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Front End Wanders


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#1 BlueOvalFitter

 
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Posted 29 September 2017 - 10:44 AM

Awhile back I posted on here about my nephew getting a 2006 F 150 similar to mine. His parents bought it for him as a graduation gift and to travel to college in. 

Okay, I would appreciate if no one made any jokes at what I'm about to explain. Thank You.

My nephew is an over weight person. He's about 5'9" tall and weighs about 380-400 lbs. I'm thinking this is the problem he's having with his truck. You see, his mother is my sister and she knows that I'm mechanically inclined. So, she called me asking for advice. 

She paid to have new tires, shocks, and an alignment put on his truck about 6-7 months ago. Well, she was riding with him yesterday and noticed when he would sometimes take his hands off of the steering wheel the truck would wander to the right. I asked her in very detail if it would actually pull, or wander. She was very detailed in saying it wandered over a period, like within a 1/4 mile or so. I trust her judgment because she does know about vehicles a little bit, growing up around me. She stated that she asked him how long it had been doing this and he told her ever since they bought the truck for him. 

Okay, here's what I think it is. I think because of him being so big that it's causing the alignment to be thrown off ever so slightly that it's making it wander to the right. I base this theory upon the fact that he had front end work done to it when he first got it, it has new shocks and tires and an alignment, and he stated it has been wandering since he first got it. Is this possible, being he is that big that it CAN cause a perfectly aligned truck front end, to make it wander to the right?

I'm sorry for the long winded post, but I had to get all of the details in for you Ford techs to scope out the problem. Thanks for listening and any advice you give!  :) 


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#2 ok44

 
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Posted 29 September 2017 - 04:32 PM

Wandering is usually caused by a worn ball joint or steering component. A good front alignment tech should inspect things like that before actually aligning it. It also provides an opportunity for the tech to  upsell any needed repairs. Nothing wrong with that.

One worn component makes any alignment null and void. It's fine on the rack; not so much once it leaves the rack.

 

I don't believe his weight has anything to do with wandering or rolling to the right.



#3 BlueOvalFitter

 
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Posted 29 September 2017 - 06:24 PM

ok44, what about just starting with the basics? Such as, switching the front tires from one side to the other?


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#4 ok44

 
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Posted 30 September 2017 - 12:02 AM

Again, this is just my opinion but I don't think swapping the tires will help seeing as how they're new. If they were used tires then they could be suspect.

 

However, if the complaint mostly is pulling to the right you could certainly swap the 2 front tires side to side in the event this is a tire bias issue. Sometimes the construction of a new tire can cause it to have a bias in one direction or the other.

 

Several times in the past I've purchased new tires and when driving off found the car was pulling hard one way or the other. Rotating the front tires from one side to the other would eliminate the pull although in one case it simply made the car pull hard the opposite direction. The tire store was not happy but I told them they needed to solve the bias issue (Ha...) or replace the tires. They swapped them around several times to no avail and ended up replacing both of the new front tires. That cured that.



#5 ojustracing

 
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Posted 01 October 2017 - 07:18 AM

So the truck wanders to the right over the course of 1/4 mile? so at 60mph he had his hands off the wheel for 15sec? 


Cough Cough!!!!! 31 Years of turning wrenches. Union Fleet Mechanic


#6 BlueOvalFitter

 
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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:10 AM

You act as if he were driving hands free for the HELL of it. No, that's not the case. I just called and  asked my sister to be more specific about how long his hands were off of the wheel. She stated on/off for at least 1/8-1/4 mile.

She told me she used his truck yesterday evening  to pick up some plants from HOME DEPOT. She wanted to see if the truck would wander while she was driving it and said it did when she removed her hands, but it drifted very slowly to the right. I asked her if she was VERY SURE if it pulled or wandered. She stated it just slowly would drift to the right. 

I asked her to take some pictures of the front tires and send them to me. If there is any cupping, feathering, scalping, etc. I will post them here.

IMHO, from what she describes, I wouldn't worry about it. Now, when she sends the pics and I see irregular wear on the tires, then I WILL be worried.


2007 F150,XL,4.2V6,auto,Dark Blue Pearl Metallic
The anticipation of death is worse than death itself!
Mess with the best,die like the rest;US ARMY!

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