Project VehiCross Part 3: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie


You can see how deep the tread blocks are here (full disclosure, we never took a picture of the tires when they were brand new.  This is actually after 10,000 miles of road driving).  You can also see some of the neat tread block features Hankook incorporated into this tire.  You can see the “scallop grooves” that act as sipes in the tread, adding even more biting edges to the leading face of the tire.  Also check out how the side of tread block is cut into a zig zag.  Hankook claims this improves wet traction.  

The Dynapros were an inspired choice.  We've already put 15,000 miles on them and they are a treat.  They are nearly silent on the road (far quieter than the wind noise from the VX's wide mirrors), which was a pleasant surprise considering the large tread blocks they feature.  They have great traction on the pavement, with high grip limits.  They self clean very well for a mild off-road tire (not quite as good as our old BFGs, but well enough for what we use them for).  If there is one gripe we have, it is wet traction.  In the wet, the Hankooks get very greasy and tough to predict.  Coupled with the fairly numb steering of the VX, this can make wet backroad driving a bit butt clenching.  This is a shame, considering how good they are in the dry.  One thing to note is that even at the limit of grip, the Hankooks do not make much noise.  It's only when you REALLY get to the limit of grip that they begin to groan in protest.  Still, we are quite pleased with our tire choice.  Best of all, 15,000 miles later they still look practically brand new!  We think with proper rotation and regular alignment we will easily get these to last 55,000 miles and maybe even beyond.


For brake pads, we went with EBC's Greenstuff in their 6000 formula.  This is a good balance of braking power, wear, and noise.  The VX does share a caliper with the Honda Passport, so pad choices are decent.

With the tires off, we were informed our brake pads were getting a bit thin.  While not a huge surprise, this gave us a chance to upgrade to something a bit better.  Our rotors were in good shape, with plenty of metal left and no warping, gouging, or lip on the outer edge.  We've used EBC Greenstuff brake pads before and were very happy with them, finding them to be a nice upgrade with better stopping distances than stock.  We installed these pads the day before we left to go see the Indianapolis Grand Prix in our apartment complex's parking lot.  Luckily, Isuzu used nice modern, sliding calipers on all four corners, so the install was straight forward.


The old pads had a bit of life left in them, but they were definitely on the way out.  If you look closely, you can see how the right side of this pad is worn more than the left.  This was more of a concern and made us glad we changed the pads when we did.

The new pads have added a bit more bite to our brakes.  They've also added a lot more dust.  Way more than we remember on our CR-V.  To be honest, we're a bit disappointed with the EBCs on the VX.  While they are better than the original pads, the dust is really bad and is ruining our pretty chrome wheels.  They also squealed badly for the first few thousand miles of use, even with anti-squeal grease applied.  Hopefully the improved performance will rear its head in towing.


The new pads do look badass, even if they aren't quite as good as we remember them being on our CR-V.  The swap was very straightforward, taking about two hours to do with hand tools.  Yes that is the factory bottle jack.  It is not supporting the truck, as just out of shot we had a jackstand under the framerail.  Dig the remote reservoir shocks Isuzu used on the VX, a first for a production car or truck.  Also, the suspension is a true double wishbone design!  Unfortunately, it is let down by the use of torsion bars and the awful recirculating ball steering.


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