The Nitto Trail Grappler 295/70 R17 is Nitto’s newest blend of Terra Grappler on-road comfort with the off-road performance characteristics of the Mud-Grappler. The 3-ply sidewall Trail Grappler has two different sidewall designs that can be selected when mounting the wheels. The 295 size tire is quite beastly situated under the 5th generation 4Runner. We initially opted for the 285/75 R17 but were met with an unavailability issue and thus chose the larger 295. This tire does scrub both on the fender plastic (front) and the rear body mount. We will be following Part 1 with an article illustrating the well-known body mount chop. That aside, we have found the initial on-road performance to be quite good and the sound levels are dramatically lower than many of the other tires of similar tread style. In fact, the combination of the ICON suspension and Nitto Tire is thrilling; it has me pushing the truck as if it were one of our performance cars.
The first thing that catches your eye on ICON’s front coilover shock is the relative thickness of the lower portion of the housing as well as the billet aluminum upper mount. Additional strength is accompanied by increased suspension travel, adjustable ride height (0-3”), a chrome silicon spring, and a no-rust nitro-steel shaft. Shall we run the list further? This coilover features flutter stack compression valving, ?” PTFE-lined spherical bearing, 250 psi nitrogen-charged internal reservoir, and once you get a few more miles down the road it is fully rebuildable.
In the background and embroidered with the name it represents is the 2.5” CDC Valve. An externally adjustable valve through 1 click increments, it restricts oil flow into the reservoir creating 10 levels of compression damping. This feature provides for adaptation ranging from soft to firm to properly match the terrain of choice. We are here to prove that offroading “ain’t just ‘bout big ‘ol tires.” Ironically, we currently have a “big tire” scrubbing problem.