97 Tracer- can't eliminate pulling to the right | Page 5 | 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. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    I've never had a routine alignment done on any of the Escorts I've owned. If you think about it, there's next to nothing to adjust on the front end, and nothing to go out of alignment unless a part gets damaged in an accident or wears out. If the car drives straight during the test drive, with a centered steering wheel and even tire wear all around, that's good enough for me.

    When I have to replace a tie-rod end, I try to match the original position as best as possible, and then tweak it to re-center the steering wheel. This works because usually only one side fails at a time.

    New front struts get installed in the default position, just like the old ones. There's virtually no play in the 2 lower mounting bolts (front or rear).

    On the rear end, there's no need to adjust the camber cams, they're probably frozen from rust anyways. Although my last Escort had a bent lower lateral arm, probably from the last owner backing into a curb stop. Never noticed the problem until I had to replace the strut, and the quickstrut had a larger diameter spring than the original, so it scraped the inner fender wall. The cam was fully adjusted outward, but it wasn't enough. I had to use a different brand of spring that had the same original diameter.

    The golden rule of auto repair (and other fields) is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Your original mechanic should have asked you if you had pulling problems when he saw the camber that far out of alignment. You would have said no, and he should have left it alone. Like you said, not worth the time and money to discover the underlying cause on a 19 year old car.
  2. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    Yep. I realize now that I should have probably had him bias the camber and toe slightly to the left and let it go. But I thought this would be an easily curable problem. The good news is that along the way, we did replace a lot of parts that were worn out. The outer tie rods had play, the original tires were dry rotted, the calipers were sticking and made a popping noise, the original struts and mounts were worn out and made noise on turns, the rack also made a clacking sound too. So all in all, I really did replace a lot of stuff that needed dealt with.
  3. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    I replace pairs or sets as the case may be. When one fails, the other isn't far behind and I really don't like to run mismatches or essentially repeat the same job.

    Eg tie rods. I do inners and outers on both sides because I'm already in there. Jack stands under both sides and the proper tools make it easy. Then I log it in my excel spreadsheet and know it's all done. Ball joints, same deal. Uppers and lowers, both sides. Costs a little more but ensures my vehicles are nice and tight. Wheel bearings...inners & outers as applicable, both sides.

    Navigator for example got two new front wheel hub/bearing assemblies plus rotors and pads all the way around at the same time. Did the tie rods and ball joints and control arms all at once. 204k and rolls like new.
  4. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    You may find this pretty interesting. Let me know if the image isn't viewable.
    [​IMG]
  5. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    Would be a Godsend on my Tracer.
  6. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    Not sure if my Focus has that or not.
  7. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    Maybe not?

    https://www.fordlawsuits.com/ford-power-steering-problem-lawsuit.html

    "If you now or previously owned or leased, certain models of Fusion or Focus vehicles manufactured by the Ford Motor Company, your vehicle may suffer from serious defects in its electronic power assisted steering system. You have likely paid more for your vehicle than you would have paid had you been aware of these potential defects, and you may have legal claims against Ford. You should contact an attorney to discuss your rights."​
  8. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    This statement cracks me up for many different reasons.
  9. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    Per document, the problem caused it to cut-off and affected only "hundreds" from 2010 through 2014 Fusion and Focus. Sounds like a part supplier issue versus design flaw. My 2016 Fiesta manual mentions a dash light and sound for EPAS memory serving. No accounts of the system steering for the driver, only that it cuts off meaning, manual steering.

    Large companies including Honda & Toyota potentially get sued over any and every failure these days. When your product contains a million components produced by hundreds of contractors who themselves have suppliers, these failures are unfortunately inevitable. The real indicator is what companies do to mitigate them and how they address those who experience them.
  10. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    Well, I traded the Tracer in on a new 16 Fiesta this evening. So for now, I'm without a Tracer/Escort/ZX2 for the first time in nearly 10 years.
    dchawk81 likes this.
  11. Pizzaman5000

    Pizzaman5000 FEOA Donator

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  12. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    Who knows, some day I may pick up a cheap one and tinker again. I still miss my old green 99 Escort SE wagon I had. They're good, reliable beater cars, but for main transportation, it was time to get newer.
  13. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    Congratulations!

    New cars definitely have their benefits despite the payment.

    There's also more to the "experience" than just reliability.
  14. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    Very true. I opted for a 6 year 60K bumper to bumper on it too, so I'm covered for a long time if anything were to go wrong.
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  15. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    I did the same when I got my '14 Focus. Wanted peace of mind with this one.
  16. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    There are at least three Fiesta owners here.
  17. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    I didn't bother buying any extra warranty.
  18. copcarguy

    copcarguy FEOA Member

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    This Escort also has all vin tags present with never turned bolts lol:

  19. Cymmantix

    Cymmantix My old archenemy, RAKES!

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    What did they give you for the trade?
  20. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    $3000 trade in value + a $3000 increase on price of the new vehicle. ;)
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