SUPER SWAMPER RADIALS
After running 35" ProComp Xterrains for nearly a year and after seeing others running 37" tires, I came to the conclusion that some larger diameter tires would help with the H2's ground clearance and breakover angle. The Super Swamper Radial, SSR, is a relatively new radial version of the well proven Super Swamper range of tires, and, ideally, comes in a 37x12.50x17 size.
The tires are E load rated. They are competively priced for a "big" tire and have an excellent reputation.
Before I could test them out, I needed to get them mounted, balanced and aligned. Which was not as easy as one might think. Most of the local mainstream tire centers cannot balance or align anything over 35". A local truck center could balance them, but not mount them, as they would have damaged the aluminum rims, and as it turns out they can't align them either. So they were mounted at a mainstream tire center, balanced at a truck tire center and aligned by the Hummer dealer. Since then I have found a small locally owned wheel center that can do everything, so it is worth checking aropund with the locally owned businesses as well as the national chains.
1. Sand - I was concerned that the large lug pattern would not fair well in loose sand. They actually do better than I expected, but if you start spinning the wheels they can dig big holes very quickly. Airing down to 15-20 psi makes a massive difference and you have to be hard pushed to make them spin. (The H2 is a very heavy vehicle and airing down below 15 psi is not be recommended.
2. Mud - The SSR's just "swim" straight through mud, but the massive weight of the H2 can make changes of direction an unwelcome feature. From slow starts, they grip real well and overall these tires live up to their reputation and keep the H2 moving. The wide lug channels really help in "spinning" the tires clean.
3. Rocks - The SSR's grip exceptional well on rock and the outside lugs allow for good traction on the sidewalls. Airing down to 20 psi increases the traction even further. Despite a realtively soft compound, the tread only suffer from minor scratches and cuts on even sharp granite.
4. Highway - Due to the staged three lug design they do not "hum" that much on the highway, although there is some acceptable "hum" from the inner chevron pattern. However, they are not much louder than the ProComp Xterrains. As expected they are not as directional stable as stock BFG AT's and you wander a little more on the road, but this may well improve by moving to a 17x10 rim, rather than the stock 17x8.5 rim which is a little undersized for this size tire. You can feel the lugs when turning, but it is nothing uncomfortable and you soon get used to the tires. Much better than expected.
5. Appearance - If it matters, they look great! Any 37" tire will fill the wheel wells of the H2 much better than the stock tires. The aggressive tread pattern suits the vehicle well and they just look "right" on the H2.
6. Vehicle Performance - As would be expected with a larger tire, both pulling away and pulling up are a little slower, but nothing to worry about. At highway speeds there is a little more gas required to keep the vehicle moving and it changes down gear a little more often, but again nothing to worry about and something you soon get used to. It should be noted that this will be the same for any oversize tire, not just the SSR's.
7. Fit - The stock BFG's rubbed on the front right hand sway bar, the Xterrains rubbed in the same place and occassionally on the rear frame, mainly when aired down. On full lock, the SSR's rub on both sides of the front sway bar, and on the frame at the front too. No signs of them rubbing at the rear yet, even when aired down, which maybe due to the stiffer sidewalls. An extra 1" of track would help resolve the rubbing issue, so some aftermarket. They raise the vehicle height by a good 1" overall and I have 12.5" clearance under the front skid plate.
Overall, I am very pleased with them and wished I'd switched to 37's earlier.
Click on the pics below for larger images;
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