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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, ever since I've had the 2002 SVTF I have had problems with uneven tire wear. Alway the insides of the tires. I have about 20K miles on my tires and the insides are almost bald. [mad] I get my alignments done at NTB every 3,000 miles and have been told by another SVTF owner I need to have them adjust the toe outside of factory specs.

Has anyone done this and can you tell me what to adjust and how much??? Thanks in advance.
 

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with my 03 I had a tire wear problem until I started checking the psi weekly.
 

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you dont need to go outside of factory specs. the problem is actually that "on spec" is too broad.

for the front tires, set toe-out to a max of 1/8th inch. (preferably 1/16)
for the rear set toe to zero or max of 1/16" toe in.
 

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Specs

If the SVTF is set dead on spec, it will not wear tires abnormally. The problem is in your alignment man's machine and his attitude towards the adjustments.

Instead of thinking that adjusting the suspension is THE most critical thing to make the car handle properly, he is looking at it as a way to make dollars. The more the better. The faster the better. And, many alignment machines have the +/- tolerances WAY wider than the chart below. It is to make more money faster.

So long as the numbers come up green (within the tolerance span), I will bet that he isn't touching it. As you can see, the car can be pretty toed out and still technically be in tolerance. You are wasting your money getting it aligned so often too, unless you hit something hard enough to throw the steering wheel off center. Otherwise, I rotate the tires every 5000 miles and check alignment when getting a fresh set of rubber.

You might ask to watch him next time and have him print out the actual specs he has the car set to. This might encourage him to do it right for a change.

Oh, and notice that the specs are in fractions of degrees...not inches. Makes a big difference on these cars as they are a little sensitive to adjustments.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You might ask to watch him next time and have him print out the actual specs he has the car set to. This might encourage him to do it right for a change.

Oh, and notice that the specs are in fractions of degrees...not inches. Makes a big difference on these cars as they are a little sensitive to adjustments.
I have a print out that they did in Sept that I am going to scan tomorrow when I get to work. I would LOVE for someone to help me fight this....I would love a new set of tires because of their "lack of knowledge".

And BTW....thank you guys so much....I've never quite understood the alignment terms too well.
 

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Focused Focus
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Every 3K miles? Youre kidding. I have Tein S-Tech springs and had it aligned 3 years ago and its still perfect. No uneven tire wear at all. But i have a VERY good alignment guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Every 3K miles? Youre kidding.
Back when I bought the 3 year alignment, the NTB guy told me that had I aligned the car every 3K miles I wouldn't have uneven tire wear.....[mad]
 

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The Librarian
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Unfortunately, with any focus alignment you're going to have to request specific alignment specs or you can end up with tire wear even if you got an alignment every week. As mentioned the spec range is just too damn broad and there are combinations of allowable specs that will eat tires.

First lets discuss camber issues. The focus tolerates a little more camber up front than it does in the rear. Negative camber up to the allowable maximum is usually OK. Negative camber (F & R) is better than positive camber especially on an SVT. In the rear negative camber is preferred but not an excessive amount. Negative camber combined with excessive toe-in is a recipe for inside edge tire wear. Shoot for something in the -1.2 to -1.5 degree area. If you cannot get camber below this you may need camber bolts or some other devise to help compensate.

Now for toe settings. Up front shoot for just a little toe-out (-0.01 to -.02 inches). In the rear you want toe-in but not too much as well. The allowable minimum in the rear is 0.04 inches on an SVT and that's what i recommend you ask for. Toe-out is not recommended (nor do SVT alignment specs allow it). It can make the car very squirrelly. Yes, some people do use it on the track or in autocross as it helps loosen up the rear end. But rarely will you see those same people drive it on the street set up that way. Your SVT will handle quite nicely with just the little rear toe-in.

RecoilRob posted some SVT specs I have never seen before. On the printout shown, the camber ranges are very narrow both front and rear from other SVT printouts I have. The toe ranges are also very strange as they seem to allow equal amounts of toe-in as well as toe-out both front and rear. As I mentioned above, I have never seen any alignment specifications that allow rear toe-out in the rear or toe-in on the front on an SVT. This printout seem to provide for both.

Here are the specs I have for an SVT. I use SVT specs to set my ZX3 and these are from printouts I received and are consistent with other printouts members have shared with us. Please note major discrepancies between my numbers and those in the above print out. (note my "toe" settings are in inches the ones on the above print-out are in degrees so they cannot be directly compared but you can see that the allowable toe ranges are peculiar)

Front toe range: -0.07" to 0.00" (note: negative is toe-out, positive is toe-in)
Front Camber range: -1.8 degrees to +0.7 degrees

Rear toe range: +0.04 to +0.11 inches
Rear Camber range: -2.3 degrees to +0.3 degrees

Front caster: +2.0 to +4.1 degrees

(caster is not adjustable as well and you pretty much have to accept what it ends up being. More caster tends to be better as it provides for better straight line tracking and will result in less wandering especially on crowned roads).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A quick search would have saved you a lot of questions...
Sorry....I did do a search and didn't find what I was looking for, but you pointed me in the right direction. Thanks [thumb]
 

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^^^No problem.
There's been a lot of alignment threads lately, so I was seeing if an existing one would answer your question.

Though, Geezer did a very nice job, (as usual) in explaining it. [;)]
 

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Discussion Starter #14
^^^No problem.
There's been a lot of alignment threads lately, so I was seeing if an existing one would answer your question.

Though, Geezer did a very nice job, (as usual) in explaining it. [;)]
That he did....thanks for explaining it so well Geezer!!!!! Helped me a lot in understanding everything.

So I took the car back to NTB, told them that the tires only have 20K miles, stock SVT suspension, and if they couldn't get the right alignment to just swap the tires so the "wear" is on the outside rather than the inside.

I saw it on the alignment rack and they were doing something with the rear, wrenching away, and they called to let me know they were also going to swap the tires at no charge.

Think instead of paying for a 3-year alignment, I'll just try to find a GREAT alignment guy.....or just take the specs that Geezer gave to NTB and have them align it to those.
 
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