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2020 F-150 Lariat Sport FX4, 3.5L, SuperCrew, 6.5' Bed
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking for suggestions...I bought my truck that had/has a Rough Country 6"lift kit and 35x13.50R24 tires pre-installed.


The lift kit uses N3 lifted struts instead of strut spacers. I am on my second set of tires and have about 39k on the odometer with alignments done every 30k. What I have noticed is that after every 8k miles or so, the front tires start cupping across the entire width of the tread patch which creates a lot of noise which progressively gets worse over time. Is the front tire cupping just a normal thing running a larger size? Granted I can rotate the tires, but am curious if there are any suggestions that may be causing the front tires to cup every 8k miles with an alignment being good and tires balanced.

My only thoughts are that maybe the front struts are bad and need to be replaced. If that is the case, any recommendations on a better quality 6" aftermarket lift kit?
 

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2020 F-150 Lariat Sport FX4, 3.5L, SuperCrew, 6.5' Bed
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It may also be that since I am using larger tires that what I am experiencing is common which would simply require more frequent tire rotations. Just curious on thoughts anyone may have.
 

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2018 F-150 XLT SCAB 4x4 3.55:1
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Are your tires cupping or scalloping? "Cupping" is so fun to say!

Cupping is a divot which occurs in one or a few places spread over tread blocks as if the tread blocks did not exist. Is due to badly loose bearings, suspension, or poor damping on softly sprung suspensions. The tire bounces and pounds the pavement at the point of cupping. Cupping is very very rare. But is a favorite word of those who also do not know the difference between OEM and OE.

Scalloping includes feathering, a wear pattern which repeats every tread block, most often on the outer and inner tread blocks. Feathering leaves a sharp edge (or feather) on one side of each tread block. Scalloping is when the tread block is not worn evenly across.

Odds are your tires are scalloping. The tread is flexing under load then springing back into position when the tread block rolls away from the road. When it releases the road it slides and wears.

The more aggressive the off-road tire tread the more flex will occur on-road. Some tire designs are more susceptible to scalloping than others, you can't just "look" at the tread pattern and know which will have problems and which will not. The tire has to be tried to know. This is why purpose made street tires scallop less than off-road tires.

Fast cornering is a sure way to induce scalloping. Accelerating out of turns increases scalloping on the driven tires. A misalignment will also induce scalloping. There is no alignment which will totally eliminate scalloping if you do anything other than straight highway miles.
 

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2020 F-150 Lariat Sport FX4, 3.5L, SuperCrew, 6.5' Bed
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for clarifying...The tires are scalloping/feathering where every tread block across the width of each front tire has a sharp edge on one side. Running my hand across the top of the treads towards the front of the truck feels smooth. Towards the rear, I can feel sharp corners on each tread block.

Most of the time I drive in 2H where the rear tires wear evenly. It is just the front tires that tend to scallop/feather.
 
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@BoostedAgate, How often do you rotate the tires? Not knowing, I'd probably recommend 3K rotation intervals with tires that size and running both your camber and your toe closer to zero than Ford specs.

A bit too much toe-in will mess things up quickly on the outside edges of wide tires. Conversely, a bit too much toe-out will wear the inboard edge on the front tires. Front tires will always wear edges faster than rear tires. They are turning and scrubbing rubber when going through the turn, hence the need to get them to the rear at reasonable intervals.

If you're seeing accelerated wear on both the inside and outside of the tire, a little more air pressure may help things too. Low air pressure and too much toe-in are a recipe for outside edge wear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@BoostedAgate, How often do you rotate the tires? Not knowing, I'd probably recommend 3K rotation intervals with tires that size and running both your camber and your toe closer to zero than Ford specs.

A bit too much toe-in will mess things up quickly on the outside edges of wide tires. Conversely, a bit too much toe-out will wear the inboard edge on the front tires. Front tires will always wear edges faster than rear tires. They are turning and scrubbing rubber when going through the turn, hence the need to get them to the rear at reasonable intervals.

If you're seeing accelerated wear on both the inside and outside of the tire, a little more air pressure may help things too. Low air pressure and too much toe-in are a recipe for outside edge wear.
Thanks...I usually keep all 4 tires inflated to either 45 or 50 PSI and rotate about every 10k; I guess I'll need to do that more frequently. Tires are 35x13.50R24 mud tires. The feathering is fairly consistent across the width of the tread. Camber and toe are close to zero.
Product Font Technology Parallel Diagram
 

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I watched a YouTube install video for that lift kit. There's a full day of work involved, and there's some crossmembers that have to be cut off as well. At the end you hopefully get a stock-ish ride, but no tangible improvements. This kit needs to be fabricated to the same exact geometry as the oem chassis or there will be the kind of small discrepancies that can cause uneven tire wear. I'd suggest: (1) search online for similar truck owners experiencing this issue and see how they fixed it, and (2) ask who installed it on your truck. If the new crossmembers, drop brackets, etc, were not set level with the frame or the hardware wasn't torqued enough then a good alignment shop could fix it. BTW, Where's the pictures? Let's see this monster!
 

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17 Lariat SCLB Max Tow 4x4
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I really like his wheels.
 
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2020 F-150 Lariat Sport FX4, 3.5L, SuperCrew, 6.5' Bed
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I watched a YouTube install video for that lift kit. There's a full day of work involved, and there's some crossmembers that have to be cut off as well. At the end you hopefully get a stock-ish ride, but no tangible improvements. This kit needs to be fabricated to the same exact geometry as the oem chassis or there will be the kind of small discrepancies that can cause uneven tire wear. I'd suggest: (1) search online for similar truck owners experiencing this issue and see how they fixed it, and (2) ask who installed it on your truck. If the new crossmembers, drop brackets, etc, were not set level with the frame or the hardware wasn't torqued enough then a good alignment shop could fix it. BTW, Where's the pictures? Let's see this monster!
Thanks...I realize a 6" lift is not everyone's cup of tea but I like it. The shop that installed it has been around for decades where they pretty much only sell vehicles that they lifted and installed aftermarket wheels and tires. I don't have any issues with the lift kit itself but know there are better more expensive ones out there. I was really just wondering about what specifically could cause only the front tires to feather evenly across the width of the tread. I'm assuming that it is just a common occurrence when using larger and wider tires where the only solution is increase the frequency of tire rotations.

Here is another PIC.
Tire Wheel Grille Vehicle Automotive lighting
 

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2020 F-150 Lariat Sport FX4, 3.5L, SuperCrew, 6.5' Bed
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So one additional detail. A few weeks ago, the front left wheel speed sensor (driver's side) started acting up triggering several warnings on the dash cluster. Today when driving, a clicking/grinding sound started in the same area after the wheel was turned all the way to the left. Now, it is making the clicking/grinding sound even when driving straight and does not go away even when switching to 4WD.

That being said, I guess my wheel bearing or the CV axle on that side is now toast. I have an appointment with the dealer on Monday so hopefully it will not take them too long to repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Will it be considered warranty issue? Or do you know?
I'll have to wait and see. The parts should be covered under the powertrain warranty but then again, I would not be surprised if that warranty has been voided due to other modifications.
 

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I just wish that you could troubleshoot exactly what IS the issue before letting them tell you what they think it is.
I'm horribly sceptical of them these days. And I was NOT always like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah this will be my first trip to the dealer with this truck so hopefully it will be a good experience...Driving a little more and the sound is more clicking and clanking. It sounds like kitchen pots and pans clanking together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just wish that you could troubleshoot exactly what IS the issue before letting them tell you what they think it is.
I'm horribly sceptical of them these days. And I was NOT always like that.
A little troubleshooting from my end. The IWE on my truck is still functional. I used a Mityvac to test the components. The check valve is good and the system is working properly to engage and disengage the IWE itself. If it was an IWE issue, then the sound would have went away when switching to 4WD.

There is definitely a problem with the left front wheel speed sensor as it has been triggering dash lights and Forscan confirmed the problem. Eliminating points of failure point to a problem with the wheel bearing hub assembly. The wheel bearings are not making a constant grinding noise but I'd imagine something could be dislodged in the hub itself. My truck currently has 39k miles.
 
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