4wd tire slip and tranny trouble

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by 93Chevy, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    Okay, this may seem like a ******** question, but I'd like to get a few opinions here. I'll try to keep the question as concise and readable as possible.

    While I was getting new rear tires on my truck this morning, my saleslady cautioned me about having tires with different tread depths in a 4wd truck. Her caution was that the tires with more tread would have a better bite than the older tires, which makes sense. The better traction of the new tires would make it more likely for the front tires (with less tread) to slip while the rear tires (with new heavy tread) did not slip. This difference in slip, while in 4wd, would cause the transmission to blow.

    I hope that makes sense. Basically, I have two questions. First, is it correct to assume that if the front tires slip at a different speed than the rear tires, the transmission with blow. Secondly, how likely is that scenario? My front tires, while having less tread, are still very drivable. I'm not in 4wd very often, but I would like to get an idea if this has ever happened to anybody.

    I know this may sound stupid and I'm sure everybody on here knows the answer except for me. I would like to say that I appreciate anybody who takes the time to answer me. :waving:
     
  2. STIHL GUY

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 5,225

    im not sure about the tranny problem but would you be able to just rotate the tires that are already on the truck??
     
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    The sales person is just trying to make a tire sale. You should always put the newest tires on the steer axle if you are using the same tread pattern front and back.

    On a empty pickup truck your not going to see any problems with the 4 wheeldrive the front tires will have more traction 90% of the time because that is where the weight is

    Your big concern is if the tires are mismatched side to side so if you had a 33 inch tire on one side of the axle and a 31 inch tire on the otherside and try use the 4 wheeldrive.

    All 4 tires have to be within 1/2 inch or so in diameter get over 1 inch or more then you may have troubles.
     
  4. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    Sounds like a case of your saleslady is trying to impress you with how much she thinks she knows about trucks, and trying to get you to buy something you probably don't need.

    The front and rear tires being slightly different diameters would only be an issue if you were to drive around on dry pavement in 4WD, which from reading your post it is obvious you are smart enough to not do that. Conditions that you would normally use 4WD in allow for enough wheel slip to negate the difference in tire diameters.

    Furthermore, if you were to drive around on dry pavement in 4WD, it would stress the axles, driveshafts and transfer case but probably wouldn't affect the transmission at all.

    Now, if your truck were full time AWD you may have a valid concern, but chances are your saleslady doesn't understand the difference between full time AWD and selectable 4WD like what you have.
     
  5. deere615

    deere615 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,676

    never heard that before I know you should have the same tires on an axle though. Matching tires in back and matching tires in front.
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Oh I tell you one thing...

    After many years of trying to save a buck, I ALWAYS replace all 4 tires, with nice, new ones.
    Only way to go, forget this 2 in front and 2 in back stuff, not saying I've never done it but it
    has been some years, nowadays I always do the same kind of tire all the way around.

    That having been said you'll probably be all right on that issue, after all if transmission problems due to
    tire slippage were common I would imagine most 4wd's would be in the transmission shop a lot LOL

    Because you're going to get as much going around corners in ways of tires turning at different speeds...
    Every time you go around a turn your fronts are going at a different speed than your backs, because
    the back tires aren't steering so they take the shorter path to where the front is leading, for sure.
    How come if one makes a turn too tight the back runs over the curb, it's taking the short cut.

    So I'd have to agree someone was likely just trying to make a quick sale, however the sales lady would have
    been better off cautioning you on the effects of CONTROL and ride stability, perhaps comfort.
    Why I say, always replace all 4.

    But you'll be fine, just take it easy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  7. deere615

    deere615 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,676

    Yep I put 4 new ones on last year and 4 new ones this year and I too will from know on always replace all 4 tires together
     
  8. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    Thanks for all your replies.

    I couldn't justify paying another $350 for the two front tires when they still had tread on them. I'm always a very careful driver and never use 4wd on pavement unless its snow covered and I'm slipping in the rear. I'm helping a buddy remodel a house in my spare winter time, so I'll just use part of that money to buy the new front tires.
     
  9. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    I agree, it's a sales pitch. Unless you're driving a newer Audi with that AWD of theirs, tire diameter won't matter between front and rear axle. I've always rotated my tires so they've always worn evenly, and replacing all four are most cost effective = less trips to the shop. I've consistently achieved 70K on BFG tires.
     
  10. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    I rotate my tires often as well, but when I bought the truck last year, one pair was a little more worn than the others, so I replaced the worse pair. I'll get the fronts replaced in a few weeks, after I take care of all my other winter bills.
     

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