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Old 01-07-2010, 05:16 PM   #1
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Tires after about 1100 miles of towing over about about a one month period.

Overlander weighs in around 3800 lbs. Standard P255/70R16SL tires on 1998 Ford F150 extended cab tow vehicle. Noticed the rubber "scraps" near the rim of the rear truck tires after about a 350 mile tow to end the season for this year.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Bad jokes? Good Jokes?

Jim
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:30 PM   #2
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You did not say how old the tires were or amount of wear they have. The tire "scraps" are certainly suspicious. I was a tire dealer for several years and did warrantee adjustments for several tire manufacturers. The scraps look like the pulverized rubber from the rubber coating on the interior of the tire. Normally I would see something like this on a tire that had been overheated by underinflation or over loading. Are both both rear tires exhibiting the same "scraps" or just one? Has the tire in the picture ever been repaired due to a flat? Definitely take your truck to a tire dealer and have the tire dismounted and inspected. It could possibly be coming apart inside.
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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Jim,

Looks like tiremites to me...

For real..are you losing any rubber? Does it look like the bead is breaking down? Sidewall flex could be the culprit.

FWIW...not a big fan of P tires for towing, don't hesitate replacing them if in doubt.
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:49 PM   #4
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The tires are about 2 years old but only have maybe 15k miles on them. This truck is only driven about 6k/7k miles a year. Inflation was at the manufacturer specs before, during and after the tow. I noticed the rubber scraps immediately after we returned home from a trip to Florida for Thanksgiving week. The tow down to Florida was in heavy rain and the weather beat me up pretty good. Lots of sway on the trailer. Up to this point, we didn't have a weight distribution/sway control hitch. Needless to say, I bought one as soon as we got there.

I'm thinking the trailer sway caused a lot flex on the rear of the truck which was transferred to the rear truck tires. The tires have never had a flat repair. They did not overheat nor were they overloaded, as near as my calculations can take me.

Jim
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:15 PM   #5
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Jim I would have the tires inspected by a competent tire pro. Using a weight distribution hitch will transfer some of the tongue weight from the rear tires to the rest of the truck but my suspicions are that the tires are overstressed. Cloudsplitter is correct about using "P" tires on a truck P stands for passenger car. "LT" tires are for Light trucks like yours. The sidewalls on P tires are softer and more flexible than LT tires. Not an issue until you start using your truck as a truck or tow vehicle and create excess flex and heat build up.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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Jim,

If you did have a lot of sway... it could be that the sidewall was flexing a lot, the bead may be breaking down. Get the tires inspected at a reputable tire store. (no wally world or box store here) Explain the conditions and requirements and see what they recommend.

Michelin LTX is what I have been using for years on both our Burbs, not cheap but a really good tires.

What hitch/WD did you get? Make sure it's set-up properly!!

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Old 01-09-2010, 05:58 PM   #7
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I've been on and off the forums this week because we been kinda busy around here, so I thought I's update a little bit.

The tires are American made Uniroyal's. I wish I could afford the Michelin's, but not this time around. IMHO, the Michelin's are the best tires made (for the average guy). We've had great service out of the Michelin's we've bought over the years.

These tires were purchased at BJ's (Big Box Discount Warehouse Store). And you are correct, OZ, BJ's employs laborers, not technicians. There's a local Mom & Pop that has people that actually know what they are doing nearby. It's about time for a rotation and balance. Even tho BJ's gives a lifetime on that service, I think I'll spend the extra bucks and have the other guys take a look at them. They (the Mom & Pop) did a very good job on the Airstream tires, wheels & mounting.

The weight distribution hitch I bought is this one: Custom Trailer Hitch Products, Custom Receiver Hitch, Heavy Duty Towing, Curt Manufacturing . I know, it's not a Hensley, but the tow home from Florida was much better than the tow down to Florida. For the next several years, our longest tow is most likely going to be to the Florida panhandle. We'll just have to get by until we can afford a better hitch set-up.

Thanks for the tips guys, that's exactly what I was looking for.

Jim
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:52 PM   #8
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Jim:

I bought Nexen tires at Walton tires in Loganville for my truck. (Mom and Pop well respected). They have been on my truck since last spring. I like them, the price was right, and I have not had any problems towing or developing defects.

Brian
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:07 PM   #9
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Problem number one: Uniroyal. I have never met anyone who has run Uniroyal tires for any length of time that hasn't had a bad experience with them. As for the price of Michelins, if they are too much for your budget, B.F. Goodrich is the same company. the Michelin engineering has made its way into most all of BFG's lineup. I've had fantastic luck with B.F. Goodrich tires both on my personal vehicles as well as the trucks we use at work. They are usually comparable or only slightly more expensive than most budget priced name brand tires.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:34 PM   #10
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Jim, it does say "Danger" on the tires.

Our Tundra's OEM tires were Goodrich's. They were a P tire. They wore pretty fast like many OEM tires and I replaced them with Michelin LTX A/T2 Load Range E when they had 18,000 miles on them. That's a pretty extreme tire for that use but we travel a lot. The Michelin's ride much smoother and are better tires. Goodrich is Michelin's cheap brand. Even LTX (Light Truck X) tires sometimes have a P in the tire size. That seems to have happened recently.

Tire Rack has tire reviews somewhere on its website. Check that out, and then start saving for Michelins. In the long run they are cheaper because they last and perform very well. I hope you can get some time out of Uniroyals so you can save for better tires. Your tire size in an LTX M&S2 at Discount Tire in Colorado is $141/tire + mounting and tax.

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Old 01-09-2010, 10:45 PM   #11
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Just a few comments.

(1) A P-metric is not enough tire for the load and weight you are pulling. The correct application for a f150 doing the work you are subjecting it to should have an LT tire with an inflation range on the sidewall up to 44 or maybe even 52 lbs air pressure.

(2) I would suspect you are seeing the tread flaking away. Not a good sign. Premature wear. Unlikely the tire was moving on the bead. (not underinflated or losing air?)

(3) Uniroyal is also a Michelin brand although not as popular.

(4) I would not put a load range E tire on an f150 without checking the wheel strength rating. An E tire inflates to 80psi and could break the wheel. Also, a rough ride, although I inflate my E tires to 55psi when not towing and they ride ok.

(5) If a knowledgeable inspector thinks it is the tread flaking, then it probably indicates a state of cure that was a bit too long.

(6) Do you see anything similar on the front tires? Is it on both rear tires? Curing presses typically cure two tires at a time.

Overcure can enhance the wear properties up to a point but, your picture doesn't seem to indicate so.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:39 AM   #12
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Hi Jim

I saw something similar on some tires we were using, a call to the manufacturer confirmed that it was a coating they put on the bead to assist sealing and reduce corrossion and that peeling was normal. I am not certain yours is the same thing but it looks like it.

Eventually when you replace tires definitely install 225/57R x 16" LT tires. These will give you better fuel economy and much tighter handling. Do not install 245/75R x 16" LT tires. These tires will be load range "D" rated to carry 65 PSI but your rims are limited to 50 PSI so run them about 45 towing and 35 solo.

I have writen a rather long article with lots of pictures for the next issue of Airstream Life. If you pick that up and follow the proceedure I think you will find all your sway is gone. Your trailer will tow best with the water tank full and the holding tank empty.

I hope this helps.

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Old 01-10-2010, 08:06 AM   #13
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I think Andrew T might be onto it. Many tire shops put a bead sealant on the rim before mounting the tire - especially with aluminum rims, whick corrode between the bead & rim over time.

To be on the safe side: 1. call the dealer you purchased from and ask them if the sealant was used. 2. Have one of the tires pulled off the rim & inspected.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:17 PM   #14
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Jim
As much as I hate to say it, Uniroyal is also owned by Michelin, however, Michelin made no changes to the Uniroyal tire technology when they bought it. Uniroyal is they inexpensive tire for that segment of the tire business.
BF Goodrich in the early 90s whanted to get out of the tire business, because Goodrich had the best LT tires on the market and Michelin was having problems Michelin just stroked them a check.
Then Michelin improved on the technology they had purchased.
Goodrich is still owned outright by Michelin and produces excellent LT tires but don't ride as smooth as the Michelin brand.
Also the Michelins you buy at the "clubs"; unless they are the same exact name as the Michelins for sale at the tire Michelin Tire Stores (made for the purchase discount clubs) are not quite the same tire as for sale at the Michelin tire store.
The Goodrich Commercial T/A LT225/75R16 is what I put on my trailer because of the outside dimensions of the tire because I couldn't affort the Michelin XPS Rib.
Goodyear tires, in my opinion, are very good tires.
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