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Old 11-26-2007, 06:31 PM   #1
 
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slippery conditions w/bad tires

Hey everyone. Just looking for some INFORMED opinions about tires.

Here's the setup....I recently purchased a new pair of tires for the front of my 2000 ZX3 (BFG Traction TA's). I realize that some like these tires and some don't, that's not the issue right now. The rear tires are a Goodyear variety with about 5/32 tread life left.

I only bought the 2 for budgetary reasons, but after a recent trip on the interstate, I'm second guessing my actions.

While travelling on the interstate, and when I'd hit an icy patch (such as under-passes and on bridges), the rear of the car would get away from me for just a second. I found that if I let off the accelerator prior to hitting the patch, it would help. But it scared the heck out of me.

So I'm wondering how much of a difference a new set on the back would make when travelling at those speeds? Would it solve my problem of the rear of the car fish-tailing slightly?

And I know you should replace all the tires if you replace any, but I just couldn't at the time. And I don't worry about handling and performance with this car....that's what my LT1 is for.

Thanks for your opinions.


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Old 12-01-2007, 10:10 PM   #2
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Thumbs down Slippery Conditions

It just isn't the bad tires. This happens to me even with a set of good tires. Scary isn't the word for it. It feels like the ass end of the car is hydroplaning. I have to slow to 50 mph in slippery conditions.

Are you aware of the rear tire problems for the focus? Excessive wear on the inside edge of the tread is commonplace. I am wondering if this is causing the death trap feeling I'm getting from car in slippery conditions.
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:12 PM   #3
 
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There was talk about this earlier this week. I think most were agreeing on alignment was to blame.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:29 PM   #4
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have it realighned with the rear as close to 0 camber / 0 caster as possible. ford has even changed the alignment specs for the earlier foci. camber bolts will most likely be needed. if they can't get the caster theres a little trick to fix it, take the bolt out of the lower arm and seperate it from the hub, then simply elongate the holes in the lower arm about 1/4 to 3/8 inch toward the center of the car, reassemble and align, tighten and your done. once they get the caster, the camber bolt will get that adjusted
when they align it they will need to leave a slight amount of camber and caster, but just slight. mines at less than 1 deg for each. really took the wag out of it. a swaybar also helps.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:24 PM   #5
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Actually, you should have your best tires on the back. You can't steer the back. If the front slides over a little, you can steer it back in line, if the back does that, you have no choice but to steer the front over to put it ahead of the back again. And hope you're still on the road. Of course, I understand this leaves you with the problem of getting the damned thing moving in the first place.
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Old 12-05-2007, 01:18 PM   #6
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have it realighned with the rear as close to 0 camber / 0 caster
^^^I think you mean "Toe", not caster. (there is no caster setting on the rear)
Regardless, getting to 0° toe with as little negative camber as possible will help the situation in slippery conditions,
as well as making the tires last longer.

Actually, you should have your best tires on the back.
That's debatable, as with bald tires on the front, there won't be any steering available.

kndlz28;
Think of mismatched tires this way.
Good tires on front, bad on back:
^^^You'll get to see where you've been once you spin out.
Good tires on back, bad on front:
^^^You'll see the wreck coming directly at you, and you'll have time to brace for impact.

Seriously...get all 4 tires with equal traction, a good alignment, and your problems should go away.
^^^I'd start with the tires, and see if the same shop can throw in a discounted alignment at the same time.
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goinloco1 View Post
have it realighned with the rear as close to 0 camber / 0 caster as possible. ford has even changed the alignment specs for the earlier foci. camber bolts will most likely be needed. if they can't get the caster theres a little trick to fix it, take the bolt out of the lower arm and seperate it from the hub, then simply elongate the holes in the lower arm about 1/4 to 3/8 inch toward the center of the car, reassemble and align, tighten and your done. once they get the caster, the camber bolt will get that adjusted
when they align it they will need to leave a slight amount of camber and caster, but just slight. mines at less than 1 deg for each. really took the wag out of it. a swaybar also helps.
Any recomendations for a swaybar vendor or brand?
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Old 12-21-2007, 11:48 PM   #8
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if your on a budget one off a car in a wrecking yard is fine (you can get all the mounts and endlinks this way).
for a daily driver a good aftermarket would be eiback or go to ford and order the rear swaybar for an svt. stay away from the larger performance bars tho, they tend to be a tad stiff.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:41 PM   #9
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Also consider changing driving habits when on ice or snow. Once you're on a patch of ice its really too late to do anything. Hold the wheel straight and drive through it. Letting up on the gas only upsets the weight balance (makes the rear lighter) which can induce oversteer (the rear end wanting to come around). Try to be vigilant and slow down before you get to the icy spots. Always do your braking before the icy area never when you're on it.
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
Also consider changing driving habits when on ice or snow. Once you're on a patch of ice its really too late to do anything. Hold the wheel straight and drive through it. Letting up on the gas only upsets the weight balance (makes the rear lighter) which can induce oversteer (the rear end wanting to come around). Try to be vigilant and slow down before you get to the icy spots. Always do your braking before the icy area never when you're on it.
Amen to that. This was happening to me today on I-35 in KC. I just let off and braked before I hit the ice and I was fine. The rear did want to slide a bit if I did not do this.
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