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Front end/steering vibration causes and cures?

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  • Steering: Front end/steering vibration causes and cures?

    I am trying to figure out why I have a vibration in my steering wheel, that I never had on my previous tires. The old ones were 225 75s and the new ones are 225 55s. I didn't like how balloon like the old ones felt, but now it seems like maybe they are too stiff for the car? Or, is it that the tires are okay, but they are just transmitting a suspension issue through them, which the squishy tires I had before, didn't transmit? Any help is appreciated. I can drive the car, but keeping it under 40mph is no fun...
    sigpic

    1950 Commander Starlight Coupe
    Regal Deluxe Trim
    Automatic transmission
    46k original miles, 4th Owner

  • #2
    If you did not have the problem with the old tires and now you have it with the new tires, the problem occurred when putting on the new tires.

    It could be
    - the tires themselves may be out of round,
    -or how they were balanced,
    -or how the wheel nuts were tightened or over tightened by the air wrench,
    -or the sequence in which the nuts were tightened,
    -or maybe a bent wheel while mounting the tires
    or maybe a rear wheel that was bent is now on the front.

    Did you really put 55 aspect ratio tires on the car? The originals were around 85 or so.

    Did the new tires coincide with the installation of the new front brake drum? Could that drum be out of balance?
    Last edited by RadioRoy; 07-06-2016, 02:40 PM.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

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    • #3
      Hmmm, well I ordered the tires and rims from a company out of state because no one local had them. I suppose I could take the car up to discount tire and see if they can tell if the wheels were balanced correctly from the other company. I suppose that could have happened, but they've been in business over 30 years I believe. They sent me a printout of the balancing they did on each wheel. As far as the drum I got, I assume it was balanced from the factory. Is there some way to tell if the drum is out of balance? Thanks
      sigpic

      1950 Commander Starlight Coupe
      Regal Deluxe Trim
      Automatic transmission
      46k original miles, 4th Owner

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      • #4
        vibration

        Originally posted by deco_droid View Post
        Hmmm, well I ordered the tires and rims from a company out of state because no one local had them. I suppose I could take the car up to discount tire and see if they can tell if the wheels were balanced correctly from the other company. I suppose that could have happened, but they've been in business over 30 years I believe. They sent me a printout of the balancing they did on each wheel. As far as the drum I got, I assume it was balanced from the factory. Is there some way to tell if the drum is out of balance? Thanks
        Do a simple front yard balance test, jack it up and give the wheel a slight spin and see where it stops, when it stops the heaviest part will be on the bottom. Turn the wheel so that the bottom is at the top let go and see if it returns to the bottom, it should stay there if balanced. Put a chalk mark at the bottom where it stops and spin the wheel if it stops on the chalk mark again it is out of balance. This is a crude test but effective.

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        • #5
          Just another thought-did you check your front end toe? It could be shimmy magnified by the lower aspect tires. Did you perfectly center the new drum, was it simply slipped over the studs to center it?? Did you buy it with a new hub already attached and checked the bearings before putting it on, or were the original swages already cut allowing to just slip the new drum on? If you just lipped it over the lugs, the drum may not be centered causing a vibration. If it did just slip on, loosen all the lug nuts, have somebody lightly apply the brakes while you spin the wheel, if it emits a scuff sound at one point you'll need to get it centered on the hub.
          Last edited by karterfred88; 07-08-2016, 03:17 PM.

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          • #6
            After all that look for an old shop with a spin balancer, they will balance the whole shabang,,, if you can get them to dust it off. Luck Doofus

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            • #7
              Originally posted by doofus View Post
              After all that look for an old shop with a spin balancer, they will balance the whole shabang,,, if you can get them to dust it off. Luck Doofus
              Good luck finding one of those machines. I have not seen one in use since I had a set of tires put on the 62GT at Western Auto, in California, around 1990. They also had a rubber grinder, that insured the tires were perfectly round, once installed. The old GT never rode smoother, before or since.

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