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Old 09-22-2012, 11:52 PM   #1
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flat spotted tire: brake problem?

I changed my 14" goodyear marathons out today (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ml#post1206363) and noticed that one tire is flat-spotted. The tires are close to new and have just 2-3k miles on them and this one tire is worn to the wear bars in one spot. I suppose this means that the brake on that wheel is not releasing properly? Is there a way I can easily test it myself? Are there any other possible causes?
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:59 PM   #2
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Hi, since the tire only has one flat spot, that would mean that the brakes only locked up once. A new tire would have to have been dragged for quite a distance to wear down to the wear bars. Do you have a picture of the damaged tire?
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:37 AM   #3
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It could also mean the tire may have a broken belt which would cause it to ware in one area while driving.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:42 AM   #4
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Hi, since the tire only has one flat spot, that would mean that the brakes only locked up once. A new tire would have to have been dragged for quite a distance to wear down to the wear bars. Do you have a picture of the damaged tire?
If the brake has trouble releasing or otherwise binds, wouldn't the tire always stop in the same position where the flat spot is and wear it further down?
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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If the brake has trouble releasing or otherwise binds, wouldn't the tire always stop in the same position where the flat spot is and wear it further down?
Hi, the wheel will lock up in any position and the tire would have several flat spots. To have the wheel lock up in the same place, you would have to have something like a cracked brake drum; And even then it would catch on the shoes leading edges in two positions.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:00 AM   #6
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It could also mean the tire may have a broken belt which would cause it to wear in one area while driving.
Hi, this is another possiblity, but I would think that a brand new tire wouldn't fail so soon. [still possible]
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:27 AM   #7
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Just to make sure…

When you say a "flat spot" do you mean that the tread is visibly worn down more in that spot? Or do you just mean that the tire is just out-of-round without tread loss in that spot?

Out-of-round but without visibly increased wear on the tread is a possible indication of damaged belts. Or damaged sidewalls. Dismounting the tires and examining the inside of the tire may help determine this.

Loss of tread at one spot indicates that the brake was locked. However, that would be accompanied by skid marks where it happened, the sound of squealing as the tire dragged across the pavement, significant heat/ smoke/odor, and you would have noticed the trailer pulling to the side with the locked brake. The condition would have had to persist for a while for tread loss to be visible to the Mark I eyeball, and surely you'd have noticed it happening at the time, or other drivers on the road with you would have.

There are two other possibilities that come to mind: (1) manufacturing defect. The tire was made that way during the injection-molding process that forms the tread; or (2) The tire was stored/stacked improperly at the dealer such that it developed an out-of-round condition before it was ever put on your trailer.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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Hi, this is another possiblity, but I would think that a brand new tire wouldn't fail so soon. [still possible]
Three weeks or so ago, a new 14" ST tire installed on a new SOB failed on the way from the factory. It was not a Marathon.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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We found (fortuately after a couple of rounds around the block) that our new tires were rubbing against our wheel wells. Very distinctive odor! but it took a couple of times before we realized what the problem was. Our new tires are a wee bit wider than the originals, we think, and we had redone the wheel wells with the new floor. Chris had to partially cut out and reset the wheel wells by about an inch to clear everything. We had thought the noise was from the hitch and Equilizer bars......

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Old 09-24-2012, 01:43 AM   #10
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flat spot photos

I finally got around to taking some pics of the flat spot. You can see how the tire is worn down to the wear bars, the rest of the tire is close to new...
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:53 AM   #11
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I finally got around to taking some pics of the flat spot. You can see how the tire is worn down to the wear bars, the rest of the tire is close to new...
Hi, just going from what I can see in your pictures, I would say that you have tread separation. The worn area is too large for what I would call a flat spot.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:41 AM   #12
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If you spin this tire on the hub or a tire balancer, I'll bet you will find that it is out-of-round; i.e., oval or egg shaped, a commonly reported failure for Goodyear Marathons. You are lucky you found this before it failed while you were driving.
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