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Old 09-15-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
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TV front tires

I just discovered that my second set of Goodyear Wranglers on the front are wearing improperly - just like the last set (replaced at 35,000 miles.) Visually, the wear seems to occur on the outer two or three treads, with the individual "knobs" wearing down at an angle from front to rear (14,000 miles.) I maintain the front air pressure at 65 psi per scale weight and Goodyear recommendation - not GM's 70 psi. I aligned the front end when I installed the new tires and - at that time - I was still planning to follow a 7-tire rotation schedule. That said, I only gave the idea of using a "steering axle" tire tread design a passing thought. Subsequently, I have elected to forego the 7-tire rotation schedule since the rear duals are wearing "perfectly" as they approach 50,000 miles. They will probably make 65,000 notwithstanding road hazards. Now I'm told by experienced tire people that you can't escape this poor wear problem on the front axle with the Wrangler type tires - regardless of the condition of the front end - and even taking care to insure that the alignment is done properly! I use similar tires on my '95 1500 Chevy - also 4 x 4 - and I've never experienced a similar wear problem - averaging over 60,000 miles before replacing the tires (---however, I do rotate these tires religiously.) I'm scheduled to re-align the front end on Monday - but I was wondering if anyone else can contribute any insight they might have. These tires - at $135 to $185 each (---the latter for a good steering axle tread) should perform better - in my humble opinion!
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:05 AM   #2
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I had the exact problem on my '04 Chevrolet Tahoe. I had the same type of wear that you describe on my Tahoe's fron tires at 24,000 miles. A front end allignment solved the problem. I moved the rear tires to the front and put the ill-worn tires on the rear. I rode that way for another 12,000 miles (without rotating). There was no more unusual wear on the front tires. A sidewall puncture at 36,000 forced replacement of all the tires. With another 10,000 miles on the new Goodyears, there is no unuasual wear pattern.
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Old 09-15-2006, 11:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cracker
I just discovered that my second set of Goodyear Wranglers on the front are wearing improperly - just like the last set (replaced at 35,000 miles.) Visually, the wear seems to occur on the outer two or three treads, with the individual "knobs" wearing down at an angle from front to rear (14,000 miles.) I maintain the front air pressure at 65 psi per scale weight and Goodyear recommendation - not GM's 70 psi. I aligned the front end when I installed the new tires and - at that time - I was still planning to follow a 7-tire rotation schedule. That said, I only gave the idea of using a "steering axle" tire tread design a passing thought. Subsequently, I have elected to forego the 7-tire rotation schedule since the rear duals are wearing "perfectly" as they approach 50,000 miles. They will probably make 65,000 notwithstanding road hazards. Now I'm told by experienced tire people that you can't escape this poor wear problem on the front axle with the Wrangler type tires - regardless of the condition of the front end - and even taking care to insure that the alignment is done properly! I use similar tires on my '95 1500 Chevy - also 4 x 4 - and I've never experienced a similar wear problem - averaging over 60,000 miles before replacing the tires (---however, I do rotate these tires religiously.) I'm scheduled to re-align the front end on Monday - but I was wondering if anyone else can contribute any insight they might have. These tires - at $135 to $185 each (---the latter for a good steering axle tread) should perform better - in my humble opinion!
After doing a fair amount of research I settled on Toyo Open Country A/T's and have been real happy with them - no weird wearing characteristics, front or rear. Course I only have about 15k miles on them so far. They ran about $125 per tire IIRC.

Have you tweaked on your front torsion bars any? Sometimes cranking them up without getting a realignment afterward will cause premature wear on the outside tread.
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Old 09-15-2006, 05:37 PM   #4
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Alignment

I have a lot of confidence in the folks that are going to do the re-alignment on Monday. They also mentioned the torsion bars - primarily with reference to a difference in ride height from left to right. I've never tweaked the bars. Additionally, they wanted to know how much the front end height changed when towing. I showed them the "loaded" and "unloaded" weight on the front axle - which reveals that the front axle unloads by 200 lbs when the trailer is hooked up. I don't believe that makes an iota of difference in the ride height of the front end. I could probably overcome that 200 lb difference with one more link on the equalizer bars but, in truth, I like unloading the front end slightly. That Duramax and Allison are two heavy pieces of hardware! Naturally, I won't be able to do anything about the bad wear pattern on the existing tires. What I'm hoping is that the shop will be able to tell me that they found the culprit. If so, I'll probably just wear the present tires out - hoping to get another 25,000 miles, or so, before I have to change them. They shouldn't be bad enough to cause any handling or ride problems. For the record, the shop manager hinted that the wear looked like an inflation problem??? I promised to swear on a stack of bibles that the tires have never varied from a cold inflation pressure of 65 psi - religiously checked preceding every morning of every trip with the AS in tow! This truck is not a daily driver and it is only rarely used for long trips without the AS (---too darn rough riding without a load!)
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:51 PM   #5
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Outcome of Tire Wear Concerns

Just to wrap this thread up - the alignment shop I took the truck to today checked the alignment and found it to be right on. They then proceeded to show me one of the fleet vehicles they take care of - and the tires used thereon - revealing a tread pattern specifically designed for the steering axle. In summary, the wear pattern showing on the Goodyear Wranglers is exactly what they would expect to see - and have experienced with all of the fleet vehicles. In summary, their experience has been that you simply cannot use an aggressive all-weather tread on the front axle unless you religiously rotate the tires with every oil change (7,500 miles for me.) I remain firm in my decision to not rotate the dualies - as does their fleet account - so the only answer is to go for the preferred steering axle tread design when the present front tires wear out.
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