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Thread: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

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    Freshman Member thibault's Avatar
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    BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    hello, I can not find the cause of the tremor from the front of my car and Dashboard from 55 miles per hour.

    - I changed the tires ( 185R15 Vredestein Sprint Classic) , balanced the wheels (with cones)
    - new drums and front discs
    - new front and rear shock absorbers
    - new leaf spring and bushes

    but always front end shaking from 55 Mph, I need advice/help, thank you.
    9522A2FA-2E3E-475F-9BE8-43FEEB5597B2.jpg
    Last edited by thibault; 10-16-2018 at 01:36 PM.
    1965 H-BJ8-L/29540

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    Hi and Welcome,

    It sounds as though you have the famed Scuttle Shake most of us have experienced and some are still experiencing.

    First, does your tremor start somewhere around 50 MPH or so and seem to disappear somewhere around 65 MPH or so?
    Does your shake seem to change in intensity from time to time (sometimes severe and sometimes very light)?

    These are some of the signs of Scuttle Shake which is often related to imbalanced brake drums. Although this tremor could be caused by a number of balance issues, the most common and overlooked is that of rear brake drum balancing. Factory and most replacements drums are not pre-balance and the Healey's rear brake drums are rather large and heavy. Since their size and weight is non-trivial, this imbalanced component transmits its issues through the springs and drive train to the car and shows up around 50 to 65 MPH. The severity of the imbalance, and resulting shake, is not constant as the left and right drum will constantly shift their relative position and counterbalancing relationship via the operation of the differential.

    Since drums of this size and weight are no longer commonplace, finding a servicer to correct and balance these drums is not as easy today as years back when drums were commonly used. Look in your location for a servicer who can perform drum balancing as it requires securing weights to the drum in a secure manor that allows for heat expansion and contraction. If no one can be found, many Healey owners have gone to Hendrix Wire Wheel (hendrixwirewheel.com/drums.html) for this service.

    Be aware that many local services will indicate they can cut the drums and this should solve the issue. However, cutting usually does little to resolve the problem and you need someone that is experienced in applying balancing weights to the drum.

    Hope this helps,
    Ray(64 BJ8 P1)

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    Obi Wan Patrick67BJ8's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    Balance Brake Drums and have tgevtires “trued”(making sure they are perfectly round. You can’t balance a out of round tire. Shocks and suspension in good shape?
    Patrick
    '67 Metallic Golden Beige/Red
    Owned since '72

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    Freshman Member thibault's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    The shake change in intensity from Time to time.
    My rear drums are new (from SC PARTS.CO.UK).
    Do you think a new rear drum could be unbalanced?
    1965 H-BJ8-L/29540

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    Freshman Member thibault's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    My schocks and suspension are new (from AH SPARES)
    1965 H-BJ8-L/29540

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    Great Pumpkin Keoke's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    Quote Originally Posted by thibault View Post
    The shake change in intensity from Time to time.
    My rear drums are new (from SC PARTS.CO.UK).
    Do you think a new rear drum could be unbalanced?

    YES:

    Take them to a reputable machinist and have them checked.
    Last edited by Keoke; 10-07-2018 at 12:34 PM.
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
    1966 BJ8 [ 2 ] Lil Red & Miss bLU
    1985 XJ6 Saloon
    1948 & 70 Lincoln continentals
    1973 Volvo P1800ES

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    Another thought: I had the 55mph front end shake on my 1959 TR3. New tires, tires trued and balanced, suspension/alignment trued, u-joints replaced - no improvement. Original steel wheels.

    Turned out that the wheels themselves were bent, probably from hitting chuck holes and curbing in the previous 50 years. Easy to check: raise the wheel, spin and point your finger toward the rim. If the rim moves back and forth from your finger, the wheel is bent.

    I bought new wheels, and the shaking completely disappeared.

    TR3.jpg

    Tom M.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    Hi Thibault,

    Normally, Healey original brake drums, or their replacements, are not ballanced from the vendor. This is something overlooked by many as full 4-wheel disk setups came into common use. I would address your vendor and ask if they know if your new drums have been balanced prior to purchase. Keep in mind that many vendors will profess the quality of their parts and suggest they have had no prior complaints … stopping short of indicating a guaranteed affirmative. Either way, I personally search out a drum balancer to validate it had been done.

    As an original owner of my BJ8, for years I just assumed the drums were both truly round and balanced and were not the source of my shake. Finally, a mechanic friend and Healey enthusiast dynamically balanced each drum attached to its wheel with a fixture I created. Since both were balanced as a unit, weights were applied to the wheel making it necessary to keep the wheel and drum in the same relationship position when mounted on the car … a definite draw back for this approach.

    Get your drums balanced individually to have the ability to exchange wheels and/or replace tires without affecting the drum's balance.

    All the best,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Obi Wan Patrick67BJ8's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    Quote Originally Posted by thibault View Post
    The shake change in intensity from Time to time.
    My rear drums are new (from SC PARTS.CO.UK).
    Do you think a new rear drum could be unbalanced?
    If you don’t see any grinding marks where metal has been ground off or added metal for increased weight, was added to the drum, IMO, I’d think that would be suspect. Have you contacted the place that you bought them from to see what they say?
    Patrick
    '67 Metallic Golden Beige/Red
    Owned since '72

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    Again Thibault,

    Since you have 2 imbalanced rear drums connected through a differential, every time you make even a slight turn, the heavier area of one drum will change its relation to the heavier area of the other. As a result, your perceived shake will then change in intensity due to this change in relationship and vary from intense to slight. If the shake remained consistent, I would look to an imbalanced single unit such as a drive shaft, flywheel, etc.

    This is not a new issue and all of us have, at one time, never expected the drums as the culprit. However, since we have all searched for the cause and found it, you can benefit from our efforts and go directly to a resolution.

    All the best,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    I have at least three sets of rear drums for the BJ-7 and after trying different combinations, found a winning match. This took some time due to the nature of imbalance, but the match was tested on the road and was easy to assess...reduced shake. Taking it on step further, a set of slotted, balanced rear drums were purchased from Denis Welch Racing (U.K), installed and they also passed to road test. They're new and seem to improve braking effect - not finned as the originals, but slots make them less prone to heat-soak - and look cool behind spoke wheels. On BJ-7s the rear brake drums were painted a mat silver, but I've seen then painted black as well. GONZO

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    Yoda
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    My BJ8 has always suffered 'the shake' even though I've balanced the drive shaft and the drums, balanced the wheels--72-spoke Daytons--on the car and had the wheels trued a couple times. A couple years ago I installed a new set of Vredestein Sprint Classics and the shake has all but disappeared. Note this is the fourth or fifth set of these tires I've gone through, and none made much of a difference before this set. Maybe I finally got the right combination of tires, balance, wheel condition, whatever; I'm not going to question my luck too much.

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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    My hundred had this problem for years. Balancing had minimal effect on it. Finally solved it with new true wire wheels and tires. Never did anything to the drums. Not likely they could cause the problem IMHO, too close to the axle and besides the BJ8 doesn't have drums on the front.
    Bill Sullivan
    Albuquerque, NM

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    Freshman Member thibault's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    Hello and thank you for your help, I sent an email to the seller today, to Knows if drums are balanced.

    https://www.scparts.co.uk/sc_en/brit...drum-7733.html

    538EB9C8-62A0-4964-AE5F-337686FFD9F4.jpeg
    Last edited by thibault; 10-11-2018 at 07:49 AM.
    1965 H-BJ8-L/29540

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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    I'm still betting you'll find one or more of the wheels is bent and wobbling.

    Tom M.
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    I have not tried it yet - in fact I did not need to after fitting new tyres, but I also suffered scuttle shake at around 60MPH - for me the new tyres fixed it. We did not spin them up to balance them but statically balanced them using a cheapo machine with a balancing point and a bubble level ( Bill Rawles' bubble had broken so he had cobbled up a system with two small spirit levels- worked a treat. I had also discussed the possibility of statically balancing the hubs on the same machine should it become necessary, Rawles thought that it could be done - but as I say, it was not required so I do not know if it would be possible.



    Bob

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    This can be the frustrating part of chasing scuttle shake, there is no one magic bullet. One person's problems may be a bad wheel while someone else may have out of balance brake drums. By chance today when I was browsing the Denis Welch site I notice they sell rear brake drums listed as balanced for a premium over their regular drums.
    Rick

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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    10-4 on the slotted balanced rear brake drums HealeyRick. A pair of these definitely reduced shake on my BJ-7 while improving brake feel and some effectiveness. The process required years to isolate and sort out. GONZO

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    Freshman Member thibault's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    The vendor (SC parts) says the drums are balanced.
    Last edited by thibault; 10-12-2018 at 07:38 AM.
    1965 H-BJ8-L/29540

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: BJ8 plus 55mph Front end shaking

    While asking what, such as out-of-balance brake drums, might exacerbate scuttle shake the bigger question is why our cars are prone to it in the first place.

    Scuttle shake/cowl shake is not unique to Healeys or even LBC's but is a potential issue in any car with a less-than-rigid frame/unibody structure and this is de facto in any vehicle lacking either a hardtop or sedan top, either of which lends rigidity. On open cars such as ours any deterioration in chassis parts' strength (read RUST) makes a potential weakness into a present issue.

    For an interesting article on what one might do if balancing brake drums/wheels does not provide a solution go here: http://www.britishcarweek.org/scuttle.html

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
    1958 Elva Courier (FOR SALE)
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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