So I went ahead a bit the bullet. But before I did, I did some more shopping and checking around, which took a few days. And dy the time I'd decided to buy, as Murphy's law would have it, they only had four of the six tires I needed.
As noted in the first thread, I decided to go with the best deal I could find, which were Samson's, 275-70R 22.5's As noted above, they only had 4, and couldn't get more till early June. We're going on a short trip over Memorial, so that wouldn't work. What they COULD get me were a pair of Sumitomo's, same size, and supposed to be better than the Samsons. Ok, I've never heard of them, but I'll believe ya!
They were $90 more per tire, but still much less than the $250+ more for the NEXT best tires, so I told 'em to put 'em up front...
Out with the old:
--and in with the new!
I really like the extra width of the 70 series tire. A shot of the Samson--
And up front, a shot of the Sumitomo--
--if you look real hard, right under the logo on the Sumitomo, it says "MADE IN JAPAN"... to be honest, I don't know if that's a good thing or not, but if this tire is make anything like my cell phone, TV, etc, I'm not going to worry much !
Another shot of my new steers--
--and my new drivers. Note there is NO danger of those tires ever touching each other...
As for my 10 mile test ride, I'm right happy. Based on what I've heard, I was expecting our not-so-smooth back roads to resemble driving over cannonballs, but not so. They put 100psi in the tires, which I figure is a bit much, but the ride up front is nice, actually seems more supple than before. The ride in back is hard to judge since I'm 30' away, but it for sure isn't any worse. Steering and overall "feel" is WAY better. It tracks better, and doesn't seem to squish so much while turning. Since we bought it, I've had a distinct "thump" from the left front tire, that is all gone now (which I expected), the ride up front is dead smooth, like it should be.
So the ride is at least equal and maybe a snick better, to my butt anyway, tracking and road-feel are definitely better than before. 4 tires at $330 and 2 tires @ $420, total cost with tax, $2377.86. Pretty good chunk o' change, but piece of mind is worth it...
Next weekend we'll be putting down about 450 miles, that should be a good test drive! I'll be sure to check back.