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Ruts, does your car follow them?

This is a discussion on Ruts, does your car follow them? within the Wheels and Tires forums, part of the General Help category; ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member wazup's Avatar
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    Red
    1998 WS6 Firebird

    Ruts, does your car follow them?

    Ok I have a quick question for everyone on how their cars drives.

    I ask this question because a few years back I had purchased a 95 Firebird GT. When I bought the car it had stock 16” wheels and 225 tires. It was a high millage car but drove very good. I upgraded to a 17” C5 wheel and 275 tires all the way around. After doing this, the car started to follow every rut, track or grain of sand on the road. I had it in an alignment shop twice and everything checked out fine. It was so bad that I ended up selling the car because I could not stand to drive it on the crappy roads we have.

    Well I just picked up a 98 WS6 with 55k miles. The original owner had removed the stock 17” WS6 wheels and replaced them with 16” wheels and 245 tires all the way around. As it is, the car drives prefect and does not even hint to follow any ruts. Since this will be my daily driver I don’t want to fight it everywhere I go, but for a WS6, it looks terrible with the current wheels. I am going to put 17” wheels back on the car I would like to go back to the stock 275 tires as well. I just don’t want to get back to something that is not fun to drive.

    So I am interested in everyone’s opinion on how their car drives. Is the killer look of the wider wheels and tires worth the pain of tiring to follow ever run in the road?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member wicked1's Avatar
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    Black
    1999 Trans Am

    I have been told a wider tire will cause a car to pull left and right on every little crack in the road. I have 16" on my car and it pulled when I first bought it. A strut tower brace and 3 point subframe connectors took most of that out of it. When I get a few dollars Im hoping a shock upgrade fixes the rest.

  3. #3
    Member Frozen WS6's Avatar
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    RED, BLACK
    2001 WS6, 1998 TA

    My WS6 does the same thing on stock size tires and factory rims. But our roads have trenches so deep my that I've hit the bottom at stock height. The lower the profile tire the less the sidewall flexes so it will cause that to happen and be felt even more.
    My 98 TA with 295/65/15 DR's and 15x4 skinnies doesn't even think about doing that, taller sidewalls flex more and absorb the irregulararities in the road. Thus not transmitting them into the steering wheel or the car.
    Last edited by Frozen WS6; 03-20-2011 at 07:29 AM.
    2001 WS6 TA Red. Stock, 6 spd, LS7 clutch, Catback, Harris Nitrous Kit, Custom Painted Flames, Wolfe 6 point rollbar.
    1998 TA Black. 408, t350, nitro daves plate w/dedicated fuel cell, mini tubbed, 30" dr's. 9.75 @136mph on a small shot. Fastest LSX in Alaska, Pump gas, never trailered street car.
    2007 TBSS. Silver, Factory Stock

  4. #4
    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Phantom Black Metallic
    2004 GTO M6

    My car does it more with the 18s than with the factory 17s. A wider tire with a lower sidewall will do follow ruts. Even with the factory 17s on your car, it will track the ruts. It's not the fault of the tires, it's the way the roads are.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    '00 Formy A4

    Mine does this too. It's definitely more noticeable with the 275's vs. the 245's.

    I think I read this on Tech, but there was a thread about this where someone said you don't have to live with it, if you tweak the alignment specs a bit you can cure that. IIRC he actually gave the exact alignment specs for it.

    Next time I get my car aligned I'm going to find the thread and go by those specs he posted.

  6. #6
    Member parnelligq's Avatar
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    black99, silverY2K
    1999 z28 & Y2K z28

    I would also like those alignment specs. My Z w18's follows some but not all ruts. The stock 16's also grab and follow if the roads are bad enough. I think our roads are all going to get much worse. Just something else we pay for but either don't get or they do it on the cheep (half ass-ed).

  7. #7
    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Custom Swirly Black
    2001 WS6 M6

    When I first got my car, it pulled, but you get use to it. But I drove the shit out of it then (tail whipping/fishtailing turns, 75MPH 180* turns, etc) so the ruts were gone quick to my reflexes.

    Honestly, if you tough it out for while, you'll be fine. Otherwise find a skinny set for the front and some fatties for the back.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Navy Blue Metallic
    '00 Formy A4

    Quote Originally Posted by KMdef9 View Post
    Honestly, if you tough it out for while, you'll be fine. Otherwise find a skinny set for the front and some fatties for the back.
    It's true, you learn to get used to it. In my daily commute, I know exactly where the ruts are and when my car is going to pull hardest, and am ready for it.

    There's this one particular curve, it's so rutted I can actually let go of the wheel and the car will just track right around the corenr in the ruts.

    Still doesn't make it right though, and if there's a way to fix it, why not?

  9. #9
    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    Black
    2001 Trans Am (sold)

    It's called tramlining I believe. My car does it more with the 275s than the stock 245s also. It gets worse the more the front tires wear.

  10. #10
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    It's normal when you have front tires with a huge amount of inside backspacing. It creates a bump steer affect. Nothing you can do about it short of putting narrow front wheels on without all the backspacing.
    It's just the nature of the beast, more front wheel backspace and the shittier it will drive.


    It's exactly why you guys aren't experiencing it when you run the skinnier front tires.

  11. #11
    The Demon Demon_Z28's Avatar
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    Bright Rally Red
    2001 Camaro SS

    Im so use to it, i don't even pay attention to it.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Jknerr's Avatar
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    Red
    02 Trans Am WS6

    My car has the factory 17s, and stock i never noticed much pull at the wheel, it was just that awesome heavy steering feel. Now that i have an all poly front end it is definitely uncomfortable when i haven't driven it for a while.

    Either way it keeps my girl from driving it, and that is a GREAT thing!

    P.S. not a shun on all women, only the ones that wreck my other cars!

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