Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Friday August 1, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
Click here to visit TireRack
Brakes & Suspension Forum sponsored by The Tire Rack

Losing traction? Need new tires?
Click here to visit the NASIOC Upgrade Garage...
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC Technical > Brakes, Steering & Suspension

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-02-2012, 12:26 AM   #1
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default Car pulls to the right - Not an alignment issue - Help!

I bought my 09 WRX in 2011, completely stock. It was pulling slightly to the right (noticeable only at highway speeds). At that point I had just assumed a simple alignment would correct it.

Since then I've changed the springs, shocks, sways, wheels and tires (on purpose, not to fix the alignment).

I've gotten 3 alignments, 2 from the dealer, 1 from an independent shop.

I know it's not the tires because it was pulling to the right even with the stock tires.

I've tried rotating the tires left to right, no help. On the advice of a Subaru independent shop I then tried, right to left and left rear to right front and vice versa), although the car was vibrating significantly I believe because of the wear on the tires from lowering the car. Again, I don't think this would fix anything because I don't think it's the tires.

I love this car but the pulling to the right is driving me nuts. I'm not sure what to do next, the dealer seems to be useless. I've gotten two services done, someone said to check if the calipers are sticking, I assume that would be evident during a service check?

The dealer did say that they saw evidence in the right front area of collision repair. The car fax was clean but I'm not sure how reliable that is.

Note, I'm not very mechanically inclined, so I'm looking for suggestions on how to find and get someone to fix it.

I'm in the SF Bay Area if someone knows of a shop I can actually try to get to fix it.

Thanks in advance.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2012, 12:59 AM   #2
Uncle Scotty
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 16200
Join Date: Mar 2002
Vehicle:
OK Houston
we have an Uncle

Default

most roads are 'crowned' so that water runs off them to the gutters on the sides of the road....this means that many cars will pull just a little to the right on many roads even if they are all good

I think this is what you are experiencing and are over sensitive to

relax...it is just a car and it is gonna be not quite perfect...ever
Uncle Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2012, 09:12 AM   #3
Scooby921
Merci Buckets
Moderator
 
Member#: 88606
Join Date: Jun 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Clarkston
Vehicle:
2011 GMC Sierra
'13 JCW

Default

What are your alignment specs? As you add more negative camber the car is more likely to follow grooves in the roadway. It could also amplify what Scotty mentioned above.
Scooby921 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2012, 04:33 PM   #4
Silverspark
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 274545
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: New York
Default

Even wider tires will make it wonder the crown..
Silverspark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #5
Turn in Concepts
NASIOC Vendor
 
Member#: 93646
Join Date: Aug 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Vehicle:
Many Track Records
Let us help you go fast!

Default

As mentioned, we need the alignment specs. Just because the alignment is "in spec" doesn't mean it isn't the cause of the problem.

Tony
Turn in Concepts is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 12:54 AM   #6
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
most roads are 'crowned' so that water runs off them to the gutters on the sides of the road....this means that many cars will pull just a little to the right on many roads even if they are all good

I think this is what you are experiencing and are over sensitive to

relax...it is just a car and it is gonna be not quite perfect...ever
I'm familiar with crowning, and own another car with 20" rims that doesn't do this. In fact, I've owned 14 cars in my lifetime so I know what crowning is. I've also had technicians from a scooby specialist and the dealership drive the car to confirm it. That's not the case here.

I would just like a car that tracks straight.

BTW, the service technician at the dealership also who told me that all Subaru's pull to the right.
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 01:08 AM   #7
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default

Alignment specs from the dealership:
LF: -0.1 Camber, 6.3 Caster, -0.03 Toe
LR: -1.7 Camber, 0.01 Toe
RF: -0.1 Camber, 6.2 Caster, -0.02 Toe
RR: -1.9 Camber, 0.02 Toe

Front
Cross Camber 0.00
Cross Caster 0.2
Cross SAI -0.8
Total Toe -0.05

Rear
Cross Camber 0.2
Total Toe 0.03
Thrust Angle 0.0

I then took it to another place and got the following specs (they said they just measured and didn't adjust anything because everything looked fine). BTW, they just charged me $15 because they didn't do anything (just trying to head off questions implying I got scammed by the second place):

LF: 0.12 Camber, (no reading) Caster, -0.05 Toe
LR: -1.57 Camber, 0.04 Toe
RF: 0.35 Camber, (no reading) Caster, 0.05 Toe
RR: -1.6 Camber, 0.03 Toe

Front
Cross Camber -0.23
Total Toe 0.00

Rear
Total Toe -0.01
Thrust Angle -0.03

Thanks in advance!
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 01:20 AM   #8
Uncle Scotty
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 16200
Join Date: Mar 2002
Vehicle:
OK Houston
we have an Uncle

Default

oh that alignment sucks bad....real bad...like REALLY sucks

ya want the front camber even, side to side and max negative that they can get
Uncle Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 01:40 AM   #9
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
oh that alignment sucks bad....real bad...like REALLY sucks

ya want the front camber even, side to side and max negative that they can get
So if I get the camber even on the front it will stop pulling to the right? I mentioned I'm not mechanically inclined, what about the numbers tells you it pulls to the right? I know what camber/caster/and toe are, but I'm not sure how to interpret the numbers to say whether a combination of numbers will cause the car to do one thing or another. One thing I was considering trying is to over correct and force it pull to the left (temporarily), just to test if this is an alignment issue.

Also, I don't think the camber on the rear is adjustable.
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 01:46 AM   #10
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
oh that alignment sucks bad....real bad...like REALLY sucks

ya want the front camber even, side to side and max negative that they can get
Actually, won't the fact that I have more camber on the right front than the left front actually have it pull to the left?

EDIT: In my noob interpretation of the numbers, it looks to me like everything says the car should pull to the left. Unless I have everything backwards

Last edited by rollnsf; 04-03-2012 at 01:54 AM.
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 01:52 AM   #11
Uncle Scotty
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 16200
Join Date: Mar 2002
Vehicle:
OK Houston
we have an Uncle

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollnsf View Post
Actually, won't the fact that I have more camber on the right front than the left front actually have it pull to the left?
that

alignment

sucks

sweaty

monkey

balls
Uncle Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 09:08 AM   #12
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
that

alignment

sucks

sweaty

monkey

balls
Thanks for your response, I don't know how this helps me.
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 09:35 AM   #13
Chuck H
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 20442
Join Date: Jun 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Chelmsford, MA
Vehicle:
KTR tuned 2003 WRX
VF34 equipped, 270 whp

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollnsf View Post
Alignment specs from the dealership:
LF: -0.1 Camber, 6.3 Caster, -0.03 Toe
LR: -1.7 Camber, 0.01 Toe
RF: -0.1 Camber, 6.2 Caster, -0.02 Toe
RR: -1.9 Camber, 0.02 Toe

Front
Cross Camber 0.00
Cross Caster 0.2
Cross SAI -0.8
Total Toe -0.05

Rear
Cross Camber 0.2
Total Toe 0.03
Thrust Angle 0.0

I then took it to another place and got the following specs (they said they just measured and didn't adjust anything because everything looked fine). BTW, they just charged me $15 because they didn't do anything (just trying to head off questions implying I got scammed by the second place):

LF: 0.12 Camber, (no reading) Caster, -0.05 Toe
LR: -1.57 Camber, 0.04 Toe
RF: 0.35 Camber, (no reading) Caster, 0.05 Toe
RR: -1.6 Camber, 0.03 Toe

Front
Cross Camber -0.23
Total Toe 0.00

Rear
Total Toe -0.01
Thrust Angle -0.03
Thanks in advance!
Somebody's machine is way off, because there's no way you should get an alignment done, go to another shop and have it checked, and have camber change from negative to positive.

Looking at just the second set of numbers, it helps explain why the car would pull to the right. Your left front tire is toed in by .05, meaning it points slighty towards the center of the car (to the right). The right front tire is toed out by .05, meaning it points slighty away from the center of the car (again to the right). So if you hold the steering wheel perfectly straight, the car is going to drift slightly to the right. However, if you let go of the wheel, it should self-center pretty well. That fact that your right front wheel has significantly more positive camber than the left front (on both alignments) may also be contributing to the car pulling to the right.

As far as why Uncle Scotty is telling you that the alignment sucks, positive camber is just plain bad, especially in front. When you turn the wheel, body roll makes the outside front wheel (the one taking most of the weight) gain positive camber. That's why we set them up with negative camber to begin with, so that when you corner, you still have the whole tread width available. When they are set up with positive camber, they roll onto the outer edges and your cornering limits are significantly reduced. Now, on to the rear. You have tons of negative camber going on back there, but you're toed slightly out. The camber is going to make the rear end stick well in corners, but the toe-out is going to make it want to oversteer when you go into corners. Combine that with your positive camber up front, which is going to make the car want to understeer like crazy in corners, and I think Uncle Scotty's assessment is pretty much spot-on -- the alignment sucks sweaty monkey balls.

Not sure which lowering springs you're running, but you have things reversed front-to-back in terms of how you want the camber set up. Try to get an alignment shop set you up much closer to zero camber in the back and zero toe. Then get as much negative camber up front as you can, but make it even side-to-side. Front toe is a matter of preference. Slight toe-in generally makes you track straighter on the highway, but reduces turn-in sensitivity a little. Slight toe-out generally gets you quicker turn-in, but the car will have more tendency to wander on the highway. Don't let the alignment shop tell you that negative camber is going to eat your tires, because it won't. But any significant toe-in or toe-out will chew them up pretty quickly.
Chuck H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
TXwrxWagon
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 191557
Join Date: Oct 2008
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Rockwall-East DFW
Vehicle:
2004 WRX Wagon
WRB not so minty fresh

Default

yeah I was going to ask:

1. your first sentence says "completely stock" then next paragraph or so you mention lowered... what is it? stock height or lowered?

2. If it is lowered: by what method? just strings on stock struts? springs and new struts? coil overs? any camber bolts up front? brands for all non stock parts?

3. is it PULLING or just slowly drifting to the right... its supposed to slowly drift slightly as a safety measure... but like between 4-5-6 marker polls on the highway it will inch toward the right shoulder. if its catching or darting then its def. alignment

I have the same problem as you are having and I can tell you 210% it is alignment. Like yours most shops take the OE (aka not lowered) specs and if they are in range they stop. They don't worry about matching left/right because they are trying to turn-n-burn cars through.

The forget that AWD is more sensitive to L/R AND F/R variances of as little as +/- .01

Firestone did mine "lifetime" so I just have to make time to get up there and have them redo it.

Last thing, most better suspension companies will give recommended alignment specs with their lowering parts. My RCE springs came with mild street, serious street, and race specs... Firestone failed to do as I asked and use those specs. So this time I will have to demand they align it to the specs of the suspension system I am using.

Rob
TXwrxWagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 11:54 AM   #15
philly15
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 223137
Join Date: Sep 2009
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Appleton, WI
Vehicle:
14' super ultimate
race car project

Default

ok clearly both alignement specs show why it pulls right. camber and caster will cause a pull the toe not so much toe mainly just causes tire wear because the total toe equals zero there is a good chance it would be fine, in the first set of specs your front camber is equal so that would mean you feel the road crown as stated what they should have done is make the left side slightly more positive than the right to oppose it as the car will pull towards the most positive camber and least positive caster. In the second set of specs your front camber shows a more postive number on the right causing the pull to the right so obviously it is the alignment so find a new shop!! but i highly disagree with the statement about toe causing a pull if the toe was off it would cause the tires to dog track and create a really odd tire wear not pull but as total toe equals zero it is fine
philly15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 03:59 PM   #16
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
Somebody's machine is way off, because there's no way you should get an alignment done, go to another shop and have it checked, and have camber change from negative to positive.

Looking at just the second set of numbers, it helps explain why the car would pull to the right. Your left front tire is toed in by .05, meaning it points slighty towards the center of the car (to the right). The right front tire is toed out by .05, meaning it points slighty away from the center of the car (again to the right). So if you hold the steering wheel perfectly straight, the car is going to drift slightly to the right. However, if you let go of the wheel, it should self-center pretty well. That fact that your right front wheel has significantly more positive camber than the left front (on both alignments) may also be contributing to the car pulling to the right.

As far as why Uncle Scotty is telling you that the alignment sucks, positive camber is just plain bad, especially in front. When you turn the wheel, body roll makes the outside front wheel (the one taking most of the weight) gain positive camber. That's why we set them up with negative camber to begin with, so that when you corner, you still have the whole tread width available. When they are set up with positive camber, they roll onto the outer edges and your cornering limits are significantly reduced. Now, on to the rear. You have tons of negative camber going on back there, but you're toed slightly out. The camber is going to make the rear end stick well in corners, but the toe-out is going to make it want to oversteer when you go into corners. Combine that with your positive camber up front, which is going to make the car want to understeer like crazy in corners, and I think Uncle Scotty's assessment is pretty much spot-on -- the alignment sucks sweaty monkey balls.

Not sure which lowering springs you're running, but you have things reversed front-to-back in terms of how you want the camber set up. Try to get an alignment shop set you up much closer to zero camber in the back and zero toe. Then get as much negative camber up front as you can, but make it even side-to-side. Front toe is a matter of preference. Slight toe-in generally makes you track straighter on the highway, but reduces turn-in sensitivity a little. Slight toe-out generally gets you quicker turn-in, but the car will have more tendency to wander on the highway. Don't let the alignment shop tell you that negative camber is going to eat your tires, because it won't. But any significant toe-in or toe-out will chew them up pretty quickly.
Thanks so much for the thoughtful response.

I thought the negative toe on the left front meant it points away from center, which meant it points to the left.

I don't think the rear camber is adjustable without modification?

I guess I'll look for a higher-end alignment specialist that can modify to my specs instead of aligning to ranges.

Thanks!
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 04:01 PM   #17
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TXwrxWagon View Post
yeah I was going to ask:

1. your first sentence says "completely stock" then next paragraph or so you mention lowered... what is it? stock height or lowered?

I bought it stock, but have since modified. I'm running Epic Springs (and Konis, and Epic rear sway and Perrin front sway)

2. If it is lowered: by what method? just strings on stock struts? springs and new struts? coil overs? any camber bolts up front? brands for all non stock parts?

3. is it PULLING or just slowly drifting to the right... its supposed to slowly drift slightly as a safety measure... but like between 4-5-6 marker polls on the highway it will inch toward the right shoulder. if its catching or darting then its def. alignment

It's drifting.

I have the same problem as you are having and I can tell you 210% it is alignment. Like yours most shops take the OE (aka not lowered) specs and if they are in range they stop. They don't worry about matching left/right because they are trying to turn-n-burn cars through.

The forget that AWD is more sensitive to L/R AND F/R variances of as little as +/- .01

Firestone did mine "lifetime" so I just have to make time to get up there and have them redo it.

Last thing, most better suspension companies will give recommended alignment specs with their lowering parts. My RCE springs came with mild street, serious street, and race specs... Firestone failed to do as I asked and use those specs. So this time I will have to demand they align it to the specs of the suspension system I am using.

Rob
Thanks! I'll another alignment shop and have them align to Epic's specs.
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2012, 04:29 PM   #18
rollnsf
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 277607
Join Date: Mar 2011
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Vehicle:
2009 WRX Hatch-Red
2007 MB R500

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by philly15 View Post
ok clearly both alignement specs show why it pulls right. camber and caster will cause a pull the toe not so much toe mainly just causes tire wear because the total toe equals zero there is a good chance it would be fine, in the first set of specs your front camber is equal so that would mean you feel the road crown as stated what they should have done is make the left side slightly more positive than the right to oppose it as the car will pull towards the most positive camber and least positive caster. In the second set of specs your front camber shows a more postive number on the right causing the pull to the right so obviously it is the alignment so find a new shop!! but i highly disagree with the statement about toe causing a pull if the toe was off it would cause the tires to dog track and create a really odd tire wear not pull but as total toe equals zero it is fine
Thanks! Will be looking for a better alignment shop now...
rollnsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Switched to 18" wheels, car pulls to the right Ziggyrama Tire & Wheel 6 04-14-2006 12:26 PM
Why does my car pull to the right? qik-RE Newbies & FAQs 11 10-25-2004 03:58 PM
causes for car pulling to the right? fireguy5 Factory 2.0L Turbo Powertrain 17 08-10-2004 06:30 PM
Car pulling to the right Gfunk720 Transmission (AT/MT) & Driveline 1 03-30-2004 01:47 AM
Car pulling to the right when braking. Tkacik Brakes, Steering & Suspension 5 04-10-2001 09:12 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.