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Old 08-22-2012, 09:16 AM   #1
jmoryl
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Excessive tire wear: struts or alignment?

Input needed:

The car: SVT, 95k miles, stock original suspension. Driven on the street.

About 6 months ago, front Conti DWS (stock size) were showing excessive wear (fairly even). I noticed the driver's side inside tie rod end had some play. Went to a shop where I had two new DWS tires mounted along with a new tie rod end and alignment.

Fast forward to this week: looking at my front tires, thinking about rotating F/R, when it becomes obvious that the new tires on the front, with about 6k miles, are getting severly worn on the inside (rears are fine). I'm quite angry, to say the least. Take the car to a local shop (not the one that did the tire install/alignment) who found no play in anything, says he thinks is too much camber and I probably need new front struts. So I'm about to order struts but looking around on the boards, I'm wondering if the tire mounting shop flubbed the alignment? Would that cause this sort of wear?

Right now I don't really need the expense of the strut work.....would be nice to freshen up the suspension some other time. Thanks!


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Old 08-22-2012, 09:34 AM   #2
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As an aside, struts are not that big a deal, in the grand scheme of All Things Replaceable:

http://www.tousleyfordparts.com/part...subcat1=120318

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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Oh, I was planning to get the kit from Tousley... but I don't have the time to do the install myself, and around here (NJ) that will cost $$$.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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quite frequently shops align the SVT to non SVT specs. just tell the shop 0 toe all around. not 0.1, not 0.01. zero.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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Common for front springs to sag on these, I've seen several and mine did so as well. The front end is obviously a tad lower than the regular zx's so it's not so obvious when they drop another .5" or so. If the front end doesn't clunk or bounce around over bumps I'd say the shocks are good but if you are going to get the struts apart to replace the springs it's a good idea to do shocks as well. Don't go cheap - you get what you pay for. Even consider some adjustables if you are into that sort of deal.

Either way, your shocks will not cause tire wear they simply control damping and rebound. Camber is not adjustable on these so if you are wearing tires you have two bend struts/wheel knuckles or sagging springs (which is much more common than two simultaneously bend struts).
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #6
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worn ball joints.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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I will put my $.02 in... As your tire travels through it's range of motion the alignment of the tire changes. The more compressed your suspension gets the more negative camber you have. If your suspension is old and starting to sag you will have SLIGHTLY increased negative camber. That being said, your tire wear should increase SLIGHTLY. Toe in and toe out are more often the cause of excessive tire wear, not camber (unless you are really dropped).

I needed new tires and picked up a set of primewells with a 40k mile warranty. Less than 2 thousand miles after the tires were installed I had my 03 SVT lowered 2+ inches all around on Eibachs with matching shocks and struts at a shop (an absolute NIGHTMARE and story for another time). I also did the SPC camber kit up front and adjustable arms in the rear to prevent any excessive and uneven tire wear. After the install the shop said they sent it out for alignment (I found out later that they lied and charged me for it). Got the car back, drove it another 2K miles rotated the tires. They were wearing very fast but I drive... um... fast. I rotated them again after another 2k and then moved down south. After only 8k miles 2 of the tires were down to the point of being a hazard and I was rotating them. I took my car to a Firestone dealership to cash in on my warranty. They checked my alignment and found out that my toe in was bad and that was what was causing my excessive wear. They honored the warranty and fixed my alignment. I ended up getting two new tires at $25 each, plus $25 install, $100 total. The payoff of having a 40k warranty and going through them in less than 8k.

If your tires are wearing because of worn suspension it MOST LIKELY is not camber. It is more probable it is your toe adjustment, or one of the components that controls your toe is failing, bent, or damaged in some way.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:02 PM   #8
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supposed to change shocks and struts every 60000 miles
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRed03 View Post
quite frequently shops align the SVT to non SVT specs. just tell the shop 0 toe all around. not 0.1, not 0.01. zero.
this ^^

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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