Rear wheel suspensions

Tiny
JERMAINE BUTLER
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 JEEP PATRIOT
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
My vehicle's wheels are bowing out at the bottom some people said it is the struts. Can that actually cause the wheels to do that?
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Thursday, August 24th, 2017 AT 4:36 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Absolutely not. With the more common strut design used on the front, it is true "camber" will be affected if that strut is bent. You have a different design in the rear. Your strut is a giant shock absorber with the coil spring around it to set the ride height. Your strut has nothing to do with the suspension geometry or holding the wheel in alignment.

Your Jeep calls for minus 0.70 degrees camber, meaning the wheel is tilted in on top about three quarters of a degree. (Straight up and down is 0.00 degrees, and 90.0 degrees would mean the wheel is laying flat on its side). Negative camber is usually specified when good cornering is preferred over good tire wear. You also have to consider the angle changes that take place when the suspension travels up and down. As it does, the wheel moves in and out on top a little. Often the engineers factor those changes in when determining where they want camber to be adjusted to.

-0.70 degrees is not excessive, and should not really be that noticeable. If you have even more negative camber that it is easy to see, you can also expect to see accelerated wear on the inner edges of the tire. When you have the vehicle aligned, ask if they will make you a printout to include the "Before" and "After" readings. If the "before" camber readings do show it was excessive, the causes can include bent control arms, but more commonly sagged ride height, a slipped adjustment, or it was just set incorrectly previously. Sagged ride height is caused by weak springs, and that is an issue of years, not mileage.
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Thursday, August 24th, 2017 AT 7:56 PM

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