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Old 04-19-2017, 12:07 PM   #1
namvetmike
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Default Front end shimmy

I've rebuilt the tie rod ends but still get a very nasty shimmy at low speeds. Any ideas?


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Old 04-19-2017, 12:24 PM   #2
Tacoma Bob
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

MMMm shimmy or death wobble. Wishbone ball is the usual suspect. Is your's original style or the rubber ball type fix.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:32 PM   #3
Ron in Quincy
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

It is a possibility you have a bent axel. A friend of mine had the same problem. When I checked the camber on his two front wheels the passenger side had the 7 degrees camber, the driver side had no camber. I happen to have a good front axel which I gave him. He changed out his front axel and had no more shimmy.

Park your A in the garage where you have a good flat surface for the front two wheels; using a steel carpenter square place the short side down and move it against the backing plate, the square should touch the top of the backing plate and not touch the bottom of the backing plate, you can measure the space at the bottom and determine if you have the 7 degrees; do each end of the axel.

Hope this helps,

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Old 04-19-2017, 12:33 PM   #4
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

The tie-rods are only part of the front components that can cause a shimmy. You still have something loose and that can be anything from the steering box thru the wheel bearings to alignment and anything in between.
How worn were your tie-rod end balls ? They wear oval shaped over the years and if worn much over about .015" should be replaced.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:39 PM   #5
Mitch//pa
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

Do a search on the forum " death wobble"

Lots of info to find your issue
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

I would check alignment
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:42 PM   #7
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

1. To save time, first, go to "Search" above.

2. Second, scroll down and click on "Advanced Search" and enter "Wheel Shimmy".

3. Third, under "General Discussion", scroll down and click on "Model A".

4. Fourth, jot down the many different items on your front end that can be checked in lieu of just your tie rods.

5. Fifth, again, to save valuable time, helps to have two (2) people ...... one in driver's seat moving steering wheel back and forth ...... other person observing "every" moving part of the "entire" front undercarriage assembly, wheels, king pins, and steering rod & steering assembly for loose play which may be found "anywhere" ...... even where "never" expected. Try with front wheels on garage floor and try also with front wheels lifted.

6. Remember that after 8,000,000 responses from 8,000,000 Model A owners, all hundreds of miles away, none of us can see minute loose movement that only you can observe in your garage.

Hope this helps to "quickly" correct your steering problem(s).
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:55 PM   #8
goodcar
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

Suggest refer to the Restorer, July/August 2015, page 12, "Causes and Fixes for Death Wobble in the Model A Ford" by Howard Eckstein. This article pretty much covers everything that causes shimmy problems.
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

You must have the toe in correct. Major cause of a lot of shimmy problems.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:16 PM   #10
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

SHIMMY is almost always caused by slack/looseness in the steering/suspension system.
Wheels on the ground, have someone work the steering wheel firmly back & forth while you lay under it & observe & feel for that looseness. TRUST ME!
Bill Experienced
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:07 PM   #11
Bill Cal.
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

Thanks Bill for your wisdom. It's great to keep it simple and that is the beauty of the Model A.
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

I am totally a rookie, which will explain the comment I am going to make and maybe not using all the right terms. I had this problem once after I rebuilt my front end. After checking all of this stuff you guys have discussed, I found that I had not tightened the front drums down properly. They were basically loose and as you got up to speed the car shimmied terribly. I went back to Les's book and followed the instructions on tightening down those castle nut onto the spindle. Problem solved.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:42 AM   #13
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

When checking for looseness, don't OVERLOOK ANYTHING!!!--Like, the Pitman arm clinch bolts, steering gear mounting bolts, the nuts that secure the steering arms to the spindles, have about 5 Ft Lbs of pre load on the wheel bearings, toe-in set properly & tire pressure up to SNUFF!!
It doesn't take MUCH, to cause a SHIMMY!
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by BILL WILLIAMSON View Post
SHIMMY is almost always caused by slack/looseness in the steering/suspension system.
Wheels on the ground, have someone work the steering wheel firmly back & forth while you lay under it & observe & feel for that looseness. TRUST ME!
Bill Experienced
Yup - same is true for moderns except thier not as easy to repair

I also like to do the test in the quietest place I can find - often you can hear grease squish about or a creak or pop if its hard to see the movement. if there is no slop in the system and properly lubed it should be dead quiet.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

A recent experience with low speed shimmy revealed loose tie-rod and drag-link end caps. Good advice to observe all steering areas with someone working the steering wheel.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:32 AM   #16
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Cal. View Post
Thanks Bill for your wisdom. It's great to keep it simple and that is the beauty of the Model A.
Bill,
Chief, my Dad, taught me to LOOK, think about HOW it works, & you can DIAGNOSE & FIX it! I ALWAYS try to suggest the SIMPLE approach.
BUT, when it's on your OWN car, it always "seems" worse than it really is & you park it & get back to it, 7 YEARS later
Bill W.
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

For me it was King Pins. Be sure to check them. Not a small repair, but certainly doable.

Ken
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGBnut View Post
For me it was King Pins. Be sure to check them. Not a small repair, but certainly doable.

Ken
Same here. Pressed out the old bushings, pressed in and reamed the new ones to new king pins. Then checked out tie rod ends, other steering components. Tightening the steering box also helped, but wasn't the primary problem. Got my wobble from 22-27 mph, then smoothed out. Once king pins replaced, all was smooth.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

I've had it in 2 of my cars. One was lose bolts holding the steering box to the chassis, the other was a flogged out eye at one end of the axle.
Everything must be done right and done tight!!
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: Front end shimmy

Ok so you did the tie rod end, did that include checking and replacing the steering arms if the balls were worn?
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