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Thread: steering shake - cured!

  1. #1
    Registered User halz's Avatar
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    Default steering shake - cured!

    Just wanted to get this down for for future reference. When I 1st picked up my new Z it was, quite frankly, a horror to drive at over 70km/h. The steering vibration was terrible and got progressively worse until at about 100km/h my vision almost became blurred! Under braking, things were bad too.

    So, what to do? First stop was the local tyre specialist for a wheel alignment and balance. The mechanic there did his best but noted that one front rim had a 'centre buckle'. He told me that as the rim was steel it could not be repaired. Disheartened, I shopped around for a replacement and predictably found nothing that would match the other three wheels (these were period '70s chromed steel wheels). Already my wallet was cringing at the thought of the likely $1200+ spend for new wheels and tyres.

    At a 2nd hand wheel dealer I was given tha name of a rim repairer who would tackle steel wheels. For $44 he straightened the rim and rebalanced it with the old tyre. My steering vibration was 75% cured by fixing the rim.

    At this point I recalled that the PO had told me that the car had been largely unused for nearly 2 years before I came along... could the tyres be out of round, I thought? To cut a long story not much shorter, I had new fron tyres put on yesterday and hey presto!, the car is an absolute pleasure to drive - at any speed!

    The rim repair company is Alliance Wheel Repairs in Northbridge, Perth.
    halz
    ---------------------------
    New headers and 2.25" sports system: They say "loud doesn't mean fast"... I'm just testing the theory!

  2. #2
    Registered User halz's Avatar
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    Default Balance them on the car

    ...A bit more to the above story....

    I thought I had cured my problem but in actual fact I had just reduced it a little bit. The steering shake was still there at about 80km/h (50mph). My local mechanic rebalanced the wheels to no effect and also pronounced that the shocks, bearings, ball joints, steering rack and bushes were all in good shape... So what next?

    Well it turns out that having the wheels balanced on the car makes all the difference. The specialists in Subiaco who did the work said that they could see the whole front of the car vibrating wheen they ran the wheels up to speed! They balanced them on the car up to "speeds the car will never achieve!". The result is amazing - a complete transformation. Now I can enjoy driving it!

    The one thing to remember now is that if the wheels are ever removed then they should be replaced in the same stud position.
    halz
    ---------------------------
    New headers and 2.25" sports system: They say "loud doesn't mean fast"... I'm just testing the theory!

  3. #3
    Admin Mike's Avatar
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    Default

    Halz,

    I had this same problem a long time ago. I was using the old slotted aluminum mags that had a post-type lugnut (NOT rounded and self centering). I also tried the balance on the car technique but it eventually came back.

    It wasn't until I replaced the wheels with a self centering lugnut design that the problem went away.
    Mike

  4. #4
    Admin Mike's Avatar
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    I just looked at your gallery... are you having this problem on the green Z? If so, those are the idential mags I had with the problem.
    Mike

  5. #5
    Registered User halz's Avatar
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    Default

    Yep, they're the ones. I know that steel wheels are notorious for going out of round...

    Fortunately I do have self centreing lug nuts, so I hope the cure will last until I can affors some new alloy wheels!
    halz
    ---------------------------
    New headers and 2.25" sports system: They say "loud doesn't mean fast"... I'm just testing the theory!

  6. #6
    Registered User 240ZX's Avatar
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    Interesting comment about steel wheels! I don't believe I've ever heard that steel wheels are notorious for going out-of-round....unless of course one bashes rocks and potholes! I'm curious, what leads you to believe steel wheels are notorious for going out-of-round?

  7. #7
    Alfa to Zed Ricklandia's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by halz
    ...A bit more to the above story....

    I thought I had cured my problem but in actual fact I had just reduced it a little bit. The steering shake was still there at about 80km/h (50mph). My local mechanic rebalanced the wheels to no effect and also pronounced that the shocks, bearings, ball joints, steering rack and bushes were all in good shape... So what next?

    Well it turns out that having the wheels balanced on the car makes all the difference. The specialists in Subiaco who did the work said that they could see the whole front of the car vibrating wheen they ran the wheels up to speed! They balanced them on the car up to "speeds the car will never achieve!". The result is amazing - a complete transformation. Now I can enjoy driving it!

    The one thing to remember now is that if the wheels are ever removed then they should be replaced in the same stud position.
    Need to find me a place to do that here in S. FL. My Miata has the same damned problem, driving me insane. I know it's a balance problem, but the morons at the tire shop rebalanced mine a few weeks ago, and all it did was shift the speed range the vibration happens at (used to be at 70-80mph, now it's 65-75 mph). The major portion of my daily commute is highway, so it's very aggravating.
    1973 240Z - Red/4 Spd w A/C - HLS30-134739
    1990 Alfa Romeo Spider - Black

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
    beandip beandip's Avatar
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    Default

    One thing that can help, is to try this. jack the wheel in the air loosed the lugs, then tighten them with the wheel off the ground. then lower it and tighten them completely . This has helped me in the past. It may depend on the type of luggs you have . Mine are not the self centering type but the ones with a stem that fits inside the rim hole. Gary
    I'd rather die while I am living than live while I am dieing. CZC 1887 IZCC 12602 Member of NorthWest Z Car Club

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