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Technical Check your tires on your car!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 54 Chevy, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,326


    There are several things to look for...the easiest thing to look for, is a date code that's over 10 years old. Or over 5 years old if you're really paranoid. I recently had a tire come apart sitting in my garage, mounted on a rim, but not on a had a 3 digit date code, so it was at least 15 years old. I think I took it off the car around 2009.

    One of my unfounded pet theories is that it's just not easy to make rubber and steel stick together, so steel belted radials want to come apart after a while.
  2. Probably a good theory. My experience with steel belted radials is that if you don't run them hard they don't hold up well. my best experience with radials was with aramid belts back in the early '90s. The wife is running some with Kevlar belts now, they are not cheap nor were the aramid belts.

    People just assume that I am down on radials. I come from a radial tire family, the old man was running Pirellis way back when "real" hot rods were only running bias plys. I run what is available to me when I am buying tires. I have been known to haunt farm coops when I really want to run bias plys, but I don't find either type to be a necessity to anything or everything that I drive.

    I have had as many brand new tires come apart on me in my time as old worn tires. I seldom by off brand tires either. My experience with tires is this they are either good tires or they are not. I have yet to read a real study that actually lays out how old a tire can or should be, I do hear a lot of conjecture. I know this yes American made tires have date codes on them if they are produced after a certain date (which eludes me at this moment). new radial tires are rated by mileage not by longevity in terms of time. There is no way that a tire company can determine how many miles a year that anyone is going to put on a tire. I have yet to see a use by date on a tire.

    I am not a chemical engineer and I do not know what rubber compound is used in the tires that any of any of us are running so there is not way for me to determine how long anyone's tires are good for.

    edit damnit:
    PeteJoe beat you to the telling the beaner what a durometer is called this time you are a little slow on the draw. What is wring with you today? :D
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,326


    Yeah, well, I've been, busy.
  4. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,070

    Lone Star Mopar

    I've noticed the quality of all the rubber parts I've used as of late seems to be of less quality. Control arm bushings, shock bushings, tires, even the short stint of fuel line on my wifes 57 Chevy show substantial dry rot & cracking after 1 year and a few thousand miles at best. I dont trust any of it, inspect and replace as necessary. Brings up the question why is the rubber nowadays so crappy ?
    clem likes this.
  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,326


    It can't be because the price went down.
    clem likes this.
  6. Interesting thought, when I was in Mexico we discovered that wiper blades on my old trucks down in the rain forest were good for about 6 months and the same blades in Mexico City were good for about a month. There was a lot more pollution in the DF than there was out in the bush. I have read that hyrdo-carbons commonly found in air pollution is excessively hard on rubber. Perhaps the use of inferior product as well as hydro carbons have an ill effect on the modern rubber.
  7. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    Inside,outside and between the treads
  8. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,924

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Boy am I in trouble...One pair is 30 [circle track, no DOT McCreary recaps ] and the other is 42 [DOT, Joie Chitwood!]....I have way better luck with tires than a simple 6v to 12v swap..And TA's have recently got a bad rep at least around here, bitch to get tire guts out of the front suspension...
  9. 54 Chevy
    Joined: Sep 4, 2010
    Posts: 358

    54 Chevy

    I received an email back from Interco tires. They said that all of their tires have a dot number. They also said that it may be on the back of the tire.
  10. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,854


    The tires on my 55 sunliner were 8 years old and a piece of wood punctured one so a new set went on shortly after,the old tires still had plenty of tread so they went on my vehicles that only get driven locally.
  11. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    The tires on my late model pick up looked like new but there were cracks where I could see the air inside. Now eleven years old and on the third set of tires at 73,000. It sits in a garage or on cement. But I suppose the Florida sun kills them early. So far I haven't wore any down much.
    My 18' flat bed was used to make seven 1000 mile round trips from Illinois to Florida. All four looked new. It's been sitting on blocks and wheels covered over 20 years. Recently son used it. Three of the four started peeling rubber. I'm beginning to believe they are only good for seven years max.
    The old Chevy wagon gets new tires every five years and the 41 Ford when they crack out.
  12. metlmunchr
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 757


    Your theory is well founded as making rubber stick to steel is the single most difficult (and critical) part of making a tire with structural integrity. It took Goodyear, Firestone, and all the other US tiremakers several years in the 70's to get to the point where they could make steel radials that would last the full tread life without a significant percentage of them having wire sticking out thru the edges of the tread due to separation of the wire from the rubber and individual wires breaking as a result.

    I spent 10 yrs as a R&D engineer working for the company that invented radial tires, but I never saw any tests based on letting an inflated tire just sit around for a number of years and looking at the long term integrity of the carcass. I've seen enough examples of that type failure to say it definitely does happen. My own unfounded theory on that is that the belt eventually comes apart due to time dependent creep rather than some failure that happens across a few seconds. Obviously, when it finally blows, that's an instantaneous event, but its likely just the culmination of something that's happened over a much longer period of time. The belt failure always seems to be at a distinct and fairly acute angle across the belt. Never straight across, and never a random break as if it was just pulled apart like a rag. I assume this happens at the belt splice, but can't say that for sure since my work in the tire business didn't concern the details of the belt splice.

    In defense of tire manufacturers, tires are designed to be used for their intended purpose starting at time of sale rather than to sit around for years and maintain their usefulness. I've got a 6.00-16 bias tire, mounted on a 40 Ford wheel and inflated, that I've had since I got it with a parts car 45 yrs ago. The man I bought the car from said it had been sitting in his back yard since 55, so that would make the tire more than 60 yrs old, yet it still holds air and has never been re-inflated since I've had it. It probably wouldn't run half a mile under any load, but it does say something about bias tires not self destructing over a pretty long period of time. Or maybe it'd be more accurate to say a tire with all textile construction does better in this respect than one with steel construction. Radial or bias may not have anything to do with it.
    TagMan likes this.
  13. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,313


    another thing you need to look at if you run old tires is the little print of your insurance policies. Some co's will not pay out for damages if the accident was caused by a tire blowout that is over 6 years old. Friend found out the hard way a few years ago.
  14. Dchaz
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 481


    My father in law had the left rear tire start to come apart on his 49 Lincoln coming back Sunday. He bought these tires from Firestone after the right rear completely blew apart without any warning two years ago coming home from Round Up. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1429581559.616994.jpg

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  15. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,154


    Heat build up is the problem. I've seen this happen six times always on ten year or older radials and always in the summer on long drives. It do get hot in Tennessee in the summer. I run my seven years and then buy new ones and make sure they are no older than a year. A friend ordered tires for his RV and they were five years from the warehouse. He refused to take them.
    Model T1 likes this.
  16. That's because other than the DOT/manufacturer studies I mentioned, there aren't any. I can't find the link to that report any more, just the 'final' version that doesn't have all the 'side' info the original report had. There's one reason and one reason only for these 'age limits'; to reduce or eliminate liability to the manufacturers. There isn't even any agreement as to what the 'safe' limit is. You'll hear 5 years, 6 years, 8 or even 10, depending on who you talk to. Some car manufacturers make recommendations, some don't. A lot of this is simply seen as an opportunity to sell more tires; when all this first started, Dunlop initially announced a 3 year limit on their motorcycle tires but after howls from their wholesale distributors (who suddenly realized they would be eating a lot of slow-selling sizes), they doubled it to 6 years.

    I'll repeat; nowhere in those reports was there documentable evidence of a tire failure based solely on age. Underinflation/overload coupled with high ambient temperatures was the number one cause of failure. Assigning an arbitrary 'time limit' is the same as saying when your new-car warranty runs out, you need to replace the car...
  17. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,235

    from Ok

    I have seen tire failure happen at speed on three hot rods, all were tires with few miles but over six years old. All three resulted in body damage far in excess of the cost of a set of tires. I have 10 year old tires on my F100 because it never sees extended highway miles anymore. If I decided to take it on the road tires would be replaced. All others get replaced after 6 to 7 years.
    Model T1 likes this.
  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,326


    That's because the tires in the test were not very old, so there was no data on failure due to age.
  19. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,242


    You probably don't know this for a fact. Maybe you hit something in the road which can happen with a brand new tire. (like my wife did). Blew a half dollar size hole out of the side of the tire.
  20. One more thing that should be noted; all new tires are 'rated' for treadwear, traction, and temperature. If you do live in the sunbelt, you should probably pay attention to that particular rating.
  21. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,271

    from KCMO

    Well while you guys argue the finer points of how a chuck of rubber may or may not age I'll tell you all the first thing that popped in my head when I saw the front of that merc smeared right off.

    Scrub line.

    It's neat to be static low and all but how cool is it when your variously aged tire gives and your rockers hit the asphalt and swing you into something sturdy?
    Asphalt Angel likes this.
  22. Not true. The DOT study was multi-year and they retrieved used tires from multiple sources in the Phoenix area, making it a point to get tires across a wide range of ages as well as a good range of popular sizes/brands. The studies that the car/tire manufacturers performed were done on new tires, artificially ageing them. They both reached pretty much the same conclusions. Again, all this came out the Ford/Firestone thing because there was some question that tire age may have played a part. In the end, it was determined that because Ford recommended an abnormally low rear tire pressure (22 psi IIRC) to promote a soft ride on the Explorers, that's what caused the tire failures.

    That's not to say that the tire manufacturers haven't taken advantage of all this and 'cheapened' their tires in terms of ageing resistance over the last few years.
  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,326


    The oldest tires in the study were not over 5 years old....iirc.

    edit: I found the test, the oldest tires were 8 years old.

    which is about when we mostly all recommend replacing them. So, the test only studied tires that are within normal age, not what we consider to be "old" tires.

    the pdf file
  24. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    And most of these failures are radials.....

    I personally run them until I see the second layer of cord
  25. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,401

    from Nicasio Ca

    The two blowouts I've had in recent history were both carrying loads (motorcycles) on very hot days at highway speeds and I was negligent about checking pressure. Not anymore. Check load limits when hauling or using small tires.
  26. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,682


    Shitty deal on Jason's Merc, I've been lucky with my blowouts. Good thing everyone was ok.. Hopefully he will get it back on the road soon. image.jpg
  27. Here's the key finding (quoted verbatim from the report) and one reason a 'one-size-fits-all' tire age replacement recommendation is BS...

    "Tire aging (service-related degradation) is expected to occur due to changes in tire materials, particularly the tire rubber and its bonds to adjacent components. Two main types of changes were expected: 1) Mechanically induced changes in the rubber due to the stresses and strains developed by the tire while supporting the load both statically and under the cyclic deflections of operation; and 2) oxidation of tire rubber components that occurs also during both static and dynamic use. Mechanically induced changes in tire rubber and interfaces were expected not to vary substantially from geographic location to geographic location. However, the oxidation of the tire rubber is a chemical reaction. These reactions have been generally been shown to conform to an Arrhenius-type reaction rate, which as a rule of thumb states that for every 10 degrees C (18 degrees F) increase in temperature, the rate of the chemical reaction doubles.[18, 19, 20, 21, 22] Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that increasing ambient temperature will increase the rate at which the oxidation of tire rubber will occur. (bold added)

    Based on the principles of polymer chemistry, NHTSA expected that the “worst case” tires in service in the United States to be found in the southern States."

    As noted, mechanical degradation is pretty much dependent on miles driven and the same everywhere. But the oxidation of the rubber is temperature dependent and increases in rate as temp goes up. So a tire that has a 6 year service life in Phoenix will only age 1/2 as much if you live someplace with a 18 degree cooler average temp. Only 1/4 as much if the temp is 36 degrees cooler. So claiming that 'all' tires should be replaced after 6 years isn't really true unless you live where it gets as hot as Phoenix. So a 6 year tire in Phoenix is what, a 14-16 year tire in Seattle? A 24 year tire in Alaska? Living where I do (the Pacific NW), I have a very hard time swallowing the idea that my tires have gone 'bad' in 6, 8, or even 10 years. I've had tire failures, but I can only recall one that could have been attributed to age, and that tire was at least 15 years old and looked it. I wasn't surprised when it failed....
  28. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091


    I know it is a little off the vehicle But air planes have service dates on everything. So can any one tell me how old would a air craft tire have to be for scheduled replacement.
  29. It depends on the tire. I have got really good service from KUMHO Radial tires. Im presently running some 10 years old. Ive had other radials go bad very quickly. ive never had a new bias fail. Yesterday I drove my 66 GMC to Corning Ar. 35 miles one way never got above 60 MPH. When I got there I noticed the tread had starting coming off of the Passenger rear bias ply. That tire is likely over 40 years old . its a 6 ply with a tube still holding air. Any way I drove it home and more tread came off. Used 3 year old radials worry me more than 40 year old bias ply. The wire eventually starts creeping in the radial no matter if its sitting or driven daily. Hotter temps cause the creep to accelerate. When I was a kid A good bias casing was recapped. Ive seen recap tires wear out the cap and also seen them sling off the cap in a few miles.
    Model T1 likes this.
  30. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,140


    I am going to add something to this thread that some people are not going to like... The driver of the car should pay attention to what the car is saying.
    If you get a little wiggle when driving slow thru town, that is a bad belt.
    If you get a vibration or shake at speed that happens at speed at times, then dissappears, it could be a belt.
    Look at your tires closely on occasion, all the way around, you see a worn spot on a tire with good tread, you have a bad tire. I have seen tire with better than half tread worn thru the belts in a 2-3 inch area.
    Look at your tires and see the treads not going straight around a tire, you have a bad tire.
    Listen to your tires, Often times you can hear a flap,flap kind of sound. It could be a bad tire. Usually you hear that on somebody elses car as they drive by you.
    You hear a squeek that sounds like a bad u-joint or a hubcap. Check it out, it could be a bad tire. Belts in a tire can squeek.
    All these happen a long time before a tire explodes. Very seldom will a tire just explode without a warning. I have been in the tire business a few times in my life.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
    Model T1 likes this.

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