Bent Front Axle

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Anyone know how hard of a side hit on the front wheels these trucks can take before something bends. Reason I ask is because in 1997/ 2 owners ago it was hit on the drivers side front and has a really bad shimmy at highway speeds that nobody can figure out so far. By nobody I mean 3 different dealers and a couple specialty shops. I feel like I'm chasing my tail with this issue. Also, if it is bent, how do I know/check. Thanx.

P.S. The truck did shake a little when I purchased it but I thought it was because of the treadless/old tires. The tires and rims have all been replaced in the last 3 months with no change.
 
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92Cruiser,
Have a good alignment shop check the alignment. They can't change anything but the toe-in but they can tell you if the other values are out of factory spec. If they are out of spec, post the results back here and we can give you an opinion. If the camber is out then you might have a bent axle.

-B-
 
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One thing to consider would be tire or wheel balance, on my 92 BMW I had a shimmy and replaced the entire front suspension (it was time anyway) without fixing it, then put new tires (computer balanced by avg. tire shop on), without any change.  I finally went to a shop that had a Hunter GSP9700 roadforce balancer machine, after they REALLY balanced them, the shimmy was gone!  If this is your problem a ordinary mechanical or computerized balancer will NOT fix the problem.  This machine puts a load on the wheel & tire and measures in three dimensions, can balance wheel to tire, tell if your wheel and/or tire is out of round, etc., etc.  Check out www.gsp9700.com to find a shop near you.
Not having had the problem on my toyota I can't say this is your problem, but a possibility.  I suppose it may be harder to get larger tires to balance sometimes.
 

semlin

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Have you been to a specialized alignment shop? They will find the problem much faster than a dealer.

Is your steering heavy and slow to respond? Mine had a shimmy triggered by a certain combo of bumps at about 30mph only. The track rod bushings were mush. My mechanic and my dealer could not find the problem (and both misdiagnosed it as the sway bars). The alignment shop found the actual problem about 30 seconds after it entered the shop. After the bushings were replaced the truck drove like a normal vehicle. Prior to that I just figured the steering was supposed to be heavy and slow.
 
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OK, had the alignment checked. Here are the results.

Left Front Right Front Left Rear Right Rear

Camber 0.2 0.3 -0.1 -0.2
Caster 2.5 2.0
Toe 0.01 -0.01 0.16 0.26


Front

Cross Camber -0.1
Cross Caster 0.5
Total Toe -0.00


Rear

Total Toe -0.10
Thrust Angle 0.21
 

cruiserdan

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It is within spec.

Ft axle camber spec is 1 degree +/- 45 min with a L/R
error of 45 min

Caster is 3 deg +/- 60 min with a L/R error of 45 min

toe is .2 deg +/- .2 deg.

I do not have a rear spec, but I don't think it should have negative camber....My alignment buddy went home already, I'll ask him tomorrow.....

Regards...Dan :beer:
 

landtank

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Back when I owned my 60 I was always fighting a shimmy problem. It turned out to be from the front wheel bearings. As I remenmber there was a torque spec on the hub nut that was just too low for my truck. After several tries following the factory manual I just snugged the nut up by hand. Shimmy was gone and didn't have any further problems from the front end. I know this is kind of a hack solution but depending on how despirate you are you might try it.

Rick
 

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