You may or may not recall a recent rant featured here on this very blog, "Has the Automobile Tire World gone Mad". You will recall that a number of tire dealers gave me trouble for wanting them to install 5 new tires on bead-lock wheels.
On the phone, it was easy for these people to be dismissive of me. Having been dismissed, I pulled the locking ring from the tire and the tire deflated. As I suspected, a dry rot situation. These things happen. The tire is shot and needs to be replaced. It's not rocket science.
There is something else to be considered. The rear two tires (older) are showing signs of the same problem and if I pull the locking rings and they deflate, it's going to be a P.I.T.A. for me to get everything to the tire store. It's do-able but it's also easier for me to drive the FJ there and have them pull the tires.
Realizing that it's much easier to be kissed off the phone instead of in person, I drove to Big O Tires (not the place that gave me crap earlier - however they did tell me on the phone that they wouldn't do bead-lock wheels) and spoke to the manager this morning. The tires are going on the bead-lock wheels, no extra charge, we love to have your money and your business Mr. LL.
So the Nitto Terra Grappler 305/70/R17's will be replaced by Nitto Terra Grappler G2 295/70/R17's. The G2 is a different version of the TG and I'm dropping one size to reduce some of the rubbing issues that oversize tires give me in tight turns. (Still a 33" tire, not quite so wide)
That means that the time I budgeted for pulling locking rings without an air-wrench, can be devoted to more frivolous things like having lunch!