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Old 07-12-2007, 08:27 PM   #1
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Default Steering Wheel Vibration

I recently replaced my front rotors and brake pads. Since this time I've noticed a vibration in the steering wheel similar to a wheel balance problem. I've had all the wheels re-balanced with some, but minimal improvement. The tires have also been rotated with no resolution. I installed NAPA (top end) rotors and Ceramix pads and I have about 45,000km on the car. The vibration starts at about 105-110 km/hr. I ensured the lug nuts were torqued to 140 N-m (100 lb ft) and re-checked after driving the car a couple of days. I also notice a very slight and very rapid pulsation in the brake pedal but only from about 45km down to 30km. This doesn't feel like the usual warped rotor pulsation and is limited to a very specific speed range.

It seems coincidental that this would start about the same time as the brake work. Has anyone heard of a brake rotor being either out of balance or slightly out of round causing such a problem?

Because I travel a lot on the highway, this is one of those things that really grates on my nerves.

Help will be appreciated!
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
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What I've run in to a few times is that if the hub is not cleaned off well of the accumulated rust that it will throw off the new rotors and cause that problem.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:09 PM   #3
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I think Archon is on the right track.

To check viabration I alway rotate the front tires to the rear, this way if the viabration transfers to the seat area, then most likely you're tires are out of balance or you have some tire seperation.

Just to recape, front tire problem is mostly steering wheel area,vibration/shimmy etc. and rear is in the seat area visinity.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:12 PM   #4
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Hi Darcy, unfortunately this body/chassis suffers from some major vibration problems (believe me it drives me nuts too). It'* strange that your problem started with the rotors, but I would suggest having your tires and wheels rebalanced with a Hunter GSP9700. This is by far the best wheel balancer available. Find one in your area at www.gsp9700.com . I know you are up North so the site may not work, but I would e-mail the Hunter engineers to see if there is one near you in Canada.

This special machine applies a force to both the wheel and tire similar to what it would be like driving down the highway. Normal wheel balancers do not apply any type of weight to the wheel/tire and this is why those machines do not work well, especially with our body style being so prone to vibration issues.

Good luck and keep us posted as I am having this very same problem, mine starts around 65 and stops around 70.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFoote
Hi Darcy, unfortunately this body/chassis suffers from some major vibration problems (believe me it drives me nuts too). It'* strange that your problem started with the rotors, but I would suggest having your tires and wheels rebalanced with a Hunter GSP9700. This is by far the best wheel balancer available. Find one in your area at www.gsp9700.com . I know you are up North so the site may not work, but I would e-mail the Hunter engineers to see if there is one near you in Canada.

This special machine applies a force to both the wheel and tire similar to what it would be like driving down the highway. Normal wheel balancers do not apply any type of weight to the wheel/tire and this is why those machines do not work well, especially with our body style being so prone to vibration issues.

Good luck and keep us posted as I am having this very same problem, mine starts around 65 and stops around 70.
The Hunter makes the imperfection in the tire show up because one part of the tire may squish more under the load than another part; that makes the wheel unit move up and down at higher speeds.

Also the alignment can be very picky. You need someone used to troubleshooting wheel problems and that does alignments to the optimum setting, not just "within specs."
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:48 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I'm going to start working on all the suggestions. I'll let you know when it'* resolved.
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Old 07-21-2007, 05:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CFoote
Hi Darcy, unfortunately this body/chassis suffers from some major vibration problems (believe me it drives me nuts too). It'* strange that your problem started with the rotors, but I would suggest having your tires and wheels rebalanced with a Hunter GSP9700. This is by far the best wheel balancer available. Find one in your area at www.gsp9700.com . I know you are up North so the site may not work, but I would e-mail the Hunter engineers to see if there is one near you in Canada.

This special machine applies a force to both the wheel and tire similar to what it would be like driving down the highway. Normal wheel balancers do not apply any type of weight to the wheel/tire and this is why those machines do not work well, especially with our body style being so prone to vibration issues.

Good luck and keep us posted as I am having this very same problem, mine starts around 65 and stops around 70.
I never did hear back from Hunter Engineering (their locater doesn't work outside the US), but I was able to find a shop with the GSP9700. The machine reported every one of my wheels was out even though they had been balanced about a week or two earlier. Since the Road Force Balance, the vibration is gone. This makes me extremely happy since it was really starting to drive me nuts!

I still have a slight pulsation in the brake pedal when stopping which is kind of disappointing for new rotors. I plan to have them machined to smooth things out. Everything is otherwise back to normal.

I appreciate all the help everyone offered. The guy at the tire shop said they aren't aware of the Bonneville being such a problem for vibrations. I suspect this is simply because they don't see many of them. He tells me the Honda Odyssey is an absolute nightmare though.
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Old 07-21-2007, 11:41 AM   #8
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Great to hear that it helped, Darcy. Thanks for reporting back on it.
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddalder
I still have a slight pulsation in the brake pedal when stopping which is kind of disappointing for new rotors. I plan to have them machined to smooth things out. Everything is otherwise back to normal.
This is another place where you want "optimum" rather than "within specs". I am a tool maker/machinist and I turn my rotors myself (on my own lathe) to be sure they are accurate - I mean REALLY accurate. Your typical brake shop will just throw the rotor in the machine and go. There are plenty of things that can throw things off. The best is to have them machined on the car but I don't think you can get the rears done that way (but I'm not an expert in that).

Anyway, be aware that they can actually be worse after machining, if it isn't done carefully. It is my experience that our brakes are fairly picky.
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Old 07-21-2007, 04:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkjet
This is another place where you want "optimum" rather than "within specs". I am a tool maker/machinist and I turn my rotors myself (on my own lathe) to be sure they are accurate - I mean REALLY accurate. Your typical brake shop will just throw the rotor in the machine and go. There are plenty of things that can throw things off. The best is to have them machined on the car but I don't think you can get the rears done that way (but I'm not an expert in that).

Anyway, be aware that they can actually be worse after machining, if it isn't done carefully. It is my experience that our brakes are fairly picky.
Thanks for the tip. I was originally going to take them off and get them turned at one of the local part stores. These guys do even fewer than brake shops so their experience level probably isn't there. I may have to reconsider this and do a little more research. It is noticeable, but not terrible right now. I certainly don't want to make it worse.
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