1987 Ford Tempo car shimmys

Tiny
BRUMBAUGH23
  • MEMBER
  • 1987 FORD TEMPO
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 185,000 MILES
Why does my car shimmy. It turns when it wants to. I have really no control of the steering. I have changed new wheel bearing, tie rods, a arms. Please help me
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Monday, February 15th, 2010 AT 1:10 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
At what speeds is the effect the worse? When/why did this problem start? Is the car a rust bucket? Are the tires and rims good and strate? A tire with a broken/belt/ cord can cause many shake/shimmy problems. The main sway bar on these cars is the primary stabilizer for the whole front end. All the mounts and bushings must be there and secure. Have you done an alignment? Bad toe in can cause much steering trouble.
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Monday, February 15th, 2010 AT 10:03 PM
Tiny
BRUMBAUGH23
  • MEMBER
It started when I replaced both lower control arm ball joints. It does it really when im doing anything over 15 miles per hour. The alignment is fine I believe. Everything is tightened good on all the parts I recently changed. Its a decent car. Has 185,000 miles but not in the worst condition. I just want to figure this out I have put around 500 dollars into getting all this figured out. Cant afford to put much more into it. Please help me
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Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 AT 10:27 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Another thing to consider is the axles! You messed with them when you did the ball joints/wheel bearings. If you pulled an axle out of its socket far enough for a ball to drop out this will cause a wobble like effect that will increase with speed. I am refering to the inner axle joint. It has built in slide like play to compensate for small length adjustments for the suspension travel. But if you exceed this built in play a ball can drop out of the joint and into the boot. That's the way I remember it anyway. Jack each front side of the car up separately and run car in drive and watch for problem to show itself. Use a good jack and safety block on rear tire to prevent disasters.
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Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 AT 2:47 AM
Tiny
BRUMBAUGH23
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Is there any way this could be caused by a bent frame? Someone told me that it was a bent frame?
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Friday, February 19th, 2010 AT 8:10 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
So how and when did you bend the frame?Which incedently would make car steer funny? All you did was change some parts? Did you try jacking up each side and running to watch/feel for shimmy? How bad were your ball joints? New 1's could put front end out of line if old 1's were were really sloppy/shot.
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Saturday, February 20th, 2010 AT 2:30 AM
Tiny
BRUMBAUGH23
  • MEMBER
The car hit a snowbank before I bought it. The ball joints werent bad when I changed them, it was the bushings that were shot. The bolt that holds the control arm to the ball joints tore through the bushings. Would a bent frame make my car wobble?
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Saturday, February 20th, 2010 AT 1:52 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
So your saying the car wobbled when you bought it? Easy enough to check fro frame bend. Jack up front of car and look for damage. If everything looks symetrical it's likely ok. Why not have a shop look at it and tell them the symptoms. Another thing I just remembered as I am having a wobble problem myself on my van. Truns out to be the REAR TIRE is bad with a bulge! Jacked it up and spun it and sure enough, out of round. Makes the front feel wobbly for some reason. Diff from you is mine wobbles slow but goes away when you speed up. I am still thinking you have a bad inner axle joint. They can dry up inside(no lube) even if boot aint ripped!
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Saturday, February 20th, 2010 AT 8:36 PM
Tiny
BRUMBAUGH23
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Its not like the car woobbles. Ill be driving striaght and the car will jerk right or left. And there is no way that I can control it.
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Saturday, February 20th, 2010 AT 9:50 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Are we talikng driving on dry roads? Measure the distance between the tires on the front and backside of tire. The front measurement should be a bout 1/8 inch shorter. I use a metal measuring tape an I hook it in the tread groove of 1 tire and stretch across to other tire. Make sure tape stays strate and dont get caught on frame of car.
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Saturday, February 20th, 2010 AT 10:28 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Why not go to local tire or muffler shop and have them check out your front end? Tell then what it's doing first.
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Saturday, February 20th, 2010 AT 10:37 PM

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