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How much should a decent frame inspection run?

3405 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Playdrv4me
So as you all know Ive been trying to figure out my pulling to the right problem for a while now... Most of its gone with a good alignment, but there is still a noticeable bias to the right depending on road surface and road crown. More than I know is normal anyway from driving other vehicles on the same roads. Sometimes it pulls left too since the caster on the right side was adjusted about 8 degrees higher than the left. Sometimes it will go straight on what seems like a level road, sometimes it will go right on another seemingly level road. Its just really weird.

Ive also rotated the tires so I know its not a radial pull.

I contacted a body shop in Brandon a week or so ago that I was referred to by the premier high end body shop in Tampa about an inspection. They do a visual accident inspection for free, but as far as detailed frame checks he said that could cost about 350.00 or so if they need to put it up on the frame jig and measure it. An accident check wont really tell me anything because I know it was in a fender bender that required the right fender to be repainted and the right door to be blended in, around the middle of the door. The paint job is among the best I have seen. The hood was only touched up at the far right edge. Cars have accidents all the time without frame damage, so having someone say "its been in an accident" wont tell me a damn thing. Panel gaps also all look pretty good.

From everything Ive seen underneath the truck, there is nothing at all that sticks out to me visually, so Im sure its going to be a very tiny amount that the frame is out of whack, IF that is the problem. Theres no cracks down there, no obvious kinks or bends, and no previous weld marks anywhere. In fact, I cant even see any damage to the inside apron in the engine compartment. Its a real mystery.

The other possibilities are a bad right wheel bearing (the left was replaced at 10k miles), which I doubt because a bad wheel bearing shouldnt cause a pull at low speeds, or something just broken in the suspension. Its basically between spending 350.00 for a frame check, or about the same or less to do the right side bearing.

If it is in fact a frame problem, Ill probably get rid of it. Once obvious frame welding is evident, its not worth keeping.
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I've always replaced the front bearings in pairs...I figure if one bearing has gone bad, why take the chance the other one will..just preventive maintenance. I would replace the takes quite a hit to bend the frame.
Are you sure you do not have a caliper hanging up? Have you taking the brake pads out to see (sometimes the inside is tough to see) I would start with that and checking the bearings, if they all checkout I would then check the frame. :)
dont go to a premier high end shop :)
go to the dumpy shop down the street, cant cost but 80 bux

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I dont think the caliper is hung up Carl, but Ill certainly check. Its starting to sound to me like rather than a frame part being smacked, a suspension piece probably was. So the trick would be to find out what the heck it is.

I hear you on the price urby. Actually, yesterday I almost got an inspection for free, I took it to Carmax and they almost did their full appraisal for me except they didnt like that it was a prior theft recovery, even though it has a clean title. Apparently theyve "lost" 160k in the past two months to improperly titled stolen vehicles.

So I took it to the next dealer up the street and I might just trade it on something else, doubtful it will happen, but we will see.
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