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Old 08-14-2009, 11:24 PM   #1
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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Tires and Alignment

It's slow, so I thought I would tell my tale of woe. We just got back from a trip to the Grand Canyon and we're leaving for Yellowstone Sunday. I was checking the tires (GoodYear G670's) Thursday and realized I was running them a little underflated, so I was adding some air (30000 miles).

I noticed a knot the size of a golf ball on the sidewall of the left front tire that concerned me. It was also the only tire that was showing some excessive wear on the outside shoulder. It had a small concave groove on the outer edge of the tire where it was wearing thin.

I called the truck tire store I use and they didn't have a tire in stock, but could get one by Monday or Tuesday. I carry a new unmounted spare so I took the coach over this morning to have the spare put on. I asked about the price of the new tire so I could order one. They quoted me $526.00, $32.00 FET, $50.00 sales tax, and $50.00 to mount and balance ($658.00). I thought this is was a little high.

I called me friend who owns a tire store where I worked in high school to get me a price. Even though he doesn't do motor homes, he quoted me $390.00 + the $32.00 ($422.00 and no tax ). He also said I could pick the tire up right from his supplier if I wanted to. I sent my neighbor over for it. I paid the extra $50.00 to have it installed so that I had two new front tires.

I've never had my alignment checked, but I'm leary of most alignment shops because very few use quality/correct equipment. This shop had 4 wheel laser alignment equipment with an old guy that was very thorough. I paid for the alignment to be done ($150.00).

I found the coach was sitting with both tires at 0.0 on the toe in/out. The specs called for .06 toe in. The mechanic said that the way the coach was set up, the tires were actually spread outward under the load of driving. He added that this would often cause some of the outside shoulder wear. He corrected the alignment and made sure that it was tracking straight.

On the drive home I had a noticable improvement in steering. The coach tracked much straighter and the fresh balance and new tires rode very nice.

I check my ride height once a year, changed to the Koni's and finally had the coached aligned with it fully loaded. Each item has improved the ride.

The moral of the story is to check your tires, check you prices and at some point get your coached aligned.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:39 PM   #2
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Good catch on the tire knot -- that would have been an exciting blowout!!! Giving the tires a good visual inspection is a good idea as part of your pre-trip checklist.

Most MH mfg'ers recommend you have your new coach aligned after purchase as soon as you have it loaded as you will normally be traveling. They are aligned at the factory, but with only the vehicle weight on them that alignment is seldom what it should be for the new owner. Sounds like yours did not get that recommended alignment.
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diplomat Don View Post
It had a small concave groove on the outer edge of the tire where it was wearing thin.
We have one of those on one of the tires. The groove goes all the way around the tire thread and is approx. one inch or a bit less wide. The tire is not wearing thin anywhere.

Anyone know what causes this? When I first spotted this my thought was that it might have been like this all the way from new.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:14 AM   #4
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After an experience similar to Diplomat Don's (front tire wear on the outside edge, pulling to one side and a front end vibration), I finally had a front end alignment done by a shop that specializes in heavy equipment alignment. And I replaced the two front tires (Goodyears - $500 each, mounted and balanced, before the Goodyear $80.00/tire rebate).

The improvement in ride and handling was dramatic.

The alignment cost $130.00. Given the overall cost of coach operations, that's cheap for an obvious benefit.

I am going to make a front end alignment part of my routine engine, chassis maintenance.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:58 AM   #5
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Hate to tell you guys, but the Goodyear G670 is a BAD tire for the front. Goodyear will not admit it but that tire is ONLY suited for the drive axle. There are numerous reports of the outside wearing fast on these tires, regardless of the motor home brand.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:08 AM   #6
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I have the same problem with outside wear with the G670 as well. Moved the front tires to back but they are still wearing rapidly on the outside. They are about 4 years old with 30K on them. Will have to replace them next year.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:52 PM   #7
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Rex....Your right. They build their shoulder differently (basically they don't put a tread groove close to the edges like other tire manufacturers so that they turn/ride better). The fix is to run the Goodyears, especially the fronts about 5psi higher than the Goodyear chart says.

I've been happy with my G670's. I have 30000 on them and this was the only incident. Yes, it was a tread separation/defect, but that can happen with any tire and probably more often with truck and RV tires. My rears are wearing perfectly.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:25 PM   #8
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Same problem with both my front tires, more so on right than left. Just got back from a 300 mile trip and the wear on the right front seems to be progressing faster than before and looks like becoming uneven and getting wider.
I had taken the MH to a commercial tire shop earlier this summer that deals in goodyear tires and the "old timer" there said it was due to goodyear not putting the tread groove on the edge as Don stated. None the less it concerns me to have this rapid wear. Have had the alignment last year but do not think it was fully loaded.

Thanks for the information
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:11 PM   #9
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Ok, after thought here. Pulled out my alignment results from last year and then pulled out my owners manual and found the specs for toe, chamber and caster. Guess I better go and visit the shop where I had the alignment done and ask where they came up with the specs. I am thinking I will have to have the mh redone and think about moving a rear tire to the front and then recheck ride hight. Notice some wear on the rears also with only 19k on them.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:11 AM   #10
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ED S,,, I'm just saying....but maybe you're under-inflated...check your tire pressure OK,,,you just might be to low for your current load/hit the scales when fully loaded....low air can results in outter tire tread/edge wear....too much air can result in inner tire tread wear........happens all the time....I'm just saying!
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:28 PM   #11
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Thanks but I am sure I am not under inflated at 110 pounds. If anything maybe over inflated. I am haveing an alignment check tonight. Seems with the increase in outer tire wear that I may have a toe adjustment needed and I will have them check for any play in the wheels for bearing wear. Weird but on a short trip with less weight in the coach seemed the tire took a beating. Guess I will know more later.
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