Gardena, CA – November 5, 2019 – MILESTAR, a leader of high value performance tires is pleased to announce 12 expansion sizes for PATAGONIA X/T Xtreme all-terrain tire to include 40X13.5R17LT high flotation. The X/T is a modern, refined light truck tire designed to deliver the bold aggressive looks and tough off-road performance normally found in an M/T tire, yet still providing the smooth quiet on-road manners associated with an all-terrain tire.
The PATAGONIA X/T’s Rugged Tread Blocks feature step-down supports on the center blocks to provide enhanced stability and handling.All sizes feature a 3-Ply Sidewall for added strength and durability, and a silica-infused cut and chip resistant tread compound, to work with stone and mud ejectors to tackle the roughest and toughest off-road conditions.Additionally, select sizes are offered with an F load rating to allow for higher load carrying capacity ideal for today’s ¾ Ton and 1 Ton truck applications.
The X/T is engineered and designed for a quieter ride utilizing a variable Pitch Tread Pattern, while the Variable Depth Siping provides performance consistency throughout the entire life of the tire.A total of 19 sizes will be available in Q1 2020 with another 29 sizes coming in late 2020.All sizes of the PATAGONIA X/T feature 18/32” tread depth and are backed with a 40K Mile Limited Warranty.
“This expansion includes aggressive flotation, plus-sized fitments to stay competitive in the Jeep®, light truck and off-road markets,” stated Andrew Hoit, Tireco’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Sizes like the 35”, 37”, and 40” show our commitment to these markets and the continued growth and expansion of the entire Patagonia Family of light truck and SUV tires.”
Going offroad is amazing. Whether you are conquering challenging terrain or traveling to remote locations, offroad travel has major benefits. It also comes with some responsibilities. There are some general safety rules and proper trail etiquette that everyone should know before venturing off the pavement.
1. Know Your Rig
You should have a good understanding of your vehicle before you hit the dirt. You need to familiarize yourself with the strengths and potential faults found on your model vehicle, and the specific weaknesses of your own rig. It’s also a good idea to regularly inspect it for loose bolts, leaking fluids, or unnoticed damage.
If you know what it’s supposed to look like, it makes it much easier to assess what’s wrong if you run into trouble. At the same time, you need to have a decent supply of typical replacement parts and the tools needed to replace them. Things like belts, hoses, U-joints, and tire repair kits are universally brought along for emergency use. If you are not mechanically inclined, it’s safer to travel in a group with someone who is.
2. Know Yourself
Do you take regular medication? Do you have allergies to poison ivy, bee stings, or sunburn easily? Make sure you have what your body needs to function properly and let others know your condition so they can assist you if needed. Always have water and food. If you take more than you need, you can share it on the trail with those who are in need. I always have a box filled with drinks and snacks that stays in the truck at all times.
It’s also important to carry clothing. Do you have a change of clothes in case you get wet, or coated in something foul? How about a windbreaker, or raincoat? Changes in elevation or location can cause huge swings in temperature and humidity. A good pair of gloves will protect your hands, and keep them warm if needed. Being prepared also includes having a bedroll or some warm blankets just in case. Things that every vehicle should have are a first aid kit, tow rope, and a fire extinguisher.
3. Know Where You Are Going
Many of us live to explore and are driven by our curiosity of what lies around the bend, or over the next hill, but it’s wise to do a little research before you venture out. Is there a highway to the north, a major river that runs to the ocean, or a mountain peak you can use for reference? You should have a general idea what’s out there. Trails can be blocked, vehicles might be damaged; emergencies can, and will happen. Do you know which direction to go for help? Always have options in case something goes wrong.
4. Know How To Navigate
Can you read a map and a compass? Do you understand topography? There are things in nature that can assist you when navigating through the wilderness. Water generally runs downhill. The sun rises in the east, and sets in the west, and the higher you go, the less vegetation will be present. If you need to signal someone, head to the highest point.
If you seek shelter, get down in the valley. A couple more good bits of advice are that perfectly straight lines in the distance usually means something there is man-made, and nobody builds a road in the wilderness for no good reason.
5. Know the Rules of the Trail
The first rule is to stay on the trail! If the trail you are on is not challenging enough, find one that is. Never head off the trail to challenge obstacles or take short cuts. Trail etiquette includes keeping the trail clear if you decide to stop. Always give the vehicle heading uphill the right of way, and don’t follow too closely. Always make sure others on the trail are OK. We can be stubborn asking for help, so always break the ice with strangers you may meet by offering help if it is needed.
When someone pulls over to let you pass, let them know how many vehicles are traveling in your group. Hold up however many fingers corresponds with the size of your group, or if it’s more than 10, you might want to stop and tell them.
Always have options in case something goes wrong.
If you encounter wildlife or animals on the trail, give them space. Take pictures, admire them, but don’t startle them, or harass them. Taking a selfie with a wild animal is not wise for several reasons. Always pack out your trash, and don’t feed the animals.
6. Know How To Communicate
Almost everyone carries a cell phone these days but reception in more remote areas is spotty at best. Do you have a 2-way radio? Do you use a device that will send an emergency beacon if needed? How about a satellite phone? There are all types of communication available both high tech and primitive.
You can use rocks or sticks to show which direction you are traveling and use a whistle to send messages as far as the sound will travel. Like stated in #4, perfectly straight lines are typically man-made, so a giant X or an arrow can help people in the air spot your location. The military uses hand signals to communicate when they need to be silent. The same techniques may be useful when you are within sight, but out of shouting distance.
7. Know Your Biology
You should know what types of plants, and/or animals pose a danger to you where you are traveling. Is that a typically docile lynx, or a mountain lion looking for a meal? In the worst case scenario, you will need to know how to find food and water. Do you know which types of plants need lots of water to grow? This also provides a great way to stay entertained.
If the kids get bored, quiz them on what types of plants they are seeing. Get some books and keep track of the plants or animals you see along the way. The more you know about the ecosystem you are in, the more you will appreciate how nature works. It can also help you with situational awareness. When the vegetation changes, you know you are entering someplace different.
8. Know Situational Awareness
It’s easy to forget about what you are doing when you are away from the crowds. Nature is so rewarding, but it can also be dangerous. Whenever you are on the trail, you need to read the terrain. Is the trail getting rockier, sandier, or muddier? Are you heading down into a valley, or higher into the hills? Do you see weather conditions changing on the horizon? You should be relaxed and enjoying yourself, but you should also be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Many people just follow the trail without making a mental note of landmarks they can use on the way back. If they get mixed up and on the wrong trail, they get lost. Part of navigating successfully is paying attention to the direction of travel, forks in the road, side trails, and other distinguishing points along the way. You might not know exactly where you are at all times, but you should be able to realize when you are going down instead of up or heading into the sun instead of away from it.
9. Know How To Relax
Taking your vehicle offroad can be stressful. Learning your capabilities takes time and experimentation. You will get stuck. You will get flat tires. You will probably get lost. The key in all those situations is to relax. Things are usually not as bad as they seem and if you have done all the other things mentioned here, you will be prepared. The situations that come up might be daunting at the time, but they will become fond memories and great stories to share in the future.
Solving problems is part of the adventure.
Most of the negative things that happen are caused by rushing. See some sketchy obstacle ahead? Get out and check it first. When you go to try it, is your seat belt on? Did you air down your tires? Are you in the right gear? Slow down and relax, it will pay off in spades. If you are in a situation, a clear head will be vital in solving your dilemma. Solving problems is part of the adventure. Adversity helps us to appreciate how easy most of us have it in our daily lives. If you are not on fire, you aren’t dying of thirst, and you are not injured, it’s not that bad, you’ll be OK.
10. Know All These Things and More
These are only a few ideas that will make your offroad journeys more pleasant. There are endless things to learn and understand about nature. Many people love to cook in the outdoors and thank goodness they do. There is nothing better than a gourmet meal in the fresh air of the wilderness. You may develop an interest in bird watching, photography, geology, hiking, biking, you name it.
There are so many opportunities that make themselves available once you become an offroad traveler. The key is to keep learning as much as you can. The skills you pick up along the way will benefit you your entire life and can be passed on to your friends and family as well. So hit the dirt, have fun, and stay safe on the trail.
“Come on,” you’re probably thinking, “those break rotors are just big slugs of metal cut to fit my car.” Nope, break rotors are another very complicated part of your brake system. However, there is a huge misconception on how they should be designed. Those cross-drilled rotors you have are pretty much junk.
How Are Break Rotors Made?
Rotors are typically made of cast iron known as grey iron—a type of cast iron with graphite in the mixture and sometimes other compounds such as copper, silicon, or other materials that bond with iron. Early front disc brakes and many rear brakes today are a solid disc. However, these discs can have trouble with dissipating heat fast enough. This is where the invention of the vented disc brake came in to fix that issue.
Both types of discs are molded, but vented discs are done in a procedure known as sand casting. The veins of the vented rotor are made of a separate sand core. It’s placed between the cope (top portion of a mold) and drag (bottom portion of the mold) and the metal flows into the mold.
Those cross-drilled rotors you have are pretty much junk.
Once the metal cools, the core is removed by hammering it out, using air, or various other methods of removal depending on how the sand cast was made and bound. After that, the rotor is then machined for vehicle fitment before final surface finishing and coating—if a coating is being applied, that is. Drums are usually made in a very similar way with molds.
Rotor faces come in four distinct types: solid, slotted, cross-drilled, or slotted and drilled. How does each of those work and what are the advantages of each? We answer that in this rotor article.
Solid Face Rotors
A solid face rotor will be the most rigid and can dissipate heat very well. It can take a little more abuse and can also be resurfaced easily from “warping”. It’s the simplest design that all OEs take advantage of because it doesn’t require extra machining or complex work to build or mold it. While it’s simple, it’s still very effective in most high-performance brake systems where pad gassing and debris clearing isn’t an issue.
Slotted Face Rotors
A slotted faced rotor is designed to keep some of the rigidity and heat dissipation of the solid rotor but create a space for gasses and incandescent materials to be wiped away from the friction lining. Gasses come from the natural breakdown of the adhesive that holds the brake friction to the brake pad as it heats up from use. This gassing creates a bearing surface, like how an air gap works, and creates a form of brake fade because the gasses can’t be compressed. The slots transfer those gasses away from the friction and rotor surface along with the incandescent materials to improve braking performance in high-performance applications. A street car normally won’t see this, but if you track yours then you will and is why a slotted rotor is an excellent choice.
A cross drilled rotor has holes drilled straight across each rotor face that also feature chamfered edges to reduce hot spots at those drill points. This design is for maximum degassing as the venting of the rotor helps pull those gasses away from the rotor surface. The problem you start to encounter with a cross drilled rotor is the reduction of surface area for cooling. This can cause heat stress cracks at the drill points and a loss of rigidity overall for the rotor.
With modern adhesives and pad construction, the requirement of a cross drilled rotor has been reduced to the point that they aren’t used that often. This includes professional motorsports. The exception is environments where having high rotor surface temperatures are needed for brake pad friction effectiveness or where the rotating material just needs to be removed. In other words, you don’t need a cross drilled rotor on your daily driver. The brake temperatures won’t be high enough for pad degassing and the pads you are using don’t need that much temperature to operate.
Slotted and Drilled Rotors
The combination of slotted and drilled seeks to gain the advantages of both: the maximum degassing of a cross drilled rotor and the wiping of the friction surface of the slotted rotor while also retaining some of the rigidity from the slotted rotor design. However, if you’re not experiencing any degassing issues with solid rotors, you’re not gaining much in terms of performance from switching to either version. You’ll also lose surface area that helps with cooling your brake rotors.
…if you’re thinking about getting those drilled or slotted rotors, you may want to reconsider.
Both a slotted and cross drilled rotor will be slightly lighter, but only by a few grams at best. Unless you’re in a Formula Car or maximized the reduction of the weight of your tires and wheels, losing weight at the rotor isn’t going to be of much use to you. It can be detrimental if you don’t buy a high-quality slotted or drilled rotor.
Losing Weight with a Two-Piece Rotor
However, if you want the maximum rigidity but want to reduce weight, you should consider a two-piece rotor with an aluminum hat, as you see here. The aluminum hat reduces the weight of the rotor significantly since that large mass of metal is of a lighter material. You also gain the ability to change rotor faces and material without changing the rotor hats and this type of hat can allow you to work with a custom design by just changing the hat instead of the whole rotor. This does come at a price increase over a solid hat and rotor but if you’re going for maximum lightness, the price usually isn’t a concern at that point.
How a Rotor Cools
Again, rotors come in solid disc or vented disc, with most front rotors being vented. The venting design is a centrifugal (radial) fan type, where—in the simplest terms—the blades create a low-pressure area on the outside of the rotor as it rotates. The high-pressure area between the blades flows in to fill in that low-pressure area, which then creates a low-pressure area behind that to pull in more air. Again, that’s oversimplifying it. Changing the angle of the blades can increase efficacy but will make the rotors directional. There are also multi-blade designs that direct airflow for better hot spot cooling.
So, if you’re thinking about getting those drilled or slotted rotors, you may want to reconsider. If you’re simply going for the looks, we can’t argue against it. If you’re going for performance, consider staying with a solid face rotor and finding other ways to either reduce rotational weight or brake cooling.
Let’s face it, the weather out on the West Coast is awesome. The conditions are more or less predictable, the climate is almost always in the ’70s and sunny, and it’s generally easy to prepare for changes in conditions if, say, you travel up to Tahoe for some skiing.
But for those of us that live virtually anywhere else, Mother Nature chooses to be comparatively more cruel with her distribution of weather conditions. Those of us residing in the Midwest and on the East Coast, as surely you already know, experience seasons; actual changes in temperature and conditions from winter to summer and vice-versa.
Whether you’re an automotive novice or expert, you know that tires are your vehicle’s direct line of contact to the road. Aside from monitoring your vehicle’s tire pressure, treadwear, etc., it’s essential that you also choose the right tire for the season and conditions you’re driving in. The circumferential grooves, tread blocks, lateral grooves, and even whether or not a tire is siped can have an impact on how a vehicle handles and brakes in both the wet and the dry.
Every kind of tire from all-season to all-terrain has specific conditions in which they excel, and this article will help you decide on what kind of tire to use when.
All-Seasons, Not All-Conditions
These are the most common kind of tire found on standard passenger vehicles and SUVs. As their category name suggests, all-seasons can be used in virtually any weather condition. Most vehicles that are equipped with these kinds of tires are used for commuting, not racing, have tread patterns with wider circumferential grooves (for removing water), more basic lateral grooves and tread blocks, have lower speed ratings (S- or T-speed), and longer-lasting rubber compounds.
For vehicles that are more performance-oriented, a performance or ultra-high performance tire isn’t necessarily more appropriate but will compliment your vehicle’s handling and braking abilities in dry conditions, while maintaining wider circumferential grooves to disperse water. These tires have a more intricate, aggressive tread pattern from the outboard to inboard shoulders, higher speed rating (H- or V-speed), and a softer compound, which tends to wear quicker than regular all-seasons.
The Milestar MS932 Sport and MS932 XP+ tires are great examples of this. Both are high-performance tires that feature optimized tread patterns along with wide circumferential ribs and grooves for improved grip and water dispersion. Compared to the MS70, which has both vertical and variable siping for inclement weather, the Sport features lateral siping while the XP+ features 3D, zig-zag siping, which are geared more for a performance grip. The XP+ has the addition of wider shoulder tread blocks for better handling and cornering.
When it comes to colder and wetter conditions though, the performance-oriented all-season tires aren’t as great. Their rubber compounds aren’t made for colder temperatures and the more aggressive tread patterns mentioned limit the vehicle’s ability to not only grip the road but also disperse precipitation when there is water or snow on the road.
…tires are your vehicle’s direct line of contact to the road.
In extreme cases, this could result in hydroplaning, which is essentially when water cannot effectively pass through a tire’s circumferential grooves causing the tire to ultimately lose contact with the road.
Condition Specific Tires: Winter And All-Terrain
When temperatures drop below 40 degrees or the terrain becomes rough, rocky, or muddy, an all-season tire isn’t going to cut it. Lower temperatures demand tires with specialized, temperature-specific rubber compounds for better grip, while inclement weather conditions and rougher terrain demand specialized tread patterns for better grip. That’s why winter and all-terrain tires exist.
A tire which has met the required performance criteria in snow testing (like the situations mentioned above) will be branded with a three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMS or 3PMSF) symbol on its sidewall. Traditionally, this designation was used only on winter-specific tires, but as of late, more all-seasons have been receiving the certification as well.
Both winter and all-terrain tires have wider, deeper circumferential grooves for maximum water dispersion along with siping. This is where siping, tiny straight or zig-zagged grooves within the tread blocks, really comes in handy. As the sipes come into contact with a surface, they aid the tread blocks with better grip.
In more extreme cases, adding studs to or wrapping them in chains might be necessary. These studs are small pieces of metal that can literally be installed into the tire’s tread and help the tire dig into ice and snow.
When temperatures drop below 40 degrees or the terrain becomes rough, rocky, or muddy, an all-season tire isn’t going to cut it.
Milestar’s Patagonia A/T W is an excellent example of a studdable tire, which has small indents throughout the tread for stud installation and is supplemented with segmented wishbone tread blocks and silica compound for better overall grip.
Similarly, wrapping a tire in specialized tire chains also helps a tire dig to ice and snow, but can be harmful to the pavement when ice or snow isn’t present. Consulting both your car’s user manual as well as with a tire shop is highly recommended if you choose to go for either of these options.
When it comes to all-terrain tires, their inboard and outboard shoulders are typically comprised of lugs—extra large “chunks” of tread—in addition to most standard tire components. The Milestar Patagonia M/T is a great visual example of this. It features high void, lugged tread for maximum traction on rough terrain.
With All That Being Said…
No matter which brand of tire you decide to purchase for your vehicle, it’s essential to choose the right one for it as it could potentially have a huge financial impact. Driving on a winter tire year-round, for example, will yield much quicker tread wear along with poor overall gas mileage. On the flip side, driving on an ultra-high performance tire in inclement weather puts you at a much higher risk of hydroplaning and even crashing.
“The choice is yours, and yours alone. Good luck!”
Your brakes are possibly one of the most important parts of your car or truck. However, it’s probably one of the least well known after the shocks. Let’s talk about the basic theory of your brakes and discuss what “warping” really is.
You need to stop or slow down for that next corner but letting off the gas won’t slow you enough in many cases. In those cases, you need to get on the binders. When you hit your brake pedal, fluid is sent from the brake master cylinder to your calipers and/or drum wheel cylinder to move a set of pads or shoes against a rotating surface.
Those pads and shoes are fitted with a friction material that clamps down on that surface to take kinetic energy, in our case that is wheel rotation. That then turns that kinetic energy into thermal energy from the friction between the friction material and the rotor or drum surface. This friction causes the wheel to slow until it is stopped.
Well, they don’t warp like a wet piece of board does.
While your tire’s traction will determine how effective your braking is, the coefficient of friction of the brake liner will determine how much bite the pads or shoes will have on the rotors or drums. That thermal energy is then radiated away by airflow over the surface area of the rotor or drum.
Discs or rotors of the disc brake system do an equal amount of the hot work of the brake system, but they also do more than just transfer heat. Their face designs help the pads do their job, but what about the issue of rotors “warping?” Well, they don’t warp like a wet piece of board does. What’s happening is that the pads are leaving some of their friction material on the rotor surface under harsh braking.
Notice that “warping” is in quotation marks here. Your rotors do not warp in the sense that wood warps when it gets wet. Instead, what’s happening is that the brake friction material is transferring unequally to the rotor face. This can happen because of unequal temperatures on the surface of the rotor, a hotter spot on the rotor will transfer more friction material onto the rotor surface than the colder spot.
…what’s happening is that the brake friction material is transferring unequally to the rotor face.
This creates an uneven surface that transfers into the brake calipers and creates the judder and vibrations associated with “brake warping.” When a technician resurfaces the rotor, they are removing that access material along with the rotor surface to create an even face again.
That’s not to say a brake rotor can’t warp, but if it does there’s a whole host of other problems going on and usually, the rotor will crack and break before that warping happens.
Now that we’ve covered that, how about those rotors or brake pads?