Tire placement question.

DanFelix

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Let's say I have four equally worn tires at about 15k miles each. I go four-wheel drive off hard road for 5 to 7 miles. One tire needs to be replaced by the spare. The spare has very little wear so it is slightly bigger. I have to 4-wheel 5 to 7 miles back to a hard road. Which tire position should get the new tire (moving others as needed) to avoid damage to the transfer case during the ride back to the hard road where I can two-wheel? I'm guessing that if the return ride is on hard surface (rocks) then the transfer case could be at risk. But, if the return ride is on soft terrain, permitting tire slip, then the case is not so much at risk. I am also guessing that the un-worn tire should be on the front while in 2H.

Any insights appreciated. Thanks.
 

Glamisfan

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Transfer case and transmission even the driveshaft will never see a different load from mismatch tires. The only time that anything would be affected is if you had your differential locked and then it would be the axles and differential itself that see additional stress placed on them. You could put a 30 inch tire on your right rear and a 37 on the left rear and as long as your differential is open the differential will let them operate a different speeds just like they do when you turn a corner.
 
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DanFelix

DanFelix

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Thanks. What you describe makes sense to me. The owner's manual says,

"Proper operation of four-wheel drive vehicles depends on tires of equal size, type and circumference on each wheel. Any difference in tire size can cause damage to the transfer case. Tire rotation schedule should be followed to balance tire wear."

I agree with you that the caution would apply to locked axles, which is not a feature on my Jeep.

Thanks for the help.
 

blnewt

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If you have 5 of the same tire (brand & size) I would get that 5th tire into your rotation, just swap out the most worn one. My spare is a different brand, and since my wheels were discontinued (and I only bought 4) my spare wheel has a different offset so it's emergency only :(
 

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