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So, rotated my tires a couple weeks ago, and had BAD vibration and noise. Figured I was in need of an alignment, but the folks told me at Merchant that my tires were cupped. What was worse was that the tires I put in the back, had also began to cup, so it's definitely the rear doing something. I read a few threads from searching and people mentioned rear TOE, but never really saw a conclusion to those threads, i.e. coming back 3 months later after having the toe fixed and the cupping went away. The general consensus by googling is that it is bad suspension, moreso than alignment.

So which is it? I realize I have to invest in new tires, the vibration and noise over 65mph is annoying, but I don't want to destroy any more tires. Anyone with a before-and-after story? BTW, I'm still running stock suspension, RX8 wheels, 235/40/18 tires...
 

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i would suspect shocks are nfg with cupping in the rear, especially since the ms3 is known to have poor rear dampers that often fail prematurely....
 

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toe is going to cause even wear around the circumference. cupping is caused by the tire bouncing on the pavement (intermittent contact), i think.
 

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theres a lot of things that it could be:

-excessive rear toe COULD cause cupping, although its unlikely. As others have stated, toe would more than likely cause constant wear around the perimeter, but depending on the tread pattern, could cause cupping instead

-worn shock asborbers could definitely cause it

-worn rear trailing arm bushings; this could cause the care to toe out under cornering loads, but not show up as an alignment issue

-poor tire balance

-lack of tire rotation (this isn't really a cause, but properly rotating the tires can help disguise any of the issues above).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
[quote author=bearda link=topic=163953.msg3477448#msg3477448 date=1262282489]
Did Merchant actually check the alignment?
[/quote]

Nope, never did, he said no point in making money off of me for something that wouldn't do the trick.

Just amazes me how I couldn't tell any other way my shocks were shot except cupping. No wander, no excessive bouncing...
 

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How often did you rotate these tires? I worked in a tire shop for 6-7 years, and would say most people don't rotate their tires enough. On FWD cars, this almost always seems to induce a cupping problem (on the rear). The next biggest cause would be the dampers. As a rule, I rotate my tires at every oil change, but even if one is not so inclined, I would still suggest 5K rotations MAX.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I admit to not rotating them very often, but the tires I had in front, I put to the rear and after 2 weeks, I already see signs of cupping!

I read on some BMW forums how they don't even bother, it is somewhat inherent to some models that they will have some cupping. Due to the design/aggressiveness of the suspension? I dunno, but until I can afford to replace the suspension, I'm gonna have to buy 2 new tires, put these (which are starting to even out a little, not as much vibration as at first) back in the back, and then not buy any more until I can buy suspension components. I was thinking Koni's, but down the road I want to lower an inch, so the debate is - by the time I get lowering springs and Koni's, might as well just buy coilovers.

General consensus is that the tires are not "damaged" to the point where they are dangerous to drive on, just annoying....
 

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any solve on this?

I just got new rear tires put on and the old ones were cupped. The tire guy said that the struts were bad... do we even have struts on the rear of our car? I'd like to get this fixed before cupping occurs on my brand new tire.
 

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ordered new monroe shocks last week from Just Suspension. paid $56 for a set and shipping was $11 (found a code for a 5% discount on google). they haven't shipped yet but i'll hopefully get em by the end of the week and install em this weekend. ill put together a walkthrough on the install too. hopefully in 3mos i'll be able to report that the cupping is gone...
 

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Really wish there was a better conclusive answer.

My RSA's were noted to be cupping after the second time the original rears were put on the front at 15000. It was the tire noise that called my attention to it. When I rubbed my hand over the tire tread, I could feel the cups. At that point, I started looking on here for ideas. It seemed the strongest answer was rear toe. When you look at the car from the back, it seems to me the tires do lean out a little at the bottom, which I think would cause inside edge wear.

They have been rotated at every 5k interval. At 30k, I have ordered new tires. The tread is about done anyway, but I'm sick of the noise. After that 15k rotate, I had the two worst on the front rebalanced. That helped some on steering wheel minor vibrate/shake, but didn't reduce the noise or cupping.

It seemed somehow unreasonable to think shocks were bad prior to 15k miles to have caused it, for a new car that has basically only good highway miles on it.

I think the wear problem has occurred on the back of the car though. I am having it realigned when the new tires get installed in a couple weeks.
 

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toe is going to give more of a feathering effect, rather than cupping. cupping is usually associated with bad wheel bearings or shocks that are going/are bad. check those two parts on the car. quick check for wheel bearings is to raise wheel off the ground, and try to wiggle the wheel toward and away from the car. not 100%, but usually indicates 80%-ish of bad bearings. the shocks are a bit harder to tell, especially since you have probably progressively became use to the way they feel in a bad state.
 

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The picture a couple posts above does not include my tire wear issue.

http://www.aa1car.com/library/tire_wear.htm - shows an illustration of cupping like I have had.

For now, though, I hope I'm fixed. I got my new tires put on last Thursday. The alignment notes - corrected the toe to Mazda specs on both front and back.

It was so blissfully quiet as I went down the freeway with my new tires. (Kumho Ecsta Platinum LX BTW) I pushed it up to 110, and quiet and smooth all the way. Thank heavens I didn't see the trooper until a few miles farther on !
 

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another potential culprit, if you have feathering along just the inside edge of the front tires, it could be your front control arm bushings. I had mine go bad, causing the car to toe out under load and lead to a cupping effect on the front tires. They are fluid filled bushings, so they can fail without anything catastrohpic happening.
 

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i will second rubyred3

one of my front lower control arm bushings was toast. i've had bad cupping for two sets of tires now, but i am lowered with a few other modifications so i had to take some thing into account.

i decided to replace all the struts with konis.

i replaced both front lower control arms, thereby providing new balljoints and bushings

i also replaced my camber links which i was told were seized, either way, we will see
 

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if you had lots of neg camber with toe being off spec along with spirited driving, this could cause the insides of the tires to seriously wear while the outsides stay treaded.

if i were u i'd still would have checked alignment.
 

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Does anyone one know if replacing the shocks solved the cupping on the inside of the rear tire? Mine is cupping not feathering. When tight cornering at low speed hear thumping like sound and hum at higher speeds (typically alignment or tire issue). I was most curious if member "veteran011" who replaced his, bearing in mind that all he planned to do was replace shocks, not make several adjustments including shocks, alignment, lateral link replacement and or tires. I was going to replace lateral link, took them off but don't think they are "worn out". However, the two bolts showed some wear and seemed to have more play than what I would think they should have. Mazda technician said bolts and links ok when he looked at them. We put old bolts in new lateral link and there was essentially the same amount of play and inner rubber of link is ok, which would indicate that the original lateral link is ok. I may get the dealer to order in two bolts to compare. The play in the two bolt connections to me would be equal to a half degree change in the bottom camber adjustment arm. Dealer said they never replace lateral links or bolts. I Also checked shocks, shock mounts, bearing and other joints and they seem ok. So I put old link and bolts on and now plan to have alignment checked.
 

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Does anyone one know if replacing the shocks solved the cupping on the inside of the rear tire? Mine is cupping not feathering. When tight cornering at low speed hear thumping like sound and hum at higher speeds (typically alignment or tire issue). I was most curious if member "veteran011" who replaced his, bearing in mind that all he planned to do was replace shocks, not make several adjustments including shocks, alignment, lateral link replacement and or tires. I was going to replace lateral link, took them off but don't think they are "worn out". However, the two bolts showed some wear and seemed to have more play than what I would think they should have. Mazda technician said bolts and links ok when he looked at them. We put old bolts in new lateral link and there was essentially the same amount of play and inner rubber of link is ok, which would indicate that the original lateral link is ok. I may get the dealer to order in two bolts to compare. The play in the two bolt connections to me would be equal to a half degree change in the bottom camber adjustment arm. Dealer said they never replace lateral links or bolts. I Also checked shocks, shock mounts, bearing and other joints and they seem ok. So I put old link and bolts on and now plan to have alignment checked.
No, changing shocks will not have any effect at all.
 

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I completely solved the rear cupping on my 2007 hatch by setting rear toe to zero, after ballasting the car on the rack for our combined weight. Frankly, I was surprised it worked, but it's fine now.
 
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