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Old 10-20-2005, 12:21 PM   #1
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Dramatically different tire wear

I have a 1996 21' Sovereign. The front left tire is wearing badly on the outside edge. My assumption is that this is an alignment problem and there's a place in town that says they can fix it--sounds like they will actually bend something to get it back in alignment. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I'm hesitant to hand this problem over to a shop I don't know anything about. Thanks, Nick
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Old 10-20-2005, 12:50 PM   #2
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Nick,

It sounds to me like they've figured it out. It's my understanding that's how these axles are aligned is by bending "something". You're on your own for investigating the reputation and abilities of the tire shop!

Let us know how it turns out!

Roger
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:15 PM   #3
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This is one of those times I would only use an Airstream dealer!
The axels on AS are much diffrent than other brands. Call Jackson Center and ask for a shop with alignment facilities!
Question in my mind is why the axels out of line?
Granted, my experience is primarily with big trucks..... and we ALWAYS looked for the root cause. Always. There was always a reason for axels being out of line. Looking for the cause and doing it right the first time meant we did not have to deal with it again. Because believe me.... those 'do overs' never were someplace, or some time, that was convnient!

Elizabeth in Iowa
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:17 PM   #4
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The tech manual says that outer edge wear is normally caused by under-inflation of the tire. This is unlike a passenger vehicle. What happens is that the trailer rocks from side to side on the under-inflated tire causing the wear.
The second leading cause of outer tire wear is excessive toe in/out. The tread will have a sharp edge on the inward side of the tread on toe in. Excessive toe out will cause the inner edge of the tread to wear with the outer edges of the tread being sharp.

The alignment procedure calls for parking the trailer on a set of ramps and using a hydraulic axle straightener to make things right.

One question I would have is can you see any visible bend in the axle? If so I would wonder what the condition of the axle is (in the positive range of position). If so maybe time to just replace the axle
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:00 PM   #5
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It would not take much axle bend to cause tire wear. Certainaly a bend that was not visable to the eye can cause tire wear. So to look at an axle to determine if it is bent may not produce an answer to stop the tire wear. And some axles may have a deliberate bend that should not be messed with.

Go to a professional.

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Old 10-21-2005, 01:41 PM   #6
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Well, what I mean is that if something caught the axle during moving, a branch or rock that perhaps left a scratch or something. Any evidence that the axle was disturbed.

The tech manual states that a mark should be made on the underbelly prior to adjusting the axle to see how much adjustment has been made at each step. So it is quite possible in some cases to see some disturbance to the axle with respect to the underbelly. This is only true of course if that is where the disturbance occurred. If the spindle itself has been bent then it might not be possible to straighten the axle because it is outside the limit of what you can get by bending.

In the end, a visual inspection is your first line of defense for everything.
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