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Coker 900-16 STA Super Lugs - Old-School Tire Test

Posted in Product Reviews on January 20, 2015
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Doesn’t it seem like things that are retro or old-school, when well executed, are always cool? We think so, but then again we might be a bit old-school ourselves. When it comes to 4x4s, retro is cool, so when it was time to test some tires we figured what better way to go than old-school?

With a little digging you can pretty easily find tires and wheels that hearken back to a simpler time. We’ve been running a set of retro 900-16 STA Super Lugs by Coker from Summit Racing Equipment (PN COK-71014, $260) on an old Jeep truck for a few years. The truck is cool and looks cooler running chromed wheels with dog dish caps (we had the front dog dishes machined to clear the locking hubs). It just so happens that this truck shares the 6-on-51⁄2 wheel bolt pattern with our ’49 Willys CJ-3A (no, that is not the stock bolt pattern; we changed axles on the flattie), which is pretty retro all by itself. Built in the ilk of old-school flatties that have frequently graced the pages of 4-Wheel & Off-Road over the past 15-20 years, our Willys seems to be a head turner. Add to that the fact that we actually use the old Jeep both on the road and off (we drove it to, during, and back home from Easter Jeep Safari in Moab last year), and it is definitely unique.

Luckily our retro tires are in a bit better shape than this old off-road bias-ply tire we came across in the desert. Maybe this tire came off that old Ford truck when it was on mining duty after the electrical repair days. Our STA Super Lugs do pretty well in the rocks. They are not quite as aggressive as some modern bias-ply mud-terrains, but the tread is durable and the moderate lug spacing and chevrons help the treads grab rocks when aired down. The sidewalls are relatively thick but not quite up to the task of regular heavy rock use or sharp rocks.

We usually run beadlocks on the old Willys because she is our go-to gal when it comes to reliably hitting any and all off-road trails at the drop of a hat, but we always wondered how the old Jeep would perform running a set of vintage STA Super Lugs. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. We swapped some wheels and tires around and loaded the camping gear into the ’49 flattie for a little old-school tire bashing.

What is our plan, you may ask? Have fun and test these tires everywhere we usually use the old flattie and, oh yeah, snap a few pictures along the way. Once loaded, we hit a few mining roads in the Bradshaw Mountains of Arizona, just northwest of Phoenix.

We stopped at the parts store to gather last-minute things we had forgot. Before buzzing down the highway from Phoenix to Wickenburg, Arizona, our desert adventure on old-school rubber would commence in the Bradshaw Mountains north of town. On-road the STAs wander a touch like all bias-ply tires do, but the tires have worn well for the time we’ve been using them. As for the brown CJ-7, that’s our buddy Trent McGee’s Jeep. McGee is very suggestible when it comes to goofing off in the desert when we promise adventure, and we like having his company and recovery skills when things go sideways.
PhotosView Slideshow
As the sun set in the west we rushed to our final destination, Crown King, Arizona, a lively little mining town north of Phoenix packed with characters, interesting places, and history. If you are ever in the area, Crown King is worth checking out either via one of a handful of well-maintained dirt roads or, for the more adventurous type (with a 4x4), by running The Back Road to Crown King. That’s a pretty easy three- to five-hour run unless something has washed out, it’s raining, or the trail is coated in snow. Otherwise even a stock 4x4 with a skilled driver can handle it.

Sources

Summit Racing
Akron, OH
800-230-3030
SummitRacing.com
Coker Tire
Chattanooga, TN 37402
800-251-6336
http://www.cokertire.com

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