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Thread: Steering Wheel Shimmy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Steering Wheel Shimmy

    About six months ago, I fitted new pad and discs. it sailed through the MOT in November, but a few weeks ago when braking at some speeds there is a noticeable shimmy in the steering wheel.

    Now, the common assumption is to suggest warped discs, but whenever I've experienced that particular problem with other cars, you can also feel it through the brake pedal. Not so in this case. Also, it seems to be speed related, I can feel it at some speeds as I brake, not at others. The steering is perfectly steady at other times which suggests that the front wheels are not out of balance, but I might get them checked anyway.

    The roads around here are badly potholed in places and avoiding them is work of art, so I'm not ruling out alignment problems.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    First thing to check is wheel bolts. Then proceed according to below guide.
    https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-fix...shimmy-4154504
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Disc not truly mounted on hub. Common place, the remedy is to remove, clean thoroughly and refit.
    Another possibility is that cars that spend a lot of time on motorways can develop high spots on the disc caused by the slightest of out of true constantly kissing the pad which eventually affects the truth of the disc sufficiently to become problematic. Localised heat expansion is at the root of it I think - with an element of glazing thrown in for good measure.

  4. #4
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    I had a similar problem a few years back. The car drove fine but squirmed about under braking.
    My problem was caused by worm wishbone bushes, causing the wheel alignment to alter under braking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr T View Post
    I had a similar problem a few years back. The car drove fine but squirmed about under braking.
    My problem was caused by worm wishbone bushes, causing the wheel alignment to alter under braking.
    My vote is with Mr T given the fact that nothing is felt through the brake pedal.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmilysDad View Post
    My vote is with Mr T given the fact that nothing is felt through the brake pedal.
    My 450 wishbone bushes were once worn loose and metal part almost gone due to rust. Brakes were still fine no pull and no steering wheel vibration.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmilysDad View Post
    My vote is with Mr T given the fact that nothing is felt through the brake pedal.
    Shimmy and squirm aint the same thing.
    Anyway, a disc mounted out of true wont necessarily be felt at the pedal as when one pad is forced in, the other moves out so no fluid displacement so nothing at pedal.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinger View Post
    Shimmy and squirm aint the same thing.
    Anyway, a disc mounted out of true wont necessarily be felt at the pedal as when one pad is forced in, the other moves out so no fluid displacement so nothing at pedal.
    Above may be true if you have frictionless slide pins, however in my eperience, any disc run out more than 0.1 mm will be felt at the pedal.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tolsen View Post
    Above may be true if you have frictionless slide pins, however in my eperience, any disc run out more than 0.1 mm will be felt at the pedal.
    Hypothetically, assuming frictionless pins, and radial line contact between pad and disc - then the pads would move in synch and leave the fluid upstream unaffected. The 'length' of the pad is all that skewers this.

    Anyway, to hell with hypothesis - there's something amiss on the OP's car that is likely brake, steering, or suspension related - which requires prompt investigation in the name of safety.

  10. #10
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    Front wishbone bushes can get in a very bad state.


    Those seen above were mine. Looks like they've been through wars. Main cause is of course the miserable Scottish weather and road salt.

    Only source new bushes from Smart. Only about 5 each with Smart discount usually granted if you ask. After market bushes can cost four times as much and are poor quality.

    These bushes are easily fitted provided you are Smart enough and got your head sufficiently screwed on.

    Need a few tools:

    Lidl pipe cutter and old muffler pipe.


    Front bearing centre bolt and nut to fit plus a couple of large heavy duty washers.


    Tool can be used to remove a good bush but once they get rusty like mine the only way is hammer, chisels and elbow grease.


    Fitting a new bush. Note grease is applied to ease assembly.


    Bush is pulled in by tightening the centre bolt and nut.


    First bush is fully home and only three more to fit:
    Last edited by tolsen; 26-02-2018 at 02:25 PM.
    Drives a Smart Cdi - 65 to 85 MPG

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