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Front wheels shake at speed 50+ mph

 
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Old 03 Aug 2010, 12:31 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Texas
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Default Front wheels shake at speed 50+ mph

Hey all,

I've got a new to me 2001 PT Cruiser and I have a front end issue.

When I get past 50 MPH the front end starts to shake. The problem seems to me to be coming from the left front side, but I'm not used to front wheel drive so I'm not sure what I need to check out.

It seems that when I accellerate it smooths out, with the shake becoming more noticable on coast down / decelleration. It makes a slight knocking sound that sounds very much like putting on brakes at high speed with badly warped rotors. (note I just replaced the front rotors and pads with all new thinking that I had warped rotors that were causing the front end shake)

I'm going to have the tires balanced (start cheap and simple at first, but if any one has ideas of what needs attention and checking out on a 125K mile cruiser, I'm all ears!

Thanks

BIGGER_HAMMER
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Old 03 Aug 2010, 01:37 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,744
Default Re: Front wheels shake at speed 50+ mph

With that many miles any part of the front suspension could be worn out. While your having the tires balanced, have the tires checked to see if they aren't "out of round". You could have a broken belt inside the tire. See if you can get the carup on a lift to have someone check out the suspension components.

Hard to believe you replaced the brakes and rotors for a problem that you didn't know what it really was. Hope you needed them anyway. Warped rotors will show up more when you hit the brakes and your brake pedal pulsates.
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Old 03 Aug 2010, 03:48 pm
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Felton, Delaware
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Default Re: Front wheels shake at speed 50+ mph

Agree w/Crewzin.
Look at the rubber "boots" on the drive axles - if they're torn, one or both of the universals could be going/gone.
Agree to start with tires/balancing first. Could the knock be a tire thump?
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Old 03 Aug 2010, 11:27 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 26
Default Re: Front wheels shake at speed 50+ mph

The tires are new and recently installed UniRoyals (still have their rubber wisps).

Don't see how they could be out of round or bad so soon, but I'll be sure to check them out.

The fact that the vibration is sensitive to accelleration Vs. decelleration has me thinking it might be joint related,but not sure if there are universals or CVs in the front end.

Again, a sincere "THANKS!!!!!" to all for the input as to where / what to look at.

BIGGER_HAMMER
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Old 26 Aug 2010, 10:36 am
Mal Mal is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 164
Default Re: Front wheels shake at speed 50+ mph

Probably a little early for control arm bushings but it's possible. With the new tires it is indeed likely a suspension issue.
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Old 26 Aug 2010, 04:00 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 26
Default Re: Front wheels shake at speed 50+ mph

the wheels move slighting toe in and out so I've been told it has tie rod issues.

Not sure if they are the inners or outer tie rods needing repair / replacement.

How to you know which ones (inner or outer)?

BIGGER_HAMMER
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