Steering wheel wobble 0-30mph (1 Viewer)

Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Spring, TX
Ok, so here is the whole story.

Bought truck and it had a wobble on the steering wheel at about 30-45mph. PO said it was a bearing. I have done the following because I wanted to know i was starting fresh and everything looked original. So I figured it was.time to do anyway:

Knuckle rebuilds

3" ome lift

Slee caster plates

Alignment

Tire balance

U joints front shaft

Rotation of tires

Tie rod ends

Steering stabilizer

And still have the wobble on my steering wheel but now it does it at 0-30mph and no long at 30-45mph.

I removed the front drive shaft with my CDL switch on and the wobble disappeared.

I am.going.to take the drive shaft to get balanced tomorrow, and see if that helps.

I am lost with this. I come from having only IFS chevy and I am stumped with this straight axle stuff.
The angle on the axle is 3.5° and at the transfer case is 2.5°. The drive shaft is 6.9°. Not sure if that will help with any.

The steering wheel goes from 12oclock being center between 10 and 1 o'clock.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.
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Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
5,869
Location
flat earth Midwest
At least your driveshaft is properly oriented, instead of being 180 degrees wrong like mine was when I bought it. I see you've done the u-joints already. It could be a bad yoke is still an issue, but they should find that in balancing if it's an issue. And some folks do go with a double carden DS on a 3" lift, but I have no experience with that.

That said, I rather doubt the driveshaft is the cause of a vibration in your steering like that. You've rotated the tires. Was there any difference in that bad vibe after switching the fronts to the back? Have you had the same tires the whole time and what observable wear patterns are there? Is it possible that new tires could solve the issue?

I recently went through a similar experience, bad vibes (but not in the steering.) Turned out that it was due to some misalignment I introduced after dropping the tie rod to service the front axle. I intended to do the TREs but thought better of it. Thought I put the tie rod back the same. I didn't. Wear pattern on the tires started the bad vibes and they got worse. I tried everything but checking the alignment, then took it to my pro mechanic (Eric at Specialized Automotive in Urbana, IL.) After a 5 minute test ride, he called it as the alignment. Problem is that the wear was so bad on the front right only new tires would solve everything...

I'd speculate that you may have fixed the problem that was the root cause in the work you did, but if the tires are too badly worn, then the vibe remains until they're swapped out.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Spring, TX
At least your driveshaft is properly oriented, instead of being 180 degrees wrong like mine was when I bought it. I see you've done the u-joints already. It could be a bad yoke is still an issue, but they should find that in balancing if it's an issue. And some folks do go with a double carden DS on a 3" lift, but I have no experience with that.

That said, I rather doubt the driveshaft is the cause of a vibration in your steering like that. You've rotated the tires. Was there any difference in that bad vibe after switching the fronts to the back? Have you had the same tires the whole time and what observable wear patterns are there? Is it possible that new tires could solve the issue?

I recently went through a similar experience, bad vibes (but not in the steering.) Turned out that it was due to some misalignment I introduced after dropping the tie rod to service the front axle. I intended to do the TREs but thought better of it. Thought I put the tie rod back the same. I didn't. Wear pattern on the tires started the bad vibes and they got worse. I tried everything but checking the alignment, then took it to my pro mechanic (Eric at Specialized Automotive in Urbana, IL.) After a 5 minute test ride, he called it as the alignment. Problem is that the wear was so bad on the front right only new tires would solve everything...

I'd speculate that you may have fixed the problem that was the root cause in the work you did, but if the tires are too badly worn, then the vibe remains until they're swapped out.


It could very be the tires, they do have some uneven wear on them now due to this I assume.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,837
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
Ok, so here is the whole story.

Bought truck and it had a wobble on the steering wheel at about 30-45mph. PO said it was a bearing. I have done the following because I wanted to know i was starting fresh and everything looked original. So I figured it was.time to do anyway:

Knuckle rebuilds

3" ome lift

Slee caster plates

Alignment

Tire balance

U joints front shaft

Rotation of tires

Tie rod ends

Steering stabilizer

And still have the wobble on my steering wheel but now it does it at 0-30mph and no long at 30-45mph.

I removed the front drive shaft with my CDL switch on and the wobble disappeared.

I am.going.to take the drive shaft to get balanced tomorrow, and see if that helps.

I am lost with this. I come from having only IFS chevy and I am stumped with this straight axle stuff.
The angle on the axle is 3.5° and at the transfer case is 2.5°. The drive shaft is 6.9°. Not sure if that will help with any.

The steering wheel goes from 12oclock being center between 10 and 1 o'clock.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.View attachment 2311881View attachment 2311877

View attachment 2311874
Movement like that indicates a slipped belt in a tire.

Rotate the tires and see if it changes or goes away.

If you have someone else drive it you can walk beside it and see the tire move as it goes around.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Spring, TX
Movement like that indicates a slipped belt in a tire.

Rotate the tires and see if it changes or goes away.

If you have someone else drive it you can walk beside it and see the tire move as it goes around.


I have Rotated the tires and it just changes the speed at which the wobble actually happens. Whats weird about it is that if it was the tire, wouldn't it continue to happen even after I removed the drive shaft. When the front drive shaft is removed, it doesn't have any wobble on the steering wheel at all.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,837
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
I have Rotated the tires and it just changes the speed at which the wobble actually happens. Whats weird about it is that if it was the tire, wouldn't it continue to happen even after I removed the drive shaft. When the front drive shaft is removed, it doesn't have any wobble on the steering wheel at all.
Do you have locking differentials?
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,837
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
And center.. triple locked
Is your front differential not unlocking? Even though maybe the light is off, it the front axle staying locked? Lift one front wheel and see if you can rotate it.

Have you checked your nuts on the bottom of the steering arms?

Have you replaced the track bar bushings?
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Spring, TX
Is your front differential not unlocking? Even though maybe the light is off, it the front axle staying locked? Lift one front wheel and see if you can rotate it.

Have you checked your nuts on the bottom of the steering arms?

Have you replaced the track bar bushings?
I have not checked if the front locker is still active, but I will. So I'm assuming that means it has to spin if not locked correct?

Yes, checked studs on steering arms. (New)

Yes, brand new track bar bushings.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,837
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
I have not checked if the front locker is still active, but I will. So I'm assuming that means it has to spin if not locked correct?

Yes, checked studs on steering arms. (New)

Yes, brand new track bar bushings.
You should be able to spin one front wheel IF you still have a viscous coupler, your CDL is UNlocked, and your front differential is UNlocked. It shoudl turn the front driveshaft when you spin one front wheel.

Do this on a FLAT surface and the rear wheels chocked / parking brake on.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,837
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
It does spin free.. so locker is not engaged.
Check to see if the bracket for the track bar under the steering gear is cracked and moving. Also check the frame for cracked holes on the steering gear.

Bent rims?
Did you properly torque your lug nuts?
What are your tire pressures?
Check the bolt torque on ALL your new bushings. The one front track bar bushing is supposed to be crazy tight.
Have your toe-in checked.
 

Howard705

TLCA 5505
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Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
1,450
Location
Central Illinois
Bad belts in tire. (or bent wheel?) Jack up one side (both tires)- idle in gear watch tire surfaces closely to determine which one or more it is. side to side and tread surfaces. It should be VERY obvious compared to the others.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
5,869
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flat earth Midwest
While we're looking for longshots, check your steer box and around it where it's mounted to the frame. Some hard used examples have been found to have frame cracking around the base of where the steer box mounts to the frame. A major repair, but you don't want to fix everything else only to find this very basis issue was in the mix. Not sure if the symptoms would line up with what you've reported, but if you're checking all the baselines, this is one of them.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
7,653
Interesting, the wheel pulls right left right left right as the truck just starts to move from a standstill to only around 10mph.

Maybe the OP could post up photos of the knuckles/steering arms, frame around the steering gearbox, track bar, etc?? IDK
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
17
Location
Spring, TX
Interesting, the wheel pulls right left right left right as the truck just starts to move from a standstill to only around 10mph.

Maybe the OP could post up photos of the knuckles/steering arms, frame around the steering gearbox, track bar, etc?? IDK
I will take pictures of all this and post them
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,837
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
You did knuckle rebuild. Did you inspect the Birfields? Is one of them damaged?

If one is seized or binding, it may cause this.

Did you install new ones?

Are your wheel bearings still tight?
 

ppc

M Go Blue
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
3,381
Location
Nashville, TN
I would loosen the wheels lugs and hand tighten then, wiggling the wheel in the process and then slowly tighten the nuts in proper order sequence followed by a final torque in sequence. I've had similar wobble issues when I've had tires balanced and the mechanic uses the air gun before all lugs where installed.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,050
Location
PA
The frequency of the steering wheel motion matches up with tire rpm. Bent wheel, unevenly worn tire, defective tire, bent hub, etc. Driveshaft is a high frequency vibration, cannot cause that kind of steering wheel motion.
 

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