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Old 05-15-2012, 08:41 AM   #1
Don/WI
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Default Front end shimmy!

I have done everything I can think of to get rid of the shimmy in the front wheels of my '30 Town Sedan. Rebuilt steering box- new worm, sector bushings. New balls on all steering arms. New teflon and spring kit. Correct toe-in. Radius ball seems to be in good shape and tight without the use of the "rubber ball gizmo. Wheel bearings are snugged up. I do have some looseness in the king pins. Could that by itself cause the shimmy? It only happens when I apply the brakes and that is at slower speeds when approaching a stop sign. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks. Don/WI
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:13 AM   #2
Farrell In Vancouver
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Default Re: Front end shimmy!

Hey Don, while any "looseness in the King pin bushings is undersiable, it may not be the only the cause of the shimmy, How are the front tires? Air pressure even? Try swapping front to back? Axle straight? How tight is the steering box set up? What about the backing plates? are they tight as well? Have you got at least 25 percent crush on the tie-rod springs? When you really look at all the moving parts in the steering system, getting everything to specs. can be daunting. But when it working right, they are a joy to drive. After all you have done it just might be the King pin bushings, but you'll never know until you change them out for new.
I had some "fun" with my coupe, and fixed the shake buy reducing the toe-in by a eights or so. After installing five new tires, she was fighting me so the toe-in was readjusted. Drives nice now.
Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
Ca. Kid
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Default Re: Front end shimmy!

Don, strange as it is I did the same front end work on my "30" town sedan including the king pins and had a shimmy at around 20mph when I hit a bump or under braking. The only thing I could find was a little looseness in the steering box so I removed it and reset all the adjustments. The problem with the box seemed to be that I didn't properly center the sector gear. That is done with the rivet that has a large screw driver slot. Its is a tedious job but very important if you replaced the worm and sector. Just follow Les Andrews instructions.
So far I haven't had any more shimmy.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:20 PM   #4
juke joint johnny
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Default Re: Front end shimmy!

There was a very good thread on this subject a couple weeks ago by Bill Williamson
called " Wiggle Wobble" worth looking up! Loose steering arms are a real possability

John Cochran
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #5
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Front end shimmy!

I don't believe that the king pins are the problem. I have had cars with slack at the king pins that had no shimmy. Once shimmy is set up any looseness anywhere in the front end will also contribute. The problem that sets up the shimmy , must be addressed!!! I have found that incorrect toe in is usually the culprit. I set my toe in at 1/16 plus or minus a thirty second. Other possibilities that haven't been mentioned are a worn sagging front spring. Maybe the steering box is not tight enough where it connects to the frame. Are you sure that the steering arms are tight enough where they connect to the spindles. Under inflated rear tires can also cause shimmy.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
Will N
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Default Re: Front end shimmy!

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If it only happens while braking, I wonder if maybe the brake drum isn't trued up on the hub?
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:42 PM   #7
Tom Endy
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Default Re: Front end shimmy!

Check the four front wheel bearing races. You may have one that is "spun". Each should fit in the mounting tight. Races can be spun when someone sets the bearings up too tight.

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