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Old 02-25-2014, 09:29 AM   #1
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Marathon Tires - Is this a problem?

My Marathon tires are 6 years old. I plan to replace them soon, but I have a couple of short trips planned. On several of the tires there are radial depressions in the sidewall running from near the bead area out to the tread. They are between 1/16 and 1/8 inc deep and about 1/4 inch wide. Is this some kind of a normal molding artifact or are these tires in some sort of pre-failure mode (I know, one could argue that ALL Marathon tires are in pre-failure mode). All the posts I can find about sidewall problems refer to the appearance of bubbles, which I don't have.

Thanks,

Al
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:38 AM   #2
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If the AS has set for several months, the depressions may have resulted from its weight being all in one place over time. You can pull it several miles to see whether the depressions will level out. If not, I would replace the tires immediately before traveling any significant distance.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
My Marathon tires are 6 years old. I plan to replace them soon, but I have a couple of short trips planned. On several of the tires there are radial depressions in the sidewall running from near the bead area out to the tread. They are between 1/16 and 1/8 inc deep and about 1/4 inch wide. Is this some kind of a normal molding artifact or are these tires in some sort of pre-failure mode (I know, one could argue that ALL Marathon tires are in pre-failure mode). All the posts I can find about sidewall problems refer to the appearance of bubbles, which I don't have.

Thanks,

Al
When we first bought our trailer some of our tires had these depressions. Inquiries I made at Airstream, Discount tire, and here all resulted in the same answer. This is what I was told. These depressions are a result of the manufacturing process. If I remember correctly , they can occur where the radial belts overlap. The apparent depth of the depression is dependent on the amount of overlap.

I was assured they were nothing to be concerned about. I'm guessing you are just now noticing them, because you had not before inspected the tires thoroughly in the right light conditions that make them more noticeable.

I used my GYMs for about 9600 miles and then replaced them with 16 inch Michelin LTX light truck tires. I am very pleased with the new setup.

Ken
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:50 AM   #4
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I got away from the GYM tires due to a bad experience. Your trailer is much lighter than our Classic 31 so you may choose to stay with the GYM since you have gotten six years out of them. I would not take a chance if I suspect the tire has a problem. Our damage was $7000+ to replace the complete lower skin on the damaged side along with the plumbing outlets. Buy new tires and enjoy the travel instead of the worry whether or not they will make it :-)
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:00 AM   #5
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Should have looked here first.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=32

Al
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:52 AM   #6
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I would stay far far away from the Goodyear Marathons. - Had them on a tri axle enclosed trailer ( car hauler) we had them blow out after less than 1000km - they would frequently delaminate and buldge. - There was nothing wrong with the trailer, axles were straight, alligned, and weight well distributed. The tires constantly had large buldges in the sidewalls as they came apart.

When I purchased my AS in the fall,(31 ft) it had what I believe to be the original tires (1978) they held air - but barely. Sidewalls were cracked horribly. (there were weeds growing out of the cracks) The only "Trailer" tire I found was the marathon, so I put 4 Michelin LTX M/S2 truck tires on, I believe 235/75/15.

So far they are great! tow nice, look good.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:53 AM   #7
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I would not get new tires because of the indentations in the sidewalls.
I would, however, get new tires because they are 6 year old Good Year Marathons.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:15 AM   #8
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Ant trailer tires over 5 years old should have already been replaced regardless of condition or tread depth in my opinion. Jim
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:09 PM   #9
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There are several factors that determine a tire's life expectancy. Like anything else, how well you treat it will have a huge impact on its performance.

How much / little did you use it each year.
Was the driving mostly in the summer when tires are exposed to more sunlight and when ozone levels are higher
When not in use, how was the vehicle stored? If the tires are kept on the ground without any rotation this will have a strong impact on tire life.
Were the tires properly inflated
Is the tire alignment correct
Were the tires exposed to excessive tire dressing (alcohol / petroleum based cleaners)
Were the tires driven no faster than maximum speed rating (Typically 65)

All these things determine how much life you will get out of a tire. I have run Goodyear Marathons on my boat since 1994. I got more than 15 years out of the first set. But I store the boat in a garage and up on jack stands in the winter. I always check inflation, look for cracks or uneven wear and rotate them. All of the GYMs I have owned had that vertical indentation in the sidewall, none has ever failed because of it.

I have an AS now, running 4 GYMs with another for a spare. I plan on giving them the same good care, although I can't store them in the garage. I do have tire covers and in the off season I'll make sure they get exercised or raised off the concrete.

There is a lot of information about tires on the Internet. Personally, I visit the manufacturers' sites. I have more faith in the folks that make 'em :-D
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:43 PM   #10
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The indentations are normal, but the age is a concern. We had a Marathon blowout and have since left Marathons behind, and now replace our tires about every 4-5 years, no matter how good they look, especially in our climate.

You don't want a tire problem no matter how short the trip is ... friends of ours had a blowout within 10 miles of their home.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:27 PM   #11
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The indentations are normal, but the age is a concern.
I feel somewhat the same way, especially for trailer tires. They sit more than most trailer tires. You drive to your destination, then sit there for a while, bring it home and park it, sits some more.

I've read several articles that say you'll rarely wear out the tread. Weathering will take a bigger toll on the tire than traveling. Keeping the sun off of them and up off the ground (or exercise them on the road) makes a big difference. Something about the chemicals in the tire being evenly distributed by rolling on the road.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:50 PM   #12
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A depression running radially from bead to tread is normal. A bulge is abnormal.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:51 PM   #13
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The tires look great, other than the indentations, which I now believe are normal. The trailer came with tire covers and, except for the last 9 months, was stored inside when not being used. There is no checking or cracking.

I'm going to replace them, probably with the Sendei wheels and Michelin LTs, but not for a month or so. I will do it before any serious driving. Tomorrow's trip is about 20 miles with most of it being 45 mph or under.

I appreciate all the input.

Al
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:32 PM   #14
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The indentation is a result of the overlap of the beginning and end of the ply fabric referred to as the ply splice. This very narrow area is twice as much fabric, therefore stronger and resists the internal pressure which is pushing out.

I would not be afraid to run the tires for short trips. Do not run underinflated or at high speed to cause excess heat buildup.

Also, I am an old bicycle rider. I do not run over on the edge of the road because of the width of the trailer. The edge of the road is where all the trash accumulates and is just waiting for your front tire to throw it up and into the rear tire.

I just put 40,000 miles on a set of marathons. At 6 years, one tire started to develop a belt separation which was probably due to long life cycle. I replaced all of them immediately.
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