tire story from Hell

foxhunter

Adventurer
So my 2008 Michelin 395/85 R20 XZL tires, bought unused in 2013, were starting to get sidewall cracks on my 12 1/2 ton expedition vehicle. The newest " never used" replacement tires available were made in 2010. A seven year old tire is a seven year old tire, used or not, so I wanted to get truly new Michelins, even thought they are not cheap, as I regarded that extra money as insurance against a high speed blow out. The quest to find these tires in my area was not easy, so when I got on the CHAT line with Michelin, I was told there were 118 tires in various distribution centers in the USA for sale to the general public. Finally, I found a local truck shop that could get them (so could Pickering in LaJunta, but I wanted the new tires before I left Illinois for the west on vacation). They were ordered and arrived in a week. Of note was that I also checked on the equivalent Goodyear tire and was told they are only being sold to the military at this time.
The hitch was, that the truck company did not want to mount my new tires without new 0 rings for my 20 inch two piece Hutchinson wheels with beadlocks. Now I started a quest for O rings. Pickering had some used ones at the shop but he was out of town, and couldn't send any for a while. He gave me a contact (HEM 4x4) and a part number, so I ordered them second day air. When they hadn't arrived a week later, I contacted HEM and found that he had them shipped directly from Hutchinson. He got the tracking number from Hutchinson, and found that UPS was moving them around the country, but they weren't getting much closer to me. As my date for leaving on vacation was rapidly approaching I panicked and ordered some 0 rings from Oshkosh, and told they would fit. Finally, 12 days later, both sets of 0 rings arrived(12 days second day air by UPS from Hutchinson, 3 days for ground shipping from Wisconsin by UPS from Oshkosh) , and neither were the correct 0 rings (diameter too big). The truck shop at that point gave up and used my old o rings on the new tires, and they seem to be working fine.
All this has led me to strongly consider, that the next time I am due for tires, to switch to 22.5 inch wheels and go with the off road 445/65/r22.5 xzl as these tires seem to be easier to get.
 

foxhunter

Adventurer
Ouch! However I feel you pain... I don't have the number in front of me, but you could have bought the O-rings from Mcmaster-Carr for CHEAP! And given your location, next day at ground rates!
And beyond that (sorry to rub it in bro), you could have mounted your own tires with a pneumatic impact driver, a large clamp, & a few 2x4" wood blocks (thought I use Trax fake wood) easier than you could ever imagine!
Live and learn😒
 

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1leglance

2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
Thanks for sharing your pain, honestly these stories are great for someone like me that is an impulse buyer and with each Overland Expo starts seriously thinking about a large format rig.
Then comes a story like this right as I am about to follow up on the event literature and my 70 Suburban seems like such a great rig :)

Ouch again and glad you got is sorted, have a great trip, you earned it.
 

KE7JFF

Adventurer
The tire hunt story is interesting; I know a friend of mine who is a long haul trucker told me that a lot of the Freighliner service centers that you see at truck stops seem to have no problem getting tires that is not common like military truck tires.

I'm also reminded of my grandfather who hated non-standard o-rings for any industrial application, so he ended up getting a tube of some sort of rubber material and would make his own mold-in-place o-rings
 

Ramdough

Adventurer
The tire hunt story is interesting; I know a friend of mine who is a long haul trucker told me that a lot of the Freighliner service centers that you see at truck stops seem to have no problem getting tires that is not common like military truck tires.

I'm also reminded of my grandfather who hated non-standard o-rings for any industrial application, so he ended up getting a tube of some sort of rubber material and would make his own mold-in-place o-rings
You can buy spools of oring material and make your own orings using glue. I prefer buying them, but it is possible to make your own custom ones.


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