Project X= Alignment questions??? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Project X= Alignment questions???


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March 4, 2007
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City, State
anaheim hills,california
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 ranger 4x4/ 91 X 4x4
...i just got back from having my alignment checked, now that i've conquered the spindle nut problem and recently replaced the right front more problems there...
...i do my own string line alignment after every trail run as it seems my truck comes off the trail pulling right...the last run i did was up in big bear in the snow and when i came off the trail heading to the highway, my truck got a case of the shimies so bad i found a tire shop and had them rebalance both front tires...that helped but very little...
...the truck has a wobble at about 45 if i don't stringline it that it's string lined it has the 45 wobble plus at over 20 to 45 mph if i hit a bump in the road the hole front will drives straight though and they checked the balljoints and the steering rack and it's all good and my toe is just about right on which makes me proud...

....anyways, i guess i beat the front end up pretty good and they say i need new bushings on both the tune of 275 bucks including the alignment and 6mo. warranty...they said one side needs to be adjusted 2*...:eek:...i guess i'm going for it but any suggestions on a cheaper fix would help...i did get 3 other estimates too and they were the same or higher...:confused:

alignment001jl3.jpg this...

...equals this plus alot of red ink....:rolleyes:

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...don't think i wasn't calculating the cost difference when he told me the price...:p:....i know i can get a hp d44 for that...but the X needs to be drivable, dangit...:hammer:

How about just replace the bushings if they're bad? $275 to replace the bushings and align it seems dirt-cheap to me if you're paying to have it done.

Bad bushings can certainly cause some of the problems you're describing, but so can out-of-balance tires (did they do a DYNAMIC balance on them? Wheel weights on BOTH sides of the rim?)

...oh yes...when i came off the snowy mountain and picked up that shimmy i knew it was the tires and the sticky weights...i had them strip the tires down, one was even rotated 180 on the wheel since it called for 9 oz....after it was rotated it still required 9 oz. and they put real weights on them...
...the bushings run about 45-50 bucks each and they will need to play with a few to get it dialed in, so no squabble from me there even if i found the bushings 1/2's the right side that requires the 2* and thats the side i was having spindlenut, bearing, problems which led to the replacement of the rotor...meantime, i kept driving to and from the trails, wheeling it and changing bearings weekly... hopes are that this alignment will stand up to some more punishment because if it last only for the next trail or two, i'll say goodbye dana35 and hello mr. hp dana44...;), if my wallet would just go along with me on this...:D

You could install the bushings your self and then have them align it.

...yea, i know...but if something is off you know it will be my fault...:rolleyes:...i just wish i had one of those stupid machines and i would give discounts to members and mine would already be done...:D

...well, i did it but...:rolleyes:

...on the way there i got a check oil light...oil pressure and level are up and it went off after a couple starts...i did steam clean underneath for the alignment, but tonight it came back on...:confused:

...the alignment went well till they test drove it...the were going to cross the front tires and i told them to just put the new ones up front...they test drove it again and the guy tells me it still pulls to the right...
...i drove it and it pulls the same with some new added features...over 25 when i brake it pulls i'm wondering if i opened a can of first thought was the guy pushed the wheel around with the engine off so i ran the motor and did the full right full left about ten times and it's about the same...
...he also suggested it might be a problem with the steering box and suggested i take it up to 45 or more, throw it in neutral and turn the key off and see if it goes straight??? other thought was maybe my master cylinder, right caliper, or perportioning valve could be a problem...(is there one on the first gens??),or the bearing is to tight...

...he said also he may be able to add a bigger bushing but with my camber and caster being ok, he said it will throw my caster to much lost the shimmy and the death wobble but now the wheel is just left, pulls the same to the right, and brakes to the left...:rolleyes: all specs and the only thing in red is the cross caster, it is 0.05* with specs being -1.25*--0.25*...any ideas guys???

Hmmm mine does the same thing but it pulls right when i hit the brake. Maybe the right caliper is seized causing it to constantly pull right and when you hit the brake only the left caliper moves(the right is seized and wont move) causing it to pull left? Also brake hoses can cause pulling when the brakes are applied. Oh yea and like you said the bearing could be too tight as well.

...thanks, it looks like i'll need to get my tools out in the a.m...:hammer:

...i might add, after the initial pull to the left it does brake staighter as you apply more braking but that is why i started thinking that may be the cause...;)

A constant pull to the right in most cases means it needs more caster angle on that side (they didn't align it properly, especially if it's not in spec still). A too-tight wheelbearing can do it too, but it'd have to be REAALLY tight (it probably would've burnt up on the way home)

A pull when braking could be a number of things. Seized caliper or contaminated linings most probable. Brake hoses would not normally cause pulling though unless they swelled shut or something. The MC couldn't cause a pull either.

That neutral and turning the key off thing sounds dangerous. If they think the steering valve might be suspect, jack both front tires off the ground, start the engine and see if the wheel drifts to one side on it's own. I think problems with the valve are extremely rare.

...i'm leaning to the brake or possibly the brake myself....the reason being i think it has exactly the same pull to the right as it did before with the newly added braking pull to the left...
...the mechanic that i was fibbin to him when he asked me about it's pulling to the right being the same...
...i am going to start there before i take it back and have them adjust the alignment...:thumbsup:

...the only thing i'm not sure about and i need to find out, do these 1st gens have a proportioning valve...:scratch:...i had a similar problem on a truck years ago...

My $.02

Shimmy and constant realignment;
Check your pivot drop brackets, make sure the mounting bolts are tight, also check the possibility they are flexing. If you have 5"-6" drop and aren't running James Duff brackets, consider gussets to stiffen them up.

Pulling Right under normal driving;
As 4x4junkie stated, check the cross caster numbers on your printout. The bigger the difference, the more it will pull

Pulling Left under braking;
In addition to what's been listed, consider your new rotor might have a different metalurgical matrix or run-out. I suggest getting both rotors turned and make sure your brake pads are cleaned and matched.

The previous owner of my parts truck told me that he went through all kinds of problems with pulling and the brakes sicking. He had calipers replaced and fluid flush etc etc. Nothing worked. Turned out that the brake hoses were acting like a one-way valve somehow, not letting the pressure release, had the hoses replaced and problem went away.

Might want to check into new brake hoses, esp if yours look worn at all, they're cheap.


...thanks ted...i know it's not the lines as mine are only a few months old and are like 75-85 bucks a piece with no binds or kinks and they are plastic clear coated...;)

...i haven't been able to work on it today but i was thinking about it and the first thing that comes to mind is the steering wheel is left and it pulls right...i'm going to start back with the alignment and then move on to checking the brakes...:dunno:

Yea, I should have realized you weren't running stock lines with that lift....

Good luck trying to fix it, I'm out of ideas... (free bump)

-Ted'h, i should have posted this earlier...:confused

left front __specified range_______ right front
0.32 ____ -0.25-0.75______camber____0.37
6.59 ____ 2.00-7.00 _____ caster ____6.54
-0.01_____ -0.10-0.16______toe______-0.02

Front____________________specified range
cross camber = -0.05_______-0.50/ 0.50
cross caster = (0.05)______-1.25/-0.25..(=not good)
total toe____= -0.02_______-0.19/0.31

...thanks ted, i can use any and all ideas...:thumbsup:... as i know how to make them broke, it's just fixing them that gives me headaches...:D

For the pulling under braking, yeah, pull the rear drums, look for any rusted/seized parts (just one stuck shoe usually does it), might wanna clean up in there and add anti-seize all around, check the brake lines and hoses for bubbles/leaks, then move on to the front, check the slide pins, hoses, etc. Could also be a slightly sticky caliper, too.

Which bushings were replaced? The top ball joints? I assume you've already checked your radius arm bushings and axle pivot bushings and the steering is nice and tight?

My personal preference when it comes to the TTB is to start from zero, with known good bushings all around, then you're not compensating for worn radius arm bushings and off-center axle pivot bushings with an alignment bushing, which is what seems to happen too often, so when new bushings are installed anywhere, the whole thing goes out of whack again.

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...i'm curious if anyone on here can read the numbers i posted in post #17 and make any suggestions since the guy mentioned he could put a bigger bushing in but it would make the caster to positive????...:scratch: