Uneven tire wear, rotation

Did a quick inspection and tire fill this evening and happened to notice that the drivers side front tire was substantially more worn on the inside half of the tire than the outside. The outer 1/2 of the tread looked like new, the inner half was worn at least half down. The tires are new (replace when I first started taking care of the car 2 1/2 years ago - probably put 500 miles of driving on them.

Tires are vreds.

My immediate action was to swap left front with right front figuring that I would balance the wear. In reading the rather extensive threads on this, sounds like I would have been better to swap the drivers side front with drivers side rear.

So… short term rotate with the drivers side rear but longer term, what the heck is going on and how easy it is to fix - need to bring to a shop?


Toe out would cause that but would also likely cause squirrelly handling that you would have noticed.

The other aspects of front geometry (caster & camber) also come into play. All can be done at home and considering the cost of having them done properly that is where mine got done.

At the very least a competent and trustworthy alignment shop should be able to give you the numbers all around and then you’ll know.

Of course air pressure and suspension components all have to be correct or there is no point in pursuing alignment.

Rub your hand across the tread. If you feel a raised edge in the tread in one direction but not the other it’s toe in/out wear. If not it’s camber caused by bad adjustment or worn parts. Of course toe wear can also be caused by worn parts but would probably be a tie rod issue.

Your front wheel alignment is wrong. Trying to guess what it is based on looking at the tyre may be fun but as you’re going to have to fix it it’s moot.

Take it to a professional and get it measured and fixed. That tyre is toast; if it were mine I’d bin and replace it.

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Thanks all. Since the other tires are in good shape the prospect of replacing one isn’t too bad.

Looking back at my notes it turns out that since Sept 2017 I’ve driven 2,800 miles - which I think is pretty good :slight_smile:


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I replaced the tie rods on my '67, car handled well but showed significant wear on inner tread after about 1000 miles. Advice from my E-Type expert (T. Lippincott) pointed to incorrect toe alignment, so I purchased this simple tool: JEGS Toe Plates (Google it for website). Of course you can make these, but buying the kit for around $50 seemed pretty reasonable, and easily solved the problem.

Doing your own wheel alignment is actually easy and fun, and I do all my cars myself. For one thing I get more accurate and repeatable measurements.

You need some string and a camber castor bubble gauge which is easy to make. You need to get your head around exactly what castor is and how you measure it, but once you understand the process it’s easy.

If you want to have a go look at this.


Good read. Thanks for that


  1. Replaced the driver’s side front wheel bearing and then took it to my long time mechanic (who luckily for me enjoys working on classic cars and has restored an e type) for alignment.

1.5 degree toe out, negative camber.

He added a couple of shims and brought the alignment back to factory specs and I replaced the tire.

Results? Took her out for a high(er) speed drive and at 75mph she felt rock solid…

Alignment made a big difference.


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I’d imagine it really felt squirrelly with that kind of toe out.

Are you running radial tires? I’ve been told you want some negative camber, say - -0.25 to -0.5 degrees for radial tires

I think we left it slightly negative as recommended.

It makes a massive difference at speed - and hopefully tire life :slight_smile:

With a stock E, it’s impossible to get too much negative camber.

Do you mean the suspension geometry prohibits dialing in an excessive amount or that more is always better than less? I’ve been told, more than once, that for the street -0.5 is about the maximum you want.

Only so much can be dialed in.

Wherever space and time interact, there is information, and wherever information can be ordered into knowledge, and knowledge can be applied, there is intelligence.
Pavel Mirsky, mid 21st Century Russian General

Even if you take out all the shims you may still have some positive camber - just the way the car is built. My usual advice is to take out all the shims - measure camber, and only add shims to the side with the least positive/most negative reading to make it equal to the unshimmed side. The recommended camber for the rears is 3/4 degree negative, so you can do as much in the front -1/2 to 3/4 seems ideal. Radials in theory can go to 3 degrees negative, but IME you will get unacceptable inner tire wear at the higher levels.

When I set mine I recall reading some threads wherein others modified the mount (removed material) to get more negative camber than the stock part would allow.

I was only able to get a bit more than 1/8° negative on the drivers side with no shims so I settled for that & matched it on the passenger side.

With the way the suspension adjusts, it’s difficult to get more than .5: I’ve run as much as a degree negative, on street cars where I could, and with radials, saw no real increase in inner edge wear.

In those cases, I wanted better cornering, and wasn’t worried about wear.

The problem is with the rear mount, where you can’t shave anything off the frame. You can shave a small amount off the bushing holder to get it closer to the frame, 1/8" max as I recall, but other wise you need to create a new bushing holder out of a block of aluminum. I could send photos if I could figure out how to do it - send the photos that is.

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