front end pulls -
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Unread 11-27-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 31
front end pulls

i have a '98 grand 4x4 with the front driver side tire going bald on the inside.
the outside of the tire has good tread on it. it also seems to want to pull to the right(passenger) side when driving. the passenger side tire looks good with no signs of uneven wear. can somebody tell me what may be causing this and what can be done? thanks in advance.....

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Unread 11-27-2013, 12:28 AM   #2
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1996 ZJ 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cupertino, CA
Posts: 2,697
A great many things,

Shake test for balljoints, hubs, and tre's. Check your toe with a tape measure, be sure to check with vehicle weight on the axle.

Then check CA bushings, they're probably shot anyway.
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1998 ZJ Platinum Limited 5.9, New engine and trans, no front driveshaft, but it's pretty

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I heard someone yell "mall crawler" from the back porch. I'll go see who said that. Be right back.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 12:29 AM   #3
Web Wheeler
1993 ZJ 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 2,289
I had the same issue, but on the passenger side with my KJ. The outer part of the tire had normal-looking tread, the inner part was close to bald. Driver-side tire was fine. The fix was new tires and an alignment - it's bad alignment that causes the problem in the first place, but I couldn't give you the technical details on exactly what was wrong and why.
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Unread 11-27-2013, 12:54 AM   #4
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1995 ZJ 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: , Alberta
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New lower front control arm bushings , those are a given if original . Not the issue , just put it on your 'list' . They can knock the castor outta position and cause your pull due to road sloping

Inspect the front end . Have someone move the steering wheel back and forth and look at each joint . Even wrap your hand carefully around the joint , you will feel a bad joint . Don't get pinched . Have the wheels on the ground for this , it "loads" the steering parts . That should do your tie rods and track bar . For the ball joints , you need to jack up the axle , and raise the tire enough to get a pry bar in there , pry up and down with your hand on the tire at 12 o'clock , you will feel any play . Place your hand on the wheel at 12 and 6 , try to wiggle it . If play is felt , issue may be the wheel bearing . Have someone else use the bry bar , repeat the ball joint test but visually look at the ball joints this time .

If not comfortable with this , have a mechanic do an inspection for you . Indications are you have an issue , safety first !

Checking your toe after an inspection is a great idea . You ideally want to see about 1/16-3/32nd's toe in if in spec . I bring mine as close to 0 as possible showing a slight hint of toe in . Just pulled 60k out of a set of tires I bought new , rotated them once during that time . Very even wear from an AWD .
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Unread 11-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 31
Thanks to all for the quick response. Yes, I can clearly see the control arm bushings are bad, have yet to check the ball joints. No one mentioned it, but I was wondering if that damper might come into play with all this. How can I tell when it needs to be replaced? Thanks again.
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