Steering wheel wobble

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by FloridaCruiser22, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. FloridaCruiser22

    FloridaCruiser22

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    So I have had my tires balanced, they did a terrible job, balanced at a different location and they did a good job but I still have a steering wheel wobble. Tires were also rotated but still same problem.

    About a month ago I did wheel bearing repack and brake job, I really don't believe it's the wheel bearings as I have jacked up the front several times and there is no movement or clunk or anything yanking from the 12 and 6 position. I set the pre-load to 30 lb ft for the inner bearings.

    I'm still on stock suspension and 1 front shock is completely worn out as it moves up and down continually when you push up and down on the front corner but would that really cause a steering wheel to wobble? U-joints are tight.

    I'm not sure what else to check out. The main time the wobble happens is at around 45+ going through turns or turning the wheel slightly (keeping it within play but not turning), other than that the truck tracks perfectly straight.

    Here is video of it, kinda hard to notice in it
     
  2. BILT4ME

    BILT4ME

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    Warped brake rotors, loose wheel bearings, worn tie rod ends, worn trunnion bearings, worn drag link ends, worn out track bar bushings, uneven tire pressures, loose knuckle studs on steering arm, and loose or cracked frame at steering gear.

    These are the primary causes of steering wheel wobble.

    Start at the bottom and work through the list. Cheapest first, then the expensive stuff.
     
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  3. dcguillory

    dcguillory

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    I had a really bad wobble that took forever to track down. Ended being just being a loose nut on the panhard bar.
     
  4. Golgo13

    Golgo13 SILVER Star

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    Check the steering arm nuts and the steering damper. Check torque on everything, really.
     
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  5. Blue Bomber

    Blue Bomber

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    I always thought that warped rotors were sort of a myth....then i had one. Shook violently when braking down hill sometimes. Also was working the wheel bearing nut loose. Drives so much better now.
     
  6. gofast

    gofast

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    Crap shocks will give you wobble and I know this from experience. Poorly balanced tires will give you wobble but if you've rebalanced or had them road force balanced you will have eliminated that. Loose bearings can contribute so that's done.

    I just replaced my panhard bushing and got rid of my current round of wobble.

    I have had wobble from each of the scenarios I just mentioned
     
  7. gofast

    gofast

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    One other thought. Replacing the steering stabiliser will not address the cause of your wobble. It just prevents sudden changes in direction from road hazards and helps the steering wheel return to center
     
  8. morganism

    morganism SunkCostFallacy

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    yeah, don't replace steering stabilizer, till you have found the real problem.

    Was there a recall on the 80s steering rag joint? Do you have tilt steering wheel?
     
  9. FloridaCruiser22

    FloridaCruiser22

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    Ok so my bad for not updating thread sooner. I failed to mention in my initial post that I am also running spidertrax spacers. After debating back and forth on why my steering wheel was shaking when there was no shake prior to my wheel bearing repack/brake job, I thought that maybe my spacers did not settle correctly when I reinstalled them.

    So earlier this week, I took off my front spacers and reinstalled them slowly (and I guess correctly) this time as there is now no sign of steering wheel wobble.

    Also the guy that re-balanced my tires way over torqued the damn lug nuts after I told them they only torque to 76 lbs :doh:
     
  10. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    If running stock, hub centric wheels with spacers, they will not center correctly. We use 3 taper/acorn nuts, put them on every other lug, snug tight (maybe 40ft/lb) put the normal (washer type) on the other three, torque to spec (76ft/lb), then replace the acorns with normal and torque. This centers the wheels correctly, lug centric. Keep the 3 acorns in the road tool kit, to use anytime a wheel change is needed.
     
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  11. FloridaCruiser22

    FloridaCruiser22

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    Yep that is pretty similar to how I reinstalled them. I had 3 tapered nuts, torqued them to 40, then 85, then put on the nuts that came with the spacers, torqued to 40, then 85. Took off the 3 tapered one and put on the other 3 nuts.

    Ok after re-reading what you said, do I need to do the same process with installing the wheel onto the spacer? I was only doing this for the spacer onto the hub. Maybe that's where I also screwed up.
     
  12. BILT4ME

    BILT4ME

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    This being said.....

    My 96 (8/95) came with acorn wheels. I will be changing to LX wheels with shank style.

    Did they REALLY change the hubs to be tighter for the hub-centric wheels or is this just another step taken to be over-OCD about things?

    Or does it REALLY matter at all, as long as you are using the correct nuts with the correct wheel?

    This seems kind of over-the-top, and as you are usually the one busting MY balls for KISS..... What's the scoop?
     
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  13. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    The hub didn't change, there is a larger diameter section close to the wheel mounting surface, this centers the wheel. It only extends maybe 3/8" from the mounting face, so when a wheel spacer is used, the wheel is centered (or not so much) by the smaller part of the hub. The hub centric, shoulder/washer type lugs don't center the wheel, so it can be mounted significantly out of round, off center.

    Does it matter, guess that depends on how you feel about vibrations/shakes? Sometimes they can be mounted somewhat centered, enough to not be a problem. But when mounting a heavy wheel, the default is to be resting on the hub, so often are tightened off center.

    When doing hub centric wheels, with spacers, we always lug center them with taper lugs, takes the guess out of it and is simple, quick to do. Often will mention that wheels need to be balanced, or will have tires replaced, then get the call, it's worse than before. Loosen the wheels, do the centering trick and now run smooth.
     
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  14. BILT4ME

    BILT4ME

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    So this is really more of an issue IF I was to use spacers. If I'm going directly to the hub with a factory LX wheel, it should be hub centric and therefore OK. Right?
     
  15. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    It only applies to hub centric wheels when combined with wheel spacers.
     
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  16. Tools R Us

    Tools R Us

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    All of the spacers that I have used were installed with tapered, acorn type lugs, so will self center. They should be torqued to ~100ft/lb. The important part is centering hub centric wheels when installed on spacers, the final torque for them should be the same as stock, 76ft/lb.
     
    FloridaCruiser22 likes this.
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