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$.25 poster
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Discussion Starter #1
I was driving the car yesterday, and as I was gripping the shaky steering wheel I got to wondering....

Have MN12's ever been known for alignment issues? I am wondering this because after 4 sets of tires, 2 sets of rims, and multiple suspension parts replaced, I have never achieved a perfect alignment. I have had the car aligned at multiple shops, including one of the best alignment shops in NJ, and I still can not escape a shaky front end.

I have a pretty nice shake around 35mph, and then it comes back around 70mph+

For the past six years these have always been the troublesome spots and I have not been able to find somebody who can align it and make this go away. I just don't get it, you would think with a pretty advanced suspension like these cars have this wouldnt be an issue.

Hell, I drive a 10 year old Jeep and that thing is smoooooooooth all the way up past 100mph lol
 

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Shake

Every time I have had an issue like this it always came down
to tires. Some of the people here have also mentioned
the drive shaft being warped. Just two ideas.
 

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If the steering wheel is shaking, then it isn't an alignment issue. Do you get any wheel bearing noise? If they are bad, they can cause a vibration, even if the alignment was right on. I find it hard to believe they could be bad for 6 years and not get worse though. Could also be the wheels being out of balance, but again after 4 sets of tires, I find that unlikely too.
 

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This is one of those things I've learned to just deal with. I had the same issue on my '91 SC, my '94 V6 LX, and my '96 V8 LX. Numerous tire changes, balances, and alignments never fixed the issue, so I got over it. I've gone from Coopers on the SC to Goodyears on the V6 to Toyos on the V8 with no success, but I always had the stock wheels and stock suspension with each.

I'm going to be overhauling my suspension pretty soon, so maybe aftermarket is the answer.
 

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$.25 poster
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Discussion Starter #5
Mikey, not only is it the steering wheel that feels shaky, the whole front end of the car feels shaky as well. It does not feel stable at all at high speeds. Its almost as if I can feel the front wheels wobbling through the steering wheel.
 

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PostWhore, The AFDB is on a lil tight.
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sounds like a bad steering rack and and or bad steering joints.
 

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Yeah, you got a problem. I'm like others, guessing tie rod ends or rack.

My '92 is smooth, it's partly why I enjoy driving it so much.

How do you like that Dynomax Cat Back?
 

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PostSlut
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hell my 95 with skinnies up front, no sway bar, and QA1 coilovers has no shake what so ever up to about 130 or so....only front end parts I've ever replaced(besides shocks), is the uppers...
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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I had a pretty nasty shake like what you're talking about until I put a new set of tires on the car. The harshness toned down a little on the freeway to the point where I can no longer feel the car as a whole vibrating anymore. I can still feel it a little in the seat (barely noticeable) and the steering wheel still shakes, but probably to only a tenth the degree as bad as it was. Although about the same time I put the new tires on I also replaced all four shocks and the two front springs. However, my steering wheel has a bit of "free play" to it - while parked with the engine off you can bounce the steering wheel to the left and right a half inch or so each direction with no front end movement or tension in the wheel at all.
 

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Have you had the car since new? The reson I ask is, well back in 96 I had a 94 t-bird. It was in perfect condition and the first brand new car I had ever bought. I bottomed the front end on the thing and "bent" something at least that is what the frame guy said. couple 1000 later the body shop tells me the car is fixed. I had the same vibration in the steering wheel as you described. With one major differance. It started at 20MPH and continued on untill I reached 20MPH again.
 

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Eleventeenth Gear Poster
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My car has always kinda been the same way and is very temperamental.

With all tires/shocks/bushings/rotors/alignments all good at once, the car rides great 90% of the time. But every now and then will have a shimmy in the steering wheel or a vibration somewhere.

Same is true if all tires/shocks/bushings/rotors/alignments are NOT good all at once....kinda like it is now, and has been for the past year or so. The car rides retelively smooth, but with steering wheel shimmy at higher speeds 90% of the time. But every now and then it will drive smooth as ice with bald/unevenly worn tires, worn out bushings, warped rotors, etc. :confused:

Same thing with braking in my car. Half the time the steering wheel shakes like crazy, and the other half there is no shake at all. :confused:
 

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$.25 poster
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Discussion Starter #13
I havent had the car since new, but I did buy it in 2003 with only 36,000 miles so I have put most of the miles on this car myself. I am going to have a buddy of mine take a look at it today and see what the problem could be. I am assuming it is either gonna be the wheel bearings or possibly the steering rack. The tie rod ends are new, along with upper control arms, etc. I hope I can solve the problem, this is the reason why I never drive this car when I know I am gonna be on major highways, its quite annoying.

Other then this problem, the car drives straight as an arrow, so I highly doubt this could be due to a bad alignment/tires.
 

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I've replaced bent mags, which everyone said couldn't be bent... and that worked for the black cougar.

the red cougar was great when I first got it, but I had major vibration issues after awhile. (If you drive at interstate speeds, a lot, replace the stock driveshaft with a one piece shaft.)

Since then, I've developed the same type of symptoms you are describing.

I've replaced the steering rack, the tie rods, all front suspension components, and I'm down to the wheel bearings... All those components were bad, and affected the feel, but it still isn't as good as it was when I got it.

I replaced the rear wheel bearings last week, and it feels better; I'm doing the fronts Saturday, so I'll let you know if that works. :)

I guess it's suspension bracing after that... :D
 

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i had bad shakes in my car especially when i used the brakes lightly. i got new ties it went away i assume it was a tire balance issue. because they balanced the tires and what not
 

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I thought you said you had had several balancings so I didn't mention it but looking back, not the case.



When they balanced the tires on the car now, did they do it statically or dynamically? You want dynamic balancing. Also, are the wheels Ford or aftermarket? If Ford, OK. If aftermarket I was going to suggest that unless the center hole is a snug fit on the hub, the centering is done by the lugs and that also can take a wheel/tire that is in balance on a machine that holds it by the center and it be out of balance on the car when the lug or studs allow a slight shift. I have a set of aftermarket wheels laying in the shed that I once used on my '85 that will never be used for that reason.

Also, overly high tire pressures can make it feel harsh, and some tires just flat spot sitting long periods in the cold and take miles to warm up and smooth out.
 

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$.25 poster
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Discussion Starter #17
The wheels are stock 16" sport rims.

I had my friend look at the car yesterday and it seems that the wheels bearings and the steering rack are just fine. I was hoping he would find something wrong but oh well. Back to the drawing board lol. I would consider replacing the driveshaft with one from a mark, but I would be pretty dissapointed if that didnt solve the problem...
 

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Here is a simple check to do. Have a buddy standing beside the car, watching the front wheel while on blacktop or concreat. Drive forward about 3-5 mph and hit the brake. Do the same thing going backwards. Have him watch for the spacing between the tire opening and the front and rear of the tire to change. This will check for wear on several suspension items, but mainly the strut rods. If the wheel spacing changes, 95% chance, worn strut rod bushings are your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was driving the car again yesterday at speeds in excess of 75mph and now the whole dash is shaking, center console, and I can feel it in my seat. There definitely is a problem here.
 

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I would consider replacing the driveshaft with one from a mark, but I would be pretty disappointed if that didn't solve the problem...
To eliminate the driveshaft as the cause of the problem, you have to pull it out; I've replaced the shaft on both my cars, and in neither case was I able to see that they were bad until I had them out.

Shaking the shaft hard will make it rattle if it's bad; I have two that rattled, and one from a JY that supposedly had ~36k miles that didn't. The ones that rattled vibrated; I never put the JY one in, I bought a good one.

I showed the one from the black car to my neighbor yesterday, and showed him how that it rattles internally when you shake it. The two pieces are loose at the crimp. It had just started into a slight vibration when I changed it out, and it wasn't even being considered as the cause until I had it out; I was swapping the transmission, and swapped in a new shaft at the same time. No vibration, (which I was blaming on the tires,) smooth as silk.

YMMV...
 
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