Have had the Speedster on the road about 5 months, with maybe 200 total miles on a set of three good used tires and one new tire. Noticed some excessive tread wear on the right front (passenger side) tire. After searching the forum and reading-up on the necessary adjustments and specs for camber, caster, and toe-in, I started taking some measurements. Camber and caster were good, but toe-in was 1.75" total.
I adjusted it today to 3/16". I'll be changing my right front tire soon as well. The photos show the results of the out-of-spec toe-in.
You were scrubbing away a lot of power too.
It is much harder to push a car with 1 3/4" of toe than it is at 1/8 to a quarter inch.
Too much toe will also make it skittish as one wheel or both are sliding sideways.
If you ride alone your weight will cause the driver's side to track while the empty/lighter passenger's side will be sliding, causing the lighter side to wear faster.
The more positive camber you have the more toe-in you need.
Wheels with zero front camber should have almost zero toe-in.
It is important to measure the toe at equal distances from the ground up.
Best measure the rear as high as you can right up against the frame and measure at the same height in front.
Thanks Aaron. I used the carpenter square method, scribing a center line on each tire while spinning, then a cross mark where I measured at the center of the hub. Then rolling the car, measured at the same mark at the rear at the same height. I also used a level against the square to Insure each measurement was plumb. Test drove after my final adjustment, and she drives great. No darting or hunting.
If this tire wear is due to improper toe-in, then why is just the right front tire worn? Why not both?
I have noticed a lot of T's with the right front worn more than the left. I was wondering if something more is going on.
The left side of the car is usually heavyer so the right tire will be more likely to slip.
You may have a bent axle. I had a very similar situation which wore only one tire. The car always pulled to one side, regardless of what I adjusted. Using a large square check that the pitch of the axle is the same. Place the square against the axle kingpin yoke. The pitch should be about 5/16 inch on both sides. Definitely they should be the same.
Dave, I had same issue with a roadster I bought for my son - except my toe-in was 5/8". Passenger side was bad and other side was worn evenly. I've since put thousands of miles on the new set after correcting it and they've worn evenly. So there's hope there's nothing else causing it.
Jack - I checked the castor at the pins, as you described. Both sides had a bit more than 5/16" but were equal. I think my axle is okay.
Also look closely for a bent spindle arm. It's a common culprit for lopsided wear.
One of my Model T gurus, who had an alignment shop most of his adult life, told me that too much toe-in will wear the right tire, while too little will wear the left one.
My wife's car tires are wearing like that as well. Guess I'd better check it.
It may just have been adjusted incorrectly. That is the drivers side wheel is aligned with the left rear wheel and the right is toed out excessively. It can all be on one side if done wrong and that appears to be the case here. The right is toed out causing the wear and the left is near correct. Toe must affect both wheels. Also it's best if the tires can move such as on a greased plate or turn table without the resistance of say the tires against a concrete floor. You must true up both front tires with their respective rear wheels using a long straight edge. Set the tire pressure correctly. Disconnect the tie rod. Center your steering wheel. Use the plates suggested. Align both fronts with the rears and set the same amount of toe on both fronts. (half the total called for on each wheel). Adjust the tie rod to fit the spindles without moving the wheels. Should be perfect. It ain't exactly easy but it works.
Toe-in with the way the T front end works you're always going to have an effect on both wheels. You can't change the toe-in on one and not the other. The only reason the tires wear differently is because of the weight of the driver on the left side of the car. That weight causes the left wheel to want to run true and it is then easier for the right wheel to slip/skid and thus wear a lot more.
Now, lol, if Dave were a tiny slip of a man and only weighed 140 lbs and his wife were a great big hefty woman of 250 lbs, and their T was only driven when both were in the car, I suspect you would see that the left side (diver's side) tire would be the one with the wear. Dave don't let your wife read the forum. =)
Conversely, maybe one of posters with a RHD T can chime in on having the same problem as Dave but with the opposite tire since the steering wheel is on the other side.
Correction: the passengers wheel is excessively toed in not out causing scrubbing on the outer edge.
Weight of the driver/passengers is being brought up. Toe-in is set to cause the wheels to run straight with the weight of a driver in place. In other words the manufacturer determines an average weight and the toe-in is determined from that. The wheels have to run straight when driving not toed in. If set with no toe-in they will splay out slightly when weight is applied. That's what toe-in is for. To straighten them when driving.
I'll lay you $5 a car used constantly in an over loaded condition will need more toe-in to prevent tire wear.
Seth: while Dave might have a bent spindle causing excessive positive camber/king pin inclination I'll stay with improper toe-in for now. If you set toe-in and the left wheel is straight and you toe-in only the right you've affected one wheel and not the other. You can have toe on one wheel while the other is straight. That's why you must disconnect the tie rod and align both fronts with the rears and go from there.
I'm confused Charlie - you got to be talking about something else. Assuming that camber and caster are equal on both sides, if you make the tie-rod (the fat one that links the spindles) longer on either end (on my Model T the tie rod is only adjustable on one side), that is creating more toe-in it's going to push the backside of both tires out an even amount. Maybe when you very first do it one tire will be more straight and the other more angled, but the second you start rolling the car forward the forces will equalize the tires. The only thing that changes this is when one side of the car is significantly heavier: it causes that side's tire to run more straight, forcing the other side to wear more. This is only really noticeable when there is way too much toe-in.
Now, are you talking about maybe something other than toe-in? I can see where you might get one side doing something weird by itself if the camber or caster are not equal on both sides.
By the way, Charlie, just want to throw this out there: I'm not mad, not upset, my feelings aren't hurt, and I hope I'm not doing or saying anything to offend you or anyone else, just trying to talk this through and get it straight. I hope I'm not coming across as a know-it-all or as typing in some sort of superior manner.
I thought I had this front end alignment stuff figured out but I could be completely clueless as to what I am talking about and I'm totally willing to accept that as well as the correct information.
The instructions for my '25 Dodge call for 3/16" toe-in which I did and it wasn't enough to keep the car going straight line.......it was stressful driving as it was a full time job keeping the car from wandering.
I gave it a bit more toe-in and it "straightened" out nicely.
Interestingly Dodge calls for up to a 1/2" on their heavy trucks!
If your car doesn't behave with your current setting adjust it one turn at a time until it acts as it should.
Are you kidding Seth? Nothing offensive about this discussion at all! All I'm trying to say is if you don't start from a "standard" you can't get the adjust right. Like the top picture shows you need to be sure the wheels are all aligned and make changes from there. Not just get under and crank the tie rod in & out. As to the camber/ king pin inclination business: He would get this kind of wear and how fast it happens depends of course on the damage. Assumption time: If he changed the setting and wore that tire out in say 100 miles he surely screwed up the setting on one side. He doesn't say it steered differently so apparently it tracked OK. (honestly, I believe some things bent).
All- thanks for all the input and comments. I appreciate and consider everything that is posted.
I did not experience any steering problems or any pull to either side prior to making the toe-in adjustment. When going down the road (straight, level) on smooth road, I could let go of the wheel and it wouldn't drift much, if any. After the adjustment, it feels a little steadier, but no significant change in steering behavior. I can maintain a very light touch on the wheel and it won't hunt, pull, wander, or drift. It seems to steer easily, and as it should.
Looking closely at the axle and spindles, I can't see any damage or bent sections with my eyes. Camber is equal in both wheels and within spec. Castor. while a bit more than spec, is also equal on both wheels, using the carpenter square method with a level against the side of the square to insure the square was plumb. If the axle or a spindle arm is bent, the "on-car" measurements don't show it. Not saying it's perfect, but I'm not seeing anything that would bear that out. I don't recall that my father had any similar issues with tread wear or any steering problems when we last had the car on the road in 1970s. I'm also sure the axle suffered no damage while in storage (for 35 years) or in restoration since then.
Given that the wear on the other three tires looks even and normal, that the camber and castor are good, and that the toe-in was so far out, I'm thinking (and hoping) that the excessive wear on the right front tire was largely due to the out of spec toe-in. I plan to change the tire and watch it closely to determine if the excessive wear continues. If so, I'll have to dig deeper to find the problem.
Thanks again to all for the assistance, knowledge, wisdom, and experience.
From a post above: "One of my Model T gurus, who had an alignment shop most of his adult life, told me that too much toe-in will wear the right tire, while too little will wear the left one."
He owned and operated an alignment shop for about 50 years, and he was an avid Model T'er. I don't know why anyone except me believes what he told me.
Mike, I do believe you. Your posts and others are a big part of why I feel that the out of spec toe-in was the cause of the tread wear I experienced. I read past threads as well, noting your relating of the knowledge that your friend provided. Please know that you are one of the folks I thank for your help.
Mike and I had the same Model T guru. One day he ran his finger over the treads of my right front Speedster tire and told me that I had to much toe in. So we measured it and he was right!
This is the condition he felt with his finger, the tread sections get worn more on one edge than the other, giving a "saw tooth" effect.