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Old 06-23-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
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Arrow Bubbles in tires & hot wheel well

Guys, went to go look at a 1981 Brave today, good condition and drives well.

Few concerns, there were noticable bubbles in the sides of a few tires (owner said he had not replaced them since he bought the vehicle from the past owner, so probably 5+ years old) - how much do these tires cost and what causes this? I've attached a pic below.



Also, I took it out for a 10 minute spin around the block. When we got back, I touched the front right wheel well, it was fine (slightly warm, nothing out of the ordinary) but then I went to the drivers side and it was hot - I could only hold my finger on it for ~ 5 seconds. Maybe a slightly seized caliper? Owner said the camper has been sitting all winter. Anyone have any experience with this as well?

Thanks guys
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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Your pic did not show up. But I would plan on replacing the tires if there are bubbles on them. It also sounds like a caliper may be hung up..can't tell you how much the tires will be but I am sure someone here can tell you.

Got the pic, those look like broken belts.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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Those aren't bubbles, more ripples. Those are ok. Happens when the weave inside just holds tighter in some places. If you have goose eggs, that's a diff story.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #4
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That tire does not look healthy to me. What is the date code on the tires? Likely they are pretty old.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, we looked very hard to find a date (serial number last four digits = week/year) but could not see one. I could not tell you how old they are and neither could the owner. Had plenty of tread though, easily 1/4-1/2in

If we are going to Cali from CT, we want everything to work right. Thing is, we are on a budget, so 6 tires at $300 a pop won't help. If it is just mild ripples, than that puts my mind to rest.

Here are a few pics of the rotor with the issue, pretty hard to see much but maybe a trained eye could spot something.

Rotor 1





Rotor 2 (one with issue if I remember correctly)





Anyone else chime in on the brake/tire issues? Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
Thanks guys, we looked very hard to find a date (serial number last four digits = week/year) but could not see one. I could not tell you how old they are and neither could the owner. Had plenty of tread though, easily 1/4-1/2in

If we are going to Cali from CT, we want everything to work right. Thing is, we are on a budget, so 6 tires at $300 a pop won't help. If it is just mild ripples, than that puts my mind to rest.

Anyone else chime in on the brake/tire issues? Thanks!
I'm thinking ply separation. $300 a pop is better than "holy cow what just went pop?"
You are at risk of more money and also delays.
Just do it.
Just sayin....
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
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Not to be rude, but you can't really get an RV and be on a budget. Diesel/gas, tires, brakes, motor, everything assoc. with an automobile, then the entire house area. Not cheap.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
Thanks guys, we looked very hard to find a date (serial number last four digits = week/year) but could not see one. I could not tell you how old they are and neither could the owner. Had plenty of tread though, easily 1/4-1/2in

If we are going to Cali from CT, we want everything to work right. Thing is, we are on a budget, so 6 tires at $300 a pop won't help. If it is just mild ripples, than that puts my mind to rest.

Anyone else chime in on the brake/tire issues? Thanks!
Yes, I'll chime in. You have tires of an unknown age, but certainly over 5 years old. They have visible defects on the sidewalls that cannot be diagnosed from an opinion of a photograph. The tires need to be removed from the rims by a qualified tire shop so they can be inspected inside and out. The brakes need to be examined by a qualified mechanic. Right now you have a completely unknown safety situation. I would not trust this vehicle to take my family anywhere. A front tire blowout at 60mph is something you do not want to experience. If you do plan to drive it as is, please let us know your intended route so I can be somewhere else.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
If we are going to Cali from CT, we want everything to work right. Thing is, we are on a budget, so 6 tires at $300 a pop won't help. If it is just mild ripples, than that puts my mind to rest.
Anyone else chime in on the brake/tire issues? Thanks!
With all due respect,,,,,,,,,,,,If $300 per tire is a financial hardship then buying a 30 year old RV for a coast-to-coast trip will be a financial disaster.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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Alright everyone take it easy, this board is getting a little heated. I know its late and its Sunday but no need to get nasty.

We're just a few college kids, found a Winnebago nearby for $3200 and we're trying to keep our total operation under $10 grand for a 3 week trip from CT to CA and back.

Tires - someone said they were only ripples, well in that case, we can use the valuable $1800 somewhere else. Some of you think it is very serious. I suppose I will take it to a mechanic then. I did not purchase the vehicle yet, so nothing gained and nothing lost. Just looking for an opinion. Thanks
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
Alright everyone take it easy, this board is getting a little heated. I know its late and its Sunday but no need to get nasty.

We're just a few college kids, found a Winnebago nearby for $3200 and we're trying to keep our total operation under $10 grand for a 3 week trip from CT to CA and back.

I left RV Net for just the reasons stated, and rarely post here any more for the same reasons. Be safe on your trip, take your time and enjoy.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
Alright everyone take it easy, this board is getting a little heated. I know its late and its Sunday but no need to get nasty.

We're just a few college kids, found a Winnebago nearby for $3200 and we're trying to keep our total operation under $10 grand for a 3 week trip from CT to CA and back.

Tires - someone said they were only ripples, well in that case, we can use the valuable $1800 somewhere else. Some of you think it is very serious. I suppose I will take it to a mechanic then. I did not purchase the vehicle yet, so nothing gained and nothing lost. Just looking for an opinion. Thanks
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Originally Posted by navychaps View Post
I left RV Net for just the reasons stated, and rarely post here any more for the same reasons. Be safe on your trip, take your time and enjoy.
I don't see this getting heated or nasty at all, just honest.

Yes, I said ripples, but more people said danger, so I'd go with majority. I'm just going off what I see on my F350 LD truck.

To me, if you are basically looking for a roof over your head and a motor to drive you, you could spend the money on tires/brakes/etc.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:38 PM   #13
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Can agree with some that they are not bubbles. They are in fact the seam where the side wall comes together during manufacturing. Some tires are manufactured better than others, so some have little to no visible seam and others are cheaply manufactured and are more obvious. Either way it is absolutely normal. There is a DOT# on the sidewall of every tire. I have the same chassis as that motorhome with 16" wheels. I just purchased 7 new tires on ours for $768 out the door mounted and balanced. The heat issue could possibly be a sticking caliper, check for uneven brake wear. It may be something simple like a over tightened wheel bear nut too. Jack it up and rotate the tires on both sides and note the rolling resistance. Remove the caliper and try it again. This will help isolate the issue. Did you take your mechanic friend?
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:38 PM   #14
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Waymon..........I don't detect any "heat" here. What I do detect is some folks trying to honestly advise and help you. Even college students have a responsibility to have a safe vehicle.
The date code on the tires is usually preceded by the letters "DOT" and do not follow the tire serial number as you stated in post #5.
I hope you guys can make your trip.........adventures like you contemplate will remain in your memories. Just be safe.
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