BEWARE, HOW OLD ARE YOUR TIRES?
July 15 I was returning from a show, driving my truck in 98 degree + weather. All was going well (doing about 65 MPH) on a great stretch of 2-lane state highway when I heard a loud noise from the passenger rear of my truck and the ‘flap-flap-flap’ of a bad tire.
By the time I slowed down and pulled off the side the damage was done. The tread had separated on the right rear tire and when it did it really messed up my rear fender (see attached photos of tire and fender). Top rear of fender had some inside-out dimples that I could have fixed, but the leading edge of the fender (facing the cab) had a big smile and some missing body filler.
Fortunately, this was the only (only?) damage. The bed side and step in front of the fender were O.K. After sweating about 10 pounds off changing the tire (I had a spare, jack and tools in the back), I made it home.
I have no idea why the tread separated. Didn’t hit anything on the road and had no indication it was going to fail. All four tires on the road appeared in great shape, no sidewall cracking and lots of tread left. I’ve put about 15K miles on the truck since I bought it. I’ve had the truck 5 years and have no idea when the previous owner purchased the tires. Lucky this happened close to home (wife and I just made a 650 mile trip in early July).
Just received a repro fender and hardware and will be painting and putting it on this week. Needless to say, I visited the tire store and bought four brand new tires last week. I’m not about to have this happen again (just thankful it wasn’t a front tire!!).
Just thought I’d pass this along to other list members who may have trucks they’ve purchased with unknown-age tires. If in doubt, buy some new skins for your pride and joy. Replacing tires is much cheaper than replacing fenders or finding yourself upside-down in a ditch!!