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I recently bought a Ford Bronco II It has a...

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Dear Tom and Ray:



I recently bought a 1990 Ford Bronco II. It has a fairly bad pulling problem.
It's been pulling to the right since I've had it. When I took it to the shop,
they replaced the two front bushings which connect the frame to the radius arms.
Needless to say, it still pulls -- even after 300 bucks worth of bushings and an
alignment.

The front right tire is "sticking out" from the truck an extra half an inch. It
just sticks out! It's not angled or anything else. The guy told me the frame is
not bent and all the front-end parts are OK. I'm 17 and have been steadily
emptying my bank account on this thing. Please help me! Thanks. -- Ethan

TOM: Well, if you're saying that the right front wheel sticks farther out of the
wheel-well than the left front wheel, then you probably need a new mechanic,
Ethan. Because it sure sounds like the frame IS bent.

RAY: It sounds like the whole differential assembly has been shifted over
somehow. Most likely because your frame is no longer rectangular. It's now a
parallelogram (since you're only 17, you might actually still remember your
10th-grade geometry and know what that means!).

TOM: Here's the whole scenario. You're 17. You don't have much money to spend on
a car. You see an ad for a Bronco that's unbelievably cheap. So you buy it
before anyone else can snatch it out from under you. Why was it so cheap? My
guess: Because it had been in an accident, had a bent frame, and the previous
owner couldn't stop it from pulling to the right.

RAY: So before you dump another night's worth of pizza-delivery money into this
thing, Ethan, take it to a collision specialist and ask him to check out the
frame. You want to know 1) if it's bent, and 2) if it can be straightened. If it
can be straightened, you should then be able to properly align the wheels and
keep it from pulling.

TOM: But if the frame can't be straightened, it's time to send this old Bronco
to the glue factory and cut your losses. Good luck, Ethan. And don't forget to
have a mechanic check out your next used car BEFORE you buy it!

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