Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 23:42:32 +0200
From: Robert Brown <robxxxert.broxxxwnnopsamxxxnet.se>
Subject: Re: front end mis-alignment or...?


Abdallah wrote: > back from the 4000km trip to northern BC and the Yukon. > wild country. roads were great for the most part and lots > of winding highways up and down mountains (rockies and > cascades). > > had new Dunlop SP Sport 5000's put on the car before i left, > wheels were aligned. a little more than half way along > (2500km), i noticed that the inner edge of the front tyres > were both severely worn. then, taking a longer, harder > look, it appeared that the wheel camber was/is off. the > tyres are definitely splayed outwards at the bottom, but not > by a lot. > > though the tyres are directional, i decided to have them > turned around on each wheel (inside face out) so i didn't > lose grip on the road altogether for the rest of the trip. > back home again and the outside edge (which is on the inside > now) is also worn. and i mean bald. > > most of the time i was driving between 110 to 130kph, did > some passing at higher speeds, but i wasn't driving > aggressively (family comfort and safety in mind). > > a few questions: > > - could the front end have been "aligned" without the > mechanic noticing the camber? > > - can the camber be adjusted easily, or could this bespeak > bigger problems at the front end? > > - would the alignment problem cause such excessive wear on > these tyres? > > - if anyone has experience with the same or similar tyres, > is the rubber on these tyres so soft as to wear down > completely within such a "short" distance - complete loss of > tread before the tyres are worn in seems a bit excessive. > -- > Just a thought Abdallah - does the car sit unevenly - left or right side lower due to possible spring/spring seat problem? Or how was the handling - stable or uncertain? Wondering if you in fact were given a "toe-out" alignment by mistake. I am however doubtful of my ideas here, since I can not imagine that any of these being true could result in the extreme tyre wear you describe. If the camber's so far off that you see it, it's gotta be camber. In my experiences, alignment specialists give you a printout of camber/caster/toe plus rear wheels' vector, both before and after their adjustments are made. Did you get any paper? Could be worth going back to the alignment people and demand that they measure all parameters (lasers and all that), with another equipment operator, in case the previous one got it all wrong. If the people who did the alignment are the very same who sold the tyres, then you almost certainly have a case for them to fix the alignment and mount new tyres, all for free. Grunff in his reply states that camber is all but unadjustable on these cars but *something* must have happened some time around when your alignment got done. Another thing - if the accident you had a few months back were to be a factor in all of this, then your old tyres should have worn in the same way. Did you notice their condition prior to their being swapped out? Keep us informed of your progress. /Robert (have relatives living in northern B.C. - nice area you visited ;-)

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