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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks, can anybody tell me why my rear tires are wearing down the tread on the inboard side of the tires? Imean down to the steel belt. Alignment, shocks, torsion bars ?
 

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I believe that is caused by weakened rear coil springs. If you look at the Ody from side and along the length, you will probably notice that the rear tires are tilted in at the top.(negative camber)
If you are carrying much weight in the back of the van, that amplifies the problem.
To help correct that neg camber, you can replace the coil springs or put air lift coils inside them and adjust the air pressure until you get the proper camber.
I too am suffering from that problem but I haven't corrected it properly, except for putting in Monroe Load Adjusting Shocks (they have an external booster spring on them), which helped some for awhile.
Buffalo4
 

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A problem with rear toe-in would cause that. The toe spec is probably close to straight ahead, perhaps a slight toe in. You can quickly check that yourself with a laser pointer or string.

Is the wear the same on both sides?

If your alignement checks (whatever you do - professionally checked, or string and carpenter's square) come back OK, another thing to consider would be a failed (and loose) bushing in the rear suspension (on both sides), that allows the tires to move when driving. So when parked, things may line up fine, but once rolling down the freeway at 80 mph, the load from rolling will put a rearward force on the wheels, which may cause the alignment to shift. Some shift is expected - for example, that's why toe-in specs are usually to have the tires toed in - that way, when underway, they will be closer to straight ahead.
 

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Do a search in this forum for air lift bags. Here is one result in that search:
I would also follow oldskewel's advice about getting the toe in/out on the rear wheels checked first.
Also, the rear bushing. I need to check mine now that he brought it to my attention.
Since my Ody is parked in a condo parking lot, those checks will have to wait until Spring,
Thanks, oldskewel !!
Buffalo4
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe that is caused by weakened rear coil springs. If you look at the Ody from side and along the length, you will probably notice that the rear tires are tilted in at the top.(negative camber)
If you are carrying much weight in the back of the van, that amplifies the problem.
To help correct that neg camber, you can replace the coil springs or put air lift coils inside them and adjust the air pressure until you get the proper camber.
I too am suffering from that problem but I haven't corrected it properly, except for putting in Monroe Load Adjusting Shocks (they have an external booster spring on them), which helped some for awhile.
Buffalo4
Thanks,the tires are definitely cambered in at the top and it's loaded down in back as it is my work truck ( professional carpenter and jack of most trades ) I have a friend that had a similar problem and stuffed airbags in his springs and I believed it helped.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A problem with rear toe-in would cause that. The toe spec is probably close to straight ahead, perhaps a slight toe in. You can quickly check that yourself with a laser pointer or string.

Is the wear the same on both sides?

If your alignement checks (whatever you do - professionally checked, or string and carpenter's square) come back OK, another thing to consider would be a failed (and loose) bushing in the rear suspension (on both sides), that allows the tires to move when driving. So when parked, things may line up fine, but once rolling down the freeway at 80 mph, the load from rolling will put a rearward force on the wheels, which may cause the alignment to shift. Some shift is expected - for example, that's why toe-in specs are usually to have the tires toed in - that way, when underway, they will be closer to straight ahead.
Thanks, I just had a complete set of new tires installed and am scheduled to have a 4 point alignment monday morning before work. I've owned this van for approximately 5 yrs. and i guess it's entering the money pit phaze old cars seem to go through at 250,000 miles or so. The engine still runs strong so I will deal with it. ( yes that's a knocking sound you hear.)
 

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Regarding aligning the rear wheels on these (I'm familiar with my old '99; assuming yours is similar or identical) ...

Chances are your alignment shop will tell you no adjustment is possible on the rear. They'll check it, but won't adjust anything. Best they'll do is tell you to get things repaired - and that can be valuable if they're right. But they might just be guessing, which won't help you.

OK, that said, here's the truth ...

You might have failed suspension components that need to be repaired. Do that first.

Don't believe anything the guys in the tire shop tell you if it's not directly about tires. For example, if they tell you you need new shocks because the tires bouncing up and down are causing the wear ... It's known as upsell.

Am pretty certain the rear camber is not adjustable without replacing parts. Some people put in aftermarket control arms that are adjustable, to adjust camber. I know on the front wheels, the alignment shops (they're just reading what the computer tells them, and take it as gospel) will tell you there is no camber adjustment. But the two bolts the run fore-aft, holding the front struts to the steering knuckle can be replaced with slightly thinner ones. The thinner bolts allow a little free-play, so things can be levered into place as needed, adjusting front camber, before torquing them down. I think each bolt gives you 1/2 degree of adjustment, so max would be 2 x 1/2 = 1degree. So I know all that's the case for the front. There MAY be some similar thing for the rear that I never looked into.

There definitely is a rear toe adjustment cam back there. And it is amazingly tough to adjust. I forget the torque spec on it, but I had to pull out my torque multiplier to get mine adjusted. Adjusting that primarily changes toe, but also changes camber. Hopefully both move in the right direction for you. When I adjusted mine, I was correcting a problem that was primarily in camber, but it did also help the toe.


I'd also take a measurement from the fender lip to the ground or the center of the hub, and compare that vs. the vehicle spec. That will tell you how much extra your car is sagging due to weight, weakened old springs, worn suspension components, etc.
 

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Don't believe anything the guys in the tire shop tell you if it's not directly about tires. For example, if they tell you you need new shocks because the tires bouncing up and down are causing the wear ... It's known as upsell.
Uhhhh, yeah, because a 16+ year van with 250K miles couldn't possibly have bad shocks lol. Not all shops are out to get the customer. If the OP looks under the van and there is obvious evidence of shock failure like oil leaking, the casing rusted away, etc., it's entirely possible the shocks are contributing to the issue. Sure, it's a great possibility that weak springs or overloading is the lions share of it, but how can you possibly say that the shocks can't be worn out? And what do worn out shocks do? Allow the tires to bounce and lose contact with the road causing tire wear. Customers come into the shop all the time and decline every recommendation I make, then when at 150K the trans isn't shifting right, the coolant is acidic, eating the radiator from the inside out, and toasting the water pump, they are driving a freaking bucket of bolts. Bottom line, if you can't or won't take care of a vehicle yourself then seek out a trustworthy shop and heed their advice. Yes, be very careful of shops that are out just to get into your pocket, but also be careful of internet forum know it alls diagnosing without seeing the car.
 

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LOL. The thing about the shocks is not that the OP does not need them. Yes he might. The thing is that the tire shops that also sell shocks will tell almost anybody that they need shocks. The shock manufacturers try to tell everyone you need new shocks every 50k miles.
Sales
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Sales
Does not always have much to do with efficient car repair and maintenance.
 

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LOL. The thing about the shocks is not that the OP does not need them. Yes he might. The thing is that the tire shops that also sell shocks will tell almost anybody that they need shocks. The shock manufacturers try to tell everyone you need new shocks every 50k miles.
Sales
Sales
Sales
Does not always have much to do with efficient car repair and maintenance.
Ageed, but blanket statements like "don't believe anything the guys in the tire shop tell you" obviously don't work, just like using the words always or never. I have "NEVER" recommended shocks simply based on miles and nobody at my shop does. We look for the signs of failed shocks like tire wear, oil leaking, rusted out casings, or severe bounce when checking the suspension. Yes, I realize many shops are not forthright and honest, but telling a member with a 250K van to not believe the tire shop if they recommend shocks isn't anymore responsible advice than the shop recommending shocks at 50K.
 

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Ageed, but blanket statements like "don't believe anything the guys in the tire shop tell you" obviously don't work, just like using the words always or never. I have "NEVER" recommended shocks simply based on miles and nobody at my shop does. We look for the signs of failed shocks like tire wear, oil leaking, rusted out casings, or severe bounce when checking the suspension. Yes, I realize many shops are not forthright and honest, but telling a member with a 250K van to not believe the tire shop if they recommend shocks isn't anymore responsible advice than the shop recommending shocks at 50K.
How are worn shocks causing the camber-in at the top problem?
He needs either airbags in the rear coil springs or custom heavy coil springs, or airbags and new coil springs.
Airbags (adjustable) for his Ody are around $100, I believe and would most likely solve his problem.'
I still have to check mine for that 'bushing' problem that oldskewel mentioned. I did just replace my Monroe Load Adjust ing Shocks with new ones. Old ones only lasted around 30k miles.
Buffalo4
PS: I now carry my beer supply (freshly bought and bringing home) in the front part of the Ody to cut down on the weight in the rear, thereby saving my rear tires.. :D :eek: :)
 

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How are worn shocks causing the camber-in at the top problem?
He needs either airbags in the rear coil springs or custom heavy coil springs, or airbags and new coil springs.
Airbags (adjustable) for his Ody are around $100, I believe and would most likely solve his problem.'
I still have to check mine for that 'bushing' problem that oldskewel mentioned. I did just replace my Monroe Load Adjust ing Shocks with new ones. Old ones only lasted around 30k miles.
Buffalo4
PS: I now carry my beer supply (freshly bought and bringing home) in the front part of the Ody to cut down on the weight in the rear, thereby saving my rear tires.. :D :eek: :)
LOL on the redistributing your beer supply to reduce tire wear. Reminds me of my younger days in SoCal, when, fearful of an impending earthquake, was sure to never stack the cases more than about 6 high before starting another stack. :ROFLMAO:🍻
 

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As per Buffalo4, I only got 6 months, 12K miles out of my Monroe load adjusting shocks, my 02 had a previous owner that towed a general contracting trailer and pretty sure loaded up the back end. I would go for new coil springs after 17 years of use.
 

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I hate to say it, but the Odyssey was not designed to be a work van carrying loads in the back all of the time. That said, I have loaded mine up the gills here and there with work stuff. I would definitely get the toe adjustment in the rear, which is all that can be done unless you buy the adjustable trailing arms which will allow you to adjust for camber. Not a bad way to go if you load it up all of the time. You should unload it, measure your ride height and also do a bounce test .... it would be a good first start to seeing what is up with the suspension.
 

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Thanks, I just had a complete set of new tires installed and am scheduled to have a 4 point alignment monday morning before work. I've owned this van for approximately 5 yrs. and i guess it's entering the money pit phaze old cars seem to go through at 250,000 miles or so. The engine still runs strong so I will deal with it. ( yes that's a knocking sound you hear.)
At 450K my 2002 Ody definitely requires regular attention. Nothing that I cannot handle. My yardstick is the amount of $ I would be spending on a loan for a new car vs. the amount that I put into a separate fund every months for repairs on the current vehicle. When the ratio exceeds 75% I consider another vehicle. So far, my Odys (I have 2) have not even come close to the loan cost of another vehicle.
As for your rear suspension problem. Springs, perhaps. Control arms, probably not as they are incredibly robust. Shocks, maybe because the rear shocks seem to be one of the weak links on my vans. How much of a load are you routinely carrying in the back of your van. If it is routinely heavy, air shocks may be a the cure.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all of your input everybody. It looks like I'm going to put new springs, airbags & shocks to start with. Altogether under 200.00. Just talked to the local Honda service rep today, n he told me to bring it in for a 10.00 alignment check, sure they have pretty comprehensive equipment. That'll tell me how well the other place did. They aligned it with weight on the ties on a lift. Can't remember the name of the system.
 
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