Tires, tires, tires



  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 898
    "The correlation graphs show it was pretty good."

    For conicity, which is the most repeatable of the forces to measure.

    The studies I have seen show a disturbing tendency for the Hunter machines to show some tires with high radial forces (and some with low forces), that regular uniformity machines show the opposite. These outliers throw the correlation all out of wack.

    I agree the Hunter machines are marvels of modern affordable technology (If you can call $10,000 affordable, which it is compared to $600,000 which is the last figure I heard for a new Akron Standard machine). My only purpose in pointing out its flaws is to ask its users to exercise caution when drawing conclusions.
  • hengheng Member Posts: 411
    Wow! I didn't know they got that sophisticated.

    But, let's not lose sight of the fact that one needs such sophistication in a balancer only when the tire is a POS (maybe over stated). Then the balancer can do only so much to compensate.

    What do your experiences say about the tires that need the GPS9700? (i.e. brands, sizes, cheap tires, etc.)

    Joes230 mentioned low profile, hi-performance tires as more prone to have balancing problems. Can a correlation to rim size be made? I remember when 13" radial tires became common and they were awful for roundness. 14" were better as a population but 15" were the best. No 16" back then. Now 16" tires seem the most common with 18" at the population edge.

    I'm just trying to feel out what kind of tires display the problems that need a GPS9700 and to stay away from them.
  • joes230joes230 Member Posts: 94
    heng said: "one needs such sophistication in a balancer only when the tire is a POS"

    Although Michelins (for example) are very good, even the best tires sometimes have anomalies. Not sure a list of good/bad tire brands/sizes is possible.

    Also a wheel problem can cause vibrations, even if the tire is perfect. The Hunter machine can pinpoint whether the problem is wheel or tire.

    If you don't have vibration problems and are satisfied with your ride, then regular spin balancing is probably OK. Trucks are usually less sensitive to balance problems than cars, so if you have a truck, maybe less need for this machine.

    If you have a vibration problem your shop can't fix, then go to a shop with this machine.

    Alternatively if you're buying new tires and if you have a high-perf car (stiff suspension, low-profile tires), and/or have previously had vibration problems on that car, consider buying at a shop with this machine. Ask them for a price break on match-mounting your new tires with this machine; often they'll give you one.

    Just last week I had a vibration problem on my BMW 330i, yet a spin balancer showed all tires *perfectly* balanced. The GSP9700 showed the right front had 29 lbs radial force variation and couldn't be compensated since the wheel was perfectly round. I had the full-size spare put on there, which only had 5 lbs RFV. The ride was then glassy smooth.

    capriracer, thanks again for the feedback and insight.

    -- Joe
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    I had a '00 Denali which had a low speed vibration at 30 mph. I test drove with the shop foreman who said it is a characteristic of the tire and no balancing is going to resolve it. Since it was his opinion, at the direction of the service manager who agreed to pick up the tab, I took it to a shop with the Hunter. After placing all four tires on the balancer, the results reported was no defects in the tires and they balance perfectly.

    Being a little disturbed, I wondered at that result as I still had the vibration. Mind you the person who performed the balance appeared to be around 18 years old. What would you think?

    Since the shop didn't charge me, I called around and found another who came up with the same result. Not satisfied with the results of the balancing done by both shops. I negotiated a set of Michelins by agreeing to pay $25 each tire. Tires were balanced on a Snap On spin balancer and surprisingly, no vibrations.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 898
    Actually, we have been discussing the non-balancer portion of the machine, specifically the uniformity measurement capability. And you need a great deal of sophistication if you are manufacturing tires, which is where the Akron Standard machine comes in.

    Regarding tire types, etc, that have vibration problems. From a manufacturer's point of view it's the overall diameter that seems to have the most effect. SUV's, being trucks that are gussied up and expected to ride and handle like cars, are especially difficult to deal with because of this.

    Hope this helps.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 898
    Running a Hunter does not require lots of age to be proficient. But trying to sort out vibrations can be a frustrating task, even for the veteran.

    First, a 30 mph vibration is probably not a tire speed rotating component - tires, wheels, hubs, brake rotors - which generally come in at 50 to 70 mph.

    Second, the Hunter machine, while not infallable, seems to confirm that the tire/ wheel is not the source.

    It helps when trying to deal with vibrations to be able to tell when it occurrs and when it doesn't. Example: If you get this when you press on the accelerator and not when you are coasting, I'd look at the pinion angle. If you get this only on braking - warped rotors.

    It would also be helpful to make sure your air pressures are correct. Look for the placard on your vehicle. The placard, among many things, tells the original tire size, the original wheel size, and the proper inflation pressure for that tire size. The placard is usually located on a doorpost or in the glove box.

    Also make sure there isn't any irregular wear by rubbing your hand over the tread face, especially the front tires. A little edge to the tread elements is OK, but an overall roughness, like hills and valleys, can cause vibrations. BTW, you did rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles like you are supposed to? This helps minimize position specific wear patterns and on RWD vehicles, its the front tires that are prone to irregular wear.

    Hope this helps.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I do hope you meant Part Of System otherwise I'd have Terms of Use concerns! :-)

    tidester, host
  • joes230joes230 Member Posts: 94
    Obeyone, discussions like this often call the GSP9700 "the Hunter machine" for short hand. However Hunter makes regular (non-road-force) spin balancing machines. Lots of shops use them, but very few have a GSP9700. Is it possible your tires were balanced on a regular Hunter machine, and you just assumed it was a GSP9700 road force balancer?

    Also the GSP9700 is itself a regular balancing machine, albeit with road force capability. Once I requested to have my tires balanced on a GSP9700, and they said "sure". I started to turn away, but then asked does that include road force balancing? They said "no, you have to specifically request that for an extra charge".

    So maybe it's possible your tires weren't road force balanced, despite a Hunter machine being employed. Just a thought.
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Member Posts: 1,538
    I must be getting old, but I wouldn't think of checking what kind of balancing machine the place uses. I'd go there and say I want tires mounted and balanced, or whatever. If they weren't balanced right, I'd tell them to do it again. Heck, they're only tires. Can you even tell? Or is this all just theoretical discussion? (Or do you guys all work for tire companies?)
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    The truck has 700 miles on it and no signs of uneven wear. The fact that they were Firestone Firehawks may have had something to do with it as the shop foreman kept repeating that its an attribute of the tires. The vibration was like a subtle bouncing that occured every 20 seconds driving on a smooth road with minimum crown and no braking. Most annoying and solved with tire replacement.


    It was the GSP9700. I had used the Hunter site to find a tire dealer that had that specific balancer. As far as the qualifications of that young man who said everything checked out ok, well that's another story. The tech did note that it was a brand new vehicle.

    Did you know that Hunter also makes excellent alignment equipment? Perhaps when having the vehicle aligned you'd want to keep that in consideration.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Be nice! Of course you meant Post Obliterated Summarily. :-)

    tidester, host
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 898
    "The vibration was like a subtle bouncing that occured every 20 seconds driving on a smooth road with minimum crown and no braking."

    This sounds like 2 tires which are going in and out of phase due to slight differences in diameter. Since there are a lot of rotating components in a vehicle there is a lot of vibration and the old tires pushed the vehicle's resonance past the threshold of preception. I have encountered this phenomenon only a few times and I can understand why a regular shop foreman would be willing to dismiss this as a "characteristic" so he doesn't have to deal with it.
  • alfoxalfox Member Posts: 716
    A reasonable host over here! I spend too much time in N&V....

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    heh, I didn't read to the end of the posts again before I deleted. Guess Tides is more reasonable with Anon tonight :-)

    Where's Bretfraz these days anyway? I thought I read somewhere that the shelf life of tires was around 7 years, whether on the car or in the warehouse.

    Steve, Host
  • joes230joes230 Member Posts: 94
    Capriracer - what can you tell us about the cause of tramlining, including the tendency to pull L and R on crowned roads? Are there particular tire characteristics (e.g., unidirectional tread, lack of circumferential grooves) that make tramlining worse? I've seen conflicting information on this.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    " Since there are a lot of rotating components in a vehicle there is a lot of vibration and the old tires pushed the vehicle's resonance past the threshold of preception."

    Hmmmm... I didn't know that 700 miles on a tire would make it old.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Member Posts: 591
    6-7 years on a car is usually enough to make tires hard as rocks and squeal when cornering at 5MPH. Regardless of the tread depth, a low mileage vehicle will need to replace the tires after around 6-7 years unless something can be done to stop the rubber from losing its elasticity.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USMember Posts: 898
    "What can you tell us about the cause of tramlining..."

    This is the second time I have encountered the word " Tramlining". This time I think I understand its meaning - following the grooves in the road like a tram (train) follows the tracks. (If I have the meaning wrong, let me know).

    The technical term is "Groove Wander". It is caused by the circumferential grooves in the tire lining up with the grooves cut in the road bed and causing the tire to "follow" the grooves in the road. To prevent this, the tire mold must be designed so that the tire grooves are spaced differently than the road grooves. Unfortunately, there is no standardization of road grooving and the spacing has quite a few common widths.

    Ordinarily, a given tread design can be magnified up or down to fit the particular size it is going on. But if it lines up with one of the known road groove patterns, then it has to be adjusted. A new tire design with 30 different sizes requires each one to be examined, quite a task!

    "... including the tendency to pull L and R on crowned roads?"

    I may have the meaning of tramlining wrong, but I think the "pull on crowned roads" is a different phenomenon, more related to conicity.

    Background on conicity - From the word "Cone", it is a tire property that causes a sideways (lateral) force in the tire. It derives its name because a cone rolled on a flat surface will not roll straight ahead. The dimension is a force dimension (Pounds or Newtons) and it has direction (left or right, but this is called positive or negative).

    If a pair of tires on an axle has a large enough difference, it will cause the vehicle to "drift" or "pull" to the side with the higher force. This means that it isn't one tire that is "bad", it's the combination and changing one tire of the combination will change the value of the pair.

    Each vehicle has a different threshold where the sum of the conicity values will cause a "drift" or a "pull". Part of this threshold is the amount of "slop" in the steering system, and some is due to the amount of camber.

    So when you have a vehicle that seems OK on flat roads, but "pulls" on crowned roads, what is happening is the sum of the conicity values has exceeded the threshold.

    If I remember correctly, conicity values change with deflection (which is either load or inflation). A highly crowned road will cause one tire to unload and the other to be more loaded, causing the pair of tires to change in conicity value. And a large amount of camber would aggravate this situation. I should mention at this point that too much toe in will also cause this, particularly on vehicles with "bump steer".

    A simple fix would be to change the inflation pressure, but you run the risk of exceeding the threshold on flat surfaces - fixing one problem and creating another.

    There are a couple of other causes for this pull on crowned roads: If a tire is mounted on a rim that is too narrow, this will cause the tread to "arch" and be more sensitive to changes in camber, which is what a highly crowned road is. A similar thing can happen with too wide a rim.

    And there are vehicles that are extremely sensitive. I had a Mustang that would follow the ruts made by trucks in the blacktop - very disturbing. I fixed by taking off the "Too wide" tires and putting the proper size back on. I also fixed the alignment.

    Hope this helps.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Good question. I'm here and recovering from a week of fun in Vegas. SEMA/AAPEX was the best one yet but I didn't spend as much time at the show as I have in the past. I am a bit chagrined that the show opens at 7:30AM and closes at 5PM daily. Those hours put a real crimp in my lifestyle where I tend to stay out until 4-5AM when in Vegas. Ya know how out if it I was? I missed the Michelin booth. Did have a nice conversation with the Goodyear folks about the new GS F1-D3 and got to meet Michael Andretti at the Bridgestone booth. Bstone also had a Ferrari Enzo on display - the only one in the US I was told.
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Member Posts: 1,538
    What is this, the conehead forum? I just want your basic roundy round, black, circular tire info.

    This is waaaay too technical stuff for moi.

    Holy Moly! (I guess it is fun, if that's what you're into...)

    I was just looking into this from a consumer point of view.
  • hengheng Member Posts: 411
    Your warning is duly noted
  • bburton1bburton1 Member Posts: 395
    One hell of a post-never had a clue as to the complexity-but then most of us never get below the surface of any subject other than when we are forced to do so.

  • mmullinmmullin Member Posts: 10
    The original tires(225 60 16" Firestone Wilderness) on my wifes Subaru need replacing. We live on the Oregon coast and tire dealers and tire selection are limited. One, Les Schwab Tires, which is a northwest company suggests a tire called Spectrum. The other, The Tire Factory, carries Kelly and Pierelli. They both offer free rotation, flats fixed free,etc. at any of their dealerships. Anyone heard of Spectrum tires? Any advice on the others? Thanks in advance, Mike.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    The Spectrum's they are referring to are the Toyo Spectrum. It's a low priced "value" tire for those who want a decent product and don't want to spend much money. Scroll back some; I posted some comments from Toyo on it.

    There have been several Subaru owners who've posted their new tire choices so you may want to look at those as well. The Wilderness is a light truck tire that Subaru uses mostly for that SUV look on the Outback. Personally, I kinda like the look. You can put another LT tire on it to maintain the image or go with your typical all-season radial if you don't.

    The sky is the limit in 225/60-16 so if you tell us what you want/need in a tire (prioritise them for us) we can make some specific suggestions.

    One question - Do you have Sams Club or Costco near by? That will expand your choices.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    This seems like a pretty good overview link for street tires. (ConsumerSearch - they really like Tire Rack's reviews).

    Steve, Host

  • mmullinmmullin Member Posts: 10
    Thanks Bretfraz. I found your comments regarding the Toyo Spectrum tires. Unfortunately, the closest Costco is 2 hours away and having a local dealer for rotation, flat repair is a plus. My wife drives her Subaru 12000 miles a year often in rainy weather here on the coast. We also travel east and south, occasionally crossing the Cascades and Siskiyous in snow/ice. The Firestones have worked well for us in all conditions but the way the Outback handles it is probably not just the tires. Needs in a new tire: Quiet ride; good handling in nasty weather, primarily wet conditions;60-70000 mile warranty. How will the Toyo or other similar tires differ from the Firestones in appearence? Any suggestions/advice are appreciated! Thanks, Mike.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Member Posts: 867
    If there is a Wal-Mart close by, they can get several brands...not always in stock, but shipped in within a few days. I put Michelin Select LT 245/70/16 on my Trooper at Wal-mart. Installation, lifetime rotate & balance, road hazard was about $10/tire. These were about $111 each, about $14/tire less that the equivalent Michelin that Sam's, Costco & BJ carry.
  • sddlwsddlw Member Posts: 361
    The tire shop I use is a small local performance shop. Their on the floor selection is limited but give them a couple days and they will get any kind or tire or wheel I want. There may be a shop like that in your area.

    Check out: for a good overview of tires. And check out the reviews other people have written on specific tires you might be interested in, photos of the various tires, etc.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    If the Firestone's have been working well for you, you may want to consider sticking with them. No reason to change if you're happy.

    The Toyo's will look like a normal all-season radial you will find on small cars like Civics, Corollas, Jettas, etc. Nothing special in their appearance.

    That Michelin Select LT is a good choice. It's basically the same tire as the LTX M/S which is very popular. And you can get servicing at any WalMart that sells tires. A friend bought some for an older Suburban and he's very happy.

    Not too many tires are gonna offer a quiet ride, good wet handling, and long tread life. These are mutually exclusive. About the only LT tire I can think of that can do most of this is the Michelin Cross Terrain, which might be the ideal tire for you. Locate a local Michelin dealer and price them. Also check out Tire Rack and 1010

    Best of luck.
  • sddlwsddlw Member Posts: 361
    Do you have any opinion about the Bridgestone Turanza LS-Z? Tire Rack puts them at the top of the Grand Touring All-Season catagory and by the ratings it would look like they offer just about everything except snow traction, which their #2 tire (Bridgestone Turanza Z Revo) offers with a modest sacrifice in ride and noise comfort.

    I agree, finding a long wearing, quiet, nice riding tire that also provides some level of cornering and wet and dry traction seems like an impossible task. Yet these Bridgestones are getting high marks in these catagories. I'm about 3,000 miles away from giving them a spin.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    It's a new tire from BStone so it's hard to say how good it will be after, say, 30K miles. I'm not suprised by the TR comments but only time will tell.

    I've been looking at them closely as I too need new tires and the Turanza LS would be a great OE replacement tire for me. I only wish they would offer them in a greater range of sizes; both the V and Z rated models are very limited on choice.

    One clear positive note is that they seem to be priced right. I was quoted $99.99/tire in my size at my local Firestone dealer. Much cheaper than the Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus which they compete with.

    Anyone looking for a grand touring tire should have the Turanza LS series on their short list.
  • bburton1bburton1 Member Posts: 395
    My local Tires Plus guys swear by this tire. A couple of years ago they talked me into replacing MXV4's with X-One's and what a difference. Went in a couple of weeks ago and they say the Turanza is superior to the X-One, and the MXV4plus.

    Check the Turanza prices on Mounting only cost $12/tire and the shipping is less than taxes. My savings will be $100.

    Have 74K on my X-One's now and they are still in almost perfect balance-hope the BStone Turanza's do as well. They supposedly are much better in rain and quieter than X-One's-they are certainally cheaper.
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    I doubt very much the Turanza LSs will last as long as the X-Ones. Also you may find most other tires needing more balancing than the Michelins.
  • sddlwsddlw Member Posts: 361
    I think the Turanza LS's are rated for 40k miles, but I'm not 100% sure. Still if the other performance characteristics are as good as they have been rated at Tire Rack, 40K miles seems like a pretty long tread life.
  • tbonertboner Member Posts: 402
    I'm seriously considering the Goodyear Regatta2 for my wife's MPV or for my Buick.

    I currently have two sets of Dunlop SP 5000's. (The third set sold a few weeks ago on a spare set of wheels for my SVT Contour) and the set on my Buick are at about 2.0002/32nds tread. I've tried to sell the Caddy Deville wheels on E-Bay, but didn't get enough to make the sale worth my effort so, here is what I was thinking.

    Putting my Michelins back on for the winter in the 205/75-14 flavor, getting my wife the Goodyear Regatta2's in the 215/60-16 flavor for her MPV and taking the 225/55-16's currently on there and putting them on the Caddy wheels for next spring.

    I feel the Dunlops are probably overkill for the MPV and the way my DW drives. However, they do a fine job at enabling the Buick to take most exit ramps at twice the recommended speed.

    So what experiences do the participants here have with the Regatta 2. The reviews on the Tire Rack as well as the UTQG info look very promising.

    BTW, the van's original size is the 215/60-16, so I'm considering moving out of the +0 it currently has.

  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Sounds like a reasonable idea to me. Regatta2's are pretty good for your normal all-season radial. Good treadlife, good in snow, decent pricing. At Sams Club the same basic tire is sold as the Allegra so you may want to shop that too.

    Good luck on the Caddy wheels; kind of a narrow niche for them so I hope you find a buyer. Best to offer either brand new tires or completely worn out ones on the wheels.

    One thought on MPV tires: Most all minivans are terribly under-tired and can really use a good quality performance tire to improve all aspects of driveability. Yeah, they eat tires like candy but minivan's really seem to respond to tire upgrades. Something to consider before stepping down to the Regatta2's.

    Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Member Posts: 398
    The H rated one has a 50k treadwear warranty and the V has a 40k.I've got the V's on my v6 Accord and like them. Much quieter than the 950's I first went with. Nice smooth ride and very good handling. Like was said by someone the treadwear has yet to be determined, but with a UTQG of 400, AA and A they should be a quality tire. I also like the fact the LS's are non-directional compared to the 950's which were directional. More rotating configurations available with non ones.
  • edwardn1edwardn1 Member Posts: 103
    How good are the different ones in the size for a Camry, 195-70R14?
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Tell us which models you're looking at and maybe we can help.
  • kyleknickskyleknicks Member Posts: 433
    i am searching for opinions on the firehawk gta tires for my maxima.... are these any good? in comparsion to the dunlop a2's?

  • edwardn1edwardn1 Member Posts: 103
    Bretfraz, at Sams they have allegra, spectra & concorde models in the Goodyear lineup. Because of our summer 115degree temps, resistance to separation is more important than anything else. Yes Phoenix does get that hot. I am considering these as they will probably dry rot before they wear out. If it was for a high mileage vehicle, I'd buy the michelins. BTW,whatever happened to tireguy?
  • hengheng Member Posts: 411
    Aren't they Firestone tires from the mid to late 90s?

    The firehawk line of tires weren't that impressive back then (owned a set of the FTXs) and certainly don't compare to newer premium tires today (my opinion).

    about tireguy - last I heard he was busy in a new career
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Naval Aviator iirc. And a new marriage too.

    Steve, Host
  • edwardn1edwardn1 Member Posts: 103
    I am sure the allegras are good from past postings on this thread, I know nothing about the spectre or the concorde, am considering the concorde. Again, does anyone know about these or better yet owned them?
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    The Allegra is essentially the same tire as the Regatta 2, exclusively sold and warranted by Sams Club.

    I've seen the Spectra floor stacked at one local Sams selling for $35 each for various sizes. I checked their DOT codes and found they were made at Goodyear plants. That's all I know about them. They seem like cheapo models.

    I've never seen or heard of a Concorde. They're not on Sams website as in-stock or special order tires. Sams does offer the Conquest as a special order item; you can read about that tire at

    The only car tires I see Sams stock is the Allegra and the Eagle GPH. But you can order almost any Goodyear tire from them.
  • porknbeansporknbeans Member Posts: 465
    Are you changing flags again or is my memory worse than I initially thought?

    Grand High Poobah
    The Fraternal Order of Procrastinators
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Yes, I've changed flags again. My loyalties are so fickle........ ;)
  • sddlwsddlw Member Posts: 361
    The H rated one has a 50k treadwear warranty and the V has a 40k.

    I would never have thought that there would be a treadwear difference within the same tire line with different speed ratings. Always thought that was just a measure of sidewall rigidity and strength. Makes you wonder why a lower rated tire would have a longer projected tread life though. .... Maybe they are just counting on the more agressive drivers going for the Vs and Zs?

    I think the choice between H, V and Z is my last decision on these tires. I like the H-rated price. That's for sure. Using Tire Rack as a comparision, my 225/55-16s are about $100 in the H-rated and about $150-160 in the V and Z rated. That is a big difference.

    It was interesting to me to note that their survey results rated the Z-rated tire better all around in performance, comfort and quietness. I just don't really have a handle on whether I would notice the difference.
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Member Posts: 1,538

    "...warranty them for two years and 24,000 miles..."

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