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BFG AT tread cupping.. source? New shocks needed?
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targis58
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: BFG AT tread cupping.. source? New shocks needed? Reply with quote

Hi all

My ej22 manual westy is in a shop now waiting to get upper ball joint to be replaced.

The mechanic also recommended that my front two bilstein HD shocks should be replaced due to the uneven lug patterns on the tires. I have had not so great experience with the quality of these shocks past 20k miles or so. One of two is only about 10k new but causing the uneven lugs. same tire problem about 10k ago now again with new tires


I am thinking of getting bilstein sport this time but are those worth that much more money?

I am mainly driving on highways and just once or twice on off road

Or should I consider something else? I have gowestys 2wd lift springs on the van too

Thanks


Allen
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Last edited by targis58 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocks causing problems with tire wear?
How?

I've not heard this before... How does he explain the cause and effect?
What is the shock doing or not doing that results in the tread cupping?

Am curious.
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
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"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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r39o
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mechanic thinks they are are not damping right.

You have 3 choices.

1. Search for the root cause. (More bad parts, alignment, etc...)
2. Send the shocks back to Bilstein and let them decide if they need replacing.
3.Your Westy is like my Multivan in that it sits low and (many) people think Konis are a better choice for our stock setups. I have Konis and they are fine. YMMV.
3a. If your have a modified setup, all bets are off.....
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure I understand what an uneven lug pattern on the tire is.

I think you have those GoWesty 2WD lift springs? I would be inclined to think that a tire wear issue might be related to your alignment, not uncommon with those lift springs
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be looking at the quality of the tire first. What tire is it?
Then I'd look at alignment, which may have been tweaked by bad/worn ball joints..

Unless the Bilstein is completey blown out I can't see how that results in "uneven lug wear".. and even then, the GW spring is notoriously soft at the top of its progressive rate.. so what is the shock having trouble dealing with?
I use Bilstein HDs with very heavy tires on stiffer springs and they don't dampen quite as great as some would want.. but there's been no signs of uneven tire wear other than usual steering wear.

Who's the mechanic? A known VW vanagon guy? (no need to name names.)
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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targis58
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I hope the picture shows the uneven pattern

Whenever mechanics see this kind of pattern they think it s coming from bad shocks. But that's without checking front suspension components.

interestingly 4 different mechanics said the same thing when they saw the patterns. one from America's tire shop. he thought alignment looked fine observing the wear of the tires.

when u look at the tire closely, a line of lugs across the tire width is higher than the next line of lugs creating a step then repeated pattern like that around the tire. It s not like outer or inner edge is worn more or anything like that.

The tires are BFG's and about 6k miles old

And the current mechanic who is holding my van is a local VW specialist who has experience on buses too. I had the front suspension components checked by them today and they found one of the upper ball joint was worn and loose. Anyone think this might have been the problem to the tires?
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targis58
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a more close look at the pattern . it looks like every lug's front edge is lower than the back edge of the lug right in front of it creating a step that way and repeating the same pattern around the tire.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupped tire?

http://www.freeasestudyguides.com/tire-wear-patterns.html

https://www.google.com/search?q=cupped+tires&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

Blistering HDs are known to be bouncy, too much bouncing as you roll along could scuff the tires, or as Jim said, bad tires combined with bouncy shocks?

I've been tempted by the new Fox shocks but have other priorities for my money
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targis58
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey mad

You feel those fox shocks for 2wd worth it? It has no adjusting feature like 4wd version has
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

targis58 wrote:
Hey mad

You feel those fox shocks for 2wd worth it? It has no adjusting feature like 4wd version has


The only feedback I got for the Fox shocks was a mechanic from Van Cafe telling me they really felt great when he drove a Vanagon over bumps. Hard to say without more feedback. If I were you I would make sure your problem comes from your current shocks before investing money in new ones.

The adjusting feature might be overrated, nice to have but probably not needed for most folks. The Konis are also adjustable for rebound but you hear people setting them up almost the same way. The Bilstein Sport could be a good option money wise, my guess is that they probably perform similar to the Konis. If I were you I would call GoWesty and ask them to describe and compare the Fox and Bilstein Sport for you after you tell them what is going on with your cupped tires.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Targis,

I am running 29" dia. BFG Long Trails (with the Bilst. HDs).. which have a more all season tread than BFG ATs.
No cupping.. but there's minimal gap between lugs in the direction of tire roll.

I had BFG TAs do some cupping on a 4WD I owned years ago.. and never found the source.
At the time I was told to "expect it" with that type of tread patteron . I always thought that was a cop out response form the "experts".

The Brdigestone Duellers that were on my Westy when I bought it cupped something fierce.. And I tossed those tires after I shredded one in the rear.
I always assumed they were junk.
At the time I had the original front end with x-brand shocks on there that were well worn.. So I guess it is quite possible that an underdamping shock might contribute to the problem.

Anyway.. my Bilstein HDs have held up well and am in 20k plus on these tires, shocks and Schwenk's springs.
My alignment has remained pretty good thru it all and I started with all new bushings, BJs tie rods etc.

I guess, if its my problem, I'd have the shocks checked by Bilstien first.. Give them the tire and wheel data you are using and ask for thier professional advice. They have techs who can revalve you current shocks and you can get GW's "Sport" like performance out of them.
Somewhere here, RandyWebb posted phone numbers for Bilst techs who do that type of work in the Bay Area.

Personally I would not be plunking down money on 2WD Fox shocks nor the "Sport" valved Bilstiens until I had more info from Bilstein's tech dept.
I'd expect the problem to be greater than just shocks.

Another problem with cupping, I've been told, that once it starts it will continue even if the original cause is "repaired"
Like moguls on a ski hill, once started.. with use they get deeper and deepr.
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..


Last edited by j_dirge on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

targis58 wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


As stated, your tires are cupping.
Lateral movement in the suspension and components will allow for this, along with other variables.
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targis58
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info

I will give them a call once I findout their phone number.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

targis58 wrote:
Thanks for the info

I will give them a call once I findout their phone number.

You may also want to change you thread title to sweep in more responses..

Something like:
" BFG AT tread cupping.. source? New shocks needed?"

That might help pull in some responses from others who have similar problems with that tire.. and provide a better data set from which to base decisions.

Keep the thread going.. let us know how it goes.
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:

Lateral movement in the suspension and components will allow for this, along with other variables.

maybe a bent or out of true/round wheel?
loose wheel bearings?
warped brake disk?
worn tie rods?
worn BJ? (the initial reason the OP went in for repair..)
loose shock mount?
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

j_dirge wrote:
insyncro wrote:

Lateral movement in the suspension and components will allow for this, along with other variables.

maybe a bent or out of true/round wheel?
loose wheel bearings?
warped brake disk?
worn tie rods?
worn BJ? (the initial reason the OP went in for repair..)
loose shock mount?


Loose, worn, broken or just plain old beat components.
I personally do not feel there is any except able "play" allowed in suspension parts.

Tire pressures are crucial as well.
Tire related issues can be mis balancing or a tire with a second quality flaw such as a slipped belt will cup a tire in a few thousand miles.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:
j_dirge wrote:
insyncro wrote:

Lateral movement in the suspension and components will allow for this, along with other variables.

maybe a bent or out of true/round wheel?
loose wheel bearings?
warped brake disk?
worn tie rods?
worn BJ? (the initial reason the OP went in for repair..)
loose shock mount?


Loose, worn, broken or just plain old beat components.
I personally do not feel there is any except able "play" allowed in suspension parts.

Tire pressures are crucial as well.
Tire related issues can be mis balancing or a tire with a second quality flaw such as a slipped belt will cup a tire in a few thousand miles.

Right..
Which is why I question the "shock" source.
If the shocks are newer, not defective or blown, and mounted properly.. seems they'd be last on my list of possible sources.

BFGs have had some quality issues, as well.. Thye are good tires, overall. But not every tire out of the factory is perfect.
(I have a couple imperfections in my tires that point to less-than-perfect construction.)
I'd not rule out that the tires just may not be the problem.

If you read reviews on tires.. and look past the glowing reviews, you'll find some reports of similar problems.
Not unheard of.
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-89 GL Westy, still humming along under the power of a used "WBXer of mystery"
-57 pan f/g buggy with a 67 pancake Type 3 "S"

"Jimi Hendrix owned one. Richard Nixon did not"
-Grand Tour, Season 1, episodes 4 and 5

danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I inspect my tires before they are even mounted.
In many cases you can "see" issues in the sidewall or or the running surface.
I roll the unmounted tires on a flat concrete floor and just watch them as they roll.
As noted with new brake components...I check each part before even bothering to mount them.

If your tires were purchased "on sale"...this could be one of the reasons they are discounted.
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targis58
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I started the thread I was going to just have the shocks replaced/upgraded but I am going to hold it for now and do some more research. I would love to just take the van to the bistein technician and get that revalved locally if that is available.



Changed the thread title...
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it is the shocks. I think alignment. I have seen cupping on half or more of the syncros with BFGs. It isn't hte tire, but that tires makes it show up more than others due to the spacing between lugs and the squared off edges.

Alignment is really just a guess, but I had those tires on my syncro and only minor cupping. But it was a nice tight van. I guess it could be something loose that allows wheels to move, but I think you would feel it and would find the cause pretty easiliy. I think the front end components get bent with syncros due to offroading, so even though the alignment shop aligns it, something is still not quite right. You see cupping on trucks too with that tire, and usually they look like hard-life trucks. Road only jeeps and trucks rarely show any cupping.

I think it is good advice to rotate those tires left to right and front to back as often as you think about it to keep the cupping down. Otherwise maybe a shop that specializes in alignments including the ability to straighten frames, so not the basic alignment shop. Again just my guess.

As far a shocks, Bilsteins are lifetime shocks and similar to OE shocks especially if not the HD ones, so that seems unlikely. And tons of people run those shocks and have no issues.
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