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Old 10-11-2010, 01:20 PM   #16
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Wobbling after new tires


A few items to check.

Drive at 65 with a chase vehicle. Have an occupant of the other vehicle look at your front wheels. You will see a front tire bounce aggressively if there is a bad strut.

Re-check balance of front wheels. If you have steel rims, they may have bent one when installing the new tires.

The bead of the new tires may not be fully seated on the rim (especially with stiff side wall tires).

Tires and rims both have heavy spots. Deflate the tire, break the bead loose from the rim and rotate the tire 180 with respect to the rim. Re-inflate, re-balance and test.

Your van has floating front brake rotors and the wheel lug nuts secure them to the hub. The rotors may have become separated from the hub allowing rust particles to get between the rotor and hub. This will cause excessive runout and a possible vibration. If this is the case, you may also experience a brake pulsation.

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Old 10-11-2010, 07:28 PM   #17
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Wobbling after new tires


Probably an unbalanced tire, but you might want to check the tie rods. Jack up the car, put the key in the ignition and the van in 'run' to unlock the steering, and then grab the wheel in the 3 and 9 o'clock position. Pull back and forth. Any movement in the tie rods means they need to be replaced. The whole wheel might move, but if there is play/slop where just the tie rod moves, it's probably bad. Check to see if the boots are firm. If not, you need to grease them up.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:03 PM   #18
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Wobbling after new tires


Funny you should mention that. The front tires went bad because one of the tie rods eventually came out. The tie rod that came out was replaced, and I had them triple check the other tie rod.

The funny (and scary) thing is that I didn't feel any wobbling as the tie rod worked itself out over time. Fortunately it finally came out as I was pulling out of a driveway and going slow, and not while I was on a highway. My van started jerking as if I was hitting potholes, yet the road was smooth. I turned around and pulled back into the driveway just in time for the rod to fall out.

What's even odder still is the tie rod didn't shear or break, it simply unscrewed itself. The neighbor who looked at it, the tow truck driver who towed it, and the mechanic who worked on it all said they have never seen that happen.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:15 PM   #19
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Wobbling after new tires


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Originally Posted by spaceman spif View Post
Funny you should mention that. The front tires went bad because one of the tie rods eventually came out. The tie rod that came out was replaced, and I had them triple check the other tie rod.

The funny (and scary) thing is that I didn't feel any wobbling as the tie rod worked itself out over time. Fortunately it finally came out as I was pulling out of a driveway and going slow, and not while I was on a highway. My van started jerking as if I was hitting potholes, yet the road was smooth. I turned around and pulled back into the driveway just in time for the rod to fall out.

What's even odder still is the tie rod didn't shear or break, it simply unscrewed itself. The neighbor who looked at it, the tow truck driver who towed it, and the mechanic who worked on it all said they have never seen that happen.
Eh? A tie rod worked itself SO loose that it actually fell out and you never noticed til it fell out? And what fell out exactly? The end in the knuckle I presume. Or did the inner separate from the outer? Irrespective of that...these are critical facts left out from the beginning.....any other essential facts you haven't shared?
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:24 PM   #20
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Wobbling after new tires


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What's even odder still is the tie rod didn't shear or break, it simply unscrewed itself. The neighbor who looked at it, the tow truck driver who towed it, and the mechanic who worked on it all said they have never seen that happen.
You must have lost the cotter pin on the castle nut. That's the only way it could unscrew, and, of course, the reason there is a cotter pin in the first place.

I have seen most tie rod failure during low speed sharp turns. Ford Taurus' used to be notorious for this sort of catastrophic failure. People turning into a parking space and BAM! the tie rod breaks like a gun going off. Very spectacular when the wheel falls off a four year old car in the parking lot. I saw a tricked out SHO that had this happen in a Wal-Mart once. Guy was piiiiiiisssssed!

Last edited by Bigplanz; 10-11-2010 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:39 PM   #21
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Wobbling after new tires


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Originally Posted by piste View Post
Eh? A tie rod worked itself SO loose that it actually fell out and you never noticed til it fell out? And what fell out exactly? The end in the knuckle I presume. Or did the inner separate from the outer? Irrespective of that...these are critical facts left out from the beginning.....any other essential facts you haven't shared?
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You must have lost the cotter pin on the castle nut. That's the only way it could unscrew, and, of course, the reason there is a cotter pin in the first place.
The jam nut was loosened and backed off and the inner rod simply unscrewed itself. But no visible damage to the nut, no visible damage to the rod. And like I said, before the day it fell apart, no wobbling, no pulling, no vibration, no bouncing. Which is why I'm concerned because now I feel wobbling.

My suspicion is when I had the front tires replaced at a local dealer a little over a year ago, whoever did it did something wrong when they did the alignment. But you can't take it back and say "You installed these wrong one year ago."
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:51 PM   #22
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Wobbling after new tires


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The jam nut was loosened and backed off and the inner rod simply unscrewed itself.
Wow. I've never heard of an inner tie rod unscrewing itself from the rack assembly. That's wild.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:10 PM   #23
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Wobbling after new tires


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Originally Posted by spaceman spif View Post
The jam nut was loosened and backed off and the inner rod simply unscrewed itself. But no visible damage to the nut, no visible damage to the rod. And like I said, before the day it fell apart, no wobbling, no pulling, no vibration, no bouncing. Which is why I'm concerned because now I feel wobbling.

My suspicion is when I had the front tires replaced at a local dealer a little over a year ago, whoever did it did something wrong when they did the alignment. But you can't take it back and say "You installed these wrong one year ago."
Umm...your original post said you had the front tires replaced "recently"...and now you say a little over a year ago....? You had them replaced twice?

I'm no master mechanic but AFAIK it would be VERY obvious if the inner and outer rods unthreaded by a handful of threads or so....but to have absolutely zero noticeable effect until the inner and outer fully separated....I just don't see how that can happen. But taking it on face value....it makes the ENTIRE steering assembly suspect as the cause of your current wobbling. But I still go back to road force balancing as my first recommendation.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:18 PM   #24
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Wobbling after new tires


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Originally Posted by piste View Post
Umm...your original post said you had the front tires replaced "recently"...and now you say a little over a year ago....? You had them replaced twice?

I'm no master mechanic but AFAIK it would be VERY obvious if the inner and outer rods unthreaded by a handful of threads or so....but to have absolutely zero noticeable effect until the inner and outer fully separated....I just don't see how that can happen. But taking it on face value....it makes the ENTIRE steering assembly suspect as the cause of your current wobbling. But I still go back to road force balancing as my first recommendation.
I had my front tires replaced a little over a year ago. The tie rod fell off recently with that set of tires, and I'm now suspicious they did something to the tie rod assembly when they installed and balanced the tires. When I took the van into a different shop to fix the tie rod, they pulled the front tires and I could see the inner tread had worn unevenly, so I had them replace the front tires at the same time they fixed the tie rod. They also balanced and aligned them, and now I feel a wobble at 65 mph. Sorry if that wasn't clear at first.

And for all I know, the tie rod might have been fine until the day it popped out. But believe me, I can feel when something isn't right with my van, and there was no pulling or wobbling.

Last edited by spaceman spif; 10-11-2010 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:19 PM   #25
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Wobbling after new tires


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Wow. I've never heard of an inner tie rod unscrewing itself from the rack assembly. That's wild.
I couldn't believe it either. None of the mechanics had ever seen anything like it either. The tow truck driver was shocked, too. When he saw it, his first question was "Do you have any enemies??"

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