered in something close to stock size, but these are proving to be a great alternative.

I also learned that even with the traction control switched "off", it still kicks in to keep the truck in a straight line, but not as aggressively. Kind of annoying that it can't be defeated 100%, but it was a lot easier to get moving and keep some momentum with the button pressed "off". For better or worse, the AdvanceTrac on these '10-11 models really makes it very hard to get the ass to swing around, which I guess is a plus if you have someone in your household who might occasionally drive the truck but doesn't have a ton of experience with RWD.
 

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