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Thread: Best tyres on the back?

  1. #1
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    Default Best tyres on the back?

    I had two new tyres fitted to my Hilux today and I was given an information leaflet produced by Michelin pronouncing that the best tread should go on the back!
    Where did they learn about that then? Do they not understand braking or handling at all?
    I let the guy do it and now the truck is handling badly so tomorrow they'll be swapped and I'll be back to him to give him a bit of lip!
    Anyone heard of this crap then?

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    It's often said, eg
    The front and rear tyres on your car have a different job to do and generally, the tyres on the driven wheels will wear faster. However, regardless of whether your car is front, rear or all-wheel drive, you should always fit the newest tyres or those with the greatest tread to the rear as they provide the essential stability to ensure effective braking, steering and traction.
    ADVICE: The truth about tyres - motoring.com.au

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    I had two new tyres fitted to my Hilux today and I was given an information leaflet produced by Michelin pronouncing that the best tread should go on the back!
    Where did they learn about that then? Do they not understand braking or handling at all?
    I let the guy do it and now the truck is handling badly so tomorrow they'll be swapped and I'll be back to him to give him a bit of lip!
    Anyone heard of this crap then?
    The local Bob Jane man in Perth says exactly that emphatically. You had a Hilux that handled well? Personally, I'm not persuaded either though.

    Be interesting to read the thread as it evolves.
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    Here is another from a track test reported at Tyre safety: are you properly attyred? | Cars
    But the most obvious demonstration came on the skidpan. Let loose in a rear-wheel-drive BMW that had worn tyres on its rear wheels and fresh tyres up front – a combination Pirelli’s tyre technicians confirmed was a real no-no, even in a front-wheel-drive car – we found ourselves pirouetting unintentionally at the slightest provocation.

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    It all depends whether you have the skills to handle oversteer. My first front wheel drive was a 1969 Renault 16, which I rallied. Always with the best tyres on the steering and driving end: the front. This gave me the option of controllable lift off oversteer or understeer with full power on. Same with my R16TS, R12, RX4 Scenic and Koleos 4x4. Judicious use of tyre pressures and throttle provide a tailored situation for whatever life throws at you. Best tyres on the back means you will generally have understeer, or more understeer.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    And, of course, it's plain silly to have a significant tyre discrepancy front to rear anyway.... Or so I'd have thought.
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    JohnW

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    I went and looked up the text books after this post. The maths are complex, but it's mainly about preferring some understeer. Few drivers not rallying like oversteering, though I fondly remember youthful dirt road cornering in a Morris Minor. One or twice I even changed direction 180. The authorities don't approve.

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    So can anyone honestly tell me that in slippery conditions they'd rather loose the front than the back?
    And can you also say that under heavy braking you would prefer the front to loose traction first?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    And, of course, it's plain silly to have a significant tyre discrepancy front to rear anyway.... Or so I'd have thought.
    With the old Hilux and maybe other cars , like 505 pugs etc I typically offset the front pair to the rear by about a year.
    It's just the way my economy has worked over the years so I have a new pair every year which go on the front.
    Yes I'm poor so the rear ones end up worn right out by the time they get swapped.
    There's no way in hell I'd run front tyres that low. It wouldn't be safe. But it is legal the way I do it and I've done this all my life with no problems.
    Black is not white and reversing this is plain wrong.
    I like my good rubber for my steering and control. Yes obviously good rubber all round is the ideal but if it isn't that way then good rubber at the rear is just idiotic.
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    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    I agree.

    Most modern cars recover from marginal understeer just by backing off. For most people backing off is the automatic reaction if they have overcooked it. I think the tyre companies know that most of their customers have no clue how to recover from oversteer, so take the road that will least likely to get them sued.
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    So can anyone honestly tell me that in slippery conditions they'd rather loose the front than the back?
    And can you also say that under heavy braking you would prefer the front to loose traction first?
    Ok...,I'd rather loose the front than the back.
    Remarkable as it may seem, Micheling are actually correct, and I agree with them 100%.

    Jo
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    Politically correct nonsense. You'd rather loose your steering than the rear end?
    Luckily I will not be driving in your car Jo.

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    I'm a best tyres on the front guy - I don't care what the back does, but I don't like straight line braking on a wet road with both fronts locked, and I have had cars where the difference in tyres front/rear is enough to cause or prevent that happening. I am quite surprised that it is recommended.

    But I was brought up without ABS.
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    Fivedoor is right - in fact I am pretty sure this pearl of wisdom dates from cross-ply days - it seems to be something that I've always known.

    In a car with ABS/EBD/ESP it's obviously unnecessary and even unhelpful, but in the old days it was "understeer good, oversteer bad"!
    The only surprise to me is that so many of you are surprised by this advice, as none of you look particularly young and wet behind the ears from where I'm sitting !

    Cheers

    Alec
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    Politically correct nonsense. You'd rather loose your steering than the rear end?
    Luckily I will not be driving in your car Jo.
    WTF?
    You reckon you know it all...better than michelin, and now you reckon you know the way I set up my car and my driving style better than me, and reckon I'm being PC. ****off!!!

    Lucky indeed you are not driving in my car...You'd crap your pants all over my seat and have a heart attack.
    And if you tried to follow me in your POS , you'd simply spin out on the first fast corner, like so many others who have tried to follow me have done.

    Why are you even having this discussion about a hilux.
    Handles like shit.... period.


    Jo
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  16. #16
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    For me the surprise is that the old tyre guy would take this onboard so vehemently and basically force it on old customers as an ongoing theme of safety.
    Personally I wouldn't want to be the guy who tests him in court but it is a bullshit wrong way to blanket treat people and it's likely to cause grief in my opinion.
    It's like calling black white for me.
    I've been a good rubber up front guy all my life and that's the way I drive. I run rear wheel drive usually but if I drive front wheel drive I take more care.
    Plus I noticed a distinct difference in handling today when the good rubber went on the back. It seemed to want to turn into corners and was generally not stable, needing correction all the way. This was very different from the previous handling this morning before the tyres that was inert and stable with almost bald rear tyres.
    I would also suggest there is more involved here, to do with how good the rear diff is, so a grippy rear tyre set on a sloppy rear diff may make things a bit more twitchy.
    This is old technology, old rear wheel drive, old chassis and gearbox and it works best with good upfront rubber I believe.
    So does my 505 GTI.
    I learned to drive in an Austin A90 which could be spun out under control to wherever you liked. No greater fun than to take her out on a wet afternoon after school and spin out round every corner with all yer mates in the back.
    I don't drive that way now I'm 62 and almost growed up but I still have the innate understanding that flicks into action if I start spinning out.
    I know, I'm talking to the converted but honestly I get pissed off by the modern crowd of front wheel drive folk who just have no idea what RWD was and how it works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    WTF?
    You reckon you know it all...better than michelin, and now you reckon you know the way I set up my car and my driving style better than me, and reckon I'm being PC. ****off!!!

    Lucky indeed you are not driving in my car...You'd crap your pants all over my seat and have a heart attack.
    And if you tried to follow me in your POS , you'd simply spin out on the first fast corner, like so many others who have tried to follow me have done.

    Why are you even having this discussion about a hilux.
    Handles like shit.... period.


    Jo
    Well there's lot's of poo in there Jo. Good luck with that.
    I expect you have enough money to keep all your tyres really good and that's a good thang.
    No doubt you are a very fast driver and I couldn't keep up with you. Just drive safe man, that's the bottom line.
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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    I learned to drive in an Austin A90 which could be spun out under control to wherever you liked. No greater fun than to take her out on a wet afternoon after school and spin out round every corner with all yer mates in the back.
    I don't drive that way now I'm 62 and almost growed up but I still have the innate understanding that flicks into action if I start spinning out.
    I know, I'm talking to the converted but honestly I get pissed off by the modern crowd of front wheel drive folk who just have no idea what RWD was and how it works.
    Did you really "spin out" on every corner? Thank goodness I was not in your car, or anywhere near you. That sounds like really crappy driving.

    In any case, as mentioned previously, a little under steer is far easier for the average driver to control than over steer. The advice you got was based on what is best for a less skilled driver.
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    Most cars I see have the capacity to wear front tyres faster than the rear. For this reason I personally like to put oldest tyres in the front, this ensures I won't have ten year old part worns on the rear - as came with my Xantia.

    Beyond that I make no claim as to my driving abilities. I like my cars to be safe and I also like to get 110% out of every dollar I earn.

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    1000+ Posts Mike Tippett's Avatar
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    Michelin used to say 50 years ago that if you had only two X tires on any car, they had to go on the rear, with cross plies on the front.
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    I'm with Luthier on this, preferring to have the newest rubber on the front, whether
    RWD or FWD (and motorbikes), it's the front end I always want to stay planted.
    yet 50 years of this don't prove nothin', except I ain't no Greg Murphy.
    anyway with a 205 the rear wheels are just there to keep the arse off the road.
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    Good tyres on front vs on the back are fosuing on two different scenarios.

    Good tyres up front people are worried about straight line braking, and thats a worthy concern.

    But good tyres up back is about sudden lift off oversteer or simply letting go and spinning on fast corners - much much harder to predict or control and much more likely to have terminal consequences.

    Good tyres on the back for me. (Well, good tyres all round for me!)

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    Most cars are nose heavy, so the ability of the tyres to expel water through shallow tread grooves will be better at the heavy end.

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    Possible lateral friction coefficients Y,W of a steel radial tyre 155 R 13 78 S
    depending on the depth of the tyre profile as a percentage (starting from 8 mm = 100%)
    at pT = 1.8 bar, = 10į, v = 60 km/h and varying water film levels in mm.
    Best tyres on the back?-screenshot-15.png
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    My understanding of that chart, is it shows higher profile tyres grip slightly better in the wet. Not the comparative effect of tread groove depth when all other aspects of a tyre remain the same.

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