Maybe it's a matter of luck; but, my 53E has been good right out of the box.....never needs any shimming to adjust how the vise faces came together.
To my knowledge the vise was designed to close at the top first then close toward the bottom of the faces as pressure was applied. I can't say that the vise was designed to close from left to right from the factory.....that's not my experience and I've never heard that suggested before.
There were three vises in that size.....the 53....the 53E.....and the 53ED. Mine is the 53E easy, quick opening/closing......the 53 ED had the built-in dog.
If you have had these problems with your vise since it was new, I wonder if there is a part missing or a manufacturing flaw as these vises tend to work straight away......and are highly sought on the used tool market fetching premium prices approaching $600.
These vises will rack.....and to counter that I made a little aid to equalize the vise on both sides of the screw......
This is one of those things that you have to be hands-on to figure out.....