and gain access to Reviews and Discussion of the 2016 and 2017 Ford Explorer Tech Tips, How to Articles, Off-Road Modifications and Events, Street Truck Mods and Events, and much more! Since 1996 our community has covered every aspect of the Ford Explorer, Ford Ranger and all vehicles based on this platform.

Register Today It's free! This box will disappear once registered!

Car pulls left when steering wheel is straight

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by halfbakedj14, August 21, 2012.

  • Searches ExplorerForum.com
    1. halfbakedj14

      halfbakedj14 New Member

      Joined:
      April 13, 2010
      Messages:
      43
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      96 explorer
      I finished doing a bunch of front end work, lower ball joints/upper control arms, shocks. I noticed after I was done that when I have my steering wheel dead straight my car pulls to the left, when I let go of the steering wheel the car pulls right. I have to hold the steering wheel in about between the 12 & 1 o'clock position for the car to drive straight. I took it in for a front end alignment today and it didn't seem to fix it at all.

      Before I call the alignment shop pissed off is there something I can do to remedy this? I'm thinking maybe it was something I did when doing all the work that an alignment might not fix.
       
      Last edited: August 21, 2012
    2. Support EF


      Join the Elite Explorers for $20 a year

      Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, add your own profile photo, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



      to hide adverts.
    3. Runnin'OnEmpty

      Runnin'OnEmpty Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      July 20, 2002
      Messages:
      1,880
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      46
      City, State:
      Southeast USA
      Year and Model:
      2000 Sport
      You need to shorten your left tie rod end, and
      lengthen the right one by the same amount.
      This will straighten your steering wheel.

      This is very easy to do: Just mark the tie rod ends
      where they're at, loosen the lock nuts and turn the
      tie rods. I'd start with 1/2 turn if the steering wheel
      isn't off by much. If you keep the turns exactly equal
      on both sides, the alignment won't be affected.
       
    4. deweyville65

      deweyville65 Active Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2012
      Messages:
      724
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Dewey,Az
      Year and Model:
      96 EXPLORER XLT
      A good alignment shop will set the toe in while centering the steering wheel. As runnin on empty said, turn the outer tie rod ends to center the wheel, at the same time use a tape measure and a friend to set the toe in. I like to use about 3/32 to 1/8" measured about 8-10" off the ground. With new suspension components, you can try 1/16" to 3/32"
       
    5. halfbakedj14

      halfbakedj14 New Member

      Joined:
      April 13, 2010
      Messages:
      43
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      96 explorer
      Thanks I’ll give that a try but before I do could you explain a little more exactly I need to do? I just want to make sure I know exactly what to do so I don’t #### anything else up. Like if I’m standing in front on my car which direction to turn each side etc and do I need to make sure the steering wheel is completely straight before I do this? Thanks!
       
    6. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      October 13, 2010
      Messages:
      1,064
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Illinois
      Year and Model:
      98 LTD, 00 XLT
      Take it back to the shop before anything else. You don't want them to refuse to fix their mistake because you fiddled with it.
       
    7. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      October 13, 2010
      Messages:
      1,064
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Illinois
      Year and Model:
      98 LTD, 00 XLT
      For future reference, setting the toe alignment is not terribly difficult after replacing front end parts. The rear axle is not adjustable, so you basically need to line up the fronts parrallel to the rear. Assuming you have matching set of tires and standard factory axles so the width of front and rear axles are the same then you can use the string method. The basic idea is to run a plumb line from the rear to front of the truck with the line running across the middle of the tires on each side. Be carefull not to make contact with any bodywork or running boards. Then simply adjusting the tie rod ends until the tight line just touches the sidewalls at 4 locations (front and back of each tire) will give you a dead straight alignment. Add a quarter turn in on both sides to track true back to center (end result is about 1/16 toe in on each side).

      I've used this method many times with good results. Just make sure the steering wheel is tied in place centered when you start or else you'll end up canted (learned the hard way steering lock is not sufficient as it still allows some movement).

      There are a number of videos on youtube showing different approaches. This guy's does a decent job of showing the basic set-up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4cYtCwmheI
       
    8. halfbakedj14

      halfbakedj14 New Member

      Joined:
      April 13, 2010
      Messages:
      43
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      96 explorer
      Not sure if this helps but this was the print out of my alignment before and after.

      [​IMG]
       
    9. halfbakedj14

      halfbakedj14 New Member

      Joined:
      April 13, 2010
      Messages:
      43
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      Year and Model:
      96 explorer
      After looking at my tie rod ends it doesn't even look like they were touched...
       
    10. deweyville65

      deweyville65 Active Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2012
      Messages:
      724
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Dewey,Az
      Year and Model:
      96 EXPLORER XLT
      If it were mine, I would go back to the shop that did(?) the alignment, tell them what it is doing, see if they are willing to make it right. Then find a different shop next time, unless they are agreeable to fixing it. That is why I do mine myself. Surprising what you can do with a level and a tape measure.
       

    Share This Page


    Click Here

    We Support Our Troops!