My '15 Touring has always tended to more quickly wear out the outboard shoulder of the tread of the passenger-side front tire than the inboard shoulder of that tire.
I've suspected this as being more or less normal for a Model T because our Flivvers are usually operated on the right side of 2-way, residential streets, which, of course, are crowned in the center. _The car, wanting to roll downhill away from the crown in the road, always pulls to the right—that is, unless I ride the center of the crown, in which case it tracks straight ahead.
My guess is that because the car is usually being held straight with a bit of leftward pressure to neutralize its natural tendency to roll downhill away from the crown of the road, the right shoulder of the right tire is always scrubbing the road and so, wears faster than any other part of any other tire.
But in that case, why doesn't the right side of the driver-side front tire also wear that way? _I'm guessing that's because it's about four feet closer to the center of the crown in the road?
Perhaps this tendency could be compensated for by inflating the passenger-side front tire an extra five or ten pounds PSI?
Am I making sense? _Does everybody's Model T behave this way? _Just wondering.
Most if not all of them seem to wear right front tires faster.A lot for reasons you give.
As far as pulling to the right a little,with everything else going on,how could you tell?Only partially joking.
Bob, make sure that your toe-in is correct, about 3/16" should do it.
Because of the crown of the road (for rain drainage) a car will always drift right or downhill. Modern cars compensate for this by having more caster lead on the right making the car slightly pull left.
A "T" axle has even caster, and so will drift right and you will always be steering slightly left to compensate. That is probably why the right front tire always seems to wear faster than the others. Now if you have too much toe-in, and are steering slightly left to go straight, your left tire is cruising along straight ahead while your right tire is scuffing and slipping sideways.
See Steve Jelf's post about wearing his front tire due to too much toe-in, or "gather" as the manual calls it.
The only good thing about knowing I'm not alone in this is that I don't have to do anything about it.
As I was mentally debating the physics of this problem, it did occur to me that this is not an issue with modern cars—which was perplexing. _But you had the answer for that.
In any case, my toe-in appears to be correct and the front end is nice and tight, with no play in the wheel and the car handles very nicely—a condition with which I am loathe to mess. _I think the answer, at least for me, would be to wear the outboard part of the tread about halfway, then dismount the tire, flip it and re-mount it with the unworn part of the tread is on the outboard side of the wheel. _A bit of a pain in the neck, yes; but not something I haven't done before.
The front wheels of a model T are canted slightly to improve the camber. This actually varies slightly from axle to axle, and spindle to spindle. That detail can cause difficult-to-diagnose steering troubles sometimes.
Regardless of the amount of the cant, it does cause the tire to wear more on the outside than it will on the inside (assuming toe in is correct and not "gathering out" which caused tires to wear on the inside edge).
In addition to that. Because most model T driving is to the right of the crown in the road, and you silly drivers try to mostly drive straight ahead for most of your miles? Gravity continuously tries to pull the car to the right. Your constantly trying to push the car left most of the time has the same effect as driving on a flat surface in a constant large left circle. That adds wear to the right side of each tire (fronts and rears actually). For the right front, that has the effect of causing the tire to wear faster on the outside of the tire, aggravating the outside wear from the cant. For the left front tire? That "constant left turn right side tire wear" adds to the wear on the inside of the tire (where it would ordinarily wear less on straight and level), and reduces the wear on the outside where it would ordinarily wear more. The cumulative effect of all this is to cause the left tire to generally wear more evenly than it should, and the right front tire to wear worse (more and unevenly) that it would if always used on the straight and level. That in turn makes the difference between the two front tires much more pronounced than it ordinarily might. It makes it look like a problem, when it is in fact normal.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Don't forget the road(s) are crowned.
If the crown of the road is the cause for increase wear of the right front then in Australia the increase wear should be on the left front tire. Am I correct?
Bob, Do you rotate the front tires every 500 miles when you change the oil?
No, Michael, I don't, but that does seem like a good idea.
Sorry Bob, I missed you talking about road crown.
Road crown in most places doesn't amount to much. It's not as much a full radius side-to-side as it is a high point in the center and with a flat sloping surface going toward the shoulder. Much of what people experience is just poor alignment. If you can find a competent and willing truck alignment shop in your area that does solid axle work, you can have your T correctly aligned. My Model A was horrible back when I put it together and at the suggestion of a friend that had his T done at a local truck shop I did the same. The 20,000 miles since have been wonderful. If there are road design considerations to account for in your area, the alignment shop will know what minor corrections to make side-to-side to account for it. The cost of an alignment is cheap compared to prematurely wearing out tires if you drive your car much at all.
If you run smooth (no tread) tires, would the wear rate be less with no tread pattern to "grab" against the pull of the road's crown ? I think the answer is to stay off the pavement !! ;- )
This a matter of the Leftists always working to wear down the Right and take the crown.
Rich, the tires are not grabbing and pulling the car one way or the other, the car just naturally goes downhill, and must be steered back uphill either manually or by caster lead adjusted into the alignment.
Rich B, Smooth no tread tires generally wear worse than treaded tires. The gap between the treads allows the rubber to squirm slightly and therefore wear more slowly. As tires wear down, the thinner tread squirms less, and the tire wears faster.
I'm with Burger!
As usual Burger makes sense.
Might not hurt to check the rear axle. Measure both sides to make sure the rear axle is parallel to the front axle. The rear can be fighting the front if everybody is not happy.
If both tyres are scrubbing on the outside of the tread and feathering is evident it would indicate too much toe in.
Strangely enough, all if the T's in Australia pull to the left!
Even the LHD imports!
Alan in Western Australia
Yeah, ... they call me "Mr. Sensible". Hehehehe !
Got to agree with Alan George Long re pulling to the left ... took my '26 for a 25 mile run this morning and pulled up on one stretch of road to check the front tyres, she was dragging to the left noticeably. I just assumed it was due to the slope on the macadamized structure bitumen. If I drove on the other side of the road I reckon it would tug right.
Alan, don't you guys drive on the left side of the road? (or the "wrong" side as we Yanks would say, tongue in cheek? LOL)...that would explain the left pull...due to your road crown, much as ours is to the right for the same reason.