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JRodMTB 10-01-2011 09:31 AM

Truck Pulling after Bilstein Install
I had my 5100's installed by a reputable shop that a lot of people at work use a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately the shop's alignment rack couldn't accommodate the 20" wheels that we have on our truck so in a pinch I ended up taking the truck to a local Belle Tire to have an alignment done.

This past week I had it back to BT for the 3rd time because the truck is pulling hard to the left. I understand roads have crown but if I straighten out the wheel, the truck will shift lanes in about 5 seconds unless I'm in the very right lane. The last time I was in the shop, dude told me that the truck is as close to factory spec as possible (I have all 3 alignment sheets) and that if I was still having issues that it was most likely due to the lift.

I've rotated tires, made sure that my tires are all the same pressure (35psi) and have done a quick "hand" check on the brakes to make sure wasn't locking up and causing the pull. I'm rolling on 275 Cooper LTZ's and have the shocks set at the 2" lift (2nd ring from top).

Has anyone else experienced this with the Bilstein's or do you guys think my alignment is still off? Thanks!

WyGuy 10-01-2011 10:58 AM

I've not heard of anyone having that problem with the 5100's. My guess is that the alignment still must be off. Any chance the shocks ended up on different settings?

brad12kx 10-01-2011 12:03 PM

Does the problem get worse when the brakes are applied, or stay the same?

JRodMTB 10-01-2011 04:02 PM

The problem doesn't get any worse when braking. It is amplified when on the expressway when cruising 70mph.

WyGuy - they're set at the same height. I thought the exact same thing so I checked both the shock position and the height btw the tire and fender.

brad12kx 10-01-2011 04:18 PM

Can you post the alignment specs?
I'm wondering if they opted to not adjust the caster as much as desired because of it's affect on the camber..... :4-dontknow:
Also, did they do a 4 wheel alignment check. It is possible that a minor misalignment may have been accentuated by the leveling.

JRodMTB 10-05-2011 08:40 PM

Just and update: I took the truck in to a different shop and had it realigned. The cross caster was set at -1.3 deg (which the specified range is -0.9 - 0.1 deg) so needless to say, it was way off.

They made the adjustments and the truck drives beautifully. It's still pulling a bit when I'm in the very left lane of the expressway, but I'm sure that's due to road crown. I may have them adjust things a bit more to compensate for that - because I tend to drive in the left lane a lot :smiley_thumbs_up:

brad12kx 10-05-2011 09:40 PM

Yah know.....It really disappoints me when front end alignment people use the 'close enough' attitude. In reality, the front end alignment (full chassis alignment for that matter) is critical to the safe operation of a vehicle, and IMO 'close enough' just doesn't cut it. Either it's absolutely correct, or it is not!

If someone takes the position of a technician doing front end alignments, they need to consider their job as being one of the most important jobs, with one of the greatest affects on safety of any vehicle repair job. If they can't/won't use the attitude that only perfection is 'close enough', then they should consider employment elsewhere.

You reading don't appear to be far off the mark....but it made a huge difference.
-1.3 is NOT....Close Enough.

doug713 10-06-2011 08:55 AM

I second that Brad. Some people now days have no cares about what they're doing and no pride in their work, it's sad. They are just there to get a paycheck and nothing more. I've gone through similar issues in the past, some people just need to push a broom,,,,lol..

thiggins 10-06-2011 09:25 AM

I'd ask for a refund, especially for all of your wasted time.

moparornocar72 10-06-2011 11:34 AM

When I was doing alignments I would drive them before and after as to leave no room for error. The only problems I would ever run into was that trucks were raised or lowered so high a caster/camber kit had to be installed. I would definately ask them for money back. The only other thing that pulls could be caused by if the alignment is in spec is if the tire has a manufacturing problem, it's not common but it does happen and it will cause a radial pull on one or more tires. We had a machine that determined road force by applying almost a dyno on the tire. The local dealers used us to determine the cause of vibrations (esp. ford and their pirellis).

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