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      01-17-2011, 08:50 AM   #1
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Wobble

So this has taken a while to work through but I am out of ideas.

When I swapped the run flats for normal tyres last year, at the same time, I acquired a wobble. It happened at around 50mph on smooth straight roads and you could see it manifest itself through the steering wheel.

You could see the wheel wobble a few mm back and forth at perhaps 3 times per second. Easy to drive through but there none the less.

I had the wheels balanced and then balanced again and again.

I had the tyres refitted to the wheels.

I swapped the wheels front to back just in case there was a bad rim.

I took my full size spare and swapped each wheel in turn just in case there was a bad rim.

None of this solved the problem.

I asked the dealer at service to take a look to ensure all the running gear was OK. He told me it was.

So the only thing that changed with the car at the time of the wobble starting was the application of non run flat tyres.

So I put it down to a mismatch between the Conti SP3 tyres on a 17" with a view to choosing something different next time round.

So that time has come and this morning I have had 2 new Michelin SP3s fitted. At the same time I have swapped front to back with the new tyres on the front of the car, all balanced and good to go.

The wobble is still there

So any ideas guys.

It feels like a balance problem. It isn't

Unless all 5 rims I have are not straight, it's not the rims

It's not a bad tyre

The dealer says everything else is good.

Any clues?

Something is causing this as I am sure nobody else on here has this problem however if I just throw this at the dealer it's going to cost a fortune especially as the computer isn't going to give them the answer.

Help.
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      01-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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Before I got to the point in the post where you fitted new tyres again, I was thinking accuracy of hub/mounting. As new tyres haven't solved the issue, I do suspect one front hub (with wheel mounted) is not running true. Could there be some contamination/corrosion on the hub faces that cause wheel runout? Often occurs if the discs are removed and mating faces not cleaned properly before refitting.

I assume you have jacked up each front, and spun the wheels to see if there is run-out, to the eye.

Can be done with DI (Dial Indicator) or the typically more accurate DTI (Dial Test Indicator), on the hub and/or the wheel rim edge.

One other issue that can cause an odd wobble is a sticking brake caliper, but the speed range is a bit narrow to see that as the issue. Also it usually manifests itself in braking.


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      01-17-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Before I got to the point in the post where you fitted new tyres again, I was thinking accuracy of hub/mounting. As new tyres haven't solved the issue, I do suspect one front hub (with wheel mounted) is not running true. Could there be some contamination/corrosion on the hub faces that cause wheel runout? Often occurs if the discs are removed and mating faces not cleaned properly before refitting.

I assume you have jacked up each front, and spun the wheels to see if there is run-out, to the eye.

Can be done with DI (Dial Indicator) or the typically more accurate DTI (Dial Test Indicator), on the hub and/or the wheel rim edge.

One other issue that can cause an odd wobble is a sticking brake caliper, but the speed range is a bit narrow to see that as the issue. Also it usually manifests itself in braking.


HighlandPete
So thinking this through, in November 2009 when the car had just days left on the maintenance contract, it had new front hubs, disks and pads. It was also tracked.

This was the last time the front running gear was off the car and the only time I can think that what you describe could have happened.

The non run flats went on in April and I did not notice the wobble in the mean time.

Could I have gone for 5 months and not noticed this? Doubt it unless the run flat ride was masking the wobble.

Could any of the above have been caused by being knocked at the time of the tyres being fitted (I am grasping at straws here) as it sounds like I am going to have to shell out cash here to get this fixed and it could get expensive?

My next question is going to be about a good independent garage in the South Lincs area.

Not happy.
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      05-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #4
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OK

A few months later and things are no better.

Indeed a trip onto the continent the other day and the wobble actually gets rather bad once the car gets to 3 figures. Enough to feel unsafe.

I need to get this fixed.

So I can go to my dealer and throw a lot of cash at them as the swap one part after another charging each time.

Can anybody recommend a specialist independent who would have the right skills to deal with this? Even if I need to take a day out and travel to get it fix, so be it. I have to resolve this.
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      05-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #5
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I reckon a dynamic on-car wheel balancing machine will sort you out in no time.
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      05-19-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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don't know too much technically but could it be a worn suspension rubber thing?
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      05-20-2011, 08:24 AM   #7
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It could be, but I wouldn't expect bush failure on such a new car.
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      05-20-2011, 09:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by m@rk View Post
OK

A few months later and things are no better.

Indeed a trip onto the continent the other day and the wobble actually gets rather bad once the car gets to 3 figures. Enough to feel unsafe.

I need to get this fixed.

So I can go to my dealer and throw a lot of cash at them as the swap one part after another charging each time.

Can anybody recommend a specialist independent who would have the right skills to deal with this? Even if I need to take a day out and travel to get it fix, so be it. I have to resolve this.
If the wobble didn't move with the wheels then it ain't the wheels / tyres.

It can't be anything to do with RFT/non RFT either.

It all points to run out, probably at one wheel/hub interface, surface contamination introduced to a hub/wheel face when you had non RFTs fitted. More likely the hub face as the wobble doesn't move when you rotate the wheels on the car. Is the front disc securing screw fully screwed down on both front hubs? If its worked loose and become proud it will prevent flush fitting of the wheel.

Take your front wheels off and use a stanley-blade type paint scraper to ensure that the disc hub and wheel face are perfectly free from contaminants or lumps and bumps.

Even a thin flake of wheel paint or rust stuck to the hub face will cause the wheel to run out when fitted on the car.

Let us know how you get on....
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      05-20-2011, 10:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboy View Post
If the wobble didn't move with the wheels then it ain't the wheels / tyres.

It can't be anything to do with RFT/non RFT either.

It all points to run out, probably at one wheel/hub interface, surface contamination introduced to a hub/wheel face when you had non RFTs fitted. More likely the hub face as the wobble doesn't move when you rotate the wheels on the car. Is the front disc securing screw fully screwed down on both front hubs? If its worked loose and become proud it will prevent flush fitting of the wheel.

Take your front wheels off and use a stanley-blade type paint scraper to ensure that the disc hub and wheel face are perfectly free from contaminants or lumps and bumps.

Even a thin flake of wheel paint or rust stuck to the hub face will cause the wheel to run out when fitted on the car.

Let us know how you get on....
+1

As I mentioned in my post at the beginning, I'd still suspect a problem with run-out. You may need the discs off to clean and check out each mounting face.

You mentioned a 50mph wobble, and now it is also there into 3 figure speeds. That is still a clue to an unbalanced wheel, often happens at around double the lower speed, (due to harmonics).


I'd certainly take another look at the hubs/discs, and measure for run-out.

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      05-20-2011, 10:11 AM   #10
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I agree with Highland Pete and Doughboy in that it sounds like a run-out issue.
As quick test and if you don't have any equipment, such as a DTI, to hand, you could jack each wheel clear of the ground and turn it whilst gradually sliding something fairly heavy along the ground towards the tyre. If the contact is intermittent with the wheel turning, it indicates a run-out problem.
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      05-20-2011, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
+1

As I mentioned in my post at the beginning, I'd still suspect a problem with run-out. You may need the discs off to clean and check out each mounting face.

You mentioned a 50mph wobble, and now it is also there into 3 figure speeds. That is still a clue to an unbalanced wheel, often happens at around double the lower speed, (due to harmonics).


I'd certainly take another look at the hubs/discs, and measure for run-out.

HighlandPete
There is every chance the higher speed wobble has always been there but of course I don't often drive at 3 figure speeds hence have not spotted before.

I think in the first instance I will head out this weekend and pick up a trolley jack and a brace and have a look at the hubs as you suggest. Personally I am running out of other ideas.

I know it started when the tyres were changed last year. At that point, the hubs, disks and pads were just 3 months old on the front and 5 months old on the back so pretty new.

But we have had the wheels balanced and even swapped the tyres and rims around on the car and it doesn't change which suggests NOT tyres and NOT rims.

Your suggestions here about the hub make sense so I will try that theory next.

I shall report back.

Thanks
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      05-21-2011, 08:21 AM   #12
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OK.

One trolley jack purchase later and I think I have found the problem and my wobble certainly appears to have gone for now.

So looking at the image below, the number 1 on the face of the wheel is at the 12 o'clock position. If we then number the holes in a clock wise direction 1 through 5 the rest will make scene.

When taking the wheel off, screws 1 (the one at the 1 o'clock position) and screw 4 (the one near the 9 o'clock position) were extremely difficult to get out. The other three were just fine. Once the wheel was off, again I could screw in numbers 2,3 and 5 by hand no problem but 1 and 5 just would not shift without the help of a wheel brace and a bit of brute force.

Looking at the bolts themselves (one of which is the locking one), the lower half is very silver.

In other words, I believe that bolts 1 and 4 have been cross threaded and forced in by an air gun which would explain why the problem started immediately after new tyres were fitted.

Add to this that when you put a wheel back on with the number 1 at 12 o'clock, often you would put in screws 1 and 4 first any way. The garage I have used for tyres since also uses an air gun so they would not have noticed the stiffness.

So to test the theory that by using cross threaded bolts to mount the wheel and thus mount it slightly off line, I put the wheel back on and inserted bolts 2,3 and 5 first. Tightened them up and only then put in the other 2. A quick test run and right up to license loosing speeds the car is solid. Not a wobble to be found.

So I believe that this is the cause of the problem (and I am absolutely livid about it)

I have swapped the stripped bolts with spare ones I had and they are even harder to get in so I believe the thread on the hub itself is stripped which means (I think) that I must be looking at a new hub

So do these need to be replaced in pairs?

Where would be the best place to get it done as I am guessing my dealer is going to want a small fortune to fix this one?

Any thoughts or does what I say add up and sound right?

Thanks
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      05-21-2011, 01:36 PM   #13
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Mark, you can swap one hub its no big deal and they are not matched in any way.

But you 'might' have issues with the disk thickness soon if the whole thing was out of kilter.
Just try the new hub and see how it goes, worst case you may need a pair of discs later in its life.

I was about to blame a steering tie bar until your last post

I think you are correct in your assumption.
Perhaps try running a tap through the existing hub holes first and see how they respond.

And as for the air gun - I would can that garage anyhow as you must still finish with a torque wrench.
And pisssed bolts just wont torque right.
You were lucky you didnt lose a wheel...
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      05-21-2011, 02:46 PM   #14
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Mark, you can swap one hub its no big deal and they are not matched in any way.

But you 'might' have issues with the disk thickness soon if the whole thing was out of kilter.
Just try the new hub and see how it goes, worst case you may need a pair of discs later in its life.

That would really really annoy me. The disks, pads and hubs were all changed at the same time. The front brakes are currently showing 70,000 miles remaining so to have to change them early would hurt even more (not to mention cost).

Quote:
I was about to blame a steering tie bar until your last post

I think you are correct in your assumption.
Perhaps try running a tap through the existing hub holes first and see how they respond.

And as for the air gun - I would can that garage anyhow as you must still finish with a torque wrench.
The garage that did the damage are no longer local to me so not somewhere I would be using anyhow.

Quote:
And pisssed bolts just wont torque right.
You were lucky you didnt lose a wheel...
Looking at how jammed the bolts were into the hub, I have a feeling the wheels were going nowhere.

Just really really pi$$ed off but am going to have a few runs out in the car over the next few days just to be 100% sure things are fixed before getting the hub swapped.
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      05-24-2011, 07:02 AM   #15
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Just really really pi$$ed off but am going to have a few runs out in the car over the next few days just to be 100% sure things are fixed before getting the hub swapped.
Might have spoken too soon.

Or maybe the damage is done.

In any case, not convinced that the wobble is 100% gone.

But this also means I have run out of cheap options so I need to hand it over to a garage to resolve. This is going to get very expensive. I can tell.
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      05-24-2011, 09:26 AM   #16
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So to test the theory that by using cross threaded bolts to mount the wheel and thus mount it slightly off line, I put the wheel back on and inserted bolts 2,3 and 5 first.
The wheel is accurately and securely centred on the hub spigot, not the bolts. So it's not really possible for the wheel to go off-centre due to cross threaded bolts.

It could be unevenly tightened causing a wobble, but not off centre.

Are they the right bolts? They've not been muddled up from another vehicle by the fitters? They should be M12x1.5 I think.

What sort of monkey can't put wheel bolts in FFS?
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      05-24-2011, 01:15 PM   #17
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Are they the right bolts? They've not been muddled up from another vehicle by the fitters? They should be M12x1.5 I think.
I can confirm they are the right bolts. Indeed I actually had some spare ones so checked with them as well just in case it was the bolts not the holes that were cross threaded.

Quote:
What sort of monkey can't put wheel bolts in FFS?
Looking around the forums, it would appear to be more common than you would think
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      05-24-2011, 03:10 PM   #18
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M@rk

Reading your updates, I'd still check the hub/assembly for run-out. You can't be sure what really has happened now.

The fact you thought it was sorted, (obviously the wobble changed?), indicates the problem is in the mounting, some place. I can't see the hub flange itself being distorted by a cross thread, but don't rule it out, stranger things have happened.

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      05-24-2011, 03:14 PM   #19
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M@rk

Reading your updates, I'd still check the hub/assembly for run-out. You can't be sure what really has happened now.

The fact you thought it was sorted, (obviously the wobble changed?), indicates the problem is in the mounting, some place. I can't see the hub flange itself being distorted by a cross thread, but don't rule it out, stranger things have happened.

HighlandPete
Thanks

I think the next step is to pass this to the dealer and see what happens.

The potential bill however really really scares me however the thought of what might happen if I don't get this fixed scares me more.
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      05-24-2011, 03:48 PM   #20
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The hub flange can indeed be out of shape after butchery like that.
The area around the hole may well be proud now.

Wheel off and take a rule to it. Or DTI if you have one to see the runout.
I think you should expect < 0.01mm ?
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