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Viability of rotating MX tires/wheels after this easy hack/mod?

heytae

Member
Mar 9, 2015
149
65
Cupertino, CA
If there is enough interest in this mod/hack, I'll investigate its viability sooner than later. I'd like to solve the mystery once and for all, so that I, as well as others, know whether the MX wheels/tires can be rotated successfully via this method or not. I posted the following in another thread but pasting it here for some context. Basically, I wanted to be able to move the rear wheels to the front for a tire rotation, even though the wheels are slightly different, so that I can rotate my new tires in the future. Hypothesis: The 5mm additional offset of the rear wheels (moving the wheels closer towards the center of the car) + the 1/2 inch additional width (9.5" rears vs 9.0" of the fronts), may neutralize each other mostly. Enough to allow the rear wheels to work on the front.

So, if you'd consider doing this mod/hack too, let me know here so that I can gauge interest level and prioritize accordingly. Or if you've already looked into this, please let me know so as to save everyone's time. I should have a chance to do this over the next week or two if the interest is high enough. Otherwise, I'll look into it in a few months when it's time to rotate my new tires.

============================
Ok, so I've tried moving the rear wheels (9.5"w x 20" with 40mm offset) from the rear to the front of the car and at first they appeared to fit and even the mechanic thought it'd work, but in actuality, they WON'T quite fit. The wheels mounted fine and actually spun enough that we thought it'd work, but upon further inspection, there's a very slight bit of metal to metal contact between the top of one suspension part and the inside "tub" of the wheel. See red arrow in the picture. The mechanic's flashlight unfortunately washed out the contrast of the spot where the metal scraped so it's hard to see the actual part that rubbed, but it's where the arrow is pointing at, and it was a very small amount. The rub was approx 1mm wide, and interestingly, not continuous (not the whole washed out part of the picture).

Now, having said that, I currently believe that with a slight grinding mod to the upper control arm rubbing the wheel, the rear wheel MIGHT be made to fit on the front. The rub was ever so slight but the shop didn't want me to drive off with it like that. So they put the front wheels (9.0"w x 20") back on the front. I did not test for any tire rubbing when turning to the extreme left/right since it was still on the rack. My new tires are 265x45 20R Pirelli AS Plus 2s.

When it comes time to rotate my tires, I'm probably going to take off the front wheel and see just how much metal there is on upper control arm and whether there's enough metal on there to safely smooth down the point of contact. I'd never compromise the part's integrity or our safety so why would I consider this? Only because the amount of scrape was SO small and minor that it might require just a bit of smoothing down (1mm?) that suspension piece or maybe even just rounding it out to follow the wheel curvature. If it seems to require more than what I'm comfortable grinding, I'll punt. I can always buy 2 new front wheels for the rear, but that's obviously a more costly/involved process. Just so that nobody freaks out about this idea, I'll only consider it if the part won't get compromised from a slight <1mm grind. This is so that this MX can have its tires rotated in the future. Hmmm, maybe I should do this after it's decided whether Tesla is going to replace our MX/MS front suspension part here in the US. :D

Maybe I should take some new pictures of the front 9.0"w wheels that are on it now, from the same angle, to see how much diff there is compared to the 9.5"s. And while at it, I could look for the scrape marks on the rear wheel before dirt cruds over the scrapes, just so that I can document this for my records if/when I investigate or try this mod.

I thought others might like to know the result of today's wheel swapping experiment.

BTW: Having 265s all the way around with these Pirellis = no issue/alarm from the autopilot, drives well on the freeway (only put 15 miles on them so far though), and the noise seems a bit quieter than the stock Continentals, but that's very subjective.

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DCGOO

Active Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,653
979
Indianapolis, IN
If there is enough interest in this mod/hack, I'll investigate its viability sooner than later. I'd like to solve the mystery once and for all, so that I, as well as others, know whether the MX wheels/tires can be rotated successfully via this method or not. I posted the following in another thread but pasting it here for some context. Basically, I wanted to be able to move the rear wheels to the front for a tire rotation, even though the wheels are slightly different, so that I can rotate my new tires in the future. Hypothesis: The 5mm additional offset of the rear wheels (moving the wheels closer towards the center of the car) + the 1/2 inch additional width (9.5" rears vs 9.0" of the fronts), may neutralize each other mostly. Enough to allow the rear wheels to work on the front.

So, if you'd consider doing this mod/hack too, let me know here so that I can gauge interest level and prioritize accordingly. Or if you've already looked into this, please let me know so as to save everyone's time. I should have a chance to do this over the next week or two if the interest is high enough. Otherwise, I'll look into it in a few months when it's time to rotate my new tires.

What are you hoping to accomplish? Personally I go with the manufacturer recommendation to NOT rotate. Think of no tire rotation as a feature! Back when I had an S (which is square) even Tesla suggested I not rotate the tires, because my tires were wearing quite evenly, so there was no need.
 
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heytae

Member
Mar 9, 2015
149
65
Cupertino, CA
What are you hoping to accomplish? Personally I go with the manufacturer recommendation to NOT rotate. Think of no tire rotation as a feature! Back when I had an S (which is square) even Tesla suggested I not rotate the tires, because my tires were wearing quite evenly, so there was no need.

On the MX, many owners are getting low mileage from their tires. Lots of reasons for that, including the adjustable air suspension, but the inability to rotate the tires using the stock wheels exacerbates the issue. If it's possible to rotate the tires using the stock 20" wheels, that'd be another option for us. After getting only 21k miles from my stock Continentals, despite frequent wheel alignments, I'm hoping to get 2x that mileage from the new set of tires I just had put on. This mod will potentially extend that even further.

I just took additional pictures from different angles and I think I now see what the exact cause is.
 

DCGOO

Active Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,653
979
Indianapolis, IN
On the MX, many owners are getting low mileage from their tires. Lots of reasons for that, including the adjustable air suspension, but the inability to rotate the tires using the stock wheels exacerbates the issue. If it's possible to rotate the tires using the stock 20" wheels, that'd be another option for us. After getting only 21k miles from my stock Continentals, despite frequent wheel alignments, I'm hoping to get 2x that mileage from the new set of tires I just had put on. This mod will potentially extend that even further.

I just took additional pictures from different angles and I think I now see what the exact cause is.

I had ~32,000 miles on my OEMs with remaining tread depth of 6mm. That would have taken me easily to 40,000, until I drove a monster bolt through one. It's always something <sigh>.
 

balefire

Member
Sep 27, 2013
186
93
Chicago, IL
Flipping the tires so that the inner tire wears more evenly with the outer tire will be infinitely more efficacious than this mod. Less dangerous too.

I flip my tires every 10-15k miles
 

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