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car pulling to the right

10 January 2005
i recently put bilstein's on my car. the car had original's before this. i left the factory springs. when i picked up the car from the shop, it was pulling to the right. extremely hard pull. i took it back and they re-looked at it, changed tire set up and re-aligned it. this time the shop said they maxed out the machine to make it not pull. but it still does, not as bad but it is present and annoying. they supposedly rechecked the bilsteins and said nothing was wrong with them. but the car did not pull at all when i dropped it off and now it has a slight pull to the right. also, i may be crazy, but it feels as though the car is much easier to turn to the right than it is to the left. it feels as though it has little to no power assist when turning to the left but moves easily to the right.
any thoughts that will not cost me $500 for someone to tell me they donot know what is up either? thanks, joe
My car does the same right now. Only it does not pull to the right extremely but once in a while when i brake kinda hard. I assumed it was because I needed an alignment or because one of my tires were mismatched and getting kind of worn. But you apparently had your alignment done which seems to eliminate that idea. Hmmm??? anyone have any ideas why both our cars have similar problems. By the way my Left Cvboot is starting to leak.
I don't have much advice, but I'll ask this question: What kind of shop did the alignment? Dod they have much previous experience with NSX's? Check-in with the Southcentral forum for a recomendation on who might be available in your area that is competent.
Were is the alignment print out? And what are your ride heights? These two pieces of info will tell alot:). When you say "pull" do you mean under braking, or just straight line criusing?

I woul bet they did an improper caster swing when setting it. Imagine caster this way- look at your legs, (look down) and imagine your knee is the top of the strut mount, and your foot is the tire. If you move your foot forward pivoting at the knee, that is positive caster. (straight down is zero caster, and moved backwards is negative caster) If you move your left foot forward a few inches ahead of your right, you now have more caster on the left than on the right and if you were a car you would pull in that direction. All cars pull in the direction of less caster as if they were pivoting in the direction of the wheel further back from the front centerline.

Caster is a value that can not be read just as the car is set up on the alignment machine, as is toe and camber. Caster is read as the change in angle when moving the wheel ten degrees left than ten degrees right (or the other way round depending on who you voted for, but thats not important).
If you make a change in the adjustment, you should swing them again and read the result. Several new machines manuals say this is no longer nessacery, but from my experiance doing it both ways, it DOES make a differance.

The spec you read should be near to 8 degees as possible but it is much more important that they are the same l and r. If they take the half degree less on one side allowed, and half degree more on the pther, you will have a one degree diff and most machines will allow that.

Like Larry said, read your specs.

numbers are as follows:

left front right front
-0.6 camber -0.1
7.0 caster 7.95
-0.07 toe -0.06
8.0 SAI 8.0
7.4 included angle 8.0

cross camber -0.6
cross caster -0.8
total toe -0.13
set back 0.08

left rear right rear
-1.8 camber -2.0
0.08 toe 0.07

total toe 0.15
thrust angle 0.01

hope this helps. remember that this pulls to the right while driving. if i let go of the wheel, the car would drive off the road in about 200 yards. so pretty severe to me. and it did not drive this way before i put the bilsteins on. also i was wondering if the bilsteins come as a set of front and a set of rear (ie only two fit the front and two fit the rear) or are they "one size fits all nsx's". i had them put on by what was supposed to be the best shop in town, and no one in shreveport has experience with the nsx. have never seen one here in the 5 years i have lived here.

thanks again for all of the ideas.
ps. if i cannot fix the problem here in s'port, does anyone know a good place in dallas or houston?

thanks, joe
did ur car pull to the right before you installed blisten?
from my past expereince, a bent front toe link, and a warped front rotors can also contribute to the pulling of the car, especially under hard braking.
If the car pulls aggresively to one direction during hard braking, you should definitely check your rotors and pads.
hope this helps!
From your numbers it looks like you need a better alignment.
The caster numbers in the front are too far apart. They may have had a problem with the pivot being frozen and could not adjust the caster properly.
Print out a copy of the alignment procedure found on this site and take it with you to another shop.
Ask other car enthusiasts in your area where to go if you can't find one on your own.
IMHO I dont think >1 degree caster will cause a severe pull, maybe a slight drift. Check your tire pressures and tires. Unevenly worn tires will cause a pull and if you can, try rotating the fronts tires from side to side to see if the pull changes direction. If the tires are directional, only do this as a temporary test. While the car is jacked up spin the wheels to see if anything is binding the wheels rotation. Also make sure ride height is correct. Good luck!
In Houston, there is this place called Southwest Alignment that most of the NSXer's take their cars to. It's located off of Unity I believe a few blocks from 59 and the Fountainview area.

- Z
I agree with the bad alignment. Only a small hint: Check your tire pressure, it has to be perfectly the same on both sides.
thanks guys. i have done it all. same tires, same pressure, same height on the fronts---still drifting to the right. before the bilstein's it was a perfect, and i mean perfect straight line driver. i have an appt with the local dealer to replace the front plastic under the bumper (which i ripped off the other day backing straight out of my driveway--idiot me) and plan on getting them to look at it. sure that will cost me an arm and a leg for most likely little insight. i appreciate your insight and will let you know if i ever get it fixed. if not, i might be going to houston to see that shop.

thanks, joe
If you happen to re-align the car, try aligning it with the weight of the driver insiden while centering the steering wheel. The front toe settings do change slightly if the tech gets in and out of the car while setting the front toe.