97SE Tires "cupping" -struts? Something else? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-19-2004, 07:43 PM   #1
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Default 97SE Tires "cupping" -struts? Something else?

About two years ago I got new Dunlop Sport A2 tires for my Bonny. I had an alignment performed at that time. The tires came with lifetime rotation and balancing. 10,000 miles and a year later, I had them balanced and rotated, and another alignment. Tire dealer noted the tires were "cupping" a little bit. Said the alignment and balancing should help fix that. 10,000 miles and a year later, I had them balanced and rotated and got a free 1-year realignment. Tire dealer noted the tires are still "cupping" in their wear pattern. Each time I had it aligned it was found to be out a bit, and was corrected.

They tell me that the cupping wear indicates a weak suspension and that I should get all new struts. My Bonny currently has 71,000 miles and has the original struts.

My question: Do we know that cupping is definitely struts? I asked for a quote on new struts and it was over $800. I don't want to just blindly trust them, because they also wrote on the report that my serpentine belt is cracking and that I needed an oil change, and I just had my dealer change the oil 5 days prior (and I get regular changes every 3000 to 5000 miles), and the serpentine belt was listed OK on my dealer'* 10-point inspection, and besides, they replaced it back at 45,000 miles anyway.

Can other parts be responsible for cupping? Ball joints? Tie rods? Even if I do need struts, are the Monroe struts that tire dealers use any good, or do you guys recommend something better?

-Mark
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:31 PM   #2
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Cupping... the way I've heard that describe a tire would mean you're putting too much air in the tires...
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Cupping is usually caused by an unbalanced tire condition, faulty wheel bearings, loose parts, damaged springs or shock absorbers. Bring your Bimmer to the dealer or certified mechanic for a check up.
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Old 07-19-2004, 09:02 PM   #4
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There we go. Run her over to a different shop for a second opinion.
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Old 07-19-2004, 09:22 PM   #5
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Cupping is a symtom of weak struts or shocks. So is out of balance tires or over inflated.

Does the car seem to float or bounce excessively when hitting bumps on the highway?

You can check them by bouncing the front end (or rear) by hand and noting how much it bounces. I generally go by the 3 rule. If it bounces 3 or more time on its own then they may be bad. Have a look at them, are they wet around the boots (bottom)? That is an indication of a blown strut.

As said before, check the basics: air pressure and loose front end parts.

Check this site:
http://www.speedy.com/speedy2001/ser...arnsigns.shtml
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:06 PM   #6
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and don't pay 800 bucks for new struts either...
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:10 PM   #7
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strut mounts also can take into play and since i bought some stuts from napa (MY JOB)
they costed me 125 for all 4 and they r the new monroe reflex
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Old 07-20-2004, 08:12 PM   #8
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Okay, thanks for all the tips. How hard is it to replace the struts on one'* own? I'm good with the tools, but I don't want to risk getting killed by suspension springs or something. Any tips or things I should beware of if I want to do it myself?

Thanks again!
-Mark
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:04 PM   #9
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Just spring compressors and a breaker bar, sockets and rachet. Vise would come in handy if you can't find a helper.

You'll want to do one end of the car at a time, so a pair of jackstands.

Front:
break the lugs
Jack her up
jackstands to hold her up
pull the tires
apply spring compressors
two big a** bolts at the bottom of the strut
three bolts at the top
pull out the strut
pop off the nut on the top of the strut
put it back together

Rear:
break the lugs
Jack her up
jackstands to hold her up
pull the tires
apply spring compressors
two big a** bolts at the bottom of the strut
two bolts at the top
pull out the strut
put it back together

Go get a four wheel alignment done.

That and the usual "If you do something really dumb like pop the top strut nut off without the spring compressed just to see how far it can shoot the nut and your rachet (and get more than my 75ish feet) then we're not liable and all of that"
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennginn
strut mounts also can take into play and since i bought some stuts from napa (MY JOB)
they costed me 125 for all 4 and they r the new monroe reflex
Did you go with monroe struts all the way around. I did mine a year and a half ago with the NAPA cheap and cheerful and they are noisy and bouncy already. It pays for some things to go with the better ones. Let me know how they are.
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