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Overriding optimizer's execution plan

I am trying to optimize the execution plan for a SQL query using hints. Oracle is using the hints or constructing the execution plan until I use the outer oin operator (+). Once I use the outer join operator, it uses its own execution plan to retrieve the records. It is ignoring the hints that I am giving. Basically, I want to override the execution plan which the optimizer is choosing when I am using outer join. Can you help me?
I don't know of any reason why the presence of an outer join operator would cause the optimizer to disregard hints. Is the addition of the outer join the ONLY change you make? Do all tables and indexes have statistics? Have you tried using the ANSI outer join syntax instead of the Oracle (+) syntax?
 

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