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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 11:16 AM
GotMineCheap
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wobble, wobble, wobble

helloooooooo!

Gots a problem, and i hope someone knows a solution before i go broke trying to fix it. My 1990 Jimmy has a shimmy at the front end. But not all the time. Normally, on a nice flat piece of highway, it tracks along smoothy. But if I hit a bump, especially one the takes one tire first, then the other, the steering wobbles from side to side, like I was jerking the wheel back and forth quickly. I just replaced the entire front tie rod, knuckle to knuckle, because the passenger side ball joint was badly worn. The driver side was worn too, but the passenger side was much worse. The tie rod seems to have eased the problem mostly, but I can still feel it doing it when I one of those off center bumps. It also wanted to do it when used the brakes. Any idea?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 11:37 AM
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Re: wobble, wobble, wobble

Check the frame around the steering box - famous for cracking, breaking.
Check around the idler mount too.
Look for cracks on the frame - telltale sign is a thin line of rust.
Tighten the steering box, check the drag link ends.
Check the rims for bent - excessive runout.
Check wheel balance and out of round.

Then, after it's cured, add a damper. Cure it first, don't use the damper to hide the problem like a cat does in the sandbox.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 12:22 PM
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Re: wobble, wobble, wobble

Thanks. I have checked the drag link already, and the rims do not appear to be bent, with no noticeable runnout. I forgot about the frame cracking thing, if the box is moving, it would certainly cause this. I am running a stock setup by the way, 31 in tires on the original steel rims. Also, I measured the diagonals on the frame, and it is out of square a little bit, with the right frame rail being around a quarter of and inch forward. I would like to straighten this out. I have use of the 7ton backhoe I used to dig graves with, mabye I can pull the rail back, then truss the frame. Do you suppose the diamond frame can be causing this? And do i REALLY need that damn stabilizer for 31 inch tires? Thanks again!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-06-2004, 04:12 AM
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Re: wobble, wobble, wobble

Even if the box is on the frame tight - loose rivets in the crossmembers can cause it. Check very carefully.

Find out WHY the frame's bent - accident?

Measure from front axle to rear axle too - both sides - must be parallel.
And they must not be skewed - where one axle sticks out one way farther than the other.

Steering stabilizers work no matter how big, or small, the tire is.
Check rag joint in steering shaft too.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 03:14 PM
 
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Re: wobble, wobble, wobble

I have to disagre about the steering stabilizer. I had one on my truck and ended up denting the body of it in so it could not move. So I took it off and never noticed a diffrence between it being there and not being there.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 10:50 PM
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Re: wobble, wobble, wobble

Death wobble. I never thought balljoint axles could have it until I got it. It'd only happen on certain kinds of bumps--when a steer tire would be unloaded or leave contact with the asphalt altogether.

Every single joint in my steering has been replaced. Balljoints as well. The rag joint and steering shaft are both tight. The steering box is sloppy but not that sloppy. The steering wheel is centered. 3/16" toe-in and the castor and camber are stock.

It didn't go away until I got a new steering damper and my old one seemed perfectly find.

It is common for these frames to be diamond shaped. Plus, they aren't the same length anyway. The only way to make sure is to find the centerline of the axles, measure out the same distance on each axle, mark it, and then measure diagonally.

I'd replace the entire draglink. It'll cost around $60 for all three pieces with lifetime warranties on them. The joint at the pitman arm is often worn.
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