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View Full Version : Wheel Pull on new 2013 Crew Van (USA)


jimmiejoe
01-11-2013, 04:30 AM
I have a new 2013 Crew Van and it pulls to the right at highway speeds.
It this normal for the Kumasi tires, or is it and indication of a tire defect.

This is my first commercial vehicle and E rated tires. Not sure if all the extra plyes for load carrying would give a different performance compared to passenger tires.

Any thoughts?

Jchirchirillo
01-11-2013, 10:47 AM
Could it be the car carrier damaged something during transport to your dealer ? I've heard of car carriers attaching chains were they don't belong. Check alignment IMO.

flman
01-11-2013, 11:01 AM
Do you have correct air pressure all around? If that is good, I would move the left tire to the right, and visa verse and see if it changes things? If things are the same, with a 2013 get to the dealer and make them check the alignment under warranty.

Walter Clark
01-11-2013, 12:09 PM
Check you tire pressures and if OK have the alignment checked as soon as you can.

My '12 crew was delivered with an extra degree of positive camber in the left front (toe was correct so it was mis-set that way at the assembly plant). I didnt feel it pulling in particular as you are but I did notice outside tire wear almost immediately as the total camber on that corner was 2.5 degrees.

And while you are at it, be sure to have your van loaded as you normally drive it and ask them to set the camber - preferably to something very near zero - and toe to spec according to that load. It seems the vans are normally set to positive 1.5 degrees at a specific ride height, which I assume translates to about 0 degrees at something nearer full rated load (and perhaps some wind downforce at speed) on the front wheels, but many of us dont run the vans anywhere near this weight and the tires wear on the outside edge very fast. Dont wait to long to get this done since it can translate directly into added tire life, and after some point MB may not do it under warranty.

flman
01-11-2013, 12:33 PM
Check you tire pressures and if OK have the alignment checked as soon as you can.

My '12 crew was delivered with an extra degree of positive camber in the left front (toe was correct so it was mis-set that way at the assembly plant). I didnt feel it pulling in particular as you are but I did notice outside tire wear almost immediately as the total camber on that corner was 2.5 degrees.



Very true, my 2010 cargo had excessive positive camber, and wore the outside of the tires off pretty fast. Not sure what MB is thinking? :thinking:

jimmiejoe
01-11-2013, 07:07 PM
I took the Sprinter to the MB in Fremont, CA.
They verified the alignment, and suspect that it is a tire pull.
They will do a cross rotation.

I also noticed the tires are Continentals CrossContact LT245/75R16 not Kumas as I had thought.

Jchirchirillo
01-12-2013, 03:54 PM
This makes me want to have mb do a wheel alignment on my 2013 before I drive her off the lot. When I ask for that on a "0" mile vehicle there definitely thinking :crazy:

kendall69
01-14-2013, 12:40 AM
I would take it to a body shop that can do a laser frame check. They take measurements with lasers on all points on the frame to make sure the frame is straight. Then go out from there.
There are times during all the transport the frame gets tweaked.

Then you can check alignments etc and you know you won't be always fighting a tweaked frame. Then bearings, tires, balance, etc.

Peter_C
01-14-2013, 07:10 AM
Did they give you a print out of the alignment? If so can you post it here for us to see? If they rotate the tires side to side and it doesn't change, then the alignment rack should tell the story. If the frame was out it would show up in the alignment. They are pretty darn accurate these days.

jimmiejoe
01-14-2013, 10:35 PM
I thought to asked for the print out Friday after I got home, but forgot to pick it up when I dropped the vehicle off this morning.

I drove the vehicle about 200mile over the weekend, and the pull returned after some miles. Now it seems the pull is delayed initially, but then become more aggressive when you let go of the steering. Where are before it was more immediate, but less aggressive. I also noted that if the road rolls to the left the sprinter will track straight.

Not sure if they will get to the pull today as it was in for the door part to be installed today.

jimmiejoe
01-15-2013, 02:05 AM
Turns out I must be an early adopter. The alignment rack does not have the software for the 906. Apparently Hunter has not updated the software with 906 specs.

Walter Clark
01-15-2013, 11:56 AM
Turns out I must be an early adopter. The alignment rack does not have the software for the 906. Apparently Hunter has not updated the software with 906 specs.

Wait, What?!?!

showkey
01-15-2013, 12:39 PM
Turns out I must be an early adopter. The alignment rack does not have the software for the 906. Apparently Hunter has not updated the software with 906 specs.

Wait, What?!?!


Guess the dealer told him........we can't check your alignment because our rack has old software and does not have 2013 specs loaded.

Guessing the dealer fiqures they can't use 2012 specs?

Guessing the dealer can't use manual mode and compare the read values with the specs in the book?

Guessing the dealer wants the numbers to be "green all good" showing the owner there is nothing wrong with his new van?

Guessing the dealer is not capable of doing a corrective alignment where they adjust the van to to stop an unwanted pull or drift not just adjust to spec??? Corrective aliigmnent where they set the camber to near 0 on both sides and reset the toe???

Guessing the dealer has no idea where the alignment is currently set because the don't have the software?

Guessing your might try another dealer?


With all that said:
Van would normally drift on a crowned road, in the direction of the low side of the crown, van will drift in high side wind conditions.........alignment of any kind will not fix these normal conditions.

jimmiejoe
01-15-2013, 07:11 PM
I cannot respond to the guessing at this time, but can clarify that the dealer could not provide me with a printout, because the software does not currently support the 906.
I do not know, what is different between 902, 904 which the software supports and a 906. Trying another dealer is not convenient and I do not feel that I am being wronged. They are less than a mile from work and are just fitting me in when I drop in. Granted if I was having to schedule appoinments or had to travel some distant to get to this dealer I would not be very happy at the moment.
The other dealer in the area which appears to have a longer history of handling Sprinters, seems to also have a high turnover rate which makes me wonder if something unethical is going on there, but I have never tried them myself.

Peter_C
01-15-2013, 09:09 PM
You don't need software to tell you if it is green or red, you need a brain to analyze the readings. Hunter machines also allow an operator to enter the desired results. I have used one for hundreds of alignments and we didn't always have the specs. Camber, castor, toe, and rear axle alignment. There isn't much else to it. Park the van in an open flat parking lot with the front wheels pointed straight ahead. Carefully sight down the wheels. Notice anything amiss? Use a square on the left and right side from wheels. Is the gap at the top roughly the same? With a tape measure take a measurement at the front and back of the the front tires using the same tread. Is the reading fairly close with just a hair less on the front reading?

We used to take bets with customers that their new vehicles were out of spec. If it required adjustment they paid, if it was all within spec we didn't charge them. We made money doing that.

showkey
01-15-2013, 10:01 PM
I cannot respond to the guessing at this time, but can clarify that the dealer .

Guessing.........I was being kind and not totally dumping on the dealer with out confirmed facts............but as Peter C. said they do not need software to check the alignment. I would feel better if the dealer can not supply a print out of the alignment specs because the printer is out of ink:smilewink:.........did they check and set the alignment? and not not print the results or did they not even try because of the preceived software problem?

You do get the tolerant customer award:thumbup: Drift pull is very subjective, road and driving conditions play a big part. Could be your van is fine.

jimmiejoe
01-15-2013, 10:49 PM
I find that the "give them enough rope" method usually benefits me in the end, where as the "heavy hand" method tends to backfire.
I have the impression that they did in fact put the van on the rack and start the process of alignment, but it is not clear if they actually did the alignment or stopped upon the software discovery. I believe by observation that the alignment did not happen, but a tire swap did.
The main observation that makes me question the van as opposed to my sensitivity, which is probably more sensitive than most is the fact the van track to the right if the roll is to the right or if it appear to be flat or only slightly to the right, but if the roll is clearly to the left the van track straight, and does not pull left. Not sure if this is a feature as in the Microsoft world, to help get sleepy drives off the road, or if it is simply bad alignment or worse a damaged vehicle as might be indicated by collecting all of the observations together. Once the software issue is resolved we should be able to finalize the facts.

jimmiejoe
01-17-2013, 02:56 PM
Software was update by Hunter yesterday. Will take the van in today.

jimmiejoe
01-18-2013, 04:59 AM
Here is the alignment report.

The vechicle still pulls to the right after the alighment.
The dealer does not have a roadforce tool to check the tires, which they think are the issues, so will be putting on another set of tires.

Peter_C
01-18-2013, 06:51 AM
Is castor not adjustable on a Sprinter? Sometimes just kicking it forward on the passenger side makes them track perfect. That .3 degree difference may not seem like much but it is going the wrong way, and will cause a pull. If those readings were reversed it would be about perfect. Just a hair more toe would help overcome the issue. My guess is they have a lazy tech, or one that doesn't have knowledge.

They already rotated the tires, and it didn't fix it. What makes them think another set will work? Could always rotate front to back too.

Walter Clark
01-18-2013, 01:28 PM
The cross castor (L/R difference) is just at the limit of the spec (0.3 degrees), but it should be zero if possible. Reducing the static camber to near zero will reduce the tendency of that castor to push to the right so long as the vehicle is being steered perfectly straight and with no camber change however any road crown, cross wind or change in camber (bumps or load) will make it veer slightly right.

I dont know if there is provision to change castor on the newest NCV3 or not but the 2007 service CD I have says no.

On a new vehicle, that difference really should be zero. The way it becomes non-zero is the vehicle is either mis-assembled (the chassis parts were not held correctly when initially welded together so the suspension pickup points are not exactly right) or it hit something that moved either a suspension mounting point or bent the lower control arm, either moving the outer end of it a tenth of an inch or so relative to the upper strut bearing.

sprintguy
01-18-2013, 03:04 PM
OK ... My response, Why are you taking your hands off the steering wheel in the first place??
Sprinters do have a tendency to DRIFT right and with the road crown. Why ? the left side right height in increased over the right side ride height , not by much but enough. This takes up for the driver... Looking at your alignment specs, I happened to notice the rear thrust angle is in the positive deviation from 0. Now why do you think that the right side tow angle is less positive than the left , by far. In this case with a right drift or pull (there is a difference ) I would have increased the tow in (on the front) on the right side over the left.... Rear angles are not adjustable. Then why cross rotate when you can rotate the tires? Next and again , with two hands on the steering wheel (gently ) drive her down the road... A pull will make your arms tired of keeping it on the road , a drift will not , now if you are daring let go of the wheel (you should never let go of the wheel while driving though) if the vehicle drifts to the right in a slight arc this is considered drift.. now move into the left lane and try it again , you may notice that the vehicle slightly drifts to the left over time. now drive in the middle of the road and see if it drifts or pulls (make sure there is no on coming traffic). if it is stable with only a slight arc (drift) to the right then a small adjustment to the toe angles (within specs) could take care of this perceived issue. Tire wear checks are the best way to figure out how bad an alignment is.

moral of the story is Never take your hand (s) off the steering wheel... but we do.

Carl

talkinghorse43
01-18-2013, 03:42 PM
Looking at your alignment specs, I happened to notice the rear thrust angle is in the positive deviation from 0. Now why do you think that the right side tow angle is less positive than the left , by far.

Maybe the rear spring mount is loose and has shifted?

jimmiejoe
01-18-2013, 04:52 PM
Regarding whether the tech was lazy or knowledgeable, the tech would not be considered lazy as the alignment was done 2 times on one machine and a third time on another machine. He only gets paid for 1 alignment by the dealer. Initially it was setup with the thrust angle at zero. This did not fix the pull. Then the thrust angle was intentionally set to the left, still did not fix the pull. Then to make sure it was not the rack, it was put on another alignment rack just to make sure the rack was not the issue. The tech believes the vehicle should be going to the left in its current configuration. Does the forum draw the same conclusion or a different conclusion?
Regarding the caster it is not adjustable on the 2013. This may be the problem as pointed out. The dealer is open to the idea that that vehicle may have a frame issue, but would like to pursue a less expensive path before jumping to that conclusion, hence the tire change. If this does not resolve the issue they will send it to the body shop. I hope this is not the case.

showkey
01-18-2013, 10:04 PM
:thinking::thinking: Radial force variation is a tire problem that causes vibration NOT pull. Hunter 9700 tire balancer is used to RFV. RFV never causes pull. Typical RFV shows up as vibration and completely different than tire balance but related to balance...the balance can is perfect and still have a RFV problem.....easy explanation it is uneven stiffness is the tire side wall. RFV is measured in pounds. BUT IT IS NOT RELATED TO PULL OR DRIFT.

Tires could still be a problem just not RFV........... especially after the alignment looks so good.

There is no question the before reading would cause a pull....pull is in the direction of the most positive camber. Cross camber WAS high.
The alignment readings all look good after .....that cross caster is very slight not likely to cause a problem.
Agree with Sprinter GUY........thrust angle possible concern but over sensitive driver might be a concern :) Has the dealer had you drive another van under the exact same conditions road and wind etc. would be a good test to see if there a problem.

Back to road crown..........

jimmiejoe
01-19-2013, 03:47 PM
I would have no problem accepting this as normal since I am new to commercial class vehicles, however, the tech is frustrated that he can not get the vehicle to behave to his expectation on his test route.

Since the tech knowledge question was raised, does it appear the tech has sufficient knowledge?

Regarding the caster, how might force or speed would it take to get points to move if we assume it left the factory at zero. If the vehicle were dropped would that be in the correct direction to get this. Just trying to understand if the data we have now supports the possibility of the vehicle being damaged during transit. Not trying to jump to that conclusion, just want to understand if it adds up.

The alignment was check with the vehicle unlaiden.
I will probably add 700lbs to the vehicle with sand bags to represent a typical condition to see if that changes anything. Basically 150lbs in each co-driver, 50lbs in two passenger, 100lbs on the load floor in front of the wheel wells, and 200lbs in the tail.

jimmiejoe
01-23-2013, 04:31 AM
Today the dealer took my tires and wheel off and put on the tires and wheels from another sprinter on. now the vehicle behaves as it should have. My tires are Continential the tire from the other sprinter are Kumos.

Any idea why the tires and wheel are causing an issue?