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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:43 am
Posts: 17
Location: Arizona
Hey guys
Hoping somebody can steer me straight

I've been having terrible luck with tires and the grooved concrete freeway. Both kumho solus and nankang crap tire have dragged the car all over the road. It twitches and jumps back and forth with the tires on the rear end only. I've been completely unwilling to install the other two nankang on the front. Afraid the whole shebang is gonna hit a ditch.

When I got the car I originally went to discount tire and got a set by SA4. They were dirt cheap and drove great. They apparently were also on clearance. No longer available anywhere it seems.

Now looking for something that won't kill me or anybody in the car, I'm leery of anything with the tread blocks broken up too small or wide, straight grooves in it. I'm unsure which is the bigger problem, neither seem great.

What was the factory tire on the metro?

Thanks guys


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:21 am 
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Location: Christchurch NZ, quake capital
When was the last time you had a proper wheel alignment?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:14 am
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Location: Prince George B.C. Canada
I have to agree with Dattman. I have to drive on grooved pavement on occasions but I never have a problem where it sends me into oncoming traffic or feels at the least dangerous. You may have a bent rear tow bar. Get a 4 wheel alignment.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:10 am
Posts: 342
Location: Palm Springs, Calif
GreasyToad wrote:
Hey guys
Hoping somebody can steer me straight

I've been having terrible luck with tires and the grooved concrete freeway. Both kumho solus and nankang crap tire have dragged the car all over the road. It twitches and jumps back and forth with the tires on the rear end only. I've been completely unwilling to install the other two nankang on the front. Afraid the whole shebang is gonna hit a ditch.

When I got the car I originally went to discount tire and got a set by SA4. They were dirt cheap and drove great. They apparently were also on clearance. No longer available anywhere it seems.

Now looking for something that won't kill me or anybody in the car, I'm leery of anything with the tread blocks broken up too small or wide, straight grooves in it. I'm unsure which is the bigger problem, neither seem great.

What was the factory tire on the metro?

Thanks guys

Typical East meets West Syndrome.
Some out of work engineer from back East moves West and tells everyone we NEED those grooves because it is safer in the rain.
Never mind that we get rain once a month, if that.
So we put the grooves in, and it plays hell with the motorcycles and the light cars.

Our East Coast engineer got his way, and you my friend, got screwed.
We've got those grooves all over Southern California.
Total waste.

So I feel your pain.

Motorcycles have adapted by changing the grooves in the tires.
Those grooves caused many bikes to catch and wander as they drove down the highway.
Supposedly, the 4 tires of a car can handle it, but even with a new set of tires, depending on the pattern, you can catch a groove and in a light car, it will throw you around noticeably.

In the old days, we put the grooves on the tires, NOT on the pavement.

Back East, and in some parts of the Mid West, where the water takes FOREVER to dry, I can see it.
But out here, it just doesn't make sense. In some coastal regions, fine.
But Arizona?
Geeze.
10 minutes after a rain the pavement is dry.
So the grooves are useful 0.01% of the time, but are a pain 100% of the time.

Hey engineer: more grooves on pavement = less surface area contacting tire surface.
Maybe if we sue for unsafe roads, they will stop cutting those damn grooves into the cement.

Alternative solution: drive a Peterbilt and you won't have a problem.

One woman out here lost her son on a motorcycle due to the grooves and she drove around with tire chains on the freeways she was so pissed off.
Can't say as I blame her.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:17 pm
Posts: 1408
Location: Alberta, Canada
Consider 175/70r13 as an alternate size, a bit wider and perhaps slightly lower but fit really nicely. There may be more options available in this size. I agree with other members that it does seem odd that tires alone are making it drive that poorly, but I have seen it. Toe out also can make the car feel unstable, and on the rear it really makes the car drive awful!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:56 am
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Location: Christchurch NZ, quake capital
Yeah Cody thats where I was headed with my question, toe out on the rear and more specifically worn out bushes on the toe bars can cause your car to steer by it's self all over the place, invest in a new set of toe bars and then a proper wheel alignment.

I'd definitely look at getting rid of anything 80 profile :puke:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:43 am
Posts: 17
Location: Arizona
It handled great with the sa4 cheapo tires from discount. They had large tread blocks, not huge grooves in the tire.
the big grooves cut the tread on these tiny tires into such narrow ridges that they track and skip in the road. Also handles great on regular asphalt. Yes the suspension is shot but I'm not in a hurry to fix it.

Most concerning is that I'm gonna be moving to cali soon if I get the job I'm after. Granted I'll probably be unloading the car shortly thereafter but it's gotta get me to that point.

So, those of you with the grooved roads, what tires are you running? Brand/model/size?

I guess the 175/70r13 didn't mess up gas mileage too bad?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:27 pm
Posts: 825
Location: walsh,alberta,canada
we have some grooved concrete here, but our grooves run width-wise, not length wise.....
the company I work for did a whole pile of ''deep'' repairs to our concrete highway, they were worried about smooth concrete and traction, so they had us ''tine'' the panels we replaced (cuts at every inch) for traction.
then they brought in a milling machine, and planed it all smooth :roll:
all that work for nothing, now all the concrete is one smooth surface.
yes, we get rain and snow, but that didn't seem to bother them to make it all smooth.
yet going thru another city a few weeks ago, ALL of the concrete surface is grooved (width-wise)
makes no sense.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:46 pm
Posts: 887
Location: Arizona
We all experienced groove tracking with our light weight cars . If you know the reason its happening why are you freaking out about it? If your alignment is up to specs , car always goes where you point it. Im yet to change lanes because grooved concrete made me =)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:01 am 
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Location: Wahiawa, HI
Ok, I'm going to say one more time to reiterate:

Tires may be a factor but alignment is MUCH more important--if you dial enough toe in into the car front and back it will stop following the grooves regardless of which tire you run, even if your toe bar bushings aren't great anymore. I suppose if you have to go to extremes your tires might wear on the outside edges a bit, but one way or the other the car will stop tramlining

:roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:23 am
Posts: 178
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
In Washington state the state will take a perfectly good stretch of freeway and have some fly by night operation tear it up and pour down some crappy asphalt mix. What ends up happening are not grooves but channel ways. This is a modern day occurrence of wagon wheels in mud. When the you have small narrow tires and you get in one of those channel or pop out of one it will want to cause your car to veer into the neighboring lane. It takes some serious adjusting to avoid this from happening. I believe this occurs because if the DOT doesn't use or exceed their budget this year, their budget is cut the next year.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:43 pm
Posts: 720
Location: Texas 75150
A friend of mine had a 94 hatch back 1.0L 5 spd. It wandered all over the road. I crawled under the car and no sway bars.
Not a front or a rear sway bar on the car. My next pick&pull trip I got him both front and rear sway bars with all the brackets and end pieces. He has now installed them and the car quit wandering and handles so much better.
My fix would be sway bars on your car.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:49 am 
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Location: Christchurch NZ, quake capital
fainya wrote:
A friend of mine had a 94 hatch back 1.0L 5 spd. It wandered all over the road. I crawled under the car and no sway bars.
Not a front or a rear sway bar on the car. My next pick&pull trip I got him both front and rear sway bars with all the brackets and end pieces. He has now installed them and the car quit wandering and handles so much better.
My fix would be sway bars on your car.


While adding swaybars will make your metro handle better its quite rediculous to suggest it's going to cure a tracking problem, this is simply a case of where the wheels are pointed and what controls them, it could be loose wheel bearings, worn out control arm bushes, bent frame horn, worn or bent toe bars, if the wheels are toe'ed out or something is loose then the wheels will follow the grooves, uplike the mk1, the swaybars in a mk2/3/4 only apply force in a vertical direction and therefore have minimal impact on the steering or tracking.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:52 am
Posts: 2
Location: Georgia
I'm afraid I can't help you but you can check with my dealer online at http://www.actiongatortire.com and see if they have something.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:19 pm
Posts: 189
Location: Vancouver, BC
The trouble with the laser alignment tools and the young techs is that they only know how to set the factory specs. They have no idea how the car should feel on the road since nearly all modern cars are power steering, have little feedback and do not track the ruts and grooves like our light manual steering cars.

So ask the technician to take the car on the road after he sets the "factory's spec's" or you take it out on the worst stretch of road. If the factory angles still pose a problem then toe in the front slightly. This solved the same problem on my swift and mr2 sc.

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