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Old 08-04-2005, 01:20 PM   #1
SlackMeister
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2004 WRX SportWagon
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Default 1 new tire on rear, other 3 almost done - big problem?

Ok, I had a new OEM tire sitting around, so when I got a flat (left rear) tuesday, I had the garage down the street mount and balance it for me. The other three tires (also OEM) have 46K miles and are about down to the wear bars (partially, see point #3 below). My questions:

1.) there is a good 1/4" difference in tread depth between the new tire and the worn ones. The guy at the shop said he has a friend with a Subaru that sustained "serious transmission damage" within 4K miles from this. The more I thought about that, the less sense it made since the diff is always accomodating some difference in wheel speed unless you're actually going perfectly straight down the road. Accelerated wear? Sure, some. Breakage? I doubt it. What do you guys think?

2.) If it is a problem, how big of a problem is it? I'm going to get 4 new tires (Avon 550 A/S) later this month, and I drive maybe 300 miles a week. So say, 600-1000 miles before the new tires go on.

3.) the same shop guy said the pressure specs on the plate inside the door are just plain wrong and the RE92s need to be 42 lbs front, 38 rear. I was skeptical til he showed me the tire I'd taken off, which was definitely a lot more worn on the outside than the inside (at least 1/8" difference) ...anyone have a comment on tire pressure for the RE92s? How about the Avons (I know a few folks have them)?

Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:23 PM   #2
austinpike
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why risk it? Get the new ones now.
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:53 PM   #3
mch
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If you insist on running one larger tire, at least put it on the front. There is an open diff there that will generally absorb the difference in rotational speed and thereby minimize the impact on your center differential.

Leave it on the rear and your rear diff as well as the center diff have to do a bit of work to cope with it.

mch
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:57 PM   #4
SlackMeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mch
If you insist on running one larger tire, at least put it on the front. There is an open diff there that will generally absorb the difference in rotational speed and thereby minimize the impact on your center differential.

Leave it on the rear and your rear diff as well as the center diff have to do a bit of work to cope with it.

mch
Good point, I hadn't thought about the open diff on the front. I can certainly move the wheels around. Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:29 AM   #5
RexyGirl
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It will be okay to drive like that for a little while, but continued driving will damage the all wheel drive system. He is correct about the 1/4 inch difference. Even if the tire size is the same, the tread depth is not. The 1/4 inch difference is the rolling circumference of the tire that makes the difference.

Usually when a tire wears on the outside or inside it is due to lack of rotation or an alignment issue. If the tires were underinflated, the tread in the middle would be higher than both sides. If overinflated, the center tread would be worn more than the outside.

I think this guy was trying to sell you tires at that moment. You know you need them, just don't wait too long. I don't know how long it takes to damage the AWD, but do it as soon as possible.
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Old 08-06-2005, 06:08 PM   #6
SlackMeister
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Thanks everyone. I moved the "big" tire to the front and the car feels normal again. There was definitely something off about it before.

Got 4 new Avon 550 A/S on the way, will be mounted mid-week or so. I'll post up in the appropriate thread on my initial and 5K mile impressions.
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