3 alignments later truck still pulls left and right when on sloped road

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rayman360

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Hey guys, just signed up to the forum. Been around RAMs forever, but have run into an issue that I was hoping someone here could steer me in the right direction. I have Toyo Proxes STIII's on the truck, 22" wheels. I needed two new tires as the front two chewed through the inside edge really badly. Bought two online, took them to local tire store to have mounted balanced and realigned, since I thought that was why they had the inside edge eaten. They called and said the lower ball joints were bad, but could go ahead and put the tires on but would need to bring it back to install control arms with new ball joints then do alignment. Had the truck back for a few days with the new tires and didn't notice anything strange. Took it back to the shop, they replaced both lower control arms which included the new ball joints as an assembly. We did NOT replace upper ones, if that matters or factors into this issue. They did the alignment and I took it home. Truck seemed to pull bad to the right and vibrated badly at high speed. Took it back to shop, re-balanced all four tires and rechecked the alignment. Vibration went away and seemed to be slightly better on alignment.

Here's the odd thing, truck will steer almost perfectly straight on a flat level road, but when you are on a crown or slant it will pull in whatever direction the slant is in. Sometimes rather severely. I took it back to them and complained it never did that before and something was off. They claim it's got to be the alignment and checked it again. Aligned the truck for the 3rd time and it seems to be the same as before. Will drive straight on flat surface but as soon as you are on an angle the steering wheel will turn slightly and pulls in that direction, left or right, doesn't matter. Like I said, I'm replacing the same tires with more of the same and never had the issue. Do you think I should have replaced the upper ball joints at the same time, could that be causing this? I've checked the directional tires, air pressure, all of that is fine. Any ideas what might be causing something like this to go on? Let me know if there are questions or if I left out any details. I appreciate any help at all. It's just very frustrating that the truck drove perfectly prior and now can't get it back to normal. If they can't get it fixed I'll take it to another shop or the dealer, but I've already sunk too much money in it to start over, but if I have to, I will. Thanks!
 

DILLIGAF

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Find the best off-road shop in your area that does alignments.
 

TotallyHucked

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Are you sure it never pulled like that before? Or are you just now aware of it because of the work done recently? Any vehicle is going to be affected by a crown in the road, it's near impossible for it not to be. The worse the crown, the worse it's gonna pull. I've never owned something that didn't pull to whatever side of the road the crown was on
 

Bigskyroadglide

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Has the trucks ride height been changed? Lowered or raised? If so, factory specs may not be enough. @DILLIGAF is on target, you need someone who understands the variables.

Camber is where you should focus. You should be able to get camber and toe to factory specs.

Caster is another story. If ride height has been altered, It's going to be close but out of spec, you want it to be mostly equal side to side with about .20 difference between sides.

My lowered RT(4/6), with 22s, running 285/45/22 tires will follow the crown of the road if it's significant, other roads it tracks straight and true.

A belt in a tire can also cause tracking. Make certain you are not chasing a problem that does not exist.
 
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rayman360

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Thanks everyone for the info and suggestions. I honestly don't think it was ever this bad before. I'm a little OCD when it comes to things like this and feel I would have noticed. That being said, maybe I'm being overly critical since it just had work done and looking for a problem. I've got a friend that has a customs shop and does lifts and alignments, if it continues to bother me, I'll see if he can look at it. It was so bad the first time they touched it, my wife drove it and asked what was wrong with it. After the latest alignment it does seem to be closer/better. Stock ride height for now, plan on lowering the rear 2" just to level it, but that's a story for another time. Thanks again for the help.
 

turkeybird56

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Are you sure it never pulled like that before? Or are you just now aware of it because of the work done recently? Any vehicle is going to be affected by a crown in the road, it's near impossible for it not to be. The worse the crown, the worse it's gonna pull. I've never owned something that didn't pull to whatever side of the road the crown was on
Ought to feel how a 3 wheel trike rides with roads. U just get pulled all over unless U try to ride hitting both lanes, but dat be a death wish. Either your center front gets pulled or one of the rear wheels gets pulled. Constant fight to maintain a lane, and add a cross wind, hold on Charlie lol.

OP: u do gotta find a good shop tho that does/and or specializes in road alignments and such. But some roads are crowned worse than others also.

337886109_938763160474275_2361733200592748428_n.jpg
 

zrock

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Are you sure it never pulled like that before? Or are you just now aware of it because of the work done recently? Any vehicle is going to be affected by a crown in the road, it's near impossible for it not to be. The worse the crown, the worse it's gonna pull. I've never owned something that didn't pull to whatever side of the road the crown was on
Alignment shops can compensate for this my truck does not pull unless the crown is severe.

To the OP does your truck have air suspension? If so the shop has no clue how to align air suspension or you have a leak in your system. If you do not have air find another shop and have them do the alignment, if it is better take the bill to the original shop and have them reimburse you, i have had to do that on occasion.
 

Mojo88

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Maybe the alignment was so bad before (you indicated inside edges of tires badly worn), that it somehow compensated for the rather typical drift in direction of road slant.

Some alignments have a slight bias to the left (compensation for road crown) that partially corrects the tendency for vehicle to drift to the right while traveling on most roads.
 

Jas34

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I would find an alignment shop that has a guy who really knows how to do alignments. Maybe the shop you took it to does, but just because they have the latest alignment machine may be meaningless if they don't have someone really good with it.

That said, all vehicles will pull to road crown, some worse than others. Way back when I used to be an dealership tech at a MB dealership we tweaked the front castor to take some of the road crown pull out of the cars, as most roads are higher in the middle and slope off to the passenger side. Made the customers much happier.

My 2017 ram 1500 is not particularly sensitive to road crown, but it's all stock. Any changes you make from that can alter this. If you can find an alignment guy (or girl) who knows their geometry and understands what they're doing rather than just adjust things 'til the machine is in the green, this may help you.
 
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rayman360

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Alignment shops can compensate for this my truck does not pull unless the crown is severe.

To the OP does your truck have air suspension? If so the shop has no clue how to align air suspension or you have a leak in your system. If you do not have air find another shop and have them do the alignment, if it is better take the bill to the original shop and have them reimburse you, i have had to do that on occasion.
No air ride on the truck.
Maybe the alignment was so bad before (you indicated inside edges of tires badly worn), that it somehow compensated for the rather typical drift in direction of road slant.

Some alignments have a slight bias to the left (compensation for road crown) that partially corrects the tendency for vehicle to drift to the right while traveling on most roads.
That could be the case, haven't thought about that part.
 

tjfdesmo

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Ought to feel how a 3 wheel trike rides with roads. U just get pulled all over unless U try to ride hitting both lanes, but dat be a death wish. Either your center front gets pulled or one of the rear wheels gets pulled. Constant fight to maintain a lane, and add a cross wind, hold on Charlie lol.

OP: u do gotta find a good shop tho that does/and or specializes in road alignments and such. But some roads are crowned worse than others also.

View attachment 537568
We did some Champion trike conversions, and after enough test rides I concluded that when I couldn't hold up a motorcycle anymore, I'd rather drive a Miata or S2000.

Interestingly, with the difference in track width, duallies also require pretty constant input.
 

Brandon-w

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Not sure about it mentioned before but look into radial pull. You can align 1000 times and have it perfect. The radial pull will Pull You all over. Rotate tires front to rear see Where you are.
 

Jeepwalker

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What size tires are you talking here? Sorry if I missed it (didn't see the tire size). Couple additional thoughts to toss out:

1) It probably is alignment, so concentrate on that. But as for the tires:

2) Your new tires have taller (new) tread, I'm guessing. And tires with deep tread can behave slightly different than tires with a lot lower tread. That shouldn't make it pull as bad as you describe. But could make weak alignment feel worse.

3) Tire mfgrs are always tweaking their tire designs. Updating things. What was the case just a couple years ago, might not be the case now. A tire may look the same or very similar on the outside, but possibly use a completely different carcass design or manufacturing process underneath. And maybe that design doesn't play well with your truck (assuming the design is good). It's something to look into, contact the mfgr, if a good alignment doesn't resolve the problem. This is just speculation because I don't know your tires. Esp larger tires that tend to make trucks pull anyway.

4) One quick way to possibly de-bug might be to swap them front to back. See how it behaves with your old tires on front.

Let us know how this ends ..for the betterment of other.

Thanks!!
 

turkeybird56

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We did some Champion trike conversions, and after enough test rides I concluded that when I couldn't hold up a motorcycle anymore, I'd rather drive a Miata or S2000.

Interestingly, with the difference in track width, duallies also require pretty constant input.
Just FYI, mine is a Motor Trike Conversion.
 

18Hemi

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I have a 2019 Ram 3500 CTD that constantly pulls right. Took it to an off road alignment shop and they said the alignment was spot on and one of the best factory alignments they've seen. They suggested that that front tires had some slipping belts. They were the stock Transforce so didn't like them anyways. Went to Discount and bought new Michelin S2's. The truck road and steered like a gem. Still pulled right but not even close to before. Problem was I tow a fairly heavy TT and the truck felt like it was on ice while towing. Went back to Discount and they swapped out the all season Michelins for some Cooper XT3 XLT on off road tires. Apparently the new Michelin S2 compound was changed and it's now softer. I can believe it as my truck dang near felt like a 1/2 ton. I figured I'd get a tougher stronger tire with a stiffer sidewall to help with towing. Well the truck went right back to pulling to the right.
Guess I just have to live with it.
This is my 3rd Ram and probably the worst steering to date. I had a 2012 CC LB CTD and I needed to replace some front end parts but it tracked like it was on rails. My 2018 was also better than the 19 but not as good as the 12 even after replacing the drag link after Ram welded it under a recall. Bought a Synergy drag link and it drove much nicer.
To the Op maybe replace some parts with better quality parts. Rams not known for the best front end components.
 

Taifun7

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Can we get back to basic's for a minute. Camber is a wear angle, the tilting if you will of the top of the tire side to side. Bad lower ball joints threw the camber angle off putting excessive wear on the inside edges of both front tires. Caster is not a wear angle but will change the directional stability of the vehicle. I would suggest finding a local Ram dealer who can realign the vehicle to factory spec and set the "Clear Vision" of the toe angle.
 

old dog

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That is how your truck should track if it is aligned correctly, tracks left if road slanted to the left, tracks right if road is slanted to the right and tracks straight if road is level. Unless you start having unusual tire wear I would call it good.
 

Fnjoey

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I used to work for a shop, and it is a common issue, if tge road crowns it will go in tge direction, if it doesn't pull on flat surfaces, then you're fine.
 

truck2014

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No mention of the Thuren specs , my 3500 toe is set for .0 - .05 . Thats not factory specs .
 

truck2014

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I used to work for a shop, and it is a common issue, if tge road crowns it will go in tge direction, if it doesn't pull on flat surfaces, then you're fine.

I have no handling problems , I think that most that don’t are probably like me don’t really notice the pull right or left on a crowned road , just adjust .
 
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