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Old 05-09-2011, 05:51 PM   #1
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What a difference a tire makes...

When we bought our older '88 Winnie Super Chief and drove it home, it handled and steered like a pig in a mudhole! That, in spite of tires that looked like new as far as the tread was concerned.

Got her home, and bought and installed all new Bilstein HD shocks and steering stabilizer to replace the tired old OEM shocks, and carefully aired up all tires and the airbags - big improvement, but still a noticeable tendency to wander, even on level and smooth roads.

I figured a realignment was in my future - but the nearest shop capable of MH alignment was a 300 mile round trip away!

Although the tire treads were great - like new - the tires are about 8-9 years old - and one of the Bridgestone fronts was beginning to show cracks in the side wall - these are 8x19.5, load range F tires.

Went to the local Les Schwab dealers, and replaced the front pair of Bridgestones with a pair of Toyos of the same size and rating.

BIG surprise - my road-wander has disappeared!

Looking at the tires to figure out why the radical difference in steering, here's what I see - here's one of the old Bridgestones:



And here's one of the new Toyos:



Most visible difference, is that the new Toyos are a 5-rib design, compared to the Bridgestone 4-rib - and second, is the sorta large area zig-zag design of the Bridgestones as compared to the much milder design of the Toyos. Makes me suspect that the larger zig-zag design of the Bridgestones might have an effect on the straight-line ability of the tires to be stable down the road?

In any event, even though the old tires had great tread, and are a respected brand, the new Toyos are clearly superior in steering and handling - and apparently have saved me a long trip to an alignment shop...

Just a FWIW...
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:12 PM   #2
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Just looking at the pictures, could the depth of the grooves be deeper on one side or the other , going across the tread ? If so you do need an alignment. If the grooves are all the same depth you are probably OK
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck 1935 View Post
Just looking at the pictures, could the depth of the grooves be deeper on one side or the other , going across the tread ? If so you do need an alignment. If the grooves are all the same depth you are probably OK
Dunno - both tires are marked as being "regroovable" - so apparently lots of rubber in under those treads...
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Dunno - both tires are marked as being "regroovable" - so apparently lots of rubber in under those treads...
No No No, I was saying, if you put a penny in the outside groove, does it go in the same depth as the inside groove. In other words are the outer and inner grooves the same depth. If not, you are getting uneven tire wear and in need of an alignment. That was all , no big deal. Good luck with your new tires.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:47 AM   #5
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Also it is my understanding that over inflated tires will wear faster on the inner (middle) treads and under inflation will wear the outer treads faster....
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
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Also it is my understanding that over inflated tires will wear faster on the inner (middle) treads and under inflation will wear the outer treads faster....
YUP - but our issue was wandering steering, not tire wear - and it looks like the new Toyos/tread design has cured that problem...
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