1991 Chevy Cavalier Severe Shaking @ High Speeds

Tiny
AUBE002
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,350 MILES
Hello! I know cars pretty well but this problem is eluding me. As stated I have a '91 Cavalier. Yes, she is old but still running well except for one thing. When I take her to about 115KPH or above, she shakes very violently. I mean bad. I have had all the wheels and bearings inspected and there is no problem. Tires are brand new too. The thing is that the shaking goes from severe to very light, again above 115KPH, without any reason. IE it does not seem to be linked with RPM's turning direction ect. It feels like it is coming from the front but I cannot be certain. I suppose I say the front because when it shakes, my dash looks and feels llike it is going to fall off BUT my steeringwheel does not shake at all.

HELP!
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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 7:45 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
OK you need to check the suspension for warn bushings. I would check the rear trailing arm and track arm bushing and check the struts all around. Also check the front control arm bushing and lower ball joints and check the tie rods inners and outers. Something is either loose or there is a tire problem. Also check the rear bearings too. Never assume that all shaking comes from the front it can come from the rear and shake the whole car. Get back to me and let me know what you find.
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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 10:10 AM
Tiny
AUBE002
  • MEMBER
Suspension (front and back) and ball joints recently replaced. Tie rods serviced at the same time. Took it to the dealer for alignment. Rear bearings have no play and spin well. No humming associated with the skaking. Tires and rims brand new and properly aligned. I will check the trailing and track arms and the front contol arm bushings tonight.

Thanks!
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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 10:57 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Don't forget to check the rear bushing in the rear suspension too. It may be coming from the rear. I never assume that a part that has been replaced it always good, I would check the front ball joints just to be sure anyway. Let me know what you find.
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Thursday, May 7th, 2009 AT 9:59 AM
Tiny
AUBE002
  • MEMBER
I checked all the underbody with a mechanic friend (since he has a hoist) and everything is tight. Nothing is missing. He was surprised as to how well the vehicle has held together.

The one thing he suggested was that it may be the tires. I did state that the tires were new but I failed to note that they are new to me. I purchased them from a scrap yard. The treads on them are practically brand new so I assumed they were good. The scrap yard states that they check the tires for quality ect. Could this be the issue?
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Monday, May 11th, 2009 AT 12:32 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Yes it could be. Have you had them balanced and checked for any seperation? Sorry when you said new I figured you ment that they were new. I would get them checked out good just to rule that out and mention to the tire shop that you are having a vibration problem so they will look for anything out of the ordinary. Let me know what you find. Thanks
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Monday, May 11th, 2009 AT 7:13 PM
Tiny
NUCLEARPUSHER
  • MEMBER
Also I would have the tires re-balanced. That seems to be a major shaking isuue at higher speeds. Also, a sticking caliper or warped rotors or drums will cause the same symptoms.
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Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 AT 8:41 PM
Tiny
AUBE002
  • MEMBER
So I went out and spent the cash purchasing 4 new tires straight from the dealer. Took the car to about 125-130kph and the shake has significantly reduced. There is still a shake, yes but no where near where it was. The remaining shake, should I chalk it up to an 18 year old car?
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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 AT 10:14 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Well good most of it is fixed. The only other thing I could think of would be wheel bearing slightly worn. Thanks again.
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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 AT 9:27 PM

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