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Tyre Wear- front axle pair 5 mm less than rear axle pair- OK?

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  • Tyre Wear- front axle pair 5 mm less than rear axle pair- OK?

    With all the plans in the air, I just realized that both my rear tyres (10 mm of tread left) have 5 mm more tread than both my front tyres (5 mm of tread left). They are the standard 265/65 R17 for my 2003 Prado 120 VX TD mechanical

    Aside from rotating them ASAP, is there a problem with these diameter differences between the axles?

    Also, I read on the Continental tire company's site that, for 4x4 tire rotation, I should move both rear tires straight up to the front, keep them on the same side, but cross the front tires when putting them on the back, put them on the opposite side. Is that recommended?
    Last edited by onda; 19-08-2020, 07:20 AM.
    2003 Prado VX Turbodiesel, stick, Ironman Nitrogas, 2" lift, Ironman snorkel
    1997 Prado RX 2.7l 3-door stock

  • #2
    I'm not sure about that uneven tyre wear.

    For the tyre rotation, I think what you described matches what is in the manual (this is from a 150-series manual):

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    I make sure Toyota does a 5-wheel rotation for me. They don't do it unless you ask.

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    • #3
      Front tyres will wear much faster than rear tyres, especially if you corner like you’re driving a Supercar around Bathurst which I see a few 4wd owners do. I don’t bother rotating tyres any more. I just leave the fronts where they are so I’m only up for a replacement of 2 tyres at one time every few years as opposed to 4 or 5 over a bit longer. As soon as you move tyres to the front they’ll wear twice as fast on average. If the rears are left on the rear, or you just rotate the rears with the spare, you’ll get what will seem like an endless amount of kms out of them. They’ll seem like they’re lasting forever.
      Last edited by Brett1979; 19-08-2020, 12:03 PM.
      2005 120 series V6 Grande, 2 inch susp lift (King/EFS combo), 32 inch MT’s, Safari Snorkel, rear diff lock, breathers, Light Force spotlights, UHF, dual batteries.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Brett1979 View Post
        I don't bother rotating tyres any more. I just leave the fronts where they are so I’m only up for a replacement of 2 tyres at one time every few years as opposed to 4 or 5 over a bit longer.
        Sounds like a great idea. Its true, my fronts look old, the rears new. My tyres were purchased in 2013, and I'm looking to upgrade the sizes, so I'm going to do the rotation. But I'll do that the next round.

        So I guess that means that as long as the same wear tyres are on the same axle, I am, and anybody is, OK? Is there a spread, like 1cm, that you would think would cause problems?
        2003 Prado VX Turbodiesel, stick, Ironman Nitrogas, 2" lift, Ironman snorkel
        1997 Prado RX 2.7l 3-door stock

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        • #5
          I believe the compounds in tyres degrade over time (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV8bZ2qwDeg). I've heard that 5 years is the recommended limit. So depending on how many kms you drive, it may still make sense to rotate all tyres.

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          • #6
            I have BFGoodrichs on my Prado and the wear was consistent for the first 50k until a of trip up to the tip with load. I found that the extra weight over the rear axles caused a noticeable difference in wear between the front and the rear wheels. I rotate the wheels at 10k intervals. These BFGoodrichs have done 80K and they are still meaty which makes the decision to replace them difficult, but a transfer case is more expensive.

            Once the diameter between the 2 axle pairs of tyres differs then strain needs to be taken up somewhere else in the drive train. I've found is that the car creaks while it's parked after a drive now. This has only started happening now that difference between the front and rear pairs have slightly different wear. As the stressed components contract, sounds like some poor bastard with rigor mortis. It's a loud "tang" and kinda wakes you up. Free wheeling is now strained.

            I've had this experience with a Kluger AWD after having a puncture with 20 000ks on the odometer and needed to replace that tyre. I then put that new tyre and the new spare on the front i.e. 2 new tyres on the front and 20 000k old tyres on the rear. That car seemed had a permanent hand brake on a it was difficult to free wheel till I replaced the set. Tyres for that car were $550 each when that car was released. After reading the Kluger AWD forums, I dodged a bullet.

            I've also seen this on Pajero's, which are essentially rear wheel drive until the 4wd is engaged. Both my outlaws Pajero's suffered transfer case failure because of replacing tyres in pairs. These will have slightly different diameters but equates to noticeable difference in circumference, even the same brand (new vs old) but in particular across brands. On one of our family trips there was smoke coming out of the transmission on one of the Pajeros once we came off the dust road and hit the asphalt and we struggled to disengage 4wd. Buying tyres in the middle of nowhere on holidays is expensive, especially where you have no options. Keep in mind that on 4WD family holidays the cars are loaded up and tyre slippage is more difficult between the axles on asphalt. My Pajero did 300k and the drive train was good, but I purchased the tyres in sets and rotated.

            If you going to buy different brand tyres in pairs, do a side by side comparision for size, don't just go by numbers on the sidewall.

            I have another example on a Land Rover where tyre wear and tyre age have contributed to drive train noise. This car was sent to the mechanic and after spending a while diagnosing, a spare set of wheels were tried and that eliminated the mechanical noise. This was a conversation over a few beers.


            On tyre age, the UK is proposing banning tyres 10 years and older. For commercial operators in the UK, tyres more that 10 years old cannot be used on the steering axle. UV will kill the tyres, as does the repetitive heating and cooling cycles. This is a particular problem with the soccer mom cars that tend to do short trips and the tyre wear is minimal.

            Exposed tyres on the back of 4WDs are dead after about 5 years. If you need to use an older tyre , avoid the steering axle.

            My 2 cents worth...

            Prado 150 VX, ARB deluxe bull bar and plates, Dobinson suspension, Dominator winch, Rhino platform, Redarc BCDC 1225lv, Optima Bluetop 55ah,

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