Uneven rear tyre wear.

Submitted: Friday, May 28, 2010 at 16:21
ThreadID: 78849 Views:6299 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Hoping that somebody may have experienced this problem and has some advice on how to fix the problem.

Having checked the tyres on our 80 Series Landcruiser, I found the left hand rear tyre was wearing unevenly, it showed signs of excessive wear only on the inside edge about the first 50/75mm & no further abnormal wear evident,
Checking all other tyres & also thinking if I had rotated tyres from the front (could have been previous wear from front toe adjustment) which I had not I could not work out why this tyre was wearing in this manner.
Upon taking vehicle in to have the alignment checked after replacing tyres, the alignment showed that the rear axle on the left hand side was toe-out 6mm but the right hand side toe-in 2mm.
Trying to think if vehicle had ever been damaged in anyway (accident or 4wd damage)and as I have had vehicle for 7 years it certainly had not been in any accidents etc I could not work this tyre wear out,
Further checks on the complete alignment showed the wheel base from side to side was different by about 10mm & the rear axle assembly was sitting about 4mm further to the left hand side of vehicle ( vehicle has not been lifted significantly - only to assist in extra weight placed in rear & towing caravan). Checking all rear control arm bushes & control arms/locating brackets, no abnormal wear was evident & nothing looks out of place. Thus I am stumped to know what has caused this or how to rectify problem! Any suggestions
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Reply By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Friday, May 28, 2010 at 17:12

Friday, May 28, 2010 at 17:12

wont be anything to do with lift as panhard connects to chassis on RH side and lifting shifts housing to R not L
could be a couple of things
Have you checked both upper and lower trailing arms are straight not bent.
with the measurements of the alignment I would suggest a check of the LH side ones in particular. I assume by the toe in/toe out measurements that the 10 mm difference in wheel base had the LH side shorter.
my gut feeling would be a bent lower trailing arm on LH side.

if trailing arms are straight, bushes /mounts arent worn or damaged only other option is a bent diff housing giving the geometric differences in the alignment

tyre wear could also be bearing related or bent/twisted wheel rim but the alignment measurements points more to something bent.

hope you sort it out
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Follow Up By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Friday, May 28, 2010 at 17:20

Friday, May 28, 2010 at 17:20
sorry got my lefts and rights confused
the alignment figures indicate your housing is skewed so it faces to the left
therefore shorter side would be rh side and that is side where damage is more likely. a bent trailing arm would pull that side forward and twist housing to face left.
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Reply By: oldpop - Friday, May 28, 2010 at 19:17

Friday, May 28, 2010 at 19:17

Looking at the toe figures it has 4 mm toe out sounds like a bent diff housing


AnswerID: 418583

Follow Up By: Whitey1 - Friday, May 28, 2010 at 19:52

Friday, May 28, 2010 at 19:52
Yes I also tend to agree. I'm a panelbeater that also does wheel alignments. If the total toe is out 4mm then the diff is probably bent. More than likely from an accident. They can be straightened by a specialist.
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Follow Up By: farouk - Friday, May 28, 2010 at 20:19

Friday, May 28, 2010 at 20:19
Thanks guy's for the replies, I passed on the info to my son.in.law who is the wheel aligner ( he is also a top mechanic running his own business) who measured up and whilst he did think initially that it could be the diff he discounted it because of the fact that he thought I should have had bearing problems in the diff and as I told him that there are no strange noises in the transmission, but having said that he has not closed his mind to the possibility.
I have fitted a new set of tyres and will be heading off to Rocky in a few weeks time and will be measuring the depth of tread at intervals.
I am at a loss to understand why it has happened because when I bought the vehicle 7 years ago I ran the tyres that were on it for about 10000km and I specifically remember there was no abnormal wear because the tyre outlet sent them up to theOodnadatta Roadhouse for emergency tyres and all I have used vehicle for is towing our 21' van and it certainly has not been in a crash in that period and I have never used it for 4WDriving.
Once again guys thanks for your input ,much appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Tom W (WA) - Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 00:24

Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 00:24
Gday farouk dont know the relevance or not but put a 2 inch suspension lift in the nissan but fitted rear adjustable panhard rod at at later date i was very suprised at the amount the diff had moved to the right and was scrubbing inside of l/h rear tyre fitted adj panhard rod & no further issues
just my thoughts cheers tom
AnswerID: 418616

Reply By: ChipPunk - Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 02:10

Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 02:10
Getting out of alignment isn't too much of an issue (potholes; curbs; loose bolts...?), but it's getting it back....

I've seen wheel aligners that do not check symmetry (ie, front to rear distance - not so much of an issue with 4WD but when live rear axles drift..!) and merely correct camber, caster & toe-in/out despite the crabbing vehicle.

But I suggest NOT rotating tyres.
That is a way of "matching" wear which effectively means donating more to tyre suppliers etc. IE - once a tyre starts to wear unevenly, nothing other than a lathe will fix it, and it will continue to wear faster - even if rotated or the alignment is corrected.

Besides, most tyres are directional, hence limiting to front-rear swaps only (not right-left).
Or they are torque directional, hence only diagonal swaps.

But I believe they "run in" for a certain direction and torque anyhow, so I do not rotate.
The only rotation I do is worn fronts to rear if I get a new pair (placed on the front) - but that is for a RWD.

If a tyre scrubs, I'd replace that one tyre, but I get the problem fixed before that (and then replace the axle-pair etc).

The bottom line is I reckon tyre rotation is one of those cons that went out with "draining carbies BEFORE placing in storage" (to "prevent" stale fuel problems). Mechanics made good money out of that one too.
AnswerID: 418618

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 12:58

Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 12:58
Stale fuel is more of a problem nowadays than it used to be.
I ruined two intank fuelpumps at $600 each because my wife wouldnt switch the LPG over to petrol every week or so.
Petrol ended up smelling like varnish and working as well.

Also I have read that while tyres used to retain some directional memory this also has gone by the way with newer technology..

Our bus mechanic used to in and out the bus tyres and swap them across as well. They stayed together for at least 3 recappings so cant be detrimental.

They were Radials.

FollowupID: 688898

Follow Up By: ChipPunk - Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 19:32

Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 19:32
Stale fuel is irrelevant (I know it is wasn't a major concern with leaded fuels).

I was merely commenting who for years that con was "believed" by those that didn't understand the con.

Nothing has changed - it would be like saying today "drain your carby or injectors before storing or not using for a few months because the fuel will go stale."
That con was understood years ago.
Not that we have become a "cleverer country" since then, but surely people do not "pre" drain injectors and carbies? (I'm not talking tank drainage to revert rust lines etc, just draining a system because you will not use it for months or a year etc - surely people drain it just before they are to reuse it. It used to be a great income for mechanics et al!)

As to tyre wear, rotation is to even the wear - it will not prevent accelerated wear.
Fleet owners etc generally rotate as it is cheaper to match and replace the lot etc.

I am merely restating tyre physics - once they start to wear unevenly, nothing stop that uneven wear (you need to skim it down), and an uneven tyre wears faster than than an evenly worn tyre.
The rest is POV. Direction tyres are obvious (whether rotational direction or torque direction - the latter being very common wrt motorcycles; 4-wheelers tend only to be directional wrt rotation).
But I feel that many road-tyres "run-in" to a certain usage.
Anyhow, I never rotate mine - except once when I did have a bad front side scrub, but then I removed the tyres and swapped sides (ie, preserved rotation direction and torque, the obvious outer scrub seemed harder to spot once inside too... LOL!)

Otherwise it's new to front, old front to rear. At the moment I have matched front & rears - the first time in-sync in 10 years (because last time I only replaced the rears - the fronts were still very good).

But I like to spend less on tyres, hence "evening the wear" is less important to me.
FollowupID: 688957

Reply By: DarcyNavara - Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 12:21

Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 12:21
Some things don't make sense to me.
The wear you are describing is on the inside edge at only 2 to 3 inches max, this would indicate toe out wear, and not toe in by the specs you mentioned.
front |---|

rear \---/

Depending on the machine If the measurement was taken front to back and solely toe was checked on the rear, the wheel alignment heads would be read in the opposite direction, so toe in reading would be actually toe out.
If this was the case, it would show wear on both inside rear tyres.
If by chance the rears were taking from front wheel track readings, then this would more so indicate rear end is from panhard rod alignment
front |---|

rear |---|

And the wear you are experiencing is from possibly loose or worn wheel bearings or at worst bent rear axle housing.

AnswerID: 418763

Follow Up By: farouk - Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 15:29

Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 15:29
John, Passed on your comments to son in law and he is quite embarressed abo ut the toe in and toe out, he said he had a seniors moment and he is only 45 !!! anyway the verhicle is going to his workshop tomorrow and he will do some close ups on the panhard and bushes etc, sincerly hoping it is not the housing and surely just towing a van would not cause that to happen. It has hardly been off the bitumen in 7 years and as I said earlier it was OK when I bought it.'

Will post a update when it is fixed. Thank you all once again for your Input
FollowupID: 688912

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