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The continuing adventures of my car...


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14 replies to this topic

#1 CzarMohab

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 11:22 AM

OK... I knew there was going to be something new. This car has reliability on two fronts... Always gets me to where I need to (eventually), and always finds something new to break.

After reading several posts on the subject, I have discovered that it could be anything from timing belts to desperate need of a tire rotation.

First off, the symptoms: Abnormal vibrations while steady between 30-40 +/-3 MPH. Continues if performing a non-braking (rolling) stop to ~7 MPH. Continues while not in gear. Continues with engine off (so at least I know its not there). Does not occur while accelerating. Recurrs ~74+ MPH, but may just be from high speed ops. Can occur less than 30, but is rare unless slowing. From inside the car it sounds kind of like whom-whom-whom and does vary with speed. Cannot hear any sounds from outside due to wind/road noise. Vibrations vary with turns in the road, but in no way consistent (i.e. right turn they go up, next right turn they go away, left turn no change, next left turn they go down, etc.).

Known issues and possible causes: Driver's front outer CV joint boot torn, no noises from joint that indicate impending failure, however watching it closely. Small bit of TB on tight turns in 4WD due to difference in tire size (I think) front to rear. Vehicle recently towed with rear wheels on ground, in FWD, for ~15-20 miles. Loss of main fan/water pump pulley may have caused damage to underside of car. The person that owned the car before me was mechanically brain dead (hence, all the issues).

I am going to rotate the tires this afternoon to see if that clears anything up. Also going to inspect the underside for visible issues. Is there anything else that I should look into? Anything that I can see without resorting to a mechanic?

#2 Gloyale

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 12:12 PM

I think the vibration may be related to you're CV. Otherwise it's probably a wheel bearing, or wheels out of balance.

As far as the torque bind. You should have massive torque bind when in 4wd making tight turns, espescially if you are on pavement. That's a good sign the 4wd is working. Unlike the Fulltime AWD cars, you cannot use the 4wd on pavement. There is no slip mechanism at all in the center. You should have 4 matching size tires but as long as you only use the 4wd in snow, mud, or loose gravel, you need not worry too much about them being exactly the same treadwise. Try to keep them matched on each axle though, espescially the front. And don't use the 4wd on pavement!

#3 CzarMohab

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 12:52 PM

Relating to the CV, I read somewhere that you'd need a hydraulic press or something similar for the changeout... is that true, or is there some work around? Other than road tests or jacking up the front end, turning it on and putting it in gear, is there any way to test this to be sure?

I don't have the tools for boot replacement, let alone CV replacement, so I was hoping to postpone that until I either had the $$ for tools or $$ for shop work. If thats all it is then I'm good, but if its something else, I'd like to get that done at the same time.

Is there anyplace that does free balance checks for tires? I'd like to knock that one out as a possible issue right away. I know that at least two of the tires are sears brand, so maybe they will.

#4 Gloyale

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 12:55 PM

Relating to the CV, I read somewhere that you'd need a hydraulic press or something similar for the changeout... is that true, or is there some work around? Other than road tests or jacking up the front end, turning it on and putting it in gear, is there any way to test this to be sure?


You don't need to have a press. It can be done with common tools. Read Edrachs writeup.

#5 daeron

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 02:06 PM

find the HTKYSA, it has a good procedure on inspecting your suspension and steering systems for problems. My guess is either tires, or needing lubrication somewhere in the suspension.. (dont go by my guess alone :-p) It almost sounds like a ball joint needs grease, or a tie rod end isnt functioning as well as it once was. Tie rods and ball joints can cause any number of odd shimmies once they get old, and they are usually (in my experience) only VAGUELY "consistent" in any way shape or form.. my two bits.

#6 CzarMohab

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 12:36 PM

I have come to the conclusion that the CV joint/half axel will need replacement, however, I still cannot determine if the vibes are coming from there or elsewhere.

So I go on the Autozone website to check price and availability. $100 and its available... in two sizes... 23 & 25 spline... grrr... How do I determine which I have without pulling it all apart, as I need this car to get me to the part so I can get it replaced?

#7 86BRATMAN

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 01:20 PM

25 spline is for turbo cars, 23 is non turbo

#8 CzarMohab

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 03:03 PM

25 spline is for turbo cars, 23 is non turbo


Its seriously that simple? *Looks at turbo* Guess I know now, thanks. :banana:

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:21 PM

25 spline is for turbo cars, 23 is non turbo


Unless you have a 2wd turbo with 3spd automatic. those have the larger 95-AC joint, but with 23 splines. (same as SPFI)

#10 CzarMohab

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:25 AM

Gloyale- My car is retarded, not that retarded. :lol:

Anyone have a linky to a good write-up in greasing wheel hubs, joints, etc? My 'ru repair manual, while just a crappy Haynes, is not with me at the moment, and I figure since the car's going to be up on blocks this evening for CV joint replace, I may as well do the rest of everything that I can.

On a side but similar note, while coming in to work I finally heard the sound of the vibration from outside enough to think its coming from driver's rear wheel, but definately driver's side.

Also, are there any tools, common or otherwise, not mentioned in Ed's write-up that I absolutely must have (not counting the obvious stuff, such as socket set, wrench set, etc.) to perform all of this? I'm going to be borrowing work tools as it is for this, so I may as well get everything that I can so I don't have to worry.

:Flame: vibration
zzz vibration

#11 daeron

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 02:31 PM

Find yourself a thick walled pipe about three feet or longer, large enough in diameter to slip over a breaker bar. These are called cheater bars, and no garage is complete without an assortment of cheater bars of various lengths and strengths.

You know how to take two combination wrenches and use one on the end of the other to gain leverage, right? If not I will take a photo for you, easier than trying to explain.

all I can think of, but I am not the right guy to ask.

#12 CzarMohab

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 03:02 PM

Find yourself a thick walled pipe about three feet or longer, large enough in diameter to slip over a breaker bar. These are called cheater bars, and no garage is complete without an assortment of cheater bars of various lengths and strengths.

You know how to take two combination wrenches and use one on the end of the other to gain leverage, right? If not I will take a photo for you, easier than trying to explain.

all I can think of, but I am not the right guy to ask.


All about the cheater bars, ex-Navy mechanic... just need to find one...

#13 CzarMohab

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 12:35 AM

So, after almost no struggle, almost no real issues, I managed to pull off the old half-axle. On the shaft is what remained of the sticker, that said, "...Heavy Manuf.....ng, Japan..." whats the probability that this, too, was an original piece of equipment? Kinda tired of finding those; but then again, the boot was torn and if it hadn't been prolly would have gone another 20-30k, or more.

Thanks you all for the help!!

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:

#14 86BRATMAN

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:50 PM

Look at it this way. All those oe parts lasting as long as they have is a testimate to the durability of our cars.

#15 CzarMohab

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 05:34 PM

Forgot to add that I managed to install the new one, too...

Today was the first real road test... and it passed with flying colors. Still does a little shimmy 65-75 but is so much less than what it was. Come to think of it, every car I've driven has a shimmy in the higher speeds...

Also, it fixed what I thought was a bent brake disk, It used to shake really bad when forcefully stopping. Not no more. :banana: :banana: :banana:




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