explorer tire change ?


Old 04-23-13, 09:27 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: new york
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explorer tire change ?

Hi all,

I have a 2004 ford explorer 4 wheel drive. The two front wheels are a bit worn on the sides and need replacement,. The two back ones are still in good shape. I have heard people say that when you replace tires on 4wd that you need to replace all 4 at the same time or problems could develop. I looked in the owners manual under the tire section and it doesn't say anything about needing to change all 4. It just says when you replace a tire, make sure it is the same type, tread design, size , brand, speed rating etc. Just want to get your opinions and see if anyone else does this. Thx
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Old 04-23-13, 09:47 AM
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Since your vehicle is mostly a FWD in normal operation (I think?)...as long as you replace with the same size, width, and tread pattern....I see no problem with just 2 tires.

Check out what Tire Rack has to say about 2 tire replacement....Tire Tech Information - Where to Install New Pairs of Tires?

They probably have a tip about 4WD replacement as well...I didn't check.

You realize...this was all probably caused by lack of rotation?
Old 04-23-13, 07:19 PM
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If it's mechanical 4WD with transfer case and front differential, it is very sensitive to tires diameter variance. You must have ALL 4 tires same diameter, or it will lock down your 4WD.
Worn out on "sides" does not matter, as far as they are same center line diameter.
Old 04-23-13, 09:17 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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if you have to shift it into 4wd then you dont have to do all 4. only when u have full time 4wd do you need to worry about this. unless you live in an area you are contently using 4wd. summery if you can select 2wd you are fine with replacing just 2 tires.
Old 04-25-13, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 197

I read your original posting, but I didn't read the responses, because I really don't have have to. For your particular vehicle, and for the drive train your vehicle has, you cannot have one tire that is a different size from the other three. As long as you have a pair (2) tires that are the same size you're good to go.

Thank You
Old 04-25-13, 07:21 PM
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AMI, outside of sounding very opinionated, please, do not give this type of advice. Cars with mechanical 4WD will lock differential, if front and rear tires are different diameter. You want to know how I found about this? My Silverado made it for about 70 feet, when I engaged 4HI setting on dry road. Then it simply stopped with loud grinding noise. Come to find, Les put different size tires onto the front end, when they were mending my truck after collision. Took them transmission people about 15 minutes to figure it out.
Want to see neat trick? Do as you said, put different size tires on axles, and go into mud. Then, engage 4Hi. Step on it to break friction. Fun to watch tires spin at different speeds front and rear. As far as they slip, truck is OK. But on dry pavement, gears in transfer case and differential start being torqued due to speed difference between drive shafts, caused by tires, and lock. If just lock.
And it's not the different size that matters, it's outside overall diameter that does. You can have different size tires with same external diameter, and they will work fine. AS FAR AS ROTATIONAL SPEED OF TIRES IS THE SAME, and that is directly proportionate to tire diameter.
Old 04-26-13, 03:13 AM
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I agree!! You have a little bit of leeway on roads that will let the tires slip but not on dry pavement. I have to have 4x4 to travel my driveway in wet conditions and I have from time to time had to use one oddball tire BUT it's always the same size [or mighty close] of the other tires. I always try to replace all 4 tires at the same time on my 4x4s. While I never use 4 wheel drive on dry pavement - sometimes I forget

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