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Old 04-13-2004, 03:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Violent shimmy

I'm working on trying to rid my front end of a violent shimmy and am about out of ideas, so I thought I would check in for some help here. The front is a Dana 60 out of 80's pickup I think (could be late 70's). When I hit a bump the front end goes into an extremely violent side to side shake. I thought this would be an excessive caster problem so I shimmed it to 4.5 degrees of positive caster. All the tierod and draglink ends are new. No steering stabalizer, no sway bar. Any ideas? I believe the wheel bearings and king pins are all okay. What are other possible sources of this? Steering box slop? It seems to have less than an eigth of a turn slop sitting still. Any help or solutions to similar problems would help. I am thinking of putting on a dual cartridge steering stabilizer to see if that helps. I was quoted 150 for one of these locally...how does that compare to others?
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Old 04-13-2004, 03:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i think a steering stabilizer would help alot.
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Old 04-13-2004, 04:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Many people put fender washers under their upper trunon caps to tighten up the front end (I think 1/2" washers with a 2"OD). Do a quick search for it and you should find the info. I've seen up to 3 washers per side used.

You could also use hydro assist.

You say excesive caster problems... you want more return to center to help get rid of death wobble... I forget witch was is positive but you want to tilt your pinion down to create more return to center.
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Old 04-13-2004, 06:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had the same problem after my 60 swap. I put 2 stabilizers on it and now she drives like a honda Although I think one will do the trick.
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Old 04-13-2004, 09:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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put the washers in....i have them in both my 60s. took out the wobble instantly. h have no stabilizers or swaybar. the springs in the kingpin tend to loose some tension over time. bigger tires make it noticable
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Old 04-13-2004, 10:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What size tires are you running? balanced? I am running a set of 38.5/14.5 SX's that seem like they are square, one steering stabilizer didnt do #%$! I rebuilt everything in the front end (springs, bushings and bearings) but the actual king pin, didnt help at all. I have hydro assist now and it works great. If you decide to go this route call http://westtexasoffroad.homestead.com/index.html He is a nice guy and took care of me.
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Old 04-14-2004, 09:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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balancing powder doesnt work worth a damn, so dont waste your $$ on it.
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i use a powder called equal, and ive had nothing but good results with it. has helped with a shake/shimmy...just need to use the right amount. shim the kingpins before u waste any money on it...please it costs only a few washers, and takes like 30minutes wth hand tools and beer. try it!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I ended up buying new springs and bushings for the upper king pins at the local Dana/Spicer supply place (Bayshore truck for those interested). For new springs, bushings, gaskets, and retainer for both sides the bill was 21 dollars...can't beat that!! One spring that I took out was broke...so there went a major contributor to the wobble. On the other side the spring was about 3/16 shorter than the new one. Both bushings were rounded out. This is a super, super easy fix....it only took an hour or so from start to driving...anyone with a king pin dana 60 should do this. Since the parts are so cheap i would just replace the parts and stick with the stuff that is supposed to be in there...but if you can't get the springs washers should work. Anyways, didn't fix all the DW...at the right speed if you jerk the wheel back and forth you can still get it excited. So I added a dual stabilizer kit...that seems to have fixed...but I would have prefered to get it all out without that. Oh well. This was an extremely easy job...everyone should do this to their 60!! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction and for the helpful search tool!!
P.S. The tires have all been balanced...
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yea i can get the whole kits for 36$, thats wth the lower bearing and seal, but i still run the washer, it puts a little more tension on the kingpin, and that helps alot when it comes to having the forces a 38''tire creates on it. like i said, i have nothing else, and absolutely no problems
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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equal tire balancing powder works, if you use enough (10 ounces per 38" tire) ... i dont have hardly any vibes... when i had weights the tire would bounce all over the place.... the only thing it doesnt do is make a swamper run like an all terrain...some people think that it is a miracle solution that cures all, and get mad when their swampers dont run like they are a/t's..

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Old 04-19-2004, 12:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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A search for "Death Wobble" on coloradok5.com will bring up lots of information on the "shimmy" and possible causes :-)
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