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I've been locking for a used 118 for about a month and finally found one. Went to test drive it and all was good, except the steering felt odd at full lock, left or right. When turning just before full lock the steering feels like it "flops" over. The front tires also show wear on the outside of the tread. There was just over 20k miles on the odometer.

Is this normal for these vans? I really don't want to be replacing tires every 20k miles.
 

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Flops? Not sure about that.

My 118 WB does have a very tight turning radius when the wheels are full left or right, almost feels like too much, too tight, but it's not a problem. Just took a bit of getting used to... I do stay aware that if my wheels are turned most of the way to locked in either direction and you really get on the gas it does "lurch" pretty hard. Almost like it needs to have the steering "limited" somehow?.

It makes me think of a dog-chasing-it's-tail since it turns so tight... Arf. Arf.

Can't imagine that would be the cause of tire wear unless somebody just kept it running around in a circle. I have 11k on mine but swapped to winter tires at 3k and replaced the stock Vancos at 7k, swapping back from winter tires so I don't have many miles on any tires to notice uneven wear.
 

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I've been locking for a used 118 for about a month and finally found one. Went to test drive it and all was good, except the steering felt odd at full lock, left or right. When turning just before full lock the steering feels like it "flops" over. The front tires also show wear on the outside of the tread. There was just over 20k miles on the odometer.

Is this normal for these vans? I really don't want to be replacing tires every 20k miles.
Show the tires to the salesman and tell her if you buy it you want it to go into an alignment shop and have the alignment printout given to you with the sales agreement. I once owned a Dodge Dart (the origional not the remake) that we never got aligned properly due to a tweeked unit body. It ate tires like a gorilla eats....... anything it wants.
 

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It's normal that the steering wants to "flop over" as it approaches the steering lock at low speed. Mine does it, too. It's the geometry of the front end.

Mine shows no measurable tread wear at 18,000 km.
 

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I recently had my Continental Vanco tires rotated for the first time at around 9,000 miles. I drive about 80% city, 20% rural and highway. I tend to drive a little more aggressively than most people. I have the pressures at factory recommended. My PM is usually saddled with 2000 to 2500 lbs. of cargo. The fronts measured at 11/32" and the rears measured at 15/32". They were just starting to feather on the outer edges on the front. My PM is a 159" and some of this wear may be slightly accentuated on a shorter wheel base. I would think if the tires weren't rotated regularly and this van saw city use for 20,000 miles, the tire's outer edges would have a pretty severe cup to them even if the alignment is correct. As has been mentioned previously, frequent rotation is the key to even tire wear on the PM.

The steering definitely has an unusual feel when approaching lock, but that is the tradeoff for almost being able to turn the wheels perpendicular to the van. That's why the PM turns like a Fiat 500 and other vans turn like a container ship. As long as you are gentle on the accelerator when approaching lock, this shouldn't cause any long term problems. A few people have complained about premature tire wear including large chunks of rubber coming loose from treads etc. I'm not sure if this was related to defective tires, driving habits, or vehicle alignment, but it has only been a few people. The Vancos tend to be a harder tire than would be ideal for my use. Traction during precipitation is poor. I'm cheap enough that I'll be using them up before shopping for better ones though.
 
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Mine will lurch in tight turns too. Not as much mass to accelerate when front is pulling and going sideways, you really notice the engine torque.. At 12000 miles, no front tire wear is noticeable on mine. Looked at one with 35000 miles, tires looked original, and not worn unevenly either, so I would be concerned about alignment or abuse too.
 
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