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Tire FEATHERING: FYI

Old 01-06-2003, 07:31 PM
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droideka
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Exclamation ~!UPDATE!~ Tire FEATHERING: FYI

Today was my appointment to diagnose my car's feathering issue. The bad news is (what I was told) was that my dealer could not get through to Nissan Tech and ended up leaving two messages. The really bad news is that because of my "brick" incident (which only affected one wheel ), I could not get the alignment fixed under warranty and had to eat the labor and loaner car to the tune of $110.

Here's what I know. My car developed feathering on the inside edges of both front tires around 4500 miles, the point at which the feathering became audible and annoying. They continued to get progressively worse until I could no longer stand listening to them and swapped them out at 7100 miles. An example of my horribly disfigured tires can be found here.

I started by filing a formal complaint with NNA on Dec. 18 regarding the feathering issue. On Dec. 23, I was contacted by NNA and informed that feathering is a KNOWN issue with Nissan Tech (thanks to several of you demanding new tires) and that I should make an appointment with my dealer so that they can speak with them and correct the problem. As previously stated, my dealer could not get through to Nissan Tech, but did make corrections to the toe-in (the ONLY thing that can be adjusted on the Z33) and remarked that, "it was WAY out of spec." This troubles me a bit because I had previously had my alignment checked and corrected on my dime by an independent shop based on the specs directly from the Z33 Service Manual. I was also *told* that a TSB is forthcoming with regards to excessive toe-in on some cars. My hunch, and this is purely speculative, is that perhaps the spec for the FSU (Front Suspension Unit) included in the first pressing of the Z33 Service Manual both in print and on CD is in fact NOT correct.

If you've had your front tires replaced under warranty (and they looked as bad as mine) and you DID NOT have significant corrections made to your toe-in, I honestly believe that you are NOT IN THE CLEAR and that your tires will feather once again within a few thousand miles. For an idependent shop to adjust toe to factory specs and for my dealer to say, "it's WAY out of spec" just doesn't jive and I feel that a bit of info is being held back to supress a mass of free alignments to be performed by the dealer network.

I hope this helps and let me know if I've missed anything in my synopsis. I'll be keeping a SHARP eye on my tires with inspections every 200-250 miles to make sure that this issue has in fact been corrected.

Note: Mods, please allow this info to propogate the "General" section before being moved. Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2003, 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by VQracer
Thanks for the ~!UPDATE!~.
Ha. ~!UPDATE!~ always works for you. Can you make this a sticky when it's moved the the "tech" section?

thanks,
brad
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Old 01-07-2003, 07:24 AM
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Thanks so much for the update. I have the same issues. The noise started around 4000 miles for me and has been getting worse since. I have 8500 miles on it now and it is deafening. My tires will be here soon and I am hoping that an alignment will solve this problem.
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Old 01-07-2003, 09:50 AM
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Hey Droid! By way of explanation, when Nissan said the toe-in was way out of spec, did they say if it was too "toed-in" or were your tires not "toed-in" enough?
thanks!
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Old 01-07-2003, 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by ChinaClipper
Hey Droid! By way of explanation, when Nissan said the toe-in was way out of spec, did they say if it was too "toed-in" or were your tires not "toed-in" enough?
thanks!
Too much toe-in. Like this... / /---\ \

I mentioned this as a culprit way back when we first started noticing this. I'd be very interested to hear what your experience is with the alignment since you have the same problem.
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Old 01-07-2003, 10:49 AM
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Default Tire Feathering

I also had the feathering at about 4200 miles. I went to 2 Nissan dealerships and both said the same thing " we can't replace your tires" but the alignment, toe in seem to be good. I ended up calling Nissan Consumer Affairs and filing a complaint. Then I went to an authorized Bridgestone dealer and showed them. They replaced both my front tires and NO COST to me. I will definetly be getting another person to look at my toe in and alignment though, thanks for the update.
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Old 01-07-2003, 11:11 AM
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hehe, I see nothing wrong with the tire. of course I really have no clue what Im looking for, so Ill take your word for it.

the way you put miles on your car, I suppose we'll get your update before I hit 4000miles, at 2000 and counting. hopefully mine will feather, then they will replace them for free, and Ill have a nice new fixed set of tires at around 6000miles, and by the time I hit 15000 Ill have money for my tread, rim, and brake combo that I have planed. 9000$ takes a little while to save tho.(mmmm 15.1inch rotors, 19"TE37s, and the stickiest rubber I can find, yummy) gonna be tearing up road atlanta once I get all that.
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Old 01-07-2003, 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by droidekaus
Too much toe-in. Like this... / /---\ \

I mentioned this as a culprit way back when we first started noticing this. I'd be very interested to hear what your experience is with the alignment since you have the same problem.
Thanks for the info droid. The pic is my front tire feathering pattern at 6200 miles. The tire on the right is the right hand tire, and the tire on the left is the left hand tire. They drive smooth and there is no vibration or any other anomaly that I can feel or hear. No problems with alignment or pull that I can tell. I have not had any realignment done either, nor the toe-in checked.
Using a tread depth gage, the tread measurements are currently:
LF outboard - 8/32"
LF inboard - varies between 7/32 and 8/32"
RF outboard - 8/32"
RF inboard - varies between 7/32 and 8/32"
Both rear tires - 7/32"
The Bridgestone website lists the RE-040 tire as having an original tread depth of 10/32".
Attached Thumbnails Tire FEATHERING: FYI-ftires2.jpg  
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Old 01-10-2003, 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by droidekaus
Too much toe-in. Like this... / /---\ \

I mentioned this as a culprit way back when we first started noticing this. I'd be very interested to hear what your experience is with the alignment since you have the same problem.
Did the dealer indicate what the service manual says is the toe-in amount?
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Old 01-10-2003, 04:47 PM
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See below
Attached Thumbnails Tire FEATHERING: FYI-350z-alignment-specs.jpg  

Last edited by MannishBoy; 01-10-2003 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 01-10-2003, 08:03 PM
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Mannish boy: thanks for the chart.

Is it just me? Am I old fashioned, or do the toe-in amounts seem to be stupid-small?

If the mechanics aren't following this 1mm recommendation (the width of a paper-clip) and are doing something more traditional (???), like 1/4, 1/2 inch, then?

Has anybody checked their toe-in themselves to see what it is at? If all the people who are having problems are like at 10mm, and all the ones not having problems are at 1-2mm, then it seems the answer is easy....

Last edited by BrianZ; 01-10-2003 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 01-14-2003, 08:06 AM
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Default Toe in out of Spec.

Took my car to the dealership yesterday. Alignment good. Camber caster and cross caster both sides O.K. in spec. They found the toe angle out of spec causing the feathering on my tires. I don't know how many degrees. The dealership will let me know today. The servicman had left when I picked up the car. When I have that info I will call Nissan. I don't want new tires. I want them to pay for the wear that is left on my tires and I will replace with upgrades. (I'll take a shot at it anyway) I'll keep you posted. (Noticed the noise at 7K miles. Greatly increased at 9K miles. I Now have 9.5K miles)
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Old 01-17-2003, 01:17 PM
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Default Toe in 1/3" out of spec.

The mechanic says my toe in was 1/3" out of spec. Called NNA they said they would contact dealer and get back with me. Nothing as of yet and that was three days ago. I think I'll give them a call. I would really like to know if them problem is defective parts, came from manufacturing out of spec. or a tire issue.
Now that the toe-in has been adjusted to spec. I need to replace the tires. The ride is extremly rough. I'm sure new tires will fix this problem.
Wasn't ready for this expense yet. Going to get new tires with my income tax return. I hope Nissan pops for some of this tab.
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Old 01-20-2003, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Toe in out of Spec.

Originally posted by Z_Dragon_Lady
Took my car to the dealership yesterday. Alignment good. Camber caster and cross caster both sides O.K. in spec. They found the toe angle out of spec causing the feathering on my tires. I don't know how many degrees. The dealership will let me know today. The servicman had left when I picked up the car. When I have that info I will call Nissan. I don't want new tires. I want them to pay for the wear that is left on my tires and I will replace with upgrades. (I'll take a shot at it anyway) I'll keep you posted. (Noticed the noise at 7K miles. Greatly increased at 9K miles. I Now have 9.5K miles)
I don't think you will have any luck trying to get a prorating. Giving you $ is the last thing they want to do. It fouls up their procedures, they would rather give you new tires even if it is more expensive than prorating, theY have no guidelines to cover that, I would wager.

Take your new tires, if they offer, try to get a trade-in on your new tires. Failing that, put them on E-Bay giveyour installer a fee to handle the transaction. That is what I'm doing,so I don't have to fool w/it. Anything he gets for the tires, we will settle up when they are sold. They only have 1600 miles, and I am asking 1/2 as newtires. Anything would be OK .
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Old 01-21-2003, 03:19 PM
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Default Tire trade-in

Good advice, Thanks Boomer
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:43 PM
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I've got the same problem, started at around 4000 miles and is getting worse. But, I'm not sure this problem is feathering. Feathering results in a feathered wear pattern 'across' the tread pattern as shown here: http://www.kimmeltire.com/html/tire2.html .

What I have, and it looks like the pictures I've seen posted in this thread, is a feathering around the circumference of the inside tread blocks. Feathering of the inside shoulder or unusual/excessive feathering wear on the inside shoulder. Raised heel and lowered toe on the inside tread blocks only. Which according to this site is not the same thing as feathering across the tread: http://www.discounttire.com/dtc/broc...kAlignment.jsp

It's interesting to me because this type of wear is caused by caster which is not adjustable on the Z.

Anyhow, have appointment at dealer Friday, will post what happens.


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Old 01-30-2003, 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by Enforcer
I've got the same problem, started at around 4000 miles and is getting worse. But, I'm not sure this problem is feathering. Feathering results in a feathered wear pattern 'across' the tread pattern as shown here: http://www.kimmeltire.com/html/tire2.html .

What I have, and it looks like the pictures I've seen posted in this thread, is a feathering around the circumference of the inside tread blocks. Feathering of the inside shoulder or unusual/excessive feathering wear on the inside shoulder. Raised heel and lowered toe on the inside tread blocks only. Which according to this site is not the same thing as feathering across the tread: http://www.discounttire.com/dtc/broc...kAlignment.jsp

It's interesting to me because this type of wear is caused by caster which is not adjustable on the Z.

Anyhow, have appointment at dealer Friday, will post what happens.


Enforcer
I can't load your Kimmeltire example and my dealer did a 4wheel alignment the day after I put on new tires. I, and many others, would be very interested in your findings.

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Old 01-30-2003, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Toe in 1/3" out of spec.

Originally posted by Z_Dragon_Lady
The mechanic says my toe in was 1/3" out of spec. Called NNA they said they would contact dealer and get back with me. Nothing as of yet and that was three days ago. I think I'll give them a call. I would really like to know if them problem is defective parts, came from manufacturing out of spec. or a tire issue.
Now that the toe-in has been adjusted to spec. I need to replace the tires. The ride is extremly rough. I'm sure new tires will fix this problem.
Wasn't ready for this expense yet. Going to get new tires with my income tax return. I hope Nissan pops for some of this tab.
I just reread your post on toe-in 1/3" out of alignment. Using Mannish Boy's chart saying 1 degree is nominal makes your toe-in WAY out. I forgot to ask my SW how out of spec my tires were. When I asked him at my next visit, he just said the tech feeds in the rec's for changes from Nissan into their alignment machine and it does it almost automatically. I assume your dealer has similar alignment equipment, but I don't know for sure. BrianZ alluded to the discrepancy earlier.

My question is how many degrees in an inch ? Anybody have such data on their fingertips?
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Old 01-31-2003, 01:57 PM
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Sorry for the inoperative link, had an extra http in there. The address is valid:
http://www.kimmeltire.com/html/tire2.html

The dealer performed a four wheel alignment on my z but did not replace the tires. The alignment was off but there was no damage or wear that would account for it. They confirmed the strange wear pattern which is not the classical across tread feathering. They said they would be happy to replace the tires but I had to call Nissan Consumer Affairs (1 800 647 7261, option 0) and file a complaint. Which I did.

The representative at NCA said there is a technical bulletin on the issue but no recall. The bulletin instructs the dealers to swap the front tires only from left to right. He explained it as actually dismounting the tires and remounting on the opposite rim. Of course I don't know if the dealer did this but he is going to check for me and let me know. The representative said I should run them for 2000 miles and see if the road noise goes away. If it doesn't, then he would replace the tires.

But I have a little problem with that...namely the tires have already and will wear faster than they should have due to the misalignment.

He did not know what the cause of the problem was, such as a factory quality issue, car carrier issues, etc. I explained to him that there were lots of people on the net that would like some info so they might want to come up with something. He laughed and said thanks for the tip!

The rotation makes sense in that the tread wear will now be in the opposite direction so it should wear them back into shape. As for swapping the tires only, the only thing I can think is that it keeps the correct pressure sensor in the correct place without having to relearn or reprogram which sensor is where. Which has me thinking now about implications for tire rotation as well...

I truly hope that the correct toe alignment solves this problem, but I have my doubts. It could be the castor issue I mentioned or a tire issue. I just don't know and suspect we won't find out for another 6000 miles. But if swapping the tires left to right wears them back into shape in 2000 miles then that sort of implies they will keep wearing in the opposite direction and we'll be back to the square root of one ... just in 6000 miles instead of 4000 like the first time. I hope this is wrong. There is a good chance it is. Either way, not to worry, I believe Nissan will fix the problem eventually if they haven't already.

I have a web page on this problem with 3D renderings that shows the difference between normal feathering and this wear pattern:
Tire Trouble Page


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Old 01-31-2003, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Re: Toe in 1/3" out of spec.

Originally posted by Boomer
I just reread your post on toe-in 1/3" out of alignment. Using Mannish Boy's chart saying 1 degree is nominal makes your toe-in WAY out. I forgot to ask my SW how out of spec my tires were. When I asked him at my next visit, he just said the tech feeds in the rec's for changes from Nissan into their alignment machine and it does it almost automatically. I assume your dealer has similar alignment equipment, but I don't know for sure. BrianZ alluded to the discrepancy earlier.

My question is how many degrees in an inch ? Anybody have such data on their fingertips?
The nominal toe value is 1mm according to the service manual. Assuming (big word) the rim is exactly 18" and I remember geometry, the angle would be arctan 1/(18*25.4) or 0.125 degrees. An inch of toe would be arctan 1/18 or 3.18 degrees.


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