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Front end wobble

dr fildo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2012
Messages
100
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10
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Mercury Mounaineer
I have a wobble, shake, shimmy, whatever it's called. Happens over 55 mph. Is not constant; sometimes it's smooth as glass at 60 mph, sometimes it shakes fairly violently. Doesn't stop shaking going over 80 mph, but it is less shaky. 25k on new steering rack (inner and outer the rods), and it has newer rotors and pads. Very old shock absorbers. I don't think it's the wheels/tires, as it was happening before and after tire rotation. A mechanic recently told me my ball joints look good, although they have almost 230k on them. I do believe the driver's bearing/hub assembly needs replacing. At slow speeds when braking, it almost feels like a warped rotor, but I've changed them out and it still does it. No uneven wear on the rotors or pads. No pulsing of the brake pedal.

Any ideas on what it could be? It's getting worse.
 


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dr fildo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2012
Messages
100
Reaction score
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Mercury Mounaineer
Sorry. 99 Mountaineer 5.0 AWD
 




masospaghetti

Elite Explorer
Joined
October 22, 2006
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City, State
Huntington Beach, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT, OHV, 4D, 4x4, 5M
Suspensions are funny and they can do weird things when multiple parts have wear together. I assume the mechanic checked the ball joints for play. A worn wheel bearing could be causing shaking that's made worse by worn shocks. Have you checked your alignment? If you have toe out this can cause instability and could be contributing to the problem.

If I were you, this is what I'd do:

1 - Change the shocks if you know they are old/bad. A good set is about $30/ea and they are relatively easy to change. Who knows, maybe this will take care of it.
2 - While you are in there, check the front wheels for play. Jack up the front (with stands, of course) and grab each front wheel at the 12 o'clock and 6 o-clock positions. Also try 3 and 9 o'clock. See if there's any movement. I'm betting something is worn and something will be moving around. Check your ball joints for torn boots (double check what the mechanic said). Usually, ball joints don't wear out or fail until the boot rips and the grease comes out.
3 - Get your alignment checked and make sure you don't have a toe-out condition.

You said you rotated the tires and it stayed the same but are they old tires? If they are separating internally it may cause shaking/instability at speed, and if they are all old they all might have the same problem.
 




MAS Tequila

Elite Explorer
Joined
October 6, 2013
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City, State
Boca Raton FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Mounty 4WD 5.0
Check your axle shafts.

I'll bet one of them is on the way out.
 




Exploring XLT

Never Stop Explorering
Elite Explorer
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August 12, 2016
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Location
Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada
City, State
Stony Plain
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD
I had a wobble like that, it ended up being a u-joint in the main drive shaft, it was noticeable during acceleration, but more so during breaking.
 




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