+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Front tyre edge wear and alignment

  1. #1
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594

    Front tyre edge wear and alignment

    Hi All,

    I wonder if anyone can help with this? It's many years since I had the piece of string and spirit level etc. out to set up the tracking on any car but think it may be time somehow.

    My car is a 1995 Volvo 850, owned about 2.5 years and over that time I've fitted a new clutch (relevant as I had to drop the front subframe), new front right wishbone, all new shocks, top mounts, ARB links and various other stuff. Anyway, I fitted a new set of tyres about this time last year, they've done around 4000 miles and the outer edge of the fronts is looking quite worn whereas the rest of the tread is fine and the rears look close to new.

    The tyres are always inflated to the correct pressures, I don't drive it especially hard around corners though it has always had a slightly light feeling on the steering negotiating sweeping bends, large roundabouts, and the steering feels to me like it self centres more than it should as if the alignment it out somewhere. Doesn't inspire confidence on damp cornering even for an old tank like this (I'm comparing to my E30 BMW, previous newer model V70 I had and that kind of thing, nothing fancy). The ride is great, wheels balanced, no funny noises.

    Would this point to tracking issues at the front only, perhaps worn rear suspension bushes (I believe there is rear adjustment on these and they do need four wheel alignment) or something else?

    I just did a rough measurement of the front camber side to side for comparison (just using iPhone spirit level against a block of wood vertically across wheel rim) and appear to have a few degrees positive camber front right, zero on the left. This tallies with the fact that I could never get the front right top mount to sit centrally within the hole in the suspension mount (three bolts at top) whereas the left does. Makes me wonder if the subframe may be fitted a little off as there is very little room for camber adjustment with the mounting of the steering knuckle to strut?

    Anyway, I'm rambling - any advice appreciated and will a garage with the right equipment be arsed to do a decent job aligning it, or should I get my string out and read up on how to do it? My brother in law does his race car this way and swears by it and I remember Nige did too so I'll search out his method on here.

    Cheers
    Stu
    Too many cars...

  2. #2
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594
    I found Nige's guide, from 10 years ago.... 10 years!

    http://www.northloop.co.uk/forum/sho...-how-to-guide.
    Too many cars...

  3. #3
    Positive camber will give that vague kinda feeling, and wear the outer edges.

    Does the subframe have any alignment holes that go into the body?

  4. #4
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594
    Quote Originally Posted by GVK View Post
    Positive camber will give that vague kinda feeling, and wear the outer edges.

    Does the subframe have any alignment holes that go into the body?
    Thanks, Gary - I thought it might be that.

    I'm just reading up on the Volvo forum about whether the subframe can impact alignment as I forget now if it had any dowels or similar to line it up, but as I recall the once all four (new stretch) bolts were in finger tight, there wasn't any movement to be had on it so I think it just fixes in place without any adjustment really.

    Other thing I thought, could the replacement front right wishbone i fitted be a few mm shorter than the original moving the centre point of the lower balljoint towards the centre of the car a little?
    Too many cars...

  5. #5
    Regular Uncle Benz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    9,575
    If you have replaced a wishbone the tracking will definitely be out. Positive camber is bad. Loosen the two bolts holding knuckle to the strut, kick it hard in the middle and tighten them whilst keeping some weight pushing. You'll find more movement than you'd expect.
    Northloop.co.uk - at the forefront of political debate since Tuesday.

  6. #6
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Benz View Post
    If you have replaced a wishbone the tracking will definitely be out. Positive camber is bad. Loosen the two bolts holding knuckle to the strut, kick it hard in the middle and tighten them whilst keeping some weight pushing. You'll find more movement than you'd expect.
    Cheers, UB - I actually did this earlier as my first point of call having remembered the non centred top mount thing. Should have said. Even without slotted holes it did give a few mm of movement so I held it there whilst tightening as much as I could but suspect I did this last year when assembling it too. I put it all back together and test drove anyway, doesn't feel any worse, maybe slightly better and iPhone showed about 2 deg positive rather than 3 deg.

    Maybe I need a helper to hold the strut whilst I tighten to make sure as the tightening action tends to try to pull it back towards positive camber?
    Last edited by Stu; 21-10-2018 at 03:54 PM.
    Too many cars...

  7. #7
    Regular Uncle Benz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    9,575
    How old are the top mounts? They are a two piece thing and they do wear
    Northloop.co.uk - at the forefront of political debate since Tuesday.

  8. #8
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Benz View Post
    How old are the top mounts? They are a two piece thing and they do wear
    They were new last Sept (both parts), so about 4 - 5000 miles ago along with the shocks, bump stops etc. Old ones were knackered but these should still be fine.
    Last edited by Stu; 21-10-2018 at 04:04 PM.
    Too many cars...

  9. #9
    Regular Uncle Benz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    9,575
    Northloop.co.uk - at the forefront of political debate since Tuesday.

  10. #10
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594
    Thanks - that seems to suggest that if you can't get the required camber setting on standard struts then the upper holes need drilling out to allow a bit more movement, then. I recall having a few Golfs with that arrangement, not sure if it was standard on them or not now.

    I'll see what I can do with an assistant helping whilst tightening the strut bolts first, get the string out and check and setup the tracking and go from there. Easy enough to get the strut off and drill out the upper hole as required and should save premature tyre destruction!
    Too many cars...

  11. #11
    Regular Neil Mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bucks/Beds/Northants
    Posts
    15,059
    My closest HiQ tyre franchise (who are well-respected locally) have recently upgraded their alignment equipment. My RAV4 was well out after replacing most of the front suspension, so I took it to them and they fixed it for £30.

    The string method is great if you have the skill, patience and time. I have none of these things.
    "Fortunately, I'd taken a spare Gearbox, Turbo, Actuator, Banjo Connector, Steering Rack, Driveshafts, ECU, Wideband sensor, 57-51mm silicone reducing elbow and a Copper Banjo Washer." - Nige

  12. #12
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594
    Cheers, Neil - I expect I should have sorted this out ages ago after replacing various important bits that could impact the alignment but didnít get around to it. £30 sounds decent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Mac View Post
    The string method is great if you have the skill, patience and time. I have none of these things.
    I have probably two out of three of those things, which ones varies day to day
    Too many cars...

  13. #13
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594
    Just to update this, I’ve only driven the car a bit since my non too scientific camber adjustment on Sunday but the steering definitely feels better, less self centering and closer to how it should - so that’s positive.

    I’ll continue at the weekend hopefully with a helper and check the toe in/out then see what needs adjustment from there.
    Too many cars...

  14. #14
    Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    3,594
    Tracking now sorted. I dropped the car off to my favourite local garage that originally fitted the tyres as it had a slow puncture to fix. I asked them to have a look at the tracking while it was there explaining all the bits I've changed and tyre wear symptoms.

    When I picked it up they'd had trouble getting the track rod end lock nuts to shift (which makes me think I'd have been swearing at it for hours on the driveway and potentially failed anyway) but sorted it.
    Apparently it wasn't too far out but a little too much toe in so they've toed it out a little to the correct specs I gave them. Only a few miles home driven but seems fine and steering feel and centering improved so happy with that.

    The track rod end nuts are nicely copper greased now so I can DIY it in future if needed.
    Too many cars...

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts