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another "quick response please" thread, about a front end shimmy


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23 replies to this topic

#1 daeron

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 09:51 PM

okay, I have the car jacked up out front right now.

My problem has been subtly growing worse, and it would not yet mandate inspection and worrying, BUT, tomorrow morning I have to get up and drive fifty miles to drive my brother to work. I do NOT want it to go critical on the turnpike, heh... so on to the description and my thoughts.

This shimmy is very minor, and very quiet. It feels not unlike a poorly balanced tire, which it may be but I have no cause to suspect. It is directly related to speed of travel, and seems to go away when I am cruising.. If I accelerate or decelerate it comes back, with a slight change in pitch. It feels more like something is LOOSE than something is BAD, but thats just a guess. I am inspecting the front end now. I only really feel it transmitting through the car, not very strongly through the steering wheel.. and the steering feels pretty well normal. (not "normal" enough to rule it out, but it isnt drawing attention to itself)

When I jacked the car up and ran the front wheels through the motion of steering, I heard some air bubbly noises in by the rack and possibly up by the steering pump... could I simply be low on fluid?? I have a leak, and I havent tried adding any since the "onset" of this very subtle problem.. but the subtlety is going away.

My thoughts were that it felt more like balljoint/steering or suspension more than bearing or axle.. I replaced both front tie rod ends a year ago (under 10K miles) with Moog parts, so I cant imagine they are causing my problem.. Maybe steering rack or sway bar bushings.

I have already tried rocking the wheels to "check" the bearings and they seem solid; I am about to go pull the wheels off now.

No particular QUESTION, exactly.. but just wanting the thoughts of any of my fellow soobthusiasts who may have an experience to relate. Obviously I am checking everything, but if its not a steering fluid issue I am thinking my main suspects are balljoints, axles (CV or DOJ end, unsure) and bearings. I DO have torn axle boots, but I have almost NEVER heard ANY clicking or complaining from the front end at all.. and the one or two times I did hear clicking were some time ago, and I suspect that they werent in fact CV related since nothing has gotten worse.

#2 cobcob

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 09:59 PM

Any grease slung around the inside of your wheel? that's an indicator of a shot axle... (or one on it's way out) of course you've probably got some soob leaked oil on the undercarriage but axle grease will be heavier and a bit more noticable... (probably)

#3 daeron

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 10:09 PM

Well, that didn't take long.

I have never REALLY inspected the axle area in great detail; To clarify, my passenger side DOJ boot is torn, but no CV joint boot. (DOJ tranny side, CV wheel side, right? heh) It would also appear that the passenger side DOJ is what is causing me problems; I can grab the axle and wiggle it about a little tiny bit on the driver side, but its got noticably more space to wiggle about in on the passenger side.

I will try topping off my steering fluid, still, because the sound it makes when I manually push the wheels from one extremity to the other is not right.. but I doubt anything shy of a replacement axle will do me up well. I have some white lithium spray grease, would that do it any good? Would spooning in some thick gloopy grease out of a can do any good? Somehow I doubt it, but I guess I will try doing so before putting it back together if I get no answer.

Grrr.. I don't have money to worry about car, I havent gotten over 25 hours on the weekly schedule at my latest job, yet.... Eh, Ob La Di. At least theres soobs in the junkyard right now.

#4 daeron

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 10:10 PM

Any grease slung around the inside of your wheel? that's an indicator of a shot axle... (or one on it's way out) of course you've probably got some soob leaked oil on the undercarriage but axle grease will be heavier and a bit more noticable... (probably)



Good catch, I hadn't thought to check that.. Will go do now, but both CV boots are intact so I doubt I will find anything. If you dont see me come back with a contradictory statement, presume the answer is "no." :)

#5 cobcob

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 10:12 PM

Good catch, I hadn't thought to check that.. Will go do now, but both CV boots are intact so I doubt I will find anything. If you dont see me come back with a contradictory statement, presume the answer is "no." :)

K, I had to replace both axles on my Mazda Millenia, boots were intact, but there was grease like you wouldn't believe all around both of my front wheels... not pretty!!

#6 daeron

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 10:31 PM

allright, so I havent seen any grease flung anywheres.. but that one DOJ boot has been torn since before I got the car. I havent heard any clunking, clicking, or creaking...

Obviously the axle needs to be replaced and there is no avoiding it. I am primarily interested in minimizing the chances of failure on the highway tomorrow. Would spooning some grease in there help my odds at all?

#7 misledxcracker

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 10:38 PM

Carb cleaner helps :lol:

:Flame:

#8 86BRATMAN

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 01:42 AM

I've had DOJ failure before. And not heard any clicks normally associated with axle wear. If you don't see any grease flung about with a torn boot assume it is long gone and the PO removed the evidence before selling it. Spooning in grease cannot hurt the problem at all. It can only buy you a little time if that is indeed where the problem is from.

#9 daeron

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 02:00 AM

I am just wondering how much time I might have.. its just starting to give me anything to feel, but I am looking at a hundred mile round trip tomorrow.

Ugh, maybe I should call it off for safety's sake.

#10 Zebisko

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 02:00 AM

You should be fine. Just slap some thick ol' grease in there from time to time, as far as safety, it might brake and you will be stranded, but I'd probably drive it.

#11 86BRATMAN

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 02:14 AM

You should be fine if its just now giving you the feeling of trouble. I made a near 100 mile trip today on one that shakes the wheel violently when you let off at 65-70. Honestly, especially with the auto car(unless you do some high rpm n bombs) you'll be fine tommorow.

#12 daeron

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 02:36 AM

:headbang:

awesomeness on a stick.

err, an auto, I guess. Never done a neutral drop on the trans, but I guess I oughta pay more attention to using the brake while shifting in and out of gear.. *sheepish grin*

Thanks for the heads up, this is my first CV joint :-p (I am used to U-joints)

#13 daeron

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 03:51 PM

So, a happy postmortem post.

No problems on the drive, the small amount of super old grease (it was in a metal tin) that I spooned in there smoothed it right up for the outward journey; I THINK this afternoon, on my way back I may have felt some of this shimmy.. but then again, I think this may well be what has kept me from going above 70MPH without shaking for quite some time so only time will tell.

This ride kinda got popped up on me at the last minute, and last night after getting home from work was my only opportunity to inspect the car; when I found the loose DOJ and actually felt it move through the range of motion, it was so icky (and my luck can be so bad) that I instantly foresaw a disaster scenario, but that is not to be yet.

I think my plan is to go pull an axle from the junkyard.. (after rigorous inspection first, of course) and leave it in the car with all tools needed, until the old one fails.

I may just get a sign ready to put out to inform traffic, "DON'T WORRY, I AM A HIPPY. IT WILL BE BACK ON THE ROAD SOON, THANKS!"

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I try to use my dad as a sounding board for ideas and discussion at times like this, but he is in bed by the time I get home from work; you guys were my only option.

#14 86BRATMAN

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 04:30 PM

Glad to see you made it securely. The junk yard axle definately is a good idea with a 2wd car in case of total failure.

#15 misledxcracker

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 09:48 PM

"DON'T WORRY, I AM A HIPPY. IT WILL BE BACK ON THE ROAD SOON, THANKS!"


:lol::lol:

#16 xoomer

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:33 AM

This is what I did because I just had this failure this week. I pulled the axle, pulled the doj appart pulled the bearings out. Cleaned it all up. turned the inner gear thingy around and put the bearings back in and regreased it put a new boot on it and put it back in... shes hasn't done anything since.

All for about $9

X..

#17 daeron

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:33 AM

This is what I did because I just had this failure this week. I pulled the axle, pulled the doj appart pulled the bearings out. Cleaned it all up. turned the inner gear thingy around and put the bearings back in and regreased it put a new boot on it and put it back in... shes hasn't done anything since.

All for about $9

X..


So the DOJ is not just a second CV joint at the top half of the axle??

I thought it was unserviceable in fact, and not just one of those things that you "aren't supposed to" rebuild or renew, hmm. Off to research how the thing might come apart now.. htkysa! (gesundheit)

#18 86BRATMAN

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 11:30 AM

So the DOJ is not just a second CV joint at the top half of the axle??

I thought it was unserviceable in fact, and not just one of those things that you "aren't supposed to" rebuild or renew, hmm. Off to research how the thing might come apart now.. htkysa! (gesundheit)


Remove the axle boot from the cup, feel around for the metal clip that holds the cup on the joint. Remove said clip and pull cup off. Clean what grease is left out of everything. You'll see a c-clip at the end of the shaft, this has to come. Then you can slide the whole joint off.

#19 daeron

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:05 PM

Do I really need circlip pliers? I don't have any here at my house, but I am usually fairly inventive about getting those things off without.. Sometimes its impossible, though.

I am probably not going to be tackling this until Friday at the earliest, more likely next week sometime. I probly oughta change the subject of my post...:rolleyes:

#20 86BRATMAN

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:08 PM

I believe you could get the clip off with a small nosed needle nose plier. I've got an old school c clip tool so I've never really tried.

#21 daeron

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:13 PM

woo, so now I get to rebuild my DOJ.. I didn't realize that I had an option in between "ignore it" and "replace axle," thats great to know. how am I supposed to find out which is the "skinny end" of the retainer pin again? I know the pin only drives out one way but I can't recall and I am too lazy (and it is too hot and muggy outside) to jack the car up right now just to check.

#22 86BRATMAN

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:15 PM

On the axle, one side will have a indention where the pin goes in, the other side should be smooth. Drive it in and out from the indented side.

#23 daeron

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:06 PM

kickass, seabass. Thanks for the mini walk-thru, the rest oughta be a piece of cake.

#24 xoomer

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:59 PM

I have a local Subaru ONLY shop that I have made friends with. They help me out all the time, and he showed me how to do it.




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