It doesn't happen all the time but once in awhile driving my 23 tt the front end will shake violently. The steering wheel will switch back and forth wildly for almost half a turn. I bring the truck to a stop and it seems to cure itself leaving no clues as to what caused it. Everything is tight and the wheel bearings were serviced just last fall and the wheels turn nice a free. I considered maybe the spring and stuck and I have been soaking them in PB Blaster. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why is does this but I would sure like to get it fixed before it breaks something or wreaks me. I guess the one saving grace is im going very slow, like about 15mph but that said it doesn't seem to mater what speed I go as it happened yesterday pulling into the driveway at about 5 MPH. I do have one spring U bolt that has one striped nut but the U bolt seems tight Any ideas as to whats going on?
Could be any number of things. In my case, it was binding (dry) in one of the front spring shackles.
Something somewhere is worn out. Areas that can cause this, and are most often overlooked are;
1. Steering gear case loose in steering column.
2. Worn bushing in lower steering shaft support.
3. Pitman arm loose on steering shaft, also worn out woodruff key and/or keyslot.
4. Seized up spring shackle that can't swing in the perch or spring end.
5. Wobbly wheel or tire out of balance.
6. Sloppy, worn gears in gear case.
I had a brand new rebuilt front axle that would get the hebbers like that. Try tightening the front spindle bolts just a tad more. Fixed mine.
Got that sweet sweet T shimmy! It hasn't happened to me yet (Knock on wood) but I've seen a few other ones do it. I don't know how the driver doesn't poop their pants when their T goes all Exorcist on them like that. It freaks me out enough seeing another T do it. As Jerry says, SOMEthing is worn out, seized, or otherwise not up to snuff. Seek and ye shall find.
Sounds like tie rod ends but if you say everything is tight it must be the spring. If you can get a hold of one of those anti rattle spring units that go between the tie rod and the front axle I would try that and see if it doesn't solve the problem. It is not a substitute for correcting the problem but it will help narrow down the source of the problem and make the truck driveable in the interim.
Will, any of the things Jerry and Chris mention could be wrong but, also put the front axle on jack stands and check for
1. Worn spindle bushings
2. Worn tie rod bushings
3. Slop in the drag link ball joints
4. Loose wishbone ball
5. Worn shackles and bushings
6. The steering column being loose on the firewall
Ok, Thanks guys. I will take things apart and see if I can find the problem area. Its like the two front wheel are fighting each other. Got to cure this problem before it stings me.
Its a worn wishbone ball. Period. troop
Any of the above could be the problem or a combination of them.
Whatever it is, is caused by a rebound. You hit a bump or something like it and each bounce causes it to keep on shaking until you stop the vehicle. That's why my blue T is called Nellie, because the day I drove it home for the first time it started shaking, and I yelled "Whoa Nellie". New spindle bolts fixed it that time.
Other things to check is balance of tires, wheels out of true, Or could be a problem with the toe in. Check the spindle arms. Sometimes they get loose in the spindles. Check out all of them.
Also let us know when you find out what causes it to stop, because we can all use the information if and when ours start to shake.
As Norman mentioned check the toe in, to much toe in can cause a death shimmy. if it's mostly when you are slowing down or applying the brake, it could very well be excessive toe in.
After looking at it again I did find the right side of the wishbone is bent a little.
Looking at those photo's, the whole front end needs a re-build.
I used to sweat when I came upon rail road tracks that were at a little angle to the road. I used to call it the 'T' death dance. All of the things mentioned can and will cause the problem or a least magnify the problem. I installed the shock absorber kit that Lang and others offer. It provides the extra insurance even though you try to keep everything mentioned up to snuff. I have it on all three , 1913,1915 and 1924.
It's bent a lot.
Try removing the anti-shimmy springs and see how much wear your tie rod ends really have.
The springs on the tie rod indicate that the tie rod bushings and possibly the pins are worn out. More than likely several other things are worn out. It would be best to pull the front axle and completely rebuild it.
It looks like a front end redo. Iv never done anything to the front end as long as Iv owned the truck so I guess its due. As soon as I get it back to my grage I will start ordering the parts. I might as well replace everything. Question though, I didn't know the tie rods had bushings? I didn't see any bushings listed in the Langs web site for the tie rods
Will, the tie rod bushings go in the spindle arms. You can order the pins, nuts, bushings, and oilers as a set
or if the pins are still good you can just buy the bushings
The bushing is in the spindle arm. Bronze and steel available, Bronze will save the tie rod bolts from wearing out as fast as the bushing.
Be thankful you don't have a 1912. Shackles cost an arm and a leg!! lol
Kerry's right, shimmy is caused from loose wheel bearings or anything to the top of the steering wheel.
Chances are the wish bone was bent from trying to fix camber, or caster years ago.
The best way to straighten an Axle is when it is taken all apart, and use 4 rods, and cones.
Don't patch it, fix it, or don't give anyone you love a ride.
After driving my car for a year, it did that. Warped back and forth so violently, I thought the front end had become disconnected from the car. The wobble was visible to other cars in our entourage. That was almost two years ago, and hasn't done it since.
Wheel bearings come to mind first as I had a VW bug that did that until I found the problem. The bent wishbone isn't helping. It's pulling the front axle backwards on the bent side.
It sounds like king pins. Most older cars with solid axles and leaf springs get a shimmy when the king pins are worn out.
My TT has always done it. I rebuilt the front end and still have it occasionally. It only does it at slow speeds after hitting a bump. I have found that I can accelerate through it and it goes away after I get above a particular speed. Kinda like the driveshaft whip.
At the slow speed the shake occurs, a sharp turn to the left or right also solves the shake until the next time.
I have seen it happen on two cars. Both had worn wishbone balls. Not easily found with tension on them.
try 3/8's of toe in and see if it will at least drive!