Help, EX is Shaking! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Help, EX is Shaking!

apanello

Active Member
Joined
October 26, 2011
Messages
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City, State
Illinois
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Explorer XLT 4.0
First, I want to say that I have gotten TONS of info from this forum and I have finally come across a problem that I can't seem to solve.

I have a 2003 Ford Explorer 4.0. I just purchased new tires. When driving above 45 mph, the wheel starts to move back and forth and above 50 it shakes. It is annoying and gets worse the faster I go.

Attempted fixes:

Balanced 3 times. Rotated. Replaced Lower Ball Joints.

The shaking only improved a very miniscule amount.

Would the upper ball joints cause this? Help!!

Note: it isn't warped rotors, brakes/rotors are new.
 



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I had this same thing happen on my '89 Mustang. It turned out to be a worn tie rod end. Check your steering linkage for wear and tear.
 






Could try an alignment
 






Did the problem start after the new tires? I could just be a one or two bad tires. It happens, eventhough they are new.
 






I have also seen this type of problem result from misaligned belts in a tire. They can balance fine but have a wobble effect at speed when on the vehicle. Usually though, if this is the problem, the wobble will be slower at low speeds and increase in frequency as speed increases.
 






Would an alignment really fix this? What about my swaybar? How would I diagnose? Pix please!
 






I noticed the problem after new tires
 






Would an alignment really fix this? What about my swaybar? How would I diagnose? Pix please!


doubt its a sway bar , how did the front tires look when you replaced em
inside/outside worn cupped??
 






They looked good actually. What about the upper ball joints/tierods?
 






They looked good actually. What about the upper ball joints/tierods?


jack the front end up shake the tires side to side and look for play in the tie rods idler arm and pitman arm , shake up and down to check ball joints and look and feel for play (if the tire has play and none of those are the culprit then it could be a wheel bearing)
 






Upper ball joints are tore up, lowers are new, tie rod ends are hard to move side to side, I don't know where the pitman arm is or it's function. :( !!!
 






Just replaced upper ball joints and tie rods. Also rebalanced and rotated tires. Steering wheel still shakes! What should I do next?
 












As a simple test for a bad tire, swap the fronts with the rears and see if this stops the front shake. If it does then it is a bad tire. If not then it is something in the mechanics. Does the shaking stop, or lessen, when going around a left or right hand curve at speed?
 






Does this vibration or shake change at all if you are on or off the brake pedal , did you do the brakes with the tires , just because rotors are new does not mean they are not warped, i always have my new rotors cut when i buy them.

I had a ford pick up (97 F250 HD) at work that had a shake at 40 plus MPH , it was bad u joints you could look at that ( think it will be 10-15 bucks for u joints) normally to check for a bad u joint you shake the drive shaft but in this case the u-joints on my service truck were frozen and had no play.

Oh by the way your explorer does not have a pitman or idler arm
 






I agree with checking the u-joints and swapping the tires. It's not uncommon for tires to have bad belts, even new tires. Also consider that if you've never changed the u-joints, which are more likely the originals and also non-greaseable, that would be the next best possibility.
 






u-joints on the front drive shaft or the rear??
 












Alignment completed. Still that slight shake at higher speeds.........
 



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Alignment completed. Still that slight shake at higher speeds.........

hmm... that blows. I wonder if it's a steering component. I don't know much bout the 3rd gens as far as weak points.
 






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