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Old 08-23-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
cousinsaul
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1999 SL2
Default wobbling when crawling and shaking at high speeds

Recently I've noticed that the car wobbles when I back out of the driveway. My driveway is very flat but the end of it dips about 4-6 inches which causes something to clunk once occasionally. In the driveway I noticed the driver side wheel wobbling a little bit and today at lower speeds I noticed that the ride is a little squirrely.

I'm wondering if this is all caused by a bad CV joint/shaft because I've never hit anything big enough to bend a rim and the tie rods, LCA's have been replaced recently. I want to tackle this problem myself but would like to hear the experts' opinions before I start buying parts.


Things I've taken note of: I don't hear the typical clunking noise associated with bad CV joints but the clunk I do hear seems to come from the rear (maybe the sound travels through the frame).

Oh and I forgot to mention that the steering wheel shakes a bit between 65-75mph

Much appreciated
...
1999 Sl2 Auto 139,500 miles
119,800 miles - #4 spun bearing....reborn with 26k mile SW2 motor

Past
1988 190E 2.3 Auto 110,000 miles - R.I.P.

Last edited by cousinsaul; 08-23-2010 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Left something out in description
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:29 PM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: wobbling when crawling and shaking at high speeds

Could be a wheel bearing or a outer CV joint. Jack up the driver side and try to wiggle the wheel. Grab it at he top and bottom when doing this. The brake will keep it reasonably steady so don't expect a lot of motion even if the bearing is bad.

To check the CV joint find a large flat parking lot and with both windows rolled down turn circles in both the left and right. These have to be tight circles and at a speed high enough to cause some body roll. If you hear clicking the bad joint is on the side that matches the turn direction. Listen for a repetitive clicking from one side or the other.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: wobbling when crawling and shaking at high speeds

I'll try the CV test later today. I've tried wiggling the wheel and felt absolutely nothing, no movement whatsoever. And I don't hear any grinding from the wheel.

Will post my findings later on.

TY Oldnuc
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: wobbling when crawling and shaking at high speeds

Ok so I just tested the CV joints and didn't hear a clicking sound, only the squeaking of my tires and a high pitched mechanical sound. I even jacked up the car and let the wheels spin to see if anything was bent (nothing was).

The ride starts to feel shifty around 40mph and now the car seems to drift left and the weight of the wheel is less when turning left. I know it sounds like an alignment problem now but I'm pretty sure it is fine. Could worn out struts, springs or swaybar cause any of this?
...
1999 Sl2 Auto 139,500 miles
119,800 miles - #4 spun bearing....reborn with 26k mile SW2 motor

Past
1988 190E 2.3 Auto 110,000 miles - R.I.P.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: wobbling when crawling and shaking at high speeds

When was the last time your tires were balanced? Are your air pressures up to spec, lug nuts tightened to spec as well? You'd be surprised how those simple things being off can cause so much havoc.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: wobbling when crawling and shaking at high speeds

Tire balance, bent rim, alignment, bad tie rod ends, or bad lower ball joint. Have tires balanced and if that is OK then go for an alignment. They will check the rest of it. If it is a failed suspension part they will want to replace it but most of them you can do yourself, with tools, so politely decline. Then come back here with the bad news.
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