Merc. Cougar pulling to the right

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  #1  
Old 10-10-05, 07:07 PM
Irina's Avatar
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Merc. Cougar pulling to the right

Hi all, 1990 Cougar pulls to the left when the steering wheel is aligned straight. So when I drive I have to always turn a wheel slightly to the left for the car to go straight. It's not a new problem, but after 7 hours of driving this past weekend I feel annoyed enough and ready to correct it. Also the wheel is vibrating on the highway speeds. That is something relatively new. It seems to me that it all got worse after I had the tie rods replaced a few months back. I'm not sure if the job was done correctly because the shop didn't have the aligment mashine, they just installed rods and I took it for the alighment the next day. What could be wrong with the steering? Any suggestions are appreciated.
Irina
 
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  #2  
Old 10-11-05, 08:57 AM
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Most common reason for a car to pull to one side is low tire inflation. Check the air in your tires. If they're good and even, I would take the car back to the shop and tell them it hasn't been right since they worked on it. Next time I wouldn't wait quite so long to take it back if something like this happens again.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 08:38 PM
badblazer73
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The vibration is most likely a tire balance issue. As stated, I would check to make sure that both front tires are evenly inflated. If they are, I would swap the front tires around (left to right) and see if the pull changes. sometimes tires themselves can cause pulls. Your cougar has 4 wheel independent suspension. If a shop does whats called a "toe set" alignment, the alignment may still be off. If the rear suspension isn't "true" then the front never will be either as they set the front to run with the rear. the rear is the guideline. a 4 wheel alingment must be done on these cars.

Other items in a car can cause pulls. If the front caliper on the right is dragging a little, then the car will also pull that way.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 08:49 PM
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I have a set of brand new tires on it and 4 wheel alighment was done twice and tires were balanced and rebalanced and it didn't make much difference. I'll try to swap tires and see how that goes, but it's been a while since the tie rods were done, so I don't think they'll take responsibility. Could tie rods cause it? Also they NEVER can get my alighment done to the factory's specs.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 09:13 PM
badblazer73
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A tie rod alone won't usually cause the pull. Unless it's bad. It really doesn't surprise me they can't get it 100% in alignment. As the cars get older and the springs sag with age, it makes the suspension sit different. Unless you rebuild the suspension, it may never be 100%. close enough may be all you will ever get. Ford alignment books used to have the proper ride height specs to check ride height's. Because of the way the independent suspension works, if the springs are worn, the top of the tires will lean in slightly. Sometimes you can see it. It will look like your carrying a couple huindred pounds of stuff in the trunk, when your not.


Please take no offence to the story i am gonna tell, as it is 100% true. I had a friend who was a mechanic at a dodge dealer. They told him to do an alignment on a reliant. the lady said it pulled. He did it. according to the machine, the alignment was fine. he gave the car back to the service rep. A week later, the car comes back. Same complaint. does the alignment agian (for free) comes up fine agian!! sends the car back. agian the car comes back. still complaining about the pulling. This time they send him out to the customer and go for a road test to see what the problem could be. As it turned out, the lady was a bit large. 300+ pounds. he did the alignment with her sitting in the car!! problem solved. I only offer this as an example of other causes.

When I did the alignments on My race cars, and others I would put 250 pounds of weight in the drivers seat to compensate for my weight to best duplicate actual ride height.
 
  #6  
Old 10-11-05, 10:42 PM
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Good story - I guess that could apply to adjusting headlights too...
 
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