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Old 08-20-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
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one tire has feathering

We just got back from a trip and there were two longer trips prior to that. Going over a few things I felt both tires and one is severely feathered.

The outer side wheel weight is still in place and tire pressure has been maintained all summer. I'm wonder if there was an inside wheel weight that dislodged?
I'm not an expert on tires but know enough that we should be using proper trailer tires for trailers.

Do you guys think it might have been a thrown wheel weight? Or, something else? These tires are only about 2 years old and tons of tread. Problem is now, I might have to replace this tire (might), unless just for shorter trips I should be fine.


Just an after thought: I had the springs re-arched last year. Maybe the axle shifted and is out of alignment?
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:32 PM   #2
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Generally balance will cause cupping, balanced properly there are usually weights on both sides. Some tire balancing dependent on the wheel and tire may not require a weight on either the outside or the inside so to answer your question maybe. Of the hundreds of tires I have balanced some (maybe a hand full) required no weights. It is possible that the axle alignment is off you have a picture of the tire maybe?
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:17 PM   #3
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This is often caused by a combination of improper alignment settings, such as excessive toe and caster. You might want to check your wheel bearings, but that could give you a vibration while driving.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:47 PM   #4
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Jerry,

Pictures will really help in this case. At the moment I'm not thinking this is a tire balance issue but need to see what you have. Most trailer tires are not balanced. They should be IMHO but they are not. I have seen trailer tires wear great with no balancing and burn tread like crazy due to alignment. The wear on the tire if looked at closely can help point to a condition which may cause it.

Do you notice the trailer shifting left to right any while towing down the road in the rear mirror?
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:10 AM   #5
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What can happen to an imbalanced tire it can completely leave the ground when the excessive weight is at the top this will cause cupping or if you like flat spots in the tire. Add an axle with no shocks and a small tire (spins faster) it becomes more of a problem. I just replaced the tires on mine and I can assure you they were not in balance it's cheap insurance to balance the tires if you want them to last. If the axle is not 90 degrees to the trailer it should ware all the tires on that axle and with a single axle should make the trailer crab left or right. If the axle is bent up or down in the middle it can effect the camber on both tires. If the axle is bent fore or aft it can effect the toe angle. If the axle is bent on the outer end it will effect the camber angle on the one side. A picture really would help.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:50 PM   #6
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Pics

Been a wee tad busy. Hadn't had time to take those pics by finally, here they are.
I might add it wasn't easy to capture the true nature of the feathering. Hope you guys can see what I see and feel.
BTW It's only on the outer sider of one tire. The center and other side of the same tire is fine. The other tire is fine, only this outer edge. Also, upon a closer look it looks like the adjacent the second (next) row of tread is slightly feathering too.
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Old 08-22-2015, 04:08 PM   #7
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I'm going with balance that's the "cupping I was talking about. It does not look to be scraping the edge like alignment would do. What are you running for tire pressure?
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:28 AM   #8
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I was running 45lbs earlier but upped them to 50lbs. (per sidewall)

I already have an appointment at a spring & alignment shop in just over a week. It wouldn't hurt to check everything-chassis while it's in there.

My only concern is if it did throw a weight no big deal, it happens. but even with a rebalance can I still continue to use that tire? (I'm thinking safety on the highway). Lots of tread on both. I'd hate to cough up for new tires, because of one.
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:06 AM   #9
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Yeah you can run it but it will never ware even. As bad as it is it probably was never balanced and what ever weights that were on it just made it worse. 50 PSI is what you need the ware patterns don't show signs of tire pressure issues.
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:04 PM   #10
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Jerry, check this old thread on balancing beads for another take on balancing.

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Old 08-23-2015, 03:50 PM   #11
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I'll definitely look into to that. So simple it's silly, kind of self leveling, self balancing as you go. First, I'll check the axle at the alignment shop and I'll actually ask them about that. They might support Dyno Beads or poo-poo them. Either way I want the axle checked. Yes, I hear you about a new tire Rats !!!!!

Also, just discovered a misfire on my 4.6 V8. Borrowed my son's digital diagnostic meter and it reveled a misfire on cylinder number 6. I thought it was just a coil pack but I saw moisture on the coil pack boot when I pulled it out so may have a blown head gasket or worse, pinhole in the head. (do one, do both)
Good grief, going to be an expensive fall around here.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:36 PM   #12
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my $.02

I'm way outta you guys' league on tech issues but here's my experience:
I bought 4 new tires for our 1950 2 yrs ago & used the beads to balance them
This spring after making 2 cross country trips w/ those tires I noticed some wear (cupping, feathering ??)on the inside tread of one of the tires. I ordered a new replacement & had local mechanic mount it. Alerted him that it contained the balancing beads & he said he re-installed them in the new tire.
I mentioned this after the fact to a very good friend who does just about all the tech, mechanical jobs I need done. He said he'd previously noticed the uneven wear on the one tire when he last had the trailer on his lift, & adjusted (replaced ?) that wheel bearing which he thought caused the damage. YMMV
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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final update

I had an appointment today for the spring/alignment shop and showed them that one tire.

They put it on the rack and to be able to check the chassis alignment they had to make sure the bearings were snug and in good shape. He first noticed both bearings were a bit on the loose side. I noticed that too last spring but thought it was by design. All 4 races and all bearings were clean, had no marks, scratches or bluing. So I was comfy just inspecting greasing and torqueing.

He thinks the slight wobble was taking place on each wheel due to sloppy bearing and that wobble may have been enough to cause the one wheel to throw a weight...hence the feathering.. These tires were brand new 2 years ago when we bought the trailer and there is slight suspicion that those wheels were never balanced or not done properly.
Then he checked the chassis alignment and all is fine.

Bottom line: there were no trade name markings or numbers indicating who made them or part number. We both agreed that they had to be cheapo Chinese bearings and races. Either the races or bearings were too thick or too thin and not allowing a proper torque.

Next spring they'll install next proper brand names bearings and races. I'll use these tires until the end.
Cheap bearings cause the wheel to wobble which in turn cause a wheel weight or two to fly off which in turned cause the feathering.


That's the news from our house....over to you for the weather report.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:31 PM   #14
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Wheel bearing adjustment is fairly crude on these axles because there is only one hole in the axle for a cotter pin and a big nut so two flats will be too tight and two flats will be too loose. A little slack will not cause any issues there needs to be clearance in order to allow the grease to reach the bearings. I just replaced the tires on mine no marking as to where they came from either. The last ones did come from China and after 11 years they did start to crack inside the tread but other than that they were wearing fine and still have a good deal of tread. If the bearings look fine I would not worry about them a sure sign is bright metal on a rag when you wipe them off a little is too much metal none is fine.
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