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 Steering wheel shifts, pulls hard on right hand turns only.? 
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Post Steering wheel shifts, pulls hard on right hand turns only.?
I have done a search to see if anyone has had the same issue, but no luck. So, here is the long version.

It all started when I got a used tire installed on the front driver side. I don't think the tire was balanced correctly so it had highway vibration, which I believe (could be wrong) rattled something loose that threw off my alignment. Whenever I hit a noticeable bump in the road, the steering wheel would pull to one side or the other.

HISTORY: after lowering the car, the spindles were drilled out to compensate for camber (advised by alignment shop that didn't want $500 to correct it). It was what I could afford at the time.

At the time my Tokico's were pretty much shot, so I put off the re-alignment until I switched out for some KYB's :D . While under there I also replaced bump stops, dust covers, mounts, etc. The throw out bearings that came with the new mounts had a funny little ridge so I only used one since my old bearing on one side seemed okay. (If memory serves, the new throw out bearing is on the driver side mount.) This solved my issue with being tossed to one side or the other when going over bumps and made the car wicked stable. EXCEPT when making hard rights. For example, when entering a highway using "clover-leaf" style ramp.

I had a 4 wheel alignment done to try and correct the issue, which ended up being a pain in the ***! First shop tried to stick it to me, made the alignment worse than before and said it was good. no print out, nothing. Got a refund and found another shop that was able to get it back to just about where it was before a mechanic touched it :evil: , they also had me replace a ball joint on the drivers side. I used an escort ball joint since I have a '92 and most parts stores have the 93+ ball joints. Unfortunately, it still tries to suck me into hard corners.

As I have been experimenting with it to try and figure out the source, I have come to this conclusion. On straightaways and LEFT turns/corners it handles like a dream :) BUT, when I take a RIGHT hand corner/turn fast enough to make the suspension dip, the steering wheel shifts about a half inch into the turn and the vehicle (Yay active suspension!) responds by diving right in at the new trajectory. Sometimes it turns sharper than the road. When I correct, I can feel the suspension(and steering wheel) "shift" back to its normal position.

As a side note: I also have the infamous CLUNK. After reading through the forums and a little poking around, I decided the clunk was either; A throw out bearing in the strut tower, or my stabilizer bar mount bushing (I was able to move the bar one time and it made a similar clunk noise). Sorry, I don't mean to be dragging on.

Already did a quick shakedown and inspection. Tie rod ends are new. End links are new. new driver side ball joint. New struts, bellows, stops etc. The wheels are solid, no play. Lug nuts are tight. Springs are only a couple years old and were in good condition when I changed the struts ( a little dirty). Lower control arm bushings on driver side are old, the rubber is starting to crack where it hangs out from the steel. Otherwise, the LCA's aren't visibly cracked or damaged. The passenger side is hard to tell, just replaced a valve cover gasket that was leaking like a stuck pig, so it's covered in oily residue. I don't believe the stabilizer bar is the culprit since it only pulls one way, but I have been wrong many times in the past :lol: .

SO, lets have it. How bad is this, and where do I start? Any help/guidance, as always, is very much appreciated, and any random thoughts or ideas to help in the brainstorming are also encouraged. Thanks!

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April 04 2014, 3:49 PM
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Post Re: Steering wheel shifts, pulls hard on right hand turns on
You sound like you have exactly the same issue I had several years back. All the shops overlooked it.
The ball joint bolt that bolts into the spindle.... you know, you bolt the ball joint to the control arm, then put the ball joint into the spindle, then slide the bolt in the spindle to keep the ball joint in the spindle... that bolt...


pull and check them.

Mine shifted randomly whenever I hit a puddle, pot hole, or turned exactly how you described. The bolt itself was worn. The balljoint eventually popped off the spindle when taking a sharp right hand turn and shoved the tire up into the fender.

Check out the GS worklog from 2011:

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I replace the control arms, the car still shifts uncontrollably. several more shops, hubs/bearings/ball joints/tie rod ends later, still there. I am driving it to a shop one day, take a right hand turn and "kerlunk, kshhhhhh..." My car driver's side feels like it collapsed and is coming to a very quick stop. When I get out... the ball joint jumped off the spindle. Another tow home and it turns out the balljoint/bolt spindle was worn through and through, and the ball joint just slid out. Tow truck took out a front mudguard and some green paint, so now some red is showing.



Also... this is where the clunking came from.

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April 04 2014, 6:05 PM
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Post Re: Steering wheel shifts, pulls hard on right hand turns on
Right on, I will have a look at the bolt this weekend. Was your bolt noticeably worn? When I had it out a couple weeks ago (to change the ball joint) I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, but once again I am prone to being wrong :) . Also, I forgot to mention this in the original post because it ran kinda long. When I changed my ball joint the first time, several years ago, I wasn't aware of the different sizes. I tried to force the bigger one into the spindle, even tried prying it open to allow the new one to fit. At the time, It didn't look like the spindle moved even a little bit. Not to mention, that was before this started. So if memory serves, I need the actual MAZDA bolt because it's stepped or something right? Thanks again!

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April 04 2014, 6:36 PM
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Post Re: Steering wheel shifts, pulls hard on right hand turns on
yes, you could tell in the middle of the bolt there will be a groove where it's rubbed against the ball joint.

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April 04 2014, 9:04 PM
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Post Re: Steering wheel shifts, pulls hard on right hand turns on
Again Krisinski hits the perverbial nail on the head. Lets hope he's right.

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April 05 2014, 11:18 AM
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Post Re: Steering wheel shifts, pulls hard on right hand turns on
Thanks a lot guys! It was in fact the ball joint pinch bolt affecting my steering. It is sooo nice to take right turns/curves again :D . I would post a pic of the offending bolt so others could see, but I haven't figured how to add pics to posts :roll: . There was however a DEEP groove in several spots on the bolt. The new bolt fixed the steering issue, and reduced the predictability of the "clunk", but didn't get rid of it completely. Now, instead of clunking when the tires are moving independent of each other (going over a speed bump at a 45) now it is just occasionally when backing up, or taking up drive, ie. when first backing out of a parking space or switching from reverse to 1st.

I'm thinking the remaining clunk is coming from the throw out bearing..? I'm going to try and find a couple of bearings that don't have the raised plastic lip I see on all the aftermarket throw out bearings. Has anybody had an issue with them? This is only a guess based on the fact that the bearings that came with my MX were flat without a lip or any trace where one would have been broken off.

Once again, Thanks for the tip about the bolt! Worked like a charm! :2thumbsup:

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April 07 2014, 2:32 PM
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Post Re: Steering wheel shifts, pulls hard on right hand turns on
Relieved to hear it was an easy fix! The remaining clunk you're really going to have to listen carefully if it's from the front or rear, left or right side. it could be a bad motor or transmission mount as well... but it could be any bad bushing, mount or strut.

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April 07 2014, 3:52 PM
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