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Discussion Starter #1
98 forester s, new to me. Pulls to the left and gets worse at higher speeds. Rotated tires, instaled new front axle/cv assemblies, just had it aligned and all checks out well. seems to have been in a minor bender. Any thoughts on what to check next??
 
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do you have wheel lock on your vehicle, if so install them on the oppiside of where the air goes in to make it a little bit more balanced, probably won't work, but what have you got to lose???
 

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Mr. November 2008
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austin98 said:
98 forester s, new to me. Pulls to the left and gets worse at higher speeds. Rotated tires, instaled new front axle/cv assemblies, just had it aligned and all checks out well. seems to have been in a minor bender. Any thoughts on what to check next??
Was it a full 4-wheel alignment ? The problem could be the alignment at the rear. Is the pull under acceleration or steady speed ? What about braking ?
Does it follow the camber of the road, and what is it like on a completely flat surface ?

Could also be some minor binding of the left front brake I suppose...
 

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austin98 said:
98 forester s, new to me. Pulls to the left and gets worse at higher speeds. Rotated tires, instaled new front axle/cv assemblies, just had it aligned and all checks out well. seems to have been in a minor bender. Any thoughts on what to check next??
Uneven tire height or higher positve caster on left side can do it too. Check the specs on the alignment sheet for caster. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Checked for brake drag. Tires are all the same, same pressure. It was 4 wheel aligned twice and all checked out well. the pull happens on flat road or not. It will pull at any speed, but gets worse with higher speeds. Any control arms or anything I need to check? not much knowledge with cars, but I am learning . thanks for the reply's
 

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dlroto said:
do you have wheel lock on your vehicle, if so install them on the oppiside of where the air goes in to make it a little bit more balanced, probably won't work, but what have you got to lose???

quite interesting ..........................
 

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Well, when you say minor "bender" and then come back with it won't allign correctly, I begin to wonder how "minor" this collision was. If the strut towers were affected in the collision, it may have issues with alignment. There are camber plates that could be used to correct this. Normally those are used in autox applications to increase negative camber but they could prove useful to correct other alignment issues as well.

Since some folks have come up with some creative idea's here I'll throw out another quick and dirty one for you. Take a 2 foot level and hold it up to each wheel in the center. The bubble should float to the outside indicating negative camber but see how they match up in relation to the alignment sheet they gave you. There's no science to this solution so don't flame me but it will give you an idea of how it's sitting with the suspension loaded.
 

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I think he was saying that he "just had it aligned and all checks out well" This would indicate the alignment was ok, but what is the tip-off that the car had been in a minor bender though? Anytime a car pulls like that you have to consider some kind of accident related damage to the frame or components to be the root cause.

The problem was there prior to rotating the tires and doing the CV / axle assemblies correct?
 

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N10S said:
I think he was saying that he "just had it aligned and all checks out well" This would indicate the alignment was ok, but what is the tip-off that the car had been in a minor bender though? Anytime a car pulls like that you have to consider some kind of accident related damage to the frame or components to be the root cause....
Sooo, I'll elaborate. I bought a '97 Taurus from my father in law since my wife put our '95 Saturn into a concrete barrier on I-35 at about 50mph totaling it. She was fine btw. The Taurus had been in an accident very young, front end collision. It pulled to the left but not too bad. I had new tires put on it and had it alligned. It pulled to the left HARD after that. I took it back and had it looked at. They said the only way to fix it was to break the spot welds on the strut tower and re-weld it to adjust the camber....NOT. Good ridance to that car and I told my father in law he won't be selling me another :\

I guess what I'm saying is that when a vehicle has been involved in a front end collision which affects the strut towers/alignement, you don't know what your gonna end up with.... Just because they say it's aligned doesn't mean it aligned. They aren't taking into consideration that it was in an accident when they align it...and proabaly can't actually.

I think we're in agreement though, now that I can think better....:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok Fellas, new news. First, I trusted the mechanic that did the alignment, heck I took it too him twice. tre36 sugested to look at the caster spec on the alignment............Ah ha! it is 1.6 degrees on the left and 2.8 on the right, normal range is 2.4-3.2 i believe. I think the mechanic did not adjust this because there was not a diagram on the print out sheet for the vehicle, it did show how to adjust tow and one other adjustment. I hope this adjustment will be the fix. Next........how do I find how to adjust the left caster. Thanks again.
 

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The toe can be adjusted via the tie rod, the top strut bolt is eccentric and adjusts the knuckle for camber. I'm not aware of a caster adjustment but if there is one I would certainly welcome the education....
 

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austin98 said:
Ok Fellas, new news. First, I trusted the mechanic that did the alignment, heck I took it too him twice. tre36 sugested to look at the caster spec on the alignment............Ah ha! it is 1.6 degrees on the left and 2.8 on the right, normal range is 2.4-3.2 i believe. I think the mechanic did not adjust this because there was not a diagram on the print out sheet for the vehicle, it did show how to adjust tow and one other adjustment. I hope this adjustment will be the fix. Next........how do I find how to adjust the left caster. Thanks again.
But that still doesn't look right. Your caster is lower on the left at 1.6 versus 2.8 on the right side. Your car should be pulling a tad to the right instead of the left with those specs because the higher the positive caster the better the tire grips the road by increasing contact patch to the road.

Bad news though, caster is not adjustable from the factory. I have a tiny bit of positive caster on the right on my car after a suspension upgrade but nothing severe and hardly noticeable. However, someone posted something about adjusting the caster with adjustable camber plates if I can recall correctly? I will try to dig for that thread in other Forums though maybe irrelevant at this point with your case.

Rereading your initial post, the caster explains the pull somewhat but your caster spec does not justify the the left pull. Nor does the specs on the caster explain the left pull on with your car getting worst at higher speeds.

I am aware you rotated your tires, but how many miles on the tires? Are all four tires evenly worned? What brand and make are tires?

Try this first before you bring the car in for a thorough inspection - given tires are good and toe and camber spec are zero:

Check pressure for all tires in the morning. Adjust tire pressure to 35 all around. Test vehicle. For some hunch, I am leaning towards your tires now. Can you confirm if your car has been in an accident and how bad?
 

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Someone into auto-x was using camber plates set at a 90deg to normal and messing with caster that way. Not necessarily what I would want on a daily driver.

On some other cars Whiteline produces control arm bushings that throw in more caster. I don't know if there are any Subaru applications.
 
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