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Rear Suspension Troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Wheels / Suspension / Tires / Brakes' started by ejay55, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. ejay55

    ejay55 New Member

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    I am another newbie to this forum and am committed to keeping my 1995 97k Honda Civic EX in fine running and riding style. I've got a tire wear problem which I now realize isn't just about balancing, alignment, rotating, or tire pressure. This is the second pair of rear tires (Potenza G009's) which have worn in a scalloped or cupped fashion on the inside.

    These two rear tires were moved from the front to the rear when I bought the two new tires and installed them on the front, complete with balancing and four wheel alignment (Midas, Richmond, VA)

    Can anyone give me a hand at troubleshooting the most likely causes?

    Thanks, ejay.
     
  2. goldgreen90ef

    goldgreen90ef goldgeen90ef

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    im guessing its lowered, but even if its not u have a rear chamber issue...
     
  3. ejay55

    ejay55 New Member

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    Do you mean by lowered that my rear shocks are gone?
     
  4. goldgreen90ef

    goldgreen90ef goldgeen90ef

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    no i mean that the car is on springs or coilovers and the body is dropped, and negative chamber is a common problem with that, there are several things in that can cause negative chamer, lowered, or problem with the struts or bushings ect,,,,
     
  5. ejay55

    ejay55 New Member

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    Oh yes, I've been reading on.... I've had the car since purchase and haven't ever replaced anything in the suspension system, so I don't believe it is lowered, but neglected. If visual inspection reveals bushing problems is rebuilding these OEM struts an option or am I looking at new struts?
     
  6. goldgreen90ef

    goldgreen90ef goldgeen90ef

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    struts would be the place to start, if you can look at the car and see the tires leaning in, you have a serious negative camber issue that will eat tires till you have it fixed........
     
  7. ejay55

    ejay55 New Member

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    I've just checked my alignment records...Midas aligned the rear camber of L tire to-0.99 and R tire to -0.77. The specs call for -0.20. Could this be the problem?
     
  8. phunky.buddha

    phunky.buddha Admin with a big stick Admin VIP

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    That's not enough negative camber to cause a problem (no H in camber!). You probably have a few bushings out- and rebuilding struts won't help you there. If you need a strut rebuild, you need a strut rebuild. Bounce test your suspension to find out.

    If your bushings are no good, no alignment is going to help because your car's suspension linkages won't be able to properly control the movement of your tire. Incorrect toe settings are what typically cause the majority of irregular tire wear, so if the bushings are letting the suspension flop around, you're going to have weird tire wear. I suspect either bushings or struts to be your problem.
     
  9. ejay55

    ejay55 New Member

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    Thanks Calesta for your response, I am still reading on about suspension and wheel alignment in my service manual and online. I am still at the point where my learning about suspension raises more questions than answers. I drove the car up on wood blocks and shimmied under the rear end and couldn't see anywhere one could do an 'adjustment'. But I do now have a good visual of how things are laid out.

    I got the impression as I was studying the left and right rear struts that the bushings were those things inside the ends of the strut arms where those really big bolts attach them to some other part of the underbody of the car. But now you inform me that bushings and struts are two separate components. Aren't there bushings in the struts? Not sure what a proper bounce test is but I gave my trunk a good downward shove on both sides and observed the travel of the side lower edge trim, which moved about an inch or inch and half down and came back up.

    I'll go home tonight and study my service manual some more and do some online research to see if I can't get a visual on where the bushings are compared to the struts. Then I will be wondering which is the best bet or less expensive to change first.

    I so appreciate having found this forum and your time in responding to my questions as I learn more about suspension.

    Thanks!
     
  10. GSRCIVICTN

    GSRCIVICTN Lost in a sea of rednecks

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    Judging by what you are describing and the slight negative camber that you have, I would put money on worn struts. That's the wear that they cause.
     
  11. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    Sorry to thread-jack, but what exactly is a strut rebuild? I've never heard of anyone doing that before. It sounds like it would be expensive; I'd assume just getting new shocks would be easier and probably cheaper??

    BTW, if you need new control arm bushings, you'll have to take your car somewhere that has a drill press; they have to pressed into place. If you have the tools and knowledge to remove the control arms yourself and then just take them to a machine shop you can probably save some bucks. That's what I did when I installed my Tokico suspension kit.
     
  12. ejay55

    ejay55 New Member

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    BrutalB83, I am just learning about struts (those forged steel (?) things with arms that attach the wheels to the body and incorporate the shock absorbers) due to the tire wear problem I am having. When I referred to a strut rebuild, I am not speaking from experience, but from conjecture that since the struts have some kind of softer material (bushings?) imbedded in the end of the arms that then attach to their respective attachment points, that those are where the wear occurs and that they can then be replaced. Are those the control arm bushing you refer to? But I don't know whether that can be done or whether it is cheaper to just replace the entire strut. I'm a bit of an environmentalist and hate to see perfectly good parts added the the junk yard.


    Thanks
     
  13. ejay55

    ejay55 New Member

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    GSRCIVICTN, do you know what parts of the struts typically wear to cause the problem?
     
  14. 99sidude

    99sidude Moderator Moderator VIP

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    You don't need a drill press, but instead a "hydraulic press". All it is is a metal frame with a bottle jack that presses a die through whatever you want to press out. I got a 6 ton press from harbor freight tools for 50 bucks, and i just used socket heads as die's. The 6 ton press was more than enough for the bushings, plus I saved a few bucks.
     
  15. ejay55

    ejay55 New Member

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  16. 99sidude

    99sidude Moderator Moderator VIP

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    eibach struts are awesome
     
  17. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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  18. 99sidude

    99sidude Moderator Moderator VIP

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    Back when I had a civic si, i had to order a new rear LCA from honda. It was around 90 bucks at the dealer, and came with all the oem bushings
     
  19. BrutalB83

    BrutalB83 Brutal Moderator Moderator VIP

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    Did it have the mounting brackets for the ABS lines on it? I was under the assumption that that's why mine was so expensive. I guess he could price the LCAs and see.
     
  20. 99sidude

    99sidude Moderator Moderator VIP

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    my car didnt have abs, so no
     
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