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Old 08-24-2018, 12:01 PM   #1
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Still struggling with steering issues

Hey guys -

I've been trying to track down an issue that makes my steering feel loose and sloppy along with a slight vibration I can feel in the steering wheel.

The vibration and sloppy steering is noticeably worse on rough roads, and seems to improve a bit on smoother pavement. The steering wheel shake gets worse on the freeway around 75 mph. I have also noticed that my driver-side side view mirror seems to vibrate while my passenger side one stays perfectly still. So far I have done the following:

So far I have done the following:
New tie rods (inner + outer)
New front drop links
New sway bar bushings (front + rear)
New control arms (front + rear)
New track arms
New trailing arms
New struts (Bilstein B4)
New strut mounts (front)
New tires (Conti ExtremeContact DW)
4 Wheel Alignment
Wheel balancing @ a reputable shop

I have done all of the work myself (except for the alignment, balancing, and tire mounting), but Iíve been to a few different specialist shops and no one has been able to fully solve the issue. The parts I replaced have improved on the issue, but the car still does not feel like it did before this issue arose. Anyone have any ideas? Could this be a bearing issue? I can't really find any play when pulling on the wheels nor is there a noticeable drone at highway speeds. Does the actual steering rack play a role in this?

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Old 08-24-2018, 12:54 PM   #2
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Sounds bizarre but the vibration issue I had through steering at that speed was resolved with new rear discs.

San't see that resolving your "loose" steering though.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:27 PM   #3
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Have the wheels been checked for out-of-roundness (or being bent)? Have the wheels been balanced while on the car (there is equipment that can do that, and it would identify a bad wheel or any other rotating piece that is bad).

Did the problem happen suddenly, or did it appear and get progressively worse?
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Racer Boy View Post
Have the wheels been checked for out-of-roundness (or being bent)? Have the wheels been balanced while on the car (there is equipment that can do that, and it would identify a bad wheel or any other rotating piece that is bad).

Did the problem happen suddenly, or did it appear and get progressively worse?
Much better to see a bent wheel on a off the car balancer, if ok mount tire on the wheel & spin again.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Hey guys -

I've been trying to track down an issue that makes my steering feel loose and sloppy along with a slight vibration I can feel in the steering wheel.

The vibration and sloppy steering is noticeably worse on rough roads, and seems to improve a bit on smoother pavement. The steering wheel shake gets worse on the freeway around 75 mph. I have also noticed that my driver-side side view mirror seems to vibrate while my passenger side one stays perfectly still. So far I have done the following:

So far I have done the following:
New tie rods (inner + outer)
New front drop links
New sway bar bushings (front + rear)
New control arms (front + rear)
New track arms
New trailing arms
New struts (Bilstein B4)
New strut mounts (front)
New tires (Conti ExtremeContact DW)
4 Wheel Alignment
Wheel balancing @ a reputable shop

I have done all of the work myself (except for the alignment, balancing, and tire mounting), but Iíve been to a few different specialist shops and no one has been able to fully solve the issue. The parts I replaced have improved on the issue, but the car still does not feel like it did before this issue arose. Anyone have any ideas? Could this be a bearing issue? I can't really find any play when pulling on the wheels nor is there a noticeable drone at highway speeds. Does the actual steering rack play a role in this?

Easiest thing for you to do is swap front wheels & tires to opposite side. If the vibratons change to the other side it's that wheel &/or tire. If no change it's L/F suspension.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:53 PM   #6
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Easiest thing for you to do is swap front wheels & tires to opposite side. If the vibratons change to the other side it's that wheel &/or tire. If no change it's L/F suspension.
Would it be impacted by the direction of my tires being swapped if I do this?
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Racer Boy View Post
Have the wheels been checked for out-of-roundness (or being bent)? Have the wheels been balanced while on the car (there is equipment that can do that, and it would identify a bad wheel or any other rotating piece that is bad).

Did the problem happen suddenly, or did it appear and get progressively worse?
Yeah, I had them balanced first on a road force machine, and then another shop did it on a hubcentric balancer.

It kind of appeared suddenly and has gotten slighter better and I replaced suspension components.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:55 PM   #8
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Sounds bizarre but the vibration issue I had through steering at that speed was resolved with new rear discs.

San't see that resolving your "loose" steering though.
My pads are squeaking pretty bad and one mechanic said that my rotors had developed a lip - but, like you said, I don't know how that would impact steering, and I don't get any vibration solely from hitting the brakes.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:59 PM   #9
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I am with these guys on the bent rim, it might not show up on the balancing machines.

If not the rim the brake disk could cause some vibration if it got out of round or balance.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by speedyspaghetti View Post
Would it be impacted by the direction of my tires being swapped if I do this?
No, but if the tires are directional you should swap back to the proper side if the vibration doesn't change.
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Old 08-27-2018, 07:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cunningr View Post
I am with these guys on the bent rim, it might not show up on the balancing machines.

If not the rim the brake disk could cause some vibration if it got out of round or balance.


If you can't see a problem with the bare wheel spinning on a balancer the wheel is not the cause of the problem.
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Old 08-27-2018, 08:53 PM   #12
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Loose axle bolts?
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:00 AM   #13
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Check your toe-in causes loose steering feeling
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:52 AM   #14
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Loose axle bolts?
Would they have just gotten loose by themselves? I've never loosened them. Are the fronts the same torque spec as the rears? 340 ft/lbs?
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:53 AM   #15
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Check your toe-in causes loose steering feeling
I've had the car aligned a few times with no real improvement - would it help if I posted my alignment specs?
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:54 AM   #16
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I am with these guys on the bent rim, it might not show up on the balancing machines.

If not the rim the brake disk could cause some vibration if it got out of round or balance.
Would either of these also explain the loose steering? I've had the rim checked by a few different places, so I hope they would have eliminated that. Could the bearing cause any of these issues?
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:47 AM   #17
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Would they have just gotten loose by themselves? I've never loosened them. Are the fronts the same torque spec as the rears? 340 ft/lbs?
96 ft-lbs. You may well break a bolt or wheel at 340 ft-lbs if you can generate that much torque!

As far as the wheel vibration at a certain speed, like 75 mph, I have found that my 2003 S that I've owned since new is very sensitive to tire pressure, how much gas is in the tank, road surface and brand of tire. I had a set of Toyo Proxis Sport something or other in the stock 17 inch sizes on OEM wheels that I used for about 8,000 miles. The tires were balanced and checked many times, along with the rest of the car and I finally ended up throwing them away and buying the Michelin N3 tires. I just had my 18 inch wheels all straightened and refinished and my car's steering wheel is the smoothest it's ever been. If everything else checks out it may be worth having the wheels checked by a place that straightens and repairs them - for both side to side and up and down wobbles that may not be visible to the naked eye but shown by a dial indicator.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:10 AM   #18
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96 ft-lbs. You may well break a bolt or wheel at 340 ft-lbs if you can generate that much torque!

As far as the wheel vibration at a certain speed, like 75 mph, I have found that my 2003 S that I've owned since new is very sensitive to tire pressure, how much gas is in the tank, road surface and brand of tire. I had a set of Toyo Proxis Sport something or other in the stock 17 inch sizes on OEM wheels that I used for about 8,000 miles. The tires were balanced and checked many times, along with the rest of the car and I finally ended up throwing them away and buying the Michelin N3 tires. I just had my 18 inch wheels all straightened and refinished and my car's steering wheel is the smoothest it's ever been. If everything else checks out it may be worth having the wheels checked by a place that straightens and repairs them - for both side to side and up and down wobbles that may not be visible to the naked eye but shown by a dial indicator.
Isn't 96 for the lug nuts - not for the axle bolt?

And that's a good idea for the wheel repair - I've had a few places balance the wheels but it's possible that they were unable to detect a minor wobble. The problem started on old tires - crappy Nankangs that were on the car when I bought it - and continued on brand new Conti ExtremeContact DWs that I think many members here run, so I don't think the tires are the issue.
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:47 PM   #19
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Yes 96 is for the lug bolts, my poor reading comprehension is showing again!
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by BYprodriver View Post
Easiest thing for you to do is swap front wheels & tires to opposite side. If the vibratons change to the other side it's that wheel &/or tire. If no change it's L/F suspension.
I swapped the wheels yesterday and the problem is still there. It feels like it's coming from the driver's side because my sideview mirror on that side shakes a lot (could be the mirror being loose, but it could indicate that side as well). Is it possible that the bearing is going out but it's not making any noise? Otherwise I don't know what else it could be if the wheels/tires are true and round. Could it be the rotors? Mine have a pretty big lip on them, but no marring.

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