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Old 01-28-2011, 09:32 PM
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Front end shimmy

So, I went in last Monday to do the first oil change thing, and visited with the service mgr. for a while about a couple of issues with my big blue dually. I reminded him about the shimmy in the front end when I hit a crack/seam in the road pavement. Or a bridge abutment. While it's not the dreaded "death wobble', it does shimmy pretty bad at times. He said in order to claim a warranty on the alignment or tires, I had to prove I've rotated the tires as described in the "little tire book of life". Also, he says you can only make a claim up to 12K miles on alignment issues.

Anyway, she goes in next Friday to have the front end aligned and hopefully put an end to the "shopping cart wheel" front end. Thanks for that description, Epic. Just thot you all might like to kno in case you're experiencing the front end shimmy, too.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:46 PM
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You might want to consider a couple little tweaks during the alignment. The shop that did mine set for local roads meaning the average crown and slope where I mostly drive vs. the standard used by the factory. Apparently there are significant differences across the country. Second, they added additional caster angle beyond the factory setting which quickly removed the "shopping cart" effect. If the caster angle is too shallow, it only takes a tiny road bump to get the front wheels shimmying. Add an extra half a degree or so (can't remember the value) and the steering is much more stable and returns to center very positively. You'll notice the steering wheel requires slightly more driver input after the increase in caster (which is a good thing for the overall driving experience).

Just a thought. You and the experts can decide. I'm assuming you will be dealing with an expert of course as opposed to the other kind.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by EpicCowlick View Post
You might want to consider a couple little tweaks during the alignment. The shop that did mine set for local roads meaning the average crown and slope where I mostly drive vs. the standard used by the factory. Apparently there are significant differences across the country. Second, they added additional caster angle beyond the factory setting which quickly removed the "shopping cart" effect. If the caster angle is too shallow, it only takes a tiny road bump to get the front wheels shimmying. Add an extra half a degree or so (can't remember the value) and the steering is much more stable and returns to center very positively. You'll notice the steering wheel requires slightly more driver input after the increase in caster (which is a good thing for the overall driving experience).

Just a thought. You and the experts can decide. I'm assuming you will be dealing with an expert of course as opposed to the other kind.
Yea, I gotcha. The alignment machine at the dealership is "broke". They don't plan on repairing it any time soon, so they have contracted with a local shop that has been here for over 35 years. That's probably to my advantage, eh? I've dealt with this shop for at least twenty years, so I trust them. We'll see what they say.

BTW, love your videos, keep em comin. Wife and I will be in Moab at the end of June for a little ATV time.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:32 AM
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Wife and I will be in Moab at the end of June for a little ATV time.
Shoot me a PM when you go. If we're there we'll meet up.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:43 PM
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I actually took my truck in for the same thing this morning and after checking it out the tech said that the drag link (?) needs to be replaced. This is apparently the 2nd truck at that dealership with the same issue. Once the parts come in, I have to go back to have it replaced. Hopefully they are correct.
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:15 PM
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Thought I'd chime in as well and say I had exact same issue on my 11' F250.

You could feel the front end shake a little going over manhole covers, and the like, at 30-45 mph but the big shake happened for me when I went on an a freeway overpass. The overpass is dual lane and turns 90 degrees to hook up to another crossing freeway. Doing about 60 mph, and gradually turning on the overpass, you come across a couple of expansion joints in the pavement. Occasionally, I'll drive casually one handed....tell you what, when I hit that expansion joint I grabbed as quick as I could with both hands to hang on and keep it headed straight.

The slight shimmy on straight on surfaces, at lower speeds didn't bother me that much but after the expansion joint jolt, and considering I only have 4000 miles on the truck, thought I'd better bring it in to get looked at.

I'd read of a few 11 Superduty owners having front end issues and the Rancho Shocks were bad and I thought that might be my issue as well so I mentioned it to the service manager.

On mine they said Rancho shocks were fine but the drag link needed to be replaced.

After the repair, and a week's worth of driving later, the left to right skidding issue is gone. I do feel a little continued bounce up and down. It's very minor and may just be me, but I'm going to take off those front shocks and give them a look over myself.

All in all, replacing the drag link made a huge difference.

BTW, didn't mean for my first post on here to come off as sounding negative.......I absolutely love my truck and have enjoyed reading all knowledgeable posts around here. Even a few of the not so knowledgeable ones

Tim
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:32 PM
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Great info Tim and welcome to FTE!
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by $5FootLong View Post
Thought I'd chime in as well and say I had exact same issue on my 11' F250.

You could feel the front end shake a little going over manhole covers, and the like, at 30-45 mph but the big shake happened for me when I went on an a freeway overpass. The overpass is dual lane and turns 90 degrees to hook up to another crossing freeway. Doing about 60 mph, and gradually turning on the overpass, you come across a couple of expansion joints in the pavement. Occasionally, I'll drive casually one handed....tell you what, when I hit that expansion joint I grabbed as quick as I could with both hands to hang on and keep it headed straight.

The slight shimmy on straight on surfaces, at lower speeds didn't bother me that much but after the expansion joint jolt, and considering I only have 4000 miles on the truck, thought I'd better bring it in to get looked at.

I'd read of a few 11 Superduty owners having front end issues and the Rancho Shocks were bad and I thought that might be my issue as well so I mentioned it to the service manager.

On mine they said Rancho shocks were fine but the drag link needed to be replaced.

After the repair, and a week's worth of driving later, the left to right skidding issue is gone. I do feel a little continued bounce up and down. It's very minor and may just be me, but I'm going to take off those front shocks and give them a look over myself.

All in all, replacing the drag link made a huge difference.

BTW, didn't mean for my first post on here to come off as sounding negative.......I absolutely love my truck and have enjoyed reading all knowledgeable posts around here. Even a few of the not so knowledgeable ones

Tim
Welcome to FTE.

No need to apologize for facts man. I've heard the drag link thing brot up a few times now. I will definitely ask the front end tech to check that out. I had a highway speed incident similar to the one you describe. It's not a very pleasant feel. I actually had my 5er with me when it happened. Spooky!!

Hope you get yours resolved, too.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marchare011 View Post
He said in order to claim a warranty on the alignment or tires, I had to prove I've rotated the tires as described in the "little tire book of life". Also, he says you can only make a claim up to 12K miles on alignment issues.
Tell your service REP you followed all the procedures in the book and he is welcome to prove you didn't.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by EpicCowlick View Post
Shoot me a PM when you go. If we're there we'll meet up.
Hey!! PM me too, I want to go ATVing!!
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:18 PM
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Tell your service REP you followed all the procedures in the book and he is welcome to prove you didn't.
Just to clarify, my dealer isn't disputing the claim. As I see it, he helped me out by letting me kno you have to show proof you've adhered to the requirements set forth by the manufacturer. I had 5079 miles on truck and hadn't rotated the tires yet. So, we(he) did that. Now if there is a tire issue before next rotation is due, My a** is covered.

As for the front end shimmy, apparently you only have 12,000 miles to make a warranty claim for anything related to the alignment. And as long as I have rotated my tires, I am once again covered.

Sorry if I didn't make that very clear earlier. I just wanted anyone with similar issues with the front end to kno to get 'er done before it's too late.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:26 PM
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he helped me out by letting me know you have to show proof you've adhered to the requirements set forth by the manufacturer
You do not have to show proof, so your dealer is incorrect with that statement. Have him prove it.
I’m not saying that if you want to keep detailed records/log and follow the maintenance guide to the “T” that it is a bad thing – have at it. What I am saying is there is no rule or law that requires you to.
There is a law that requires the manufacturer to prove you did not.

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Originally Posted by marchare011 View Post
I had 5079 miles on truck and hadn't rotated the tires yet. So, we(he) did that. Now if there is a tire issue before next rotation is due, My a** is covered.
The first “scheduled rotation is at 7500 miles – what does he say to doing it one third early?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marchare011 View Post
As for the front end shimmy, apparently you only have 12,000 miles to make a warranty claim for anything related to the alignment.
Long as I can remember that has been the general practice of the big three. It does seem to be a fair compromise. At one time it was only 90 days.

Alignment and shimmy may not be the same problem. An out of aligned vehicle can have a shimmy, but a vehicle with a shimmy is not necessarily out of alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marchare011 View Post
And as long as I have rotated my tires, I am once again covered
Assuming you have a front end shimmy you either have an alignment problem or a mechanical failure of some sort. Either of these will most likely cause tire problems, which you may physically see before you feel.

The owner’s manual is quite specific on this:

Page 224
Tire rotation Rotating your tires at the recommended interval (as indicated in the Scheduled Maintenance Guide chapter) will help your tires wear more evenly, providing better tire performance and longer tire life.
Rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles/Four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles (front tires at top of diagram)

Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating the tires.


Note: If your tires show uneven wear ask an authorized dealer to check
for and correct any wheel misalignment, tire imbalance or mechanical
problem involved before tire rotation.

This is straight out of the book and is BS
Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating the tires.

Irregular tire wear is either an alignment or mechanical problem with the vehicle or a structural problem with the tire. The root cause has to be corrected, rotating the tires will just shuffle the problem.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by porthole View Post


You do not have to show proof, so your dealer is incorrect with that statement. Have him prove it.
I’m not saying that if you want to keep detailed records/log and follow the maintenance guide to the “T” that it is a bad thing – have at it. What I am saying is there is no rule or law that requires you to.
There is a law that requires the manufacturer to prove you did not.



The first “scheduled rotation is at 7500 miles – what does he say to doing it one third early?



Long as I can remember that has been the general practice of the big three. It does seem to be a fair compromise. At one time it was only 90 days.

Alignment and shimmy may not be the same problem. An out of aligned vehicle can have a shimmy, but a vehicle with a shimmy is not necessarily out of alignment.



Assuming you have a front end shimmy you either have an alignment problem or a mechanical failure of some sort. Either of these will most likely cause tire problems, which you may physically see before you feel.

The owner’s manual is quite specific on this:

Page 224
Tire rotation Rotating your tires at the recommended interval (as indicated in the Scheduled Maintenance Guide chapter) will help your tires wear more evenly, providing better tire performance and longer tire life.
Rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles/Four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles (front tires at top of diagram)

Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating the tires.


Note: If your tires show uneven wear ask an authorized dealer to check
for and correct any wheel misalignment, tire imbalance or mechanical
problem involved before tire rotation.

This is straight out of the book and is BS
Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating the tires.

Irregular tire wear is either an alignment or mechanical problem with the vehicle or a structural problem with the tire. The root cause has to be corrected, rotating the tires will just shuffle the problem.
Hey Duane, thanks for your input. Perhaps I misled you that the service rep was trying to get by with something or get by not having to do something. That's not the case here. He was only trying to make sure all my bases were covered so that there could be no dispute about the front end shimmy being covered under warranty.

I just wanted all to kno there are requirements and limitations to getting the issue resolved. Thot that was what most of these threads were, informational.

Again, thanks for your input.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:40 PM
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Understood.

I did 18 years full time and another 4 or so part time at new card dealers (class A tech). I just hated it when service reps would try and sell to customers stuff that was not needed.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porthole View Post
Understood.

I did 18 years full time and another 4 or so part time at new card dealers (class A tech). I just hated it when service reps would try and sell to customers stuff that was not needed.
No harm, no foul brother! Appreciate someone looking out for a fellow FTE, and 2011 driver.
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