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Old 12-15-2009, 09:01 PM
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shimmy shake

I have searched the existing posts, but didn't find an exact kind of problem on speed. I recently purchased a 190E. It shimmies at very low speeds & all the way up. It doesn't always do it though. The tires are showing perfect wear across the surface, and no dips or irregularities. You can let your hands off the wheel and it goes straight down the road as it should. It will slowly head to the right like they are supposed to for safety. The threads and such I read were mostly higher speeds when the shimmying occurred. It's like the wheel shakes back and forth left and right. It is more noticable at times on rougher streets. Does this usually point to tie rod ends?? Car is very low milage like high 70's.

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Old 12-15-2009, 10:02 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Of course you should check tie rod ends, ball joints, etc..... Also check the idler arm.

Tires can look fine and still be wonky. Try swapping the rears up front and see if the symptoms change. It could also be a bent rim.

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Old 12-16-2009, 10:01 AM
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Take it to a tire shop and have them inspect the tires & rims, and then have them balance & rotate them.

It'll cost about $30, and you won't get dirty.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:31 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 436
I'd check:

Wheel brgs for play, inspect rear suspension links, idler arm bushings for play and pull one of the bolts out of the steering dampener- it's likely dead or weak. Put a torque wrench on the 3 steering bolts and tighten(don't loosen them) box bolts, 65 ft-lb? I think that maybe right- theres a bulliten out on them.
Many of things to check.

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Old 12-16-2009, 10:59 PM
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Thanks for the information! I have learned a few things from a couple of different alignment shops, as well. I now know how to tell how old tires are. There are 4 digits at the end of the dot stamping on them. The first 2 are for the month & the last two are the year. I am trying to locate a shop that has the wheel balancer that has the 9700 number on it? From some posts in the forum they are supposed to be the best ones. If it warms up some this weekend I will try to get it jacked up and do some visual inspection.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:41 PM
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Does the shaking get better or worse when you apply the brakes? Is it different if you apply the brakes light versus hard? This can help lead you toward the answer. Warped rotors can really get things jumping around.

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Old 12-17-2009, 08:47 PM
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Braking doesn't have any effect on the shimmy from my perspective. There is no pulling, grinding, or any kind of noise. There, also, is no vertical kind of I have been use to on out of balance tire issues, in the past.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:03 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Edmonton, Canada
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These cars are sensitive to out-of-round tires so have them note that when they are balancing.

Also, if the problem is different under load versus no load coasting down, it could be drive shaft center mount / bearing.

Inspect your engine mounts and tranny mount. When start / stop the engine watch for big movements side/side indicating mounts. Grab the engine when it's off and rock it side/side - freeplay is mounts.

Both driveshaft and engine mounts manifest as steering wheel shimmy, that you can also feel on your backside a bit.. The whole car is shaking.

What you need to do when you pull one bolt out of the steering dampner is try moving that shock back and forth. It should have immediate resistance in both directions, no dead spot, no free play for any length of travel.

The 9700 designates a Hunter brand, very good balancing device.
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Last edited by scottmcphee; 12-19-2009 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:39 PM
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I stopped at a tire shop today. They did a visual inspection and didn't find anything like on the tires. I had them rotate them & x-cross the the fronts to the rear. So, the shimmy issue is not appearing so far. He was telling me I probably have a belt issue starting in one of them.

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