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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those that read my comments, I was totally wrong yesterday when I said the 2002 330i with sports package (my loaner car) tramlines as much as my 2001 330CI with sport package.
Today I drove on an Expressway where my car loves to dart around and the 2002 didn’t dart around nearly as much, in fact it was very steady with only slight tramlining (and I mean slight) It is much more controllable to drive which is probably my only complaint with my 2001.
I don’t know if the tires had anything to do with it, but the 2002 had Conti’s while my 2001 has Michelins.Also, the turn-in (like I said yesterday) is so freakin quick it’s great . .. As far as a tire comparison, the Conti’s really handle very well which I was surprised from what people say around here I expected them to handle so-so compared to my Pilot’s.
Anyway, after driving the 2002 I could live very easily with it except the steering effort is a little heavier than I am used to (no flames on that one please) I am sure I would get used to it just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
johnlew said:
I have Mich Pilots and my car tramlines like crazy. I forgot after driving on my winter set how much the car darted around. What do you mean by "turn in?"
Turn-in is the intial response when you turn the steering wheel off center.

In other words, you are driving straight and then you start to turn the wheel to the right , the moment you star to turn the steering wheel from the center position to the right is called turn-in.
 

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nate328Ci said:


You are right, it is the tread pattern that causes the tramlining....
So many people claim that they "know" it's caused by the wheel size. This just doesn't make sense. It seems so obvious that the tread design, and more specifically the number of ribs in the tread design, will have everything to do with the stability over uneven pavement.
 
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On this issue, I can attest that SIZE DOES NOT MATTER.

I have exactly the same size wheels and tires on my E36 M3 as I did on my 2001 330i. And, while my 330i tramlined badly, my M3 only tramlines on the worst uneven pavement and then only slightly. And, as I said, the M3 wears the exact same staggered setup the 330s do.

Also, both cars were delivered to me with brand new rubber all around (the 330 because it was new and the M3 because it was CPOd). So I'm skeptical of the thread theory as well.

Any other ideas?
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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The tread theory is definitely a reality. Think about it like this: you've got tall tread blocks with lots of sharp edges to catch on the slightest bumps and what-not in the road surface. Naturally it's going to cause some "squirliness" to occur since the tread blocks will actually flex left/right/forward/backward depending on the driving conditions (straight-line, turning, accelerating, braking). This is the reason people have their tires (of course this usually only applies to rcomps) shaved, usually down to 2-3/32nds.

I imagine not only does tread design have an adverse effect on this tramlining problem, but so does tire width (not necessarily overall tire size, just the contact patch size) and the composition of the tire rubber (hard/soft). The next time you drive on "grooved pavement" think about how hard it would be to ride a bicycle down that same road at 65mph. :eek:
 
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webguy330i said:
The tread theory is definitely a reality. Think about it like this: you've got tall tread blocks with lots of sharp edges to catch on the slightest bumps and what-not in the road surface. Naturally it's going to cause some "squirliness" to occur since the tread blocks will actually flex left/right/forward/backward depending on the driving conditions (straight-line, turning, accelerating, braking). This is the reason people have their tires (of course this usually only applies to rcomps) shaved, usually down to 2-3/32nds.
I have brand new tires on my M3 and it does not tramline but my 330i w/13K miles on it (at which time the tires had ~20% tread left) tramlined BADLY.

I still dispute the tread theory.
 

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TD said:


I have brand new tires on my M3 and it does not tramline but my 330i w/13K miles on it (at which time the tires had ~20% tread left) tramlined BADLY.

I still dispute the tread theory.
Well while there are other things that can contribute to tramlining, tires are the largest factor and tread height is the culprit. You better just accept that! :p
 

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TD said:


So are we saying the Pilots have a tread design that is prone to tramlining?
Yeah since the tread pattern is VERY much directional, whereas the contis (while still being directional) are not nearly as specific with the tread pattern.

It's like course vs. fine sandpaper; which do you think would be easier to rub across a rough surface? Which has more raised edges?
 

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I will have to say that I do not believe tread design is the major contributor to whether a tire tramlines. My 96 M3 had Michellin Pilots with a completely different tread design than the current Pilot Sports, but tramlined badly. It sounds like the current Pilot Sports still tramline badly.

My 2001 330Ci with sport package has Dunlops from factory of the exact same size as the tires on my 96 M3. My 330Ci does not exhibit any noticible tramlinning. I think the tramlinning is more due to differences in the tire structure such as sidewall construction and stiffness than tread design.

Some have stated that tire size has little to do with tramlinning. I disagree with that. I believe it is fairly common knowledge that a wider, lower profile tire is more likely to tramline than a more conventional tire.
 

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Gs330Ci said:
I will have to say that I do not believe tread design is the major contributor to whether a tire tramlines. My 96 M3 had Michellin Pilots with a completely different tread design than the current Pilot Sports, but tramlined badly. It sounds like the current Pilot Sports still tramline badly.
That doesn't reinforce your claim very well. It just says that the Michelin Pilots didn't do a better job of controlling tramlining with the new design.

Check out the difference in tread designs between the Pilots and Conti's. BTW, my Conti's don't tramline at all, and they are relatively new (under 2000 miles), and they are plenty wide and low-profile (P225 and P245). This shoots another theory that I've heard in the foot.

Notice the number of longitudinal ribs on the Conti's, and the complete lack thereof in the Pilots:

Pilots


Conti's
 
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