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Thread: Front End Shimmy 93SLS ?

  1. #1
    Murphyg's Avatar
    Murphyg is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2001 STS
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Front End Shimmy 93SLS ?

    Will apoligize now for such a long post. But wanted to make sure I didnt exclude anything.Soooo
    Sorry for such a long post
    Have searched this forum but didnt find anything that was the same. Close so saved that, but not really the same. Most anything that sounds close is at higher speeds. Do sometimes feel a slight vibration at high speeds but nothing like this :

    Started getting a shimmy in the steereing wheel at low speeds. Steering wheel would start to shimmy round 50K (30mph). But would then subside around 60K (40mph).
    Took it to the shop hopin that was maybe a balance problem. Asked them to do that, but also look for anything else that might be the culprit.
    Balanced and rotated all tires. Was told that nothing else was seen that could be the problem. Paid my 80 bucks (had oil, lube and filter as well), and left hopin to be happy.
    Drove the car home and it was smooth as glass. I was ecstatic !

    Almost forget to mention: Was unsure but believe that my front brake rotors may be slightly warped. Last brake job I did I had them machined to save a buck. The previous owner had put the hard compand pads on and the right side ripped the crap out of the rotor. Apparently the piston in that caliper has a sticky spot. But removed the piston and cleaned it off then switched sides with the machined rotors. That was about 8mths ago. All was well for about 6mths then started to feel pulsating. Assume the thinner machined rotors had started to warp. But had expected that.
    Had too add that. Really dont want to miss anything. Want to give as much info as possible.

    Like I said. Had the balance and rotation done and when I left everything was as smooth as glass. Even the pulsation from the brakes was gone. So I was Extatic!
    But approx a week later started to feel the shimmy comeing back (at about 50K/30mph) but very slightly. And has since progressed to the same thing as before.
    Couple things that I might not have noticed the first time but do see and feel now. Possibly cause Ive left it to feel it out:
    Remember this is all at low speeds.
    1) Shimmy in the steering wheel does not happen every single time I pull from a stop and approach 50k. Have to say about 80% of the time.
    2) Have been feeling like the whole car is bouncing at times. Not that often but every now and then. This is also at low speeds.
    3) Just noticed this a couple days ago. Might have been by chance that I was looking at my hood ornament as I was pulling from a stop and saw that my whole front end appeard to be shifting (shimmying) to the left and right. That also seemed to correspond with the sensation of the whole vehicle bouncing. That happens before hitting 50k/30mph .
    Not very frequently does that happened though.
    The bouncing sensation and the whole front end shifting does not happen everytime before the steering wheel shimmy. That is just something new Ive noticed that happens periodicly.
    The steering wheel shimmy though is about 80% of the time when I pull from a stop. Like Id already said
    But should also add that not as bad and sometimes not at all if I pull from a stop with some aggression.

    Very slight vibration at high speeds but feel and see it all at low speeds. (allignment appears to be fine)

    Sorry for the extended post but wanted to give as much info as I could. :drinker

    Had a shop look at it and said they could see nothing else off. Read some of the other posts and noticed the same kinda response. And those where responses from actuall dealers. So thought I would give as much as I can.

    Would like to know what I should start lookin at.
    Does any of that sound like something inperticular ?

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  3. #2
    Vesicant's Avatar
    Vesicant is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): None :(
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Jacksonville, FL

    Re: Front End Shimmy 93SLS ?

    Wheel bearings... that piston getting stuck probably made enough odd vibration and stress to damage. Not sure if its only that one or both... only way sure is to replace both.

  4. #3
    Murphyg's Avatar
    Murphyg is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2001 STS
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Re: Front End Shimmy 93SLS ?

    Thats interesting !
    The fact that a sticky piston within a break caliper could create vibrations to eventually damage a wheel bearing !
    That is something.
    Amazing how one assumed simple, and then neglected problem could turn and bite you in the ass. And seeing as that bite doesnt hit your ass till it goes through your wallet !! Damned good info !
    Have saved something that Id searched before :

    If you have access to tools, jack the front of the car up to the front tires are off the ground.
    then (do this to each side) grab the bottom of the tire and pull in and out with a bit of force.
    also do this by grabbing the sides and pulling in and out as well.
    If there is play when you do this, the bottom will tell you if the ball joint is bad, and the middle will tell you if your tie rods are bad. Also, if it moves no matter where you pull and push, suspect a wheel bearing.
    You can crawl under and see if any linkages are loose or look for parts that are worn as well. You might get lucky and find it.
    If you are not very mechanically inclined you may want to take it to a good front end shop, or back to the dealer to diagnose the problem.
    Other things to suspect is bent rim, bad CV joint, and worn strut, and maybe more if I've missed something.

    So I can use that to check out what your sayin.

    Thanx JefferyG. very much appreciated
    Your explanation as to how and why is an unexpected bonus. Deffinately help for all into the future.

    Any other input from others would be appreciated seeing as ill be there lookin anyways. Just tryin to cover all my bases at once is all.

    Thanx again JefferyG.

  5. #4
    Murphyg's Avatar
    Murphyg is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2001 STS
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Re: Front End Shimmy 93SLS ?

    Thought Id update as well as ask something else.
    Did an inspection and believe that the problem is a stabalizer link. (not the stabilizer bar)
    Raised one side and pulled hard on the tire and everything was solid as a rock.
    Lowered that side and did the other side and got the same thing.
    Then raised both sides and tried again. Seemed to get some flexing when I pulled the tires from the sides but think that is just steering flexing. Didnt neccesarily get actual movement, was more like a very slight, tight springy kinda flexing. Nothing of any real sinificance.

    Then removed the tires and checked all the boots and started pulling on all the rods and shafts.
    What I discovered was that the upper part of the passenger side stabalizer link (where it joins to the bracket thats on the strut) would move in and out along the bolt when I pulled and pushed on it. Seems that the bushing is shot. The other side does not do that.

    Now for my questions.
    When I grasp the link, (the good one), and twist it left to right it moves (compressing the bushings) as it should. But how easilly should it do that? How firm should those bushings be?
    I figure if those bushings are too soft and on there way out I might as well change that side too. But keep in mind that when I pull on that link (in and out) It doesnt move. It seems to be pretty firm.

    When I do change the bad and or both of them, is it best to have both front tires off the ground? Or would it be ok to just jack up one side at a time?

    When I disconnect the link should I be concerned about anything dropping and having to fight to line up the new one? Is there anything that I should maybe support before disconnecting?

    By the looks of things it appears to be very straight forward. Just 2 bolts. One on the top and one on the bottom. Other than them probably being slightly seized that is. Just want to know if there is anything Im not seeing that could become a hassle?

    One last thing before I forget. Like I said everything else appears to be rock solid other than that one bushing. And either way I am going to replace it and hope for the best. But untill I can get the part and replace it, am wondering if it stands to reason that that is what is causing the problems that Im having?
    I will find out Im sure, but until then am curious what my chances are that that will correct the problem or, if I should be prepared to go back to square one and have to start looking elswhere?


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