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  #1  
Old January 22nd, 2005, 11:08 AM
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William Baker
1997 Defender 90
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Front End Shimmy

I've recently developed a shimmy in the front end of my 1997 D-90. It occurs at around 40-50 MPH. I thought it was caused by dirt, rocks, or mud on the wheels and/or tires, but after cleaning and checking them, decided to have the wheels balanced. After having the wheels balanced (twice) it's still there. Is there a steering damper or something similar that may need to be replaced? I'm not really a car/ truck guy (but I do love my D-90) so I don't know what else to check. Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old January 22nd, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Doug Walker
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Check toe-in (there is a method to do this in the FAQ I believe). Check all front end ball joints for wear -- if you can't tell yourself, have a pro check them. Yes there is a damper, but I'd check toe and joints first.

Doug W.
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  #3  
Old January 22nd, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Phillip
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i had the shakes... i replsced my track rod ends no better replaced the steering stabilizer all went away, not sure if the OME damper is a band aid but I havent had the shakes since...
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  #4  
Old January 24th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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I'd also check the panhard rod bushings. I've had a front end wobble 3 times, and it was always due to the panhard. Also, if you have a leaky steery box (who doesn't), then the oil drips onto the driver's side bushing and shortens it's life. And yes, the steering stabilizer is just a bandaid.
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  #5  
Old January 24th, 2005, 08:44 PM
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kevin
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I'm going through this right now. I had front end "death wobble" about a year ago and was told it was probably a worn out suspension. Well the suspension was shot and I replaced it with OME heavy duty. A year has gone by with no problems, several trips and lots of washboard in the desert. Last week it came back with a vengence. When I got home I grabbed the tire at the top and shook it in and out and felt a small amount of play. I now suspect the bearings are either loose or shot. I am just going to replace them anyway. BTW I also replaced the tiee rod ends and ball joints a few months ago. I will let you know what happens. From all the investigating I have done in the subject it can be several things. Also check ball joint swivel pins and pre tension.
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  #6  
Old January 24th, 2005, 10:10 PM
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I am anal about wobble. My 97 D90 has absolutely ZERO.

If it happens while going in a straight line at a certain speed, it is almost certainly not a bushing or any worn out part. If it happened when you turn a bit or as a reaction to a bump, worn out panhard rod or other bushings, tire rod ends, etc., would apply.

1) If it just occurs at a certain speed, it is balancing or another wheel-related phenomena. Do NOT use Equal or any other in-tire balancer.

2) Make sure your wheels are DYNAMICALLY balanced (weights on the inside and the outside).

3) Test wheels for trueness.

4) Test by putting the back wheels on the front.

5) If a wheel is requiring a lot of wights on balancing, spin the tire on the wheel to a different position before balancing.
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  #7  
Old May 4th, 2005, 01:10 AM
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Dan Duncan
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I think I'm having the same problem with my 90, it only really does it at 40-50mph but only at a certain point in the steering. I went and had it aligned and the tires rotated and balanced and that didnt help one bit. The ball joints all look good but the panhard rod has some play in it, but it looks like the bolts are moving in the mount point, like the bolts are too small for the holes. I went and bought new bushings but I cant get the old ones out! I pounded and pounded but they wouldnt budge! Anyone have any advice for me? It's really starting to annoy me!
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  #8  
Old May 4th, 2005, 02:24 AM
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I used a propane torch and burned them out. Then use a sawzall or hack saw to score the outer sleeve and then use a hammer and chisel to pry out the outer sleeve. To put the new ones in clean and lightly sand the eye on the panhard rod. I used a a vice to press my bushings in. Others have had to resort to 20 ton presses. You may even try freezing the bushings overnight and heating the panhard eye with a torch. This will contract the bushing and expand the eye and may make it easier to press in. It should cure the wobble. You may also try removing a swivel preload shim on each wheel. It is an easy job. Maybe your preload is a little loose?

Good Luck

Kevin
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  #9  
Old May 4th, 2005, 02:33 AM
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Mike Hammond
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Pre-load on the swivels can cause wobble as can all the other things mentioned. check and adjust all the operator adjustable bits, being methodical and then get into the more expensive replacing new for old.
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  #10  
Old May 5th, 2005, 06:10 PM
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Dan Duncan
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Im pretty sure the preload is ok, maybe I'll go double check though. I'll go down to my buddies machine shop and see If we can press them out or if that doesnt work ill try torchin em, thanks guys.
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  #11  
Old May 12th, 2005, 01:02 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Hi Guys

Mine is in reaction to certain bumps. I'll check the panhard rod bushings, and the swivel preload shims. Your scaring me with this talk of how hard the bushings are to remove though.

thanks
charles
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  #12  
Old May 12th, 2005, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin
Hi Guys

Your scaring me with this talk of how hard the bushings are to remove though.

thanks
charles
Just burn them out. Be sure and remove the panhard from the truck first
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  #13  
Old May 12th, 2005, 01:58 AM
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Mike Hammond
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They usually press out just fine. Burning out isn't without risk, apparently the rubber can 'boil' alarmingly and send out jets of flame/hot rubber. If you use copper grease when you press the bushes in they usually slide out O.K.
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  #14  
Old May 12th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Randy
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You can take the rod to your local auto parts store and they will press them in and out for a few bucks too. No big deal at all.

Randy
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  #15  
Old May 12th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Thanks guys.

Anyone know of a good writeup for the preload shim adjustment?

charles
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  #16  
Old May 12th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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Van Der Waal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymoe
Just burn them out. Be sure and remove the panhard from the truck first
Geez, Kevin, what is it with you and inhaling toxic vapors?
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  #17  
Old May 12th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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Dan Duncan
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So I just got done replacing the panhard rod bushings and so far no shimmy, but time will tell
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  #18  
Old May 12th, 2005, 08:53 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Cool!

Could you notice any play in them before you replaced them? I spent a little time looking at my front end bits while my wife rocked the steering back and forth, and to be honest, nothing looked bad. I do have new tie rod ends.

I have bushings on order, should be able to do mine next week/weekend sometime!

thanks
charles
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  #19  
Old May 12th, 2005, 10:11 PM
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Dan Duncan
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Yeah when the steering wheel was rocked back and forth there was some play in the Panhard rod
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  #20  
Old April 11th, 2006, 11:06 PM
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William Baker
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Fixed !

Sorry it took so long but being winter and all I decided to drive the Yukon instead. Finally got around to replacing the pan hard rod bushings. Like magic the death wobble is gone. I had somebody else do it total cost was around $180 I think ( I had other work done at the same time). Money well spent imo
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