Author Topic: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment  (Read 3666 times)

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92UrS4

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Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« on: October 23, 2008, 04:14:22 PM »
My car has always seem to have a small issue with pulling to the right, independent of what wheels I am running. I have had a few alignments (and of course tire rotation and wheel balancing) and it does not resolve the problem. My guess is this is a sub frame issue and a sub frame alignment is really what's needed?

I know Pat has driven my car and felt this, I really would like to get it figured out one of these days.

DenverPat

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2008, 06:08:02 PM »
What did Pete at TireSource say?
"Of all the extreme sports I've ever participated in- windsurfing, kite boarding, wake boarding, tow-in surfing and snowboarding- skiing, for me, made everything else easy."
-Chuck Patterson

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2008, 06:08:02 PM »

92UrS4

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2008, 06:13:42 PM »
The last two times I had them align it, they gave me my sheet after the alignment each time and said she is good now. Then I would notice the same issue. They did adjust the camber plates which is nice.

I don't mind going back to them, their price is good and most everyone is happy, but it's a lot of driving for the lack of results.

ianacole

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2008, 06:20:21 PM »
What does your tire wear look like?  Uneven brake wear (perhaps a pad maintaining contact a little on the right?)?  The alignment may be okay in a static state, but something my be causing additional friction in motion on the right side...
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92UrS4

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2008, 06:29:01 PM »
So it has been kind of a mess, last year my front springs basically broke, and it caused all sorts of crap. Once that was resolved I had tire source do an alignment and of course adjust the camber as needed. I was running my snows by then and the wear on them is fine, but by that point my summers were pretty trashed in the front because of the other issues.

Since I still had the pulling and we got through Winter, this was after Pat drove my car as well and noticed the same thing. I bought the new Summers and at that time had the alignment done again.

I am getting ready to switch to the winter setup again and will be able to better check the status of the current tires, but cursory appearance is good.

The bad part of course is I have been so busy and all my discretionary money is limited and is spread between the House, scout, audi and bike. Kind of tackling one thing at a time. I don't mind getting alignments, but if it's that I need to go somewhere else to make sure we are getting everything aligned properly then great.

If it is something else, like maybe an issue with the brakes, heck I'd like to be able to find that out too so I know what I need to do there.

What you're saying Ian, is maybe there is a caliper type problem forcing some contact? Or a pad issue could do that too I suppose.

Freeride

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2008, 06:36:55 PM »
Pulling like torque steer?

Off topic: I never knew the Tunnell's owned TireSource...  Good to know :)  I was a customer at the "other" shop...

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92UrS4

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2008, 06:42:13 PM »
Not like torque steer, if you are driving along you can let go of the wheel and it will pull to the right, whether accelerating or coasting. So independent of acceleration, or so I think. :)

DenverPat

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 06:52:32 PM »
Does Pete know everything you've said in this thread?
"Of all the extreme sports I've ever participated in- windsurfing, kite boarding, wake boarding, tow-in surfing and snowboarding- skiing, for me, made everything else easy."
-Chuck Patterson

ianacole

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 06:59:06 PM »
It may not hurt to take it to a different alignment shop, a trusted one, and have the specs checked again.  If the specs are identical to what you're seeing out of Tire Source, I'd look for something that is causing one wheel to work harder than the others.  Any number of things can contribute to this:

- unbalanced tire pressures
- one tire that is a different outside diameter (manufacturing defect)
- brake pad not retracting fully (sticking piston in the caliper, pad not moving freely in the caliper)
- wheel bearing issue (which could include the torque on the axle nut)

At Tire Source, are you getting a 4-wheel alignment, or just front?  There could be a problem with rear toe (adjustable or not).  Have you swapped the left side wheels with the left side and see if it follows (I doubt this is the problem since it's present with both winter and summer setup).  Is your ride height the same all the way around?  Have you checked the corner balance?  I don't think this would cause the problem, but at this point I'd look for anything that indicates a left vs. right difference.  Check all pads for unusual or uneven wear, as well as the rotors.
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92UrS4

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Re: Pulling to the right, my quest for good alignment
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2008, 12:28:06 PM »
Thanks again for hte input guys, yes, always a 4-wheel alignment and camber adjustment as needed.

For what it's worth, this is not a bash on tire source, I have no problem with them. They have been great. It's just a long drive for troubleshooting and if it's something they can truly address then great I will go back again. I just don't want to keep making the trek to Boulder to pay the $50 for an alignment that does not seem to be the solution to my issue.

I'm not saying the alignments haven't been needed, each of the last two alignments corrections were made so they were not a waste of time or money necessarily, just not the final result I had hoped for.

As for your latest list Ian, I try to stay on top of my tire pressure and ensure they are all equal, especially with AWD. I have heard stories about manufacturing defects on tires, but this issue prevails no matter which set of tires or wheels. The brakes could be suspect and I believe the wheel bearings are okay.

I hope to get int here this weekend and take a closer look at the brakes, maybe the right caliper is sticking or something to that effect. Maybe I am crazy, it seems like sometimes it is more pronounced than others, but then again my commute is along C-470 which is such a crazy road in terms of being uneven, rough, different material every few hundred yards, things like that.