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Old April 10th, 2012, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default wandering + strange tire wear ?

97 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport Pickup.
34x11.5x17 Mickey Thompson Baja Belted Bias Ply on 17" sport rims.

I have the lifetime Alignment plan at Firestone and I took it in 2x to them to 2 different Firestone facilities and I will have to dig up the printout again, but it looked okay.

Yet, I'm still having issues.

I'm getting some really odd abnormal wear with that that looks almost like under-inflation (but they arent under-inflated). The tire is wearing in the green areas with the most significant wear being in the middle of the green area - right where it points down in the tread pattern.


I expect some pulling from Bias ply tires, but this wandering is a bit extreme. To the point where I don't even want to take a hand off the wheel to change the radio station on certain roads. On the express way it drives straight and fine, but on some surface streets... its questionable.

The truck is off road as much as it's on-road, so unless the tires are 100% of the problem, I'd like to leave them on.

New I have:
driver/pass hubs, 4 ball joints, tie rod, center link, drag bar link, adjustable track bar, etc.
4 wheel alignment, etc.

I noticed that the bushings from the sway bar links look to be shot, so I ordered a new set. They will be going on this week.

There looks to be a 3-4" lift that the Previous Owner put on. I see coil spacers up front.

I'm scratching my head on this one. When I bought it, the Previous Owner smoked the set of tires that were on it with a bad ball joint, which is why I ended up replacing so much of the front steering / suspension.

Maybe I overlooked something stupid, so I'm open to ideas / suggestions.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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What air pressure are you setting at?
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Old April 10th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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30PSI as per the #'s on the tire called for. The tires say not to exceed 40 for risk of explosion.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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I'm thinking you need to run 35 while on the street. If the alignment and front end parts are fine, with the wear you indicate, more air pressure should cure it.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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I'm thinking you need to run 35 while on the street. If the alignment and front end parts are fine, with the wear you indicate, more air pressure should cure it.
i'd rather not over-inflate bias-ply tires. that 35psi is only 5psi away from that catastrophic explosion warning from the manufacturer. lol.

that only solves one issue though. i still have something causing the wandering, because that was as the tires wore oddly.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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What is your toe setting? Too much toe in will cause the wandering and the on the outside edges.

You're sure all the wear is new? Since they don't make those tires anymore, I'm assuming they are kinda old. (wish they still did, I could use a set...)
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Old April 10th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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under and over inflation can cause wandering. I'd still play with the air pressure. If you dn't like 35, try 33.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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how wide are the sport rims?
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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I had them same tires and had the same problem. When I looked strait at mine they had 2 crowns ware your green lines are. That was always the lowest point on the bottom of the tire
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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Did they wander on the road for you, too? As much as this is bad news, im glad to hear that its the tires and not the truck.


I'm not sure how wide the stock sport rims are.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #11
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I had them same tires and had the same problem. When I looked strait at mine they had 2 crowns ware your green lines are. That was always the lowest point on the bottom of the tire
I just dismounted a set of 32s that were this way. The tread was peaked in the center. Fwiw they were mounted on a 15x12 wheel.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #12
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under inflation or hard cornering.




if you really want to figure it out do a contact patch test. nice excuse to play for a few hours.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 07:48 PM   #13
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If the caster is too low, it would wander. As for tire wear, might be the wheels are a fuzz too wide wearing out the sides first.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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Mine would wander a little but they were 20" wide on an 18" rim on my sand truck
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:51 PM   #15
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These are inly 11.5 wide, which is why the wandering is throwing me off. Id expect some wandering from a bias ply.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #16
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I had them same tires and had the same problem. When I looked strait at mine they had 2 crowns ware your green lines are. That was always the lowest point on the bottom of the tire
On all 4? I only have that wear pattern up front. The back tires are wearing perfectly level.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #17
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Mine were all 4 but I would put boggers on it a few times in the summer to cruse pavement and not have 16" of tire hanging out each side. So I'm sure mine got rotated a lot.
And I don't remember the pressure I'd run but I always ran 15 psi less in the rear than the front.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 09:11 AM   #18
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If the caster is too low, it would wander. As for tire wear, might be the wheels are a fuzz too wide wearing out the sides first.
x2 If you look at the allgnment sheet it will list the caster. Make sure that you are within the vehicles specs. Odds are that the PO did the lift and it changed the angle.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 08:47 AM   #19
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update: well, as many have pointed out, I also think its a caster angle issue. I went under there and looked again, and the upper and lower balljoints are damn near on top of eachother.

I picked up an adjustable lower control arm, and hopefully this solves some of my issue. If not, back to the drawing board.

one would think they'd say something to me at the alignment shop.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:10 AM   #20
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Any chance you can swap another set of tires on to isolate the truck or tire situation?
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