Uneven front tyre wear - camber and toe

EGBM

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Hi all,

Let me start by saying I know absolutely nothing about suspension camber (save for basic common sense and engineering physics) and not much more about tracking. Please can you advise what's best to do here? Thanks. Here we go:

Wandered in to local indie's recommended tyre specialists to replace a front tyre exhibiting a nasty looking bulge in the side wall. On inspection both front tyres were almost down to the canvas on the inner couple of inches, more than legal on the rest of the tread.

They suspected the toe-in setting was out. They set the car up to adjust the tracking using their laser system and said the toe-in was about right but the camber was more negative than they expected. (This I understand requires a special MB tool to adjust from what I've gathered on here and what he was telling me).

So they increased the toe-in slightly to compensate. While they are happy for me to keep an eye on the situation and do any tweaking necessary I'm more inclined to have the indie look at it as this sounded like a bit of a bodge - the MoT's due in May anyway by which time I'll have put at least another 1500 miles on it.

Am I right in thinking a camber adjustment is the real fix, or is it a black art anyway and "normal" for tyres to get eaten from one edge more than the other? From the searches I've done on here the subject seems massive. Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks.
 

kth286

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My initial thoughts would be that unless you have done a massive amount of miles on those tyres, if it was just the camber out it would not wear tyres out massively ,compared to wrong toe anyway.

So the toe must be out (too much toe out in your case).

How confident are you he knew what your specs should be ?

A clue may be the bulge as it looks as if you have clouted a kerb or whatever very hard and bent a suspension link perhaps, and thus caused the tracking (toe) to be out.

You have not said miles on car or tyres, but it could also be that suspension bushes are worn again leading to wrong geometry.

So,

1. get bushes and suspension checked out.

2. when above is satisfactory get the 4 wheel alignment done.
 

turbopete

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hi. nothing wrong with granada's! i raced one! anyhow, to the job in hand. firstly, no its not normal for the tyres to wear in the way you describe. and no, excessive toe-in wont cure it, just create more drag so you use more fuel and wear tyres out even faster so your suspicion of it being a bodge are correct! the theory of steering geometry is something i seem to have remembered too much about since going to college to serve my time many moons ago....
A few things id get checked out before worrying too much though. play in wheelbearings. ive noticed a couple of people on here with your problem and correct adjustment has sorted it. the 2nd thing (and most common) to check is the trim (ride) height. if the car has very soggy springs or has been lowered, particularly more than around 20mm or so below factory height, this causes the wheels to "lean in" further at the top, and therefor excessive negative camber! if both tyres are the same, you can fairly safely rule out any suspension damage. although ive never seen or had to do it myself, im sure there is a way to adjust the camber, and im sure someone will advise yu further
 

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My car wore the front inners to the canvas in 1500miles, looked at tyres and were fine before the trip obviously worn but nowheres near dead, lookad again after trip and was not impressed.

Had a full 4 wheel track done and 4k later tyres are wearing perfectly flat.

Wifes 203 has just worn the front outer edges of both front very low, just fitted new front susp arms as bushs worn out, one wheel bearing and one front spring, still twitchy handling so going for a 4 wheel alignment today.

I used wheels in motion for my car after some recomendations, but they are 100miles away, bloke at work has just used elite tyres in essex and that where i am going today as only 35 miles away.



Lynall
 
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EGBM

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Thank you all very much for your replies. Once again this forum comes up trumps.

Just to post an update, the local indie I mentioned has offered to perform a full geometry check and adjustments as necessary - he mentioned factors you have all touched upon (taking into account any damage that has been caused, worn suspension and steering components etc). I'll let you know how I get on.

If I can wander off-topic (fao turbopete), I can confirm the old Granada has even tyre wear on all 4 corners :)

She's celebrating her 30th this month, I may even black the tyres.
 
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EGBM

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Oh, couple more points in respect of your posts, sorry:

Noted the recommendation for "wheels in motion" - they're a fair way from me here in Derby though if I get desperate may well be worth it.

As for miles, car's done about 35000. Tyres were on when we got it last July, put about 7000 miles on since then (yeh, light user!) but don't know how long they've been on for. Pretty sure I'll escape the situation of shredding a pair in 1500 miles, unless the adjusted toe-in is excessive.
 

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The incorrect toe scrubs off the tread and leaves one side of the tread feathered. The edge that is feathered depend on if toe in or toe out.
AS said here the camber is the thing that wears one side of the tyre more than the other, any worn bushes will aggravate this.

You do need the MB camber tools to set it up correctly, and many 4 wheel alignment firm will not undertake camber settings on a MB
 
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EGBM

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Wooooh! A full geometry check and adustment, quoted by local indie (which they say they subcon out) = £195 (inc vat)

Wow!
 

LYNALL

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Wheels in motion did my w210 cost £145 incl 2 camber bolts.

Wifes w203 elite tyres essex £142 incl 2 new camber bolts adjust front and rear toe as miles out drives like a new car i still think its a piece of crap though but at least it now drives okay!

So £195 is cost including his mark up may be worth finding outwhere he gets it done, as it must be localish.

Dont forget that price prob includes at least two adjustment bolts, poss four so maybe not to bad and could be worst case scenario.



Lynall
 

bigasotonuk

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Hi,
I got a quote on a full geometry set-up from a main MB dealer of £150, though I will say that was approx. a year ago, try getting a price from the dealer, you maybe pleasantly sourprised.
Though I think the next time I,ll get my grometry done I think I,ll go to Wheels-in-motion, as he's seems to have a good reputation and knows his stuff from the reccommendations I have read.
 
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EGBM

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Thanks chaps. Indie says the place they use is Chartwells here in Derby. See www.chartwells.net for info.

I rang them up and they sound they offer an extremely similar service to wheels in motion, who I agree have been recommended on here. I don't see anyone on here has knowingly used Chartwells before, I suppose the advantage they have in my situation is I don't have to drive to them.

I also asked them about what they can guarantee - what I fear is I'll shell out with one of these outfits and lo and behold I've still got uneven tyre wear. I assume they use their technology to eliminate uneven wear and the famous pulls to the left (which I can't say I suffer from, but with the front tyres cambered out like a snowplough maybe that's physically impossible!). Their response was that they can't mitigate for what I do to the car in terms of kerbing it and hitting potholes (fair enough, I agree) but they did assure me they'd accept after-sales queries and try to ensure the vehicle is "right".

I'm trying to be optimistic about the situation in that the car has drifted from its original setup for whatever reason and it'll get sorted out. I'm prepared to pay for that to have correct geometry and a decent (tyre) life. I don't think that's unreasonable.
 
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EGBM

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Update for you all - got the car back from Chartwells and in the test drive I did everything seems fine. Car seemed to sit nicely at all speeds, no strange anomalies and no pulls to one side or the other (road camber excepting of course). So they haven't made the car any worse, which is a good thing! However, only time will tell if tyre wear evens out, no doubt I'll keep you updated.

I know they had to fit camber bolts to rein in the negative camber, but I seem to be missing the bit of paper showing the "after adjustment" settings. I'll get them to send me it on and then post up the settings.

Off on a long trip tomorrow so that'll give me plenty of time to notice anything more, but so far so good.

One other thing I noticed is they've upped the tyre pressures to 37 front and 35.5 rear (I had them at 33(f) and 30(r)). Again, nothing alarming going on so far.

Cheers.
 
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EGBM

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I'll keep an eye on the wear situation, JT. Seems to be ok at the mo, car sitting nicely on the road. If I notice excessive centre wear I'll reduce pressures accordingly. Thanks.
 

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A friend has just been quoted £98 for full alignment check and adjust by local MB dealer . Should he go there?? What are the alternatives in East Yorkshire. I understand there is a 4 wheel alignment specialist at Seamer near scarborough, can anyone confirm this?
 

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Hi all,

Let me start by saying I know absolutely nothing about suspension camber (save for basic common sense and engineering physics) and not much more about tracking. Please can you advise what's best to do here? Thanks. Here we go:

Wandered in to local indie's recommended tyre specialists to replace a front tyre exhibiting a nasty looking bulge in the side wall. On inspection both front tyres were almost down to the canvas on the inner couple of inches, more than legal on the rest of the tread.

They suspected the toe-in setting was out. They set the car up to adjust the tracking using their laser system and said the toe-in was about right but the camber was more negative than they expected. (This I understand requires a special MB tool to adjust from what I've gathered on here and what he was telling me).

So they increased the toe-in slightly to compensate. While they are happy for me to keep an eye on the situation and do any tweaking necessary I'm more inclined to have the indie look at it as this sounded like a bit of a bodge - the MoT's due in May anyway by which time I'll have put at least another 1500 miles on it.

Am I right in thinking a camber adjustment is the real fix, or is it a black art anyway and "normal" for tyres to get eaten from one edge more than the other? From the searches I've done on here the subject seems massive. Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks.

Using a little bit of extra toe-in does help when there is negative camber involved. It does help to compensate. Not saying that excessive camber should not be remedied - far from it - but it is a method of reducing unwanted tyre wear until a proper camber adjustment can be made. I wouldn't call it a "bodge". Correct decision as a short term help until camber pins etc can be sourced and used to fix the problem properly.
On some vehicles where excessive camber is evident and there is no method of reducing it, extra toe-in is the only way to reduce the excessive wear to a more acceptable level.
 

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A friend has just been quoted £98 for full alignment check and adjust by local MB dealer . Should he go there?? What are the alternatives in East Yorkshire. I understand there is a 4 wheel alignment specialist at Seamer near scarborough, can anyone confirm this?

Remarkably good - I paid MB Harrogate £230 for this service. Just check it is a FULL check over, not just toe-in/out and they have a proper calibrated camera based system with full print out. That price isn't much higher than a local tyre place qouted me for the works.
 

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One other thing I noticed is they've upped the tyre pressures to 37 front and 35.5 rear (I had them at 33(f) and 30(r)). Again, nothing alarming going on so far.

Cheers.

Am I the only one to be surprised that the rear pressures are lower than the front?
I run mine at 32F/36R which seems to be about right for even wear (now the camber has been sorted anyway). I've not seen rear lower than front on the charts. Don't know the pros and cons - just unusual.
 

Number_Cruncher

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>>Am I the only one to be surprised that the rear pressures are lower than the front?

No!

I had previously imagined that Chartwells were one of the better garages in Derby.
 

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