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Drifting left - "Radial pull" question


The_Raven

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Howyadoin,

I've been experiencing a problem in my '96 SLS where the car will drift to the left when cruising. This happens in Drive or Neutral. I replaced the left inner tie rod end, both stabilizer links and had all four wheels aligned, and the problem was still there. We then reversed the front left and right wheels, and the problem remains. The tire store suspects radial pull. You'd think swapping the tires would have affected that.

Is there a way to definitively locate radial pull? Will road force balancing detect it? It would be good to not have to play shotgun diagnosis, yaknow?

Thanks,

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

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"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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If you find a solution let me know mine does the same thing, been aligned, rotated no help, if im in the left lane and the road has any crown if got the steering wheel pulled to the right if I let go she will hit the guard rail in 75 feet(YICKES)

Joe

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Howyadoin,

Hey Guru, thanks for checking in! The printout from the tire shop shows all the settings after alignment were within their tolerances. I'll see if I can compile them tonight and post them. I checked Alldata's model-specific specifications and they're within their specs too.

I'm gonna have the tire shop swap the rears tomorrow and see if it helps... If it does, all is good. If it doesn't, I'll have them check ride height. If the problem reverses (pulling right), I'll have the tire replaced. stsjoe, I'll be sure to let you know the results.

BTW... I am, shall we say, a man of girth... I run about 265 or so, although perhaps "run" is not the most appropriate term? :) Is there a need to compensate for left/right weight distribution in the suspension? I can't imagine my weight would be a factor, but I'm just looking at all *smurf*-pects of the problem, eh?

-Rav

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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Howyadoin,

Swapping the rear tires had no effect. So radial pull doesn't seem to be a problem. So where to look next? Steering box? What other front end specs should be checked beyond the usual camber/caster/toe alignment? Could it be a wheel bearing problem or something else creating drag on one side? The problem is more pronounced above 70 MPH, but that may just be a function of the number of tire rotations per second.

Any and all replies welcomed and appreciated. I get the feeling this isn't gonna be simple!

Thanks!

-Rav

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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I haven't done my brakes yet, but could it be a slow or stuck caliper,on any wheel, creating just enough drag to cause a pull. When you are slowing down for a light , hold the steering wheel loose and notice if it pulls to right or left, is it worse when the brakes heat up? Good Luck

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Howyadoin,

I've never had a problem with pulling under braking, but have been recently noticing a clicking sound from the left rear under light to moderate braking. It goes away if I increase the pressure on the brake pedal, and I don't hear it when not braking. Both front and rear tires have been reversed left-to-right, so the "radial pull" theory seems debunked. Maybe the clicking is a wheel bearing problem, but you'd think braking would sorta unload a rear wheel bearing as weight transfers forward, plus it goes away when braking harder

I'm going to get that brake clicking checked out on Monday... after I get the A/C fixed in my wife's Rodeo, that is. Never underestimate the power of domestic tranquility, that's my motto! ;)

-Rav

-Mark P.

Salem, MA

IPB Image

"Refined Sugar" - '96 SLS, 175K

"...the Caddy is dedicated to relentlessly -- and comfortably -- converting time into distance." -J.J. Gertler

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The dealer screwed up on my rear alignment after installing new Michelin pilots A/S tires (not happy). Since it was the rear I did not notice it until the tires were rotated. I thought they would eventually wear correctly and quit pulling but they never did. The good news is they are about worn out at 20,000 miles so I can finally replace them.

My point is that it could be the tires, hard to diagnose without replacing them.

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