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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Searched extensively when I did the lift and stumbled across a link to recommended Frontier specs, can't seem to find it now.

Here's my problem:

I have a 2" spacer lift on the front of my truck. Was just airing up the tires, and the wheel happened to be turned pretty sharp. I noticed that I have more where along the outside of my tire, both R and L, compared to the inside.

EDIT FOR ACTUAL PICS:

Overall Right Front Tire:



Outside edge:



Inner Edge:



Uneven Wear Pattern (note the high lugs):






Any ideas? I have probably 5k on the setup since i installed the spacers in June, had an alignment the next day and everything was within spec. I suppose i could have knocked something loose....
 

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Any ideas? I have probably 3k on the setup since i installed the spacers in June, had an alignment the next day and everything was within spec. I suppose i could have knocked something loose....
"Within Spec" is a huge range. Your front tires could look like this \ / and still be "within spec". Either find the as-left results from your last alignment, or go to a shop and have your existing numbers checked.

When you go for your next alignment, insist that you want the camber set as close to 0.0 as possible. If you don't, the lazy bums can leave quite a bit and still pass factory specs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Made some edits above, added actual pics of my tire and changed the mileage, it has been 5k since the alignment.



Do you have the cam bolts? Scan in your alignment sheet for us to see. Mine looked like that until i installed the can bolts.

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Yes, Installed cam bolts. My camber was in "spec" after i did the install, could not get the toe even close, so I suspect the 0.87 deg may have been the limit of the machine.



Did your alignment guy say it was a perfect alignment?

Get cam bolts

Check to see if your tire has a warrenty, hopefully they will cover it....

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See above. Tires are stock Rugged Trails, doubt they have a warrenty. These were on the back end all last summer, was not impressed by the wear (at least it was even) back there with 8k on the clock.

"Within Spec" is a huge range. Your front tires could look like this \ / and still be "within spec". Either find the as-left results from your last alignment, or go to a shop and have your existing numbers checked.

When you go for your next alignment, insist that you want the camber set as close to 0.0 as possible. If you don't, the lazy bums can leave quite a bit and still pass factory specs.
I did have a slight \ / look. I'm going to get it checked today at at least one place, maybe 2. I had the original alignment done 5/20 with 15k on the clock, creeping up to 20k now. Since then there has been 2 500+ mile highway trips to Maine with some moderate to heavy offroad in the northwoods on abandoned logging roads, i.e. washboard and washouts.

How often should I expect to align things? Would ave went for the Firestone lifetime, but they were backed up and the truck was pretty undrivable the way i left it.
 

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So should I have it re-aligned to 0 camber?
Looking at your numbers, they left you with 1.1 and 0.8 - IMO that is way too high. For me, 0.5 is the max I would accept, but try to get as close to 0.0 as possible. Depending on your setup it may not be possible. There is also a school of thought that says some slight amount of positive camber helps with tracking and stability. At 0.0 you may notice a tendency to wander or track in grooves/ruts on the highway.

Now, having said all of this its hard to explain that amount of tire wear in such short amount of time given the numbers you posted. Its possible something came loose and changed as you noted, or maybe there is another problem going on. The shop should be able to tell you.
 

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Just like everyone mentioned and agree get the cam bolts (4) and that should solve the problem.
I also have the Firestone lifetime alignment and was visiting the shop every 45 days because the pulling on the steering wheel, after instaling the cam bolts and realignning there is a solid feel on the steering wheel
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just like everyone mentioned and agree get the cam bolts (4) and that should solve the problem.
I also have the Firestone lifetime alignment and was visiting the shop every 45 days because the pulling on the steering wheel, after instaling the cam bolts and realignning there is a solid feel on the steering wheel
I have the bolts, they were in when the alignment was done. What specs are you aligned to?

Killer is it drives perfect, to shake, no pull, no hard steering. Only thing I ever noticed was a little tire chirp when turning into freshly sealed parking spaces.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sitting at firestone, waiting to see what they say.

Called the shop that did the initial alignment, they only guarAntee 30 days, and wouldn't even do a free check. Wtf
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)




This is where i sit. Firestone tech claims he cant get it to zero camber, he is afraid of screwing things up worse. Service manager wants to fix the toe. I dont get how the left side toe is affecting the right tire, and he couldnt give me a good answer so i left it alone.
 

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Yes, this is what happened with mine. There is only so much adjustment you can do with cam-bolts. The fix is a set of SPC Upper Control Arms that allow full adjustment of Camber and Caster.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, this is what happened with mine. There is only so much adjustment you can do with cam-bolts. The fix is a set of SPC Upper Control Arms that allow full adjustment of Camber and Caster.
I know what you are saying.

Sucky part is they wouldn't even try. I told the manager I'd like to fix the toe, and get the camber close to 0. He went and talked to the tech, who said he was worried that was going to make everything else worse. Basically they told me all they look for is in the green.

If they can't get it there, fine, that's on me and my mods. But they weren't even willing to try.

Also interesting to note, firestone list toe from .08-.16. Goodyear .05-.2
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just looked at the tires again. Both L and R are doing it, but the R is wearing worse.

Based on the numbers I have now, looks like the toe on the right is contributing, but the main issue is the camber.
 

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Take a look at the link posted to that thread above. Lots of good information that I didn't even know. Basically, while the Camber is certainly an issue, it would not have done what you are seeing to your tires that fast. The real problem is the toe. That last shop didn't set it right, regardless of what the numbers said. They should stand by their work.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Take a look at the link posted to that thread above. Lots of good information that I didn't even know. Basically, while the Camber is certainly an issue, it would not have done what you are seeing to your tires that fast. The real problem is the toe. That last shop didn't set it right, regardless of what the numbers said. They should stand by their work.
Gonna read the link again now that I am in front of a full size screen.

What makes you lean towards toe so much? Since my initial alignment I have had the \ / look from the front, as well as visible toe in.


I stopped @ another tire place on the way home this morning, knowing they were booked but wanting to feel them out. Started talking to the front end manager when a guy who looked like the head service tech (they had just opened, he was going thru the work orders, older guy) overheard and came over.

He said as soon as I pulled in he noticed the toe look like too much. We looked over my alignment numbers from last night, talked about the 2" spacer and cam bolt setup, my tire wear and the fact that I want to get close to zero camber.

He said he thinks he can get it a heck of a lot closer, and that they do a bit of work on lifted vehicles. Only catch is they are booked, so he has to try and squeeze me in. I have no way to get home if I left it for the day, so I'm leaving it tonight and will pick up sometime tomorrow.


I have a 10:00am appointment at the original alignment shop, but seeing as how they
  1. Wont do a free check of the alignment
  2. Did the original alignment (I haven't moved too far from the original numbers)
I'm not too crazy about going back. I'm really kicking myself for not going back when i thought it looked too \ /....
 

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In my experience, I've found that some tire shops really don't understand the alignment process. Makes me wonder if the installers get the training they need, I know training budgets are the first to be cut during tough financial times.

I can only imagine that an installer might key 2009 Xterra 4x4 into the alignment computer, in return it may even indicate which bolts to turn. A factory configuration wouldn't include camber adjustment bolts, so how would the computer know?

Last fall I installed the OME kit, with camber adjustment bolts. It was time for new street tires, so I went to the michelin shop, new tires and requested alignment as well. When the tech returned for payment and hand me the keys, I inquired about the alignment, informed him of my lift, asked about the camber. He looked at me oddly, and said "I thought I never would get that within specs, I had to keep adjusting, and adjusting." I didn't think too much of his comments at the time.

I drove it home, 20 miles, everything seemed fine. When I stood in front and looked at it head on, I could easily see positive camber. However, I am the kind of guy who makes subtle marks/scratches on things such as camber bolts so I know if they were adjusted. In this case, when I examined them, it appeared that the camber bolts had not been adjusted.

I knew of an old, real "alignment shop" - this is all that they do. Made an appointment, took it in. An older fellow, the boss, sit at a desk out on the mechanics floor and directed the technicians who were down in the pit making the adjustments. The boss came out a couple of times asking me questions, including if the camber bolts had loctite in the threads - I said no, they are tight when set at factory specs. In about 30 minutes, the boss drove it out and for a test drive himself, returned and requested an adjustment, drove it again. Then he asked me to drive it for my approval. Paid when it was all done.

This cost me $70, which I think was well worth it. I inquired if he used factory spec numbers exclusively, he said usually not. He mentioned that he references them on occasion, but over the years you discover what makes them drive correctly and wear tires evenly. Most of the numbers he remembers anyway. He mentioned that mine would have really worn the tires if I had let it go.

Good luck with your alignment!
 
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