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Old 08-22-2012, 07:36 PM   #1
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Groove in inner tire tread (SVTf)

Right, so I've only just now gotten home from work after having a tire failure. When I pulled the failed tire off (Front Driver side), I noticed that the fail point was a groove that was rubbed into the edge of the innermost tread - it looked as if it was rubbing on the lower spring mount. Inspected the right side and found the same, only that one hasn't failed yet (it's about to).

Everything up front is what came from the factory aside from the tires and brake pads. 87.5k mi.

So I'm wondering - is this wear pattern common / typical behavior when the suspension wears out on SVTf's (or even regular foci)? I already planned on replacing everything up front, but the groove is what really had me curious.

Will update with pics of the failed tire in a bit.



EDIT (Added Photos):



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Old 08-22-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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That's the first I've heard of that happening excepting some modded vehicles. Could you provide some added info such as current tire size and whether you have stock or aftermarket wheels. OEM shocks? If so how many miles are on them.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
That's the first I've heard of that happening excepting some modded vehicles. Could you provide some added info such as current tire size and whether you have stock or aftermarket wheels. OEM shocks? If so how many miles are on them.
Stock Ford Racing Rally style rim, stock tire size (215/45R17)
Like I said, everything except most basic wear items (tires/brake pads, etc.) is stock from the factory.

These tires were Dunlop M3 Winter tires that have been on there about 18-20 months, so I'm not at all surprised that they had worn out, only surprised by the groove. (I been po' / unemp'd til recently and couldn't afford all seasons. new rims / tires in the works now though, heh)

As I mentioned in passing in another post, the car has been jerking a bit when it hits grooves in the road, which is indicative of either bad alignment or a lot of play in tie rods/bearings/ball joint (or any combo thereof)
My best guess is that currently the car may be experiencing excessive outward toe, and possibly extra neg. camber from worn springs/shocks in addition to any wear on bearings/ball joint. In that type of scenario with a soft compound like a winter tire, could that cause the tire to flex at freeway speeds in such a way that a groove like that would be possible? I wouldn't think so given the 45 profile of the tire, but then that's why I'm on here asking about it. It's also safe to say that I do tend to be a little hard on my tires in a good bend.

I did inspect the lower spring mount on the car, and I didn't see any signs of rubbing.
I also monitor my tire pressures regularly.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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Springs rarely wear out. There can be some initial sag when new, but its usually very small. The groove has to be coming from someplace and the most likely culprit on the inside of the tire is the strut (lower spring seat) as you indicated. You aggressive driving style along with a worn front dampers could be resulting in excessive negative camber. Try this, put some fresh paint (white, yellow, etc.) on the edge of the spring seat. In a safe location, and while the paint is tacky do an aggressive shalom run and then check the tires for some paint transfer.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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are/were those snow tires? That could just be the typical case of bad toe that had gotten all the way down to the cords.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
Springs rarely wear out. There can be some initial sag when new, but its usually very small. The groove has to be coming from someplace and the most likely culprit on the inside of the tire is the strut (lower spring seat) as you indicated. You aggressive driving style along with a worn front dampers could be resulting in excessive negative camber. Try this, put some fresh paint (white, yellow, etc.) on the edge of the spring seat. In a safe location, and while the paint is tacky do an aggressive shalom run and then check the tires for some paint transfer.
I prefer 'spirited'
Good suggestion though -Unfortunately it will have to wait until Friday evening or Saturday before I can run that test. I'll be getting new tires on in the morning then jetting straight to work. If it's not an alignment problem that caused the groove (will have it aligned w/the new [used] tires), then I should see evidence of rubbing on the tire by this weekend.


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are/were those snow tires? That could just be the typical case of bad toe that had gotten all the way down to the cords.
Yeah, they were high-silica snow tires, And yeah, that's what I mostly thought too, aside from that little groove.
Looking at the shape of the wear / groove, and bearing in mind that the tire is now deflated - I find it slightly difficult to believe that the tire would flex/stretch that much, even with the softer compound. It is possible, but I'm not sold on that particular notion. I don't corner that hard, except maybe occasionally on on-ramps when it's clear.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:12 PM   #7
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Stopped to inspect the tires coming out of the office today, and sitting on level ground I can definitely see some cambering from the worn out suspension - its not too terrible but still a couple degrees. I'll try to get some paint or silicone on the lower strut spring plates tomorrow then take it around some stiff corners up the street to check for rubbing after an alignment first thing in the morning. Will also see if the shop can give me pre-alignment readings.
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