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Old 08-11-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy New Classic 31 with chinese Marathons

Our new Classic 31, just off the assembly line a couple weeks ago came equipped with Chinese Goodyear Marathons. I noticed this AM, while looking at the tires closely, that 3 of the mounted ones have indentations in them. Sort of the opposite of bulges. I remember having seen this on tires before, but I can't remember the circumstances. Has anyone seen this and know what it means? 3 of the tires have 1/2 diameter red circles stamped on the sidewall. I wondered if this indicates that they are seconds.
In any case I am not going traveling with these.
Ken
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:46 PM   #2
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Ken,
Our '06 30' Classic has Canadian made Good Year Marathons and they have the same indentations as your Chinese made Marathons. I read a thread here that those indentation are where the steel threads are joined and are actually stronger than the rest of the tire. We have been traveling on ours since we got the railer in '06 and have had no issues.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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I would first go to a tire dealer you trust and ask what is anything a red dot means. Armed with that I would then go back to the Airstream dealer and ask for new tires.

The indentation in the side wall in it's self in not uncommon. It is something to do with the molds.

For many years after the war new cars came with tires that cost the auto manufacture 2 or 3 dollars and most people drove directly to a tire shop and bought replacements. The cost of replacement has gotten to a point that one should not have to accept poor quality when paying these prices.

Another thing to check. There were millions of Chinese valve stems shipped into the country that fail if any force is placed on them. I would look at each one and while watching the base of the stem bend it to one side. If you see any type of separation about 1/8 in. from the wheel have them replaced.

Buy steel stems once and never have to replace them
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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I've been told that the sidewall indentations are where the steel belts come together and that they are normal.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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Yes, 2air was involved in a thread where pictures of these indentations were actually attached. Now where...
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:18 PM   #6
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As of January Goodyear Marathon tires are being manufactured in the United States. The indentations are mold marks.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:27 PM   #7
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ROBERTSUNRUS posted pics of the indentations. Click the link in the upper right to expand to the full thread for much more discussion. http://www.airforums.com/forums/show...&postcount=465

The Bermuda Triangle lures plane and boat mishaps because the attractive weather and destinations bring a huge amount more traffic than, say, the Labrador coast. S*** happens and more happens when you saturate an area with people/tires/reality TV shows... Marathon ST discussions abound because they are installed on so many, many coaches from many manufacturers. Pull up a week's worth of TV dinners, set your search on 'Marathons' and read away.

Keep your inflation proper before every trip and you may experience http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ons-27999.html.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:38 PM   #8
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Well just checked the tires on my new 2009 23FB Flying Cloud and as feared all four speak Chinese. While I am not thrilled with the Marathon's I've decided to use them for awhile with frequent air checks and visual inspections. Doubt I'll run them for much more than a year and then switch to Maxxis - although I believe I remember reading somewhere that at least some Maxxis tires are now being made in China. But I'm not really sure it matters since I had problems with two Marathon's on my Casita - fortunately caught both just before they went - and both of those were made in Canada.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:47 PM   #9
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A little info. on the "dots":

Those colorful dots on new tires actually mean something. The red dot is at the light spot, so line that red dot up with your valve stem. On a more-sophisticated wheel, you may see a yellow stripe; that's the wheel's heavy spot, so line that yellow stripe up with your red dot, and you'll be as close as you can get, without balancing the assembly. (A white dot means the same as a red one, but it's used on a tube-type tire.)
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clipper View Post
As of January Goodyear Marathon tires are being manufactured in the United States. The indentations are mold marks.
Apparently these have been sitting somewhere for a bit as they say Made in China on the sidewall.
I have been convinced that the dents are acceptable. Obviously they are not inevitable, however. I had Marathons on my previous trailer and they looked nothing like this. As well as dents these have discolorations in the rubber. I have Michelins on my TV and two other cars that show none of this.
I have had one blowout with a travel trailer (my fault) and the collateral damage was a PIA. So I am inclined to be cautious with tires. I trust the place where I buy my tires so I will have them look at these before I do anything.
Thanks to all for you help and links. At least I learned something.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganglin View Post
A little info. on the "dots":

Those colorful dots on new tires actually mean something. The red dot is at the light spot, so line that red dot up with your valve stem. On a more-sophisticated wheel, you may see a yellow stripe; that's the wheel's heavy spot, so line that yellow stripe up with your red dot, and you'll be as close as you can get, without balancing the assembly. (A white dot means the same as a red one, but it's used on a tube-type tire.)
Well, now I've learned something else.
I am not sure these are the same thing. They are actually rings rather than dots, they are closer to the tread than the wheel. If they are the same, whoever mounted the tires paid them no mind.
I am assuming that Airsteam does not balance the tires, as I see no evidence of that.
Ken
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:35 PM   #12
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Even More "dot" Information

When you're looking for new tyres, you'll often see some coloured dots on the tyre sidewall, and bands of colour in the tread. These are all here for a reason, but it's more for the tyre fitter than for your benefit.
The dots on the sidewall typically denote unformity and weight. It's impossible to manufacture a tyre which is perfectly balanced and perfectly manufactured in the belts. As a result, all tyres have a point on the tread which is lighter than the rest of the tyre - a thin spot if you like. It's fractional - you'd never notice it unless you used tyre manufacturing garage equipment to find it, but its there. When the tyre is manufactured, this point is found and a coloured dot is put on the sidewall of the tyre corresponding to the light spot. Typically this is a yellow dot (although some manufacturers use different colours just to confuse us) and is known as the weight mark. Typically the yellow dot should end up aligned to the valve stem on your wheel and tyre combo. This is because you can help minimize the amount of weight needed to balance the tyre and wheel combo by mounting the tyre so that its light point is matched up with the wheel's heavy balance point. Every wheel has a valve stem which cannot be moved so that is considered to be the heavy balance point for the wheel. (Trivia side note : wheels also have light and heavy spots. Typically the heaviest spot on the wheel is found during manufacture and the valve stem is then located diametrically opposite that point to help balance the wheel out).
As well as not being able to manufacture perfectly weighted tyres, it's also nearly impossible to make a tyre which is perfectly circular. By perfectly circular, I mean down to some nauseating number of decimal places. Again, you'd be hard pushed to actually be able to tell that a tyre wasn't round without specialist equipment. Every tyre has a high and a low spot, the difference of which is called radial runout. Using sophisticated computer analysis, tyre manufacturers spin each tyre and look for the 'wobble' in the tyre at certain RPMs. It's all about harmonic frequency (you know - the frequency at which something vibrates, like the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse). Where the first harmonic curve from the tyre wobble hits its high point, that's where the tyre's high spot is. Manufacturers typically mark this point with a red dot on the tyre sidewall, although again, some tyres have no marks, and others use different colours. This is called the uniformity mark. Correspondingly, most wheel rims are also not 100% circular, and will have a notch or a dimple stamped into the wheel rim somewhere indicating their low point. It makes sense then, that the high point of the tyre should be matched with the low point of the wheel rim to balance out the radial runout.
What if both dots are present?

Generally speaking, if you get a tyre with both a red and a yellow dot on it, it should be mounted according to the red dot - ie. the uniformity mark should line up with the dimple on the wheel rim, and the yellow mark should be ignored.
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clipper View Post
As of January Goodyear Marathon tires are being manufactured in the United States. The indentations are mold marks.
Perhaps but the 2010 I received in June has Chinese Marathons and, yes, the indentations. 2500 miles so far.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:07 AM   #14
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I've had mine (Chinese) for two years now with no problems. I do keep a close watch.
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