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#1: High speed shimmy

Posted on 2006-07-21 17:30:36 by johnmcmurry

My 99 Civic has been showing it's age recently. For the past 9 months
it has slowly developed a high speed shimmy (60-75mph) that
miraculously disappears occasionally.

I first started noticing it last October, when I changed my summer
wheelset over to my studded winterset. Being a beater winter tireset,
I thought they probably just needed to be balanced. I balanced them
and it seemed to lessen the shudder, but not eliminate it.

Next, I'd never had the car aligned, so I did last November. The
mechanic said that he made some minor adjustments but the car would
still feel the vibrations until the tire tread wore back into it's
normal pattern. Well, they were'nt on long enough for that to
happen...so...

I put my summer wheelset back on in the spring and it still rattled
like hell. I checked out my tie-rods, cv-joints, wheel bearings, did
the old strut test (bouncing on corners and visually inspect for signs
of leakage) and couldn't find anything wrong. Everything seemed pretty
tight. So, I balanced my summer wheelset. No fix.

I recently started noticing my left rear tire cupping in the inside.
The right rear was starting to cup also, just not as severe. The
insides of my fronts were also wearing more than the outsides, just not
cupping. I brought the care to the mechanic and he said that they
couldn't really do anything (alignment or balancing) without new tires
because of the severity of the rear cupping.

I didn't want to throw new tires on, get it aligned, then find out it
was something else after my new set of tires started cupping again; so
I found this group, searched your archives and here I am.

I investigated further. I measured ride height in several places. My
left rear was the lowest by 1/2" to 1". All others were fairly even.
I took a closer look at the shock and strut. They look fine although
worn strut would lower this side as well as cup my tire. It would make
sense. I also, from time to time, throw a lot of weight in the trunk
which doesn't help.

I don't have a lot of cash to throw out and want to get this right, the
first time.

Do you all think it's the strut even though it acts allright (other
than height)?

Would you recommend an alternative strut manufacturer as opposed to
OEM?

Could worn rear struts make my steering wheel shimmy?

Could they make the front's wear uneven, or is this a seperate problem?

Course of action you would take?

Whaddya think?

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#2: Re: High speed shimmy

Posted on 2006-07-21 21:45:19 by u10197

my 98 civic has an intermittent shimmy at 120KPH, tire guy said one of my
wheels (aftermarket) was out of round.

Also, one of my ball joints is ready to be replaced.

t

<a href="mailto:johnmcmurry&#64;gmail.com" target="_blank">johnmcmurry&#64;gmail.com</a> wrote:
&gt;My 99 Civic has been showing it's age recently. For the past 9 months
&gt;it has slowly developed a high speed shimmy (60-75mph) that
&gt;miraculously disappears occasionally.
&gt;
&gt;I first started noticing it last October, when I changed my summer
&gt;wheelset over to my studded winterset. Being a beater winter tireset,
&gt;I thought they probably just needed to be balanced. I balanced them
&gt;and it seemed to lessen the shudder, but not eliminate it.
&gt;
&gt;Next, I'd never had the car aligned, so I did last November. The
&gt;mechanic said that he made some minor adjustments but the car would
&gt;still feel the vibrations until the tire tread wore back into it's
&gt;normal pattern. Well, they were'nt on long enough for that to
&gt;happen...so...
&gt;
&gt;I put my summer wheelset back on in the spring and it still rattled
&gt;like hell. I checked out my tie-rods, cv-joints, wheel bearings, did
&gt;the old strut test (bouncing on corners and visually inspect for signs
&gt;of leakage) and couldn't find anything wrong. Everything seemed pretty
&gt;tight. So, I balanced my summer wheelset. No fix.
&gt;
&gt;I recently started noticing my left rear tire cupping in the inside.
&gt;The right rear was starting to cup also, just not as severe. The
&gt;insides of my fronts were also wearing more than the outsides, just not
&gt;cupping. I brought the care to the mechanic and he said that they
&gt;couldn't really do anything (alignment or balancing) without new tires
&gt;because of the severity of the rear cupping.
&gt;
&gt;I didn't want to throw new tires on, get it aligned, then find out it
&gt;was something else after my new set of tires started cupping again; so
&gt;I found this group, searched your archives and here I am.
&gt;
&gt;I investigated further. I measured ride height in several places. My
&gt;left rear was the lowest by 1/2&quot; to 1&quot;. All others were fairly even.
&gt;I took a closer look at the shock and strut. They look fine although
&gt;worn strut would lower this side as well as cup my tire. It would make
&gt;sense. I also, from time to time, throw a lot of weight in the trunk
&gt;which doesn't help.
&gt;
&gt;I don't have a lot of cash to throw out and want to get this right, the
&gt;first time.
&gt;
&gt;Do you all think it's the strut even though it acts allright (other
&gt;than height)?
&gt;
&gt;Would you recommend an alternative strut manufacturer as opposed to
&gt;OEM?
&gt;
&gt;Could worn rear struts make my steering wheel shimmy?
&gt;
&gt;Could they make the front's wear uneven, or is this a seperate problem?
&gt;
&gt;Course of action you would take?
&gt;
&gt;Whaddya think?

--
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#3: Re: High speed shimmy

Posted on 2006-07-22 02:44:53 by jim beam

<a href="mailto:johnmcmurry&#64;gmail.com" target="_blank">johnmcmurry&#64;gmail.com</a> wrote:
&lt;snip&gt;
&gt;
&gt; I recently started noticing my left rear tire cupping in the inside.
&gt; The right rear was starting to cup also, just not as severe.

ok

&gt; The
&gt; insides of my fronts were also wearing more than the outsides, just not
&gt; cupping.

excess toe.

&gt; I brought the care to the mechanic and he said that they
&gt; couldn't really do anything (alignment or balancing) without new tires
&gt; because of the severity of the rear cupping.

true.

&gt;
&lt;snip&gt;
&gt; I investigated further. I measured ride height in several places. My
&gt; left rear was the lowest by 1/2&quot; to 1&quot;. All others were fairly even.
&lt;snip&gt;

ok, on this generation civic, unlike its predecessors, the lower control
arm can be put in upside down leading to lop-sided rear ride height.
look under the car from the rear. both lower control arms should have
the same &quot;slope&quot; to them, with the bushing for the shock being lowest of
the three each side.

if it's not that, check for a broken spring, but usually, that's
accompanied by squeaking/groaning noises.

&gt;
&gt; Do you all think it's the strut even though it acts allright (other
&gt; than height)?

the strut [technically, it's a shock not a strut - it's non-structural]
doesn't affect ride height. it can affect cupping if it's shot, but on
hondas that's not so common.

&gt;
&gt; Would you recommend an alternative strut manufacturer as opposed to
&gt; OEM?

kyb are cheaper than oem and imo, just as good.

&gt;
&gt; Could worn rear struts make my steering wheel shimmy?

much more likely it's worn bushings and/or top front wishbone ball
joints. check the tie rods too.

&gt;
&gt; Could they make the front's wear uneven, or is this a seperate problem?

separate problem.

&gt; Course of action you would take?

check the rear suspension as described, sort out the worn stuff, replace
the tires, then see where you go from there. cheap tires can cup
regardless of any suspension issue. if you're going to do the work
yourself, buy the helm manual. it's by far the best tool investment
you'll ever make for this vehicle.

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