1997 Chrysler Town and Country 97 Chrysler TOWN & COUNT

Tiny
DJCPROJECT
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 127,000 MILES
HI THERE!
I HAVE A 97 TOWN & COUNTRY LXI 6CYL FWD/ NOW THIS IS THE PROBLEM! FOR SOME REASON THE STEERING WHEEL SHAKES AND A WOBBLE IT'S FEEL AND HEAR WHEN DRIVING! I CAN FEEL IT MORE, WHILE GOING AT A SLOWER SPEED AND IT'S LIKE IT COMING FROM THE FRONT DRIVER SIDE IT'S LIKE IF IT WAS ONE OF THE TIRE GONE BAD. BUT NOW I HAD CHANGE THE TIRES, THE DRIVER SIDE AXLE, DRIVER SIDE HUB AND BEARING! AND DONE WHEEL ALIGNMENT, AND STILL THE SAME PROBLEM. THERE'S NOTHING ELSE I CAN THINK OF THAT IT CAN BE AND IT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY. HELP PLEASE!
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Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 AT 1:19 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If it was aligned, the mechanic would have test-driven it. What did he say?

A common cause of steering wheel wobble is the right inner cv joint housing. The left one can do it too, but I changed ten right ones for every left one I found.

Other things to look for are a bent wheel and broken belt in a tire.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, April 19th, 2009 AT 3:49 AM
Tiny
DJCPROJECT
  • MEMBER
Thanks for replying well the mechanic after the aligment did drove it but I guess was one of those mechanics. Anyway! I just trying to fix it myself, can you please tell me what's exacly is the cv joint housing is this the actual end of the CV itself? And I think, that's the problem because I replased the brake rotors and still the problem is there! Thanks!
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 AT 1:36 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Each axle shaft has an inner and an outer joint. All four of them are sealed with flexible rubber boots. Only the inner joints can cause a wobble when they are worn. Inspection and repair is not a typical do-it-yourself project. In addition, new housings from the dealer cost more than an entire remanufactured half shaft now from aftermarket sources.

You might be able to replace a half shaft on your own, but there is one very important thing to watch out for. You will need to remove the large axle nut. Do not loosen that nut with the weight of the vehicle on the tire because you will instantly damage the wheel bearing. It will become noisy, and make a buzzing noise like an airplane motor. Jack the vehicle up so the tire is off the ground, then the nut can be loosened.

You'll need to remove the pinch bolt for the ball joint stud, then use a very long pry bar to lower the control arm and ball joint out of the spindle. At that point, you can pull the spindle out to remove the outer joint from it. Then you just pull the shaft out of the transmission. Have a drain pan ready because a little transmission fluid will leak out.

The following is a copy / paste version of a previous reply that might provide some useful information:

There are six rolling surfaces in each inner housing that rollers run on. They allow the shaft to change angles and length as the suspension goes up and down. These surfaces must be absolutely perfectly smooth or binding will occur under load. Grooves worn in these surfaces cause the rollers to bind, then the shaft pushes against the spindle and lower control arm, and you feel this as a wobble in the steering wheel. Everything seems to go in streaks. When I was at the dealership in the 1990s, I replaced about two dozen housings in a two-year period. All different years, big variety of mileage, but nine out of ten had a bad passenger-side housing. Don't know why, but the left side gave much less trouble. It was only the minivans that this happened to.

The symptom is a severe steering wheel wobble under light to moderate acceleration, up to around 35 mph. Once you let off the gas, the wobble was gone. The repair involves disassembling and inspecting the housing. If you can feel the slightest wave or bumps, you REALLY have junk! If all six surfaces feel ok, wash out the grease, then look at the reflections while shining a light on them, similar to looking at the ground reflecting in the car's body at a car show. Any slight wave in the reflection is cause to replace the housing. Complete rebuilt half-shafts now cost less than a new housing from the dealership.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 AT 11:58 PM
Tiny
DJCPROJECT
  • MEMBER
Thanks for replying again I appreciated! I'll do this project over the weekend! Thanks!
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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 2:03 PM
Tiny
DJCPROJECT
  • MEMBER
CHANGED THE RIGHT SIDE AXLE AND STILL THE PROBLEM IS THERE I'M STARRING TO THINK THAT THE PROBLEM IS ORIGINAL WITH THE VAN NOW, BECAUSE NOTHING SEEING TO FIX IT! IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER IDEA I'LL APPRECIATE THE REPLAY. THANKS!
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Thursday, May 14th, 2009 AT 5:40 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
It's not unheard of to get a remanufactured half shaft with a worn housing. If you still have the old shaft, I would take the inner joint apart to inspect the housing. If you see any slight wave, it was worn, and I would suspect the new one is too. Same with the left one. They give a lot fewer problems, but again, you might have gotten a bad one. If these were used shafts you installed, there's an even better chance one of them is worn.

You can also take a peek at the front engine mount. There's a bracket on the engine and another bracket on the frame under the radiator. Between them is a rubber mount that can slide sideways. That mount should be centered in the bracket. If it is positioned near one side of the bracket, the engine may need to be repositioned. That is done by loosening the two bolts on the top of the passenger-side mount, then prying it sideways with a pry bar. When the engine is not centered, one inner cv joint is over-extended and the rollers will hit the wire ring or fingers on the end of the housing, and the other inner joint will be collapsed too much causing it to bottom out in the housing.

Don't overlook a bent wheel or hub. You can see those by running it in gear while it's jacked up off the ground.

Caradiodoc
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Thursday, May 14th, 2009 AT 10:57 PM

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