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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Tire type for front end E350/E450

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Harvard

51.6N 114.7W

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Posted: 10/15/10 04:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was told by an experienced truck alignment tech that the tires for the Ford E350/E450 "Twin I-Beam" front end should be "closed shoulder rib steer tires", M+S tire types will "cup and wear unevenly". What is your opinion? Thanks.

tatest

Oklahoma Green Country

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Posted: 10/15/10 04:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I find that my E-450 motorhome certainly handles better on Michelin's closed shoulder XPS Rib tires than it did on their blockier LTX M/S that Ford installed as original equipment. However, in the 35,000 miles run on the LTX M/S before replacing the tires on the basis of age, there was no indication of cupping or uneven wear, on any of the six tires.

Front end was aligned for traveling weight, and kept that way. I can see a possibility of wear problems for E-series that are operated over a wide range of weights, but you would have similar issues with most other IFS geometries, used the same way. This is not so much a problem with a C motorhome, it can be aligned "heavy" and it will almost always be driven that way. You can't take the house off (which is the bulk of the load) and you will seldom travel without your "stuff" loaded.


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B


pauldub

North of Seattle

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Posted: 10/15/10 06:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The M+S tires on the front of my '03 have 45K miles and are worn evenly with no cupping.

kgmz

Portland, OR and Eatonville, WA

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Posted: 10/15/10 09:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Also no problems with M & S rated tires all the way around on our rig in over 10 years.


1998 29' Itasca Sundancer pulling a 2002 Interstate West 27' All-Sport, 10,400 GVWR with Yamaha Mountain Viper's inside.

2001 Suburban 2500 LT,8.1,4.10
2001 2500HD Crewcab Longbox LT,8.1,4.10


JT

out west

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Posted: 10/16/10 08:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

" was told by an experienced truck alignment tech that the tires for the Ford E350/E450 "Twin I-Beam" front end should be "closed shoulder rib steer tires", M+S tire types will "cup and wear unevenly" "
---
Does the shop this tech works for happen to sell Michelin XPS "ribs"? XPS *are* good tires, one of only two in size 225/75R/16 with *steel-belted sidewalls* (the other is the Goodyear 947), but *any* tire will "cup and wear unevenly" if the front end of the truck is out of alignment. BTW, if you do go to the XPS ribs, they should be installed (and balanced and aligned) on all 6 wheels, not just the "steer tires".

I am on my second set of Michelin LTX M+S (the mud and snow designation means simply that the tread grooves are more widely-spaced and continue to the outside of the tire than on a non-M+S tires), and have had NO problems in 65000 miles. When it's time for another set of tires, I'll likely go again with the Michelin M+S or possibly the AS2; MIchelin's website has all the specs.

Harvard

51.6N 114.7W

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Posted: 10/16/10 08:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JT wrote:

" was told by an experienced truck alignment tech that the tires for the Ford E350/E450 "Twin I-Beam" front end should be "closed shoulder rib steer tires", M+S tire types will "cup and wear unevenly" "
---
Does the shop this tech works for happen to sell Michelin XPS "ribs"? XPS *are* good tires, one of only two in size 225/75R/16 with *steel-belted sidewalls* (the other is the Goodyear 947), but *any* tire will "cup and wear unevenly" if the front end of the truck is out of alignment. BTW, if you do go to the XPS ribs, they should be installed (and balanced and aligned) on all 6 wheels, not just the "steer tires".

I am on my second set of Michelin LTX M+S (the mud and snow designation means simply that the tread grooves are more widely-spaced and continue to the outside of the tire than on a non-M+S tires), and have had NO problems in 65000 miles. When it's time for another set of tires, I'll likely go again with the Michelin M+S or possibly the AS2; MIchelin's website has all the specs.


Let me give you more detail about the encounter. This alignment rack is for trucks, the tech with this advice has been doing alignments for 35 years or so. I took my unit (2004 E450) in because I measured the camber on both wheels to be appox NEG 1.1 Degrees (Specified Range is 0.0 to +1.0). His alignment report shows the camber at NEG 0.6 degrees on both wheels. But because the Cross Camber is within spec he did not touch the camber at all. So here I am thinking the reason he has this advice is because his tools/technique is not measuring camber corectly and even at that he should be at the least dialing out the measured NEG 0.6 degrees???

j-d

Sunny Florida USA

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Posted: 02/15/11 10:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I believe that
1. Rib-type tires will steer (and TRACK) a little better than M&S. I get this from other tire recommendations I've picked up from Class A's which have wheels big enough to use "truck tires." Choices are Steering, Traction, Trailer, and probably more. Some shops recommend Steer Tires on all six wheel positions because coaches have tracking problems and Steer Tires want to go straight.
2. A properly aligned Class C on an E-Series chassis will NOT wear M&S tires unevenly. This is from experience with our previous MH. I wanted M&S because I thought they'd be better in Florida downpours and experience less hydroplaning. That coach REALLY wandered on the road till I got the toe from Out to a little In then a little more In. I never had that coach professionally aligned. It had the kingpin front end (way better than 1992 and later!) and all I replaced was bushings. Axle and Radius Arm. Then re-set the Toe. It came out at least as good, with M&S tires and no add-ons like sway bar, track bar and etc. And in eight years the new M&S tires showed no odd wear.
Another recent project I did was cross rotate front tires to rear inners. All six are Bridgestone Duravis, an all-steel, Rib tire. I get my advice in Anchorage, too, and a truck shop there told me to put the worn inner edges on inner duals and between the tires. The ones from the front still have closed ribs, but they have a more M&S looking tread than the four that started out on the rear.
I cannot say that the slightly different rib design helped with the improved tracking I've been seeing. It might have been partially from getting shoulder-to-shoulder contact back on the front tires... The inner edges were worn from worn tie rod parts and excess Toe Out... But I CAN say for sure - The very ribby tires I have on the front now have made the drive noticeably quieter.


If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB

Harvard

51.6N 114.7W

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Posted: 02/15/11 08:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP Here.

For the record:

All the poor handling characteristics with this 2004 E450 were later rectified by increasing the front wheel CASTER by +2.0 degrees.

The NEW CASTER settings are:

LH changed from +3.3 to +5.3 degrees
RH changed from +3.5 to +5.5 degrees

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