Steering gets the shimmies!

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Steering gets the shimmies!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Schultz on Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 10:39 pm:

At lower speeds it seems like if I hit a bump just right the front wheels will jerk back and forth until you can come to a stop. I have tried to just hold onto the steering wheel and get it to correct itself but it won't. Any ideas? I haven't checked into much yet so any input is appreciated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 10:45 pm:

Loose kingpins. Been there


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom 30 miles N of Memphis TN on Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 10:50 pm:

This is the time to go through everything to correct anything loose and also to ensure the wheel alignment is set correctly. If all wear is corrected and the wheels aligned correctly (and balanced) that shimmy will be a thing of the past.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 10:55 pm:

I had bad king pins and it shook terribly in my first T. After a front end build it was great. Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill in Adelaida Calif on Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 11:18 pm:

My 14 developed that bad habit. New pins in the tie rod ends took it away.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 11:18 pm:

Get the MTFCA Axle book and do what it says.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eugene Adams on Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 11:58 pm:

I found a frozen shackle wasn't allowing that side of the front end to bounce. It created a sort of leaping action to the front end.
Gene


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 12:15 am:

Time to shimmy-shuffle-down !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan McEachern on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 01:25 am:

1st thing to do is check your toe in. If your kingpins are not worn badly, adjusting the toe in might help. It should be around 1/8" to 3/16". Also check that the spring perches are installed correctly and that the king pin inclination is correct- farther out at the bottom than the top. Get the book and review all the possible issues.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil Martin on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 07:31 am:

David S.
We had an old forward control Austin milk truck which shimmied at times in the front end.
To fix the problem, you just let the steering wheel go which is a bit scary at first, but it worked.
After the front end was rebuilt, the problem was rectified.
N.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Poane on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 07:36 am:

I always thought it was king pin and or shackles.

When my hack had that problem it was the shackles.

But still Let the experienced guys guide you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 07:40 am:

I agree it probably needs some worn parts replaced. However, I had it happen once right after going through the front end. I think it is something that just happens sometimes. Maybe flexure in that long really skinny tie rod? I have found that there is a relatively narrow speed band in which it can occur. Speeding up as well as slowing down will make it go away. If it were to happen while I am approaching a stop, then sure, I keep stopping and it goes away. However, with mine, it tends to happen when I slow to make a turn and then hit a bump. I've found that just speeding back up as I would normally do after making my turn makes it go away.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Schultz on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 07:42 am:

Thanks for all the input. I will get the axle book and start some investigating for myself.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 07:45 am:

Could also be a wheel rim that's not true. Had that on my '13 on the right side. Got a "new" used rim from Joe Bell and that solved the problem. I'm saving the old one with the tire still on it for an emergency spare.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Mills_Cherry Hill NJ on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 07:57 am:

There's the obvious as stated...front end rebuild...then check the tie rod as if there is any bow to it, won't work right...

Finally, I'll share something that I never thought of until it happened to me.

I had a '15, it behaved well, has oodles of power and can scat about nicely. Yet every now and then, for no reason at all, the front end would go nuts when it hit a pebble or small rut at slow speed. Nothing I did made it go away...until...

Until I found the right front wheel had sheared two felloe rivets that were still stuck in the wood looking normal. (I caught the shadow of movement on the steel rim then pulled the tire and tube to see empty holes). Changed the wheel out using the common hub and problem gone...

Try the obvious, then look for the 'strange'


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 12:03 pm:

Anything loose from the steering wheel to the wheels can cause this. This is what happens, when you hit a bump it makes a vibration. Do you remember the paddle with a ball attached by a rubber cord. when you hit the ball it bounces back over and over? That's what happens in the front end when you hit a bump. The last time I had a shimmy, I found the nut which holds the spindle arm to the spindle was loose. I tightened it and re-installed the cotter pin, it stopped. Most likely causes are worn spindle bolts and bushings, loose pitman arm or loose ball joints in the drag link. Others could be worn tie rod bolts and bushings. Even a loose radius rod or radius rod ball joint under the crankcase can cause the problem.

Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 12:23 pm:

Make sure your front spring perches are on the correct sides. It is possible to put the front axle in backwards, then heaven help you!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 12:57 pm:

You may not have enough caster.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 01:10 pm:

Pull the front axle and steering column and fully rebuild them both. You will more than likely find many worn out and loose parts.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Verne Shirk on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 09:06 pm:

Did the shimmying start after you oiled the king pints and tie rod ends? If you oil up a worn out front end, it will make the problem appear or get worse.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charles Weisgerber on Friday, June 17, 2016 - 11:32 pm:

What Stephen Heatherly said is the way to go. While you're at it take the spring apart, clean the leaves up, paint them,and lube them.

I went through the whole front end as well as the steering column on my 25 last winter. In the process I discovered a few things that I wasn't planning on like a cracked hub and broken top leaf. Had a new leaf made and purchased a used hub in great condition from Lang's along with the standard rebuild parts. Had I not went for the full rebuild I would have missed some hidden problems.

Charles


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Phillip Maurici on Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 07:43 am:

Check the bushing on the steering rod. Thats the part that is bolted to frame just above the pitman arm.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 09:15 am:

Jack up the car and put two stands under each side of the frame.

Remove the wheels and disconnect the steering gear arm.

Drop the front axle assembly and replace the worn parts as necessary. Its not expensive to replace all the bushings and the kingpins.

Having the axle out and on the bench is the way to go in rebuilding the front axle.

You will be surprised how much better your T will drive without all the loose and worn bushings replaced. You will be surprised.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Schultz on Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 11:14 pm:

Thanks, I did some investigating and found the kingpins are worn bad which did show up after I oiled the front end so I guess it's time to rebuild the front axle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 06:06 am:

David: Check the Kingpin holes in the axle. Most axles need Stevens Front Axle inserts. Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brendan Doughty Central wisconsin on Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 09:58 am:

David
Check the wheel bearings first. Loose front wheel bearings will cause this.


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