Strut mounts can be sloppy if the center hole is rusted out. That can allow the tire to tip in and out on top enough to cause a pull but not enough to see. The top of the tire could move back and forth about 1/8". That isn't terribly common. Camber is adjusted on many Nissans by rotating the upper strut mount. That moves the offset mounting hole to either of two choices for the setting, not a complete range of settings like most cars.
Which way does the car pull, left or right? Do you have a printout of the alignment?
Was the pull there before the alignment? If it was, you might have a tire pull. On front-wheel-drive cars, a fast way to check that it MIGHT be a tire pull is to observe if the car pulls the other way during hard braking. If it does, switch the two front tires to verify the car pulls the other way. If it still pulls the same way when braking, suspect an alignment problem.
A sticking brake caliper can also cause a pull. The pull might go away during hard braking or the car could pull the other way. Often, under light braking, the car will pull the other direction because the sticking brake isn't applying. Then when the brakes are released, the car pulls the original direction because that brake isn't fully releasing.
The slanted wheel indicates that you still have a bad/bent/or worn out suspension component that could be near the breaking point. Since you have already changed the ball joint (I assume the lower), perhaps your upper is also in a bad shape. HOWEVER, whomever did the alignment must not done a good job in doing so because a correct alignment would correct these:
1. How the two front tires are toed in (to keep it going straight)
2. How the front to back vertical angle of the front tires are castled (think of castle wheel on a dolly), for correct forward motion, and
3. How the front tires are aligned vertically top to bottom. So the tires wears evenly.
All three of these affect pulls to left or right. But if any of the joints are wore out, no alignment can correct these and you'll get that strong pulling one way or another.
Friday, September 24th, 2010 AT 10:09 PM