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Old 08-31-2017, 11:22 PM
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Un-even tire tread/thumping at 18000 miles

Hi, new to this forum, just needed a second opinion-I have a unlimited Rubicon with BF Goodie mud tires and after hearing thumping when driving i took it in and was told it needed an alignment. 2 tires had uneven tire tread and recommended replacement, as well as the drag link, tie rod @ pitman arm. Apparently my bad for not rotating as much as I should have. (rotated twice)

I just wondered if anyone else had dealt with this. It seems pre-mature that the drag link, tie rod pitman arm need to be fixed. Would lack of rotation cause this?


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Old 09-01-2017, 06:40 AM   #2
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The lack of rotation won't cause the TR/DL/Pitman arm to go bad, but if one or more of those is bad, it will certainly cause your tires to wear unevenly. You should rotate more often.

Also, I don't think I've ever heard of a pitman arm going bad... Drag Link and Tie Rod probably do need to be replaced. Is that 18k miles all you have on the jeep? Or is that just the mileage on this set of tires?

And you are spot on with that last line:

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Welcome to the forum! This place will help with that learning curve quite a bit.

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Old 09-01-2017, 06:44 AM   #3
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No, lack of rotation won't cause it as stated above. Stock muds should be rotated every 4-5K miles max.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:53 PM   #4
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re: stock tires

Yeah... I have a 2014 JKU Rubicon with about 30,000 miles on the original BFG tires and recently, they've started making a lot more noise than they used to. I hear what sounds like a ticking/clicking noise coming from one of them as it rotates - and it's just louder at highway speeds than it used to be.

I'm going to have everything looked at when it next goes back to the dealer for an oil change - but I suspect I waited too long to do one of my tire rotations and caused some uneven wear on the treads. (I was originally advised to do a tire rotation with every other oil change, but if you do the oil changes at around 5K miles - a rotation should really happen with each one.)

All of this would be totally separate from issues with the suspension arms, etc. although if those have issues, that will definitely accelerate uneven tire wear!

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No, lack of rotation won't cause it as stated above. Stock muds should be rotated every 4-5K miles max.
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Old 09-02-2017, 12:38 AM   #5
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I have to agree on the pitman arm. Not much to go bad. One end goes on the knurled shaft of the steering gear and the other has a hole for the bushing on the end of the drag link.

If you have a lift, they may think (mistakenly) that you need a drop pitman arm, but don't do it. The drag link and the track bar need to be parallel.

I would ask why you need a new drag link and tie rod at such low mileage.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:54 AM   #6
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No, lack of rotation won't cause it as stated above. Stock muds should be rotated every 4-5K miles max.
I didn't do that and got really strange wear patterns. Adjacent tread blocks differed in height by 1/4 to 3/8".
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:30 AM   #7
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Tread Block Irregularities

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Originally Posted by terpsmandan View Post
I didn't do that and got really strange wear patterns. Adjacent tread blocks differed in height by 1/4 to 3/8".

My factory supplied BFG that came with my 2015 JKU Rubicon were rotated every 4k miles yet at 30k miles they began providing a terrible ride and very loud road noise. I noticed the front tires had an irregular wear pattern whereby the adjacent tread blocks differed in height by 1/4" to 3/8".

Given the expense of tires I decided to rotate the tires and live with the ride and noise. The other two tires promptly became worn in the same pattern. Again, in effort to delay the expense of a new set of tires, I installed my Blizzak tires that already had over 12k miles on them (essentially meaning the snow tire qualities were finished) to use up the rest of the tires. My JKU Rubicon now has 51k miles and the Blizzak tires now have the same irregular wear pattern showing up.

A little background: Living in the Rockies, the final two miles of my drive to and from home are a gravel road. Lot's of elevation and varied condition driving. Also, a very large portion of the 51k miles are from highway driving often at 85 to 90 mph (you a cop?). This is asking a lot from one vehicle, to be a capable off-road vehicle and a high speed long distance driver, as well, but since the G-Wagon approaches $150k I will continue to drive Jeeps!

Would higher speed driving on the highway be the cause of this tire wear?

Could it be suspension parts? Yet to wear out tires in 30k miles on a new vehicle seems much too soon for bad suspension - especially on a vehicle that comes with a stiff suspension.

Could it be front-end parts? Again, much too soon for a new vehicle to have issues.

I have stopped by multiple tire shops, a Jeep specialty garage and the Jeep dealer where the vehicle was purchased and am tired of the counter people/service writers (who are clueless, by the way) salivating at the opportunity to jack up a huge repair bill without knowing the cause of the tire wear to begin with! Not a single one could tell me the problem but they could ALL (except the dealership until it was out of warranty) offer to swap out shock absorbers, drag links, tie rods, etc., etc., etc. ranging from $1,800 to $3,900 for the repairs. I would just go to Quadratec and order a lift kit for these amounts rather than replace obviously faulty OEM parts if they are truly the problem.

Long post, yes, but seeing that someone else is having th same issue has prompted me to seek advice from others as to how they corrected the problem.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:51 AM   #8
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With mud tires used on the highway, it is not uncommon to see them wear in such a way that alternating tread blocks are taller than the others. This can be contained a bit by more frequent rotations and by making sure the suspension, steering, and tire balance are all correct at all times. Mud tires on the highway sometimes cannot avoid ending up with that kind of wear. You see it much more odten on bigger trucks that run mud tires on the highway.


Also, 30k miles is by no means too early to have suspension and steering issues in a Jeep.
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:07 AM   #9
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Larger tires are difficult to balance... even when they re dynamically balanced, that is at a 60mph simulation. It is impossible to balance a tire for all speeds. So... if you are doing 90mph (and yes actually, I AM a cop), you are likely not feeling that tire vibrating because it is out of balance. This fairly quickly destroys the high-speed valving on your shocks, because they are now cycling 1,000,000 times a day, which lets your tires bounce even more.

I'd replace your shocks to start out with. People chase these tire issues thinking 'it must be the suspension'... without realizing that cupping and uneven wear like yours is from up-and-down movement of the tire. Shocks. And... slow down.

If it is wearing unevenly across the tread, then you have alignment problems.

Anyway... 90 on mud tires is asking for trouble... they aren't meant for that.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by From CJ to JK View Post
My factory supplied BFG that came with my 2015 JKU Rubicon were rotated every 4k miles yet at 30k miles they began providing a terrible ride and very loud road noise. I noticed the front tires had an irregular wear pattern whereby the adjacent tread blocks differed in height by 1/4" to 3/8".


Long post, yes, but seeing that someone else is having th same issue has prompted me to seek advice from others as to how they corrected the problem.
My 09 came with BFG MT's and I bought it with 53k and I know from the carfax that the first set were replaced at 36k. I was somewhere near 70k when I switched to a set of Cooper AT3's 275-70-17. A little less aggressive tread and nicer highway manners. Got a set of KO2's in the same size from the wife's 15 JKUR when we mover her up to 34's and I like them a lot. I am willing to give up the open mud tread for something with better on road manners.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TurkTTR View Post
Mud tires on the highway sometimes cannot avoid ending up with that kind of wear.

The same happened on the Blizzak tires. They are very road friendly, non-aggressive, much nicer highway manner tires.



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So... if you are doing 90mph (and yes actually, I AM a cop), you are likely not feeling that tire vibrating because it is out of balance.

Anyway... 90 on mud tires is asking for trouble... they aren't meant for that.

Did I say I was driving 90? I meant to say when driving on the highway I have OBSERVED people driving 90....
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by terpsmandan View Post
Got a set of KO2's in the same size from the wife's 15 JKUR when we mover her up to 34's and I like them a lot.

The KO2's are what I intend to purchase this time once the tire chewing issue is figured out. They appear to offer a bit more wet road traction that the original BFGs.

It sounds like, from a nice LEO, that I need to replace shocks to remedy this situation (and perhaps slow down a bit, too).
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:53 PM   #13
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The KO2's are what I intend to purchase this time once the tire chewing issue is figured out. They appear to offer a bit more wet road traction that the original BFGs.

It sounds like, from a nice LEO, that I need to replace shocks to remedy this situation (and perhaps slow down a bit, too).

But... you need to figure out if a badly balanced tire ate the shock, or a blown shock let a so-so balanced tire eat itself or some combination. I have seen a car driving with the back tire actually leaving the road surface bouncing up and down it was so messed up. I have no idea how they continued to drive...
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:31 PM   #14
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The more and more I hear of these tire wear stories, the more I think that these tires are being run at too high a pressure. Even the official jeep sticker on the side of the door which states 37 psi seems a little high.

The stock rubi tires have a max load of 2405 pounds with a max pressure of 50 psi A jkur weighs in at around 4800 pounds, which would mean each wheel is supporting (average) around 1200 pounds
1200lbs / 2405lbs = 49.8% .
Each wheel is carrying about 49.8% of its max load.
49.8% of 50 psi = 24.9 psi

Now I'm not truly convinced that the above formula is an exacting one since there are other variable involved and I don't think I would ever run on the rod at 25 psi, but I am convinced it gets you into the right ball park... and there is a substantial difference between 25psi and 37psi.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:31 AM   #15
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The same happened on the Blizzak tires. They are very road friendly, non-aggressive, much nicer highway manner tires.
Then it's not the tires that are causing the issue...
Check that suspension!
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:45 AM   #16
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The more and more I hear of these tire wear stories, the more I think that these tires are being run at too high a pressure. Even the official jeep sticker on the side of the door which states 37 psi seems a little high.

The stock rubi tires have a max load of 2405 pounds with a max pressure of 50 psi A jkur weighs in at around 4800 pounds, which would mean each wheel is supporting (average) around 1200 pounds
1200lbs / 2405lbs = 49.8% .
Each wheel is carrying about 49.8% of its max load.
49.8% of 50 psi = 24.9 psi

Now I'm not truly convinced that the above formula is an exacting one since there are other variable involved and I don't think I would ever run on the rod at 25 psi, but I am convinced it gets you into the right ball park... and there is a substantial difference between 25psi and 37psi.
The way minimum load carrying capacity is calculated is from the GAWR, or Gross Axle Weight Rating, not the overall weight of the vehicle. Your door sticker has a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) and GAWR- the latter is what you use to figure tire loads. There's a front and a rear axle rating, so you take the max load of the tire and multiply by 2, and if that number is higher than the higher of the two GAWRs, then the tires carry the load of the vehicle safely.
Also that pressure calculation is incorrect. You can't take a straight percentage of max load and inflation pressure because it is not always a linear curve. The load carried by a tire at each given pressure changes according to a very specific formula, and most people in the industry just refer to a book that has inflation tables because the formulas are dumb. Without going into excruciating detail about the differences in the load capacity curve vs inflation pressure, the different tire sizing schedules (P-metric, flotation, LT-metric, etc) all have different ways they calculate load at intermediate pressures.
While your methodology may be incorrect, you did arrive at some good conclusions. Almost any Jeep with oversized tires is likely able to safely run at lower pressures than the OEM placard spec.
To use the Rubi tires as an example, the LT255/75-17 LR C tires carry a max load of 2405, but at the recommended 37psi, they carry 1944lbs.
JKUR has a GAWR of 2775 front and 3200 rear.
1944 x 2 = 3888 which means that the OEM tires at OEM inflation for the JKUR exceed the rear gross axle weight by 688lbs. I don't recommend ever running the OEM rubi tires at less than placard spec, but oversized tires can often be run lower safely.
You don't want to go too low though, or the sidewall stability gets compromised and your handling on the highway gets scary, plus the tires get hotter at lower pressures when driving on the highway, which increases the risk of damage to the tires.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:57 AM   #17
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Just one person's experience, but ...

I really don't think running with too high a tire pressure caused my wear issues. If anything, I was going around with the PSI somewhere around 32-33 for a while, last winter. (Seemed to work a bit better with any snow and ice.)

But in general, I've noticed that if I let the tire pressure get even a few PSI below the recommendation of 37, it starts feeling a bit "mushy" to me. (When you make a quick stop, for example, it feels like you're stopping with a vehicle with low tires.)

I'd definitely believe I could have some front end or suspension component with a bit too much "play" in it that contributed, though. My concern is that this is one of those issues the dealers will happily ignore and not even try to really troubleshoot, unless you're out of warranty and paying for all the parts they'd like to swap out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sanders View Post
The more and more I hear of these tire wear stories, the more I think that these tires are being run at too high a pressure. Even the official jeep sticker on the side of the door which states 37 psi seems a little high.

The stock rubi tires have a max load of 2405 pounds with a max pressure of 50 psi A jkur weighs in at around 4800 pounds, which would mean each wheel is supporting (average) around 1200 pounds
1200lbs / 2405lbs = 49.8% .
Each wheel is carrying about 49.8% of its max load.
49.8% of 50 psi = 24.9 psi

Now I'm not truly convinced that the above formula is an exacting one since there are other variable involved and I don't think I would ever run on the rod at 25 psi, but I am convinced it gets you into the right ball park... and there is a substantial difference between 25psi and 37psi.

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