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Old 08-23-2014, 06:28 PM   #1
rkjjeep
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Good 205/50-16

Woops - I meant 205/50-16. I Put high buck Michelin defenders on the 2007 SES and rotated them every 5K. Just rotated again and the ones that were on the back for 5K are loud as heck no matter where I put them. Set has about 35K and tons of wear left. Had the car aligned when these were new and just had it checked (it's fine).

Can someone suggest another tire that these cars like? Does the focus have a reputation for turning good tires into loud tires? Yes - I replaced both rear drum/bearing assemblies properly and that didn't change a thing. The noise follows the tires F/R.



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Old 08-25-2014, 02:04 AM   #2
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Fixed the Title for ya, might get more looks now. Sorry I didn't look earlier, the oddball size in the title was one not to comment on so it went unread.

Certain tires have a rep. for more noise as they wear, Tire Rack reviews are a good spot to check for this.

Rear alignment an the Focus can cause wear issues that may lead to noise, you'd have to look at the tires to see if that might be involved (feathering the inside edge is the first sign).

Toe at minimum spec. in the rear solves this if it's happening, a number of threads in the Brakes & Suspension section discuss proper alignment. (front at zero to slightly out, rear at 0.10 in is a typical recommendation).
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Fixed the Title for ya, might get more looks now. Sorry I didn't look earlier, the oddball size in the title was one not to comment on so it went unread.

Certain tires have a rep. for more noise as they wear, Tire Rack reviews are a good spot to check for this.

Rear alignment an the Focus can cause wear issues that may lead to noise, you'd have to look at the tires to see if that might be involved (feathering the inside edge is the first sign).

Toe at minimum spec. in the rear solves this if it's happening, a number of threads in the Brakes & Suspension section discuss proper alignment. (front at zero to slightly out, rear at 0.10 in is a typical recommendation).
From my experience the noise that comes from the tires on our foci is mostly from alignment issues, granted some tires by design are noisy, but even if they say the alignment is ok it could not be in reality due to the broad specs given for a proper alignment.

Case in point: when i purchased my focus the stock tires on it were damaged from the collision the car sustained and was repaired, Days after i finally chose what tire i was going to try and put some hankook ventus v4 tires on.

They worked well for what they are and i was soon discovering they have this hollow resonance sound (like the sound a rubber playground ball makes when bounced) when the tire hits an inconsistency or joint / crack in the road that became highly annoying to me but sorta tolerable. When i was on asphalt roads that were fairly new they were very quiet aside from the very light hollow oscillation, when i got on concrete it was a whole different story it got louder naturally and would quiet down on the grooved concrete segments of the road, i figured this is the nature of the beast and i wont be getting this tire again.

About 7 k in i was noticing a rumble appearing with the tire as soon as i did a rotation of the tires (front to back and back to front as they are directional), i attributed it to the slight difference in suspension geometry and figured the front tires would smooth out come the next rotation.
The next rotation comes and the noise is slightly worse, I'm at this point scratching my head and wondering if the so called alignment the car was suppose to have after it was repaired from the collision was not right?.

So i start scrutinizing the tire wear patterns and discovered some feathering of the tread blocks on the tires, ah ha!!! the rear end is toed in too much as the noise became highly evident on the front after i rotated the rears to the front. At this point the tires are sounding like off road tires the rumble was so bad not even the stereo cranked up could completely mask it!!! So i took an even closer look at the tires and discovered the cause of the rumble, there was some significant cupping of the tread on the inboard shoulder of each tire!!, i figured the negative camber in concert with the apparent toe in was the cause... so the first opportunity i had the funds i made an appointment with my local auto repair shop that was recommended to me and i explained all the issues i was experiencing. They took it in and an hour later i get the call the job was done, i asked for the read out of the alignment and they were happy to provide me one, took it out for a test spin on the highway and the focus did handle better but i noticed my steering wheel was cocked to the right a few degrees, (im quite anal about those things!) but i didn't bother to have it readjusted as the readout said it was straight.

The tire noise did subside a bit after the alignment but was not going away of course cause the damage was done. So i did another rotation of the tires and holy cow it got super noisy once again!!!. So i took a closer look at the tires and the cupping was just as bad, so i decided out of desperation to take the wheels off the car and mark all the high spots with chalk and carefully sand the rubber as even as i can with a belt sander to match the low spots, yes this reduced the tires life on the inboard side but after i did this on all 4 tires the noise all but went away with a slight rumble noise left over at lower speeds!!!.
At the next rotation i swapped the tires and low and behold the noise was the same no increase or decrease, but i noticed the front was still louder then the rear. So i got this brainy idea to take the front tires and have them flipped around on the rim and swap the passenger to drivers side and drivers to passenger side maintaining the rotational direction.

Bingo!!!! the noise was 95 to 98% gone!!!! There was just a very slight rumble at 25 to 30 mph still but getting faster disappeared until i hit 65 mph to 69 mph where there is a higher pitched droning sound that disappears for the most part when i hit 71, mph.

Whats all behind this lengthy description you ask? The rear end was out of alignment even though it was still within specs, all they did was shift the thrust angle a few degrees to the right, they didn't change the toe in or camber, this caused the steering to be skewed a few degrees to the right to compensate but when I'm on the highway the steering wheel is straight due to the road angle and rides straight with no issues.

The reason the tires feathered and cupped was cause of the incorrect thrust angle, soon as that was corrected the tires no longer wore incorrectly and slowly the feathered tread blocks were flattening back out but the cupping was so severe it was the cause of all the tire noise!!! Soon as i rotated to the front the noise became loud because of the rotational torque exerted on the tire, soon as it was put in the back where it was just being dragged along it quieted out for the most part.

Swapping the inboard shoulder to the outboard on the now front tires changed the dynamics of the rotational torque of the tread wear pattern causing the noise to all but disappear.

The remaining speed dependent oscillation is just from the remaining cupping after the tires were shaved a bit and is present at the speeds previously mentioned because that's the speed range i travel at on the highway throughout the tires lifetime!!!, (mostly around 65 to 68 mph)

The tires have almost 27k on them and they have about 1/4 of their tread life left if that, but since the alignment the speed the tires wore down was almost halted in comparison!!!!, i expect to get another 10k out of them before i have to replace, or if winter comes along first in that case ill be seeking out a different tire to replace with so i have some thicker rubber on the road and not whats left of these tires!!

Was the tire to blame for the rumble noise problem i was having??, simply put, NO!

Was the short tread life im going to get from the tire a fault of the tire??, again NO!

These tires were rated at 50k life, but because of the alignment issues this is of course shortened and the rumble noise they generated due to the abnormal wear caused by the alignment!

Is the hollow rubber ball noise i hear to this day the fault of the tire?, YES! the sidewalls are quite thin on these tires and its allowing the oscillation to occur when the tire encounters normal road conditions.

So if your having noise from the tires that was not there when they were new and have appeared slowly as you put 3 to 7k miles on the tire have the alignment scrutinized immediately!!!!, Don't wait like i did!!! inform your choice of alignment shop of the increasing noise issue and also check the tires for cupping by running your hand across the tread feeling for a wavy sensation on the overall surface!!!, if it there let them know of this!!! it fixed my issues although the damage to the tires was done!!!!

Ya might just avoid some headaches down the road with your tires!
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