Car pulling to the right - Bad Ball Joint
I finally resolved a car pulling issue I've had for several weeks now. Initially I took it in because I was hearing a "crunching" noise coming from the right front side on left turns and the tire was wearing badly. The car has 148K on it.
After the right front hub assembly was replaced (and there was a bad bearing), the crunching noise continued and the front of the car would suddenly pull to the right going around left turns. The steering wheel would also jump to the 1:00 position. The car returned to a normal position and the steering wheel would jump back to 12:00 after coming out of the turn. Lots of fun at 75 MPH.
Replaced the front shocks (torrington bearings were both shot). Crunching noise and pulling continued. After repeated trips to my mechanic, checks of inner, outer tie rods, ball joints and several re-alignments, the problem kept getting worse. The wandering became a relatively severe jerking to the right or left going around either right or left turns.
The mechanic was about ready to try a rack replacement. Ball joint check by pushing and pulling the passenger wheel at top and bottom did nothing. No play, no sounds and everything felt tight.
I finally tried pushing and pulling on only the bottom of the right wheel and produced the crunching noise.
Turns out the right ball joint seat was cracked (replaced about 20K ago) causing the ball to periodically lock in position as it rotated. You couldn't tell with the rubber boot in place. No one had looked closely at the ball joint because it was relatively new and the alignments came in perfect.