Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Truck tires, Movie, and Dinner

For the past few years of getting ready for RVing full-time, I have been studying all of the "best practices" from the other BLOGs and from the RV-Dreams forum.  One of the highest priorities is to always check and maintain your tire pressures.  I just have the truck right now so I figure I need to find out how I check the tires on it and especially the dual rear tires.  So, while I was laying under the truck inspecting the new trailer brake wiring a few days ago, I took a close look at the rear tires.  I was most interested in finding where the inside tires valve stem was located.   

Good news, it is located directly behind the outside tire's valve stem making it easy to find from the outside of the truck.  The not so good news is that they are quite far back making them hard to get air or even a tire gauge to it.  The dual wheel valve stem configuration is that the outer tire valve stem points away or toward the truck while the inner one points outward.  I will need a tire gauge that has a dual end on it with one pointing the opposite direction from the straight end.

Front tire with easy to reach valve

Rear outside tire with valve pointing away.  
The inside tire valve is about 6 inches farther inside the wheel hole

The tires are rated for 110 psi and I already have a gauge that is rated for that.  I got my gauge and put it on one of the tire valve stems and Ka-BOOM, the gauge exploded!  WOW!  The gauge was a cheap plastic gauge, but I never thought that would happen.  Now I am just a little afraid of the tires.  Patty and I were near a parts store on Monday so I decided to get a good tire gauge.  

The new good gauge.

Got the gauge out yesterday and thought I would check all of the tires.  Decided to check the front tires first as they are the easiest.  Pushed the gauge on to the valve stem and it worked, pressure was 120 psi!  After I took off the gauge the air kept blowing out of the stem.  Crap!  I kept pushing the gauge repeatedly on to the stem and finally the air stopped blowing.  Ok, now I'm thinking that this tire checking is going to suck on this truck.  Well, back in the saddle, I try the other front tire.  Same high pressure but this time air will not stop blowing out of the stem!  I cap it off some what with the valve cap.  

I then went on-line to see if this was some sort of issue I never heard of.  Seems from what I read on the Ford Super Duty site that I probably have the wrong valve stems installed.  This makes sense as the front tires are brand new and the valve stems were probably change out with the tires.  I didn't know that there were different stems, low and high pressure.  The low are good up to 65psi and are in most automobiles.  I also found out that the tires should be inflated to the level recommended by the maker of the truck, Ford and not the maximum rated pressure on the tires.  The pressures are found on the inside of the drivers door frame.  There is a big difference between the Ford pressures and the tire max pressures.  

All of the tires are rated at 110 psi and Ford recommends  the front be 85 psi and the back be 75 psi.  Big difference from the current 120 psi!  So I have tires over inflated by as much as 60% and possibly with low pressure valve stems and I have one tire losing pressure quickly in front of the house.  I can't drive the truck because the tire is too low and I don't know where to go that they have air.  So Patty calls our insurance company where we have roadside assistance and has someone come out to tow the truck.  Before the tow truck arrived, my neighbor Neal came over to see if he could help with his small air compressor.  We thought maybe by blowing in some air through the valve it would seat.  His air compressor only got up to about 80 psi but it was enough as the tire was now at 40 psi.  The blow back seems to work as the valve seemed to seat. 

The tow truck arrived and had an air supply and I decide to try and fill the leaking tire and see if that further fixes the valve problem and get the tire back to where it should be.  However, the tow truck can't get the pressure past 70psi.  I let the tow truck go and decide to go to a tire shop and get it checked.  Went to Crown tire about 5 miles from here and they took me in quickly.  I was right, the valves were the wrong size so I had them replaced on the 2 front tires.  

Front tire removed.

Repairman taking the tire off of the rim.

Cost was $128 as they needed to remove both tires from the rims to install the valves.  The wrong stems were most likely put in by the Ford dealership where we purchased the truck.  I could have gone there but decided not to because 1) they did it wrong to start with and 2) they are much farther away, and lastly, they would have needed the truck over night to look at it.  Tires are a big thing especially when towing and I wanted it done right.  The whole experience took from 10 am to 3:30 pm, not bad.  I also lowered all of the tires pressures to the correct pressures for the truck.

After all of that with the tires, we still had time to keep our original plan to see a movie and have dinner at one of our favorite places.  We decided to see the movie Ted at the theater in Atlantic Highlands mainly because on Tuesday it is only $7.  A short walk form the theater is the restaurant Off the Deck located on the water facing Sandy Hook and the Manhattan skyline.  We liked the movie but should have rented it on DVD. No need to see it on a big screen.  Dinner was great. We sat at the outside bar and watched the ferry (SeaStreak) deliver passengers back from their work day in NYC.

 Off the Deck Restaurant

Manhattan with the new Freedom tower going up just left of the pole.  Hard to see.

Looking back at our current town Highlands and Sandy Hook to the left.

Ferry unloading passengers from NYC 

 All in all an educational and good day.

Stay tuned!


Berta Hargrove said...

A great website with interesting and unique material what else would you need.
mechanic service trucks

Bradford Oliver said...

That’s true. It’s always better to have your tires checked and maintained regularly, because inaccurate pressure can cause problems such as poor mileage, or a tire blowing up all of a sudden. Anyhow, this may not be the start you wanted for this day, but it’s good to know that it still went great -- your tires have been replaced properly, and your movie & dinner date was still a success.

Bradford Oliver @ Lacustoms Performance Products