RADIAL ROTATION

Messages
63
Location
Alabama
When radials initially started being installed on cars in this country, the advise given concerning maintenance and rotation was to only rotate front to rear and not use the criss-cross pattern which was commonly used on bias belted tires. Is that still the accepted practice, or can we now go back to the old rotation pattern which allows the tires to eventually be placed in all four locations? As an aside, I have noticed that the tires on my wife's car has a warning that they should only be mounted on 16" rims. Is the manufacturer trying to say something about the level of cerebral function of tire professionals? [Wink]
 
Messages
1,181
Location
NJ, USA
The owners manual from my 2001 F150 4x4 showed the proper rotation was fronts moved straight back to the rear and rears criss-crossed to the front. Funny thing was my dealer didn't want to rotate them the way the manual said to. They only wanted to do front to back/back to front. This is the same dealer that dumped my Amsoil 0w-30 motor oil and refilled with their bulk Motorcraft 5w-20 because the owners manual states 5w-20 [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
121
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
I am pretty sure that I have read tire professionals state that radial tires these days CAN be rotated in the old criss-cross way. I believe the reason for the front to back only thing was that in the past some tires would "take a set" and would fail if turned the other way. Apparently this isn't the case anymore. On other sized tires I'm not sure why the warning is there, but on 16" tires I can see why. Some trucks use a 16.5" wheel, and they want to avoid people thinking that you can fudge a 16" tire on to such a wheel. You can mount a tire at home yourself sometimes, but it's not easy.
 
Messages
36,438
Location
ME
There used to be an odd-sized rim back in the day, IIRC on European cars. Since it was only supported by one or two tire companies the tires were pretty pricey. Had a funky name too.
 
Messages
121
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
quote:
Originally posted by eljefino: There used to be an odd-sized rim back in the day, IIRC on European cars. Since it was only supported by one or two tire companies the tires were pretty pricey. Had a funky name too.
I think you're thinking of the nearly extinct TRX size, which had a metric wheel diameter. I don't know who else made these tires, but I know Michelin did back then... and surprisingly still does in a few sizes. http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=TRX http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=TRX+GT
 
Messages
3,933
Location
Somewhere in the US
The reason 16" tires have this warning is because of 16.5" wheels. Some folks couldn't figure out that if you put a 16" tire on a 16.5" wheel, that the reason you couldn't get the beads to seat was because they were incompatible. So rather than step back and try to figure out what was wrong, they kept adding air pressure until the bead failed - sometime killing the operator. I have heard of folks putting in as much as 100 psi. The lawyers said it wasn't right that these folks weren't warned of this danger, so in response, tire manufacturers put these warnings on 16" and 16.5" tires. The fact that you can't really read the warning because it is such tiny lettering doesn't seem to bother the lawyers much. But it won't be too long before no one makes a 16.5" tire, so the wheels will be useless - and that problem will be gone.
 
Messages
1,001
Location
Baltimore
quote:
Originally posted by eljefino: There used to be an odd-sized rim back in the day, IIRC on European cars. Since it was only supported by one or two tire companies the tires were pretty pricey. Had a funky name too.
I see someone already mentioned the Michelin TRX. http://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/trx.php http://www.michelin-passion.com/passion/front/templates/affich.jsp?codeRubrique=43&lang=EN In the U.S. they were sold by Michelin dealers and by Sears. I do not believe anyone but Michelin made them - it was their design and their patent for the unusual bead and rim design. A typical size was 220/55VR390 for the 1985 BMW 635Csi. Another one that sold for awhile was the 190/65VR390 for the Mustang Cobra in the mid to late 70s. While Tire Rack lists them for over $200 each, I believe it's "old new" stock. I am under the impression that Michelin ceased production a few years ago and put up a number of tires in long-term storage.
 
Messages
3,933
Location
Somewhere in the US
The TRX tires and wheels were indeed a Michelin invention, but these were OE for a number of years on some Ford's and a lot of European vehicles - BMW's Ferrari's, etc. Most large tire manufacturers produced TRX sized tires for a while, until the market got a little thin. Since a tire's durability decreases with age - even if the tire is unsed, I suspect that Michelin continually produces small batches for the "Classic Car" market - hence the large price (small batches have expensive setup costs, and the market demand is high compared to the supply.) Hope this helps.
 
Messages
121
Location
Vancouver, British Columbia
quote:
Originally posted by CapriRacer: Some folks couldn't figure out that if you put a 16" tire on a 16.5" wheel, that the reason you couldn't get the beads to seat was because they were incompatible. So rather than step back and try to figure out what was wrong, they kept adding air pressure until the bead failed - sometime killing the operator. I have heard of folks putting in as much as 100 psi.
100 psi?!?! Truly scary... [Eek!] Some tires even tell you "Do not exceed xx psi to seat beads".... the last one I saw that said that was below the max psi. Kinda reminds me of those stories I heard about the old days when kids would crank up the psi setting on automatic tire inflators at gas stations, so grandma would stick the thing on and keep pumping away until the thing stopped at God knew how many psi and drove off with 4 rolling bombs. Sorry for the O/T. [Razz]
 
Messages
541
Location
Virginia
Seems like quite a few tires are diretional these days. I just installed 4 new BF Goodrich Traction T/A tires on my van and they are uni-directional so I can only do front-back / back-front rotations. I can't imagine it makes much of a difference not being able to swap sides. But I only play a tire expert on the web. [Cheers!]
 
Messages
336
Location
White House, TN USA
<i>Of course</i> you can swap sides on directional tires! But you have to dismount nd remount them to do so! Of course you should be doing this, changing the valve stem, and re-balancing anyway!
 
Messages
881
Location
NC
quote:
Originally posted by Tree Hugger: Of course you can swap sides on directional tires! But you have to dismount nd remount them to do so! Of course you should be doing this, changing the valve stem, and re-balancing anyway!
Are you saying that uni-directional tires should be re-mounted and rotated at the rotation interval?
 
Messages
336
Location
White House, TN USA
quote:
Originally posted by 2002 Maxima SE:
quote:
Originally posted by Tree Hugger: Of course you can swap sides on directional tires! But you have to dismount nd remount them to do so! Of course you should be doing this, changing the valve stem, and re-balancing anyway!
Are you saying that uni-directional tires should be re-mounted and rotated at the rotation interval?

I'm saying all tires should be removed re-balanced and rotated. But I don't seriously expect anyone to do it... [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
40,660
Location
Great Lakes
quote:
Originally posted by Tree Hugger: I'm saying all tires should be removed re-balanced and rotated.
Why? Frequent mounting/dismounting only weakens the sidewalls, especially if we're talking about low profile performance tires. Rotatation - I agree. If your alignment is in spec. just rotating front to back should be enough. Rebalance as needed.
 
Messages
111
Location
Nashville, TN
My basic belief about tire rotation is that it is a waste of money as a PM concern. If you have to pay someone to do it, you will probably spend more on the rotations than you will get back via increased tire life. Plus I've had so many bad experiences from shops scratching wheels and chrome lug nuts, I just don't like them doing it. These guys also tend to not torque them properly. If I have time or if I'm removing wheels for some other purpose such as brake inspection, I'll go ahead and rotate the tires front to back. In any case, another minus to tire rotation can be that it hides an alignment problem. Leaving tires where they are will give your car more of a chance to reveal alignment problem as one or two tires will show wear you won't see if you keep moving them from corner to corner. One thing I was told recently that I'm not sure about is that if you criss-cross in rotation, you have to do it at least every 5,000 miles. This service shop manager said that leaving a tire on the same side for more than 10,000 miles and then swapping sides often leads to tire separation because the wear patter sets in by that time. This sounds like an urban legend to me. All this being said, I will typically rotate at least once during a tire's life just so all 4 tires wear out at about the same time. I'd just as soon replace all at once rather than 2 now and 2 later.
 
Messages
2,533
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Depends. Some tires are uni-directional yes, others (and I forget the name for this) say "Mount This Side Out", although you can switch sides, like the Goodyear RT/S.
 
Messages
36,438
Location
ME
How on earth, without a lift, is one to do the criss cross thing at home? I use a hydraulic jack under the front rocker and a scissor jack at the rear and lift one side of the car up at a time. I don't like the idea of jacking the opposite side up when there's no rubber on pavement on the initial side-- tippy, IMO. I suppose someone could move the right rear to the right front, lower the RR jack so the brake drum is almost touching pavement, jack up the Left Front which complements the twisting motion, grab its wheel, put the former RR on the front, lower that, jack the RR back up, put its tire on, then jack up the Left Rear and put the former RF tire on there and lower the back evenly. Phew, lots of extra work. But, since I run snow tires mounted on seperate rims, I can keep track of where they used to be and cross rotate with the other season's tires holding place. This musing is for people in warmer climates.
 
Messages
2,533
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I wouldn't worry about it, elje. I do it when I want to clean the back side of the wheels and tires. For regular rotations though, since I'm a good customer at a neighborhood tire shop and send them biz, they rotate my tires for $3, $10 if I want them balanced. [Big Grin] [Cheers!]
 
Messages
147
Location
tampa
If anyone's really interested Sears has a national program where they will balance and rotate a tire as often as you'd like for $10/wheel. I've used it 3 times so far and they do an ok job.
 
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