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Goodyear Wrangler Authority, The Ranger's Review

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Old 08-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
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Goodyear Wrangler Authority, The Ranger's Review



After a long search for the right replacement tire for the Dunlop AT20's currently on my truck, I decided to give the Goodyear Wrangler Authority tires, exclusively from Walmart, a try. There are many great user reviews about this tire. There are also a host of others with complaints, but most of those seem to stem from the user driving a heavy diesel truck with tons of torque. Other people have also said that they would never drive on a Walmart tire. Well, it's not a Walmart tire. It is made by Goodyear. It has Goodyear's name on the sidewall. A long time ago I ran the Walmart exclusive "Liberator A/T" on a Ford Ranger and they were great. I have read multiple rumors about the Wrangler Authority sharing the same basic carcass and design as the DuraTracs and the Kelly Safari TSR. While I found no hard evidence to support these claims, a visual side-by-side comparison shows many similarities.



I paid $170 a tire plus tax and California environmental fees. Installation is included. Because the 265/70R17 Load Range C tires I wanted were not in stock, I ordered them online with the free shipping option where you pick them up in store. I placed the order yesterday morning (Thursday, August 9th) with an estimated arrival time of August 18th - 28th. Imagine my surprise when I get a text message on my phone from Walmart today (Friday, August 10th) that the tires have arrived and are ready to be installed!

Because of my work schedule, I will not be able to have them installed until this coming Monday, but I thought I'd start my review right now since I am so far astounded with their shipping time. I know not to get my hopes up too high regarding the quality of the tire technicians that Walmart employs, but with lifetime balance available at any Walmart Tire and Lube Center across the country, I'm willing to take the chance. I will certainly be bringing my torque wrench along to re-adjust the lug nuts once I get the truck back.

Installation:
A quick note on Walmart's pricing. $170 each including installation means they will put the tire on the wheel. Balance and road hazard are extra. This puts the total cost up to $765 out the door without any of the extended coverage.

I must say that I am extraordinarily impressed with the level of quality at this particular Walmart Tire and Lube Center. The tech, of course, called me back to inform me that I had ordered the wrong tire size and that if we continued with the installation of these tires that I would experience rubbing. I assured him that the 265/70R17 would fit just fine, thanked him for his concern, and signed the paperwork stating that I accepted full responsibility for going away from the stock tire size. When I got the truck back, he complimented me on how great it looked. After I got home, I immediately checked the tire pressure and lug torque to find that all tires were filled to an acceptable 36psi, not pumped up to 50psi like I was expecting. I am a nut when it comes to lug torque (see what I did there?) and was surprised to find that they were not jacked up to 5.6X10^9 Newton tons as is typical from a tire place. They were all very close to the 85 ft/lbs recommended. I still backed them all off and re-torqued just because I'm crazy like that. The tech's also did a remarkable job with the balance. It is spot on with maybe the slightest hint of a shimmy at highway speeds. I think I will have a road force balance in about 500 miles or so, just to make sure.





















Street:

There is definitely a noticeable howl with these tires. It's a little louder than I was expecting honestly. It's not unbearable, and a little bit of extra volume from the stereo easily drowns it out. They seem to make more noise on cement and smooth asphalt. I believe the reason for my surprise is the fact that pictures don't quite show the tread lug spacing. It is much wider and deeper than it appears. I'm 6', 180 and have moderate sized hands, so keep that in mind in the below picture where the spacing engulfs my finger:



Aside from the noise, the Wrangler Authorities handle exactly as an all-terrain should. Planted, confident, and smooth. I took a drive through California Highway 138 between Silverwood Lake and Interstate 15. If any of you are familiar with that stretch of road, you know how curvey and fun to drive it is. At no time did the tires squeal, chirp, or lose traction. The steering response isn't quite as sharp as the original Dunlop AT20's, but it is much more predictable.

Off-Road:

Going from a flimsy passenger tire to an LT, C Load tire, I was expecting a significant increase in off-road harshness. This is not the case. The Wrangler Authorities are riding just as well as the old highway tires, if not slightly better. I am still playing around with the air pressure to find the perfect balance of off and on road comfort, currently at 34 in the front and 32 in the back.

Hard packed dirt roads feel no different than the tarmac as far as stability and control. The Authorities also seem to like the soft sand as overall traction was excellent. Drifting through the corners in the soft sandy washes was enjoyable as the tires let go predictably and regained linear traction almost as soon as the curves ended. The rocky roads translated to a bit of a jarring ride, but I'm sure decreased air pressure would have eliminated that. Washboarded stretches of roads and cattle guards were traversed with an amazing smoothness that I haven't felt in any other tire.







The Goodyear Wrangler Authorities seem to have the desert wildlife stamp of approval as this little Horned Lizard was completely indifferent to my presence atop "his" mountain.



Mud and Snow:
It will likely be a long time before I can test the Wrangler Authority's performance under these conditions, but a hopeful trip to the mountains of Colorado sometime this winter will potentially change that.

Bottom Line:

So far I am very happy with my purchase. For the price, they definitely seem hard to beat. Time will tell how well they hold up. It's still too early to start recommending these to others, but my instincts say these will be great tires.

7,500 MILE UPDATE:
Just did the first tire rotation. Not even the slightest sign of wear. The road noise has neither increased nor decreased. Traction is incredible in all conditions I have tested (no mud yet). At this point I can definitely recommend the Wrangler Authority to anyone looking for an aggressive all-terrain, especially as an alternative to the BFG All-Terrain.

15,000 MILE UPDATE:
I can confidently report that these tires are absolutely amazing. They still look nearly new. Flawless traction in all terrains and road conditions I have tested. Since the last update, I have had them in heavy rain, fresh snow, and light mud. I purposely gave the truck more throttle than necessary, just to see what the breaking point was and I'm very confident that under normal driving conditions you would have no chance of slipping and sliding. I estimate at least a 40,000 - 50,000 mile life span out of these, maybe even more.


Took the family up to play in some snow.


20,000 Miles

I know this may sound silly, but I was finally able to find the time to do the tire rotation. From now on I hope to be able to do it every oil change. Even still, the Authorities look almost new, and still handle as well as I've come to expect.

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Old 08-11-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
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I was going to get them but Walmart couldn't reset my tpms system. I got different sensors and needed them to match up with the trucks computer. I went down to discount tire and got some GY duratracs. I have about 500 miles on them so far and I really like them. They are a little noisy but so would have been the walmart tires.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #3
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The reason why you got them so fast was because they probably took a set from a nearby store, but the estimated time was from their manufacturer's location. Either that, or they were already on a truck slated to deliver there. Today was your day!
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:25 PM   #4
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I think it might also help that this particular Walmart is less than 20 miles from an exceptionally large Walmart distribution center.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:29 PM   #5
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I have a real good friend who had these on his gmc 2500 gasser and swears by them. I'm considering them when my stockers wear out.
On edit, maybe I won't, I just saw on their site the 265/75R16 isn't available...
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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I was considering this tire until I couln't find a 285x17 option Hell I didn't even see an option for 265x17 on the Walmart site.

I currently have 52k miles on my duratracs. Still have tread but a little noisy for my liking.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:40 PM   #7
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I'm looking forward to your review as I'm getting very close to needing new tires.

I must say I like the Dunlop AT20's; they are quiet as a mouse and I've loaded (ok, overloaded 1,185 lb load, once) and several other close to capacity loads several times without a peep from them.

I hate Wal-Mart, an Old miserable oil change tech use an air rachet and without first threading the plug stripped the shit out of an oil drain plug on my old GMC Safari and then I had to use one of those wingnut plug thingys to stop the leak. Management was zero help.

I guess my only word of advice is to watch these Pricks like a Hawk. Good luck!
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:48 PM   #8
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I got these same tires. I finally got rid of my 2007 stockers. Yea I'm a tight ass but they were more dry rot than worn out with only 37k miles.

Not a lot to choose from near me so me and the wife both go to walmart for tires. Same price,same road hazzard.
They vibrated a little at first,but before making the coast trip, I added 4psi to the tires making it 44 psi total. This helped a lot. May try a little more.
I have some serious traction now,very responsive. Also made backing up a slope to fill deer feeder easier this morning.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:35 PM   #9
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I have those tires (Goodyear Wrangler Authority) on my Sequoia.
Seem to be a really good wearing tire and pretty rugged looking.
I was a little skeptical at first buying tires from Wal Mart.
I did not trust the local high school dropouts working in the Wal Mart tire department to put them on so I took them down to the Toyota dealership to get it done right.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:29 AM   #10
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Cant wait to see them installed. They look like a nice tire
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidooman View Post
On edit, maybe I won't, I just saw on their site the 265/75R16 isn't available...
Quote:
Originally Posted by 757southpaw View Post
I was considering this tire until I couln't find a 285x17 option Hell I didn't even see an option for 265x17 on the Walmart site.
Keep checking the site. They update it as their stock changes. When I was first interested in these tires they had the 265/70R17's listed in both C and E load range. Then as I got closer to purchasing they no longer listed the C range. Then I decided on the Kelly Safari TSR until I found out that the C range wasn't available anywhere near me and they were backordered for months. When I looked back on the Walmart site they were once again listing the C load so I ordered them right away before they changed their minds again.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:34 AM   #12
dont tread on me!
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[QUOTE=Capita;5525923]Cant wait to see them installed. They look like a nice tire[/QUOTE
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:33 PM   #13
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Looks awesome!
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:41 PM   #14
dont tread on me!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capita View Post
Looks awesome!
Thanks. They're a good tire. I'm nowhere near a discount tire store,but there were some " seasoned " mechanics at walmart.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:52 PM   #15
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i ran the hell out of the Authority's on my 92 pickup. beat the old bfgatko's hands down every way possible except noise. they also took a lot of weght to balance but for the price, who cares!! i have a feeling you'll love em and the walmart techs arent so bad in my area. they torqued the lugs, explained the balancing issue and were overall everything plus more of what i would get from a tire shop.

the only problems with them was that they were always packed with people wanting a battery replaced or an oil change or whatever. also, since they are kindof high profile, they have to stick to all the safety protocalls so getting under my truck to inspect steering linkages, brakes, etc. (you can ask them and have them say its "bad"; i wanna know how bad) was outta the question.

ill have these or duratracs on my taco soon. and probly installed at walmart
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:56 PM   #16
dont tread on me!
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Ya how many tire busters actually bust a tire down and spin it on rim to reduce the.amount of weights installed? Not many.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:41 PM   #17
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im also at looking at getting a set of the 265/75/16 C, im not quite sure what the weight difference between these and the stock rugged trails, anyone know if these will affect the mpg much?
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia taco View Post
im also at looking at getting a set of the 265/75/16 C, im not quite sure what the weight difference between these and the stock rugged trails, anyone know if these will affect the mpg much?
Stock Rugged Fails are listed at 37lbs each. LT265/70R17 in C load weighs 43lbs. The bump in size for you is going to make more of a difference than the weight of the tire will.
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