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  #1  
Old 03-23-2008, 02:30 AM
mgburg's Avatar
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*** Tread Separation On The Interstate ***

Yesterday, got the oil changed on "Fausta" and decided to give her a whirl on the Interstate...head east 'til Mauston, tour the town and then head back...get on the pedal and run 'er up to 80-85 mph., after sitting all winter...

As I drive to Mauston (Exit 69 on I-90/I-94), I feel a little "bumping" occuring, but I can't locate where it's originating from.

Get into Mauston, slower speeds, and nothing...

I get back on the "I" and start heading west...then, at about the "split" (I-90 & I-94 separate, with I-94 heading towards Eau Claire/Minneapolis and I-90 back towards La Crosse), I start to feel the "bumpiing" a little more pronounced...then, just before MM #41, W H A M ! BapBapBapBapBap....'til I get it below 25 mph and onto the shoulder of the highway...with the Emergency Blinkers flashing, I head right onto the Exit Ramp and at the top, I get out and look...about 1/4 of the tread on the RR tire tore off...I'm looking at a cross-sectional view of my Michelin...all the way down to below the steel belts...the only thing that saved the inside of the wheel-well from a good whipping was the mud-flap...

Anyways, the tire hasn't blown, but the back end of "Fausta" is doing a good "hula" at about 25 mph...I head north through Tomah, on the cellphone, calling the only God-forsaken place open at 1730 on a Saturday afternoon, for tires...Mal*Fart.

They'll stay open for me...

I "waddle" in, and half the tire store has to come out to see the MB...they're amazed that #1.) There's a car, older than them, and it looks better... #2.) I didn't blow the tire out completely and crash...

Anyways, out of every tire style they have there, they don't have a complete set of 4...only 3 of two styles and a few singles of others...

I have them call the next Mal-Fart down the road west of us...and sure enough, they happen to have the same situation, no sets of 4, just 3 or less of each style that could fit on the Benz...I buy two at the Tomah store and the other two at the Sparta store...Goodyear VIVA II - P195-75R14 WW. And I had to tell both places "White walls out!"

The old tires? I couldn't believe what I was running on...all tires had chips and chunks missing from both the inside as well as the outer sidewalls...I was at the 5/32" on all four, so they were wearing evenly, but that was about the highlight of it all...

Anyways, new rubber all the way around and what a difference! I just wished I had the chance to find a 205-60R14 or comparable...but the 195-75R14 will work...it was what was on the Benz when I got her back in '05...and the Sparta store stayed open 'til 8:00 pm...two hours after they were suppose to close...

We'll see how the new tires hold up...

I've included two shots of the old tire that caused all the trouble...

Enjoy...

Attached Thumbnails
*** Tread Separation On The Interstate ***-shreadedmichelin..i.20080322.01.jpg   *** Tread Separation On The Interstate ***-shreadedmichelin.ii.20080322.01.jpg  
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....'75 - Yamaha - 650XS / < 21.00 K
.....'87 - G20 Sportvan / > 206.00 K
......'85 - 4WINNS 160 I.O. / 140hp
.......'74 - Honda CT70 / Real 125

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  #2  
Old 03-23-2008, 02:51 AM
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Wow! Glad ya lived thru it!
Borrowed my folks motorhome some 10 years ago, and had the inside dual blow out in the middle of east Washington. Put spare on, and off we go, figuring we'd get to our destination and buy a new spare. Bad idea! Next day, the OTHER inside dual blows, out in the middle of Nowhere, Idaho. Spent several hours along side the freeway in about 95 deg heat, waiting for someone to drive an hour back to the nearest town and bring me out another tire. (Luckily I was caravaning with the wifes family)
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2008, 05:29 AM
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I had the same thing happen to me, a Cooper Trendsetter SE 235/75/15 on my old Suburban blew out on me doing 75-80mph on the highway, it was located on the front right, the front end of the truck nearly lifted off the ground. . .The wheel well was mangled. The debris hit an old saturn dead on, it just kept driving. . .later that day I treated that truck to 4 new Michelins. . .
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2008, 08:06 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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How old is that tire anyway?

Glad nothing too bad happened.

tom W
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2008, 08:09 AM
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Oh jeez. Good thing you didn't endo in a ditch. I wonder if the suspension kept it going straight.
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2008, 08:12 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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The suspension on a benz is so superior that unfortunately you have trouble telling you have a soft tire until it is completely flat.

I think you probably could drive on three wheels and be pretty safe.....well not really but the suspension is really superior.

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2008, 10:02 AM
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I thought the real amazing part of the story was this...in the town "Where The "I" Divides" (the aforementioned I-90 & I-94), Mal*Fart has a MAJOR Distribution Warehouse for the Western side of Wisconsin, and the Eastern side of Minnesota and Iowa (and God knows where else!), and the local store doesn't have a full set of P195s laying around...

Anyways...as I mentioned...I "felt" a small vibration "building' but I couldn't figure it out...that was the tire, probably developing the separation to the point where tread surface finally "tore off" the rest of the tire, during which time it was slapping the inside the of wheel-well, scaring the Bee-Geezus out of me.

Fortunely for me (unfortunately for the guy "tail-gating" my butt, but that's his problem...), I didn't panic and jerk the wheel or anything stupid like that...I just lifted the foot off the gas and when traffic got around me, I headed for the right shoulder...safe and sound and wondering "What the hell just went to crap on me?"

I believe Tom is right in that the suspension is solid...I just had front end work done on her back this past fall...the rear was OK...

As for age of the tires...I might look into that this week and see exactly how old they are...but, I'm afraid to say, they should have been changed when I got the car. My problem is...I've driven EVERY set of tires, that I've owned, or inherited, to the steel belts, then I break down and buy the new stuff.

I know, that's the dumbest thing to do...you're right. And as far as the tread goes...all four were down to 5/32" (2/32" away from OMG!) so that little fact, alone, made the decision to do all four easier than just buying one. And after looking at the other three's sidewalls ( ), the decision became THAT much easier.

Back in June of 1980 (the year Mt. St. Helens exploded and about a week after that event itself) I was returning from a trip to San Jose/San Fransico, when a Perelli tire's sidewall, on my Fiat 128 Wagon started, and finally finished, disintegrating at 85 mph...I saw pieces flying by the window, wondered "WTH?" and the car started "listing" to the "port-side, bow heavy" - pulled over and didn't see the sidewall on the LF tire. An interesting "blow out," but the second I detected something amiss, I didn't panic, I kept the wheel straight, took the foot off the gas, then steered towards the right side of the roadway.

And the key to both of these incidents? DON'T PANIC!

You're in a steel shell...that can protect you...

The noise? Live with it for a few more seconds...it didn't kill you...you're still hearing it, right? Then pull over and see what THAT'S about...

And now, you're on the roadside...you made it and no one died...now, onto the problem at hand...

And yesterday, since I had a fully inflated, but severely distorted tire, two thoughts ran through my "wittle bwain" - #1.) change the tire here or, #2.) see how far I can get before I really have to change the tire.

I put on the Emergency Flashers, put it in gear and headed off in the direction of #2....and fortunately for me, I got to a place that could start the tire replacement process...none the worst for wear, just a really empty wallet at the end of the day...

Hey guys, thanks for the concern and support...
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M. G. Burg
'10 - Dakota SXT - Daily Ride / ≈ 172.5K
.'76 - 450SLC - 107.024.12 / < .89.20 K
..'77 - 280E - 123.033.12 / > 128.20 K
...'67 - El Camino - 283ci / > 207.00 K
....'75 - Yamaha - 650XS / < 21.00 K
.....'87 - G20 Sportvan / > 206.00 K
......'85 - 4WINNS 160 I.O. / 140hp
.......'74 - Honda CT70 / Real 125

.
I didnt really say everything I said.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ~ Yogi Berra ~
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2008, 10:36 AM
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i had a TRX tire on a bmw break a belt at about 80 mph once. very similar sounding behavior from the car. not fun.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2008, 10:41 AM
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Happend to my uncle in his RV, the left front tire blew at 70mph and he lost steering, ended up totaling it in someones back yard off I95 in FL. Luckly they missed all the tree's and the persons house!

His blew because of age, we figured they could have been 7 years old but with no miles on them. The place that built his buys chassis with engines in bulk, so they can sit for a year or two before getting an order and a body built on it. Even though they are truck tires I guess 7 years is the limit.


You go lucky that it was a rear tire, fronts are worse.
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  #10  
Old 03-23-2008, 11:18 AM
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I belong to a Bluebird Yahoo group and a member died last summer after having a front tire blow out, causing him to leave the road and hit a tree.
I believe the recommendations from tire companies that are repeated on that forum are that if a front tire blows out, do not hit the brakes but hit the accelerator to maintain steerage.
Had a front tire blow out once on a 66 Ford Pickup. I was only going about 45-50mph but it was very hard to control.

Here's a Michelin video on handling blowouts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkwOE1yKY5c&feature=related
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2008, 01:47 PM
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Wow...glad you're safe. Sure sounds like you got off easy.

I just changed out a 5 year old set of Cooper Trendsetters (185-75/14) and the spare (Remington - really really old, I think), to avoid having tire problems. My reasoning was that I'd like to have the tires I want at the price I wanted, instead of being at the mercy of whatever shop I'd end up at with a blown tire, etc. That, and having the piece of mind that your tires are brand new on the first long trip with a *new* car is really nice.

Needless to say, my 4 yoko's did just fine (as did the one in the trunk...)
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  #12  
Old 03-23-2008, 04:25 PM
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Sheesh -- Yeah, glad it turned out okay!

When I was heading from Madison -> Mpls., same thing happened. Also near Mauston. The left front tire tread on my '66 Olds Toronado sep'd and must have been doing 70. Scary situation, but luckily I was in the right lane and pulled to the side.
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2008, 08:29 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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The performance of an old tire deteriorates so much that I cannot stand to drive them down too low on the tread. The wet and dry traction deteriorates so much when you put the new tires on you will not believe how good it feels.....kindof like having sex for the first time again, except a lot less trouble.

I will buy five new tires and be sure to mount the fifth on exactly the same wheel so if I have a flat on a trip I can proceed with confidence.

I had two flats on a trip once and have learned my lesson on tires.

Theres nothing worse than a flat with no spare at night and the nearest exit is miles away!

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.

Last edited by t walgamuth; 03-24-2008 at 09:38 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-24-2008, 09:36 AM
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I am glad your o.k. and didn't have an accident. I'll start a Spring time to do thread and add this as number 1.
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  #15  
Old 03-24-2008, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Swede View Post
Sheesh -- Yeah, glad it turned out okay!

When I was heading from Madison -> Mpls., same thing happened. Also near Mauston. The left front tire tread on my '66 Olds Toronado sep'd and must have been doing 70. Scary situation, but luckily I was in the right lane and pulled to the side.
The Toro was one of the first cars that had a positive offset wheel rim, which minimized the pull that a defective tire would have on that side of the car. VW made much of this feature in ads for the Dasher sedan back inthe Seventies.

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