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Can't solve cyclic front end vibration (Solved)

Where to begin with this one /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banghead.gif So for the last few months the steering wheel will vibrate at 65+, but it doesn't do it constantly. It comes and goes. It's very cyclic.

So I had the tires balanced. Still did it.

Put front tires on rear. Still did it.

Pulled both CV axles and steering rack. Passenger inner boot had a pin hole, replaced boot. Driver side carrier bearing had some play, replaced it. Replaced both steering rack bushings and boots. Both ball joints and tie rods are new. Control arm bushings are new. All motor mounts are new. Drive shaft carrier bearings and isolators are new. Front rotors were slightly warped, had them turned. Driver's wheel bearing not loose, though I haven't ruled it out. Passenger wheel bearing was replaced 6 months ago.

So here's the interesting part. When I had the driver's side axle apart to replace the carrier bearing I noticed I could see the CV from the splined end of the axle cup. Not only could I see in there, but there were pieces in there. So, I took the boot off and found a freeze plug and some other random part. It looks like a small ring or bearing race of some kind. I think it got in there during assembly (I'll see if I can get a friend to post pics.) I know where the freeze plug goes, but I have no idea what the other part is. However, the CV joint is in perfect shape. Nothing is missing from it. It is identical to the passenger one. The inside of the cup where it rides in is perfectly smooth. I can't find anything wrong with the CV. And these are 3 year old raxles CVs (Marty hasn't been much help with this even though I sent him pics of the stuff I found. He responded once and didn't answer half my questions. He hasn't written me back after my last reply almost a month ago.)

So, I don't know what to do. Can a CV be toast and look totally fine? All the needle bearings are there, everything is nice and smooth and tight. I don't see how it could be broken, but I'm not an expert. I need advice. Also, is there anything else that could cause a cyclic vibration?
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Well-known member
May 4, 2003
Clarksville TN
Factory wheels or after market wheels? Could need centering rings
Is the support bearing on the drivers side front axle good?
Does it do it with the clutch pushed in or just while out?
Under a hard load or cruising?

One thing not addressed is the strut tops in front. I replaced mine with evo ones because I had them more than any other reason. The evos are 3 on 120 degress where ares are 90 /90 /180. The evos have much more elastomeric material and inter steel rings for more support than the vr4 or the shorter dsm's but the strut tube size is the same and bolts up to the struts fine just have to drill the strut towers for 2 more holes. Anyway rabling , mine must have been bad and I didn't know it. Noticeable difference and vibration in the steering wheel did go down.

Thanks for the reply curtis.

To answer your questions:

I'm using factory Galant GSX wheels.

I just replaced the support bearing a few days ago hoping it would solve this problem.

I'm not sure if it does it when the clutch is pushed in or not. Next time I'm driving on the freeway I'll check.

It only does it when I'm cruising at freeway speeds.

I replaced the strut tops with new OEM units late last year.

Thinking of struts though, mine are fairly old. Do you think they may cause a problem?

I think I fixed it. I pulled the car in the shop after work and checked things over once more. One of the driver's side steering rack mount bolts wouldn't tighten all the way. The threads were pulling out. So, I drilled both of them out, sent a 1/2-20 tap through them (we don't have much metric stuff at work), put some new bolts in, and cranked them down. Absolutely no vibration on the way home /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
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