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96 Ford Ranger Front end pulls

kennn's Avatar

Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 129

05-21-03, 05:19 PM   #1  
96 Ford Ranger Front end pulls

I am thinking of buying a 96 ranger XL extended cab 2.3L ranger from my company. Seems like a good buy, except for mostly minor issues. The only obvious major problem is the front end. For at least a 1.5 years and 10000 miles, likely more it has pulled very hard to the right to the point where you had to steer left. No ever had it checked.

Took it to a reputable front end specialist who said it was a combination ball joint, alignment and tire. Total cost w/o tire roughly $150.

Got another estimate from another repair shop (a chain auto company which started in mufflers), who said it was the tire. In which case he switched the front tires and retested it. Afterwards the front end only pulled very slightly to the left.

He said the tire only had minimal wear on the inside and suggested toe in was slightly off and probably could get by without doing anything further, but would be better to buy new tire and have it aligned.

I did notice a very slight amount in/out movement or play (1/16 to 1/8") at the top of tire in both wheels and possibly slightly more in the right. I'm wonder which shop to believe, If I believe the later, am I asking for problems down the road. Thanks for your opinion in advance

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bejay's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538

05-21-03, 11:06 PM   #2  
i would probably go with the front end shop, and suggest you have 2 like new tires on the front before having it aligned, even though both shops could tell you had a tire problem, the procedure for checking ball joints varys from vehicle to vehicle and if not tested correctly will indicate no problems.

Joe_F's Avatar
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Posts: n/a

05-22-03, 06:28 AM   #3  
Change both balljoints and have it lined up. Have the front end checked out by a good, competent shop. Ask them to show you how/why the parts are worn out.

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