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Old 11-01-2008, 07:34 PM
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Car? Truck? Who Cares

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My first ever Hiway tire failure.

Last March I was the lucky recepient of a virtually unmolested low mileage Dodge D-150.

Since that time I have been driving the snot out of this truck (has yet to hit 50,000 mi)

Keep in mind--I do have another truck that is used on a regular basis.

5,000 miles---7 mo ---------
one oil change early on----
1 qt oil last week
replaced starter about 2 months ago.

not too shabby for a free pick-up.

yesterday on my way home from the bodyshop where the 66 Elky is, I had my very first tire falure on the hiway---ever.

I had even left the shop early 'cause I knew "SHE" would be having supper ready pretty soon.

T'was not in the cards---I had been thinking a u-joint was on it's way out for the last week, and on the home way was thinking that I better pull the shaft--BOOM-- left front tire tread went flying past my head. Did not lose the air, but the ride was interesting to say the least.

Get off the freeway---check tire--- check time---do I really want to change this????? Tire store 3 miles away---I can make it if I go slow and that way ---they can change it .

Wow---what a squirrely ride even at 30mph and the hazards blinking

VERY old tires----probably only the second set this vehicle had since 82.
The spare looked to be an original 195-75-15 and absolutely no missing paint on the wheel where the wheelcover would go on.

Anyway----late for supper AGAIN,
replaced the fronts and the truck drives like new again
Better get those back ones changed out soon.

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Old 11-01-2008, 11:22 PM
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I'm glad nothing bad happened to you, or the truck. What's your plans for the mopar?

if it's a 2wd it'd make a good budget muscletruck. A 318 (good bore/stroke ratio) or a 360 wouldn't cost too much to build to 300-350hp, and you don't need a killer driveline to support it, and it'd be fun as all get out.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:47 PM
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Glad you kept the greasy side down and your head working. Good on you!

Sounds like a typical tread separation, except yours most likely was a low, long bubble instead of the usual egg shape. Most of the time, it shows up just like a bump on the head and you won't mistake it for a mechanical problem from the feel. It's also pretty easy to find by sight after feeling the steering wheel beat up on your hands and elbows.

The air inside a separation bubble gets squooshed back through whatever let it leak out of the inner envelope or gets pushed outside. This lets the rubber flex and heat up much more than it should and it eventually fails.

Apparently you got the good and the bad -- good, in that it wasn't a complete and sudden failure all the way through; bad, because the egg-shaped ones are much harder to ignore and easier to spot.

Bet you're glad it was you behind the wheel instead of possibly some loved one who might not react as well.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:34 AM
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Having resided in the Arizona deserts and now So.Tex--no stranger to tire separations.
But, Grouch, you are right---can usually spot them before they grenade.
Either by the big knot on the tire somewhere or by the way the car/truck handles.
This one had none of those characteristics----felt like a u-joint.

As for plans for the Dodge----hmmm----once the other 2 trucks are started,
I may go as far as putting in a 318/2bbl. It now has a slant six with a 4-spd overdrive.

Won't be too long now before the 66 Elky is out of the shop and then I have to get started on the 64 C-10 for my son. And I kinda want to go thru my 79 C-10 after that. Bought the 79 new and it has over 400,000 miles on it--it needs some help in both the mechanical and cosmetic departments.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:28 PM
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I know the feeling.

Glad your still sunny side up

I bought 2 used tires for the front of the 88 dualie they were a tiny bit dry rotted I have seen a lot worse.

Well about 50 miles from home on 2 lane all of a sudden shakey shake .

I was doin'60 MPH slowed down & it went away thought it might be a Idler arm .

Back up to 50 & BOOM L/F pieces of tire bone go flying 1/2 the tread is back in the road .

When it go BOOM it pulled me over the double yellow ,if there was something coming it would have been bad.

No more used tires on the steer wheels .

I had no jack lucky a buddy lived close by one of these days I Will use that $1 a year towing I got but I hope not.


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Don't let the bastards grind you down!

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Old 11-02-2008, 05:33 PM
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Ahh. My specialty.

Any tire older than ten years old should be tossed out. Any tire that shows any type of ozone cracks on the sidewall or groove cracking between the tread blocks should be eyed with suspicion.

Telling the date of a tire is easy. The last four digits is the date code. 0908 would mean a manufacture date of the ninth week of 2008. Anything with a three digit code should be avoided like the plague. It indicates a pre-2000 manufacture date.

According to the major manufacturers, a tread sep is usually caused by heat buildup within the tire (tires are made with heat, and come apart with heat), or a manufacturing flaw (such as the builder touching the rubber with his bare hands). Old tires fall apart eventually because of the constant curing process of rubber when in service.

So as far as age, it is now recommended by many manufacturers to replace after six years. In fact, most manufacturers' warranties expire six years after the date of manufacture, or six years from the date of sale. Ten years and the tire is considered utterly useless. This also affects the load capacity of tires. After six years, a tire theoretically loses up to 20% (or more in severe cases) of the load capacity due to the stiffening effect ozone and aging has on rubber. Ten, and you're essentially riding on shoe leather with almost no load carrying capacity.

As far as any road vibration, I tell my customers to check the tires first. They touch the road first, and are the cheapest parts to investigate.
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