Car now pulls to right! - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Car now pulls to right!

After having brakes done because they pullled to the "left" and after having new lower and upper ball joints, end links, tie rod ends, new bushings for front and rear sway bar, now the car pulls to the "right"! What the hey! The mechanic says he's stumped. Any fresh ideas? All help is greatly appreciated.

P.S. The car is pulling to the right with the same force it previouly pulled to the left. After the initial pull, the car seems to stop in a straight line.

TIA/ Sideoiler
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 03:55 PM
 
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Rotate your front tires if the pull goes to the opposite side it originally did its the tires i had that problem too. So for the moment i put the bad one on the back. Or rotate your rears to the front and see if that helps
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Matt: This feels more like the suspension is taking a dive to the right when I apply the brakes. With hands off the steering wheel and applying the brakes the steering wheel moves about 1'' to the right. All new tires were put on when I had the suspension work done.

Thanks for the suggestion, though...
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 09:13 PM
 
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Well the other thing it could be is a bad caliper i had one go bad on my left side when i would slow down from freeway speeds it would pull hard to the left. I just replaced it and cured it
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-27-2004, 12:10 AM
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It could be a bad caliper, or as in my case the support rod that goes from the spindle/strut assemble to the front of the car could have a bad bushing. When I would apply the breaks, it would allow that support rod to move around and the car would pull hard to one side.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-27-2004, 10:30 PM
 
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Mine pulled to the right while braking, and then straightened out when the brakes were released. I replaced the calipers and brake lines and that didn't help. After replacing the shocks (worn out), lower control arms (ball joint boots were gone and the joints were squeeking), and strut rod to control arm bushings (while it's apart, might as well), the problem went away. My vote is for the strut rod bushings since you've replaced everything else.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by pileit1
My vote is for the strut rod bushings since you've replaced everything else.
How hard would it be for me or my son to do the "strut rod bushings" ourselves, considering the fact funds are low now because of all of the other work that was done? I can't figure out why the mechanic who did the work missed this one. He just said he couldn't figure out why it was pulling to the right. Maybe he knew my $$$ were gone?

Thanks to all for your input in this matter......Sideoiler
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 12:40 AM
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Must've been expensive on parts.. I couldn't imagine labor prices!!! I'm sure if you just sat down and looked at the front suspension, with a 3/8 drive ratchet in your left hand, and a repair manual in your right, anyone could do it. Beats paying 80 bucks an hour on labor... =)

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-2004, 12:16 AM
 
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It's not a particularly difficult operation, provided you have the necessary tools. The toughest part will probably be getting the nut off the strut rod. You said that the lower ball joints were replaced. Did they remove the control arm to do that, or were they able to do it with the control arm still on the car? If they removed the control arm from the car, you might consider getting new nuts to go back on the strut rod. They are a very tight fit on the rod, and removing them twice might make them a little looser than they should be. Here is the sequence I followed when I did mine. Since I don't know how much experience you or your son have mechanically, I will assume you are fairly green. Please don't be offended. All fasteners on this car are metric, but standard sizes can be used in some instances.

Jack the car up on one side and place a jackstand under the frame where the front end of the strut rod goes through. The tire only needs to be a few inches off the ground. OK, the tire is off. Take the top end of the sway bar link loose from the spindle. Back the nut out until it is flush with the end of the stud, and give it a good whack with a large hammer. Try to do this with one or two hits if possible. When loose, remove the nut. You'll have to push the end of the sway bar down with a long pry bar to get the stud out of the spindle, then just rotate it forward to get it out of the way.

Remove the brake caliper (T50 torx bit required), work it between the spindle and shock/spring, and suspend it from the hole you will find in the frame at the front of the wheel well. A coat hanger works well for this. Try not to kink or damage the brake hose. Then remove the caliper mounting bracket and brake disc. You may need to use a 6" C-clamp to press in the piston a little bit to get it off. It won't take much!!

Next is the nut on the strut rod. You will need a 24MM DEEP 6 POINT SOCKET ( 1/2 inch drive ) and a large adjustable wrench to remove the nut. If there is any rust on the threads of the strut rod, spray it with some P B Blaster or similar penetrant. If the threads are REALLY dirty, clean them with a wire brush. As I said earlier, this nut is a really tight fit on the rod all the way out, there's no chance of that thing backing out on it's own. Use a 6-point socket, NOT a 12-point, to eliminate the risk of rounding the corners of the nut off. You DEFINITELY DO NOT WANT THAT TO HAPEN!!! The strut rod will twist when you try to turn the nut, so put the adjustable wrench down from the top onto the flat section of the S/R(strut rod) as close to the end of the flat as you can. As you start turning the nut, the wrench will wedge up against something and hold the rod from twisting while you muscle the nut off. It will probably be very tight all the way off. The back half of the bushing can now be removed.

Let me say here that when I did mine, I replaced the lower control arm and shocks, so I had separated the lower ball joint from the spindle,and repositioned the end link back into the spindle so the swaybar and the upper control arm were supporting the spindle with the tie rod still attached.

Now it will get a little tricky. Just remember, a little bit of common sense goes a LOOOONG way. Since you have new ball joints, you don't want to separate the joint from the spindle with the traditional "pickle fork". I don't think it is really necessary anyway to accomplish what you want to do.

Mark the cam bolt and washers on the frame end of the control arm for reference, You'll need to put them back in the same position when you put everything back together. I used a bottle of white touch-up paint, but you could use a crayon or whatever. Just be sure to mark their positions. Put a small block of wood on the floor jack cup and place the jack under the control arm where the shock mounts to it. Loosen the three nuts that hold the top shock mount to the shock tower (inside the engine compartment). Don't take them all the way off, just run them up to the top of the studs. Now remove the nut from the frame end of the control arm. I believe I used a 13/16" ratchet wrench for this. (I love ratchet wrenches!!) It is all but impossible to get a socket on this nut, so you will need to use a wrench. If the bolt is loose, remove it. You may need to play around with the floor jack to relieve the pressure from the spring. If you have to, take the top of the spindle loose from the upper ball joint (remove the nut, take the bolt all the way out, and knock the stud out of the spindle with a hammer. Once you have the lower control arm mount bolt out, taking GREAT CARE not to strain the steering linkage, see if you can swing the control arm/spindle assembly back far enough to get it apart from the S/R. If that won't work, reattach the upper control arm to the spindle (you don't really need to tighten it down at this point, but put the bolt through to keep it together), put the top end of the endlink back through the spindle (the spindle is now supported by the control arm and the sway bar) and remove the lower shock mounting bolt. Be forewarned, a lot of people have a considerable amount of trouble removing that bolt, primarily on cars in the northern states, but being a Florida car, you shouldn't have a problem. Mine came right out. You should now be able to move the control arm more freely. If you still can not get the control arm and strut rod apart, you will have to separate either the ball joint or the tie rod end. I'll tell you right now that you won't be able to get a replacement boot for the ball joint, but you can get boots for the tie rod ends at most parts stores in the HELP! section. I would separate the tie rod end. At this point there should be nothing more to prevent you from getting the S/R and LCA apart.

The new bushings should be in stock at just about any auto parts chain store. I got mine at NAPA and I think they were about $25. I was told by my local Ford dealer that you can not get original Ford replacements any more, which is not such a bad thing. The aftermarket bushings seem to be more robust than the stock ones.

When you install the new bushings, you will notice that the washers are cupped. They are installed with the cup toward the bushing (once again, a little common sense ........). Just reverse the process to reassemble everything. Be sure when you put the cam bolt and washers in the frame end of the lower control arm that you pay attention to the reference marks you made earlier and line them back up. If you do, you will not notice much difference in the driveability when you get it back on the road, and it will be safe to drive until you can get it back in for an alignment. Get all nuts and bolts good and tight and check everything AT LEAST TWICE!!

Good luck.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-02-2004, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Rocky! Thanks for the great, well written instructions. I've printed them and will show them to my son and see what he thinks about our doing it on our own. If we decide to take it to a front end shop, you can bet your printed instructions will go with the car (printed in 18 point font ;-))....Man, you should take up technical writing as a full time job. You can explain things in a very erudite, yet simple manner that's easily understood. Thanks again,
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