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Old 11-14-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
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Swapping directional tires to opposite side

What are your thoughts on this to get more life out of the tires? I spoke to a tire store today and he said he wouldn't recommend it because it would increase the chances of the tires shredding. true or false?

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Old 11-14-2011, 11:26 AM   #2
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You'll have keep swapping it quite often to get fully even wear. I think it's just too costly to do it properly while minimizing the risk to put extra dings on your wheels. Don't forget you'll have to re-balance the wheels which means the weights will leave marks on the inside of the wheel which leaves residue that are hard to remove.

I rather use that as an excuse to drive fast around corners to produce even tire wear inside and out.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:42 AM   #3
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in the rain, many directional tires will pump water toward the center if they are run backward. this would reduce hydroplaning resistance dramatically.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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What are your thoughts on this to get more life out of the tires? I spoke to a tire store today and he said he wouldn't recommend it because it would increase the chances of the tires shredding. true or false?
False on "shredding" but if you are talking about dismounting & remounting the tire on a different wheel & re-balancing it the $20. per wheel it costs here in So.CA cancels any treadwear $ savings. Usually you are much better off adjusting air pressure to maximize tread life.

BTW I have a single 245/40/18 PS2 with 1/2 tread for $100 if anyone is in need.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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in the rain, many directional tires will pump water toward the center if they are run backward. this would reduce hydroplaning resistance dramatically.
I think he's talking about unmounting and remounting on the other side of the car so the edge with highest pressure is swapped.

Last edited by blue2000s; 11-14-2011 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:01 PM   #6
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First, it might be hard to find anyone who will officially say its ok to run a directional tire in the opposite direction due to liability reasons.

With that being said, from a practical viewpoint, a modern radial tire does not care which direction it rotates (This was not true of older bias-ply tires). The tire will not shred or fail just because its run in the wrong direction.

However, there are a few likely downsides to this practice: (1) Running the tire backwards in the rain is a concern; (2) Some tire tread will be noisier when run backward; (3) Cost. As noted above, the cost savings might not pan out when you consider the cost to swap and rebalance.

Here is good article on the TireRack site for reference: You're going the wrong way! (RIP John Hughes) - Hunter's Ramblings about Performance wheels & tire | Tire Rack
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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Side-to side swap like this:

Left side tire goes to opposite side (obviously), but outer sidewall becomes inner sidewall on other side of the car. You are shifting over, NOT spinning them as you swap sides. This way you don't fool up "pumping" action of the tread design.

I used to do it on my old 5.0 'Stang back in the day. Pals thought I was nuts, but I got more even treadwear that way. Those cars had limited slip, but the tires wouldn't spin evenly on gonzo clutch drops.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:49 PM   #8
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Removing the tire and reinstalling it can cause the bead to fail. Every time you remove and reinstall, you have to stretch the bead to get the tire on the rim. Tires aren't designed for the bead to be stretched over and over- they're made to stretch just once during initial installation. Given that, I've done exactly what you are thinking of with my own directional all season tires and gotten a few more miles from them, and never had a failure (one "switch" only!).
I would NEVER do this with a track tire - way too much stress and risk!
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:03 PM   #9
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"I would NEVER do this with a track tire - way too much stress and risk!"

Interesting. The Boxster Spec racers that I know do it all of the time with their race tires. To them, its common practice.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
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How does it make any sense that moving the tires from left to right would make them last longer? It's not like one specific wheel always spins.... Even with their open differential, the wheel with the least amount of grip spins... So unless you're always making hard left turns, you don't need to swap them side to side...
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:44 PM   #11
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The negative camber makes the inner portion of the tire wear more than the outside portion. Swapping tires (really flipping them) puts what was the less worn outside portion of the tire on the inside - thus giving you longer wear from one set of tires. After flipping the tire, it is turning in the opposite direction. The tire must be removed from the rim in order to do this.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:26 AM   #12
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"I would NEVER do this with a track tire - way too much stress and risk!"

Interesting. The Boxster Spec racers that I know do it all of the time with their race tires. To them, its common practice.
Agreed, some Formula Ford racers swap around their slicks, or buy used tires, and I've never heard of a problem.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:40 PM   #13
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Damn, since the tires are directional and different sizes front and rear, you can't rotate the tires at all!

I didn't think about that until reading this thread!
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:31 AM   #14
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You remount the tire on the other rim, keeping the direction of rotation the same. Since the camber on the Boxster tends to wear the inside versus the outside unevenly, simply taking the entire wheel and moving it to the other side of the car achieves nothing - the inside is still the inside, and the outside the outside.

Remounting them should not be an issue or cause "bead failure". I've remounted summer and snow tires on the same rims over and over without a problem.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:55 AM   #15
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Remounting them should not be an issue or cause "bead failure". I've remounted summer and snow tires on the same rims over and over without a problem.
Exactly. It's a very common procedure.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:04 AM   #16
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I've remounted summer and snow tires on the same rims over and over without a problem.
If you do this enough times you probably would've been better off getting a spare set of wheels.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:49 AM   #17
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Yeah, I know I should get winter rims... I'm a cheap bastard!
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:08 PM   #18
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I'm also "thrifty". My car pulled to the right, even after two alignments. After the second, they flopped the wheels around and the problem went away. So now, I driving with them rotating the wrong direction. Now that the rain has come, I really need to dismount them, flip them around and remount.

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