Clare - are smaller car tires easier to balance than SUV tires?
A neighbor was in need of tires who knew that I had bought a few extra for
her long ago where they've been sitting outside in the rain & mud for
months waiting for her to need them.
She finally wore through the belts and had to stop over for an "emergency"
tire change, which I did for her, but she was in a rush so we did it in
about 20 minutes from start to finish.
I had to do it so fast that I didn't see the yellow dot until I looked at
this picture, where I mounted the red dot to the valve stem instead of the
yellow dot as you had recommended for when there are no match mounting
I did statically balance and she reported no vibration whatsoever. I didn't
spend a lot of time cleaning up things so I'm surprised there's no
imbalance given how quickly I did the job for her.
Just wondering if you've found that these tiny 14-inch tires are a piece of
cake compared to the normal truck SUV tires (like the Optimo's that I'm
used to) both in terms of mounting and balancing?
On Wed, 12 Jun 2019 05:52:33 -0000 (UTC), "Arlen G. Holder"
Yes and no. The smaller tire has less total mass so a small amount
of weight has more effect than it would on a bigger tire - but it is
not as far from the center (shorter moment arm) so it has less effect.
GOOD tires of any size are easier to ballance than crappy tires. Ealy
Hankooks were a real pain to ballance. Apparentlythey have gotten
On Wed, 12 Jun 2019 21:37:49 -0400, Clare Snyder wrote:
Thanks Clare as I never mounted and balanced a tire so fast on purpose, not
even taking time to clean the wheel or even remove the old weights until
AFTER I put it on the static balance stand.
These tires are Lexani LXTR 203 model tires, of size P185/65R14 with load
range 86 and speed range H (traction A, temperature A, and treadwear 500),
where I don't know WHAT specific thing makes these so easy to balance, but
they're so easy that something is very different.
I was surprised that I skipped a bunch of steps, and yet, the wheel _still_
didn't cause any perceptible vibration, according to the driver, even as
it's a front wheel drive vehicle with the tire being the driver side front
I had told the owner to take it to Costco for the $5 wheel balancing, but
that wasn't even necessary, even as I skipped a bunch of balancing steps.
The old tires on her car were model "Grand Prix" of size P185/65R14 load
range 86 and speed of T (traction A, temperature B, and treadwear 500)
which seem to be wearing on both edges, where here are the front two tires
of this FWD vehicle with the tires set up in the appropriate position.
I had previously replaced her passenger front tire due to this gouge
Where the driver front tire wore into the steel belts which jutted out
She needed to be somewhere so I was in such a rush, that I didn't even
_see_ the yellow (weight) dot when I mounted the valve stem to the red
Where I only noticed the yellow dot when I looked at this picture!
Back to how easy it was to statically balance these tires, not only did
this tiny car have the only four-lug wheel I've ever worked on, but popping
the first bead of this tiny 14-inch P185 tire was so simple that it took
only a couple of pumps and about triple that to break the second bead.
Removing the third bead and fourth bead was, likewise, surprisingly simple.
Popping on the fifth bead was almost entirely done by hand, it was that
easy, where only the sixth bead took any effort whatsoever that required a
force that any teenager could exert.
With two wheel weights already on the rim, and by match mounting the red
dot (I didn't even _see_ that yellow dot until I looked at the picture
afterward), the balance was spot on in the middle of the bubble level.
So I didn't even remove the _old_ wheel weights, which I normally would
have done as part of the wheel prep after breaking the bead and removing
the old tire. I didn't even replace the valve stem, as I recently used up
the four valve stems I had bought after speaking to you about getting the
bolt-in kind so I didn't have any available.
The tires have been waiting for her outside in the mud and rain, so I
simply bounced and blew out the leaves and crud where I would have cleaned
the tires more had I more time, where I might have noticed that yellow dot
which was slightly worn away from being outside all winter.
Funny you mention the Hankook's where I just snapped this for you!
Those are Hancook Optimo H724 model tires of size P225/75R15, with the load
range of 102 and speed range of S (traction A, temperature B, and treadwear
500), which were MUCH HARDER to mount and dismount and harder to balance
too, it seems.
I'm planning on mounting and balancing them this weekend on an SUV which
keeps wearing out the front tires which I have to get alignment tools to
check the camber mostly since they're wearing on the outside edge.
When I mount those thick-sided Hancooks, on steel wheels, I will mount by
the _yellow_ (minimum weight) dot for the first time, instead of by the red
(maximum runout) dot, as I recall you recommended for when there's no match
mounting mark on the rims.
Thanks for being helpful where you're just about the only guy on this
newsgroup who knows anything about this subject matter, which I greatly
appreciate your advice, and where I try to remember it all over the years,
where I'm starting to lose count of how many tires I've done in the past
five years with the crappy Harbor Freight tools (they work, but they suck).
You can check the camber all you like but the answer is more likely in
the SAI angles and you will be able to do SFA about that. Quiz the owner
about type of use instead. If it is all city and suburban driving, tyre
wear on the outside of the tread can be considered 100% normal.
Turn the wheels to a high level of lock and the obvious will confront
you. The type of feathering will tell you what the actual cause is.
Nothing astonishes Noddy so much as common sense and plain dealing.
On Thu, 13 Jun 2019 21:17:18 -0400, Clare Snyder wrote:
Good idea. I had her bring it over today where I cranked her up to 40psi on
all four tires. I'll keep an eye on it as I see her every day.
Yeah. That was a thinko. Thanks for catching it. We measure camber, which
is then used to calculate caster, which isn't adjustable in many cases
One tool I might also need is a leveling tool so that all four wheels are
on a screw-mounted plate. Do you have a recommendation for that tool?
There is a difference between a tuneup and an engine overhaul, where the
caster, camber, and toe measurements will likely only result in the need
for changes if they're well off the spec, and if the OEM setup allows for
For example, while you can measure anything, on the bimmer, the only thing
an OEM setup can change is rear camber & toe, and then front toe, in that
order - and that's it.
I typed up a super detailed response, after viewing every second of those
three videos, where the first and last seem to have the same graphics, and
the middle (whiteboard) one was a bit different - and where that wheelcam
shot of the tire literally bending away from the rim - and the temperature
methods of determining footprint on hard cornering were illuminating.
I hate losing data, but I lost it when the PC rebooted, so suffice to say I
appreciate the videos, from which I learned good stuff, particularly about
that "scrub radius".
I didn't find a lot on the net about "camber scrub", and those videos
didn't cover specific tire wear on the slow speed (less than 40mph)
constantly lock-to-lock turns we perform on the mountain, where the goal
is how to modify the set up for the vehicle in a compromise to minimize
that 'camber scrub' on FWD and RWD vehicles without adversely affecting
Everyone says you need a perfectly flat garage floor, which, as far as I
know, mine is pretty flat based on putting a level on it - but I don't
really know how flat is flat enough.
Given that a millimeter or two of height adjustment in any one corner might
be necessary for most garages, I guess your suggestion above adds two
nice-to-have tools to the home DIY alignment check mix...
o Steering wheel centering lock
o Some kind of way to put the 4 wheels on a wormscrew-adjusted plate
Googling found the first, but the second was in the thousand dollar range.
Are there good redneck solutions for leveling the four tires?
Yes, I learnt a couple of points from those videos too so it seems you
can teach old dogs new tricks. I have found, in order to gain a better
appreciation of steering geometry and suspension systems, one needs to
look at those places that are extreme. In this case, it's in motor racing.
You won't. Information on it is scarce since it is an undesired effect.
However, if you look at what the wheel is doing vis a vis camber during
high angle (note - not high speed) cornering, then you can visualise the
issue. Note too that tread blocks have a limited degree of flexibility
and, as such, are likely to exceed that during high angle cornering
resulting in tread scrubbing.
The reality is that you are faced with a *compromise* and there are many
such in steering and suspension geometry. Any gain in the tyre wear
scenario will negatively affect high speed. If you happen to see a
Porsche Cayenne in a parking lot with its wheels turned at a high angle,
the camber angle displayed will amaze you. I know it amazed me. Of
course, when you realise that vehicle's suspension is *optimised* for
high speed and high power operation in a very narrow band either side of
straight ahead, it all makes sense.
A level will only give you a localised point. You need something that
can verify any point in the garage floor against a common datum point.
These can be used for that purpose and aren't expensive;
Or you could hire one for a day just to verify your garage floor. A
professional one of these should have been used when the floor was
poured and leveled anyway.
Most wheel aligners that I have used come with ramps that have the added
benefit of raising the vehicle a couple of feet off the floor. Ramps,
even without the aligner heads, provide a relatively easy means of
leveling the required work area. They don't even need to be raised more
than an inch or two. If the floor area is really out of whack, two or
four ramps made of wood of varying thicknesses might suffice. You can
even check the level easily these days with laser levels as I mentioned
above. My brother has one of the professional units since he is a
concreter but cheaper DIY versions, like the one in the link, should
suffice for this purpose.
Nothing astonishes Noddy so much as common sense and plain dealing.
While I don't race, our conditions are "extreme" enough, in that constant
incessant repeated nearly full back-to-back wheel locks are causing
"something" to scrape away rubber, so this "camber scrub" is intriguing.
I snapped this photo of tires that I mounted about a month ago, which only
have about 1000 miles on them, where they clearly show this pattern which
"might" be what you've been referring to as "camber scrub".
Does _that_ feathering look like what you're referring to as "camber scrub"?
That is also considered *extreme* even though you aren't doing it fast.
It does indeed! Same kind of feathering I'm getting on my Toyota's front
tyres - a feathering that you can easily feel in the early stages as you
run your hands for and aft along that section of tread area. Now try to
imagine what those tread blocks are doing as they roll around in a tight
circle with heaps of camber gain. It's not pretty and, worse, there is
SFA you can do about it.
BTW, positive caster will accentuate the camber scrub. Caster is
generally not a tyre wearing angle. However, the more caster your
steering has, the more camber *change* you will get when turning the
steering. Positive caster will give you a beneficial gain in terms of
handling. You will get more camber gain (more +ve) on the inside wheel
but the outside wheel will experience camber *loss* and become more
vertical or even negative. Since the more vertical tyre is on the
outside, the tread will get more grip with reduced slip angle aided by
weight transfer. This is great for cornering at speed. However when
travelling at slow speeds, weight transfer is not as significant and the
camber angle on the inside wheel, the one at the tightest lock, heads
towards positive extremes. It is, in effect, riding heavily on the outer
edge of the tread and this is where, and why, the damage is being done.
The tread blocks have only so much flex before they are forced to break
contact with the road and slide. You've seen the evidence of what that does.
Caster specifications are usually given as a range, say between 1 and 2
degrees with a side to side variation limit. All you can really do to
mitigate the effect is to set your caster to the low end of the
Nothing astonishes Noddy so much as common sense and plain dealing.
Thanks for that information, where the one correction I need to make is
that you can only feel this feathering running your hand "*backward*"
(clockwise) over the outside quarter of the tread pattern.
If you run your hand toward the front (counterclockwise), you can't feel
the feathering because each "lip" is downward.
When you run your hand toward the rear of the vehicle, each lip is upward.
That's the oddity. The feathering is only one way.
It's reproducible for years - so it's always the same.
That one-way lip feathering should be diagnostic, should it not?
https://i.postimg.cc/Wzyrb6bd/mount28.jpg> BTW, positive caster will accentuate the camber scrub. Caster is
Hmmmmmmmm.... maybe I can consider lessening positive caster a teeny bit?
This is very useful information, as all our lock-to-lock cornering is at
30mph to 40mph ... never faster because I ran a test last week where
anything over 40mph is impossible to do even remotely safely, as all the
turns are blind turns and the file miles of 9% twisty road can't even be
twenty feet wide at the maximum (I should measure it but it's something
like that, as it's too narrow for the county to center stripe it legally).
I need to study more - where your conclusion is spot on perfect but where I
don't get the individual steps only because I think of alignment as being
'static' so to speak. I know it changes - but my brain doesn't know 'how'
it changes under those slow speed lock-to-lock downhill (or uphill) turns.
Yes. That's for sure. The outer tread blocks "feather" such that you can
feel it, and barely see it, after about 1000 miles. The only thing I can
do, is change the alignment or rotate every 1000 miles (but even rotation
won't stop it - it just evens it out with the rears).
That's EXACTLY what I'll do!
I have to admit I need to read, and re-read and re-read again what you
wrote above, as my brain needs to work in step-by-step fashion.
You didn't skip a step but I don't quite "believe" in my brain all the
steps, if you know what I mean. It's not that I don't believe you, but that
my brain has to understand EACH step before moving to the next step when it
comes to UNDERSTANDING why this happens. (It's kind of like a series of
math equations where I need to understand every step.)
On the other hand, once there is a conclusion, I can EXPERIMENT easily,
which is how a lot of cars get fixed (by throwing parts at the problems
without understanding them). So I will change the caster.
I have an alignment shop which runs a sale for $30 off to drop the $160
price to $130 who lessened my bimmer's rear camber from negative 2 degrees
to almost 0 degrees - where if I go to him - I can ask for the least caster
in the spec.
Better yet, I need to buy the tools to do that caster change myself - but
that's a topic for a different thread since I have to MEASURE it first.
On Sun, 16 Jun 2019 20:41:21 -0000 (UTC), "Arlen G. Holder"
Just applying negative camber MAY be simpler and will accomplish the
same thing, without affecting lateral stability..
However, with the shoulder wear on BOTH edges, the most effective
change you can make is to "air up" the tires. Keep the carcass of the
tire rigid - prevent the tire from "rolling" out on the outer corner
and "rolling in" on the inner corner will cause the tread to wear more
evenly across the face of the tire - and tereby REDUCE the total wear.
I'd bet about 3/4 of the wear is caused on the downhill.
On Sun, 16 Jun 2019 17:39:04 -0400, Clare Snyder wrote:
I appreciate your advice as you and Xeno know this stuff whereas the rest
just make it all up it seems.
If adding more negative camber is even better than reducing the positive
caster, then that's easier, as you noted, and likely better on high speed
straight-line driving (we don't do high speed cornering ever).
I will take your advice on the multi-side shoulder wear, by bringing the
front tires of this RWD vehicle to 40psi or so, which I understand and
where I appreciate that advice.
Since these tires were religiously rotated every 5K miles using a pattern I
devised myself of H->X->H->X->H->X, etc., the tires ended up wearing
"relatively" evenly overall, which is shown in this shot of the rears:
I was just about to mount & balance these rear tires as we type where you
can see they're worn sort of kind of evenly except in the inside edge,
where these were mostly worn when on the front axle.
I likely should flip them on the wheel at the 10,000 mile mark after the
first two X->H rotations have been done, which will move the inside edge to
the outside edge. These darn tires have a whitewall stripe, which I hate,
so that's why I didn't flip them on the rims prior.
Adding more negative camber also increases SAI, one follows the other
and SAI is not separately adjustable since it is designed in. That means
your negative camber increase will increase SAI. As I have previously
stated, steering and suspension geometry is one huge compromise so you
need to think carefully about the unintended consequences of *any* non
standard setting you use. That's why I said to ensure your caster spec
was on the *low side* of the acceptable range. That will ensure the
least amount of unintended consequences as it will still be within
Just refresh my memory here, was it the *inside* or the *outside* of
your tread that was wearing more and with the longitudinal feathering?
Camber scrub tends to affect the *outside* edge of the tyre. For it to
affect the *inside edge*, the camber on the tyre would need to be going
well into the negative. It really can't be doing that. As I have stated
previously, the camber of the tyre on the outside of the turn loses
camber and goes more vertical whilst the tyre on the inside of the turn
goes from slightly positive to heavily positive. The tyre on the outside
of the turn could be heading slightly into negative territory but that
would depend on static camber settings and would be minimal. Certainly
the tyre at the high positive camber will be doing most of the shoulder
wearing in those sharp slow speed turns.
Nothing astonishes Noddy so much as common sense and plain dealing.
I'm sorry for causing confusion.
The feathering is on the OUTSIDE edge of both front tires.
If I said otherwise, it was my mistake.
You can feel it on the edge of the tire closest to you when you stand next
to the tire, which is the OUTSIDE edge.
I apologize if I said otherwise.
I need to learn more about camber scrub in slow speed turns!
THANK YOU for that suggestion to concentration on understanding the
dynamics of the contact patch first in hard downhill cornering.
I have to admit that I've read (and re-read) what you've written, but it's
like a series of math equations, where I can only grasp the starting point
and the ending point - but I can't make the connection to each of the
What makes things infinitely worse is that, as you're aware, I only care
about the slow-speed 20 to 35mph mostly) downhill (mostly) lock-to-lock
cornering forces that are causing the unidirectional feathering on the
There's precious little on the net about that specific problem, where,
everything I read seems to be about high speed racing with much greater
radii corners, which just isn't what's going on here.
I said before our corners are 180 degrees and 270 degrees where I realized
belatedly that none are 270 degrees, but many are 90 degrees (and, in fact,
most are 90 degrees) where about 1/10th are 180 degree hairpins.
Interestingly, I noticed that the hairpins all have a "pullout area" (for
trucks, I guess, which always back up forward and backward for a few tries
before they can make the turn).
So we "can" take a hairpin wide but only if the direction we're going has
the pullout, as the pullouts are always in the uphill side of the road,
which can be on either side of the road depending on the switchback.
Again, thank you for suggesting a way for my brain to begin to grasp the
Do you agree with my assessment that downhill is worse than uphill?
And, is the outside tire (the tire furthest from the center of the curve)
the tire that wears most from this feather scrubbing?
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.