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Old 03-24-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
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Default Front end shudder

It's speed-related shudder.
This began after my unfortunate getting buried in the gravel trap (on the street).

Jacking up the front end, I had discovered that when rocking the wheels top to bottom, they were solid, but, when twisted side to side, they exhibited a very good amount of play. I've been having some steering rack issues, so, I found a recycler rack (with lifetime warranty), and, installed it.
The inner tie rod boots are immaculate (rack is off '97), and the tie rod ends are from '93 LE.

Having buttoned everything up, I took it for a ride, and, the shudder, while diminished, is still there.
The tie rod end boots look fine, and, while the ball joint boot (passenger side, upper A-arm) is partially torn, there's no play top to bottom.

When the front end is jacked up, and, steering wheel is locked, there's side-to-side play.

I wonder what else I should look at. I mean, besides buying a bicycle.
Is it the front hubs?
Ball joints?
I'm dearly hoping that it's not the steering rack, as, it was a horrid pain in the *** to remove and replace.

Thanks, guys!
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
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Have you tried balancing the tires?
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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It seems like a lot more than just simple wheel imbalance.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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If I where you I'd jack the front of the car up and have somebody turn the steering wheel from side to side while you hold the wheel to see if the turning of the steering wheel corresponds with the tires. That should rule out the steering rack. Or not.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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At what speed is it happening? Does it go away over a certain speed?
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:56 PM   #6
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Starts at about 25+, and, I haven't had it over 40.
With the old rack, it was pretty bad at 40
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:07 PM   #7
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Is there a bubble in one of your tires?
Lug nuts loose?
Rack not tightened down?
Are the outer tierod jam nuts snug?
Is the steering shaft coupler tight at the rack?

The best way to check for play in a tierod is to have the front wheels off the ground with the steering unlocked, grab the tire at 3 and 9 and give it a slight wiggle. If you feel any play, grab on to the outer tierod at the spindle and see if you feel any movement while wiggling the tire. To check an inner tierod, I like to grab the rod itself and try to push/pull it to feel to looseness.

For you to feel wobbling at 25mph, the tierod would be very loose.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:10 PM   #8
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Don't think there are any bubbles in the tires.
Lugs aren't loose.
Rack is tight.
Outer tie rod jam nuts are tight.
Steering shaft coupler? As in, where it connects to the pinion? Yes, it is tight.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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A bubble in a front tire would cause the steering wheel to wobble side to side at speeds as low that. Give them a spin while watching the tread. If you see any hopping or out of roundness.....

Also, idk if you still have a powered rack, but did you bleed out rack after install?
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