FJ Cruiser Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been requested by Nitto to review their Mud Grappler Tire.

Nitto has provided me with set of 5 Mud Grappler tires, 33X12.50X17.

Having previously reviewed the Nitto Dune Grappler Sand Terrain tires, I am looking forward to trying out the most aggressive tire in the Nitto line. Like its Dune Grappler kin, the Mud Grappler is an "E" rated tire, with a 3-ply sidewall for strength.
I have installed the tires on ProComp 7089 Series wheels, and used DynaBead ceramic balancing beads - same set up I used when testing the Dune Grapplers.

Initial impressions:

These are awesome looking tires !!! Where the Dune Grapplers had a mild tread design (engineered toward sand use), and were adorned with a flame design that caused more scorn than adoration, the Mud Grapplers are a whole different ball game. THe tread design is extremely aggressive, with large lugs and lots of tread gaps to help keep the tread clean. With a "lizard-skin" pattern between the large sidewall lugs, and claw imprints on the tread, there is nothing "street-looking" about the Nitto Mud Grappler. So far, nothing but positive reation to the appearance of these tires.

First trip was a long, high speed freeway trip. One noticable difference from the Dune Grapplers, and every other tire I've used in the last 10 years, is the obvious road hum. Now, some tires, like Super Swampers, have a very annoying rumble when driving at speed - but these Nitto Mud Grappler's sound more like a low volume Turbo-jet plane. I actually like the sound - even the way the hum fades like a plane decelerating on landing approach. It is not loud enough to be distracting, and it didn't resonate into the FJ, but you definitely hear it. So, time will tell if this gets more annoying as the tire wears down. But for now, I don't think it's a big issue, as the sound is kind of fun.

The ride seems to be much better than I would have expected from such an aggressive tire - no wobble, no vibration, no handling or braking issues at all so far. While I'm sure the DynaBeads have a lot to do with the glass-like, vibration-free freeway ride, it takes a lot of tread design tuning to keep a largelug tire like this from having any resonant wobble at speed, and I think Nitto has done their homework to allow the Mud Grappler to be an acceptable daily driver.

Next test is to see how the Nitto M/G does in its' designated area - off road.

Stay tuned....

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,003 Posts
Nice, I agree that is one of the most aggressive looking tires out there, but everytime i see a truck coming down a street with those on, i can usually hear it from around the corner first haha. nice trail rated 4x badge btw :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,586 Posts
Meh. Not for me, regardless of the review. BFG's are the best for my applications for SEVERAL reasons. Those sure are good looking tires though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I'll be interested in the rest of the review. Do you have any more pics? I was happy with their Terra Grapplers but eventually switched to Dynapro MTs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Nice, I agree that is one of the most aggressive looking tires out there, but everytime i see a truck coming down a street with those on, i can usually hear it from around the corner first haha. nice trail rated 4x badge btw :)

Wow, someone finally noticed the badge !!!:flash:

The noise the tire makes is interesting - it's not nearly as annoying to me as the sound of Super Swampers or Monster Mudders used to be. It almost seems like a "tuned" sound. So far, I actually like it. We'll see if I'm as fond of it after a few thousand freeway miles....
 

·
Santiago Peak Tour Guide
Joined
·
11,488 Posts
Larry I have a question how much of the dynobeads do you put in each tire to balance? I know the tire shop would be putting those in when they mount the tire so do they balance the tire also or do the beads balance it all by themselves? I like the look of the tire I wouldn`t mind the noise if its not to bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Larry I have a question how much of the dynobeads do you put in each tire to balance? I know the tire shop would be putting those in when they mount the tire so do they balance the tire also or do the beads balance it all by themselves? I like the look of the tire I wouldn`t mind the noise if its not to bad.
Wehave charts that specify the quantity of Dynabeads required for each type / size of tire. The tire shop only has to pour the beads into the tire - no balancing / no special tools / no balancing charges :)biggrin:). That's one advantage to Dynabeads - no fees to balance your tires EVER.:shaka:

If you are interested, pm me....
 

·
Ordinary Extraordinaire
Joined
·
8,396 Posts
Those look very sweet Larry, I like they are omnidirectional with a lot of aggressive lug. I'm interested to see the mileage reports in the future, I dont know much about nittos personally so I have no idea on their rep, When I was looking at tires the first time for the FJ I was interested in Swamper LTB's and a few other Agressive MT's, I got talked out of the LTB's (which I was dead set on at the time) by a freind at A local shop at the time and glad I did. I ran my last set of the current tires I have for 42k miles and 2.5 years which prompted me to buy the same set again a couple months back, but I really love the look of these and can see myself going with them in the future. Thanks for the review!!



Never pay again for live sex! | Hot girls doing naughty stuff for free! | Chat for free!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Larry, what PSI are you running? I noticed a wobble when I run at 32. I tried 34 yesterday on the way back from Silverwood. Coming down twisty 138 felt great! Feels like a real street tire rather than a sloppy mess that it was before. I hope it wears well at this PSI because I don't want to go back to 32.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Larry, what PSI are you running? I noticed a wobble when I run at 32. I tried 34 yesterday on the way back from Silverwood. Coming down twisty 138 felt great! Feels like a real street tire rather than a sloppy mess that it was before. I hope it wears well at this PSI because I don't want to go back to 32.
I am running 50 psi on the street. The Mud Grapplers I am running are load range E tires, and probably wont do well on the street at low pressures, given the aggressive tread style and lug gaps, IMO...(It's rated for 65 psi max cold)
 

·
Santiago Peak Tour Guide
Joined
·
11,488 Posts
My nitto terra grapplers are rated at 80psi cold. I run them at 55psi. When gas was 4.75 a gallon I tried running at 70psi but the felt like bricks. It was tolerable at 65 psi but not comfortable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Finally had a chance to get the Nitto Mud Grapplers "dirty" - last weekend at SummerFest in Big Bear, CA. With a variety of trail types and terrain, Big Bear is a great place to see how well these Mud Grapplers stand up to other tires I've used here, all while having some fun on the trails...

The freeway trip to Big Bear is a 3 hour trek for me, and that's a lot of high-speed freeway time for an aggressive off-road oriented mud tire. The Nittos did not disappoint, however, as they were smooth, handles the twisties without incident, and had excellent grip under hard braking from speed - unusual for a knobby-tread tire. The Nitto tread is designed to maximize footprint, and it works on the asphalt just fine - at no time did I feel compromised on safety or performance compared to other tires I've used. The only time I felt an instability was on severely heat-buckled sections of pavement, as the sideways-aligned lugs tend to track a little wobbly on that type of road. Overall, excellent on the street for a big-lugged mud tire. The only issue I still see for some folks is these tires are LOUD, and that noise level increases with speed. I like the sound the Mud Grapplers make, but I can certainly see why others might not.

Off-road is the focus for the tread design and casing construction of the Mud Grappler, and they were fantastic out on the trail. I had them aired down as low as 12 PSI, and never had a blowout, or separation, even when transversing the highway between trails at that low pressure. The 3-ply sidewall held the tire very well, and I almost forgot I was aired down when cruising down the CA 18. Now for safety, I have a Tire Pressure Warning System that also monitors tire temperature, so I was always careful not to get into trouble when running the low pressure on asphalt. But it is nice to know the tires won't let you down in an emergency situation if it comes up.

The grip of the Nitto Mud Grapplers is terrific, and even though we had no mud to speak of, the rocky terrain of Heartbreak Ridge and Rattlesnake Canyon can put any tire to the test. The sidewalls maintained strength, while still allowing significant flex to climb over rocks and rutted trails. No flats, no popped beads, no issues at all. These tires worked very well in the mountain terrain, and were just as smooth on the way home a son the way to the trail. Kudos also to the DynaBeads, as they kept the Nittos running smoothly even at extremely low pressure - no out of balance vibration or wobble at any speed or pressure.

Overall, the Nitto Mud Grapplers exceeded my expectations for an aggressive, off-road tire, both on and off the trail. You get what you pay for, as the Nittos are not inexpensive - but it looks like they will last a long time on an FJ Cruiser, so that helps as well. due to their robust construction, they are heavy tires, and it does seem to have an impact on fuel economy. Relative to my usual tires of the same size, the Nittos cost me between 1-2 MPG - not chicken feed as we all watch gas prices do their annual summer climb. Still, I am enjoying the Mud Grapplers, and the compliments I receive about them on and off the trail....






 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top