Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
9/7/18 2:44 p.m.

I figured you folks would have opinions on this.

I'm looking for general information on tire rotation theories and facts, but the vehicle in question is my truck.  Its 4x4 and currently has Sumitomo 31 x 10.5 - 15  ATs on it.  I do ATs for the light off-roading and they're the best trade off of snow/mud/street.  But being a 4x4, the tread always cups without religious rotating schedules. (which the previous owner did not do)

Some folks are strictly in the front-rear rotation camp which keeps them on the same side so they rotate the same way as before.  Others use the X-pattern which switches all four directions.  Others do the rears to the front and cross the fronts to the opposite back which reverses two of the directions.

My thought is to do the X to keep switching all four tires' direction to keep tread cupping to a minimum.  What says the hive?  Different for performance tires?  Track tires?  Touring tires?  Bias ply? (obvious exceptions for staggered sizes or directional tires)

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
9/7/18 3:02 p.m.

Front to rear, rear cross to front or the inverse will get each tire to each corner of the car, unlike the other two options presented.  It also keeps front/rear sets together... otherwise you could just rotate clockwise or counter clockwise around the car.

Track tires are different because many are directional.

dropstep
dropstep UltraDork
9/7/18 3:07 p.m.

I'm assuming this is for the ranger you purchased. Just straight front too back them and plan on tires sooner then other 4wd trucks. Rangers are notorious for eating tires.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
9/7/18 3:13 p.m.

ProDarwin FTW

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
9/7/18 3:14 p.m.

On 4wd stuff, I rotate like RWD (assuming non-directional tires), so rears go straight forward, fronts cross to the rear.  If it's got a matching spare, there are modified patterns that include the spare in the rotation.  For directional tires, it's just a front / rear swap.  

Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
9/7/18 3:33 p.m.

Any truth to the myth that radial tires get "used to" spinning one way and then have trouble spinning the other way?

Curtis
Curtis UltimaDork
9/7/18 3:34 p.m.
dropstep said:

I'm assuming this is for the ranger you purchased. Just straight front too back them and plan on tires sooner then other 4wd trucks. Rangers are notorious for eating tires.

Pretty much any Ford with a twin I-beam setup eats tires.  I usually am able to keep them happy by rotating every other oil change (10k or so miles)

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
9/7/18 3:36 p.m.
Curtis said:

Any truth to the myth that radial tires get "used to" spinning one way and then have trouble spinning the other way?

I've never had or seen an issue with it.  

APEowner
APEowner Dork
9/7/18 4:31 p.m.
Curtis said:

Any truth to the myth that radial tires get "used to" spinning one way and then have trouble spinning the other way?

This was true decades ago when radial tires first came out but by the early '80s that was no longer the case.  GM issued a bulletin around '82 or so about recommended tire rotation practices and I believe I've seen a similar one from Ford.  The recommendation was to move the drive tires straight to the other end of the vehicle and to cross the other two.  I've followed that recommendation since then and have had good even tire wear right down to the end if tire life.

I've done that on everything from my 4 x 4 truck to my wife's FWD econoboxes.  I don't bother to rotate tires on race cars because if the car is setup right it'll wear both ends pretty evenly.

rdcyclist
rdcyclist New Reader
9/7/18 5:23 p.m.

A sorta off topic diversion: On FWD cars, IIRC, it was suggested to not rotate tires at all, just replace the fronts. The rears will last about forever and you'll be money ahead if you just buy fronts every 40k or so. That assumes your rears don't start cracking or something...

And now ... back to your regularly scheduled program...

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
9/7/18 5:34 p.m.
rdcyclist said:

A sorta off topic diversion: On FWD cars, IIRC, it was suggested to not rotate tires at all, just replace the fronts. The rears will last about forever and you'll be money ahead if you just buy fronts every 40k or so. That assumes your rears don't start cracking or something...

And now ... back to your regularly scheduled program...

Nope.  New to the rear, rears to the front.  The incredibly paranoid tire industry always wants the best tires on the rear, because as we all know, oversteer kills.  If you mindlessly follow that rule, you actually cannot rotate tires ever, because with a set of four new tires, the fronts will be worn more than the rears in 10,000 km, so its against policy to move the better tires to the front.  An excellent object lesson in the absurdity of attempting to make a rule that speaks to every situation.

Back to oversteer killing you, in a fwd car, it kinda does.  Its fine on the racetrack, where the manta of "Stand on the gas and steer like a madman" works for oversteer.  However, I've been caught out in a customers car on a wet road with grippy fronts and baldish rears.  If not for my superhuman skills, I would have crashed, or at least spun.  Your average driver would wind up backwards in the ditch or in the grille of a Kenworth, screaming like a little girl with their hands covering their eyes.

To the OP- Straight ahead, diagonally back, or vice versa.  You have to use the rear axle to get rid of the cupping caused by the front, and if you don't roll all 4 tires through the right rear, those two will wear out sooner than the other two, because physics and no lsd.

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
9/7/18 5:53 p.m.

I've found on FWD cars, at least late models, that the rears wear almost equal to the fronts.

I noticed it particularly with Blizzaks that are directinal .

 summer tires I cross two.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
9/7/18 6:00 p.m.

I keep reading the thread title as Tire Rotation Silence - as in the first rule of Tire Rotation Club is you don't talk about Tire Rotation Club. 

I'm actually taking the 4Runner in to get the tires rotated tomorrow, maybe I'll watch to see what method they use (Having the shop do it keeps them under the extended warranty if they have record of regular rotation, plus free) - oops, I've said too much.

 

Edit - rears were crossed to the front, fronts straight back. (4wd)

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
9/7/18 6:11 p.m.

I rotate front to back, even on non directional tires. Mostly out of habit. It does what it needs to do. Good enough.

 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
9/7/18 9:18 p.m.
Curtis said:

Any truth to the myth that radial tires get "used to" spinning one way and then have trouble spinning the other way?

Late last fall, I replaced the front tires on my 4wd Ford in preparation for winter. My tire rotation schedule is: Old winter tires on summer wheels get thrown out, front tires on summer wheels go to rear, rear tires on winter wheels get put on summer wheels and put on front, front tires on winter wheels go to rear, new tires get mounted on winter wheels. About two weeks after this, it snowed. I was out playing around, and went to flip a tight-quarters "invisible" powerslide (where the rear tires are in the front tires' tracks). This is usually accomplished by tapping the throttle and flicking the wheel, then steering while off the throttle. Since the tread blocks were still feathered from being on the front, when I let off the throttle, the rear of the truck completely disconnected from the surface. I crashed the truck. 

It's actually still in my head, because I used to be able to have the "I don't crash" attitude. Now I know that I might crash, and my overall driving has suffered because of it. 

TL;DR:  The radial tire doesn't necessarily take a set, but the tread blocks could be less effective until they get a little worn into their new position, depending on surface conditions.  

Opti
Opti HalfDork
9/7/18 9:36 p.m.

Your sumitomo ats will probably feather like that no matter what, they aren't a great tire, and when I used to sell them they did it on pretty much anything.

 

Make sure your front end is tight, get an alignment and just rotate front to back every oil change or every other oil change if you want, and most decent tires shouldn't feather. Almost all ATs will be more prone to it though than a good street tire, but it can be avoided.

 

BFG KOs have always been my go to, although I've had decent luck with the bstone and Firestone offerings and the Mich LTX AT2 for a less aggressive mostly street driven fitment

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