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Old 07-13-2008, 09:57 PM
hobohilton hobohilton is offline
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Question Front Tire Wear

I just traded my F-150 in on a 2004, F-350, 4 Door Extended Cab,6.8L V10,4WD, XLT with 75k miles at a FORD dealership. CARFAX shows it being in Southern CA since new and on a commercial lease program. Same dealer has done all required service and I have the information. I noticed a unique wear pattern on the front tires. Not over or under inflation. After driving it a little I picked up a unique feeling I have had on other one ton trucks. When stopping the vehicle feels like it has more braking power with the front wheels than the back wheels. At 47k miles there was a "thrust alignment" done and tires replaced, tire condition and pressure checked and tires balanced. At 63k miles front and rear brakes were replaced, tires were rotated / replaced. At 66k miles a two wheel alignment was done. The dealer service department could not explain the unique front tire wear. The roads have been dry so I have not attempted a hard stop on wet roads. I suspect the front end will slide. This unit spent it's life in SoCal and now I'm in the Pacific Northwest. I'd like to solve this issue before the rain begins to fall later this year. I have read there is a "modulator valve" in the ABS. Could this be the problem? Thanks
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:37 AM
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Elaborate on the tire wear. Wear on the tire is it wearing, inside or outside tread?
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:52 PM
hobohilton hobohilton is offline
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Wear

Both front tires are showing the unusual wear evenly .... both across the tread and around the total circumference. Front tires are very good (90%). If you stand by the tire and look straight across the top, toward the motor each "tread" resembles a small wedge (like a wedge of cheese). The tall side of the wedge is toward the front of the truck. The wedge slopes towards the rear of the truck and ends before the next tread. The leading edge of the next tread is taller than the thin edge of the previous tread.

I have spent the past 20 years driving this size truck and most have been Fords. When I put on the brakes this unit seems to "nose down" just a bit more than other similar units. On other units I've driven with too much braking on the rear wheels they seem to stop almost level with hardly any "nose down". It's hard to explain, just how it feels when stopping.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:33 AM
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I had tire wear before just as you described and it turned out to be bad ball joints.

Jack up the front of your truck and grab one of the tires from the top and bottom and try to move it back and forth. If you have any movement at all and I mean any, you need new ball joints.

When this happened to me, I replaced the ball joints and rotated the tires and didn't have a problem after that.

Just a thought!
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:39 AM
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On top of either bad ball joints or bad wheel bearings, the front end might need a caster/camber alignment. Thrust adjustments are the cheap and easy alignments, but don't address caster and camber.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:08 PM
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I having the same problems with the front tires but the truck also vibrates when going over 60mph, it seems like it's coming from the back not bad but it's annoying. I hope it's not ball joints or bearing because I only have 39k on the truck so both shouldn't be a problem that soon. I though it was bad shocks that were doing it to the tires and replaced them with bilstien but it still does it.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:26 PM
Haymanwolf Haymanwolf is offline
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It sounds to me like your tires are "cupping" from being out of balance. If I leave my tires on the front of my '03 F350 CC DRW for more than 10,000 miles, they cup really bad and make noise and eventually vibrate. Since the wheels on my truck are polished different, front and rear, I can't rotate the tires without dismounting them from the wheels. I just run the fronts 'til I can't stand them anymore, then I buy new ones and put the old fronts on the rear. The cupping eventually wears away and they quiet down.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:40 PM
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Also, get a new suspension/tire shop, stop relying on the dealer. Any decent tire shop can look at your tires and make a pretty good guess at what is happening.

I see your in Oregon, so I recommend you go to Les Schwab. A lot of guys poo-poo them, and they don't always have the best prices, but they do good work, they never tried to cheat me and there's a les Schwab in every podunk town in the west that will honor the warranty. I had them rebuild my front suspension on my last 4x4 twice (in 220k miles) before I sold it. I just wish they were in Wisconsin.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:46 PM
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I noticed the exact same thing on my 05' 6.0l 350 drw cc 2wd work truck. It was under heavy service though - 25k lbs. I just thought it was a characteristic of the heavy loads. No unusual vibrations, thumps, ill-handling characteristics. The only time it was without a trailer/load was coming home from the store for the night. We put new tires on last winter and after a couple trips I got the wedge tread.

Steve
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:55 PM
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OP just described what fall in the "Cupping" category.
Main causes are;

1. worn suspension/steering components.
2. improper balancing.

most likely a combination of the two.

If it was my vehicle it would be at a frame and wheel shop to inspect steering and suspension parts along with a wheel balance.
Hope it isn't anything serious but a set of shocks.
good luck.
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:55 PM
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