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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, any alignment experts out there? The front end is unadjustable, except for toe, which has no effect on pulling. The factory offers +/-0.4 deg. caster upper A-arms to correct caster, but that's a bludgeon and really a shot in the dark at best. (Why would +/-0.4 deg. ever be anything but a guess? Using such pre-estimated numbers you could just as easily end up transferring pull to the other side using these A-arms.) However, the rear end can be infinitely adjusted for toe, independently on each side, as well as for camber. Ignoring the negative impact of dog-tracking, can the rear on the Fusion/Mazda6 be tweaked a little bit to correct for steering pull in an otherwise unadjustable front end? Also, anybody, feel free to chime in on the time-honored Ford Taurus method of loosening and shifting the front subframe to tweak steering pull. I see that there's a front subframe but can it be done on the Fusion/Mazda6?
 

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This is exactly what my dealer did to correct the pull in my car. Tracks fine now.
 

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Yes, tweaking the front subframe can help, it could get you about .1-.2 camber and a couple tenths caster. If that's not enough, then go to the control arm, first one side then the other. The only difference in the service arms vs the stock arms is how far into the arm the bushings are pushed. So if you really want more caster adjustment you could push the bushings in and out. With +/-0.4 arms, you have five combinations available, which should be enough to fix any vehicle. It takes about a 1 degree caster split for most people to notice a pull, so the combo of the two arms will reduce it to 0.2 split which should be fine for everybody. If you are really sensitive you might complain about pull with a 0.5 split, thus one arm only would bring it to 0.1 and be nearly perfect. Even if you put both arms on, you'd shift it to 0.3 the other way, which would still be better than where you started,

Adjusting the rear end would just be a band-aid. You could create a camber split that would help offset the front, but you would need a big rear camber split to offset a small-medium front camber/caster split. Plus while you might help the pull, you'll create a bit of instability as the front and the rear will be constantly fighting each other. Rear toe won't get you anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow, thanks for the info. I'm just nit-picky to the point where I got my own caster/camber gauge and turning plates, and have done fine tuning on my '94 Impala SS w/ ancient GM shim packs, and my 5.0 Mustang w/ caster/camber plates. Most alignment shops will just shine you on if things are within "factory" specs, and I've had great success tweaking my setups myself, although it's not something I'd recommend to the average Joe. But my new/used '06 SEL has just the slightest hint of a pull that I'd like to tackle. This info is great. Thanks again.

P.S. to those of you I've read complaining of real pulling problems, I'd take the above info from Waldo and show it to any recalcitrant dealer that claims there's no problem or no way to fix it.
 

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You CAN correct torque-steer using toe adjustments. You just have to know what you're doing. On a FWD car with unequal half-shafts (not sure if the Fusion is unequal or not but the knowledge is useful) under hard acceleration, the left wheel with the shorter half-shaft experiences more toe-in than the right wheel with the longer half-shaft. The result is unequal toe changes and a steering pull to the right. To correct, subtract toe (toe-out) from the left wheel to make the vehicle more neutral. How much is a trial-and-error process. The other thing you can do is install polyurethane bushings into the front control arms to fight the constant toe movement from torque and friction, keeping the car more neutral. I'm sure you could find something from Energy Suspension that would work on the Fusion. So, try a minor toe-out correction on the driver's side front wheel ( 0.5 -> 1 degree perhaps ) and see if it gets better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know that toe can be adjusted independently in the back, but is there any such thing as different toe on either side in the front? I thought that any toe change on one side of the front merely had the effect of also changing the other side, with both sides ending up with 1/2 of the total toe change you made. They're both connected and to my understanding, both sides will equalize against each other once the car starts rolling, each ending up with the same relative amount of toe. The problem being that if you only make a toe change on one side of the front, you'll still end up equal amounts of toe on both sides relative to the centerline of the car, and you'll have a crooked steering wheel.
 

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Drive torque more than offsets the compliance in the steering and suspension allowing both front wheels to toe-in when accelerating. It will have a tendency to self-center. Changing or reinstalling the tie rod ends, tie rods or steering rack will change the distance between the steering arms, which changes toe. So after the parts have been installed, some type of alignment equipment must be used to measure toe. Then and only then can the tie rods be adjusted. That's the best way to correct the problem. The simple way would be to add toe-out to the front globally. Another way is to remove rubber bushings and mounts and use polyurethane or similar...which is "easy" but time-consuming. You can even diminish torque steer with harder engine-mount bushings, but I wouldn't recommend that. It translates engine vibration through the entire chassis. Just saying there are other options
 

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What's with the "shocked" face? Something you don't understand? :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Actually, I think that the first few posts in this thread contain, for me, some of the most valuble info I've gotten on any forum. After that, we went off on torque steer. But I'm not sure I'd go down that road, since if I understand it, adding toe-out is being recommended to conteract any torque steer. The problem there is that when you're cruising on the road, toe-out causes wandering. So I think I'd be trading a reduction in torque steer on acceleration for sloppy handling at speed. And I don't think that the Fusion suffers any kind of big torque steer problem that I find objectionable enough to go there. I'm just looking for the best way to tinker with a very slight pulling condition, preferably without having to disassemble the suspension or buy new parts. But it was a worthwhile thought and I appreciate all input.
 
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