Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: Does your car wander?

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Newfield NJ
    Posts
    7,276
    vCash
    500

    Does your car wander?

    On the highway the TA seems to wander. You have to fight the wheel to keep it on a straight line. I know that the road has a lot to do with it. The "grooves" that are present on a road that has not been paved in a while tend to grab the tires.

    Is there a way to cure the problem? Does it have to do with the width of the tires? My tires are the BFG KDWS 275x17. The car has 61,000 miles on it.

    Any input would be a help.
    Matt
    2004 Pulse Red GTO, A4
    '10 GMC Sierra
    71 LeMans convert

  2. #2
    Registered Member 02black's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    31,977
    vCash
    500
    i would look in to getting an alignment, sounds like thats your problem

  3. #3
    Arizona F-body Association

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    93
    vCash
    500
    just sounds like you need an alignment, is your car lowered? If so did you have it properly aligned so the negative camber was all gone. Also your toe might be off.....moral of my post is get an alignment.
    Arizona F-body Association
    99 Camaro SS
    Yeah, it can corner!

    See my car here!

  4. #4
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Newfield NJ
    Posts
    7,276
    vCash
    500
    It has been lowered and has had 2 alignments done. I do not know if they adjusted for the negitive camber though. I believe that they went by the stock specs.
    Thanks, I will have them look at it again.
    Matt

  5. #5
    Registered Member 2MCHPWR's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Branchburg, NJ
    Posts
    827
    vCash
    500
    my car's alignment is right on. on highways with big ruts, the car darts all over the place. sometimes i even left lane squat just to avoid it because the ruts are less in the left lane because less trucks use it.
    does the car pull on roads with no ruts? The pulling is normal with wide tires on rutted up roads.

  6. #6
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Newfield NJ
    Posts
    7,276
    vCash
    500
    No Scott, it seems to go straight as an arrow on newly paved roads.
    I have heard that it is due to the wide tires, but I was hoping there was a cure for it anyway.
    I drove it for the first time in months last week. I was on 295n between Rt 42 and Rt70. I am sure people behind me thought that I was drunk, even at 10am. It was a beast to control.
    He also has a slight shimmy in the wheel. It could be an out of balance tire, so Matt will rotate them this weekend. If that doesn't stop it I want someone to look at all of the componants to make sure that nothing is wearing out.
    BTY Scott, with the CATs back on and the Loudmouth, it sounds fantastic!!!
    Matt Sr.

  7. #7
    Drunk Harley-Davidson88's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    6,178
    vCash
    500
    There is nothing wrong with your car. The problem lies in the roads. That is just a price you pay for having a wider tire. Mine does the same thing. It didn't do it when I had the stock tires on. It started as soon as I put my 275's on. It is straight as an arrow on good pavement, but as soon as you hit a road with some deep grooves, it is all over the place. I actually notice it more at lower speeds.

  8. #8
    Derf Panty Buncher BLACKRAZOR's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    25,620
    vCash
    500
    Happens to me too with the stock-sized tires.

  9. #9
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Aliquippa Pa
    Posts
    8,852
    vCash
    500
    its driver error- your driving too slow

  10. #10
    99PontTA
    Guest
    wandering is normal with wide tires on roads that are not flat......the tires fight the up and down the cambers worn in the road.Two things i know of that can help this....run a little lower air pressure in the tires ,also when you get alignment be sure they set he CAMBER 0 degrees or less..any postive camber will agravt the pulling........i know they are gonna argue its gota be .5 (half a degree postive)...but with wide tires .25 - 0degrees will make the car handle much better,also tire wear better also.

  11. #11
    If the alignment is in spec, then it's the shocks. Like most trouble with the f-body suspension, you can narrow it down to those god-awful DeCarbon dampers.

    A lack of rebound will allow the car to bob and float all over the place, and it'll only get worse on undulating or rutted roads (thinks about it, the ruts aren't like rails, they go up and down, left and right).

    Stability problems start with dampers.
    Sam Strano Jr.
    '02 & '04 SCCA ESP Nat'l Champion
    '02 SCCA FS ProSolo Champion

  12. #12
    99PontTA
    Guest
    NAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

  13. #13
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    5,154
    vCash
    500
    Sam could be right. If you're lowered with the factory shocks it could be the problem. But wider tires will also have a tendancy to wander more. They follow the road imperfections and crowns. You might try some different alignment specs though. Here is what I use:

    Camber: -0.5
    Caster: +4.5
    Toe: 0

    Mine wanders a little depending on the road, but not bad. And it tracks perfect on a good road. I'm lowered with pro kits and strano revalved bilsteins and I have 245/50 16's (still).

  14. #14
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    396
    vCash
    500
    Originally posted by Sam Strano
    If the alignment is in spec, then it's the shocks. Like most trouble with the f-body suspension, you can narrow it down to those god-awful DeCarbon dampers.

    A lack of rebound will allow the car to bob and float all over the place, and it'll only get worse on undulating or rutted roads (thinks about it, the ruts aren't like rails, they go up and down, left and right).

    Stability problems start with dampers.
    I strongly suspect that the problem is the stock alignment spec's. I just went through this exercise. I have a lowered car with 275/40-17s on it.

    I have always used negative camber on it with good results. However, the shop I now use set, against my explicit instructions, the alignment to stock spec's with 0.4 deg POSITIVE camber. The car handled like crap. It wandered, followed every single rut with a vengance, turn-in was slow, cornering limits were low (terminal understeer) and feedback through the steering wheel was gone.

    So, I bought the GM J-tool for setting the alignment and took the car back to them. I insisted that it be set to negative 0.5 neg camber, 0.00 toe and as much caster as they could get (with a lowered car the amount of caster that can be dialed in is reduced....they got about 3.1 to 3,2 positive caster).

    It handles much much better now. Wandering is almost eliminated, turn-in is back, cornering limits are higher and feedback is back.

    So, when you take it in for an alignment insist they DO NOT set it to the factory spec's and insist on some negative camber.

    BTW, also do not let them set it with some toe-in. I have also tried it with 1/64 inch total toe-in and it slowed turn-in to the point when turn-in was no longer linear. By this I mean when the wheel was turned slightly nothing happened, then when it was turnd a little further, I got LOTS of turn-in meaning I had to take some steering out.

  15. #15
    Registered Member m1cha3l's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,449
    vCash
    500
    i have a similar problem

    i havent had my tires rotated for a year 12k miles
    and moved both front tires to the back of the car.

    and every time i get on the highway or on a unevebn surface my car will " wander "

    not because i wanted to corret the problem but because i wanted to i installed stb + sfc and it helped a lot

    anyway it still wanders

    is it tires or is it suspension ?
    2010 Subaru Legacy GT Premium 6 Spd - Stage 1 Cobb Map, Borla CBE, Sti STS 13.547 @ 102.06 1.775 60 ft.

  16. #16
    Custom User Title Hobbes's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Gone Fishing, CO
    Posts
    11,864
    vCash
    0
    Well its good to know that this is not an isolated problem. I just got my car and found out about the wandering thing on the way home. Looks like it will be taken in for an alignment this week.

  17. #17
    Come at me bro! ChillPhatCat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    LaFayette, NY
    Posts
    28,247
    vCash
    30
    The wide tire problem is more commonly referred to as "bump-steer". The wider the tires, the more prevailent the problem...

  18. #18
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    396
    vCash
    500
    Originally posted by ChillPhatCat
    The wide tire problem is more commonly referred to as "bump-steer". The wider the tires, the more prevailent the problem...
    Actually wide tires following grooves, etc in the road is called "tramlining".

    One of the best ways to reduce this effect on F-bodies is align the froont wheels with a light negative camber......even though the stock alignment calls for positive camber. Negative camber will also reduce the amount of understeerat the limit so be ready for a car that will be neutral to some oversteer.

    Bump steer is something else. It is the result of the tie rod/steering rack geometry causing a wheel to turn slightly when a wheel travels vertically. You can actually feel this in the steering wheel as a "kick" to the steering wheel.

    This problem is accentuated in lowered cars as the tie rod geometry is upset. This is why companies like RK Sport sell special ties rods that will correct this geometry.

  19. #19
    Registered Member mr freckles's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Austin
    Posts
    19,777
    vCash
    500
    I think someone actually makes a bump steer kit for like 100 bux that will fix this also.

  20. #20
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    54
    vCash
    500
    It is because of the size of your tires.

    you have 275s in the front? thats a huge tire and your probably getting major road steer because of it.

    I always put smaller tires in the front to compensate for that exact problem.

  21. #21
    Registered Member m1cha3l's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,449
    vCash
    500
    Originally posted by PonyEater
    It is because of the size of your tires.

    you have 275s in the front? thats a huge tire and your probably getting major road steer because of it.

    I always put smaller tires in the front to compensate for that exact problem.
    hmm i have 245 's and its pulling to the righ HARD but im getting new tires and whole bunch of suspension stuff done on the 14th so i quess i can wait

  22. #22
    Pride of Western PA Car Shows

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Greensburg, PA USA
    Posts
    218
    vCash
    500
    I used to have the stock 275/40's all the way around - no tramelling. I redid my entire suspension - LCA's, Adj PR, larger Sway Bars, and custom revelved Bilstein HD shocks from Sam @ Strano. Still no tramelling.

    I then went to TTII wheels with the 17x11's and 315/35's on the rear, but stayed with the stock size on the front. My car then acted just as you are describing. When I contacted Sam he stated that it was due to the wider tires and that was usual. He did reccommend lowering my rear air pressure from the 35# I was running to 30# - that made it better (not as sensitive to ruts). Thruout all of this I have stayed with the stock alignment specs and I get my car computer aligned from a friend every 3K miles.

    All this leads me to believe that it is indeed a problem associated with the addition of the wider tires. If changing the front alignment specs will help-then I'm game!

    -Jay-

  23. #23
    99PontTA
    Guest
    be sure the TOE setting is just a little toed in..just a tad........a little bit..............a little toe in will help ....0 or any toe out is going to cause the car to wander on uneven roads.I've played a bit with my alginment and have very little wander ...even on really badly cambered roads......i'm using +3.5 degees caster +.10 camber and 1/32 toe in.........the toe was set with a person sitting in the drivers seat and using tape measure to confirm toe setting by measuring infrt of the tire then back of tire.TOTAL differeance 1/32 of an inch.This makes the car extremely stable.

  24. #24
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    396
    vCash
    500
    99PontTA, I notice you are still running with positive camber.

    Additionally, it has been my experience (through trying it) that any amount of toe-in on the 4th gen's results in a non-linear turn in when entering a corner or curve. By this I mean that when the steering wheel is turned a little bit....nothing happens. Then with a little bit more turning of the steering wheel, there is a lot of turning action. It is like an on/off switch rather than like a rheostat.

    I have found that stability can be significantly enhanced with negative camber of about -0.5 deg. This will allow the toe to be set to zero thereby coorecting the turn-in problem.

    Also, IMHO tire wear will be better with zero toe and a little negative camber. With positive camber and toe-in the tire will be running on the outer portion and the toe-in will be scuffing the outer portion of the tire as well.

    Also, using more positive caster will increase stability, but at the expense of a heavier steering wheel. I believe the stock alignment calls for about 4 1/2 deg positive caster.

    Food for thought.

  25. #25
    99PontTA
    Guest
    i tried alot of different setups......neg camber wears tires fast..........mines not wearing tires and it like a rock solid on any road.as far as toe is concerned 1/32 toe in WILL NOT WEAR the tires outside edge...the fact is even with 1/32 toe in the tires will still track straight moving down the road.ALSO setting the caster to 3.5 helped tire wear alot.......at 4.5 the edges of the tires inside and outside were worn badly.if you can feel the differeance between 3.5 and 4.5 degees caster in a car then yer dam sensitive

  26. #26
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Newfield NJ
    Posts
    7,276
    vCash
    500
    This is some GREAT info.
    Thanks Guys!!
    Matt

  27. #27
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Daytona
    Posts
    78
    vCash
    500
    Yeah, it is great info, you guys are even talking me out of lowering my car!!

  28. #28
    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    19,169
    vCash
    500
    Originally posted by 02silverz
    Yeah, it is great info, you guys are even talking me out of lowering my car!!

    Bwah...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •