Wheel Wobble (right front?) Whaaaaaat? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 01-30-2013, 05:50 PM   #1
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Question Wheel Wobble (right front?) Whaaaaaat?

Hi, strange wiggle just started happening from a wheel(?)

Starting from a stop, the steering wheel has a slight back-and-forth wiggle, and as it speeds up the sensation increases speed as well At about 50mph and above it is almost unnoticeable.

Thinking perhaps:
a bent wheel (alloy rim), even tho I hadn't hit a curb, pothole, or anything else like that, or
a balance weight might have come off (throwing the wheel out of balance) or even
a belt shifting in the tire.

I tried to isolate whether it was the tire/wheel or the suspension components/bearing themselves by switching the back passenger side tire with the front. (It seems like the wiggle originates from the right front)

I figured if it didn't do it, it was the wheel/tire I switched, and if it continued to "wiggle" then it was the front end... seemed logical at the time

71,000 miles on this car, all original stuff suspension-wise...

Is there something I should look for first as far as suspension things wearing out predictably on this model (1990 LE, 3.8L)?

CV boots OK and no clicks, steering tight otherwise, tie-rod ends seem tight... (car is still pretty "clean")... a mystery...

I really "old man" this car as far as driving style, so being pretty careful I'm pretty sure I didn't hit any bumps "the wrong way"...

Thanks for any and all your help (I don't want to wear a bald spot in my hairline from scratching my head too much on this one!)
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
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Switching the wheels is a logical first step. If that doesn't yield results, jack the offending wheel up in the air and check for movement. It could be something in the suspension, but I suspect it is a tie rod end.

If there is movement in the wheel when you grasp and pull at 3 and 9 o'clock, it is likely a tie rod. If there is movement at 12 and 6 as well as 3 and 9, it is likely a wheel bearing. If there is no movement, and by switching wheels around you confirm it is not in the tire or wheel, you have a suspension issue.

My bet is the right hand outer tie rod.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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Oh, and check for play in the front left wheel as well.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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I agree with Roy.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:53 AM   #5
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i agree as well inspect the wheels for play. i had this happen to my car last week though and it was ice built up on the inside of the rim
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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I have some info on diagnosing vibration, or wobble.
It is from CalEditor on another site, he got it from a GM FSM I believe.
I may just see about compiling the info into a thread/tech guide for vibration diagnosis, as it is two pages long, I am just not sure who originally posted it, since Cal said he got it from somebody else that posted it.

If you want to try to find the info before I am able to post it google Vibration Diagnosis and Correction, it is on two different forums.

I have a similar issue, I found both outer tie rods were bad, replaced them and the wheel bearing in case, stll have the vibration after that and switching the rear tire to the front, had them balanced and aligned, as an alignment issue can case a bit of a wobble.
But my money is on the ball joints in my case, so add those to the list of parts to inspect, don't forget about belt separation in the tires, I have some Walmart/Goodyear Viva 2 tires that are known to have belt separation issues.
Have you had the balancing done by a place with a newer style digital balancer, or just a old style like Walmart has?
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:27 PM   #7
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Here'* a direct link to one of those forums.

Vibration Diagnosis and Correction - 3800Pro.com Forum
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:57 PM   #8
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Thanks Mike, that is the one I was talking about, that thread was made in response to my wheel wobble issue, I did not post the link because I was not sure if linking other sites like that was allowed.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:53 PM   #9
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It depends on the site really. Being 3800pro, were pretty good neighbors.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1995 View Post
It depends on the site really. Being 3800pro, were pretty good neighbors.
Ahhh, gotcha.
They are a pretty good site, a few decent guys there, I joined there a bit before I joined here, I realized how much I liked helping others, so I joined to help others fix things I learned to fix.
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