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car pull (92 STS)


Ludwig

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After a minor collision of the left front wheel with the curb

my 1992 STS has started to pull slightly to the left while

driving. It's noticeable almost at any speed in the same severity. There's nothing to be seen at the wheel itself however, it seems to be directed normally.

How can this be fixed?

The Service Manual speaks of "toe" adjustment and adjustment of the rack bearing "preload" at the steering box.

I attempted the toe adjustment procedure, but failed because the nut on the tie rod is absolutely frozen to the rod and unremovable.

Does anyone know a quick fix for this - like mounting the steering wheel at a different angle e.g.?

Any hints are appreciated,

1992 Seville STS

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Ludwig,

At best the alignment may be knocked out a little. A worse-case is that something is bent and should be replaced.

Take it to a trusted alignment shop and let them have a look. Unless you've got alignment equipment, you can not adjust the front end correctly and you'll wear the tire tread down in a short time.

Don't alter the steering wheel preload adjustment. This is not the cause of the problem.

Good luck :)

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I'll be honest, my 92 is always out of alignment. I've had it aligned, and it wasnt even perfect afterwards though the computer printout said they got it back within specs. A few months later and it was back to the same thing. Why does this thing need a 4 wheel alignment when most only need 2 anyway?

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I'll be honest, my 92 is always out of alignment.  I've had it aligned, and it wasnt even perfect afterwards though the computer printout said they got it back within specs.  A few months later and it was back to the same thing.  Why does this thing need a 4 wheel alignment when most only need 2 anyway?

It should not always be out of alignment. You undoubtedly have worn parts that your mechanic did not diagnose and replace. If there are worn parts its a waste of money to get an alignment as you have seen. You may have worn ball joints, bushings or tie rods.

DO NOT ASSUME that something is wrong with the car or design and that you have to live with it. Why didn't you IMMEDIATELY take the car back when it was not perfect after the alignment?

As far as the rear needing an alignment, these cars have independent rear suspensions. Independent rear suspensions have superior handling capabilities and are superior to solid rear axles. The Ford Explorer 'improved' their design recently to prevent roll-overs by changing from solid rear suspensions to independent rear suspensions. Solid rear axles do not need alignments as you noted!

Independent rear suspensions need to be aligned for proper tracking. If I were you I would find a good mechanic and have him look at your suspension closely, especially the ball joints and bushings. Suspension work is not cheap, but worn suspension parts are responsible for a miserable ride, poor handling and poor tire life..and it can be dangerous.

If you do a search under my name and FRONT END you will see that I am in the process of totally rebuilding my Deville's suspension, I just got the final parts today..

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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But what are they doing exactly to "align" it at a car alignment shop?

There's other vehicles that have a simple adjustment knob at the steering box. But the rack and pinion design of the 92 STS seems to have no such thing.

The Service manual has no exact information whatsovever about actually fixing a car pull other than the usual possibilities of unequally inflated tires, malfunctioning brakes etc. It names the toe adjustment, but that's not really a steering adjustment, but the tilting angle of the wheels. It sounds like the alignment is done at the factory and afterwards it's basically "unserviceable".

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That adjustment knob the old style steering box has NOTHING to do with the alignment, if I am not mistaken you are talking about the LASH adjustment. In the old days I use to tighten that adjustment a 1/4 turn to tighten up the steering and get ride of 'play". The rack and pinion design is superior to the old style steering box. And YES, the TOE adjustment WILL affect the steering and if its wrong cause a PULL!!!!!

FROM THE ARTICLE >>>> If the camber is different from side to side it can cause a pulling problem. The vehicle will pull to the side with the more positive camber. On many front-wheel-drive vehicles, camber is not adjustable. If the camber is out on these cars, it indicates that something is worn or bent, possibly from an accident and must be repaired or replaced. <<<<

All front wheel cars are aligned pretty much the same. In order to stop the pull you need to GO BACK to the alignment shop and have them look it over, you may have hit a bump and because of worn parts threw it out or bent something. If you are pulling something is wrong. How are your tires wearing? My guess is that you have a bad ball joint, are they greased regularly? I had a bad pull and it stopped when I replaced the ball joint and corrected the negative camber...

Here is a primer on wheel alignment and what its about, good luck, Mike

http://www.familycar.com/alignment.htm

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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