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Old 01-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Sorry I haven't checked this thread in a while if you still need the information let me know and I'll check my workorder and get you the information.
Yes please send the info...
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
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There's two bolts under the Outback that are slotted, these bolts connect the uni-body on to the sub-frame. (such as it is) They're slotted so if an adjustment needs to be made at the plant they can do it before final alignment. To make a very long story short, the bolt on the passengers side was too far back causing that side to be too far forward by about 1/2 an inch. It was aligned to that position so everything appeared to be fine when driving straight...however in a hard right turn the 1/2 inch made a difference because the tire could come in contact with the mud guard.

The fix once that figured it out was fairly simple. They unbolted those two bolt, put it on their laser alignment equipment, squared everything, torqued the bolts back down to spec, and aligned all four wheels. BAM!! Problem gone.
Wow. That is a really good dealer. Most would never even attempt to go that far.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Wow. That is a really good dealer. Most would never even attempt to go that far.
good point.


Let us know the dealer's name eerintheburgh.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
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good point.


Let us know the dealer's name eerintheburgh.
Luck I just sent you a PM...I'm not sure it went. Let me know if you didn't get it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:50 PM   #25 (permalink)
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How would this cause the measurement of the hub distance center to center to be off?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:02 PM   #26 (permalink)
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How would this cause the measurement of the hub distance center to center to be off?
The slotted hole is ~ 3" long so in the position it was in it moved the entire engine cradle back closer to the rear side of the fender well. So instead of having ~ 2" of clearance, between the tire and the mud guard it had about 1 1/2" which was enough to make contact in a hard turn while applying the breaks. The breaking moved the car forward just enough to make contact.

If you look under your OB you can see the brackets. They mount the engine cradle/unibody to the subframe. If everything is perfect they should be in the middle. If its off at assembly they can move it to square everything before alignment. Mine was dead on square but adjusted back.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:23 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I wonder if this has any relation to the other "lane wondering thread" maybe that is their problem. Did you notice anything like that before the fix?
If you were to look at the wheel assembly, the "line" that runs from the top center of the strut through the hub center is the amount of caster, or steering axis inclination, SAI, from a perpendicular line from the top center of the strut to the ground. You can also visualize it using string if it helps, just run a string line from the top center of the strut to the ground, then run another line from the same top point through the center of the hub.

The degree of the angle at the top of the triangle is the caster angle.

Regardless of the toe and camber settings, if one wheel has an angle more than .5 degrees positive over the opposite wheel, it will allow the car to drift, or pull, toward that wheel.

So with the right front wheel more positive toward the perpendicular, it would drift/pull to the right. By correcting the SAI of the wheels to a more equal caster angle, or anything less than a total angle of .5 degrees, it corrects the drift/pull and makes steering more stable.

A half inch, in terms that was measured, is a lot of caster difference, so yes, this could be the cause of the drifting.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:42 PM   #28 (permalink)
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If you were to look at the wheel assembly, the "line" that runs from the top center of the strut through the hub center is the amount of caster, or steering axis inclination, SAI, from a perpendicular line from the top center of the strut to the ground. You can also visualize it using string if it helps, just run a string line from the top center of the strut to the ground, then run another line from the same top point through the center of the hub.

The degree of the angle at the top of the triangle is the caster angle.

Regardless of the toe and camber settings, if one wheel has an angle more than .5 degrees positive over the opposite wheel, it will allow the car to drift, or pull, toward that wheel.

So with the right front wheel more positive toward the perpendicular, it would drift/pull to the right. By correcting the SAI of the wheels to a more equal caster angle, or anything less than a total angle of .5 degrees, it corrects the drift/pull and makes steering more stable.

A half inch, in terms that was measured, is a lot of caster difference, so yes, this could be the cause of the drifting.
Is the drifting issue mainly on the 4th Gens? The previous gens were not slotted...from a manufacturing prospective its a great idea but the drifting problem might be an unintended consequence...at least if its not dead on.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:58 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I wanted to measure mine but it's too dark now. I will do it tomorrow. However I did notice there is slightly smaller gap between the passenger mud guard and that tire as there is on the driver side. I did a simple and crude test by sliding my hand in between the mud guard and tire on each side and sure enough, the passenger side did not allow my hand to go down as far as the driver side. I then took the OB for a test drive to see if I could get the rubbing noise to occur, but could not. Maybe mine isn't off enough to cause the interference. BTW, I never had this issue.

My OB wanders on the highway and I have had 1 alignment at the dealer when the car had ~700 miles. It didn't do much. I am scheduled to have it looked at again next week and I will definitely bring the possible sub-frame misalignment to the dealers attention.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:16 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I wanted to measure mine but it's too dark now. I will do it tomorrow. However I did notice there is slightly smaller gap between the passenger mud guard and that tire as there is on the driver side. I did a simple and crude test by sliding my hand in between the mud guard and tire on each side and sure enough, the passenger side did not allow my hand to go down as far as the driver side. I then took the OB for a test drive to see if I could get the rubbing noise to occur, but could not. Maybe mine isn't off enough to cause the interference. BTW, I never had this issue.

My OB wanders on the highway and I have had 1 alignment at the dealer when the car had ~700 miles. It didn't do much. I am scheduled to have it looked at again next week and I will definitely bring the possible sub-frame misalignment to the dealers attention.
On vehicles without a normal caster adjustment, techs don't tend to measure the SAI. They just look at the camber angles and toe. Ask them to "swing caster".
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