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08 Boatmate new tire wear


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OK, been all over the threads.... Need some help, being told I need new axles.  Here are the details.

08 Sunscape LSV 21.6 with Ill X tower on a 08 Boatmate trailer, tandem axle.  No changes since purchase.  I only really tow a couple of times a year, once in spring to the lake and once in fall, from the lake.  I had the original tires on this until 2016, sidewall dry rot finally got me...  Getting the boat ready this spring I noticed that the inner tread is wearing very heavy.  Port side front tire is beyond usable, the other three are about 60% gone.  The middle and the outer tread is fine, looks brand new.  This tells me that I've potentially overloaded it and bent the axle, but I've not changed anything, why 9 years later is this a problem?  Each axle is 3000#, trailer is 1100#, boat dry is 3500#, add general gear/fuel 500#, sound right?  I haven't hit anything either.   Here is the only factor I can think of;  have a side load garage and I do have to make a tight turn when backing, again been doing this for 10yrs.  Would this type of failure cause all 4 tires to wear on the same side?  thx

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I can’t imagine it wearing the tires that much by simple backing the trailer. Tire composition, load rating etc would make a difference. If it is a torsion bar axle Boat Mate trailer I would be more inclined to believe that the inner rubber bushings that the torsion bars are encased in are wornout causing sag and uneven ware. There is no way to replace the bushings. If that is the issue you will have to replace the axles. You can get them directly from BM and it is a 4 bolt job to actually replace the axles. Of course you will have to pull the tires, brake assembly and torsion bars and rebleed it, but it is a very easy job. I’m in West TN so I just drove over to BM and got one directly. The shipping was going to be more than than the axle. It was like $198.00 ish (bare metal assembled) a couple years ago. Good luck. Bill

Edited by wdr
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If there is a problem with bent axles, over loaded, or worn bushings, you could try checking the camber with a simple level.  The rims should have 0 camber, straight up. If it was off enough to cause that much wear you should be able to tell with a simple level.

Measure to the rims so that tire bulge doesn't come in play.

You can also measure toe-in with a tape measure.  You basically just measure from a chosen tire groove, on the front  and the rear of the tires on the same axle.  Maybe up to 1/8" is ok.

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Here is a little more info.

Checked the camber with a level that had a digital readout. Basically, all tires have a slight camber in, slight like 1/16 - 1/8th.  On the digital meter it was 99.0 on all tires.  Top of tire in.

I measured the toe as described above.

Front axle:   Front of front tire 94 1/4",  rear of front tire 93 7/8".

Rear axle: Front of rear tire 93 7/8",  rear of rear tire  93 3/4".

So, front tire looks like it has more toe.

Tires are Carlisle Sport Trail, ST205/75D14  Load C

One thing I noticed on the 3 tires that aren't as bad, the tires are all scalloped.

Next step?

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These things are put on a jig and welded up, but it ain’t at NASA so there are going to be variations with each axle but a bad axle in that instance would be apparent from day one. As much wear as you are seeing on the new tires, I would say there isn’t much doubt that the axle bushings are toast. The weakest link is the bushing material and you may have gotten a bad batch with those MY axles. Another thing worth noting is if the previous tires lasted as long as they did with no abuse or adverse wear and now this season you have this major change, it really only points to bad bushings because there is no adjustments that can be made to the axles or to the torsion bars except vertically. 

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