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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So starting to notice some uneven wear on my x500 front tires. Read a lot of threads about it regarding the camber and toe-in, but didn't really get the impression that folks were able to adjust anything to rectify the situation. It looks like the tie rods are adjustable, and appear to be a little different setting from left to right. While driving the front rims do not appear to be traveling in perfect alignment. I lifted up the front and there is not really any excessive play of the rim on the bearings or unusual wear, tire pressure is correctly set at 14#. So is it the camber (not adjustable?), toe-in (maybe adjustable??), a tire/mounting issue? Pics make every thread better so here are a few snaps. This machine has about 225 hrs of lawn mowing.
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PXL_20210720_172903548_LEFT.jpg
PXL_20210720_172930205_RIGHT.jpg
 

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Looks like toe adjustment which can cause edge wear. Also the tie rods aren't adjusted the same on both sides as you noted.


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There is an alignment procedure in the TSM. It basically says to measure the distance (center to center) of the tires front and back at axle level. There is a spec for allowable toe-in/out.

Measurements
LEGEND:
D Hub Height
E Draft Bracket
Measure the distance between the center of the tire at front of tire, hub height (D). Record measurement.
[5] - Measure the distance between the center of the tire at rear of tire, hub height. Record measurement.
Item Measurement Specification
Front Distance (D) should be Distance 5—25 mm (0.2—1.0 in.) less than the rear distance
[6] - Measure the distance at hub height between the inside of the tire (sidewall) to the draft bracket (E) at the front of the tire.
Record measurement.


It also says the distance to the frame on each side should be the same. You have to do this on level ground with the wheels down.

I would check to see where in the range yours are. I set the rear wheels on my X534 to have more toe-in to make it more stable when I want to go straight.
 

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Keep it simple on setting the front. Set the front tires to a max of 0° to 1/8° inch total toe in. That will help knock a little of the positive camber out along with removing excessive scuffing. And make sure you're not above 14psi on the front tires. Your tractor will track just fine with this range.
 

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you want slight toe-in, and it's adjustable.
camber is not adjustable.

Don't measure the thread on the link as a reference, because that thread is there for a reason - to adjust.... meaning it will never be equal left to right.... if they could build the tractor to be that equal, you wouldn't need an adjustment thread in the first place - it would just be a fixed link...

Your tires are too toed in, and it looks like you do a lot of tight turns on pavement... it will wear your tires... how many hours on the tractor?
 

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There is a spot where you can put a bolt that is where the center of the steering sector range is. Use that to make sure the steering really is centered and then adjust the toe-in and make sure distance to frame is the same (to make sure the wheels are pointed forward when at the center of the available range).

225 hours could be as much as 10 years, or as little as a few years old. If your tires are more than 6 years old, I would get new ones. The rears on my X534 were probably double that, but still had tread and hold air. The new ones are much stickier, a good thing. Rubber gets old. For cars, they say replace at 6 years. You could go double that on a mower and still be okay. But, new ones do work better.

It is still a good idea to check and adjust the toe-in, since you won't want new tires worn prematurely.
 

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That is a lot of tire pressure for no more than that tractor weights. Don't confuse transport pressure with in use pressure. My GT runs with 8 up front and 10 in the rear. Weights 400 more pounds and capable of carry twice the weight of you x500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just double checked tire pressure and it's spot on 14#. it has 225 hrs and it is a 2015 machine. and yes i'm planning on putting new tires on and want to make sure they don't abnormally wear. @Frogmore is that location for the bolt on the steering rack underneath? so general consensus is there it's overly toed-in?

I bought this used a couple of weeks ago while I fix the trans on the other x500 so you can never be sure how it was actually used. The other x500 I have which has more hours and is a 2009 has perfect treadwear on the front tires (albeit they are starting to crack/dry rot.
 

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you want slight toe-in, and it's adjustable.
camber is not adjustable.
While the camber angle by itself is not adjustable, due to the front geometry of the spindle assembly, if you remove some toe in angle, the camber angle will be knocked down a touch automatically.
 

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My method for checking toe in is raise the tire just off the ground enough you can spin the tire.
Now take a block or something solid and place close to the tire.
Then take a sharp scratch awl, sharp nail, piece of heavy wire with a point on it laying on the block to steady it and rotate to tire to scratch a line on the tire near the center of the tire on top of a row of tread blocks.
Once you have a line all the way around the tire, let that one down and repeat on the other tire.
Now measure the distance between the lines on the front of the tire and the back of the tire.

Much better process than measuring wheels, sidewalls and rims that may have run out + or - that affects your measurements.
The only bad thing about my method, it will probably take two people.
I always like to hold the 1 or 2 inch mark exactly on the line so you get a better measurement.
 

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The TSM specifically says NOT to measure the wheels off the ground. That is because the weight of the machine changes the angles. But, there is a wide tolerance for acceptable in toe in/out, so doing it your way could give okay results.
 

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Simple method. A straight edge that is long enough to span from the rear sidewall of the rear tire to the front sidewall of the front tire will show the extent of toe in or toe out at a glance when applied to both sides without moving the wheels. If your Mark I eyeball is a good enough measuring device, the correction can be made with just the wrenches to adjust the tie rod. No other tools or measuring devices required unless the front axle track is narrower than the rear axle track, as it is on my MF1655.

If you take the time to center the steering wheel, it will even indicate which tie rod needs to be adjusted. Normal adjustment is 1/16" - 1/8" toe in.

I have to adjust the toe in for my LT several times each summer due to weak steering arms. After 14 years, the front tires are bald except on the inside edge. Normal camber places most of the load on the outside edge of a tire when there is too much toe out.
 

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Way too much air pressure. They look like motocycle tires, lol.
Let some air out, check the toe - in, adjust if need be.
Let some air out, that's the biggest issue.
 

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My method of choice is kinda like tudors, i first set the steering as close to straight as i can ( if theres a bolt on the x5's use that). Then i strap a level thats long enough on one tire horizontally then i go the the other side and either hold up another level against tire like other side(sometimes strapped too) the measure the front to back difference with a tape measure and adjust each tie rod, also watching to make sure one or the other tire isnt out more than the other(watching back tires help or stringing too). It takes some time and practice but ive aligned mowers, atv's and evan older vehicles that aren't worth the money to take in to alignment shop. The books all say you want some toe in to help the vehicle track straight 1/16 to 3/16 (some more) but i have good tracking and wear dead evan or 0. Really isnt much to set for camber or caster on mowers. I'm sure theres other ways that will work but ive had good results on small equipment this way.
 

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i made a qiuck alignment setup by cutting 2 pieces of lightweight 1x1" aluminum square tubing had kicking around that fit in the rim, at the outer edge to edge. then I riveted 2 longer pieces of alum. square tubing to the shorter pieces... those longer pieces stick out front of the tractor, and clear the tire bulge.
I bungee cord the 2 assemblies to the rims, along the centerline (ie not offset towards the top or bottom of the rim), and by using the rim instead of the tire, I eliminate any tire-bulging effects that will guaranteed throw off the measurement in a major way. Placing anything against the tire is bad news because tire sidewalls are never even...
I use a small level to make sure the assemblies are level to the ground as well... so they are "on the same plane"

Then I measure the distance between the 2 longer tubing sections that stick out the front of the tractor, in 2 locations... and the locations are apart, an equal distance to the diameter of the wheel..... the difference in measurement tells me toe-in/out with supreme ease.

In fact I made the same setup to do adjustments on my car... but instead of long aluminum tubing that sticks out the front, I use a laser-level that projects a laser beam ahead... Works like a charm.
 

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I started with my tape measure. Put back of tape measure against the front edge of a rim and extend blade. Snug blade lock and raise/lower blade. If it just touches rim on other side, lock blade tight. Move tape measure to back of rims. It should fit with 1/8" clearance. Adjust tie rod to suit but check distance again in the front of rims... adjusting tie rod changes this too!

Once toe-in was set where I wanted it, I found a piece of scrap wood, about 1"x3/4" actual measurement, and cut the length to just fit between the front of the rims. I happened to have some scrap pieces of plexi too, 1/16" & 1/8" thick. When the "measuring stick" just fits between the front of the, I check in between the back of the rims...the 1/16" plexi should slide in loosely and the 1/8" plexi should not! A 7/16" hole in the plexi pieces, a short screw in my "measuring stick" and everything is stored together! Bob
 

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To much air pressure will cause this issue as well as will hanging a tight corner at a high speed ...adjust the air pressure to 8 in the front and check the toe in and tow out
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and procedures. Rough measurements would indicate there is about .25" of toe OUT. The tires probably appear over inflated from the angle of the camera, but they are set to the specified spec. I need to drop the mower deck to out on some new blades and then will mess with the alignment. Will report back.
 

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High tire pressure causes wear in the center of the tire tread, not the outside edge. Wear to both outside edges indicates low tire pressure. Wear to one outside edge indicates alignment issues. Most people slow down for 90° corners with top heavy tractors.

I learned this in high school auto shop 60 years ago, and have noticed the same several times in practice since.

High speed turns for an LT are 5.5 mph, and for a GT close to 10 mph, and usually occur on grass for very short travel distances which is not going to scrub off significant rubber. Misalignment places a constant scrubbing action on tires which, even on grass, will eventually show as wear. The heaviest component on an LT is the operator whose center of mass is well above the CofG of the tractor. While GTs have heavier components, the operator's mass is still higher than the tractor;s CofG and high speed turns tend to make for an uncomfortable ride with the operator hanging onto the steering wheel for dear life.

Also, the front axle pivots keeping both front tires flat on the ground. Any sustained lateral forces will show as wear on the sides of the front tires towards the outside of the turn similar to, but not the same as, the wear pattern that shows from low pressure.
 
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