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rim separation on my F150 - scary!!

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Old 10-31-2007, 06:07 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1
Default rim separation on my F150 - scary!!

Howdy fellow F150 owners, I hope all is well. I have just received some very disappointing news about my 2006 F150. Did you realize that you are only permitted to put “passenger vehicle” tires on your F150. The official word from Ford Canada is that the truck is ONLY rated for 6 ply tires or ‘P-rated’ tires (or ‘LT’ tires with a load range of ‘C’ or less (i.e., 6 ply or less)). This came about as one of my steel rims has suffered a major separation (1/3 of the diameter and more than ½ cm wide). In discussion with Ford, they stated that the separation was probably due to having too-aggressive a tire on the truck. I run with BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A (LT 285/70R17, Load Range D (8 ply)) – as recommended by many of the tire dealers. I have just replaced the tires since I’ve travelled 85,000 km in the past 14 months, most of this was highway driving on mountain roads. Many of the dealers suggested this tire and size. Coworkers of mine have had two flats the same day on new 6-ply tires – the shrubs and sharp rocks on the gravel roads punctured the sidewalls too easily. I wanted a little larger tire since the new F150s are too darn low and I was constantly hitting ground on the forestry roads I work on (I’m a wildlife biologists that does a lot of field research).
I’m quite surprised by Ford’s response since I wasn’t asking for a warranty replacement. I just wanted to know if my other rims are safe and if this separation has been seen before. I already purchased a new rim for the truck. They seemed far more interested in pointing the finger at me saying it was my fault for having too-aggressive tires (i.e., standard ‘LT” tires) on the truck.
I’ve notified the tire dealer and they said that they put a lot of these tires on the F150. I’m wondering if the rim did separate resulting in an accident, I guess Ford would be off the hook since they only recommend a P tire.
Given this huge limitation, how low the vehicle is, and the critical problem of not being able to put snow chains on the truck (directly from Ford technicians), really reduces the reliability of this vehicle off pavement. It is mandatory for many roads in British Columbia to have chains. I should have gone with a F250 or F350 but I do not pull a trailer nor carry heavy loads – just bulky loads (300-400 lbs. max). I wonder how a 6-ply tire works with a trailer or 5th wheel.
Anyway, I quite disappointed in the F150, my first new vehicle. Unfortunately, I now take my wife’s 1998 Toyota Tacoma since it has great clearance, 8-ply tires, and I can put snow chains on all 4 wheels if I need to (highly likely given the study sites I work on). I just hate leaving her with a vehicle that may not be safe. Although we have had Ford inspect the other rims, every bump or pothole will leave me wondering if I need the rims inspected once again.
At least Transport Canada has taken this seriously and we currently have a Defects Investigator looking into the rim to see if this was a one-time defect or a more-chronic problem.
Anyway, just though you would like to know: since the F150 can’t support a truck tire, too low for off-pavement work, and possible can’t tow or carry much (as limited by 6-ply tires) I guess it really is a glorified passenger vehicle (Ford’s words, not mine) and not really a truck (it just looks like a truck).
I’ll keep you posted on the results from Transport Canada’s investigation. I’ll try and attach a picture below).
Cheers,
Doug.

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