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Old 09-09-2002, 07:13 AM
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Post Steering "shimmy"

I have recently finished a '33 Ford coupe with a dropped Super Bell axle, leaf spring, Vega style steering box and manual rack. I'm noticing a slight amount of shimmy in the steering wheel whenever I'm making a really gradual turn (like on the interstate) at speeds of 50 or higher. The shimmy isn't violent, but annoying and since I've never run into this on any previous streetrods, I'm concerned.... can anyone shed some light on this or offer suggestions???

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Old 09-09-2002, 03:00 PM
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Beleave it or not check you wheel bearings. I had same thing, and turned out the bearing were not tight enough.
Slider in Wa.
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Old 09-09-2002, 03:41 PM
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definitely check first. with the car parked grab the top of the tire and yank back and forth a few times, if you hear noise tighten the spindle nut-(put on jack stands-tighten till it just starts dragging).
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Old 09-11-2002, 08:05 AM
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Slider and bullheimer... thanks for the reply. That's too obvious and th efirst thing I should have checked!!! I always go for the worst case scenario, and overlook the most obvious... I'll let you know what I find.
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Old 09-13-2002, 12:31 PM
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The boys are right but also check out So-Cals steering damper, what an improvement them things make, it will stop any shimmy on that set up.
Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2002, 12:41 PM
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[quote]The boys are right but also check out So-Cals steering damper, what an improvement them things make, it will stop any shimmy on that set up <hr></blockquote>

"hotrod****" So if you put a stering dampner on a front end that has bad wheel bearings. itll fix it? what about bad king pins? will it fix that?......oh yea and I gotta another idea. why not pick the highest priced catalog on the
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Old 09-14-2002, 08:33 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by DragLinkscc:
<strong>

"hotrod****" So if you put a stering dampner on a front end that has bad wheel bearings. itll fix it? what about bad king pins? will it fix that?......oh yea and I gotta another idea. why not pick the highest priced catalog on the</strong><hr></blockquote>

Hey Draglink, if you actually read my post, i confirm what the other guys state by checking for any mechanical defects or wear. I simply state that a damper will improve things, maybe you should drive a car with one on, or check the price , #001-60755 $34.95 not a high price on our freind Stubby's '33 coupe considering he has a Super Bell axle & Vega style box.
Sorry but i think your response was a little harsh, lets keep this place freindly!
no hard feelings eh.
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Old 09-17-2002, 10:15 AM
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I went through the front end with a fine tooth comb over the weekend. Wheel bearings were not loose, but I jacked the front end up, spun the wheels and tightened the spindle nuts to about 50 ft-lbs then backed off to the next key hole.... no change, the shimmy is still there. I checked the kingpins and they're tight. My next step is to tighten the steering box adjustment a bit, but I think I'm going to order a damper. Don't know where else to turn.... thanks to all for your input. I'm new to the website, but it's good to bounce problems off a bunch of greasy gear heads...
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Old 09-17-2002, 12:20 PM
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How is your toe-in? For solid axle car, front of tures should be 1/8" to 3/16" closer in the front than the rear.

Also, do your front wheels have an extremely different positive or negative offset from the original? When you draw a line thru the center of your tire and another thru the center of the kingpin, the two lines should ideally intersect exactly where the tire meets the road. If they don't maybe your tires are scrubbing their way around corners.

The steering on my Willys got really easier when I put 4 1/2" wheels in place of the 6" ones I was running. (New ones can be seen in my Photo Album, old ones are in the Avatar picture).
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Old 09-17-2002, 02:55 PM
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Based on what you have done, I would guess you have a steering geometry problem. My truck has a clip in it and it is possible, if not perfectly aligned that one can weld in a permanent geometry problem. I would take the car to an alignment shop and have them put it on the rack and take a reading of where it is now. They will spot very obvious problems quickly. I have done this in the past and they will tell you that you are way off very quickly and what you need to do to correct it, usually they will just print a computer print out of all the geometry adjustments needed.
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