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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone.

Sorry I am sort of a lurker and don't post much. But do enjoy reading the articles. Was hoping for some input. Searching didn't really help me much... some information but not a ton.

2000 WS6 with done suspension using UMI and BMR/Bilstein. Lowered 1.5".

Front tires keep eating themselves on the very inside of the tire. Happened about 18 months ago first. Tie-rods were bad so had the shop put the new tie-rods in (usually do my own work but it was there so what the heck). At same time two new tires and alignment. At the time, the shop said alignment worked well and all good.

So last night, discovered the same thing happened but this time not due to tie rod issues.... steel belts showing through the inside edge of left tire causing to go flat. In fact, put the front end up and all my suspension is very tight. This was confirmed by the shop I took it to (if I trust them) and the tech's exact words to the manager were "the suspension is tight". Immediately they indicated that there was an alignment issue which is why the inside edge of the tire was eating itself. I went off a little cause they did the alignment and said it was all good 18 months ago...... I began to suspect they never did the alignment the first time and just sent it out the door but charged me.

Sorry ... trying to get there... they covered the tire under warranty so that was really good on their part but have had a full turnover in staff at this shop (namebrand place) so the staff that did the job 18 months ago is gone.

talking to the tech who is there now and was an older guy with 30+ years in the field, he indicated due to it being lowered he had maxed out on the slots on the camber and best he could do was -1.5 left/right camber. He was able to get toe and caster in specs he said but since it was lowered "so much" he couldn't get the camber all the way to spec. When he started, left camber was -2.4 and right camber was -1.9 and the toe was off on both sides as well. He got it all balanced out and toe/caster in spec... but couldn't get camber as said above. Since toe was way off I am hoping perhaps since they never got the toe in right, perhaps that was the cause of the tires eating that inside edge and not the camber.

Seems suspicious to me that with a 1.5" drop, they should be able to get the camber to somewhere in the neighborhood of -0.7 which I would be happy with and would be in spec for that year I believe. They suggested a "camber kit".... I am doubtful there is one for a 2000 T/A. But also doubtful it should need one. All the bushings/ball joints and related suspension parts in excellent shape. Do drive somewhat aggressively so -1.5 is not so bad and with some aggressive cornering should even out across the tire I would think?

Anyone have any suggestions? I am racking my brains for an idea of what it could be (short of a shop that really doesn't know what to do on a lowered 2000 T/A)?
 

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In the almost 10 years I've been here, your lowered suspension is the only one I can remember having this problem with alignment.

So, here are the things I can think of; (1) Suspension parts made in China and not made correctly. (2) Part or parts were damaged in shipment or installation. Thus causing alignment problem. (3) Parts were not the correct ones for your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Cocobolo..... kind of same thinking I have had. Leaves me thinking I will take it to a different shop, one that maybe is a smaller mom/pop place with a tech that might be more capable and has more experience which perhaps gets the settings right or if there really is an issue, can pinpoint what the issue is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Been doing some research on A-Arms and upper control arms.... wanted to get some input from everyone if I were to switch out to adjustable arms, would it make more sense to use adjustable upper control arms like the ones from BMR, Spohn, UMI, etc.... to provide that extra camber adjustment (the upgrade would be for the suspension ride improvement with added benefit of more adjust-ability) or use solid upper with bushings and lowers that are adjustable?
 

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If it were me, I'd spend the extra money on both upper & lower control arms that can be adjusted. You've already learned what happens when there is not enough camber adjustment. IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Cocolobo. Thanks. I called BMR yesterday and picked their brain. They are incredibly helpful and after picking their brain, their suggestion would be to swap out uppers with the adjustables so those should be here tomorrow. Their techs were in agreement that they would be much better outcome by being able to adjust the upper to create additional positive camber necessary to get back to a reasonable camber number ... I am shooting for negative .7 camber on both and that was a number they would like to run for a street car as opposed to a track/drag car.

Thanks for helping me reason this one out. I did some rough geometry and tomorrow will take some more precise measurements but it seems I only need to move the upper ball joint position 3/4" inch outboard to create about 1.9 degrees of positive camber which will offset the way negative camber after the car was lowered and should give me the ability to fine tune the camber measurement with the bolt/cam on the lower arm making it easier to align the front end.

Appreciate the feedback!!!!!
 
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