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Old 06-26-2006, 09:39 PM   #1
DukeCitySC2
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2006 ION-2 Sedan
1993 SC2
Default FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

'93 SC2

I've been fighting a front wheel shake that mostly occured at higher speeds when I put on the brakes lightly. I first thought it was a tie rod end, replaced that to no avail. Couldn't find any play in the rack, the lower ball joint, or anything. The CV's are original and a little sloppy, but this shake occured whether the clutch was in or not, and there was no noise typical of a bad CV when turning or accelerating. I was convinced it must be the rack but when I got it out, it was tight and in good condition. Nothing really looked obviously worn or torn.

BUT... the rubber bushing on the lower control arm, where the tension strut attaches, was visibly loose in the hole. It didn't look worn, or split, but I bopped over to AutoZone to look at a new one (complete lower control arm). My rubber bushing was less than half the size of the new one! Also, the washer under the nut on the tension strut was a dished washer, with the dish facing out. The shape of the new bushing was convex (like the washer should have been the other way). Even tho I had tried to move the lower control arm fore-and-aft, I just couldn't put enough force on it to reveal that the bushing was not really tightly clamped by the nut/washer.

So I sprung for a set of new lower control arms and installed them. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! It rides like a Cadillac compared to before, small pavement cracks that used to irritate me aren't even noticeable, big bumps are much tamer and quieter, and overall a whole lot of chassis vibration and noise is GONE!

Lesson: rubber doesn't have to be split, or cracked and missing chunks to be worn out. Replacing the lower control arms gives you three major components at one shot -- the inner pivot bushing, the ball joint, and the tension rod bushing.

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Old 06-27-2006, 07:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

It almost sounds like someone else had been working on your front end and they had slapped it together with what ever they had laying around.

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Old 06-27-2006, 08:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

Everything appeared to be factory, but the washers could have been flipped.

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Old 06-27-2006, 06:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

lol

Last time I checked, rubber shrinks and deteriorates with age.

This occurs on anything automotive related.

Mine do appear fine by eye as well, although I havent bothered to attempt replacement.

At a 150k and oil consumption its not worth it unless it worsens.

I'm certainly not dissassembling the front end to find out, bit I highly suspect it just wear and age. It isnt rims, tires, or bent parts I have verified that everything is good.

Maybe one day when I find another 91-95 to replace my current beater

...
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Fill the oil check the gas

Favorite quote while merging with traffic in the SL1 "I'm gonna die!"

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Old 06-27-2006, 06:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.8TransAM
lol

Last time I checked, rubber shrinks and deteriorates with age.

This occurs on anything automotive related.

Mine do appear fine by eye as well, although I havent bothered to attempt replacement.

At a 150k and oil consumption its not worth it unless it worsens.

I'm certainly not dissassembling the front end to find out, bit I highly suspect it just wear and age. It isnt rims, tires, or bent parts I have verified that everything is good.

Maybe one day when I find another 91-95 to replace my current beater
What's irritating is that the rubber for the tension strut couldn't cost more than $3 a side, but you can't buy it separately and it would be a real chore to install anyway (single piece, pressed thru arm). I was tempted to find a urethane bushing for a 4x4 truck that would work, a 2-piece bushing, and just cut the old ones out.

My car also has 157k miles, and uses 900-1100 miles/qt, but gets 30 mpg in daily grind, 38+ on the road. That's a keeper in my book! Especially the way it rides now.

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Old 06-27-2006, 10:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeCitySC2
Everything appeared to be factory, but the washers could have been flipped.

The washer for the sway bar that goes on the nut side is supposed to have the "flat" against the bushing not the cupped side. If I remember correctly they are even marked for which way they face.

...
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Old 06-27-2006, 11:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman
The washer for the sway bar that goes on the nut side is supposed to have the "flat" against the bushing not the cupped side. If I remember correctly they are even marked for which way they face.
Wasn't marked. The rubber bushing that is in my old control arm is totally flat. It seems like it should have a flat washer against it (which it does on the front side). The new bushing is cone-shaped on both sides, and fits the concave side of the washer perfectly. That's how I put them on and it seems to be working great.

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Old 06-27-2006, 11:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

From the service manual.

http://www.saturnfans.com/photos/sho...ze/big/cat/650

...
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Old 06-28-2006, 12:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

What year manual is that? My tension strut has a flat face ahead of the threads (forged in).

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Old 07-04-2006, 08:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

even though you have turned the washer around, the factory way is concave out, not in.

however, turned around shouldn't be bad, it will 'tighten' the ride a bit as it will compress and contain the rubber bushing from splaying on compression, causing a tightening effect on the rubber bushing which transfers to how the sway bar reacts....

baldy

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Old 07-04-2006, 11:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

The tension strut bushings in the control arms are available seperately! I purchased mine from NAPA Auto Parts but I think they list them as a sway bar bushing. The kit includes four washers and four bushings (the two rubber bushings are replaced by the split style bushings).

I still haven't cured my front wheel shake.

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Old 07-04-2006, 11:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bldegle2
even though you have turned the washer around, the factory way is concave out, not in.

however, turned around shouldn't be bad, it will 'tighten' the ride a bit as it will compress and contain the rubber bushing from splaying on compression, causing a tightening effect on the rubber bushing which transfers to how the sway bar reacts....

baldy
Potentially the washer can come into contact with the control arm.

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Old 07-04-2006, 11:59 PM   #13
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssicarman
Potentially the washer can come into contact with the control arm.
On the stock LCA, yes. On the replacement LCA's, no, the bushings are much thicker and the washer clears the arm by about 1/4".

That really pisses me off about the NAPA bushings! I'll bet they don't cost $70 apiece!! Are they a good fit?

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Old 07-05-2006, 12:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

Yes they are a perfect fit. The old bushings just get pushed out and then you install the new bushings.

I think they are ten bucks or so.

But if it makes you feel better I can say they were a bad fit

Well in reality you have totally new control arms so you can feel good about that.

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Old 07-05-2006, 12:26 AM   #15
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Default Re: FINALLY cured my front wheel shake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesideup
Yes they are a perfect fit. The old bushings just get pushed out and then you install the new bushings.

I think they are ten bucks or so.


Live and learn... Yea, you're right, I "might" have also needed the ball joints or the inner pivot bushings...

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