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Thread: Un-Believeable Front End Shake!

  1. #1
    Registered User sjb15316's Avatar
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    Default Un-Believeable Front End Shake!

    Took my '80 out for a drive a couple of weeks ago and when I hit around 40-45 mph, the steering wheel nearly shook out of my hands! My initial thought was "What the hell???!!!". I immediately pulled over at the nearest safe place to get out and look. I was trying to come up with ideas as I was walking around the car... "tire balance, tire separating, knot on tire, etc"... Couldn't see a thing. Felt like the right side of the car, but couldn't be sure... Ran my hands all around and over what I could feel... Nothing. Checked the other side... Same thing. Rear tire??? Checked those. NO CLUE. Had to be a "fluke". Got back in... creeping along slowly gathering speed... smooth as ever... around 40 or so... car started shaking like crazy again. Went up to 50 and it started smoothing out??? Didn't make sense, unless it was the tire balance. Took it to the shop and while they were somewhat out of balance the guy at the garage said it must be the alignment, because the tires (while not bad) were not wearing smoothly. So I took it to the alignment shop and he said the Idler Arm Bushings were GONE! He said it would be cheaper (a lot cheaper!) if I'd take it home and do it myself. So I ordered the parts from O'Reilly's (I think they were around $20) and put them in today. While not the simplest job I've ever done, it wasn't that bad. I did it with a floor jack. It might have been simpler and quicker to have used ramps, but the car was in the back of the shop and I didn't want to move a bunch of stuff around, so I just jacked it up where it sat. I did however have some problem getting it back on and used a bottle jack also to help hold and lift while I twisted and aligned the arm to go back on. Anyway, don't know if any of you have had to replace these before, but mine had basically disintegrated to a nasty, gritty mess. I'm not sure what these are made of, but it feels like nylon or something similar. Anyway, thought I'd post this just in case someone else out there gets an uncontrollable shake in their front-end. Oh, start to finish took me about 45-60 minutes and I had no clue what I was doing. I'm "mechanical", but definitely not a "mechanic".

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    Default

    Bottle jack was #1 helper for me too.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

  3. #3
    Registered User LeonV's Avatar
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    It might be good to note that many Z's don't have idler arm bushings as they utilize a rack-and-pinion steering system (instead of recirculating ball).
    2/74 260Z

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    Registered User sjb15316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonV View Post
    It might be good to note that many Z's don't have idler arm bushings as they utilize a rack-and-pinion steering system (instead of recirculating ball).
    You are absolutely correct, my 83 doesn't have an Idler Arm. I believe this is only relevant to 79-81 ZX. Again, I'm not a mechanic, so I'm limited in my knowledge. Just trying to help a fellow Zcar brother with a possible symptom he might having... I was completely "caught off-guard" when this happened to me!
    Last edited by sjb15316; 05-10-2013 at 10:08 AM.

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