One of my tires went BOOM the other day

Discussion in 'General IH Tech' started by Patrick Morris, Nov 21, 2013.


  1. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    All is well. Just thought I'd share.

    I was coming back from a three day trip out to our local deserts the other day when I noticed a rumbling at the front end combined with an increasing pull to the right... while driving 65 mph on the freeway. I thought OH SH!T and started heading over to the right when the left-front tire's sidewall exploded. See attached pic.

    Luckily it still held most of its air until I'd come to a stop along the freeway. 15 minutes later I had the spare tire on there we were on our way again.

    For the record, this is a General Grabber AT2. It was new in 2007. I don't know how many miles are on these tires though. But probably less than 20K. And I had, just 3 hours earlier aired it up to 30 PSI.

    Just decided to post this in case anyone finds it interesting.

    I will be shopping around for a new set of tires now. These were getting old and chewed up anyway. I'll probably go with a set of Toyo Open Country MTs. The look to be very hard to destroy.
     

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  2. JordanAMC

    JordanAMC Binder Driver

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    Aside from the damaged area, were there any obvious signs of tire fatigue? Have you checked the other three?

    Glad to hear it went as well as it did and all was okay. Good luck with the tire hunt!
     
  3. Doc Stewart

    Doc Stewart Content Team Staff Member Moderator

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    I am involved with a non-profit that trains police in high speed driving among other things. I am not instructor rated but I love to hang out and sometimes, drive the 'rabbit' car: Catch me if you can!

    They do lots of experimentation with tires. As hard as these cars are driven, we don't see blow outs even though a given car may go through 3 or even 4 sets of tires in a single day and start to show cords [ Did I say HARD driving?].

    These tires are operated at 10 lbs over the pressure stated on the tire sidewall. The Michelin experts tell us that the "max" on the tire is for ordinary driving habits. High speed driving is safer with higher pressure and we have proved them correct.

    Under inflation and therefore over heating is the death of tires.

    When we go off road and under inflate sometimes dramatically, no harm done unless we drive those same under inflated tires home or a few miles to a service station to air up.

    The other thing that destroys tires is age. I know on some of my trucks, the tires look good but can be many years old simply because they don't go enough miles to wear them out. With age, they dry and develop minor cracks that indicates they are less flexible which makes then heat up and fail.

    Two things to take home from this lecture: A. Keep tire properly inflated. The older the tire, the more likely they are to loose pressure. Keep a good gauge in the truck and use it.
    B. After longer drives, feel the sidewall of each tire. Note the temp. A hot tire, properly inflated, is a failing tire regardless of how good the tread looks.
     
    vince konicki likes this.
  4. Eric VanBuren

    Eric VanBuren Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Ouch, good to hear that it kept together long enough to get you to the side of the road safely.

    You say the tires were new in 2007, but how long did they sit around before you purchased them? There is a DOT date code, Tirerack.com has info on how to read date codes.

    Assuming they didn't sit around before you purchased them they would be 6+ years old and some consider that to be the useful life of a tire. Even Toyota who doesn't have a reputation for being overly concerned about safety mentions in their owners manuals that tires should be replaced at 6 years regardless of the amount of tread remaining. Since you frequently air down you do stress the tire more than average so more frequent replacement would not be a bad idea.

    As to the Toyo tires, personally I can not recommend them, I've seen way too many that were not round out of the box or developed ply separation, lumps, or an out of round condition with 50% or much more tread depth.
     
  5. A1911Handler

    A1911Handler Farmall Cub

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    .....
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  6. pri

    pri High Wheeler

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    Just out of curiosity... Was the rubber blends used years ago better than todays?
    I've got a set of at least 35 year old Michelin spiked winter tires that have no cracks, no separation, perfectly round, and in perfect balance. The rubber feels soft, even softer than on tires that are only a couple of years old.
    I used them the winter before last and they performed well. :punk:

    I guess it's time to retire them now, as the thread is getting worn, about 5 millimeters (less than a 1/4") and that's the limit over here during winter. No lecture needed... :D
     
  7. Dennis Bernth

    Dennis Bernth Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm not a tire engineer, but I'll do a little guessing why they might still be good. First, they run during winter, which is not a sunny, high ozone time of year. Ozone is rough on tire rubber. Second, they're winter tires with soft tread to start with, so odds are they'll stay more flexible. I'm going to assume that you store them inside during the summer? That would make a huge difference too. I had a cheap 'discount' type tire I got from a buddy of mine that I found out later was off of his 78 Grand Marquis, which hasn't been around for over 20 years. It looked great, no weather checks, almost new tread, but he had pulled the tires off the car when it rusted out shortly after he got them and they had been stored in his dark barn ever since. I give that credit for keeping the tire looking good, even though it was not in any way shape or form a 'Michelin' grade tire.
     
  8. Doc Stewart

    Doc Stewart Content Team Staff Member Moderator

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    There are many different compounds in the tire business. If you buy real military tire like the omni directional tread used on Jeeps and 6x6s, they use high UV resistant compound that lasts a very long time even stored outside in an Army depot. You and I, mere civilians, can't get those.

    "M&S" tires are softer for cold weather but no UV resistance to speak of.
     
  9. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Thanks. I do my best on the inflation. In fact I'd say I'm pretty diligent about it. As I mentioned, I'd just aired them up. It was after an over-nighter that included about 10-15 miles of mild off-roading (at 18 psi all around).

    Once back on pavement I used my splitter hose, or whatever it's called, to inflate the R and L tires equally, setting the pressure at 30 psi. It was about 120 miles later of mostly 50-60 mph secondary hwy driving that my tire blew.

    I will say that this tire did develop a very slow leak last spring, a weep of air coming out of the opposite (inboard) side, at the tread/WS joiner causing it to lose about 1 psi per day. So I was always topping off that tire every few days to a week. So the inboard of the tire definitely had an issue of some kind. It wasn't a puncture. I determined that. Just wept air out of a tiny crack in the rubber where I could see some of the cords. Some kind of defect or damage, but not a puncture. I pulled the tire off and looked at it very carefully inside of where that leak was happening.

    Based on the fact that the tire had a terminal leak and that the tread on the all of them was getting really chewed up, and that the tires are getting pretty long in the teeth, yeah, I've been shopping for tires lately.

    Yup, they are getting very old. Plenty of tread depth left, but very old. Also I'm surprised at how chunked they have gotten in the last year. Old Generals don't like limestone!

    I did check the age once using the code. As I recall they were mfr'd about a year before I bought them. Reason #3 why I have been shopping around. (How time flies!)

    In fact I heard that there was going to be a law passed? that you had to dispose of tires after 7 years of use.

    So you don't like Toyos huh? I've read nothing but great stuff about them, even that they are phenomenally round and easy to balance. The only common complains I read are that they are a very heavy tire. For example, the current BFG MT in my size weights (according to TireRack) 46 or 47# as I recall. But the equivalent Toyo MT weighs 56#. That's a lot of extra something they build into them. Another attraction of the Toyo is that it's also the tallest; it's the only "31-inch" tire that's actually that big. 31.1" is the official height for those tires.
     
  10. Eric VanBuren

    Eric VanBuren Lives in an IH Dealership

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    I should have been more specific, I have no specific knowledge of that specific model of Toyo I was referring to Toyos in general.

    Note being easy to balance does not necessarily mean they are round and the average consumer and tire guy don't know the symptoms of a tire that isn't round or how to check.

    I had a customer (actually lots of customers over the years) that came in wanting his vehicle's shocks and suspension checked out. I went out and saw they were Toyos and said it is your tires. He was sure the tires were great because he originally thought that was the problem so he had just taken the truck to the tire shop where he purchased them for their "free" inspection, rotation and re-balance. The pronounced the tires "perfect"

    I went back in and grabbed him a set of gloves and then inspected the tires. 2 of the 4 had ply separation that was easily felt. I had him feel the tires and he could feel it too after I told him what to look for. I then told him to go to Costco and get some Michelins and if that didn't cure his problem to bring the vehicle back. He never brought it back for that other things yes but it cured his problem and he was not the only customer that Toyo and the largest seller of them in my area has made for me.
     
  11. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    I read that roundness and balancing stuff in the usual internet places. You google "Toyo Open Country MT vs. (name any other tire)" and you pull up all kinds of discussions from people who've, supposedly, used both and have something to say blah blah blah. I figure there's some truth to be learned in there somewhere. Some people were saying that Toyo's mfg procedures make for very tight tolerances on rounded, some others were saying that it took less weights to balance the Toyos than the Goodyears MTs or whatever. Hard to say what's BS so you go with your gut. It's either that or spend your retirement money testing tires on your own. ;)

    FWIW, here is that candidate tire. It sure LOOKS cool as hell anyway. Triple-ply SW, extra rubber on the shoulders....

    [​IMG]

    It's very similar to what my buddy has, the Cooper Discoverer STT. Also a tire with a great reputation and similar specs and looks to the above...

    [​IMG]

    And... I also kind of like this Mickey Thompson tire, the Baja ATZ P3, which is also made by Cooper, triple-ply SW and thick tread though in between a MT and an AT. But it's brand new and no one has much to say about it yet...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. A1911Handler

    A1911Handler Farmall Cub

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    Might I suggest these. They are made in the USA by a company founded in the USA. (But now owned by Michelin) I just put a set on my wife's mommy mover and they seem nice. They are very quiet.

     
  13. tdc

    tdc Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    Same here. I have spares from the 70s and 80s that are still good and no weather checks. By comparison I have a set of BFGs, less than 2 years old already starting to crack.
    Rotating radial tires on the same side is good. Moving them from one vehicle to another and running them in the opposite direction, out of order is bad. Belt slippage and blow outs will happen. Thats what happened to 3 out of 4 of my Dunlop AT Radials.
     
  14. Eric VanBuren

    Eric VanBuren Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Nope, Goodyear is the only remaining US owned tire company. It is BFG and Uniroyal that are now owned by Michelin.
     
  15. Eric VanBuren

    Eric VanBuren Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Those are some good looking tires and since a lot of your use is aired down the triple ply sidewall is probably a good idea.
     
  16. pri

    pri High Wheeler

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    Right on the money. I store them inside, inflated to spec, in a dark corner of the garage.
    They came with my old ambulance when I bought it almost ten years ago. That Travelall had not been on the road for 25 years when I bought it, so the tires have to be older than that, and they would still be good if I hadn't abused them that last winter.
    Normally I'm running Cooper Discoverer ATR and I'm very happy with them. On my other one I'll be running Nokian tires, very good quality to a great price.
     
  17. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    What about Cooper? Are they Foreign owned?

    EDIT: Did a search on this that pointed to Cooper's corporate site. According to Their "About Us" page:

    "[Cooper] stands now as one of only two U.S.-owned tire manufacturers. Cooper is the fourth largest tire manufacturer in North America and the 11th largest in the world, shipping tires to more than 155 countries and employing nearly 13,000 people worldwide."

    So.... I guess they're 'Merican too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  18. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Thanks. I do like the look of those. Seen a lot of them around. Reminds me of the old-school MS commercial tires.

    But I don't know about the construction, and i want something with a beefier wrap around shoulder, 3-plies on the side etc. So that when I'm aired down to 15 psi I'll feel a little better protected.

    Both that Toyo and the Cooper above have a wide reputation for being surprisingly quiet for being "mudders". My friend confirms this about the 33" Cooper STTs he has on his Scout.

    The Mickey Thompson above looks like a great desert tire, which is where I do 95% of my off-road driving. Plus it's got that sturdy construction I am looking for. Decisions... decisions...

    The Cooper is the least expensive of the three.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  19. dan1500

    dan1500 Binder Driver

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    Cooper was sold to Apollo Tyres of India last summer, although I'm not sure if the deal is final yet.
     
  20. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Darn it. I was afraid someone was going to say something like this. Hopefully they'll at least remain MADE in the USA.
     

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