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  #1  
Old 07-27-2018, 01:49 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Need help with new Firestone tires

I have vibration issues on my '99 Sport RWD ranger.

I was previously running Michelins, which were great, but they got to be 13 years old and I needed to replace them.

I had four new Firestone Destination LE2, 225/70 R15 tires put on the OEM alloy rims. They were balanced, and an alignment performed, although I don't have camber kit installed, so I'm not exactly sure how much adjusting they actually did.

When I picked the car up, I had fairly severe vibrations above 60mph on the highway. It's not super organized to any particular speed range, but there's a lot of shaking in the floor and sometimes in the steering wheel.

I went back, and had them re-balanced, and was told that a couple of them were a little off. This didn't help that I could tell.

I had a different shop with a road force balancer have a look, and they couldnt solve the vibration either. They said the tires were balanced ok, and the road force balancer suggested rotating a couple tires on the rims, which they did, and then that they were "in spec", but maybe one was borderline. They moved tires all over the car, and said the vibration stayed with the right rear and that the wheels and tires were ok. They suggested maybe issues with the rear brakes or shocks. I have load adjusting shocks on the back, which are a bit old. I have replacements on order, but I'm having trouble believing all this just started coincident with getting new tires.

I have scheduled to drop the truck off back at the place I bought them from next week.

What do you guys think? Everyone I talk to says the Firestone tires should be good. Are they generally good on Rangers? Is there anything that can go wrong during an alignment that could initiate a bunch of vibrations or bouncing anywhere? What else should I check and how? I'm not feeling any isues with ball joints, but I'm not really sure how to check. There is no clunking going on.

Frustrated in CT....
Jim

Last edited by jim22; 07-27-2018 at 01:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2018, 02:32 PM
RoberticusMaximus RoberticusMaximus is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

well that sucks! i had a similar thing happen with my wife's car. still can't figure it out
anyway, i'm on my third set of LEs on my ranger. never had a problem with them. sub'd, hope you get it figured out!
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2018, 05:45 PM
Undrstm8ed Undrstm8ed is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim22 View Post
I have vibration issues on my '99 Sport RWD ranger.

I was previously running Michelins, which were great, but they got to be 13 years old and I needed to replace them.

I had four new Firestone Destination LE2, 225/70 R15 tires put on the OEM alloy rims. They were balanced, and an alignment performed, although I don't have camber kit installed, so I'm not exactly sure how much adjusting they actually did.

When I picked the car up, I had fairly severe vibrations above 60mph on the highway. It's not super organized to any particular speed range, but there's a lot of shaking in the floor and sometimes in the steering wheel.

I went back, and had them re-balanced, and was told that a couple of them were a little off. This didn't help that I could tell.

I had a different shop with a road force balancer have a look, and they couldnt solve the vibration either. They said the tires were balanced ok, and the road force balancer suggested rotating a couple tires on the rims, which they did, and then that they were "in spec", but maybe one was borderline. They moved tires all over the car, and said the vibration stayed with the right rear and that the wheels and tires were ok. They suggested maybe issues with the rear brakes or shocks. I have load adjusting shocks on the back, which are a bit old. I have replacements on order, but I'm having trouble believing all this just started coincident with getting new tires.

I have scheduled to drop the truck off back at the place I bought them from next week.

What do you guys think? Everyone I talk to says the Firestone tires should be good. Are they generally good on Rangers? Is there anything that can go wrong during an alignment that could initiate a bunch of vibrations or bouncing anywhere? What else should I check and how? I'm not feeling any isues with ball joints, but I'm not really sure how to check. There is no clunking going on.

Frustrated in CT....
Jim
Since both suspension loss and tire wear are systematically progressive loss items. It is remotely possible that the previous tires wore to the suspension and once new "more" round tires were added that the reveal an issue. kind of like when a bad strut cannot keep a tire to the ground efficiently and it can cause uneven wear, cupped, or feathering on a tire.

Not saying that is the answer, just saying its a thought. I would strongly think the shock(s) are at fault here but then there could be a possible an issue with a leaf spring, in which if that is the case, i'd replace both not just the one.
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2018, 06:52 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

I've got the new set of rear shocks, if I can get the silly bolts to come free, I'll change them tomorrow.
Jim
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:29 PM
Undrstm8ed Undrstm8ed is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

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Originally Posted by jim22 View Post
I've got the new set of rear shocks, if I can get the silly bolts to come free, I'll change them tomorrow.
Jim
PB Blaster penetrating oil is your friend.. especially if you're in the rust belt of America.. lol
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  #6  
Old 07-28-2018, 05:11 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

Actually, I got stymied on the rear shocks even before i got to tackle the bolts, between mynjackmand jackstands, i couldn't get the truck high enough to get the wheels off the ground and work under it. I opted to take it to sears, wherebthey did an awesome job. Now i'm arguing with the fronts. The nuts dont want to come off the top of the shocks. The rest will turn, and I probably could get it jacked high enough. I will have to cut the top mounts. Of course, Sears is open tomorrow too...
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:42 AM
Undrstm8ed Undrstm8ed is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

All the shocks can be swapped without lifting the truck even at near stock height.. I did mine out on a trail head once. Was camping out, bored, had them in the back along with the MAC tool bag just in case.. and well Yea, that happened. lol
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  #8  
Old 07-29-2018, 02:38 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

The saga continues...

Today, I did indeed bounce my way back to Sears to have new front shocks installed. I do think I could have done them, but they weren't going easy. They wouldn't simply unbolt at the top, I think some sort of cutting or breaking of the upper stud was needed, and I had to do some errands there anyway.

While I was there, I asked them to check the balance on the front wheels. They did, in fact, find one that was significantly off, despite the fact that this was the fourth attempt to balance them in the last couple weeks by three shops. It cant be that difficult! Interestingly, the the technician told me one of them, now on the right rear, but maybe had been on the right front, had a badly bent rim! And the one now on the left rear was also a little bent. He said he detected it because it made his machine shake! Again, it can't be that difficult!

So right now, the truck is riding significantly better. The new shocks are taking the bumps in stride, feeling nice and sturdy. But I bet I didn't really need to change them.

One more interesting thing, Sears has now checked the alignment twice. Yesterday, they did not give me the printout, but today's printout showed the camber failed, and also the "total toe", not sure exactly what that is, also failed. Now, the first shop, where I bought the tires, was supposed to have done an alignment. I don't have a camber kit installed, so I suspect the only thing they should have adjusted was toe, but it doesn't appear to have been too successful. It's not pulling, so I could believe it didn't really need an adjustment. The printout from Sears didin't show any numbers, just fail.

I think I will now lift the rear and see if I can measure run-out on the rear rims and maybe even the tires. It seems like I should be able to confirm significantly bent rims.

Still... Frustrated in CT
Jim
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2018, 10:24 AM
RoberticusMaximus RoberticusMaximus is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

i had to take a sawzall to my front shocks upper bolt lol!
something that popped up in my mind is ball joints... not that you necessarily need to change them, but it would be good for you to check them now while you're getting this truck tightened back up.
oh, the bonus is that if you need them, then replace them and then just do one final alignment. save a little money.
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2018, 07:26 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

It is nice to tighten up the handling, I actually am enjoying the new shocks. I will probably change the bushings on the stabilizer, I got under there tonight and found I can turn all the bolts. I do have some kind of creaking noise which I'm working on isolating. So far, it doesn't seem to be control arms or stabilizer, and I guess not shock mounts since they are new. I'm actually wondering about the coil spring itself, maybe its rubbing metal on metal.

Tonight I jacked up the back end to see the "bent rims" for myself. I will say that these are the least bent rims I've ever bothered to look at. I am really not believing they are bent. I'm thinking there is a bad tire there somewhere, I just hope we can confirm and replace it.

Jim
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2018, 06:55 AM
RoberticusMaximus RoberticusMaximus is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

i had to take the sawzall to the stabilizer bar end links too lol!
the LCA bushings on my ranger squeak. so did the ball joints before i replaced them
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  #12  
Old 07-31-2018, 05:13 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

Well, the nuts on the bottom of my stabilizer bar end links move and will come off. Come to think about it, I'm not sure how it all separates at the top. Might have a similar problem. I'm not in a hurry to do it.

I am thinking it might be the bushings in the LCA. I'll try those next. Mine does it mostly when it's very warm outside, which it hasn't been for a few days.

I went back to see the guy I bought the tires from today. He was not happy that I had other shops looking at it. The guys in the shop did put the rear wheels up on the balancing machine and showed me that they do, in fact, wobble pretty badly. They only ran the machine at the normal balancing speed, and didn't scientifically check the rims, but they al concluded it was a rim problem. I am still not so convinced, but I won't get any more help from that shop.

Lacking a way forward, I called Firestone customer service, and they have scheduled me to have the tires inspected at a local Firestone service center on Friday. I hope that goes better. I guess this might be the last time I try to do business with this shop, which is too bad, I've bought many sets of tires from him over the last 25 years.
Jim
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2018, 09:01 AM
dvrich dvrich is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

Keeping tires past 7 years is asking for trouble. It has nothing to do with your vibration problem, but any tire will start dry rotting past 8 years.
Michelin tires all OK and replace tires...vibration. It has to be tires.
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Last edited by dvrich; 08-01-2018 at 10:16 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2018, 07:07 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

I agree on tire age, my old Michelins were making me nervous. The replacements are Firestone, Michlin doesn't make the size I need any longer. I am hoping it's the tires and that the Firestone dealer can arrange replacements. I watched a cool video on Youtube tonight about using a dial indicator to measure tire and rim runout. Also saw another one on a tire machine that could measure and plot rims. If they also claim it's rim issues, I hope they can show me on a machine like that.

Just in case... I'm looking at a set of rims that are available at Tire Rack, which supplies most of these shops. They are Ultra brand. Anyone got good or bad experiences with Ultra rims? The other choice is a set of American Racing rims. I like the style of the ultra better. I suspect none are brilliant quality.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:00 PM
jim22 jim22 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with new Firestone tires

Update... not very helpful so far.

The truck spent today at a Firestone service center where Firestone customer service referred me for a "free tire inspection". I'm not sure what that was supposed to include, but I ended up paying AGAIN to have all four tires road force balanced. They rotated a couple of the tires around the rim AGAIN, and changed the weight positions and amounts SIGNIFICANTLY. Isn't there pretty much ONLY ONE OPTIMAL COMBINATION of tire position and weights position and size? WHY does the whole solution come out differently every time I've had someone work on them? They also rotated three of the wheels around the car, which I think put a problem wheel back in front. Now I have a pretty bad shake around 60 MPH and another one at around 67 MPH.

The first person I talked to said the rims were bent and encouraged me to look for a set of rims. The second person, who was on duty when I picked it up, said it had been balanced, and if there was still a problem, to bring it back and they would check for a tire problem. He might not have been glued in really well. I may go back there tomorrow.

Really, I think the tires are junk. I don't understand why they are so inconsistent, leading me to believe the equipment is out of calibration or the technicians don't know what they are doing.

So my best option might be to buy a set of rims. The guy I bought the tires from won't do anything for me until I do that. Another option is to just go out and buy a different set of tires somewhere, but then I may have to eat the cost of one set of tires and I may still need rims.

I can't believe this situation has gotten so screwed up, IT'S JUST TIRES!

Thanks for listening, I needed to vent and at least you guys will listen and not judge.

Jim
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