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Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Review

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Old 10-22-2012, 10:26 AM   #1
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Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Review

Long story short, I buck trends. And when it comes to shelling out cash, I want a product that fits my needs over what is cool, trending or flavor of the day! I also research the hell out of a product before buying.

Reviews and recommendations are good and always helpful... but what else is out there?

Living in Utah there is a considerable amount of off-road... but with my profession, many highway miles. I want a tire that does everything very well, even if they don’t excel at one specific thing! The Goodrich T/A K/O came highly recommended but I decided to give the Cooper Discoverer A/T3's a try based on equally high recommendations. On paper, they looked to fit the bill in regard to what I was looking for.

For perspective, My Tacoma is a 2004 TRD 4WD Double Cab. Billy 5100 leveling coil-overs up front set to highest... and Pro-Comp AAL with Billy 5125's.Moving from Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2, in P265/70 which were great wearing tires, giving me 54K miles under aggressive driving through most of those miles.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Moving to a LT tire may not be the best for our Tacomas in regard to comfort or fuel economy…but these "C load" rated tires are not horrible by any stretch. This is one reason I chose the Cooper. Few manufacturers offer a C rated LT tire. And I can imagine that a "D" or "E" load tire having more weight and stiffer side-walls could get uncomfortable and kill fuel economy quickly! To me, the Coopers were a perfect compromise. It took a bit of getting used to, as handling and softness WERE compromised... but not to a degree that I didn't expect. Fuel economy difference has been negligible at best as they are only approximately 5 pounds heavier than the tires they replace. The BFG’s would have been closer to 10 pounds heavier!

Where looks are concerned... I mounted the tires White Letters out. I liked the look with my White truck/Black wheel combo from chancing it with the old B'Stones. I was happy overall. Decently aggressive but not overly so. The tread is very deep compared even to the A/T K/O, (9/16th compared to 7/16th ??) although not as square shouldered. Two notes… I didn't like that there was way too much rubber left from trimming out of the mold. Also, there are no built-in rim edge protectors.

ON ROAD: Handling is very good. NOT as good as the Passenger tires they replace. But again, this is to be expected. I do miss the responsiveness of the passenger rated tires but on the same side of the coin, I rather liked the more truck-like, on-a-rail feel off the line and on the highway. The compromise is much more evident on twisty, mountain passes, where it takes more effort and time to corner. Especially if you like a bit of speed in doing so. A definite plus would be when exiting a turn… the tires pick up on the straight-line much more quickly! Wet road traction is AWESOME! These tires STICK. And they cut through standing water like no other tire I’ve had. Even at highway speeds on a trip to Denver through a downpour. I also, purposely pushed the grip to its limits while making turns on wet surface streets and was unable to break free without considerable effort. No spin on moderately hard launches from the line. (I do have considerable weight in the bed with a loaded tool box and Cargo carrier set-up). The Coopers are also very quiet. Even at highway speeds, the difference over other“P” rated A/T’s I’ve had is hardly measurable.

OFF ROAD: I recently took the Taco out to the Desert north of the Great Salt Lake. A place called Kelton, near Promontory Point, where the East/West Railroads Met. Great area because there is a mix of loose soil, fine sand & steep, rocky bluffs to climb and a wide expanse of open desert with deep, moist, sandy flats to rip through! No real mud to speak of but the sand of the flats is heavy, almost cement-like as it has a lot of organic materials in it and holds moisture from the lake. The closer you get to the lake shore, the wetter and deeper it gets. Only to about 2 inches but it really causes a bog-down. More importantly, a bog that doesn’t END! If you go out more than a mile, you’ve committed! This was a GREAT opportunity to see how the tires evacuate material and evaluate digging power. These tires performed AWESOMELY! An even better test was stopping and then re-gaining traction again from a start. MAN was I impressed! Obviously, these are not mudders but I could swear they were if I didn’t know better! As far as “rock climbing” is concerned… the tires performed admirably. They dig and grip very well over the loose, volcanic soil and conform well to larger rocks when aired down “slightly”. This is NOTa tire for EXTREME rock climbing but for the regular adventurer they are more than adequate. I beat up on them pretty good with no chipping or scars left behind after my trip. I also noticed they did a FAR BETTER job of evacuating stones from the tread than the Revo 2 A/T’s

TREADWEAR: I’ve only put approximately 4500 miles on the Coopers but I can say that my old Bridgestones began to show me wear patterns almost immediately…which was a good thing because it allowed me the opportunity to evaluate early on the best rotation pattern. Again, those tires gave me more than 50K and could have gone longer. The Coopers have showed very little signs of any “patterns” Therefore, I’ve settled on a criss-cross rotation to both axles. The ‘stones went rear straight forward to the front …and the fronts criss-x to the rear. I expect 60K easy from the Coopers!

SNOW/ICE: I was informed that although these tires don’t carry the “snowflake” symbol, it is a matter of Cooper not submitting them for testing. Knowing from my career experiences how these test certifications work and the costs associated with them, it makes sense that Cooper’s philosophy is to keep costs down and let real world performance be evaluated where it makes the most sense… On your vehicle with you at the wheel! I expect great things from these tires in the snow and will post soon.

CONCLUSION: Sans snow and ice… and I expect great things…(See update below) These tires aren’t just good A/T tires, they’re GREAT A/T tires! They are the perfect tire for someone like me that doesn’t want to sacrifice any specific thing for greater performance in another area. This tire will do everything very well if not Excel at one specific thing. The way I see it, the perfect tire for all around performance. Head & Shoulders above the Dueler A/T Revo 2’s they replaced. The Duelers were good, well wearing, quiet tires that did well in snow and handled well.. but were horrible on wet roads, ice and prone to damage and compromised traction off-road. Based on that, I can only imagine the fun I’ll have come winter with the Dicoverer A/T3’s!
UPDATE: Lots of snow this winter! The AT3's performed GREAT in deep snow. Ice traction was just "acceptable" which is expected with any AT tire. I did get stuck during one, particular outing in about 18 inches of hard-packed, heavy, wet snow in the mountains... but I decided to STOP for a picture opp! This was a mistake because a bigger problem was caused by the truck settling in and ultimately "bottoming out". My Tacoma only has an additional 2" or so of lift. In highway slush, the tires track VERY well!! ALSO... these tires are wearing EXTREMELY well. Again, I have settled on a straight front-to-back rotation and have done this twice so far. Tread is still like new!
See Attachments at bottom. "Tire 2" Pic shows the rubber "tags" left from trimming...
Attached Thumbnails
Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Review-tire-1.jpg   Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Review-tire-2.jpg   Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Review-current.jpg  
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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I have them on my 03 trd dc and love them as well although I opted for the p metric. I can't wait to test this winter when everything is wet and muddy where I hunt. Glad your happy with your choice.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for the review! Throw in some photos and I'll add it to my member's review thread.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maticuno View Post
Thanks for the review! Throw in some photos and I'll add it to my member's review thread.
Pics added!
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:36 AM   #5
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My BFG's have that same extra rubber from the manufacturing process. Nice write up.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
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Thanks! While I like the Wrangler Authorities that I'm currently running, I'm pretty sure my next tire will be the Discoverer A/T3 in a P rating.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:50 PM   #7
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This is by far one of the best reviews I have seen on TW. Granted, I'm new here, but I have read dozens of reviews. Thank you. This is what forums are for IMO: honest information sharing related to a specific topic. Great great review. You made my decission a little harder, Thank you for that.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrlyons21 View Post
This is by far one of the best reviews I have seen on TW. Granted, I'm new here, but I have read dozens of reviews. Thank you. This is what forums are for IMO: honest information sharing related to a specific topic. Great great review. You made my decission a little harder, Thank you for that.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:01 AM   #10
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Thanks MisterC, I'm getting 4 LT AT3s mounted after work today. My ranger had P and these will be six ply. There are so many different load ranges it is confusing.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdb1grfe View Post
Thanks MisterC, I'm getting 4 LT AT3s mounted after work today. My ranger had P and these will be six ply. There are so many different load ranges it is confusing.
6-Ply is The "C" rated version. The "E" rated version is a 10-Ply
The 10-Ply's would be MURDER on Ride and Mileage.
I recommend CONFIRMING with the dealer as they pull them out of stock that they are, indeed the "C" rated because my tech originally pulled the heavier.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: finding the right pressure is really important. I'm running 34psi front and 32psi rear and I consider this a minimum! You need a higher pressure than the 26psi recommended by Toyota as LT tires require higher psi to carry the same weight as a "P" tire.... but going +1 in size complicates things further.
I did a lot of testing and calculations with different pressures... Including the chalk test ...and combined with ride, handling and keeping a close eye out for wear patterns, I'd say I've got it just right!
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:01 PM   #12
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Hi Misterclean:
The AT3s I bought are the "C" with a numeric 108/104 load rating. OEM is 109. I didn't want a "P" because I thought they wouldn't be as strong. At work I drive a Chevy dually off road a good bit here in Western PA and the Discoverer ST tires are awesome. Did I mess it up for my Taco?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misterclean View Post
6-Ply is The "C" rated version. The "E" rated version is a 10-Ply
The 10-Ply's would be MURDER on Ride and Mileage.
I recommend CONFIRMING with the dealer as they pull them out of stock that they are, indeed the "C" rated because my tech originally pulled the heavier.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: finding the right pressure is really important. I'm running 34psi front and 32psi rear and I consider this a minimum! You need a higher pressure than the 26psi recommended by Toyota as LT tires require higher psi to carry the same weight as a "P" tire.... but going +1 in size complicates things further.
I did a lot of testing and calculations with different pressures... Including the chalk test ...and combined with ride, handling and keeping a close eye out for wear patterns, I'd say I've got it just right!
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #13
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Good call on tires and GREAT write up OP. Good to see categorized thoughtful review other than, I just got them and I like em. . . haha I too needed a all around highway/snow/off roat All Terrain and was about to pull the trigger on AT3s but the Graham Tire I went to had a deal on Dynapros for buy 3 get 1 plus a bunch of other freebies so I went with them since they're so similar. I look forward to getting these next and comparing the two for myself, from what I read they perform similarly.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:59 PM   #14
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MDB1: What size did you go with? Mine are 112/109 (LT265/75R16C1)
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:49 PM   #15
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I have them, the tires were on the truck when I bought it used and I agree, they wear well and I will buy another set when mine wear out. I would highly recomend them for sure!
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:16 PM   #16
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Might get AT3 or try out Nokian Rotiiva AT when the ATMs wear out . . . good reviews on the new tire there
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misterclean View Post
MDB1: What size did you go with? Mine are 112/109 (LT265/75R16C1)
Mister: I got LT245/75R16 108/104 C. Must be different load ranges for inflation pressures. I can live with the 108 only a couple hundred pounds different from the 109 OEM. Live and learn. Drove about 30mi on the 4 lane tonight with a passenger and a couple hundred lb in the bed. Ride quality great and no different than empty.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdb1grfe View Post
Mister: I got LT245/75R16 108/104 C. Must be different load ranges for inflation pressures. I can live with the 108 only a couple hundred pounds different from the 109 OEM. Live and learn. Drove about 30mi on the 4 lane tonight with a passenger and a couple hundred lb in the bed. Ride quality great and no different than empty.
That's exactly right, Mdb1.. different load ranges. 108 Nothing to worry about... You'll never overload the tires with a Tacoma!!
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:58 PM   #20
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I appreciate the review, Good information there,

I am looking for my next set of daily driver tires for my little RC 4x4 and a shop down the road from where I work just quoted me M & B under 600 bucks for em,

This very well may end up being my next daily driver tire.
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