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HELP! Car pulls to right on acceleration...Les Schwab screw up.


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28 replies to this topic

#1 MR_Loyale

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:38 PM

1993 Loyale Sedan, FWD pulls to the right on acceleration.  Here are the clues:

 

 

Took the car to Les Schwab to get the driver side axle replaced due to blown outer boot. Got the car back and it pulled to the right upon acceleration.  Took it back in and they tried to claim that I had a bad motor mount or my rear brakes could be causing the problem saying they were sticking. I think this is bull crap.

 

So they replaced the LEFT AXLE and it now does a hard right upon acceleration. Let off gas and it goes straight. Hit brakes and it goes straight. I know someone here knows exactly what they screwed up. I am clueless when it comes to front end suspension stuff, but I got a haynes book and can look for things if someone can direct me.

 

Second clue: The tech tried to tell me my camber was out to tolerance as if my frame was bent according to his machine. He claimed it cambers outward when he tried to do the "alignment". He said to take it to a body shop to get the frame straightness checked. My car has never been in an accident. I know the frame is not bent uless they did something to crash it into the lift or something.

 

 

 

What parts can I check to see what they missed/screwed up?

 

The car did not do this prior to their repair. Steered straight as an arrow on acceleration.

 



#2 djellum

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 07:50 PM

id start by finding out what process they use to replace the axle.  that will tell you what they screwed with.  your best bet is to take it to a real mechanic and once he finds out what they did get your money back or stop payment if you used a credit card (assuming they actually did mess something up).  in a vacuum id check all the axle hardware, make sure they put the cone washer and spring washer on correctly, check the brakes (the ebrakes on the front on these so make sure its adjusted).  check tie rods, sway bar, lower a-arm, etc.



#3 MilesFox

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:00 PM

They probably removed or loosened the radius arm mount, and there is slack in the bushing, causing the control arm to walk forward under torque.



#4 MR_Loyale

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:33 PM

I think they put in the wrong axle. Here is the passenger side, the one they did not touch:

 

passenger.jpg

 

Here is the one they put in. Notice the difference folds in the boot:

 

driver_cv.jpg



#5 MR_Loyale

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:42 PM

Does that axle look familiar to anyone? Maybe an Outback cv they put in or perhaps a rear axle. I had to keep on telling them this was a front wheel drive vehicle.



#6 ford'ssubaru's

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:05 PM

I am only throwing out a suggestion to you.  I am not looking at your car in front of me but if it were me I would break it down.  Typical fwd cars have a shorter shaft but this is an awesome Subi so the shafts are the same length unless of course it is a Justi(i believe).  So what is next...  I would check the splines on the hubs them selves.  I am slow to judge other mechanics (only because I am not looking at your ride myself)  some things are easily missed.  They may not have been paying that close attention and the splines were just barely grabbing on oneside enabling the car to still move forward.  Kind of a different thought when your dealing with differentials.  Here is an interesting thought.  If you engage AWD does it still pull?  That would be an interesting clue.  Many posts on USMB on the whole spline thing. 

 

If it were me.  Put the front on jackstands to ensure there are no brakes dragging and such.  Love to here what the others have to say.



#7 ford'ssubaru's

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:10 PM

I think they put in the wrong axle. Here is the passenger side, the one they did not touch:

 

passenger.jpg

 

Here is the one they put in. Notice the difference folds in the boot:

 

driver_cv.jpg

If you look at your picture closely you actually can tell in the first picure that it once had a longer boot on it.  See the double ridge on the half shaft.  That is wher the oem bood once road.  I believe.



#8 MR_Loyale

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:12 PM

I am only throwing out a suggestion to you.  I am not looking at your car in front of me but if it were me I would break it down.  Typical fwd cars have a shorter shaft but this is an awesome Subi so the shafts are the same length unless of course it is a Justi(i believe).  So what is next...  I would check the splines on the hubs them selves.  I am slow to judge other mechanics (only because I am not looking at your ride myself)  some things are easily missed.  They may not have been paying that close attention and the splines were just barely grabbing on oneside enabling the car to still move forward.  Kind of a different thought when your dealing with differentials.  Here is an interesting thought.  If you engage AWD does it still pull?  That would be an interesting clue.  Many posts on USMB on the whole spline thing. 

 

If it were me.  Put the front on jackstands to ensure there are no brakes dragging and such.  Love to here what the others have to say.

 

 

This is a front wheel drive car. There is no AWD.



#9 MR_Loyale

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 09:16 PM

If you look at your picture closely you actually can tell in the first picure that it once had a longer boot on it.  See the double ridge on the half shaft.  That is wher the oem bood once road.  I believe.

 

That shaft in the first picture is a reman that Les Schwab installed in 2006. I still have the invoice. If you look closely at the angle on the struts from the first pic to the second, there is less angle on the second pic. I think the shaft is shorter, thus it explains why the tech claimed "my frame was bent" because the camber could not be adjusted within tolerances. He actually said it slanted out, which would be logical if the new shaft was shorter.

 

it certanly doesn't look at all like the one that came off there.



#10 ford'ssubaru's

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:50 PM

You know the more I stare at your photo I think you might be correct. If the wrong axle was installed the it would be able to go it case the tires are dropped and the axle has enough room to go in.  Once it was lowered it would bind up on one side. 

 

Cheers,

 

Eric



#11 Gloyale

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:43 AM

If you look at your picture closely you actually can tell in the first picure that it once had a longer boot on it.  See the double ridge on the half shaft.  That is wher the oem bood once road.  I believe.

 

Those are identifier pads for type of axle.

 

4wd manual 1 pad or none.

 

fwd auto 2 pads

 

turbo 3 pads.

 

The axle is fine...just aftermarket with a funky boot.

 

This is your problem

 

They probably removed or loosened the radius arm mount, and there is
slack in the bushing, causing the control arm to walk forward under
torque.

 

pulling to one side or the other under hard accel/decel in these cars is almost always a radius rod bushing issue.

 

For what it's worth..if the axle was wrong length it wouldn't affect camber.  Knuckle psition is set by the raduis rod, a-arm, strut top, and tie rod.  Axle would either be stretched or buckled up if too long or too shart, but the knuckle is fixed by the suspension....not the axle



#12 nobangmycar

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:44 AM

Another good reason to replace an outer joint and not a whole axle...



#13 grossgary

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 07:38 AM

boot is meaningless, an axle can take all different types, manufactures, styles, clamps, generics, types of boots. it does look like a 2001+ Subaru axle boot with the increased convolutions, but some generic boots are like that too.

 

as Gloyale mentioned it's not likely the issue. i can't quite tell but looks to be the correct axle.  it would be nearly impossible to stuff the wrong axle in there.  all EA82 non-turbo front axles are interchangeable, there's no trickery with that part.



#14 MR_Loyale

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:34 AM

Those are identifier pads for type of axle.

 

4wd manual 1 pad or none.

 

fwd auto 2 pads

 

turbo 3 pads.

 

The axle is fine...just aftermarket with a funky boot.

 

This is your problem

 

 

 

pulling to one side or the other under hard accel/decel in these cars is almost always a radius rod bushing issue.

 

For what it's worth..if the axle was wrong length it wouldn't affect camber.  Knuckle psition is set by the raduis rod, a-arm, strut top, and tie rod.  Axle would either be stretched or buckled up if too long or too shart, but the knuckle is fixed by the suspension....not the axle

 

Do I just need to have them replace the bushings?



#15 scoobiedubie

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:46 AM

Do you have the same tire size with a similar amount of wear, on both front wheels? Also, perhaps they did not get the wheel alignment rods reinstalled exactly as how they were before they came off of the car. And then they failed to check the alignment.

#16 Gloyale

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:16 AM

Check the radius rod bushings and see if:

 

#1  the nut has been tightened down all the way

 

#2  The bushings are reasonably intact, not split, not toatally crushed.

 

#3  While it's in the air, check the balljoints....try to pry between the arm and the knuckle and see if the ball moves.



#17 Numbchux

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:42 PM

Check the radius rod bushings and see if:

 

#1  the nut has been tightened down all the way

 

#2  The bushings are reasonably intact, not split, not toatally crushed.

 

#3  While it's in the air, check the balljoints....try to pry between the arm and the knuckle and see if the ball moves.

 

This. That arm is what keep the wheel centered in the wheel well (front to back). That is my first thought. Ball joint is also my next thought.

 

 

+1 to what Gary said. CV boot is no indication of anything else. If it was the wrong axle (EJ, or EA 25 spline) it would not have been able to drive out of the shop....

 

 

 

Also, tell the alignment tech to look at some factory specs before he runs his mouth off. OEM on EA82 subarus is positive camber. It is extremely strange, and a person would be correct with probably 99% of vehicles that negative is correct, but not here.

 

 

 

Sounds like you need to go somewhere else. I don't know anything about Les Schwab (don't have them here...), but it sounds like you're getting screwed.



#18 tractor pole

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 01:05 PM

It sounds like the radius rod bolt is not all the way on, the easiest way to get it installed all the way is use a set of ramps to elevate the front and tighten the bolt with the suspension at the normal compressed level. Check your bushings too worn out bushings could display the same symptoms.
Stay away from Led Schwab for alignments they did one for me after I did my five lug swap and eyeballed it in the driveway, nothing was changed and still charged me $70.

#19 chaz345

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 03:24 PM

1993 Loyale Sedan, FWD pulls to the right on acceleration.  Here are the clues:

 

 

Took the car to Les Schwab to get the driver side axle replaced due to blown outer boot.

Repeat after me " Les Schwabe is ONLY for tires, Les Schwabe is ONLY for tires."

 

The stories Ive heard and the things I've seen even for routine brake jobs have cause me to never even consider thinking about having them do anything other than tires.

 

My wife went there to get an alignment on her 2000 Chevy Venture and they said they couldn't do it because the wheel bearings were bad. They wanted $900 to do the job. I know what the parts cost and I know how long it should take, that's at least 2 to 3 times what is reasonable.  But that's not even the worst part. The worst is that bearings so bad that the alignmnet wouldn't be possible would be noticeably loose, and there wasn't a hint of play or noise from them.

 

Again "Les Schwabe is ONLY for tires."



#20 mikaleda

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 04:26 PM

Lol I agree Chaz345 I had a truck come into work the other day that les Schwab had done the brakes on and they totally neglected the fact that the Master cylinder was bad :facepalm: I would never let les Schwab touch my car even to put tires on I'd rather do it my self.

Edited by mikaleda, 07 June 2013 - 04:26 PM.


#21 rdweninger

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:04 PM

Agreed... Les Shnob is worthless when it comes to anything other than tires.   They totally screwed up my brother's pickup when they did his alignment.   he had a very slight pull to one side.  After they did their alignment, the pull was so severe that it was unsafe to drive.  Two more trips back to Les Shnob and they still could not fix it.   He took it to a different alignment shop.

I believe the employees are told to suggest other repairs be done before they even look at tires.   Like wheel bearings, shocks, struts, tie rods, brakes.   I refuse to buy tires from them... I think they are crooks.



#22 MR_Loyale

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:45 AM

I think they bent my control arm. Take a look at these pics.

 

Driver side control arm (notice the scuff marks and bent bracket):

 

dr_ctrl_arm.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passenger side:

 

pass_ctrl_arm.jpg


Edited by MR_Loyale, 11 June 2013 - 12:46 AM.


#23 MR_Loyale

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 12:55 AM

I have been going to Les Schwab for years with no problems. This is the first bad experience I had. I also noticed they put a crooked mileage number on my invoice at 5K less than my true mileage. But I got em dead cold lying as I had work done a week prior  from another shop that has a number larger than that on the invoice.

 

I always went to the Mensker store here in Bremerton. I think when Mensker died and the employees took over it started down hill. I was going to take it back to give them a chance to fix this, but I think they will make it worse.



#24 djellum

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:47 AM

Les schwab doesnt generally hire mechanics, they just hire strong backs and show them how to put things on cars.  if you get someone who is generally mechanically inclined your fine, but its just that person not les schwab that makes it that way.  I dont even prefer them for tires really, but thats within their scope at least.  for repairs id take it to a real mechanic.  tires, maybe oil change or something is probably fine as long as you check their work.

 

the axles can take some work getting them out depending on what strategy they used.  they may have pried on the control arm to get the axle out or in.  tough sell that they bent it, but that may be the issue.



#25 scoobiedubie

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:21 AM

 From my experience, Les Schwab uses chewing gum to repair the free flat repairs that they provide to bring back customers, and each tire repair technician carries around a device to put needle punctures in the sidewall of the tire that they just fixed a tread puncture, so that the tire then cannot ever be repaired again. And then they sell you a new tire when you come back again to get the sidewall puncture repaired. Their own tires have extremely thin sidewalls that rip from just hitting a curb.

Les schwab doesnt generally hire mechanics, they just hire strong backs and show them how to put things on cars.  if you get someone who is generally mechanically inclined your fine, but its just that person not les schwab that makes it that way.  I dont even prefer them for tires really, but thats within their scope at least.  for repairs id take it to a real mechanic.  tires, maybe oil change or something is probably fine as long as you check their work.
 
the axles can take some work getting them out depending on what strategy they used.  they may have pried on the control arm to get the axle out or in.  tough sell that they bent it, but that may be the issue.

 




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