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Old 08-26-2011, 12:08 PM
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Front suspension vibration

Help!! I have a 32 ford sedan with straight tublar front axle. I have installed new tires and wheels on the car and now I have a vibration at 47 mph and 62 mph. I 've had the wheels balanced 3 times and spun the wheels on the car with an old Hunter wheel balancing machine. I've checked the tie rod ends and all the suspension ends, panhard bar, vega box, and the king pins for wear. I checked the wheels for runout there is a bit, but all wheels usually show some. I've installed new shocks, and all the suspension checking was done before the wheels and tires were installed. Seems as though the tires and wheels are the problem, but can't find out why! Any thoughts!

Thanks, tudorduece

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Old 08-26-2011, 01:35 PM
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alignment

Toe-in or toe-out can can cause front end shake or vibration. It did on my '63 Pontiac. It felt exactly like a tire was out of balance. The car wants to go straight but the tire is trying to go another direction and that is what causes the tire to shake or vibrate.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:52 PM
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you mentioned he different things that you checked but did you have the car on an alignment rack? did you get a four wheel alignment to make sure everything is square?
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:51 PM
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Front Suspension Vibration

No, I have not had the car on a alignment rack. Before this all started I had a slight vibration in the front end at about 35 mph, so went to have the wheels balanced. I was told that my one rim was bent, so that's how it all started.
I bought new rims and tires, so now the vibration has moved from 35 mph to 47mph & 62 mph. I though, that if it was toe in or toe out I would have seen a a vertical movement on the wheel when I spun the wheels on the car, but I did not. Still puzzled !!!

Thanks, Tudorduece
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:35 PM
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Assuming the problem lies with the wheel/tire assembly, there could be a number of possibilities.

Number one, the type of balance that was used. There are four common types of balancing. The first, and most accurate, is a dynamic balance. This is when weights are applied to both sides of the wheel. It's most accurate because it spreads the weights across a wider plane. The second two, are summed up as an alloy balance. This is when either a clip on weight or adhesive weight is applied to the inside edge of the wheel, and an adhesive weight on the innermost portion of the wheel, behind the face. Although less accurate, it still is an effective balance when clip on weights are not wanted, or are unable to be applied to the front of the wheel. The last, and the least accurate (yet oddly the most favored by techs, who quite frankly have no idea what they are doing) is the static balance. Either one adhesive weight on the innermost part of the wheel, behind the face, or one clip on weight on the inside edge of the wheel. and for some reason, I'm thinking your wheels were static balanced.

Number two, too high of a road force variance. Do you have access to a place that has a Hunter Road Force or Coats sonar balancer? A tire with a runout of .022" or higher can in some applications cause a vibration. And simply eyeballing it isn't enough to diagnose this.

Number three, misapplication. This could be an incorrect load index, too wide of a tire on a too narrow of a wheel, etc. If the tire is overloaded (too low of a load index) the tire could flex too much at speeds, causing a vibration. If there's too much tire and not enough rim width, the sidewalls could stiffen up at the shoulders, causing vibration. It will also affect your traction as well as tire life.

Number four, many aftermarket wheels are lug centric, meaning the wheel relies the lug seats to center the wheel on the hub instead of being centered on the hub. Try loosening the lugs, tighten them back up and torque them in the air while someone is mashing the brake.

This could lead you to the proper fix if indeed your tires are causing the problem.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:06 PM
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Front Suspension Vibration

The wheels were dynamically balanced, with rim mounted weights on both sides of the rim. The wheels and tires are what I took off of the car, 15x6 on front and 15x8 on the back. The front tires are 165x50x15. The vibration is in the steering wheel, not in the seat or floor pans.
I'm not sure about the Hunter balancing system you mentioned in our area, it just may require some investigating.
You are correct when you state that aftermarket wheels are lug centeric, I did tighten/torque them in the air, but without someone standing on the brake. I will try this installation method, and will look for the Hunter Road Force system in the area.

Thanks for the insight!
Tudorduece
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:46 PM
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Try moving your tires around the car

I use to work for one of the major tire manufacturers and every once in a while we would sell a new set of tires and have the vibration problem you describe. The manager there called it radial vibration and it was basically a defective tire from the manufacturer. It was usually just one tire out of the four that was causing the problem. To locate the bad tire we would move the tires to different locations on the car, then test drive the car down the same road. It helps if you have another person in the car who can listen and move around in the car to hear and feel the vibration and try to locate where its coming from. When you find it, you replace it with another tire. I have seen a lot of cars where the vibration would stop completely just by moving the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front. You might try moving the tires around to see if your vibration situation changes.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:28 AM
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Front Suspension Vibration

I guess that I could move them left to right, but not front to back, as lug pattern is different, will try anything. I going to change rotors and bearings
next to see if that makes a difference, hate to spend the money, but its small compared to the car value.

Thanks for your input.
Tudorduece
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:59 AM
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vibration

i'm wondering if u have 2 pc wheels??? with a floating center pc. like the weld prostar's.. what i found is my brand new rotors were out of bal just nuff to mess it up.. Soooo now i get the rotor and wheels balanced together.. problem solved.. u may need to remove the outer race to get them on the machine. i have chebby stuff..
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:32 AM
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Hi tudorduece,
the problem didnt exist before da other rims and tires--then ya noticed a bit of roundout- pull all da rims and tires off - and take em in to a tire shop that can TRUE da tires. Then balance em-the method is of much discussion, i prefer to use da stick-on weights for mags that stick on the back side of da rims -- they dont fly off if da rim was real clean - and curbs dont thrash em. Tire shops with a Truing machine are getin hard to find so hunt first, its worth every penny and min. Straight axels really let ya know when just a little is outa round.
I do it to all my rides, motorcycles and Quads included -- the difference has to be experienced to believe.

Balder

Last edited by balder; 08-27-2011 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 01:08 PM
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Stabilizer shock

One of the problems with a straight axles is wheel shimmy. My high school friend and I had a 1959 Pontiac 389 V8 powered '23 Ford T-bucket truck. We had severe shimmy above 60 MPH on the highway and it started anytime for no apparent reason but especially when we hit a slight irregularity in the pavement. We consulted Babb's Hot Rods in Abilene Texas and they recommended installing a stabilizer shock. In fact he made it and installed it for us for $50. It was a cheap shock absorber and was clamped with U-bolts to the tie rod on the RH side and and bolted to the frame on the LH side with a home made bracket. I think he used drive shaft universal joint U-bolts and a home made bracket for the tie rod. It was a home made stabilizer shock assembly because it was in the early 1960s and there were not many special "ready made" parts for street rods back then. I think Pete and Jakes Hot Rods has steering stabilizer kits for street rods that have straight axles.

Our T-bucket truck was a little more difficult to steer after we had the steering stabilizer installed but we had a little Grant steering wheel. We finally got used to it though.

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Old 08-27-2011, 03:36 PM
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stabizer shock

those shocks are from a VW.. the tube end is the same but the shaft end either has an open eye or a pivioting stud... if its going to hiden ck a bone yard and clean it up and paint it...
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:01 PM
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Did you say you have a 165/50R15 for the tire size? What is the curb weight of the vehicle? Because if that's the size you are running, the vehicle load may be too much for the vehicle. The load index for this size is somewhere around a 72, which is about 800 or so pounds at maximum pressure. If this is true, that's probably where your vibration is coming from.

As far as truing a tire, a road force balancer will do that without cutting any of the rubber out by match mounting the tire with the wheel. If the tire is out of round, it will also tell you this.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:53 AM
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if you were having a problem with the old tires and your having a problem with the new tires and you have spent a fair amount of time balancing and checking them out i don't think its in the tires your alignment can be out even if you cant see it. it really doesn't take much to give you a problem. i will admit i have never owned a straight axle car so i don't know what the process is to align it compared to a conventional suspension but i would at least check it all out its a simple way to ensure you have a good starting point for your trouble shooting jmho
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:22 PM
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Front Suspension Vibration

Thanks Guys for the info;
You're right, I have spent a lot of time changing wheels and tires and balancing, but I'm still not sure that I have round tires. I going to try 1 more time with Road Force balancer. As for curb weight, I haven't a clue and don't happen to know anyone with scales, but since these are the same size I ran before and didn't have a problem, I guess I'm discounting it. I do run a pannard bar, but without a steering stablizer damper. If this doesn't work,I may need to go to alignment shop, I know about toein/toeout, but caster/camber is another story with straight axle, and is a major operation. When i spun the wheels on the car, I didn't know the RPMS or speed, so I don't know if it was 30 or 45 mph, but had little vibration in the steering wheel. I'll check out of round, clean up my rotors/replace them, and look at replacing my bushings on my 4 link. I just came back from Frog Follies last weekend and spoke to several duece owners, about my problem, and found several other owners, with similar problems. There answer was to drive it and don't worry about it. Which wa not my kind of answer!
Thanks,
Tudorduece
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