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Old 10-17-2019, 09:01 PM   #1
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Loose steering problem

Can someone please tell me a solution. Ive changed both control arms/ball joints. Ive put brand new tie rods, but when driving rough roads my steering seems to pull and or I guess get sloppy. I believe I have an leaking power steering seal but is that the problem? The suspension is stock an worn. But can someone please tell me a solution thanks


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Old 10-18-2019, 04:33 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mfresh1981 View Post
Can someone please tell me a solution. Ive changed both control arms/ball joints. Ive put brand new tie rods, but when driving rough roads my steering seems to pull and or I guess get sloppy. I believe I have an leaking power steering seal but is that the problem? The suspension is stock an worn. But can someone please tell me a solution thanks
If you replaced those parts and did not get an alignment then that will happen. Worn front struts will do that too
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:38 PM   #3
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It doesn't pull to either side like signs of needing an alignment. I know my drivers side strut is pretty bad the pass side ive replace. Thanks for responding I plan on replacing all bushings and suspension in the spring.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:47 PM   #4
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You should always replace your struts and shocks in pairs.

People have the misconception that a car only needs an alignment when it pulls and that's not true. A alignment can drastically change how a car feels.
You should definitely put new struts on the front after you do that, and any other suspension work you plan on doing get a alignment.

Question after you replaced your tire rods did you get a alignment?

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Last edited by zacautomotive; 10-18-2019 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mfresh1981 View Post
Ive put brand new tie rods, but when driving rough roads my steering seems to pull and or I guess get sloppy.
Did you replace inner and outer tie rods on both sides? Have you tried moving the tires at the 3 and 9 oclock and checking for movement in the steering linkage/rack?

I agree with those that asked if you had the vehicle aligned after the parts replacements.

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Old 10-18-2019, 10:42 PM   #6
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I just did outer. But please tell me what are the exactly doing when they do an alignment ? What are they changing from ive already done.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:14 PM   #7
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Anytime you change tie rods you must get an alignment.
The only thing that's adjustable in the front from the factory is the toe the toe is adjusted at the tie rods.
A alignment is not about replacing things it's about making adjustments.
The rear of the car is also adjustable which is why you want to get a 4 wheel alignment.
I don't think you understand how important this is I suggest watching some YouTube videos on how alignments are done.

This is not only a performance issue it's a safety issue for yourself and other people on the road please take this seriously. I've been working on cars since I was 14, I spent years in school for this I don't know everything but I know enough.




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Last edited by zacautomotive; 10-18-2019 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mfresh1981 View Post
I just did outer. But please tell me what are the exactly doing when they do an alignment ? What are they changing from ive already done.
What year/model is your Focus and how many miles? Do you see rapid and/or uneven tire wear?

You need to check the inner tie rods and steering rack with the method I described or google 'how to check for worn tie rods'. I agree about 4 wheel alignment but chances are your rear alinment adjusting cams are seized. At a minimum have the front aligned (toe) and rear checked.

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Old 10-22-2019, 03:30 AM   #9
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'People have the misconception that a car only needs an alignment when it pulls and that's not true.'

Absolutely true (the statement given there), I can correct pulling in under 5 minutes after driving the car to determine needs but the parts must all be tight. I never align after correcting for the pull either but how you fix that pulling IS technically part of aligning one, so there.

I typically change to new tires before aligning a car, that puts the previous align much closer to correct (saves a lot of work), and all I literally ever do is a quick adjust for slight pulling while keeping toe in mind and the car is then driving perfect with centered wheel and no drifting around at all. I am not happy with the work until the car can go at least 750 ft. with no drifting out of lane more than maybe a foot. The tires wear forever.

Most aligning is due to tires and other parts getting out of whack, renew the tires and then most of time there is no need for a major align. And I have a significant other that has a love affair with driving up and over curbs on a regular basis.

I have now gone years without laying out the rear to see how it fits the front (true 4 wheel alignment), it just hasn't been necessary even though I can do that as well.

If you get on very rough road surface with a rack that has backed off on the pinion preload, then the steering can wobble under conflicting forces all over the place. Typically that is a new rack replace to fix but finding the correct thickness in shim can have that fixed for pennies and a little bit of time. BTDT. Like said the ties must all 4 be good and tight too.

Lifetime alignments? Just throwing money away, and likely making the next alignment needed that much faster as you did it on worn parts, the tires alone will kill you there. As you chase the part wear, the alignments get off further and further from true square on good tires until the car is undriveable. The 'true square' may BE there, but no alignment machine on earth can make up for tire wear differences that make the tires fight. You can have two wheels with correct camber and caster and toe, yet if they are worn at tire say one with a lot of one corner missing then it's silly to think the two tires will track the same, the corners have much to do with how the tread bites on the pavement and the tire will track funny thus negating some of your alignment.

Just proved the ideas out again on the Nissan. It's been getting flighty on the front and especially when windy. Then some ass stole one of the front STEEL wheels (WTF does THAT???). Went to scrapyard and found a tire with wheel ($50) that looked very close to new, only the tire size was a 195 instead of a 185, but I was wanting to increase the size anyway. Yanked other front which proved to be worn out (50K miles) and bought another 195 valued at the same tire tread height the junkyard tire had, hoping to make them both wear out close to the same. Turned out to be a Walmart $38 tire and balanced it by simple guessing myself. Put it on car and back to handling beautifully, no wander at all and car goes easily 85+ mph with zero shake. No alignment needed at all, around here they cannot get them that close at all.

I don't hesitate to align when it is needed but most of it is self created bullsh-t in my view. I haven't paid for it now in well over 40 years.
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Last edited by amc49; 10-22-2019 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:29 AM   #10
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I'm going to say agree to disagree.
If that works for you and you're happy with that's great.
Personally I prefer road force tire balancers, and Hunter Hawkeye alignments.




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Last edited by zacautomotive; 10-22-2019 at 08:35 AM.
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