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BMWs and wheel alignment

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BMWs and wheel alignment

Old 4th Jan 2017, 10:14
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Once upon a too frequent time when money was tight and my two front tyres needed replacing I asked the tire fitter to move the newer rear tyres to the front and put one same-brand new tire and the never used spare on the back.

But he didn't do that, instead he left the rear tyres where they were and stuck a new tyre on the front with the never used spare fitted to the other side.

So now the FR tyre is 16 years old, the FL tyre is 6 years old, and both the RR and RL tyres are 9 years old. They are all the same brand and type but I cannot vouch for their country of manufacture.

You would think the front would be noticeably unstable, but it isn't, the left rear tire must have some kind of internal defect because it's always been prone to spinning on the spot and slipping out on right-hand turns. It's serial number is very close to the other rear tyre, but who knows where it was manufactured. I think the tyre fitter actually did me a favour so I plan on visiting again and replacing the lot now that I have a penny to spend.

Bit different from the days when I got 138,000 kms out of 5 tyres.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 10:15
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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bingofuel

BMW is a rear wheel drive. What you are suggesting is not viable. Please, NWSRG, do not take that advice.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 12:37
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Back when I was a penniless flying instructor, I had a front tyre which wore more on the inside than the outside. Being unable to afford costly repairs I waited until it got to about half way and had the tyre removed and refitted the other way around.

In those days, alignment problems could be solved by increasing tyre pressure on the side the car was pulling towards and reducing it on the other.

A tyre fitter also explained to me that it was a bad idea to drive with a flat tyre as the metal plies broke and punctured the inner tube.

I gave up on retread tyres when I discovered it wasn't a good idea to sit at 60mph all day in Australian summer time temperatures on them as the tread was inclined to seperate from the body of the tyre due to heat build up.

Luckily now I can afford a decent brand and I replace them as soon as the dealer recommends.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 14:02
  #24 (permalink)  
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Best matched pair on the FRONT - always.

Rear wheel drive will burn off more back wheel rubber over time. You can monitor that. If the back steps out you should know how to handle that - every year find some track or another to practice on. Turn of the ESP or whathaveyou and have fun.

Front wheel drive: A whole new ballgame. When minis came out I spent a long time learning how to turn an 'infinite slip angle' on the front into a familiar rear wheel slide. Flicking wheel while snapping on the handbrake usually did the trick. But it could backfire on one*.

I'm still happier with the power coming out of the back. My erstwhile mate with the Honda R says he's not bothered about over 300hp in a feather-light car having the power coming out of the front. Odd.

One could get the hang of easing off the power to change the driving line through a corner, but really, the amplification that gave to steering angles was a set of new laws and hopping back to RWD was often reverse confusing.

*one night stopped off at the to-be Rivertess' house and then set off to cut through Maldon back to Frinton. Nice windy roads that I knew intimately. I became intimate with one particular left by really tugging on the handbrake and finding I'd hooked the ratchet solid and couldn't get it off. No traffic but a raised mud curb on my now infinite vector. Boing kerplumph.

You wouldn't think a little mini could be so hard to roll back onto its wheels, but no amount of rocking would get it upright. All the time I'm thinking, Oh, No, I'll be wrecking the door panel etc.

A rare thing happened. Another car headed towards me. Phew, just a bloke with his girlfriend. He toddled across but even the two of us couldn't rock it upright. "Oi, get over here!" That's the way to talk to girlies - I expect, I've never actually dared. The apparition that stepped out of the car was precisely what I didn't want to see. A tall slim, nay, stick-insect-like, blond wobbled over on 4" heels. Her wrists were about as thick as my finger. Her white lace just revealed a frame that barely held up the weight of the evening frock. I had one of those internal sighs and rolled my eyes to the stars. Us blokes had pushed like hell, but now she was going to help by about one Nanno-foot-Newton . . . or less.

First push, nearly. Second push, the car crashed over onto its wheels. I eyed the girlie anew, wondering if she might levitate back to her Morris 8. I did a lot of waving, thanking and checking fluids. Oddly, all okay.

Back the the Rivetess' house looking rather pale. I'd noticed the windshield was crushed outwards in the middle by an inch or two, but decided to do nothing until the dawn. Breakfast, gloves and sunglasses on, and pulled the windshield out of the rubber and dumped it on the rear seat. Mate's garage at midday.

Landrover, big chain. Several mates standing on other side and me shouting instructions for squareness. 'That'll do.' 'No, no, a little bit more. X two or three. Perfect. Grips to bend the lip straight and 7/6d to buy touch up paint. The door was astonishingly good. Soap and cussing got the glass back in, and a friendly dealer said he wasn't bothered by what he could see. I drove away in a Jag Mk II.

A lot of learning needed for that car but in a few months it was doing much what it was told. Michelin tyres. Didn't wear out, the sides would just fail with a bang. LOTS of learning.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 14:22
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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The "experts" says always the best tyres at the rear to avoid that dangerous oversteer. Understeer being considered so much safer.
I guess it is all up to your experience and capability.
Per
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 14:30
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Mrsnuggles please explain why it is not viable to check the steering bias by putting two matched new tyres on the front as a test?
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 14:46
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Use Yokohama tyres if you want grip.

They do.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 15:02
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by AtomKraft View Post
Use Yokohama tyres if you want grip.

They do.
Yep. Over 40 years of driving I have used pretty much all of the major brands. Yokies tend to be a bit noisy, but I have never been disappointed with their performance.

https://www.wheelsmag.com.au/feature...rands-compared
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 16:15
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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How did you manage to avoid the endless offers of buy 3 get fourth free
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 16:28
  #30 (permalink)  
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Ancient Mariner, I was taught that as well. There are rules for road driving and rules for other forms of driving, they are not necessarily the same!!
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 16:32
  #31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
My erstwhile mate with the Honda R says he's not bothered about over 300hp in a feather-light car having the power coming out of the front. Odd.
Current high-power FWD cars have evolved clever front suspension which handles torque much better than the first generation (Mini) did.

Floor the accelerator out of a bend and the traction from the limited-slip diff and super-sticky low profile tyres is immense.
It’s helped by a clever new suspension system at the front to give it this extra dynamic ability. By separating components with a new ‘dual axis’ strut design it means each can do their job better, reducing torque steer by as much as 50 per cent. It’s not completely gone, but the wheel wriggles less and doesn’t tug your hands quite so much under hard acceleration.
From:- Honda Civic Type R review.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 16:41
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MrSnuggles View Post
mini

Maybe you could comment on my totally non-scientific experience based only on people I know and have talked to..

..but it seems that those who do much acceleration and braking often wear the insides of the tyres more than the outside, regardless of front/rear wheel drive. Alignments help somewhat with this, but never removes it completely.

What is your experience with this? Have I only spoken to the few unlucky that were mishandling their cars without knowing?
Think it's down to "tread shuffle", under cornering load the weight ends up on the outside edge of the tyre as it deforms, and if you go really fast in a front drive car to the point of understeer you will be scrubbing those edges across the tarmac, so they wear out faster.
Speaking as someone who once managed to wear the edges of two Mini front down to the metal wires in under 3000 miles..... by driving like an absolute loon.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 16:49
  #33 (permalink)  
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Two of my university motoring club colleagues borrowed one of the very first Minis from a dealership a few days after it was announced and competed in a 3-day rally.
When they handed it back, the tyres were worn out.

This pair subsequently went on to become national rally champions (driving Minis).
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 19:46
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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bingofuel

Mrsnuggles please explain why it is not viable to check the steering bias by putting two matched new tyres on the front as a test?
Ah sorry, I must have misunderstood you! I thought you wanted OP to switch his front tyres with his back tyres and drive like that, with the mismatched wheels in the rear. That would be not so good idea. Now I realise that was not what you meant. Sorry!
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 22:31
  #35 (permalink)  
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It’s helped by a clever new suspension system at the front to give it this extra dynamic ability. By separating components with a new ‘dual axis’ strut design it means each can do their job better, reducing torque steer by as much as 50 per cent. It’s not completely gone, but the wheel wriggles less and doesn’t tug your hands quite so much under hard acceleration.
G-C, that's interesting. I asked the local dealership about a test drive (they kept phoning me) but they require 500 quid deposit to stop the enthusiastic . . . enthusiasts taking advantage.

My 1958-ish Minivan suffered a wheel failure after my employers entrusted it to me. It'd been knocking all day but no one could find the reason. The wheel flew off and charged ahead taking out pailings of St Osyth Priory's fence. The hub made a lot of sparks and ended up looking like an engineer's cross sectional diagram. Even the shoe linings were ground to a smooth edge.

There were four pieces of wheel left under the studs. No one expected the early Minis to be cornered the way they were.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 23:28
  #36 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by bingofuel View Post
Mrsnuggles please explain why it is not viable to check the steering bias by putting two matched new tyres on the front as a test?
Some BMW E90s have different sized tyres on the front and rear axles......
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 23:34
  #37 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by AtomKraft View Post
Use Yokohama tyres if you want grip.

They do.
Yokohama have thankfully much improved their tyres these days. In the 1970s they were dangerous in the wet, we christened them "Sensitol lubricated" after having a very exciting, nay frightening time driving a Hillman Imp on them.
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Old 4th Jan 2017, 23:55
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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A few more thoughts on the original question and some of the responses above:

Many BMWs have different tyre sizes front and rear thus preventing switching fronts to rear and vice versa. This is also a trait of Mercedes, and maybe other volume makes, where high performance, low profile tyres are used together with rear wheel drive. My reasonable performance, rear wheel drive XJ and S type Jags did not have this issue, same tyres all round. The latter a sensible space saver spare wheel too!


Furthermore, most BMWs are supplied with run-flat tyres and a tyre pressure monitoring feature. These tyres will tolerate safe speed 'get you home' driving. For this reason they are not usually equipped with a spare wheel or jack or any space to keep them.


If you replace with standard tyres and have a puncture you are stuck! You can't drive home. Cheapest to carry a can of tyre sealant. Follow the instructions, but do not regard this as a permanent fix. Get the puncture repaired as soon as possible. Side wall damage is not fixable and your can of sealant will be no use either, so you are still stuck!! Buy a spare wheel and a fifth tyre?


Best advice is always to replace with original spec. tyres. Unless you are a purist this does not have to be the original make as there are perfectly acceptable run-flats from other brands available these days. Sadly OE run-flats can cost upwards of 200 each in the UK and many people are sold cheaper alternatives without being advised of the pitfalls.


Be aware that new Mini manufactured by BMW in the UK has run-flats too! JCC
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 00:09
  #39 (permalink)  
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At the time in my career when I was exclusively testing vehicles, I could tell what make of tyres were fitted (without looking) after the first four or five corners. - particularly if the road was wet. Goodyears were the best for grip whilst Firestone F7s seemed to degrade to oil - such was the (lack of) grip.
Avons were between the two others.
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 07:05
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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I remember following a Mini Metro thinking something wasn't quite right with that car in front of me.
Then I twigged that instead of seeing the two front wheels inside the two rears from behind, I could see the front right wheel was outside the rear right and the car was travelling sideways. Nice crab technique though.
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