1st Gen R53 Cooper S Rear tires wearing on inside edge

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by 2003 mini, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. 2003 mini

    2003 mini New Member

    Jan 22, 2013
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    I have a 2003 Mini S. The inside edge of the rears tires are wearing much faster than the outside edge. When looking at the tires from directly behind the car both tires look to be angled in at the top. I can jack the back of the car up and this angle seems to change in relation to the car due to ride height and it looks like the tires would wear more evenly. The rear suspension has two long control arms that seem like they would prevent that angle from changing, much anyway. Can the rear tires be adjusted like the front, which I couldn't see any adjustments for other than toe in.
     
  2. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    Are you suspension bushing in good order?
     
  3. Nelzie

    Nelzie New Member

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    From what I have read in numerous places, the problem you are experiencing is worn out bushings in your suspension. There's a couple of things you can have popped in there, OEM bushings, which will last between 40k and 50k miles or aftermarket bushings that I understand are good for the life of the car and provide a tighter feel in the steering by having less squishiness to them.

    I understand that the parts and installation costs are very similar regardless of whether you go with OEM or aftermarket. If it was me, I would go aftermarket.
     
  4. 2003 mini

    2003 mini New Member

    Jan 22, 2013
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    The bushings on my car look ok. I am unable to get any movement out of either wheel that would indicate loose or worn bushings. The hole in the arms that the bushings go in seem to be centered around the bolt through the middle of the bushing. I have checked for looseness with the wheels on the ground and jacked up, either way there is a lot of pressure on the bushings to overcome by hand, so it's hard for me to say if there is play in them.
     
  5. 2003 mini

    2003 mini New Member

    Jan 22, 2013
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    Thanks Nelzie, I will look into that possibility. The car does have 83,000 miles on it.
     
  6. 2003 mini

    2003 mini New Member

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    Thanks Metalman.
     
  7. Friskie

    Friskie Well-Known Member

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    One of the things that makes MINIs so much more fun on the twisties is the way they are set up. There is negative camber built in to the rear suspension. What you are seeing is normal. The way to mitigate uneven wear on a set of tires is to rotate them regularly. Most of those that do, do so around 5K miles. If you are concerned, have an alignment shop check the setup on all 4 corners, they should do that for a pittance. I'll bet you will find everything as it should be. Also, if you are running high performance tires, they will wear faster than others too. Get all that checked out before you spend bucks on something you may not need. Or spend it on something just because you want to. MINIs are quirky and invite you-a-fication.
     
  8. sethat46

    sethat46 Well-Known Member

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    After market rear control arms with an alignment should fix the negative camber.
     
  9. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    A proper alignment will also correct the issue.
     
  10. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
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    The stock suspension set up is designed in such a way so as to enhance the car's handling through negative camber. It will and/or can be set more-so if the lower arms are adjustable. I agree the alignment should be checked for overall piece of mind. Just be sure the technician knows 4-wheel alignment well enough so as not to take away from the designed handling ability.
     
  11. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    Does the car have lowering springs installed?
     
  12. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Are you running runflat tires? If so, are you sure you have always had them fully inflated? How often do you check your air pressure?

    Runflats tend to "look" like they're not under inflated, even when they are.
    If they're driven under inflated, the stiff sidewalls + negative camber causes the inside edge to wear out FAST. This may not be your problem... But I've seen it before.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Nelzie

    Nelzie New Member

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    I have never had any issues with the inside wearing out faster than any other portion of my tires. On my 2008 Clubman or on my current 2012 Cooper S. I also have as much negative camber in the alignment as is possible without modifying the suspension so that I can stay in the "Stock" Class for autocross events.

    I'm gong to stick to suggesting having those bushings reviewed by a reputable shop.
     
  14. 2003 mini

    2003 mini New Member

    Jan 22, 2013
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    You have as much negative camber as possible in the alignment, how do you adjust that on the rear, aftermarket link bars? I will look at my car using all of the suggestions I have received and see what I find. Thanks to all
     
  15. Jason Montague

    Jason Montague New Member
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    #15 Jason Montague, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    :cornut: There is a small amount of adjustment in the factory rear end. The MINI new comes with negative camber in the rear standard.:Thumbsup:

    Jason
     
  16. Nelzie

    Nelzie New Member

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    I'm driving an R56, you can get negative camber in the front and rear with the factory suspension.
     
  17. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I'm assuming that 2003 mini is driving a 2003 MINI. There is no camber adjustment front or rear on a 2003. That changed in 2005 when I believe you could get maybe 1/2 degree camber out of the rear. So the only way to get camber out of the rear would be a set of adjustable lower arms.

    Not seeing what the tires look like it is hard to say what is causing the wear problem. Camber yes that could be part or all of it. Could be the rear toe is not correct & that would also cause an odd wear pattern on the rear tires. A picture of your rear tires would help 2003 mini.
     
  18. BlimeyCabrio

    BlimeyCabrio Oscar Goldman of MINIs
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    Toe or inflation are most likely culprits. Toe could be just in need of alignment, or could be caused by depleted bushings in either trailing arm joint or the control arms. While REALLY worn out bushings can result in ability to wiggle the wheel when lifted, that's not always the case.
     
  19. jasonsmf

    jasonsmf Active Member

    Jun 12, 2009
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    X2 on Toe.... Most every MINI I've checked has way too much rear toe in, along with funky wear on the inside edge. Adjusting the rear to about 1/16" total toe in seems to be a great street/performance alignment setting that is easy on the tires, even when running a healthy amount of negative camber.


    Jason

     
  20. 2003 mini

    2003 mini New Member

    Jan 22, 2013
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    #20 2003 mini, Feb 12, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
    I do have 2003 Mini S. It does have run flats on it. The tires are also very noisy, I verified this by putting them on the front. The tires on front don't make a sound that I can hear from inside the car. The inside edge tread blocks are cupped. I will post a picture as soon as possible.
    I bought the car used so I don't know for sure if it has lowering springs. When I bought the car I checked the air pressure in all of the tires and they were all under inflated, just 20lb's of pressure, and as mentioned, they didn't look under inflated.
     

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