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Living With 47's Part One

Posted in How To on February 1, 2010
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Alot of times we're guilty of being go-fast guys, but we definitely fall victim to the woos of giant trucks. There is something about a huge tire on an off-road truck that attracts most gearheads like children to a monster truck show.

None of the staff has ever had any tire over 41 inches tall before, but if we were going to try driving on some monster tires, we weren't about to settle on any puny 44-inch donuts. At the same time, we didn't want to get so ridiculous that we couldn't fit legally on roadways. We decided that a nice, "conservative" size of 47 inches would be perfect to start driving on all the time. Since Pit Bull Tires qualifies their Growler model as "all-terrain like," we figured that tire was the best way to go. And though it did have a tread design that looked like it could roll smoothly down the highway, it was still a 47-inch-tall, bias-ply, off-road tire with tread voids big enough to get a tennis ball stuck in.

Our goal was to really live with this tire-driving it not only off-road, but around the city, to work, and on the Southern California freeways, as well. Since 47-inch Growlers are street legal, and there are people out there wanting to drive on them, we felt it was our responsibility to get the real deal on driving monster tires.

When you reach a tire of this size and proportion, it really doesn't matter what vehicle you are starting with; most modifications will be the same. You'll either need to do some major cutting or you'll have to lift your ride to the sky to fit mega tires like these. You'll also have to have nothing less than a 1-ton drivetrain. And perhaps most important to success, you must have some way to repel the onslaught of tire tickets that some law officials might want to write.

The Growler tread surface is quoted to be an "all-terrain like" tread. It seemed almost impossible to even imply that with a 47x21-20 off-road tire, but after driving on them on the freeway, we're confident in telling you that they are quieter than some radial mud terrains we've driven on. And we couldn't argue that they surely get traction on every type of terrain.

We decided we'd stick on the tires first, see what hits, clearance sheetmetal and lift the truck as necessary, and finally work on the drivetrain (hoping the orginal one would hold up until then).

Since we didn't we didn't really have any trucks that were even close to being able to accept 47-inch tires, we turned to Jeeps R Us to inquire about using their big white fullsize two-door Cherokee Chief. It was sitting on 38.5-inch tires, but had way too much clearance for that small of a tire. We stopped by the shop and asked if we could borrow their Jeep for a few months, occasionally bringing it back for some work to be done. Little did they know our plans....

Specs (as tested)
MAKE/MODEL: Pit Bull Growler
MOUNTED ON: Dick Cepek
DC-1 20x12s
SIZE ON SIDEWALL: 47x21.00-20
# PLIES IN SIDEWALL: 4-ply nylon
# OF PLIES IN TREAD: 4-ply nylon
WEIGHT OF TIRE: 150 pounds
(without wheel)
AVAILABLE SIZES: 31-47 inches
AVAILABLE FOR: 15- to 20-inch

PhotosView Slideshow


Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels
Stow, OH 44224
Pit Bull Tires
St. Louis, MO 63103
Wheel And Tune
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

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