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Old 03-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #1
sramdon
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Default Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

My honda prelude 97 sh which is lowered, have been eating off my tires for the pass couple of months, i have taken it to multiple alignment at firestone and they keep giving me back and telling me that it should not have any problem. THe only thing they say which is out of the normal is the caster.

The image below shows the extent to which the castor is off, i think it was 7 deg on the printout.

right side
Click the image to open in full size.
left side
Click the image to open in full size.

Based on the caster would that cause the wear that i am getting?
These are some other shots of the wear i am getting.
If you look at the edge of the tire you will see the ridge that i am talking about and how the outer edges are being worn down.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.


What do you think is the problem based on the wear. I ran my hand over the surface of the tire and i feel a ridge at the edge and if you look closely in the picture you can see the ridge. Also my previous two front tires wore out totally to the metal, there was a metal ring of wear on the tire and my previous tires bursted out at me at that ring.
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

This is my brother's car. We have been trying to figure out what has been causing his tire wear. The car is pretty much slammed. It was my best friend's car before. He never got such bad tire wear when he had it. The car had spun out into a ditch, but we fixed it last summer. Here is the original tread for the repair.

http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=2584965

The inside edge of the tires keep wearing off and the rest of the tire stays almost new. He has 2 set of tires, and we took off his last set about 3 weeks ago because we noticed that the edges were showing metal wire. He got an alignment through the lifetime alignment at firestone, but his tires are still wearing on the edges. They told him that his caster is off and they cant adjust it anymore and that is why he is getting bad tire wear. The distance between the body and the wheel is different for both sides. Is this the real meaning of caster?

I keep telling him that it might still be his alignment. I am no expert, so I told him to come on here and see what you guys think of his tire wear and what it might mean. Worst case scenario, is that maybe his car is "out of whack" with the accident.

Look on his tire wear and tell me what you think is wrong with it. I just dont trust those Firestone alignment places. He was supposed to post his alignment results on here, but he forgot them at his dorm and he is on spring break now.
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Last edited by professorman; 03-13-2010 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

inner edge wear - too much toe out.
inner and outer edge wear - under inflation, hard cornering, not enough negative camber
also looks like it might be rubbing on the fender. get it aligned to zero toe, ask for the printout. also maybe work bushings. they should be able to tell you if you need bushings.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

Its not rubbing. I look under the suspension, and I dont see anywhere that it would rub. If it was rubbing, I would see a shiny spot that it is rubbing on. The outside is not rubbing.

It has inner tire wear. The tire pressure is about 37Psi, unless he needs to go higher, the sounds good enough. He shouldnt be cornering too hard, because he lives on campus and eat on campus, and only drives to go run errands, which is rare. Essentially, most of his driving is when he comes to visit me (3 hrs away) or his girlfriend (6hrs away). Since putting on those tires, he drove maybe less than 700 miles, and he is getting visible tire wear, with interstate driving.

He has negative camber, because it is lowered. It is pretty much slammed, because he scrapes the resonator over speed bumps. I am telling him that I think it is incorrect toe setting, but he got a alignment before driving to see his girlfriend this weekend, and he had visible tire wear on the trip down. He is going to try to get another alignment tomorrow. What should he tell them in order to fix this tire wear issue? I dont trust their knowledge much at firestone.

Would the caster setting affect his tire wear any at all?
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

It would help lot to see a pic of the alignment sheet. Besides camber/caster/toe, I'm curious about angles like SAI, IA, and setback.

A few things about caster...
1. It is NOT a tire wearing angle. Camber and toe are.
2. Caster angles effect things like directional stability, wheel returnability, and road feel.
3. With too much cross caster, the car will pull to the side that is more negative.
4. Caster isn't adjustable on your car. That much difference between each side means something is bent (control arm, strut, etc.)

Before the tech begins the alignment, he's supposed to inspect all steering components. A car with something like bad balljoints can have everything in spec when the alignment is done, but as soon as it hits the road the angles won't hold.

My advice is to take it somewhere else. If you can't afford it, at least go to a different firestone.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

I am currently doing another alignment at Firestone so i will post the before and after printout that i get from that, the guy said they posted on my account that my Castor was out by around 4degrees.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

IMHO you need to fix the damaged parts (caster is off obviously because of the wreck) before you worry about adjusting other things to try to solve the tire wear.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
IMHO you need to fix the damaged parts (caster is off obviously because of the wreck) before you worry about adjusting other things to try to solve the tire wear.
Other than this week, we were not aware that the suspension was "out of specs" or bent, etc other than the tire wear, which we thought might have come from being slammed.

Where would be a place to go to have the suspension checked? The car was "pulled" at a body shop to get it back in specs last summer. Would we take it back to a body shop to check for damaged parts? There is nothing obvious from my inspection.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

Hey guys this is the alignment printout i got from firestone
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

Despite being "slammed", your negative camber isn't bad enough to worry about. The cross camber is decent, too.

X2 on what patrick said. You need to go to a body shop or different auto shop and figure out what's bent. Also have them inspect inner/outer tie rods, ball joints, bushings, etc.

I would never take my car back to that firestone again. Obviously they don't have the ability to help you. Instead of figuring out the cause of the problem, it seems that they'd rather just align it again and shove you out the door. Also, from the looks of your toe settings, the tech is either not good at alignments or is just plain lazy (unless those are the max adjustments)
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

Can't be the max toe adjustment on front right. It went from .13 toe out to .1 toe in. My vote is the tech being lazy and not wanting to adjust it again
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

that's a poor toe adjustment if you ask me....the right front is still out of spec and to the opposite side...wtf!

BUT that caster is WAY out.....and it will cause unusual tire wear also....something has to be bent and/or worn.

actually.......now that i look closer i think you should go back to the shop and ask for a refund....he used alignment specs for the 92-96 prelude (says so right at the top of the print out) which im pretty sure will be completely different than the 97+. without the right specs on the machine you have no idea how much camber/caster/toe is allowed...

i hate idiots like that who think they know how to align cars....
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

I know it crossed my mind when i looked on the sheet that it was not the 97 -01 sh lude they put up there.
I looked under the car and saw that my lower ball joint support on the left side had a hit from the underside and it seems that the car had a hit on some bump on the road, that is the only visible hit that i see on the underside of the car when i looked on it yesterday.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

Wow, I didn't even see he had the wrong year prelude on there. I always just use the VIN to enter the car into the computer.

This thread lists the specs in the first post...
http://www.preludezone.com/stance/18...it-thread.html

It looks like the Base model needs 2.66 degrees caster plus/minus 1 degree (so 1.66-3.66 degrees would be acceptable)
The SH model needs 4.33 degrees plus/minus .75 degrees (3.58-5.08 degrees is acceptable)
More positive caster is normal on performance models for better road feel at the expense of a little comfort. Even though these allow for a wide range, the most important thing is you don't want more than like 0.5 degree difference between each side (cross caster)

Based on those specs, the passenger side caster is your problem (too positive).
The reason the fender gaps are different is because the right side has too much gap, not cuz the driver side has too little gap.

Too much positive caster means either the lower pivot point (ball joint) has been shoved toward the front of the car, or the upper strut mount has been shoved to the rear.

Try to post pics of both upper strut mounts, both sides where the lower control arm meets the knuckle, and side pics of each side of the car on level ground.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Suspension problem, tires being eaten up

I had a similar problem with my tires on my 06 Civic caused by bad rear control arms, which is not what your issue is . The control arms were replaced by Honda .Firestone tried to hit me with a big repair bill too -that wouldn't have fixed the control arm problem. Looks like you have directional tires too-that really heats up the tire wear. I think that really made the wear show up faster for me. I'm thinking that after your suspension stuff gets fixed that you may want to go back to regular non-directional tires. That's what I'll be doing.
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