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Old 06-28-2010, 04:36 PM   #1
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Tread wear on toad

I have had two vehicles develop front inside edge scalloping. The first was a Ford Ranger and now on our Ford Explorer. The problem with the Ranger stopped after I stopped towing it. The tire shop and the mechanic at the dealership both indicate that towing should not cause the problem if the vehicle is properly aligned, whic they both are. The tow bar is level. Any ideas?

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Old 06-29-2010, 06:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by irwin View Post
Any ideas?
irwin, The event is described as:

Cups or Dips in the tread: WORN PARTS Cupping (also called dipping or scalloping) is most common on front tires, though rear tires can cup as well. It may be a sign that wheels are out of balance or that suspension or steering system parts are worn out. Many Goodyear retailers can provide expert diagnosis and repair.

When I see the worn parts portion of this description and the condition is ruled out, I will want to look at my towing equipment. Is there a lot of side to side movement between the tow bar's draw bar and the receiver opening. Grab the tow bar and shake it back and forth. Is there at least a 1/4" to 3/8" of play there? This might be too much and an immobilizer might help. The Blue Ox website for description; Dual Immobilizer.

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:29 AM   #3
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I've seen a few other reports like this and suspect that there can be conditions where towing does indeed affect the geometry of the toads front end. Slop in receiver or towbar could be a factor. So could some variance in the attachment of the base plates to the car. Lastly, the front frame horns where the basepaltes attach to the toad is not always real strong and stiff. They could distort a bit under towing loads and make the front tires act differently than they do when under power. And one brand of base plate may work a bit better than another for any given model of toad.

Since the reports of this problem do not seem to be consistent for a brand & model of toad, I would guess it is a combination of the above factors. Toad alignment may be a factor too. There is a fairly wide tolerance in alignment specs and a shop may report "in spec" when in fact the front end is somewhat skewed. It may be useful to get the alignment set "dead center", or maybe even an opposite extreme. If I were getting inner edge wear, I might ask that the toe-in be set as far "in" as the spec allows, rather than just anywhere in the allowable range.

All that said, scalloping indicates the tires is hopping a bit, so that it does not wear smoothly. Since both toads did the same thing, I'd look closely at the receiver and towbar.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:50 PM   #4
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It sounds like your base and tow bar maybe off somehow causing a little lateral pull.

I've only seen this once and it was on a car that had been in a frontal crash. It seems like the only constant is the cupping and the MH but on different cars.

Good luck
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