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 The Wobbly Wagon

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Posts : 314
Join date : 2012-08-01
Age : 35
Location : Illinois

PostSubject: The Wobbly Wagon   Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:28 am

Patient: 1993 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Station Wagon, L05 V8.

Before I parked my wagon in the garage for the winter, I noticed that it had developed a sort of side to side vibration (or undulation), readily apparent both in the steering wheel and when seated in the car. It starts up around 15-20 miles an hour, peaks at around 40-45 miles an hour and starts to fade around 65 miles an hour.

If you're going slowly, and take your hands off the steering wheel, you can see it move left and right at a rate that varies with speed. This behavior is much more noticeable on some road surfaces than others, but it never goes completely away.

Outside of new brake pads, new rotors, wheel bearings (the originals both got noisy after being repacked), and sway bar links, I haven't done any major work to the front end of the car. The tires, which probably aren't new, are from Goodyear and they're what came with the car. I've not had any run-ins with curbs or hit anything (like a pothole) in the road. The problem more or less showed up one day and doesn't change appreciably if the car is cold or hot. There does not appear to be any foreign material stuck to either front wheel or the rims. The tires were balanced the last time they were off the car, and I don't think any of the weights have escaped. The tires do not have any unusual lumps or swelling that I can see or feel.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I'm thinking it could be tires.
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Posts : 233
Join date : 2014-01-14

PostSubject: Re: The Wobbly Wagon   Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:45 am

Probably need tires. The belts can shift or break. You can take it in and ask for a road force balance just to make sure
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Posts : 1656
Join date : 2009-08-15
Age : 33
Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: Re: The Wobbly Wagon   Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:52 am

Sounds like a bad tire, broken belt or a flat spot. Try swapping the fronts to the back and see if the wobble in the steering wheel goes away.
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Big Wagon Guy


Posts : 330
Join date : 2010-02-15
Location : Wasaga Beach Ontario

PostSubject: Sounds like a bad tire   Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:06 am

Sounds like you have a belt shifting or a tire issue of some kind. (Flat spot, belt issue). As suggested...swap tires from front to back and see how that effects things. (Wont make it go away if its a bad belt but should help you pin point the issue). If you have access to another set of rims/tires that fit...swap them on and see how she drives. Ultimately I think new tires will be needed.

Last edited by Big Wagon Guy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Posts : 2457
Join date : 2009-06-14

PostSubject: Re: The Wobbly Wagon   Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:10 am

I had a belt go on an 88 Caprice. Did the exact same thing as your description. By the time I took it off the car, you could easily see the tread deformation, it was comical.
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just me

Posts : 158
Join date : 2014-10-09
Location : Riverside, CA

PostSubject: Re: The Wobbly Wagon   Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:19 pm

Classic symptom of a tire going bad. I used to work at a Goodyear store and after seeing all the tires coming back in for belt separation at around 40,000 miles I got disillusioned with them. At the time the only tires that didn't come back in for that were the Decathlon (least expensive tire and only a 40,000 mile warranty) and the Eagle series. My Cordoba got Decathlons and my TC got Eagle LS series for a cross country trip. The worst were the Aquatread and the Regatta series for cars and the Wrangler (Wrong-ler) series for trucks and SUVs. I left when Goodyear brought out the Wingfoot HP tire and the store manager commented that it looked exactly like a very recalled tire from a few years earlier except with a different name and white letters. The Eagle ST white letter tire used on muscle cars had been discontinued and every store around was looking for the few available as people really liked them.
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Posts : 5407
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

PostSubject: Re: The Wobbly Wagon   Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:21 pm

Just had the same thing happen twice 6 and 7 months ago (two cars). At slow speeds it felt like the back of the car was wagging. Tire. the belt broke or shifted, as Jay noted it's easy to see on the tire when off the car. The other car the belt de-laminated and I had a bulge almost halfway around the tire.
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Posts : 3383
Join date : 2008-11-04
Age : 51
Location : Savannah, GA

PostSubject: Re: The Wobbly Wagon   Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:09 pm

My van did the same thing, and this is what I found:

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phantom 309


Posts : 5745
Join date : 2008-12-28
Age : 108

PostSubject: Re: The Wobbly Wagon   Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:20 am

everybody says tires,. OR bent rim,.

me ? i say opti spark,.or maybe fuel pump,...

those are the most popular answers about everything,..yes, even tbeye cars What a Face
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