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What I learned buying new tires

Have you ever been driving along and see a sheet of cardboard in the road in front of you?  Me too!  Except this cardboard turned out to be a bent aluminum ladder.  I had already moved away from the demon, but a car went too close and it started spinning right into my lane. got me.  It was not a hard hit...just barely a barely perceptible clang.

I had visions of an immediate blowout.   Since the tire pressure did not go down immediately, I set my cruise to 55 mph and eased on down the road.  When I got to the next rest stop, I stopped and surveyed the damage.  See pictures.

Consultation with a couple of gurus led me to the conclusion that it was time to buy a new tire / tires.   But where?  I'm cruising up I-55 in the middle of Mississippi and no Loves, Pilot, etc is gonna have a 365R70 22.5 tire.

Long story (short version) is this:

1) is a southeast truck tire dealer with 80 locations.  Although the Memphis location did not have any 365s, the Nashville location had 67 in stock!!!!!  They support the Michelin advantage program which can save you $$$$.   My experience was that they were totally professional.  They balanced the tires and installed with a torque wrench--- a REALLY BIG TORQUE WRENCH.

2)  Michelin has a quirky dealer locator tool at  This is the way that I found the snider location in Nashville.

3)  Looking at the date code of the tire showed me that the old tires were 4 years old, so I elected to get two new tires.  See the picture with the weird numbers.  The date code is molded into the sidewall of the tire and is a 4 digit number in the format WWYY where WW is the number of the week and YY is the year.

4)  It may be just new rubber, but I swear the coach drives better with balanced front tires.  

I have always bought my tires at the factory...but will not do that going forward.  The prices that snider gave me were on par with Newell's price and they were far more "tire oriented" than Newell.  (Newell does not spin balance their tires, nor do they put tires on with a torque wrench).

The bottom line is I got my front tires replaced, I did not suffer a blow out and I found a good new vendor.    

(I'm still looking for a good mechanic in the Southeast US).


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Bill Johnson
2003 Newell #653 Quad Slide Cat C-12 engine with Motorcycle lift 
2011 Jeep Wrangler, 2018 BMW 1200GS Adventure Motorcycle
Auburn, Alabama
good to hear bill,

same dealer i got my 2 front tires in baton rouge from.

2002 45'8" Newell Coach 608  Series 60 DDEC4/Allison World 6 Speed HD4000MH

When I was at Newell 3 weeks ago they used a torque wrench on my wheels.Were you mean to them Bill? Kidding.Glad you escaped with out a blow out.
1995 # 390
TCI Tire Centers are in most states. They are owned by Michelin and have tires when many dealers don't.
Steve Bare
1999 Newell 2 slide #531
(10-11-2018, 03:43 PM)bikestuff Wrote: Keith,

Did they balance your steer tires?    I have bought two sets of tires at the factory and never had any of them balanced and never have seen them use a torque wrench.

As a matter of fact, the guys at Snider found two of my lugs stripped.  I am not gonna say who did that....but I have not had the front tires off since getting new ones at the factory.  Just sayin.

Oh and about your question.....probably!


I did not buy tires. Wheels were off for other issues.I did see someone getting a new set of tires put on.Torque wrench used on that one as well but did not see any balancing done.I do request certain people to work on my coach which reduces my anxiety issues.
1995 # 390
my bus mechanic works for a place that has hundreds of prevost's. they never balance the tires.

this last tire batch i had my fronts balanced. not the rears

2002 45'8" Newell Coach 608  Series 60 DDEC4/Allison World 6 Speed HD4000MH

I always have every tire balanced. Even trailer tires. I used to not balance trailer tires in my youth. But since I have started balancing everything, I have noticed that the ride in whatever I'm driving is much smoother with much less vibration. Just my opinion, but I feel that excess vibration is not good for extending the usable life of very many things.
This is a follow up to previous post.   

I ordered what I thought were the correct lugs and nuts but they were the wrong ones...and I still had the problem of finding a mechanic to put them in.  So....I scheduled a visit to East Tennessee Luxury Coach in Vonore Tenn.  These guys are Prevost centered but work on other class A coaches as well.

I told them that I had two stripped lugs on the drivers side steer axle.  They pulled both tires and checked out all the lugs on the steer axle.  Impressive.  Although this is a small shop they had the lugs and nuts in stock.   They replaced the stripped lugs and and put the wheels back on with a proper torque wrench.  


With new tires and a full set of properly torqued lugs and nuts...I am now a happy camper.
Bill Johnson
2003 Newell #653 Quad Slide Cat C-12 engine with Motorcycle lift 
2011 Jeep Wrangler, 2018 BMW 1200GS Adventure Motorcycle
Auburn, Alabama
(11-12-2018, 12:17 PM)bikestuff Wrote: So....I scheduled a visit to East Tennessee Luxury Coach in Vonore Tenn.  These guys are Prevost centered but work on other class A coaches as well.

I've heard good things about ETLC during my coach research, so good to hear another thumbs up.
Philadelphia, PA
A coachless newbie who is here to learn...
Here is a follow up to my follow up.

First a mea-culpa. When I found the stipped lugs, I assumed that it had happened when the last set of tires were put on (at Newell). I now believe that this happened during the work following the “Wrecker Incident”. During the subsequent repairs at a place in Knoxville, the brakes and bearings were re-worked. The front wheels were off during that work, and the bolts could have been stripped when they were put back on.

On the most recent visit to Miami, I had a chance to observe how Newell mechanics deal with wheels, lugs and lugnuts and YES, THEY ALWAYS USE A TORQUE WRENCH. They also use smaller air hammers not the big 3/4” units. Upon reflection, I cannot see a way for Newell to have stripped the lugs.

Okay, with that out of the way....lets get back to lugs.

The guys at ETLC were able to get me going with two new lugs, but the only lugnuts they had were really fat. These did not allow the hubcap to go back on.

Talking to Newell, they said that they used to have bolts milled to the right size for the 365 conversion. (Incredibly time intensive and expensive). A few years ago they found a vendor who carried off-the-shelf lugs and lugnuts for the 365 conversion.

Truck Parts World
5765 SE Loop 281
Longview, Texas 75602

Talk to Scott Logsdon or Richard

Dana Studs, Metric Part # NSI-13-1720
Unimount Nuts, Part# 13-3052

I ordered a full set of 10. Since I am at Newell, I asked them to pop them on.

Guess what! In the category of “No two Newell’s are ever the same”.... They don’t fit.

My old lugs have about a 1/4 of the head shaved off. Also, the shoulder of the old lug - the part that goes in the hub - was smaller than the new lugs. I double checked with the guys at Truck Part World. They are super good and helpful....they confirmed that they sent the same thing that they have been sending to Newell. I am guessing that I have a the latest version of the hub and am pretty sure I was a very early 365 conversion. So my coach is different than most.

In order to get me going, the Newell guys have really stepped up. They took my new lugs and sent them out to be milled to the correct diameter. Next, they are gonna shave the heads on one side so they will fit past a hump in the hub. Finally, they will install the new lugs (with the right size nuts) and put the hubcap back on. Phew!

This has been quite the learning experience for me.

Lessons Learned (so far).

1). Lugs are not created equal. It turns out that there are a lot of variations. Lug length, shoulder diameter, thread type, nut size, ...
2). Always watch them put your wheels back on. If they pull out a huge 3/4” air impact wrench for the back on part.....stop ‘em and make them use a torque wrench. Especially on the front where you may have lugs made out of unobtainium.
3). If possible make sure they put on some anti-seize compound on the lugs.
4). (This one is on me)...Don’t be too quick to assign blame. In my race to figure out what had happened to my lugs, I had totally blacked out the wrecker incident and subsequent repairs where I now believe the damage happened.

Finally, I find myself reflecting on how lucky we are to own Newells. Yes, they are beautiful and well engineered, but the Service Shop is the reason (along with the Gurus of course). The shop is populated with guys who originally built new coaches so they know how they are put together. They do a good job and stand behind their work. They don’t mind working on (ahem) older coaches. And...they have always been pleasant to me and my dogs. So I will continue make the spring time pilgrimage to Miami for annual maintenance and upgrades that I cannot live without.
Bill Johnson
2003 Newell #653 Quad Slide Cat C-12 engine with Motorcycle lift 
2011 Jeep Wrangler, 2018 BMW 1200GS Adventure Motorcycle
Auburn, Alabama

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