Slight steering wheel shimmy at 80mph - Club4G Forum : Mitsubishi Eclipse 4G Forums - 2006-2012 Eclipse Authority
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Old May 29th, 2020, 09:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Name: Steve
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Slight steering wheel shimmy at 80mph

Hey guys, I need some advice on what could be causing this.
2006 GT:
I put on new shocks and struts last year (OEM, and yeah, that cost a lot more than aftermarket but I liked the original ride). I put new brake rotors and pads, and replaced failing front right caliper. I replaced the 17" wheels and tires with the OEM 18" (and all the wheels appeared true not warped). I had the wheels balanced, twice. I had the front end re-aligned, twice. Both times they said they couldn't quite get the front end perfectly aligned, I think it was still off by .8 (of whatever unit they measure it by). I know .5 was "within limits". I wish I had kept the paperwork, because I don't know if it was camber, toe, or caster.

Here's the thing, about 10 years ago I got hit in the front driver side wheel. It broke the strut and did some fender and hood damage but the shop told me it didn't bend the frame or cause any structural damage. I let insurance fix it and I have to say, I kinda think it has had a shimmy of some sort ever since.

I always had other stuff wrong with the car as it aged, and I always attributed it to "well, the brakes are bad" or some other thing (and for the longest time I couldn't get a local shop to align my car because of the ground effects). Sears had to replace both sides after they smashed them in a standard lift (which I witnessed while talking to one of the mechanics).

Anyways, now that I've corrected pretty much all the usual suspects, I'm wondering how I can find out if the frame is bent, or could it be something like a wheel bearing or some thing else I'm not thinking about causing the shimmy. The fact that even after a brand new suspension was installed that the shop claims they still can't properly align it really makes me wonder, and worry.

What should be my next step in tracking down the shimmy? I know the car is solid, but when I get above 80 it makes it feel "rickety" and not as reliable at speed (and over 100 it really makes me feel like I don't want to go faster). It's kind of killing my joy.

I don't want to over state it, it's not like so terrible I'm afraid. It's more like an annoying amount in the steering, slight but there and it doesn't get better at faster speeds. More like you expect if you threw a weight, but they were re-balanced, so I doubt that would happen twice, if it even did once.

Suggestions please, greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Steve_06_Ark; May 29th, 2020 at 09:30 PM.
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Old May 29th, 2020, 10:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My car was in a front end collision on driver side (LHD) when I bought it from the insurance auction and had a tiny bit of a bent subframe and bumper support but still drives perfectly straight surprisingly, never even got an alignment after putting it back together lmao
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Old May 31st, 2020, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That's the thing, it drives straight too. It's not detectable at anything under 65-70 and around 80 it becomes obvious to me as the driver.
I just don't know how a "slightly bent" frame could really be confirmed, or if I should look at other components that I haven't replaced yet. I'm just confused why Firestone can't seem to get a perfect alignment on it.
I'm not sure if there's anything I could do if it is a little torq'd.
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Old June 12th, 2020, 12:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Replace your inner and outer tie rod ends and your front sway bar links then get an alignment. This solved my problem. Also, make sure your front and rear calipers aren't getting stuck. I found out the rear left wasn't functioning correctly, when I bled it, a lot of dirty fluid came out. Flushed it with new fluid and it's working correctly, but might need replacement. However, it's working better than before. A stuck caliper can cause shimmy's and shakes at certain speeds.
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Old June 12th, 2020, 08:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Could also be wheel hubs I just changed mine and one was wobbly At higher speeds but could actually shake the wheel when lifted
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Old June 12th, 2020, 01:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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0.8° out is huge. That can definitely cause that. Also, that was probably measured static. Worn bushings will allow it to go even farther out of alignment under load. That could be an area to look into as well.

Seeing your last message about the hubs, they shouldn't have play either
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Old June 12th, 2020, 01:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yea shouldn’t be able to wobble your wheel when the tires off the ground it’s a dead giveaway of hubs least was for me
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Old June 15th, 2020, 01:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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And meant the wheel would shake prior to changing car runs perfect now no vibration least so far
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Old June 15th, 2020, 11:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I had wondered about the wheel hubs but haven't checked them yet. I know I'm at 119k now and really don't know what the average mileage for that part is on our cars. I'm going to read up on each of your suggestions and see if I can check these things myself. I know I haven't replaced anything you guys listed.
It's really been annoying me, because the car is solid 100% and it pulls like a crazy pissed off rottweiler, but this shimmy just makes me keep it below 100 all the time. I had this baby up to about 140 when I first bought it and there's no way I'd trust the front end that fast right now.
I'll update if I find one of these things fixes my problem.
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06 gt, aftermarket, bad, brake, brakes, brand, brand new, car, driver, faster, fix, hood, oem, original, qui, shocks, shop, speed, struts, stuff, suspension, tires, uni, wheel, wheels

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