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Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

 
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Old 31 Aug 2011, 08:17 pm
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Default Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

Installed a pair of front Monroe Quick struts that come already built up, springs and all. After install have a bad wobble or shimmy in front end now when first taking off. The front of the car is much higher than before and I figure it's because of the new springs. Car is at least an inch higher in front now. Got the right part number quick struts 171592. The toe setting was way out now and was right on before the strut change. I got the toe setting pretty equal front of tire to rear of tire but shimmy still noticeable. What happened??? Suggestions and HELP ! !
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Old 31 Aug 2011, 08:20 pm
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Default Re: Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

Anytime you add new struts on the front end you're going to need an alignment. Mine was so far out I had to install shims to get it near accurate. As to the height, are they not adjustable? Were you trying to lower the car?

If you are just going for straight up replacements, go get all 4 wheels aligned by someone who knows what they're doing. You've got those struts loaded up and will need to put some miles on them to get them to settle down. You can't just bounce up and down on the fender and expect them to settle in. Took about a week for mine to feel right....
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Old 01 Sep 2011, 06:01 am
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Default Re: Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

The struts are direct replacements to the originals and not adjustable. I suspect the original springs were saggy and one strut was a slight leaker after 107,000 miles. The lower strut bolts I reused were "net build" and have serrations. Not sure how to take your comment of " get all 4 wheels aligned by someone who knows what they're doing". Been a tech, fabricator and engineer for over 35 years. So I've been around a car a bit.
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Old 01 Sep 2011, 07:05 am
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Thumbs up Re: Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

Chromenut's simply saying to get a full alignment done by a reputable shop. Not no cheap " yeah it should be alright" shop.
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Old 01 Sep 2011, 03:45 pm
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Default Re: Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

Checked the toe and I set it to zero as it was before i went on this adventure. Car still shimmied and wobbled taking off. Only thing I can figure is the much higher ride height (car looked odd with the front popped up) with new struts is halfshaft angles loading and causing the problem. I removed the new quick struts and reinstalled the original (were Monroe's also but with the factory original springs), reset the toe to zero and no shimmy wobble...... camber is not adjustable and had the pound in bolts with splines for net zero. Called an alignment shop and for $60 was told all they could do is set the toe....
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Old 01 Sep 2011, 03:57 pm
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Default Re: Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

I beg to differ. There are special bolts that can be bought to adjust the camber. They fit into the lower hole of each front strut. The set cost me $30 from the dealer but I've seen them a lot lower.

If you Google "offset camber bolts for PT cruiser" you'll see that RockAuto has them for all the years of the PT.
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Old 01 Sep 2011, 06:05 pm
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Default Re: Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by CREWZIN View Post
I beg to differ. There are special bolts that can be bought to adjust the camber. They fit into the lower hole of each front strut. The set cost me $30 from the dealer but I've seen them a lot lower.

If you Google "offset camber bolts for PT cruiser" you'll see that RockAuto has them for all the years of the PT.
@808 is correct, I'm just suggesting getting a real good alignment done. I've been in and around cars almost all my life. Did my first rebuild at 14, which was like 100 years ago, on a '66 AMC Marlin with a beautiful 327 in it. Actually emptied my dad's garage, taped butcher block paper down, and completely blueprinted the engine, BY HAND.

I've got the mirror setup and bars for completing an alignment, however when I lowered my PT my first thought was to take it to someone who can do a laser guided 4 wheel alignment. They said I was pretty close, but to touch on what Crewzin said, the caster/camber was off so far that I had to install the bolt and washer kit that allows for adjustment. Toe in was off beyond what could be adjusted for so I installed alignment shims that allowed me, and the alignment shop, to get my tires/wheels perfectly aligned. Not knocking your skills, but I've been at this now for 36 years wrenching on all kinds of boats, motorcycles and cars, along with all my varied RC aircraft, and I know when I need to pull in a "real" expert. I know my limitations and was just suggesting the same to you, so no offense intended!!!

As to the shimmy, if you put your PT up on a jack, do you get any tire shake? Just curious about the bearings.....also check your tie rod ends, could be worn...
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Old 02 Sep 2011, 01:13 pm
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Default Re: Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

Thanks for the valued input Chromenut and the rest that replied. I'm going to get the camber adjustment kit and install and take to a GOOD aligmnent shop and get everything tuned in. The tierod ends are in great shape. Control arm bushings look new as well. What size wheels / tires have you on your car? I have the stocker 16" flaking and bent chromes and thinking of getting aftermarket. Michigan roads here tend to eat rims.
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Old 02 Sep 2011, 04:27 pm
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Default Re: Replaced Front Struts Now Shimmy

I didn't go hog wild when I dropped my PT, just went 17x7. Tires are 225x45 Pirelli P6's, best tires I've ever had on it.

If you were closer I'd sell you my stock 17x6 chrome 15 spoke wheels that came on my PT. Bit far away up there in the frozen tundra! lol


@808 - I'm big into photography as a hobby and love taking pictures of my PT but I have to say that your sig photo is gorgeous, one of the nicest I've ever seen of a PT.
WELL DONE!
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