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Thread: Rear Wheel Camber is Eating Tires

  1. #16
    Un-registered User AO928's Avatar

    2008 Mazda5

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    Generally speaking, camber does not induce premature wear on any particular portion of the tire unless it's extreme. From my experience, toe is the most critical factor on tire wear.

    If you have excessive toe out, you will tend to wear the inside edges prematurely. Excessive toe in, will wear the outside edges.

    Does anyone know what the factory alignment specs are? I have a DIY alignment setup that I use on my 928, but I could easily adapt it to work with the Mazda 5.
    2008 Mazda 5 Touring Ed. - Brillant Black
    1991 Porsche 928 GT - Guards Red - Supercharged

  2. #17
    Registered Member nvanvlymen's Avatar


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    I have a lowered 5 using the ms3 springs.. ive known for a while that i would eat up my tires pretty quick.. has changing the camber on the rear changed how it corners? The SPC kit, how long does it take to install? any estimates?

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AO928 View Post
    Generally speaking, camber does not induce premature wear on any particular portion of the tire unless it's extreme. From my experience, toe is the most critical factor on tire wear.

    If you have excessive toe out, you will tend to wear the inside edges prematurely. Excessive toe in, will wear the outside edges.
    Yes, that is correct. Unadjustable "excessive camber" is the problem we have. I believe the max factory camber is -2.3. Print out of my three alignments were -2.4, -2.1, -2.4, and the dealer did not tell me what is was on my fourth alignment.


    I installed the SPC adjustable arms last night. It took 3+ hours, the exhaust hanger is in the way and I had to use an open end wrench to remove and re-install the inner bolt. One thing we noticed immediately on our 5 mile test was that the rear end didn't seem as jittery going over unever patchy roads. Before if felt like the back end was jumping side-to-side and now it feels more stable. We didn't test corning speed since that not a needed criteria for my wife but I expect I will have slow it down a bit due to running less rear camber. I'm going to give it a few days to settle before an alignment this weekend.

    I also used an 18" level float to compare the front and rear camber and I am actually running less rear camber that the front now. Not ideal, but it should drop some more while the bushings stretch and settle.

  4. #19
    Registered Member dima_rus's Avatar


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    I just spoke to Mazda Canada representative Jason about the camber problem. He said that they will investigate that and let me know the result within the next couple of days.
    I will keep you guys updated.

    Dima
    Last edited by dima_rus; 05-04-2009 at 09:33 AM.

  5. #20
    5'08

    '08 Mazda5

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    Can't wait to hear what they have to say. I just opened a case with Mazda USA. I have 13.5k miles on our 08 and the inside of the rear tires are almost bald.

    I will be taking our 5 in to get the tires changed by the dealer and have them check the Camber/Toe issue.

    I have found in the past with other manufacturers that if I created a case prior to having a dealer looking at it an issue, the dealer usually is more open to working with you. Of course I let the service adviser know that case has been opened and provide him with the case number.

  6. #21
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    Everthing is looking good since installing the SPC adjustable arms. I decided not to waste any more money on another alignment because the van's ride is smoother, the rearend is now more stable on rough roads and tire wear is even across the rear tires.

    I just re-checked the camber before logging on with the same level float I used before and infact the suspension has settled some more. Both rear tires are still identically cambered. But I now shows a tad more camber than the fronts...I think my pre install set-up of the adjustment sleeves were spot on.

    When I was setting the lenght of the adjustment sleeves I used the two long mounting bolts as guides thru the factory arm bushings and adjusted the SPC arms to the same lenght as the factory arms. I then UNSCREWED THE SLEEVE EXACTLY FOUR TURNS and locked it with the jam nut. This pre install setting has worked out perfectly for rear camber I desired.

  7. #22
    Registered Member red headz's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhitewaterPearl View Post
    When I was setting the lenght of the adjustment sleeves I used the two long mounting bolts as guides thru the factory arm bushings and adjusted the SPC arms to the same lenght as the factory arms. I then UNSCREWED THE SLEEVE EXACTLY FOUR TURNS and locked it with the jam nut. This pre install setting has worked out perfectly for rear camber I desired.
    Sounds about right. I've adjusted mine twice now... and I'm about where you are.

    michael.
    '08 Mazda5 GT, Brilliant Black, fog light jumper, MS3 springs, 35% tint, 18" RX8, 16" Protege5

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  8. #23
    Registered Member bulwnkl's Avatar

    (former) 2006 Mazda 5 M/T

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    As others have said, the tire wear problems are NOT primarily because of the camber. They're almost entirely because of the toe-in. The camber just causes you to see it very quickly and only on the inside edge. Reducing or eliminating the negative camber will just spread the wear across more the tire tread.

    The Mazda 5's factory alignment specs (at least for '06) call for significant toe-in at the rear. That's what you have to correct.

    Zero the dynamic toe (that means the toe as the car is driving down the road with your usual load and speed), and the negative camber on the '06/'07 won't wear the tires out to any noticeable degree. Not saying I think they need that much negative camber (I don't think they do), only that the camber is not what the problem is.

    I've zeroed the static toe (toe as it sits there on the alignment rack) at the rear of ours and am watching. Our old tires were so worn it was hard to tell anything. We just put brand new tires on it Friday, so I'll be able to see very quickly what's going on.
    Last edited by bulwnkl; 05-24-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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  9. #24
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    I agree with the toe being the major factor. My other car is a 04 Miata lowered. It has way more neg camber than my 5 and I drive it like i stole it sometimes. there r no unusual wear on the tires.

    My previous car was a Volvo 850 wagon and i had almost -1.5 camber at the front, again no abnormal wear on the inner edge.
    '07 Mazda 5 GT -- 18"x7.5" Work Emotion XT7, Kenwood DNX7100 (DVD/Nav), AutoExe carbon shift knob, S2k antenna, HID
    '04 Miata GS (6spd)-- 16"x7" Work Emotion CR-Kai, H&R race springs, HID, factory Bilstein, factory LSD

  10. #25
    Registered Member wmzda5's Avatar

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    Does the M5 have toe-in /toe-out adjustment on the rear? Anybody have pics? If you have, you can DIY the toe-in by using a fish line from front tire to rear tire, just make sure the fronts are dead straight. then you vcan adjust the toe based on the fish line straightness.
    Jess

  11. #26
    Registered Member red headz's Avatar

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    Yes - the rear toe is very easy to adjust. Standing at the back of the car, look underneath towards the front - each tire has an adjustable bolt with graduated marks on the fixed 'washer'.

    Once you loosen this nut, the bolt can move. To adjust, I jacked up the car, then lowered one wheel with just slight pressure onto a 2x6 under the wheel (so the car was still mostly supported by the jack). Then if you adjust the toe bolt, you can really see and hear the wheel turning toe in and toe out.

    The online manual has all the correct info - that's where I learned. Actually adjusting the toe was pretty dramatic.

    Info found on page 2-11-4 of the workers manual PDF available online. Attached is a picture.
    michael.
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    Last edited by red headz; 05-29-2009 at 12:05 AM.
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  12. #27
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    Here is a good article from tirerack explaining camber, caster, and toe, and why vehicles are set up one way or the other:

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...e.jsp?techid=4

    Though I donít understand why the Mazda5 has any toe at all, this isnít a race car. When I buy a tire I expect it to last 45,000 or 50,000 miles and the more I read these tire threads, the more Iím convinced that Iíve bought a lemon with regard to tire issues.

    What can be done so that there is zero toe and zero camber, just like any other minivan out there? To heck with high speed cornering, I just want tires that arenít going to wear down prematurely and as a bonus this will increase fuel economy.

    From the above link:
    Additionally the vehicle's toe is one of the most critical alignment settings relative to tire wear. A toe setting that is just a little off its appropriate setting can make a huge difference in their wear. Consider that if the toe setting is just 1/16-inch off of its appropriate setting, each tire on that axle will scrub almost seven feet sideways every mile! Extend it out and you'll discover that rather than running parallel to each other, the front tires will scrub over 1/4-mile sideways during every 100 miles of driving! Incorrect toe will rob you of tire life.

  13. #28
    Registered Member bulwnkl's Avatar

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    To adjust rear camber, you must replace suspension pieces; it's non-adjustable from the factory (well, you can always loosen bolts and fool around a little...).

    I recommend against zeroing both toe and camber in the back of a 'van' like the 5. Zero the toe if you like, and reduce negative camber if you like as well. But leave a little negative camber. A little will absolutely, positively NOT wear out your tires early so long as dynamic toe is zero, and it's a good idea to have with a vehicle that wants to body-roll in emergency lane changes.

    One thing I do not know is how rear toe changes as the suspension loads and unloads. For all I know, rear toe may zero out if you put a decent load back there. That seems unlikely to me, but I don't know either way. If by chance it does work that way, then everyone who zeroes their static toe but runs big loads back there suddenly has toe-out. That's not good for anything at all. Just a thought/note.
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  14. #29
    5'08

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    Just got back from my Mazda Dealer and had a brand new set of tires put on along with an alignment. The OEM Toyo's I had only had 14600miles on them and were rotated every 5k miles. As you can see from the pic the rears were worn down to the threads . The alignment tech called me over while he was doing the alignment and said that the rear toe was way off...the most he had ever seen on a 5 or 3. I talked to him about the camber issues and he said that he recommends putting in SPC adjustable camber arms...which I know a few of you have done. In my case though it was all toe that caused my tire wear...LT was -.40 and RT was -.85. He said they should be around .1. He adjusted them back to spec and then told me that he believes that it was set that way from the factory...he said there was some over spray on the adjustable bolts and the paint had not been broken...he said that I may have a case with Mazda. He said that to give me an idea of how much wear the tires went through, he said that at -.3, it would be like dragging your tires 600 miles sideways! Alignment analysis also attached.
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  15. #30
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    Wow. That' pretty brave driving with inner structure exposed.
    2007 5 Sport AT

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