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Old 12-20-2003, 07:24 PM
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Alignment problem

I have an 85 Monte Carlo that pulls to the right. I've had it to many different shops and no one can fix the problem. These are the specs from the last align, I have the cross settings too if it will help:
Caster Left: 2.9*/Right-3.3*
SAI Left: 7.6*/Right-6.5*
Camber Left rear: -0.3*/Right rear -0.2*
Toe Left rear: -1/8"/Right rear 0"
Is the SAI on the right an indication that maybe the RF lower control arm is bent? The reason I ask is that the problem started after having lower balljoints put in. I would think it would pull left by the specs if I understand how they work.
Thanks, Larry.

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Last edited by 85 SS; 12-20-2003 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 12-21-2003, 10:13 AM
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Are you saying the car drifts to the right, or a pull like draging brake? This could mean the left front wheel cylinder is stuck and you only have a right front brake. What made you think the ball joint was bad? You had no steering problems before the ball joint was changed? If that is the case then take it back to the place that installed the ball joint and ask them to look at it. I wonder what would happen if they installed the wrong part???


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Old 12-21-2003, 07:57 PM
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I had a buddy one time that had a car that would always drift over to one side, and had the car in every alignment shop in town. After I examined it I found 15 pounds of air in the tire and a loose wheel bearing on one side. I inflated both front tires to 28 pounds, tightened up the wheel bearing and the problem went away.
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Old 12-22-2003, 01:53 PM
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HEY 85: I had a problem with my street rod pulling left when braking. I spent all day working on left side brake and suspension. Problem was RIGHT caliper was hung up and not working at all, left was working correct. So check both sides when looking for problem....GOOD LUCK...DAVE
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Old 12-22-2003, 03:02 PM
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Re: Alignment problem

Quote:
Originally posted by 85 SS
I have an 85 Monte Carlo that pulls to the right. I've had it to many different shops and no one can fix the problem. These are the specs from the last align, I have the cross settings too if it will help:
Caster Left: 2.9*/Right-3.3*
SAI Left: 7.6*/Right-6.5*
Camber Left rear: -0.3*/Right rear -0.2*
Toe Left rear: -1/8"/Right rear 0"
Is the SAI on the right an indication that maybe the RF lower control arm is bent? The reason I ask is that the problem started after having lower balljoints put in. I would think it would pull left by the specs if I understand how they work.
Thanks, Larry.
Well I don't understand why it says 'rear' for the camber and toe settings. Are these really the rear measurements (which you would have if they compensated the rear heads as if doing a 4-wheel alignment), or are they supposed to be the 'front' camber and toe readings? A general rule of thumb is a car will 'pull' to whatever side has the most negative caster angle or the most positive camber angle. Example...

front caster left +3.50* - right +4.50* == pulls left
front caster left +4.00* - right +3.25* == pulls right

front camber left +0.75* - right +0.00* == pulls left
front camber left +0.00* - right -0.75* == pulls left

Caster generally creates a stronger pull than camber so many times a caster pull will offset a camber pull. Example...

front caster left +4.00* - right +2.50* == pull right
front camber left +0.50* right -0.20* == pull left

Now in this car the caster pull to the right will offset the cambers desire to pull left as the degree and a half caster pull will be much stronger than a seven tenths camber pull. If the caster and camber are both off really bad a car will tend to track very poorly and react harshly to bumps and other road conditions. You need to clarify what you typed as far as are they front readings or rear. Even though your car may be only adjustable in the front end it is still advisable to have it set up for a 4-wheel alignment so you get a print-out of the rear end specs to tell you if your rear end is tweaked. Aside from all that rambling, like stated always check basics.
1. tire pressures.
2. tire wear (a badly worn tire will cause a pull).
3. double check for loose front end parts.
4. check brakes for problems (does it seem to only pull while applying brakes or does it get significantly worse when braking).

A couple of things I would suggest checking. Jack up the front of the car. Have someone repeatedly step on/release the brake pedal while you try spinning the tires. They should be tight when brakes applied then spin when brakes are released. While the front end is jacked up cross-rotate the front tires, if it is a radial pull from a tire the car should pull in the opposite direction after crossing the tires. Keep us posted.

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