Okay, so I didn’t want to say it, but I absolutely DESPISE the Thornbirds I have. My neighbor gave me the spare Thornbird from the offroad rig he no longer has, so I got it mounted and disposed of the leaky one.
BUUT, of course that’s not the end of it. Looks like the right rear has a damaged belt. Maybe a few days after I first got them mounted I noticed the tires got “flat spots” overnight. All this time I thought this was normal (after all, some people with Thornbird experiences in the past told me they’ll sometimes do that) but nope, it’s that rear tire going out of round when sitting. It took me over a thousand miles of driving and I only accidentally discovered the damage on Saturday. There’s one tread block that is swollen and worn to maybe 40% tread. These tires had like 90-95% life when I bought them so holy crap! I vaguely remember hitting a really bad pothole in Chicago so maybe that did the trick. I’m guessing what’s happening is that the tire starts out of round due to internal damage then as the truck travels it gets beaten back into shape, causing rapid wear on that single tread block.
Thankfully this isn’t a real problem since I have a perfectly good AT spare. But running the spare means I don’t have a truly usable spare in case I have tire problems during the trip to the Gambler, on the Gambler, or heading home. I don’t like doing multi-hundred mile road trips without spare tires, so I’m going to replace it anyway. Ideally I want to replace at least two tires so I have two usable spares and presumably matching tires in the back.
I hate how these things perform on road, too. They’re scary on big bumps (the truck bounces around far far too much), don’t give the steering wheel a whole lot of confidence, and only just over a thousand miles and these things wear fast like motorcycle tires. The trashed ATs I got with the truck handle better.
In other news, I secured the roof rack, painted my front bumper, and added ditch lights to the factory fog light wiring. To go is my bigger light bar, two types of siren, replacing that tire, and a “No Laws When You’re Drinking Claws” flag. This morning I also thought of a way to keep the bed from twerking since I’ve pretty much abandoned the idea of fixing the growing amount of rust on this thing.