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Tread wear and alignment

 
Old 10-29-2016, 10:53 AM
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Default Tread wear and alignment

I've had an interesting experience with my 02 S2k. I bought this car this summer. It had only 8.5K miles with the original tires. I knew that I would need to replace the tires if for no other reason than the fact that they are 15 years old. So I got some ap2 v3 wheels and new 17inch S-04 tires as a bit of an upgrade. I noticed that the tread on the original rear tire I looked at was toast which surprised me a bit but I it didn't dawn on me to figure out why.

I drove about 7K miles this summer on the new wheels and tires and then recently I noticed that the tread on the rear is toast again. Now this concerned me. I decided to get the alignment checked and low and behold it turns out the alignment was quite a bit out of whack, especially the right rear. I noticed today when I was reinstalling the original wheels and tires for winter storage that in fact it was really just the right rear that showed excessive tread wear, not both sides. I did not get the alignment numbers from the mechanic but he made a point of telling me that it was really way out of whack - especially the right rear. Now that the car is aligned to factory specs I am hopeful that I will stop going through tires so quickly. Also, it does instill a bit of confidence knowing that the alignment is correct.

I wish I had thought to have the alignment checked when I put the new tires on - would have saved me a few bucks.

Last edited by rpg51; 10-29-2016 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:17 PM
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Don't beat yourself up too bad....if you drove 7k miles and toasted the rears, it sounds like you at least had a little bit of fun in the process. But certainly be thankful you didn't lose control or hydroplane because of the bad alignment and uneven and premature wear.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:37 PM
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Truth is I did have a hydroplaning experience a few weeks ago. It scared the daylights out of me. It was my own fault and I doubt the alignment issue played a role. But yes, I did have some fun this summer! I had a 1 to 1.5 hour commute on terrific winding roads through the hills of Vermont and New Hampshire. We had gorgeous weather all summer long this year. Very little rain. I love this little car.

Last edited by rpg51; 10-29-2016 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:38 PM
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What aliment settings did u get
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Old 10-30-2016, 02:25 AM
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I asked him to put the alignment at the oem specs and that is what he did. I did not get a report or any specific numbers. I should have asked for the report. Next time I will. The front tires have life left. I will put new rears on in the spring, (the car is going into storage shortly), and I expect by the end of next summer it will be close to time for a new set of tires up front. I may get four new tires at that time and have it aligned again. We shall see.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:57 AM
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Alignment settings on any car play a huge role in stability...especially in adverse weather. An alignment issue that's bad enough to wear a set of S04's in 8K miles with normal driving habits will definitely cause instability and erratic behaviour.

The rear suspension having excess or uneven toe is exactly like having rear wheel steer that you don't know is there...or at what degree its effective.

It certainly played some role in your prior loss of control .
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:43 PM
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Interesting. I wonder how the heck the alignment got so out of whack.
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:00 PM
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Colder weather conditions also play a big part in traction, I had somewhat of an "Oh Shit" moment earlier this month too but luckily there was only a 50ft skid. Cooler temps play a big role in the tire compound and its ability to hold the road, my RE050 rears have about 3500kms and still 90% tread.

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Old 10-31-2016, 06:56 PM
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Age is more important than tread. I will not use a tyre on the S after it is 5 years old. They just lose too much grip in the wet or cold.

As for wheel alignment, it is so critical to the handling & enjoyment of your S it is worth doing often. Last year A truck I was following straddled a dead animal on the road. It was about the size of a moderate dog. I could not avoid it & hit it with the left front & back wheels. It was a fairly hard hit. The steering immediately became rather "snatchy", responding too sharply to inputs. The steering wheel was only slightly off straight.

At home, on my ramps I could find no damage, but a trip into the city I had to do before I could book a good aligner was unpleasant.

On the aligner the technicians told me it was only slightly out, at the front & vary little at the rear. However driving home, including a run on a nice quick, twisty back road, it was a totally different car. I had my car back.

If your S2000 is not really nice to drive, get the alignment checked, it doesn't have to be much out with our sharp suspensions, to spoil the car dramatically. What would be unnoticeable on one of my Triumphs is awful on the S.
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:48 AM
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I'm just hoping I get a few more miles on this new set of rear tires. Have to wait till next year to find out.
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