Interesting solution to an alignment problem

1989 Mazda 626. I replaced the lower control arm on the pass side in December, and while it resolved the ball joint issue, the steering wheel
was cocked to the passenger's side and pulling to the right.
My computer decided to blow it's brains out last night, and I was up until 3:30AM putting the old one back in service and reloading Linux YET AGAIN, so when I got up at 10 I figured, I'm gonna PAY someone this time and relax, and get it lined up all at once. Every shop I went to..."If you had come last week..."
It got up to 64 degrees in Massachusetts (they said t was going to be 46, so I had planned to do it today anyway, and 65 was just a bonus...) so I pulled into the yard, got the jack, stands and tools out and went at it. Wasn't as easy as the other one, and, see later for an aside question. The only thing I couldn't get out was the sway bar link from the old control arm, and AutoZone went from $4.99 to $18!!! But, it's all together, and...the wheel is STRAIGHT and the pulling is GONE! All I did was just put it back in where the other one was, and it drives straight down the road, no pulling, no nothing, just nice and smooth. I figured this might happen, but I was betting more on having the alignment go WAY out.
BTW, there was something on the driver's side not on the passenger's side: a "Black Box" I had to remove to get the rear bolts out. It had no connections on it, just bolted to the frame, and appears to be a big magnet. It attracted my tools when I set it down.
The car does not have ABS or 4 wheel steering (some did). Any ideas?
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Hachiroku $B%O%A%m%/ wrote:

Sounds like a light trip magnet. Used on vehicles that don't have enough steel to reliably trip traffic lights and other magnetic switch items.
I have them on my motorcycles so you don't need to wait for the timer.
--
Steve W.
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On 2/17/2011 5:12 PM, Hachiroku ハチロク wrote:

Interesting mysterious magnet. Could there be a sensor nearby that it could move next to and trip/activate? Perhaps it's supposed to trigger an anti-tank mine. My guess is that it's a good idea to remove it.
I used to have a Taurus that had a small red light with something that looked like a jack that you plugged into near the bottom of the dash. The light stayed on for 7 years and I never did figure out what the heck it was.
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SNIP

That probably was an anti-theft device. I had one on a '94 Olds. If you pulled the coded plug out, the ignition system is disabled. Car won't start even with key, or another "wrong" plug, or any attempt at hot-wiring. Red light meant you had correct plug for that car.
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wrote in

I thought Linux was supposed to be more stable than a Swiss government.
--
Tegger

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It is. And if the computer itself dies, the easy solution is to transplant the hard drive into a new computer and keep going. So I am a little curious what Hachiroku is doing... --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 22:51:46 -0500, Scott Dorsey wrote:

See my answer to Teg...it was the nVidia SATA drivers messing the works up.
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On Feb 17, 10:51pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

I've found two shortcomings with Linux over the years...
1) if your power quality sucks (to the point where you have several short outages every day) and you don't have a UPS, eventually things will become corrupt to the point where it won't boot.
2) I haven't had any luck with ANY proprietary video drivers with Linux - I've used both Intel and ATI and while ATI is *better,* it's still not perfect. Both my boxen have ATI video right now, thankfully. Intel on Ubuntu 10.04 is not pretty.
nate
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On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 05:27:27 -0800, N8N wrote:

You need to get an nVidia card. I was having a BIOTCH of a problem with ATi cards, no accelerated graphics, couldn't adjust the screen size, etc. I spent about 3 weeks trying different things (back in 2007, 8 and 9) trying to get the darnm thing to work! I finally discovered that, at that time, loading driver version 2.7, uninstalling, and then loading v2.3 worked quite well.
I bought a used nVidia card from the guitar player in the band, got my flame-proof suit and prepared to do the usual battle after changing a piece of hardware, took the ATi card out and plugged in the nVidia, pressed the power button and...Ubuntu came up with a big screen that said nVidia, got into the desktop and a box popped up saying "There are proprietary drivers available for your hardware. I clicked "downlaod and install" and that was it! Even with the wonky monitor I had, I had the screen size and refresh adjusted in 5 minutes. I was also running a drive with PCLOS, and it did the same thing, except I had to install the driver manually ("manually" means opening Synaptic, searching "nVidia" and clicking "apply".)
Even Windows had a better time with the nVidia card than the ATi. I used to love ATi, but their driver support is not up to the task.
Intel is marginally better than ATi, but 'acceleration' seems to mean something else to them...
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It is, unless the computer is owned by an idiot, who also happens to be a Dell service tech who lives with his mother.
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On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 23:19:06 -0500, JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

The Big Boys are talking about things here, and don't have the time to explain it to you now.
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On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 03:29:36 +0000, Tegger wrote:

motherboard manufacturer until I see what their offer to fix it is.
I bought one back in July of last year from a "computer show", a Factory Refurbished board. I needed another video card and more ram, so it wasn't until almost Thansgiving that I got it built. Ran real nice! For about 35 hours. Then...poof...
"Your board was made for sale in Taiwan and there is no US warranty support available.
Now, the caveat is that the board it was replacing had an Intel SATA controller, and this had an nVidia controller. So I loaded up from scratch. When it went bonkers, I had to load from scratch again. Then, the seller offered me a 'new' board at not much of a discount, so I bought it (it was under $50...these are older 775 Pentium D boards). I built it around New Year's and did a 4 day burn in on it, since the seller generously dropped his warranty from 90 days to 14...including shipping time (3 days). After running it for 4 days, 16 hours a day, I decided it was probably OK, and set it up. Again, having to reload Linux from scratch.
Last night, Win7 wouldn't load, and I figured it might be because I had a 3.4G Pentium running at 3.95G. I dropped the clocks back to stock and...nothing. No beeps, no nothing. Since I need a computer for work I fired up the old mobo, copied my backed up INIT files back into the boot directory and...nothing. Reload from scratch again.
BTW, Windows XP was able to deal with it. Windows 2000 couldn't, and Windows 7 couldn't. But I had to re-up my 'genuine Windows' to get it activated.
Before this I swapped an AMD Athlon board for the board that's running now and had no problems. It's only when you introduce the nVidia SATA drivers you have an issue.
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Hachiroku ハチロク wrote:

A TRACKING DEVICE !!!!!!!! http://www.google.com/images?q=trackigg+device+for+cars&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw 69&bihW2
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wrote:

I rebuilt the entire front end on my old Pontiac, all new bushings, ball joints, tie rods. I lined everything up by eye and when I took it in for alignment all they had to adjust was the toe. I did the toe with a tape measure but it was still off quite a bit. You should at least have your alignment checked, if the toe is off very much it can drive ok but will wear the tires out fairly fast.
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You find decent instructions online for DIY alignment.
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On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 11:45:50 -0700, Ashton Crusher wrote:

That's what I was thinking today. The old snow tires, after 2.5 years, would have made nice slicks...
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If there is a wired device located near the magnetic box with a bright yellow wire loom, it could be part of the supplemental restraint system. Under normal conditions, the magnet holds a switch in the open position, but in a crash, inertia overcomes the magnet's pull, the switch closes, the same thing happens to another switch, and when 2 switches close, the air bags deploy.
BTW, Toyota does not use magnets in its SRS.
--

Ray O
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On Sat, 19 Feb 2011 00:13:49 -0600, Ray O wrote:

It has the early-mid 90's automatic seat belt like in the Camry's. The belt rides on a track and moves into place when the door closes with the ignition on.
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OK, it's not for the SRS. I have no idea what it's for.
--

Ray O
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That box with the magnet is likely for a key to hide on the vehicle somewhere.
I used the same thing on each of my daughter's first cars. came in handy 3-4 times.
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