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Steering Pull After alignment

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Old 10-14-2006, 07:55 AM   #1
radium-
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Dk Exp Steering Pull After alignment

Hey all I recentley had an alignment done on my 01 XLT about a week ago. The problem is the steering wheel is not straight...If i hold the steering wheel perfectly straight it will drift to the left a bit but if its tited a tiny bit to the right it will drive straight.... is this an alignment issue and I should rush back to the shop or is this something related with the power steering or steering system? Thanks in advance
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Old 10-14-2006, 08:09 AM   #2
JDraper
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Alignment issue...take it back to the shop. I've had several alignments done incorrectly in the past.




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Old 10-14-2006, 12:49 PM   #3
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Indeed, they did not get it aligned properly. When properly aligned, and driving on a flat straight and level surface, if you let go of the wheel, the vehicle should track straight and the steering wheel should remain centered.

Get it back to them ASAP. I've had alignments that took them four tries to get it right. Once they even tried to tell me that they compensate for the crown in the road by setting it to pull a little bit left. I almost died laughing.

-Joe




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Old 10-14-2006, 01:51 PM   #4
Byrd91
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Radium is your truck actually pulling or is your steering wheel not centered? There is a difference. A pull means when you let go of the wheel your truck doesn't go straight (doesn't matter if the wheel is centered). This is controlled by caster and some shops will indeed put more caster on the right side to compensate for crown in the road (at least in Maine where almost all roads are crowned). If your steering wheel just isn't centered when the truck is driving straight than they need to adjust both tie rod ends the same amount to center the wheel. I just wanted to make sure you get your lingo right so your alignment shop will know what you're talking about and fix the right problem.




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Old 10-14-2006, 02:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrd91
snip... This is controlled by caster and some shops will indeed put more caster on the right side to compensate for crown in the road (at least in Maine where almost all roads are crowned). ...snip
I don't understand that concept? Why would they do that intentionally? All road everywhere are crowned for drainage. However, if I'm on a divided highway of any sort, it'll track straight in the right lane, pull left in the center lane, and pull twice as hard in the right lane. I don't understand why some alignment shops think that makes sense? Wouldn't the expectation be that if the road slopes left it may pull left, if the road slopes right it may pull right, and if the road is flat as a pancake, it should track straight as an arrow?

(Just askin', you, not blaming you....)



-Joe




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Old 10-17-2006, 07:52 PM   #6
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In Maine we have mostly 2 lane roads, and highways are 2 lanes as well. When you're in the left lane you may get some pull left, but other than that you are good. This may not be true of all shops, but I've heard of it here in Maine. If you want it straight then tell em to make it straight.




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Old 10-18-2006, 03:01 AM   #7
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Two observations:

1. When new, my Explorer always went straight and never "pulled". If in the far right lane it would require more frequent steering adjustment, but very slight and over relatively long distance. This applies to all new cars I have owned.

2. After replacing the TREs, I found it was pulling slightly to the right. I read many articles on wheel alignment and they all said camber (or caster if adjustable) would result in pulling. Well, I checked my camber and it was 1 degree negative on both wheels. Spot on, but most importantly negative and equal. However my toe was way off. I set it to 1/8" total toe in and now it runs straight as when new.
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by shaker1
...snip...
2. After replacing the TREs, I found it was pulling slightly to the right. I read many articles on wheel alignment and they all said camber (or caster if adjustable) would result in pulling. Well, I checked my camber and it was 1 degree negative on both wheels. Spot on, but most importantly negative and equal. However my toe was way off. I set it to 1/8" total toe in and now it runs straight as when new.
That would make sense. The spec calls for a total toe of .12 degrees +/- .25 degrees, which, on a 33" tire, equates to somewhere between .069" and .213". 0.125" definately falls in the spec.

-Joe




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Old 10-18-2006, 08:36 AM   #9
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After I messed around with my TT, I went to have an alignment. The following day I noticed that "Straight down the road" was not where the wheel looked straight in the cabin. I took it back, and the guy told me that Explorer's have a name for being hard to get the wheel to look straight unless it is done by Ford.

...Anyway, I put the wheel where I wanted it, and made them re-align. It's not perfect, but it's a hell of alot better than being clocked 45




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Old 10-18-2006, 09:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dr_starcraft
I took it back, and the guy told me that Explorer's have a name for being hard to get the wheel to look straight unless it is done by Ford.
That sounds like the words of someone who's not qualified to do the job. Ford dealers use the same Hunter alignment equipment that they use at any halfway decent alignment shop.

-Joe




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Old 10-18-2006, 12:02 PM   #11
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steering pull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrd91
Radium is your truck actually pulling or is your steering wheel not centered? There is a difference. A pull means when you let go of the wheel your truck doesn't go straight (doesn't matter if the wheel is centered). This is controlled by caster and some shops will indeed put more caster on the right side to compensate for crown in the road (at least in Maine where almost all roads are crowned). If your steering wheel just isn't centered when the truck is driving straight than they need to adjust both tie rod ends the same amount to center the wheel. I just wanted to make sure you get your lingo right so your alignment shop will know what you're talking about and fix the right problem.
HEY BYRD,
SEEMS YOUR INFO WILL SOLVE MY PULL TO THE RIGHT, BUT MY STEERING WHEEL VIBRATES BACK AND FORTH ABOUT ONE INCH.
ANY IDEA ? BROKEN BELT IN TIRE? STEERING STABILIZER?
\THANKS
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoecam
That sounds like the words of someone who's not qualified to do the job. Ford dealers use the same Hunter alignment equipment that they use at any halfway decent alignment shop.

-Joe

It was the kind of place where they did the job... then I handed the guy a ten, and I rolled out. No receipt, no cash register...




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Old 10-18-2006, 04:23 PM   #13
Diddy74
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Word to the wise, #1 find an aligment shop that does more than toe adjustments and charge you for a complete "wheel alignment #2 The alignment machines are pretty much point and click and will walk the mech thru the alignment, but most will skip over alot steps and make a few "minor" adjustments that are close to spec just as long as they hit the "green" #3 Its your truck! you know how it handles, you know how it should handle. If something doesnt feel right, more effort to steer, loose steering, wandering, rough ride etc your paying to have it corrected to your liking then they should provide the "service" that they are in business for in the first place! Just my mid week rant....




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Old 10-18-2006, 06:00 PM   #14
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sunbowt '95-current Explorers do not have steering stabilizers as they use rack & pinion steering. I would say your tires are out of balance.

Rotate them front-rear & see if the shake goes away in the front.




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