97 Tracer- can't eliminate pulling to the right | Page 4 | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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97 Tracer- can't eliminate pulling to the right

Discussion in '3rd Gen 1997-2002 2.0L SOHC' started by ethangsmith, May 13, 2016.

  1. Pizzaman5000

    Pizzaman5000 FEOA Donator

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    I agree with caster adjustments.

    I feel like a douche, at my work, we had one of the newer mirages'... Which I like BTW, but the steering wheel was crooked, and the handling was "weird". We had it aligned, a d I fixed the steering wheel (again), we were gonna bring it back for an alignment, because the handling was still weird, the steering has no return, just power.... Turns out that's how they are, and ours is fine. Probably didn't need an alignment to begin with. It's consumed 3 people's time, and a YouTube review revealed that they just have a bizzare steering feel. SMH
  2. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    The Kias here at work all steer like crap too. Must be a new car thing. Electronic steering is stupid.
  3. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    The truth is the MFG's could make electric PS feel better but they don't, meaning they want it to feel that way or it would cost too much. My Mazda 3 has the best of both worlds, hydraulic rack with an electric PS pump.

    If a reman PS pump is noisy file a warranty claim on it. We file claims for stuff like this at our shop and get reimbursed for labor as well. As for your pulling issues I doubt its anything in the rear. An easy way to check if its road crown/slope causing the pull is to drive on or over the yellow center line of the road and let go of the wheel, if its a road crown related pull then it will go away if you do this. The only thing suspension wise that will cause a pull is a significant difference in caster between both sides. Does the amount of pull differ if you accelerate or brake? Do you have a copy of the alignment report that I could look at?
  4. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    Well, the car has been at the shop since Sunday. I've had some communications with my mechanic and the car's front suspension is back in pieces. It turns out THE UNIBODY WAS ASSEMBLED OUT OF SPEC. The strut towers are not perfectly across from each other and the right side of the body sits lower than the left in the front. Keep in mind this car has never been in an accident. All VIN tags are still present, bolts are still painted and never turned, and there is no collision repair work anywhere on the vehicle. Paint depths are consistent and there is no body filler anywhere. This car was garage kept until I bought it so it is clean and 100% rust free. It seems Ford did not completely assemble the car perfectly straight. On scrutinizing the alignment results, while the specs all fall into the green territory, the right caster is much less than the left caster, thus causing a pull to the right. My mechanics is working with putting the strut bearing plates into different positions to correct the caster issue. The only downside is that when rotating the strut bearing plates, the camber also changes. So he may end up rotating the plates and then using a camber kit to adjust the camber back into spec. Since I have a back up car (1986 Mercury Capri- back when sh*t was heavy and metal.) he's going to take his time and confirm all measurement and do multiple test drives before giving it to me to drive and test.
    And, yes, under acceleration, there is a strong pull to the right. Braking, not so much. Some of course is torque steer, but a lot of the bias towards the right is coming from the lower caster number of the right side. He'd like to see a lower number for caster on the driver's side to account for road crown, but he said he may only be able to get them even by bringing the right side up and the left side down. I will keep this thread updated.
  5. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    Your camber should still be in spec if he adjusts the caster. The factory setting is for maximum negative camber. On my bro's ZX2 I rotated one of the strut mounts 180° because it had too much negative camber and it changed the camber by +0.4° So, if you only rotate it 90° to change the caster then you can expect a +0.2° difference in camber over the factory setting. In theory that 0.2° would also apply to the caster adjustment made so if you mechanic rotates both mounts 90° in opposite directions then he should be able to bring both sides 0.4° closer to each other. Also, don't worry if caster is in the red after he is done, as long as both sides are similar you shouldn't have issues.

    I would be inclined to say that one of the CA bushings is loose if acceleration makes the pull worse.
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  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    As for noisy power steering pumps: I had that problem with the first one I re-installed, and didnt pre-fill the pump with fluid. With the others after that (seven of them so far) I always put p.s. fluid into the reservoir, and then turned the p.s. pump pulley in the same direction as the engine would turn it. I used a spare serpentine belt, held up above the alternator and just around the p.s. pump pulley to do the turning. When I got tired of doing it by hand, I used an electric drill with a sanding drum mounted in it, to turn the p.s. pump pulley at maybe 100 rpm. I had to refill the reservoir in the middle of this procedure. Thee pumps I did this with are essentially silent. The pump on my first Escort, the 92LX, made the whining noise for thousands of miles. It has gotten slowly less noisy, but it has taken 50,000 miles.
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  7. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    As for noisy power steering pumps: I had that problem with the first one I re-installed, and didnt pre-fill the pump with fluid. With the others after that (seven of them so far) I always put p.s. fluid into the reservoir, and then turned the p.s. pump pulley in the same direction as the engine would turn it. I used a spare serpentine belt, held up above the alternator and just around the p.s. pump pulley to do the turning. When I got tired of doing it by hand, I used an electric drill with a sanding drum mounted in it, to turn the p.s. pump pulley at maybe 100 rpm. I had to refill the reservoir in the middle of this procedure. Thee pumps I did this with are essentially silent. The pump on my first Escort, the 92LX, made the whining noise for thousands of miles. It has gotten slowly less noisy, but it has taken 50,000 miles.
  8. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    That's hard to believe. Keep in mind that you can damage a vehicle without wrecking it, and wouldn't find the damage even if someone were to somehow go through all the trouble of measuring paint thicknesses. Someone could've bottomed out the suspension or ran up on a high-curb. I've seen it happen. No obvious damage to the vehicle or wheel. Also, you're saying that it was assembled out-of-spec but the alignment is in spec ? Does cross-rotating the wheels (tires permitting) have any affect on drift tendencies ?
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  9. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    I've rotated the tires, and even replaced the tires with two different brands. No change. I got the car back this evening from the garage. Adjusting the caster did help quite a bit. It's not perfect, but I think I'll live with it for now.
  10. copcarguy

    copcarguy FEOA Member

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    I said this on page 2....
  11. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    You know, I went back to the start of this thread and found that no one asked the obvious questions:

    1. How long have you owned this car?
    2. How long has it had this problem, and did it appear suddenly?
  12. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    I've had the car for over 2 years. The problem started when I had an alignment done when a worn tie rod was replaced. The "before" specs showed the suspension had been HEAVILY biased towards the left. When adjusted properly, that's when the pulling began. One of the techs at my work did an alignment on it and said the only way he was able to get it to stop pulling was to set the toe in the red, again heavily biased towards the left.

    There's a good chance this car is going to go away in the next few days, but I will keep you all posted.
  13. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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  14. copcarguy

    copcarguy FEOA Member

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    Ummm, don't scrap it! part it out on here!
  15. grampy666

    grampy666 FEOA Donator

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    have you or any of the alignment shops or mechanics taken a good look at the bolts that secure the front struts to the spindles? When my '92 wagon was running, it used to eat right rear tires and no alignment shop could fix it. when I did the rear struts and springs, I discovered that the camber bolt was missing on the right rear - there was just a regular old straight bolt in there. when I scrapped the car, I discovered that the camber bolt was in the left front strut!

    I don't recall any pull left/pull right issues with that car, but I thought I'd toss out another idea. you seem to have tried everything else...
  16. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    No, no it's not going to get scrapped or parted. It's a rust free car that, other than a light pull to the right, runs, brakes and drives very nicely. I had the underside epoxied, so there is no threat of rust for many more years. The interior is minty and there are only a few small dings on the body. The main reason for moving on? At the end of the day, it's still a 19 year old car. It's time to pass it on to a high school kid or something.
  17. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    Lol same as scrapping it.
  18. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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  19. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    Escorts don't have camber bolts from the factory, they are an aftermarket addon for when the alignment is out of spec.
  20. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    My mechanic added them on my car to get greater flexibility in the alignment.

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