Wheel alignment - constant AND EXPENSIVE problem

Submitted: Monday, Nov 21, 2011 at 00:17
ThreadID: 127737 Views:5005 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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In my last two trips I have been sitting next to the van when I have noticed that a tyre has worn right through the thread on one edge. Both times I changed the tyre as it was dangerous. They were both consigned to the tip.

After the first time at Mt Browne, I had the wheel alignment fixed. On the next trip to Victoria, I had the same problem on the other side on the other side of the van.

So in the last two trips I have paid out $700 for tyres.

Only one tyre of the pair on each side, has had a problem.

Is there something wearing out in the suspension, which might cause this alignment problem ?

I am a mechanical idiot, so please traet me gently !


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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Nov 21, 2011 at 11:34

Monday, Nov 21, 2011 at 11:34
Hi Willie

Despite Steve's instructions for easy wheel alignment on the road, my husband was reluctant to do so without adequate equipment when just sometimes one wheel angle looked a bit out. After travelling through three states the tyre was showing a bit of wear. We couldn't fit into anyone's wheel alignment workshop so were referred to a truck alignment business. Wheel alignment checked out as all OK, the by using something straight to check, there was a slight bow in the axle - not enough to be noticed by eye. Easy for this business to straighten it. Just a thought - get the axle checked out.


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AnswerID: 583432

Follow Up By: Willie - Monday, Nov 21, 2011 at 17:59

Monday, Nov 21, 2011 at 17:59
OK, I will check that out. Thanks for your help.
FollowupID: 854051

Reply By: Kilcoy Yowies - Monday, Nov 21, 2011 at 21:27

Monday, Nov 21, 2011 at 21:27
Had a similar experience recently. After travelling the Gibb river road, and in Broome I noticed excessive wear to the outside of one tyre.No one could tell me a reason.I called simplicity and it was suggested that may be there was a bent stub axle .
I thought this unlikely, so i proceeded towards home. By the time we reached Mt Isa the tyre was severely worn and should have been replaced. As I knew that the new tyre would also suffer the same fate, I turned the worn tyre around on the rim, and it got me home OK.
After a more thorough examination the inside bush on the upper arm was the culprit. This was replaced as was the tyre, and no more problems.
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AnswerID: 583433

Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011 at 00:42

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011 at 00:42
Thanks for this tip too. I will also have this checked out.
FollowupID: 854052

Reply By: Willie - Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011 at 18:48

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011 at 18:48
I was talking to a caravan manufacturer the other day asking about alternatives to the Simplicity Suspension.

I told him of my constant problems with alignment and he said it was so easy to alter the alignment. You can do it on a big bump, or by just turning the van too sharply on a hard surface.

That sounds like a bad design to me. He reckoned the best thing about the Simplicity Suspension, was the fact that you could get spares easilly - not a big selling point for me.

AnswerID: 583434

Follow Up By: muddywaters - Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 04:14

Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014 at 04:14
Hi Willie,
I agree with you, not a great recommendation for the suspension. I have done numerous wheel alignment checks and adjustments since being away. We are heading home from WA for xmas soon to be with family.
We have travelled some 50k klm in 22 months and by the time we get home from WA will up for 5 van tyres.
The scrubbing appears to be mainly on the front axles though we have rotated tyres front to back, swapped sides and turned tyres on rims to maximise there're life. We have only one the 6 still new. I had expected a better life out of trailer tyres, after all they're only rolling along. We have done a fair bit of lowered tyre pressure work though I would not of thought that would cause much wear as it is all slow speed work. We getting better wear out of the F truck tyres.

Regards Andrew
FollowupID: 854053

Reply By: surfy53 - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 21:08

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 21:08
OK, we are on the road, home is Rocky and we are headed south to Melbourne and sourounds for a few months. Now at a freebie outside Condobolin.
The BT needs a wheel alignment. I have read that Big Wheels in some locations have done BT's before. Looks like the Big Wheels at Dandenong in Vic will be my best bet. Has anyone been to them or can someone recommend a suitable place to get it done. As we are free and easy in our travel directions we are willing to travel to get it done properly, but not too far.
The ball is in your courts, so thank you all.
AnswerID: 583435

Follow Up By: Greatscot - Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 at 08:10

Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 at 08:10
Hi Surfy53,
I was at the manufacture of simplicity suspension in Melbourne yesterday following up on an issue with my suspension.
He suggested that Hardings are across the wheel alignment process and have been for some time.
Their details are as follows.
Phone: 03 9729 8477
Fax: 03 9729 3096

Caravan Storage: 0488 489 268

Email: info@hardingscaravans.com.au
(Email checked weekly. Please phone for urgent enquiries)

114-142 Colchester Road,
Kilsyth Vic, 3137

Trading Hours:
Mon – Fri: 8am – 4:30pm
Sat: 8am – 12pm
Sun: Closed

I hope this helps with your alignment question.


FollowupID: 854054

Reply By: surfy53 - Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 19:50

Friday, Oct 17, 2014 at 19:50
Greatscot, thanks very much, we will be in and around Melbourne in the next few weeks so that will be my number one job.
Much appreciated.
AnswerID: 583436

Reply By: Mobi Condo - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 18:13

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 18:13
Wheel alignment seems an ongoing thing. Done three myself and had one done professionally as well. Before the last (4th one I have done myself)
I consulted 2 mates, both retired mechanics with heavy vehicle , truck, road train, dog trailer etc. experience, one retired from Automotive Lecturing at Regency TAFE Apprentice lecturing / instructing.
BOTH agreed on use of string lines starting by a centre line of the van chassis, then check for square of chassis to that centre line. Next check the status of square /equality of axle beam to the tow point. Ours is 3mm shorter to the tow point on the RHS than on the LHS. Have let the factory know this as well, but to all experts that 3 mm in some 4500 mm is within "spec". So with a chat to the local agent of Simplicity here in Adelaide, I have taken their advice and set up the wheels to be parallel with zero toe in /toe out and let the flexibility of radial tyres do the work of any toe in / toe out set up. Daily checks which we do on all trips do pick up probs and after 5000k this seems to have done the trick on our problem.
Hope this assists.
AnswerID: 583437

Reply By: surfy53 - Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 18:34

Saturday, Oct 18, 2014 at 18:34
Thanks Mobi C. I have sent Hardings an email but nothing back yet. They state that they only check their emails once a week.......strange that. I have also sent Big Wheels an email, they replied in the hour and asked which store I wanted to go to, they have three. I did ask if they had done a Bushtracker before but they didn't respond to that question. But I need to know if they are up to it. I'm not too confident to do the string line job.
In 4 1/2 years I think I have had three wheel alignments from BTI only because I don't get down their too often. Maybe overkill but I'd like to think I'm keeping on top of any problems that may occur.
I'm getting to the end of life for the van tyres too. Got the van and 200 at the same time, May 2010.
200's done 120,000 kms and the van, say close to 60,000 maybe even more. Most of the time when not traveling the 200 is in the shed and we use the Mazda around town. I'd say we will be up for tyres all round the van when we get back to Rocky.
AnswerID: 583438

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