Cracked sidewalls on Tires - Dangerous?

Discussion in 'General IH Tech' started by rallye, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. rallye

    rallye Farmall Cub

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    I've been storing these 33" super swampers outside for about 5-7 yrs. I finally put the body lift on to accomodate them, got rid of the rust and painted the rims they are on - only to put them on fill them w/air and discover these disturbing cracks along the sidewalls:taz:

    These are Bias ply TSLs with min wear. The markings say 4 ply nylon on the sidewall. The guy at the tire/brake shop told me not to run them, my friend who's a mechanic said they're fine - I don't know?

    I am sure these have very thick sidewalls. My plans are to use these for wheeling/camping trips. I lke to go 4-6hrs away for such occasions, so i'm sure the tires will get hot espacialy going up in altitude. Then there is the stresses from airing down and flexing them over rocks...

    Anyone have experience or advice on this? I have 33" BFG Mud terrains for around town, but it's these tires I've been lokng forward to. FYI, the second set is now in the garage.
    Thanks for the help!
     

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  2. Lowell

    Lowell Farmall Cub

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    I wish I knew the answer to that question!

    My son recently bought a 1979 IH Scout with very good looking Dunlop tires on it and the tires are approaching 6 years old. I found a Dunlop web site and sent an e-mail to them asking about tire age recomendations. I received the following reply from Goodyear:

    Sent by: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Consumer Relations 728 1144 East
    Market Street Akron, OH 44316 Voice #: 800.321.2136 Fax #:
    330.796.6829

    Thank you for contacting our web site and for your interest in tire safety.

    The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) represents the position that
    there is not one specific chronological age at which tires should be
    removed from service because there is no data that supports a specific age.

    Age is not the key, consistent maintenance, proper inflation and regular
    inspection for treadwear patterns and damage are the keys to good tire
    performance.

    While there is no data that demonstrates a tire is less safe when it
    reaches a certain age, for consumers who are concerned about the age or
    condition of their tires, it is recommended they let a tire professional
    inspect their tires.

    Sincerely,
    Sue
    Consumer Relations



    I'm still not sure what to believe but use caution.
     
  3. 641500

    641500 Farmall Cub

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    This is a difficult question to advise on. I enjoy nothing more than getting “my moneys worth” sometimes contrary to good judgment. I have run deeply checked tires on the rear axle at times without an incident. I try to use the heavy truck rule of keeping any questionable carcasses off the steering axle. If the damage is ozone or ultraviolet induced it might be a surface problem. If the damage is heat or age related there might be worse damage under the surface. Some people feel that you are already dealing with additional challenges by driving a trail truck on the highway, although; everyone driving where the government does a poor job of maintaining the roads is taking the same risk. Where the highways are poorly maintained it could be argued that hitting a pot hole at 70 mph is worse on a tire than rolling over a trail rock at 20 mph. If you do run those tires on the highway stay vigilant for any warning signs of progressive failure and inspect often.
     
  4. rallye

    rallye Farmall Cub

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    Thanks - I know, immediately I was like - I can't run these! Then the tire guy says no. My friend (who's always wrenchin) comes along and says "they're fine - just run em". Which is obviously what I want to hear. Then we look at one of my BFGs and it has a crack all the way around it about 1/2 way down the sidewall...

    So I start researching these TSLs and apparently they have an extra thick sidewall (4 ply nylon) and since they're bias ply, they are ideal for airing down. Not to mention, I paid about $500 for the set of 5 w/rims that I just spent 2-3 days removing rust/repainting:taz:

    Can you feel the pain?
     
  5. rallye

    rallye Farmall Cub

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    Thanks 645100, they were exposed to the cool weather we have here in pacifica (60-65) usually a bit on the foggy side.

    What is a good pressure to run these bias ply on the highway? Normally, I run my tires at about 30-32. When i drove to the gas station w/20 pounds in them, they looked full. I filled them to 28/30.
     
  6. rhouser30

    rhouser30 Binder Driver

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    i had got a great set of 31's i guess when the guy parked it it only had 500 miles on them, they were dry rotted, me also was told by one guy not to run them, another guy said go ahead there fine, i ended up getting rid of them, i didnt want to get hurt or hurt someone else if i was going down road and was driving on tires i knew may not be good, funny how thinking changes when you have kids, 500 bones is tough to swallow, but make the right choice
     
  7. 641500

    641500 Farmall Cub

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    Tires with thick sidewalls are more sensitive to running at highway speed while low on pressure. Compact cars run very light duty tires they are much more forgiving to high speed operation with partial inflation. The thinner sidewall allows the heat to conduct out of the rubber and cord and transfer to the road and atmosphere. Heavier tires found on SUVs and pickups trap heat in the sidewall and can not be run at highway speed while underinflated. If you recall the ford SUV firestone tire incidents that almost ruined firestone, the slight under inflation specified by ford to soften the SUV ride caused damage that led to some blowouts. I would run them at the upper end of the inflation recommendation while on the highway.
     
  8. rallye

    rallye Farmall Cub

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    I just stumbled upon an excellent source of info re: benefits of bias ply and radial tires.

    http://www.off-road.com/trucks4x4/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=263803

    This info is from the article including input from the interco co. here's an excerpt:

    "For severe off-road driving, the bias ply is a stronger tire. The nylon sidewalls resist abrasions more than the polyester. More importantly, the bias construction tolerates twisting and bending from rocks and roots. Since the sidewall is as strong as the rest of the body, it can take lateral loads from rocks and roots without splitting. They can survive abuse that would destroy a radial. The radial's sidewall plies don't reinforce each other, making them very vulnerable to splitting from twisting, bending, and side loads. The weak sidewalls can also bulge out quite far, exposing them to danger. The bias ply can use extremely aggressive treads for excellent traction. Sidewall tread blocks can help protect the sidewall further and to add traction to climb out of ruts and up rocks"

    "If using a bias ply on the street, strict attention must be paid to air pressure. Since they are stiff, they look inflated even with very little air pressure. Driving with this condition can lead to ply separation because they heat up excessively. Radials on the street need to have the correct air pressure too to prevent radial cracking or tread separation (those rings of tread material on the side of the highway). If using radials off-road, try to keep the air pressure up to decrease the sidewall bulge and to prevent splitting."
     
  9. Eric VanBuren

    Eric VanBuren Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Yes those tires are toast. I wouldn't recommend running them on the street. The typical life span of the rubber in a tire is 5-7 years in the best of situations, which means driving on them regularly. Store them either on or off the vehicle and the life of the rubber will be reduced.
     
  10. Shoal Creek

    Shoal Creek Farmall Cub

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  11. ScoutBoy66

    ScoutBoy66 Farmall Cub

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  12. Bill Worden

    Bill Worden Binder Driver

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  13. Gary Billings

    Gary Billings Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    I'd run them, especially on a trail rig. Just make sure to bring a spare. I have some radial Super Swamper TSL's and the one tire had really bed weather checking on the one side. It's lasted for a few years of airing down and various trails. It finally gave up when one of the cracks went all the way through and it started leaking air. I never had it blow out or anything.

    -Gary
     
  14. rallye

    rallye Farmall Cub

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    Thanks Gary - weather checking, that's exactly what these have. The 2 fronts are the worst while one of the backs doesn't have any cracks. Also, I have a spare that has never been used and also has no cracks.

    What I'm thinking is at a min. to buy 1 new Swamper and combine that with the spare that has never been used and run them on the front. These 2 will have no tread wear and no cracks. Meanwhile, I can leave the 2 rears in place. Only one of the rears has weather checking and it's not as bad as the ones I'll be getting rid of which the pictures are from.

    This would put me out $200 including ship. Switching tires mount/balance another $100 = $300 total.

    Option 2, buy 3 new tires @ $600 + mount/balance @ $100 = $700 (all tires no wear)

    What would any of you do?
    Thanks!
     
  15. rallye

    rallye Farmall Cub

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    Gary, did the tire your speaking of have a similar cracking pattern to these?
     
  16. ruderunner

    ruderunner High Wheeler

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    Super Swampers are notorious for those sidewall cracks, have been for years. The general concensus is that it's primarily weather checking and minute tears from sidewall flex on the trail and not really an issue. That said if any cracks extend more than an 1/8th inch I'd replace it, under that I'd run em.
    Here in farm country you get to find out just how badly cracked a tire can get and still hold air and while they are fine for hay wagons even farmers know when to get em off the road.
     
  17. Paul Morgan

    Paul Morgan Banned

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    I bought a set like that too and they sat around for too long before I ever got around to using them on the truck
    By the time I was ready to mount the tires, they had cracks alot like those
    Finally, my buddy put them on a trail rig
    They've been going pretty strong for a couple of years in that capacity
    I would say your tires are only "trail rated" IMO
     
  18. bmacguyver

    bmacguyver High Wheeler

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    one thing about , when radials start cracking there generally will die shortly after, also when a radial throws the cap it throws the entire cap. when a bias ply tire cracks it may last for several more years and many miles, and when bias ply tires start throwing the cap it comes off in chunks of rubber with no belting. i would say run em, judge the correct air pressure by the tread wear, start near the max and if they wear more down the middle drop a couple of psi. i have found that many large tires on light vehicles will wear best in the 20 - 25 psi range. as said earlier if the cracks are too deep i.e. you can look at them closely and see cord condemn the tire for anything but low speed offroad use.

    hth

    mac
     
  19. Sco(u)tt

    Sco(u)tt Farmall Cub

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    If they're available, why not put some tubes in them and run them like that?
    Just a thought.
     
  20. rallye

    rallye Farmall Cub

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    i'm going to check into that - I was thinking that originally, but one of my friends shot me down and said "just run em' they're fine" I wonder how the air down capabilities would be?
     

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