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

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JW2 Innovations

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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.
I never knew this was a thing until I had it happen to me, radial pull. Did several alignments, tire rotations, etc. Wasn't until I went to new tires did my issue go away. I was convinced my alignment was off, but without touching it new tires put on the front and everything was as it should be. Was only going to do the front, but tbh the difference was so much I put new on the back as well. Truck rides awesome now!
 

AlexC2350

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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!

My 2020 2500 has done this since I got it with 650 miles on it. I’m just about to roll 100k now and it still does it. I’ve never noticed any odd tire wear or anything like that. I did just have to replace the drivers side wheel bearing and I wondered if that added to its premature wear in my opinion. I don’t hang out in the left lane or lanes so it’s not too big a deal, however very annoying when you have to. I think It’s the crown of the road in my situation.
 

Dean2

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Like the others have said, the issue is most likely the shop you are using. Do some research amd find a shop that knows pickups, 4x4s etc. Very different aligning these than a front wheel drive car. It also makes a big difference doing 1500 vs 2500 and 3500. We have a ton of pickups in Alberta and still, not every shop understands how to align them correctly. A good shop can fix this for you.

Have the shop use Thuren specs you will find them much better than the stock settings.

 

truck2014

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Like the others have said, the issue is most likely the shop you are using. Do some research amd find a shop that knows pickups, 4x4s etc. Very different aligning these than a front wheel drive car. It also makes a big difference doing 1500 vs 2500 and 3500. We have a ton of pickups in Alberta and still, not every shop understands how to align them correctly. A good shop can fix this for you.

Have the shop use Thuren specs you will find them much better than the stock settings.


I use a shop that’s all they do , from cars to semis . They don’t do tires , shocks , and oil changes . They are not expensive, and when it’s aligned, it’s right.

They were aware of thuren specs , and would have done them regardless whether I mentioned it or not .

Surprised I didn’t see it mentioned, until I did , and you also now . Pretty common info on the forums.
 

truck2569

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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!
It might not be the alignment. Rams are hard to align. I have found out most is a road that you travel on problem. Or the grade tire your purchasing for your truck. Ball joints will show a war on the tires if there going bad. It could be the compound the tire is made with. I usually by Bridgestone tires for my truck because of the heavy sidewalls in the tires. It could be the road if the road slopes either right or left the truck is going to follow the slope of the road. The best thing I did on my truck lately was added a double Damper system on my trucks frontend. Besides stopping the death wobble if it happens it has improved my handling of the truck driving down the road. Hope some of this might help.
 

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Most manufacturers accommodate for road crown in their front wheel alignment specs. However, keep in mind that road crown can vary quite a bit from road-to-road, so some pulling to the low side of crown is a reality even in a properly aligned system.

This is not an area I excel in, but over the years working around vehicles I have witnessed many examples of tire effect regarding this problem. In fact, I've experienced this myself.

I've included an attachment that might help you, however I would first establish that the specs used for the alignment are in fact the factory specs. Sometimes the alignment machine manufacturers get them wrong.

Regards,
Dusty
2019 Ram 1500 Billet Silver Laramie Quad Cab 2WD, 5.7 Hemi, 8HP75, 3.21 axle, 33-gallon fuel tank, 18” wheels. Build Date: 3 June 2018. Now at 106206 miles.
 

Attachments

  • Infinity road crown bulletin1SD6.pdf
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tron67j

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My experience is some vehicles seem to pull more in roads than others. As mentioned previously, roads are sloped and some vehicles will react to that more than others. Then it could be an alignment but if more than one shop comes back with things are good, perhaps some wear item is just loose enough to cause drift but not enough to show up as a problem. You can replace all such items and maybe fix the issue, or not. Could be tires, could be changing tire pressure. Just do the best you can and coexist with it. It also drives me nutty when that happens. But it just is going to be that way sometimes.
 

Sherman Bird

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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.
Steering Axis Inclination.... there: I said it!
 

Sherman Bird

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I'm inclined to agree with you...lol
The SAI and toe change under load are most often overlooked in my experience.
Slight pull on a crowned road is, in my professional opinion, a small price to pay for long term reduction in tire wear.
If one ever wonders about tire wear, one can take a long trip, remove their air filter element, and see particles of actual black rubber from tires. I've done that... and it is an eye-opener.

Many people say that their vehicle pulls when they remove their hand(s) from the steering wheel.
I respond by stating that I do not drive hands free.

The fella who taught me front end was an old crusty man back in the '70s. He trained me that setting caster to remove toe change under load was more important than the spec. He also preached SAI awareness as a way to find bent knuckles.

Needless to say, I've been the last stop for folks who have gone the 3 or 4 shops for alignments to address tire wear/ pull issues. Most of the time, a sudden appearance of pull is tire related, unless something wore out or got damaged. I saw a Suburban go almost 400 thousand miles on 2 alignments in its entire life. I guess the old crusty fella knew a thing or 2.

I no longer do alignments.
 

Mister Luck

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Outside edge wear from my experience is something you live with on vehicles with out upper control arms and a lowered suspension.
Road crown I thought was compensated by toe-in and proud sided spring seating , and how the vehicle (loaded) weight is distributed.

The uppers should obviously be looked at, but we are all just armchair quarterbacks without looking at the spec sheets from the original alignment.
 

Sherman Bird

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Outside edge wear from my experience is something you live with on vehicles with out upper control arms and a lowered suspension.
Road crown I thought was compensated by toe-in and proud sided spring seating , and how the vehicle (loaded) weight is distributed.

The uppers should obviously be looked at, but we are all just armchair quarterbacks without looking at the spec sheets from the original alignment.
"Outside edge wear"? Living with it? Compensating for road crown by putting in an acceleration of wear spec? I guess most must be far wealthier than me. I routinely have tires outlive their expiry date by which they are no longer considered safe... with very little outer edge wear or overall tread wear. In all of the 10 years of owning my 1990 Suburban, I put many thousands of miles on it, towing often. I replaced the tires ONCE. They were Michelins. They had severe ozone borne cracking with maybe 20% tread wear... IOW, they were like new, tread wise with about 80,000 miles on them.

It did drift ever so slightly on crowned roads only if I let go of the wheel, which I do not do. The effort to overcome the slight drift was barely noticeable. Perhaps this was due to running specs not in the book, but taught me by an old, crusty fart that had knowledge beyond that which was published.

Funny how my 48 years in this trade have revealed so many bits of non published "tricks" of the trade to me to make my profession easier!
 

Mister Luck

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"Outside edge wear"? Living with it? Compensating for road crown by putting in an acceleration of wear spec? I guess most must be far wealthier than me. I routinely have tires outlive their expiry date by which they are no longer considered safe... with very little outer edge wear or overall tread wear. In all of the 10 years of owning my 1990 Suburban, I put many thousands of miles on it, towing often. I replaced the tires ONCE. They were Michelins. They had severe ozone borne cracking with maybe 20% tread wear... IOW, they were like new, tread wise with about 80,000 miles on them.

It did drift ever so slightly on crowned roads only if I let go of the wheel, which I do not do. The effort to overcome the slight drift was barely noticeable. Perhaps this was due to running specs not in the book, but taught me by an old, crusty fart that had knowledge beyond that which was published.

Funny how my 48 years in this trade have revealed so many bits of non published "tricks" of the trade to me to make my profession easier!
Vehicles that are lowered to the extent of having rolled fender wells and horizontal approach to abrupt road inclinations tend to be money pits but are education unto themselves.

It’s also geometry like you mentioned previously SAI the 1500’s have ridiculously better handling then most competitors where they are fighting and struggling to stay inside their lanes.

I personally enjoy a lifted truck over those pesky slot cars but it’s a relative to the road conditions and the environment of sunken grades and sharing the road with vehicles weighing over 30 times my vehicles kg …our trucks are sports cars in comparison.
 

turkeybird56

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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 .
Try riding a Honda Trike on these roads, which are almost all crowned if tar. No matter where I track, one of my "3" tires is gonna be on a bad surface. There just is no way I can avoid. I just try and keep my front wheel off of any road issues, otherwise it almost turns into a slightly white knuckle event.

@Sherman Bird can tell U about TX roads. As heated up as they get (tar), and the heavy loads going over them, makes for a PITA road surface. U just gotta be smart, be aware of your vehicle and it's inherent characteristics (each vehicle rides different), and not drive "hands free". Boy, all these self drive vehicles, no way Jose for me. And then when U get out in rural areas, where all they do on a road is slap down some oil and more "tar rock" surface, boy will that open your eyes if you not pay attention.

ADDED: Now, if the alignments are way outta spec, and/or worn parts, that is a different issue. But I find my 1500 rides very well mostly, even at 85 mph running down IH 35, I feel comfortable but always try to stay aware. FTR, I do run heavier tires, Falken AT3W's which I found also helped a lil on how the truck handles vs the stock SRA balloons, but I always adjust/keep my PSI where it needs to be also, especially with temp changes.

All above IMHO only.

Da Yellow Pig:

337886109_938763160474275_2361733200592748428_n.jpg
 
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Yardbird

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I put the tires on my '87 F150 4x4 in October 2003, yes, 2003. They are still on it with tread left. No sidewall cracking at all, and ride and drive fine.

The date code is right on the side of the tire.

My son has been using it to drive back and forth to work for the past couple of months.

They don't make tires like they used to......

I did my own front end set up with my specs. No uneven wear on the Timberline 30" tires.
 

TotallyHucked

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The SAI and toe change under load are most often overlooked in my experience.
Slight pull on a crowned road is, in my professional opinion, a small price to pay for long term reduction in tire wear.
If one ever wonders about tire wear, one can take a long trip, remove their air filter element, and see particles of actual black rubber from tires. I've done that... and it is an eye-opener.

Many people say that their vehicle pulls when they remove their hand(s) from the steering wheel.
I respond by stating that I do not drive hands free.

The fella who taught me front end was an old crusty man back in the '70s. He trained me that setting caster to remove toe change under load was more important than the spec. He also preached SAI awareness as a way to find bent knuckles.

Needless to say, I've been the last stop for folks who have gone the 3 or 4 shops for alignments to address tire wear/ pull issues. Most of the time, a sudden appearance of pull is tire related, unless something wore out or got damaged. I saw a Suburban go almost 400 thousand miles on 2 alignments in its entire life. I guess the old crusty fella knew a thing or 2.

I no longer do alignments.
I have experience doing alignments on performance cars (grew up at the race track) but SAI wasn't something I was ever taught. I have a lowered '85 C10 that most alignment shops can't or won't touch. I'd had it a couple years and it always wore one tire funny and would occasionally act weird over certain roads, I redid my own alignments several times trying to fix it. Finally found a shop that had an old crotchety guy in the back and knew all those tricks. Sure enough, one of my spindles was bent causing the weird tire wear and occasional goofy handling. Love learning stuff from old guys
 

Jas34

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The fella who taught me front end was an old crusty man back in the '70s.
Similar story here. At the time, I worked in a family owned Dodge dealership that got its start when the owner's grandfather was selling horse drawn carriages there. We were still doing a lot of work on the floor as modern lifts were kind of slow to find that place.

The alignment machine I learned on was an old machine from what looked like the '40's or '50s. A projector screen affair that used lights and mirrors (I often thought smoke and mirrors). That was a good way to learn as you had to really understand what you were doing. Gave me a good background for when the more modern machines came into play.

I haven't been a tech now for some time, but I am at a complete loss when it comes time to find someone who can do alignments. Those old guys who know what they're doing are pretty much long gone. I've had the best luck with dealership techs, but my vehicles are straight forward. Don't know who I'd look to if I had a problem car. While I used to religiously do periodic alignments and especially when I got a new set of tires, if the old ones aren't wearing unevenly and the vehicle goes straight down the road, I don't bother anymore for fear of that getting messed up.
 
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truck2014

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Try riding a Honda Trike on these roads, which are almost all crowned if tar. No matter where I track, one of my "3" tires is gonna be on a bad surface. There just is no way I can avoid. I just try and keep my front wheel off of any road issues, otherwise it almost turns into a slightly white knuckle event.

@Sherman Bird can tell U about TX roads. As heated up as they get (tar), and the heavy loads going over them, makes for a PITA road surface. U just gotta be smart, be aware of your vehicle and it's inherent characteristics (each vehicle rides different), and not drive "hands free". Boy, all these self drive vehicles, no way Jose for me. And then when U get out in rural areas, where all they do on a road is slap down some oil and more "tar rock" surface, boy will that open your eyes if you not pay attention.

ADDED: Now, if the alignments are way outta spec, and/or worn parts, that is a different issue. But I find my 1500 rides very well mostly, even at 85 mph running down IH 35, I feel comfortable but always try to stay aware. FTR, I do run heavier tires, Falken AT3W's which I found also helped a lil on how the truck handles vs the stock SRA balloons, but I always adjust/keep my PSI where it needs to be also, especially with temp changes.

All above IMHO only.

Da Yellow Pig:

View attachment 539188
Try riding a Honda Trike on these roads, which are almost all crowned if tar. No matter where I track, one of my "3" tires is gonna be on a bad surface. There just is no way I can avoid. I just try and keep my front wheel off of any road issues, otherwise it almost turns into a slightly white knuckle event.

@Sherman Bird can tell U about TX roads. As heated up as they get (tar), and the heavy loads going over them, makes for a PITA road surface. U just gotta be smart, be aware of your vehicle and it's inherent characteristics (each vehicle rides different), and not drive "hands free". Boy, all these self drive vehicles, no way Jose for me. And then when U get out in rural areas, where all they do on a road is slap down some oil and more "tar rock" surface, boy will that open your eyes if you not pay attention.

ADDED: Now, if the alignments are way outta spec, and/or worn parts, that is a different issue. But I find my 1500 rides very well mostly, even at 85 mph running down IH 35, I feel comfortable but always try to stay aware. FTR, I do run heavier tires, Falken AT3W's which I found also helped a lil on how the truck handles vs the stock SRA balloons, but I always adjust/keep my PSI where it needs to be also, especially with temp changes.

All above IMHO only.

Da Yellow Pig:

View attachment 539188
I’ve towed both with my old ford Superduty, and this 2014 Ram 3500 . Two different fifth wheels all over the western states , including Texas down to the gulf coast . Been a few years since the Texas trip , only thing that comes to mind is the terrible traffic going thru San Antonio.
 
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