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4 Wheel alignment?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Chris4141

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 07:54 AM

Does my 02 Legacy Wagon have the ability to have all 4 wheels aligned? Also, my owners manual states that proper tire rotation is front to back not crossways like some other vehicles recommend. After 41k miles on the original tires, all four tires have uneven wear, with excessive wear on the inbound perimeter of each tire. Is it correct to just rotate back to front? Crossway rotation (left to right as well as front to back) would more evenly wear tires. Thanks for any advice.

#2 Manarius

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 09:20 AM

Smells to me like you need an alignment, badly. And sure you can do it crossways - my manual says to do it as such.

FL -> BR
FR -> BL
BL -> FL
BR -> FR


#3 NorthWet

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 12:20 PM

Smells to me like you need an alignment, badly. And sure you can do it crossways - my manual says to do it as such...

Last I bothered to hear (last Millenium ;) ), crossrotating radials was a BIG no-no: The belts took a "set" to the directional rotation and tended to break if put in service the other direction. Obviously, tire technology keeps improving so this may be outdated information.

#4 nipper

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 01:09 PM

Last I bothered to hear (last Millenium ;) ), crossrotating radials was a BIG no-no: The belts took a "set" to the directional rotation and tended to break if put in service the other direction. Obviously, tire technology keeps improving so this may be outdated information.


i got caught by surprise on that one too.

http://www.goodyeart.../Driving.html#4

and they all say pretty much the same thing

nipper

#5 Commuter

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 12:06 PM

Myths take a long time to die...

In the early days of radial tires (which replaced bias ply tires... anyone remember those? How about inner tubes? :lol: ), which is decades ago now... there were some issues with belts taking up a "set" and the tire not being happy with its rotation being reversed. Hence, the "don't cross rotate radial tires" came about. If the tire is properly manufactured and not defective, one should not have any issues with cross rotation.

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#6 grossgary

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 12:39 PM

was the tire pressure ever low? what kind of driving, any hard turns?
have they ever been rotated before? the rears may show wear that was actually caused when they used to be on the front?
yes you can get it aligned, i know the fronts have alignment and i'm thinking the rears must as well. they have similar strut set up, i can't recall if the rear strut bolt is a cambered bolt or not off the top of my head, but the fronts certainly are. they should be able to check it and correct for that if you think everything else is solid (tire pressure, tires, driving habits...etc aren't to blame).

i never get my subaru's aligned. my tires always wear perfectly. my last XT6 was retired this summer at 220,000+ miles and i never had it aligned. wrecked the control arm off roading and replaced it, replaced struts, balls joints, axles, front suspension bushings, went through a number of set of tires in all those miles and they always wore perfectly even with never having an alignment. got 30,000 miles on the impreza and it appear to wear nicely as welll.

#7 Subarunation 713

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 02:17 PM

(snip)i never get my subaru's aligned. my tires always wear perfectly. my last XT6 was retired this summer at 220,000+ miles and i never had it aligned. wrecked the control arm off roading and replaced it, replaced struts, balls joints, axles, front suspension bushings, went through a number of set of tires in all those miles and they always wore perfectly even with never having an alignment. got 30,000 miles on the impreza and it appear to wear nicely as welll.

You are one lucky guy! I would admit my Subarus have had a more "robust" front end than my VW's of the past but to never have an alignment and get good even tire wear is near miraculous.

Thanks to Nipper and Manarius for reeducating me on tire rotation. Before reading this post if you would have asked how to rotate tires I would have said front to back and Xing the tires is a no-no. This dog is going to have to learn a new trick.

As to the original post, yes you can align all of the wheels and from the sounds of things you need one. I guess you aren't as lucky a Grossgary but then neither am I!

#8 grossgary

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 02:33 PM

when you do get this car aligned, ask them how far off it was and where. i'd be interested to know how far off it was. be sure to tell them how it's wearing, i assume they'll see it, but want to make sure.

i'm as surprised as you are. after smashing my control arm wheeling in the snow everyone swore i'd need an alignment. i was in college so i didn't bother after fixing it. never had any issues. XT6 doesn't have adjustment in one of the typical alignment directions though, whatever that means. the strut bolts aren't adjustable at all, they are straight bolts unlike the EJ series so they are whatever they are. that does make it easy to take apart the suspension and reassemble.

someone either here or on xt6.net works at a tire store and told me to never bother paying for an alignment unless my tires are showing signs of uneven wear, otherwise it's a waste of money. i stuck to that and didn't ever have my last two daily drivers aligned after 120,000 miles each in my possesion. we'll see how the two new ones do. currently at 5,000 and 30,000.

#9 ron917

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 04:01 PM

I just replaced my tires, and the old one were worn slightly more on the inside edge, just like the original poster. I cross-rotated them, following the intructions for AWD vehicles on Michelin's web site, but still got the uneven wear. If your tires have directional tread, you have to keep them on the same side of the vehicle.

I need new struts, and I'll be getting an alignment done after the new struts are in.

#10 Chris4141

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 08:32 AM

Thanks for all the great advice. I actually have 4 new tires now and plan on going Monday morning to Subaru for an alignment (using my Subaru bucks). I'll let them know how the old tires were wearing and ask how far off everything was. I don't think the excessive inbound wear (on tire shoulder) was due to driving habits or under inflation, as I do keep on top of proper pressure. I cannot recall if the excessive wear was mainly from the tires being on the front.

On page 11-44 of my owner's manual it says for rotation "Each tire must be kept on it's orginal side of vehicle"

http://my.subaru.com...egacy_om_11.pdf

Like someone here mentioned, on the Michelin website it does say for AWD, you should cross rotate. Geez.




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