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Old 10-02-2003, 10:14 AM   #1
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1/2 ton tires- load C to load E

I had 65,000 miles on my Firestone SteelTex AT load C and prior to coming back from NM, I put on 4 new Firestone SteelTex Radial R4SII load E and what a difference.

With the load C, I felt the semi's sucking me in and pushing me out while being passed on the hwy. Now with the load E, I get none of that.

Just thought I'd past this along.
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:33 AM   #2
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John,
I feel a lot of this semi-induced sway as well, with my Suburban and the load range C Michelins. Much more so than when i used the van with load ange E tires. There must be a point to this, i guess. Stiffer sidewalls?
I had a difficult time finding Load Range D or E tires for the Suburban. It's a 235/75R15 size. Went with the LR C because 2 tires were still good.
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Old 10-02-2003, 10:46 AM   #3
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Uwe,

Stiffer sidewalls is the key.

I have the LT245/75R16 on mine.

I paid $95 per tire.
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Old 10-02-2003, 03:48 PM   #4
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Stop that sway!!

I have a 3/4 ton Suburban that never seemed to tow without some apparently induced sway. I have SteelTex's as well, E load range. The size is 235/85x16. The sway was because I did not read the inflation requirements on the sidewall. I was running 45/50psi which I thought was fine. The proper inflation is 80PSI!!!

What a difference! Sway is a thing of the past. Since the truck was designed and delivered with this same tire the ride is tolerable. It's an older truck so some of the modern comforts are lacking, but with less than 120K on a strong 454 which was paid off 18 years ago, I'm quite happy.

Bottom line: read the inflation requirements, believe them and buy the correct size and ply rating for your application. It just makes life a little easier, and who doesn't need that?

Take care
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:03 PM   #5
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I also have the 245/75r16 SteelTex E on my 2003 GMC 2500HD.

I have been running 65psi front and 80psi back when towing and the truck, tire, trailer combo works great. Absolutely minimal sway from the big trucks. The only trucks that cause any sway are the old square front trucks pushing alot of air as they come up on the rear of the trailer.

Tires with an E rating have much heavier beads and a longer carcass turnup around the bead with a filler inside the turnup. With 80psi to hold the envelope rigid, the movement in the sidewalls is minimal.

That's why I just smile when people try to tell me some old cars will tow an airstream better than my 2500HD.
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Old 10-03-2003, 05:41 AM   #6
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Tire inflation...

Ok, guys... a question... In June, I replaced the "D" range Steeltex tires on my Excursion with "E" range 245/75R-16 Steeltex also. I have been running about 60psi front and 70 rear with the trailer, but it sounds like I need to go a little higher to the 80psi; although 70 seemed to be fine with no induced sway, and I was under the impression that 80psi was the MAX inflation... BTW, I have towed it short distances (40 miles or so) a couple of times with the tires at 55psi (mostly 'cause I was too lazy to go get them inflated properly) and DO have sway at 55psi... go figure! Underinflation causes sway? Whoda ever thunk it?

Anyway, what do you guys run them at when you're NOT towing and loaded? I've got mine currently at 55psi, which seems to work OK, but I don't want to wear them prematurely either or potentially have a sidewall failure. The tire sticker on the Excursion actually recommends 35psi (unbelievable to me)! Firestone wasn't much help; they just say you can run them up to 80psi, but won't give a recommended psi.

Roger
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Old 10-03-2003, 06:50 AM   #7
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85mh325

I run 55 psi front and back when not towing. I recently had tires rotated and balanced and the guy put 65 in the rear "in case I had to tow something." You can sure tell the difference in the '01 2500HD with the Steeltex E rated LT245-75-16 tires when going over bumps. The tongue weight of my 31' Excella 500 '77 model is around 1100 lbs. so I air the rear tires up to 70 psi and have not had any problems with sway at that level. You are correct when you say that the 80 psi is MAX so do not go over that.
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:00 AM   #8
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I had 245/75/16 "E" GoodYear Wrangler HT's on my 1 ton van. I would run the factory recommendet pressure when empty, and i would go to 55 in thefront and 70 in the rear when towing, or when hauling heavy loads. Max pressure on these tires is 80lbs.
Now I use a 1/2 ton Suburban to tow my Tradewind. (235/75R15) So far I have towed about 2000miles with it. The "C" rated Michelins that are on it ( still new) are definitely looser in corners, and do feel looser when towing.
I can hear the rear tires howl, and i can feel the back end drift when taking mountain roads at similar speeds as i would when i drove the 1 ton van.
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:19 AM   #9
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As stated, 80 psi is the maximum for when the tires are loaded to their maximum. The correct tire pressure for the load on each tire (you can have this measured at your local scales) is given for LT tires rated E at http://www.trucktires.com/library/te...infl/index.asp
These figures have been agreed by the tire manufacturers. You will find the Light Truck figures at the bottom of the menu, and you can print out the three PDF files for reference. You will be able to see precisely what pressure you need when towing, and what lower pressure you need when not towing. Nick.
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:36 AM   #10
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Thanks!

Nick, it amazes me what resources the folks on this forum possess. Thanks for the link, it's VERY helpful!

Roger
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Old 10-03-2003, 05:54 PM   #11
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Wink Steel tek tires

I found out about a year ago that bridgestone makes the steel tek .my firestone dealer decided to be nice to me when I went in to buy 3 sets of tires for 3 vehicles at one time. They have a line of tires called lemans a/t that come off the same line as the steel-tek They just have different logo's on the side. Same wt rating etc.The kicker is they are 1/2 to 2/3 the price with the same warranty. I have them on my 1/2 ton and my 3/4 ton with e rating. He even showed me his 32' TT with 13,000 miles on the same tires that I put on my 1/2 ton. Most of the miles were put on pulling to and over the rockies twice a year. Don't know about putting them on a trailor but he likes them.
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:10 PM   #12
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Stay with ST rated tires for trailers and keep the LT for the truck.
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:26 PM   #13
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As an update to this thread, the LT tire inflation tables (3 PDF files) referred to previously, have been moved to http://www.trucktires.com/us_eng/technical/index.asp
About one third of the way down the page is the link for light truck tires. Nick.
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:35 PM   #14
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Just an FYI

Many of the manufactures have a max inflation pressure on the wheel itself. Especially the aluminum ones. if you go to a higher range tire than the wheel can hold the pressure of you may be in for a problem later. cracking or failing wheels. Before you change to a higher load rating you may want to verify that the wheel can take the tire's max inflation.
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:40 AM   #15
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Thumbs up Bear mentioning again

Just after the new Michelin tires were installed on my Burb, I noticed one of the rear tires leaking air.
I called a local tire dealer to make an appointment to have it checked. (Bought the tires at a major discount house, BJ'S)
While doing a walk around before driving the Burb into the shop, the owner called me over to inspect the air valves.
It was hard to believe but, the folks at BJ's had installed passenger car air valves instead of truck rated air valves.
What does this mean? The diameter of the passenger tire valves are just small enough, that, once the tires had been inflated to 80psi...They would have been blown out at some point.
Took it back to BJ's and, made them redo the job~!
Talk about red faced~!!

ciao
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Old 03-17-2004, 06:56 AM   #16
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Pirelli Scorpions

As many are aware, some Excursions with Steeltex tires have been recalled to replace load range D with E. I am being supplied with Pirelli Scorpions from my dealer as replacements. Does anyone have any experience with these tires under normal and under towing conditions? I have had no trouble with the Firestones and wonder if I should insist on similar replacement. Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:10 AM   #17
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Re: Pirelli Scorpions

Quote:
Originally posted by bhsl8
As many are aware, some Excursions with Steeltex tires have been recalled to replace load range D with E. I am being supplied with Pirelli Scorpions from my dealer as replacements. Does anyone have any experience with these tires under normal and under towing conditions? I have had no trouble with the Firestones and wonder if I should insist on similar replacement. Thanks.
Hi!

I have not had experience with the Pirellis, although rumor has it that they're good tires. I had my "D" range Steeltex tires replaced with "E" range Steeltex tires on my Excursion and have nothing but good to report. I'm very pleased with them.

Good luck with your decision.

Roger
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:50 AM   #18
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"the folks at BJ's had installed passenger car air valves instead of truck rated air valves."

53FlyingCloud, how does it feel to have saved another few lives? By coincidence, I had 4 new LT245/70R16 tires fitted to my Dodge Ram 2500 yesterday. I read your post, walked out to my truck, and spotted the new rubber passenger tire valves. I'm running at 55 front 42 rear when empty, but when I put a load of stone in the back I air to 80psi, and sudden death with these valves. I'm going back this afternoon for a free fitting of the correct steel stem valves. The fitter said it wasn't on his instruction sheet to fit high pressure valves. I thought it churlish to point out that the tires are clearly labelled as max. pressure 80 psi., and the plate on the truck door pillar shows 80psi for max. loads. The rubber valves are rated to 65 psi max. Many thanks for your timely post. Nick.
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:58 AM   #19
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Thumbs up Whew~

nickcrowhurst
I'm pleased, to say the least~!!
You're quite welcome~!
ciao
53FC
For those folks who haven't heard or looked into this problem..The following website clearly shows the huge differences between the 'types' of valves and, their uses..
Passenger Tire Valves
This first one gives the passenger car valves design.
Truck Tire Valves
The differences can clearly be seen in the size of the valve base for a truck.
ciao
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Old 03-19-2004, 05:13 AM   #20
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Thumbs up Thank you, thank you, thank you

I want to thank all that have contributed to this thread, especially:
John for starting it,
53FlyingCloud for adding the aspect of PASSENGER tire valve stems,
nickcrowhurst for pointing out the need to check after new sets of tires are bought,
and 53FlyingCloud for posting the link to show the external distinctions of passenger and truck stems.
(Karma has been deposited to all your accounts).

My story is that our week old set of Michelin load rated E tires NOW have the high pressure valve stems that should have been installed when the tires were mounted. We are in the midst of getting the trailer ready for our first trip of 2004 and this thread has educated me to the “oversight” installation of passenger stems when high pressure stems are required. I WILL NOT let that detail be left up to the Tire installers ever again.

Maybe this thread needs to be made required reading for all who have load rated E tires on their tow vehicles.

Thanks to all
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