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Drive Vibration Issues- Beginner

 
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Old 24 Apr 2015, 10:28 pm
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Default Drive Vibration Issues- Beginner



Specs/History

2002 Cruiser 2.4L L4 DOHC 16V currently 105,000 miles. Purchased in 2012 with 80K in an auction, no history, lowered by unknown methods, and minor impact damage that did not deploy the airbags. (Broken front cap, small progressive dash crack running thru broken center air vent on dash.) Sticker under hood says timing changed at 74K and new tires.

First ride- Shimmy/wiggle that I can feel in steering wheel and the gas pedal starting from a stop. It seems to come from the F passenger side. Becomes seemingly unnoticeable around 20/25 mph but returns again with a vengeance over 50.

Professional garage diagnosis and recommended repair-"Could be just about anything. Drive it 'till it breaks"

Subsequent follow up results on this issue during regular maintenance-Nada

Maintenance/replacements performed since:
L&R hubs and bearings X3 in 14 mos. Professionals have no clue why.
L&R tie rods
oil changes (every 3K), tune-ups (plugs, wires, bla, bla, bla)
4 new balanced tires (rotated every 3K)
alignment
new headlights (Old ones turned on perfect, just couldn't see a damned thing with them on)


Car restored to original height (un-lowered? lol) with:

New struts
new shocks (back only)
gently used springs (F&B)

25K later: Temperature/being parked seems to directly effect certain issues. For example- During warmer temps, after the car sits over night, initially seems to bunny hop up and down for the first few miles, then goes away. During the cold, hop seems to be completely gone. After sitting, the shimmy is less obvious when first driven. The longer/further/faster you drive it, the worse it gets up to a leveling off point. Can't say the shimmy has markedly become better or worse in 25K- only that it hasn't gone away.

When navigating especially tight (high speed) turns I would hear a very temporary and faint circularly rhythmic swoosh, swoosh, swooshing (DS). The same turn has now morphed into the steering feeling, resistant(?) to the turn similar to losing power steering back in the day and driving manual. Car seems to nose dive in quick stops from 55 for a light. Feels like I'm traveling in a plastic grocery bag on extremely windy days. (Assume front shock issue) Sometimes I'm convinced the tires feel like they're hitting the pavement like a horse runs, left down right up, right down left up. (OK, stop laughing, don't judge me! :-D )

I swear I'm occasionally hearing a medium size spring (?) hitting metal sound from the driver's front fender well. And depending on how hot I am coming into a right, determines how loud the single clunk is when I make it. Oddly enough, I stop at the mailbox before traveling 10 ft at 5 mph to make a sharp left into the driveway and I get a small clunk (LF DS) when the tire hits the dip between asphalt and concrete. I've also felt a slight clunk intermittently engaging reverse. (only) I usually avoid all potholes as a rule, but this morning my LFDS hit a small one and the new loud bang made me wish I had worn depends. I about pulled it over and called a wrecker on the spot.

Sorry for the novel, I'm pretty sure I have several things going on at once. While I am considering having my frame evaluated due to previous damage, I'm suspecting that I need to start with front shocks, first. But I don't know where to head from there, short of working from the outside (knuckles) and replacing every pair of parts systematically until the vibrations stop. Which is what the garages want to do. Unfortunately, that's not feasible for my wallet. Not to mention my boss will not be too thrilled over my extended absence.

I've got a book and I've got brains. What I don't have is a history working on cars or the troubleshooting experience that is acquired along with it. But, if necessary, I have a wrecker on speed dial if I fail miserably in my efforts.

Thanks for the read/advice in advance!
Elle

Last edited by ElleJay; 24 Apr 2015 at 10:39 pm.
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Old 26 Jun 2015, 03:01 am
synjin's Avatar
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Default Re: Drive Vibration Issues- Beginner

Well, day 2 with my 2001 Limited, and it has a shimmie like you've described. I also wonder what it is.
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Old 27 Jun 2015, 02:45 am
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Default Re: Drive Vibration Issues- Beginner

Two days driving her, and I'm thinking this is a brake issue...at least on mine. The shimmie/judder is cyclical, decreasing and smoothing out as I go faster and becoming more pronounced as I go slower. Moreover, the brakes grab to the rhythm as I brake to a stop. My thought is bad pads or warped rotors. The parts aren't a bad price. So, tomorrow I'll check the brake pads, but I may just replace the pads and rotors.

If the Wise have more informed ideas, feel free to share. I'm a novice, and am willing to jump right in.
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Old 02 Jul 2015, 01:41 pm
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Default Re: Drive Vibration Issues- Beginner

Quote:
Originally Posted by synjin View Post
Two days driving her, and I'm thinking this is a brake issue...at least on mine. The shimmie/judder is cyclical, decreasing and smoothing out as I go faster and becoming more pronounced as I go slower. Moreover, the brakes grab to the rhythm as I brake to a stop. My thought is bad pads or warped rotors. The parts aren't a bad price. So, tomorrow I'll check the brake pads, but I may just replace the pads and rotors.

If the Wise have more informed ideas, feel free to share. I'm a novice, and am willing to jump right in.
Literally same exact issue as described by OP, but you hit the nail on the head with the braking... I've replaced the brake pads about 6 months ago, but I had the shimmy for the last year (when I bought it) ... however, i've never replaced the rotors nor had them turned yet... I think it might be time for that, or just getting new ones.

Note: My issue is the Front right instead of Front Left. However, all symptoms described are exactly the same.
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Old 02 Jul 2015, 03:39 pm
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Location: Sutton WV
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Default Re: Drive Vibration Issues- Beginner

How about A-arm bushings...I've replaced mine twice
(in 195,000miles)
Ball joints will klunk..I've replaced both..(get the whole arm with new bushings and ball joint if needed..)
Both off these will give you strange ,& unusual
Handling....
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Old 11 Dec 2015, 09:21 pm
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Default Re: Drive Vibration Issues- Beginner

Update:

Well, replaced both lower control arms, which were beyond shot, while we changed out the water pump after it died, the T-stat, and timing around mid-July. This mostly stopped much of the wiggles and hopping. But, not all vibrations.


Then about 3 weeks ago, I started getting intermittent LF wheel squealing noise in corners and when braking. Sounded like brakes. Drop by the shop that installed them 20 months ago and the wonderful tech tells me there's 80% left on the pads. So, it couldn't be them. He was enthusiastically dedicated to service when he suggested I leave my car there and offered to, "take a look at it." That's when it started again...

2nd opinion: The tire shop that regularly balances and rotates the tires diagnosis: Front rotors and brakes. No explanation as to why but, they were pretty clear on the $275.00 bill for the repairs.

Somewhere between shop 2 and home, I start losing brakes. And noise gets worse before it gets parked. This is where the car that has never stalled, developed a new parlor trick. Stalling. Pump the brakes vigorously about 20 times, you hear the idle modulating up and when you stop pumping, idle drops and voila! It stalls. :-/ The car soon violated the driveway with what used to be in the brake lines.

Shop #3: The FPS motor mount was shot. Replaced both back brake drums and shoes right along with the wheel cylinders. One of cylinders was completely locked up. Front rotors and brakes.

Start it up, put it in reverse and hear one single 'click.' Back into park, 'click.' Swear it sounds like it's coming from behind the tire. The dreaded LF that's driving me insane!!!! I also still hear the wobbly swooshy noise while driving but, it's the best ride it's been to date. I can't help but feel like I am band-aiding symptoms of the problem. Can a bent CV or any other component cause all this part failure? I mean hell, we've just about replaced everything up to there at this point. I don't drive that many miles per year. This boggles my mind.

Looking up A-arm bushings and ball joints....ugh

Any other thoughts?

Last edited by ElleJay; 11 Dec 2015 at 09:30 pm.
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Old 11 Dec 2015, 09:36 pm
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Default Re: Drive Vibration Issues- Beginner

sinjyn,- Is a Newb here myself. I haven't yet dove into doing the work myself but, I'm fed up with incompetent car shops that have zero troubleshooting skills. They seem content fleecing my pockets without investigating the possible root causes. So, I buy the parts and decide what gets installed. Seems a better strategy than leaving it up to them handing me bills to fix the same parts over and over. Unfortunately, I won't be much help.

I miss Anchorage :-(
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