front end problem

bigblue35

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i have a 96 ford bronco with 33. I have been having alot of trouble keeping it in the road. it pulls to one side and wanders in the road. i went and got the alignment done on it and that didnt fix it, what else could be the problems? balljoints, tie rods?

 

Roadkill

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Both ball joints and tie rods could cause your problem. A reputable alignment shop would not have aligned it with those problems, though. If ball joints or tie rods needed replacing, they should have told you what was wrong and to get it fixed before they would align it. Or maybe have offered to make the repairs for you. If it pulls to one side, there could be something "dragging" on that side. Possibly a bad wheel bearing, or brake dragging. Does one wheel get noticebly hotter after the vehicle has been driven? Carefull when checking, they can get pretty hot.

 

BroncoJoe19

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I recently had mine to my friendly front end specialist. I told him that I was good enough a mechanic to swap parts out, but not good enoguh to know which ones needed changing. I explained that the truck was too old to put a lot of money into it, and that I wanted to do some work on it with my son, as a father son bonding experience. I asked him to tell me what was wrong, that my son and I would change out the parts, and then bring it back to him for the alignment. He agreed, and had a story to tell.

He checked my front end and said that everthing was tight as it should be, except for my lower right ball joint. In fact the other three ball joints were too tight, and that was my problem, so before I tell you how he diagnosed that... the story.

There was a gentleman who owned a trucking company about 25 miles away,. He had a Bronco that he had a little difficulty keeping straight, especially after he hit a bump or suddenly changed lanes. He had his Bronc to a couple of shops and they both told him everything was tight as it should be. Well one night he went to dinner and had a couple of drinks. On the way home he got pulled over for wandering in his lane. He narrowly failed the breathalizer test and lost his license for 6 months. His truck ended up in Roy's shop. After checking it out, Roy told him that his ball joints are too tight!

He replaced them, and after the guy got his license back... everthing was fine.

How he diagnosed it.

He pulled my bronc up to, but not on the rack.

He had me turn the wheel back and forth while he looked at the front end.

(everything looked fine re: tie rod ends etc)

I guess he saw something from underneath, because he told me what the problem was and this is how he showed me.

He had me eyeball... line up the front fender with something on the wall.

THen he turned the wheel a little bit back and forth.

The body started to move, before the tires started to turn.

He said the ball joints were too tight.

He says that my wandering is due to overcompensating due to the tight ball joints. One has to turn too hard to get the wheels to move.

Second

He jacked the front end up, and without the engine running, had me grab hold of the tire, and turn it in and out. I had to use a fair amount of force. He asked me if I could tell that it was too hard to do. I explained that I had not done that before to any other vehicle so I had nothing to compare it to. I'll take his word for it.

So... with both tires an inch or two off the ground, he put a prybar under the tire and lifted it up and down an inch or two to look for movement in the ball joints. He did this on each side. My bottom right had movement, and needs to be replaced (in the sping time) It is not my daily ride. Certainly if you do one, you do the other, and since they are all tight, I have to do both sides.

Installation of ball joints.

As I recall... The manual says that when installing ball joints, one must first install the lower joint, and torque it to some number, let's just say 40 ft lbs, THEN install the upper, which can get torqued all the way to let's say 90 ft lbs, then you go back and torque the lower to whatever it should be.. let's say 90 ft lbs. Otherwise the ball joints will BIND.

I hope that others find this informational.

BTW he reccommended that I get only MOOG or Splicer replacement parts.

I replaced my ball joints, and he was right. It drives very nicely now. :) /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />

 
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Devil Dog08

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I recently had mine to my friendly front end specialist. I told him that I was good enough a mechanic to swap parts out, but not good enoguh to know which ones needed changing. I explained that the truck was too old to put a lot of money into it, and that I wanted to do some work on it with my son, as a father son bonding experience. I asked him to tell me what was wrong, that my son and I would change out the parts, and then bring it back to him for the alignment. He agreed, and had a story to tell.

He checked my front end and said that everthing was tight as it should be, except for my lower right ball joint. In fact the other three ball joints were too tight, and that was my problem, so before I tell you how he diagnosed that... the story.

There was a gentleman who owned a trucking company about 25 miles away,. He had a Bronco that he had a little difficulty keeping straight, especially after he hit a bump or suddenly changed lanes. He had his Bronc to a couple of shops and they both told him everything was tight as it should be. Well one night he went to dinner and had a couple of drinks. On the way home he got pulled over for wandering in his lane. He narrowly failed the breathalizer test and lost his license for 6 months. His truck ended up in Roy's shop. After checking it out, Roy told him that his ball joints are too tight!

He replaced them, and after the guy got his license back... everthing was fine.

How he diagnosed it.

He pulled my bronc up to, but not on the rack.

He had me turn the wheel back and forth while he looked at the front end.

(everything looked fine re: tie rod ends etc)

I guess he saw something from underneath, because he told me what the problem was and this is how he showed me.

He had me eyeball... line up the front fender with something on the wall.

THen he turned the wheel a little bit back and forth.

The body started to move, before the tires started to turn.

He said the ball joints were too tight.

He says that my wandering is due to overcompensating due to the tight ball joints. One has to turn too hard to get the wheels to move.

Second

He jacked the front end up, and without the engine running, had me grab hold of the tire, and turn it in and out. I had to use a fair amount of force. He asked me if I could tell that it was too hard to do. I explained that I had not done that before to any other vehicle so I had nothing to compare it to. I'll take his word for it.

So... with both tires an inch or two off the ground, he put a prybar under the tire and lifted it up and down an inch or two to look for movement in the ball joints. He did this on each side. My bottom right had movement, and needs to be replaced (in the sping time) It is not my daily ride. Certainly if you do one, you do the other, and since they are all tight, I have to do both sides.

Installation of ball joints.

As I recall... The manual says that when installing ball joints, one must first install the lower joint, and torque it to some number, let's just say 40 ft lbs, THEN install the upper, which can get torqued all the way to let's say 90 ft lbs, then you go back and torque the lower to whatever it should be.. let's say 90 ft lbs. Otherwise the ball joints will BIND.

I hope that others find this informational.

BTW he reccommended that I get only MOOG or Splicer replacement parts.

I replaced my ball joints, and he was right. It drives very nicely now. :) /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />

[wow great story . who would of thought of that. i love this site
 

BUBBAS 666

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Yeah, there's an old guy I work with named Jimmy and he's been a mechanic since the 60's.

Whenever a customer doesn't believe the problem that was found... he takes them back there, puts the front two tires in the air enough to get a pry bar under it, and shows them what to look for.

It's pretty neat.

 

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