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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I have a vibration from the steering wheel from about 45-65, gets less worse up to 80 then comes back worse at higher speeds (80+). Sometimes it will come on worse when I hit a bump and when braking the car will wander all over the place randomly. I have road force balanced the tires in which the highest one was 8lbs and they all balanced out fine. The only play I have is on the drivers side of the rack, I pulled off the tie rod boot and watched as I shook the wheel and the shaft that goes into the rack will go up and down, so im thinking the rack is no good. I just want to see if anyone has had this problem, and or if the rack will fix this issue. Thanks
 

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Loose or worn parts don't cause vibration but they do allow it to get bad. First make sure all of your tires are properly inflated. Next check the date code and if they are over 7 years old replace them. If they aren't old, take them off and feel all around the tread and sidewalls for lumps, bumps, waves, or ripples. Look for flat spots, cord showing, missing wheel weights, and general symmetry. If they look good try getting them rebalanced. That should do a lot to eliminate the vibration. Now with the wheels back on shake the wheels side-to-side and up and down. If there is any play or looseness find the source and fix it. If there is any lost motion in the steering or the steering wheel is not centered when you are going straight you have worn parts and/or you need an alignment. The car should not pull of "lead" to one side or the other on a flat (not crowned) road. All of the tires should be wearing evenly. If not you need to find out why.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Do this: free & cheap test

Raise one side of the wheel using the scissor jack. Raise it about 4" from the ground.
Get a bar and put under the middle of the tire, rack it up and down -- Is there any play?
Next, bear hug the tire and rack it side to side like racking your girl in tango moves.
Is there any play?

Then do it to the other front tire.

You have to eliminate the suspension problem first - if they are tight, you can go on and blame the tire - balancing & uneven (bend) wheels & rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What makes me think it is not a wheel/ tire issue is first off that I already road force balance the assemblies (which is the best way to do it), and also that the vibration comes and goes with severity, also a bump in the road will trigger it to be worse. I have never seen a wheel or tire cause a vibration that comes and goes, its usually there or not. Which is why it is leading me elsewhere, as I stated when shaking the wheel the only play I have is in the steering rack, the bushings are original and I plan in the near future replacing all the bushings in the car with the poly ones. Im going to either replace or rebuild the rack anyway seeing that there is play in it, im just curious if that could cause the vibration.
 

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yes, that's why I said check ball joints and rack. As the wheel gets bumped by an impact, the loose rack or ball joint will oscillate with a low resonant frequency, which you feel as a vibration in the steering or the suspension (though that can also be a blown shock). It is easy to check your ball joints. Replace them if needed since they can only make things worse.

A wheel balance issue will usually be a constant vibration at around 45-60-80 and then again at higher speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok so apart of this......or all of the vibration is my own stupidity, my car is a 91se which obviously has the 15in wheels in front and 16in in back stock. The P.O. or someone before him put the 5 spoke oz wheels that came on the s4s. I loosened the bolts of the front wheels and moved it up and down and there is play on the hub (does not sit flush), the rears seem to be ok. I measured the hub size and its 59.9mm, because of my micrometer I couldn't get a very accurate reading on the inside of the wheel but around 61mm. Can anyone confirm that the s4s wheels on my 91 need spacers? And if so what size if anyone has done this already? And also are the rears actually ok without any spacers or do they need them too (like I said I didn't feel any play on the hub on the rear but it may be minimal). Nothing like overlooking the obvious!!!:panic:
 

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The SE has 60mm front hub spigots. The S4, S4s, V8 all had a 58mm front hub spigot. So when people put the later wheels, on the SE, they usually bore the wheel out to 60mm to match the SE hub... Sounds like yours is bored a bit too big. The wheels are hub-centric, so you'll need to do something about that, like a spacer ring, though 1mm is pretty thin....
 

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Gotcha. I forgot that the bolts are not cone shaped where they meet the wheels.

For the enlightened, I have only owned this car for a few weeks, having been out of the Esprit world for 15 years. Before that I owned several over a long period of time. Don't worry, I've been the brunt of forum jokes before and can take it.

Getting back to bbarton's original problem - if you are in the US you can send the wheel to one of many wheel remanufacturing companies like TransWheel. They can repair a wheel that is significantly damaged such that you would never know it wasn't new. I'm sure they could fill in the area that was over-bored, and redrill to the necessary diameter. Besides the nominal diameter they will need a tolerance to keep it tight but still able to be mounted. You can send them some really ugly wheels, and for $150+/-, they will come back as new. You don't need to scrap the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
They looked like they were bored pretty clean, by looking at them you would never know. Im going to see if I can get some spacers made up to make up the difference.
 
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