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Old 04-04-2008, 06:38 PM
F&J F&J is offline
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Radial tire; seperated chords? what are the symptoms?..

Got a car in that can't be driven at 45mph. It drives mint up to that speed, then instantly, it feels EXACTLY like a big wind gust hit the car from the side. Then you slightly correct, and it heads off in the other direction with NO notice. This car WILL scare anyone who tries to drive it.

I've asked the owner 10 times "when and how did this start doing it?" and "what changes did you make at the same time". He insists it happened after running the car on a road course. He started to travel home and got so scared, that he took the back roads at 30mph.

What I have done & checked: There was 3" of play in the steering wheel due to a loose clamping bolt on the pitman arm. The box was a reman unit put on a while ago and after tightening the bolt, it has ZERO play in the steering, not even an 1/8". I did a super accurate toe-in adjustment after we installed his new tierods & ends. I did all the tire pressures. I did not (yet) do a full alignment for caster because I was positive we had cured the sway. I have also checked the entire F&R suspension for slop or play.

Back to the road course; do you think a radial tire chord broke or seperated? and have you ever had this type of symptom with a bad radial?? P/S, the rears are almost new and are TOO big for the width of the wheel....plus...the car is lowered and the rear is IRS and the camber on the rears is way off. The tops of the rear tires are "in" about 2"

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Old 04-04-2008, 06:55 PM
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that's certinly a tire problem. a seperated belt could do that, the wider a tire, the worse it would be because of added surface area that is shifting.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:12 PM
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Separated

Sometimes it can only be seen on a balance machine.
But if you were to feel around the tire, you may be able to detect an irregularity in the sidewall out near the tread.

He nees to change em pronto-----they could go at any moment.
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:44 AM
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If you are 'feeling' tires I put some heavy gloves on. Nothing like getting a thin wire pushed up under you fingernail or just stabbed in your finger.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:58 PM
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radial tire: seperated cords

If you have a broken belt,you will usually feel it at very low speed,like when you first start moving in the driveway.you will feel the vehicle sort of "twitching" from side to side.It will usually smooth out a bit, and then get really bad at higher speeds. I would replace the suspect tire immediately,it is not safe to drive on.
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Old 04-05-2008, 06:09 PM
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A separated belt means one of the core belts that runs the circumference of the tire. Put on some heavy gloves and run your hand carefully around the circumference and you'll find a definite 'hi-spot' in the casing rubber (tread) with a lot of tread gone. If the car is as bad as you say, it should not be hard to find. But the 'twitch' could very well be snap steer from the rear IRS....2" negative camber??????? That would definitely want to rear steer the car....
Check all the tires first, then check all of the hubs for secure attachment and make sure you don't have a suspension member about to fall off...get the car in the air to check so that you can spot a loose hub or such while the wheel is unloaded. If suspension checks ok, align it and correct that camber reading!
Just as an aside...the owner didn't mix tires did he? Bias on front and radial on rear or vice versa?
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:55 PM
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Usually a tire with a bad belt will be egg shaped and pretty easy to spot. Just jack the car up and look at the tire from the side while spinning it. You didn't mention what kind of car it is so how do we know what kind of suspension it has? Generally be sure the front and rear suspension members are mounted solidly to the sub frame and, depending what kind of car you have, that the sub frames are mounted solidly to the unibody if that's how the car is designed.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:18 PM
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If suspension checks ok, align it
I finally got it. I checked the rear wheel toe, and it was toe'd out 9/16"

I used up all the adjustments to get 1/16" toe-out.

I carefully got up to 40mph and hoped for some improvement....and gently went to 65mph...and it is perfect. Learn something every day.

BTW, it's a early VW beetle with a honest turbo race motor. It's too fast for me
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:03 PM
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I had a '90 Honda Accord that my daughter drove once in a while. She came in and got me one day saying the car felt "really wierd". It was parked in the garage and when I started to back it out it felt like the front end was going to fall off, weirdest thing I had ever felt.....it turned out to be a tire seperation.
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