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TR2/3/3A Shaking in steering wheel above 50 mph.

DennisT

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I have a 57 TR 3 and when I get to 50mph, a shaking develops in the wheel, I switched out tires and rims with newly balanced ones. I also checked ball joints by trying to move wheels up and down and back and forth, I noticed that the bearing/spindle on one side are a little biT loose which I will tighten. I don’t know if that would cause this shaking. Also, I have about an inch play in the steering box. Any suggestions would be appreciated
thanks,
dennis
 

bobhustead

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Quite possible the wheels are "out of true", which you can't balance out. Check your toe-in though. Also could have something to do with worn front end parts. Even after I replaced all bushings, etc., I still have a bit of shake.Bob
 

sp53

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Sounds like you have eliminated the tires as the problem. Probably a combination of upper and lower bushings with too much play in the steering is causing the shake. The play in the steering is probably another combination of tie-rod ends and the idler arm. I would not pull the steering box out just now. If the bushings are older, I would fix those and install new tie rods if they are old also. Not too expensive and DIY able.
steve
 

JohnnyMead

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Dennis,
What kind of wheels are you using? I’ve found that the old Triumph steel wheels are often not quite true and shake a little even after carefully balanced.
John
 

CJD

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Quick question...

Is it a very regular shimmy that progresses with speed and is always about the same, or...

Are we talking about a shaking where it seems like you hit a small bump and the entire front end of the car shakes violently back and forth, as though in a resonance and not stopping until you slow way down? This second shake would only happen sometimes, but not always consistent.
 

titanic

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It took getting a set of straight wheels and having the tires trued as well as balancing to eliminate shaking in the steering wheel at about 50 mph.
Berry
 

DavidApp

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Will the TR6 steel wheels fit on the TR3A?

It looks like they are the same diameter and width. Rimmer Bro. Have new steel TR6 wheels.

David
 
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DennisT

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I am using the steel wheels, and I planned on switching from to back on the driver, toad testing, I have to switch the pass side wheels. I did put balanced steel wheels in front but no change. I wasn’t aware for the steel wheels.
 
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DennisT

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Thanks,
I will have to check my steel wheels, I just subbed the front whites with the steels today but no change, I was using wire wheels.
 

parkerg1

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I have wire wheels on my 61 tr3. I bought new radial tires, and had a local shop mount them, and they claimed they could balance them. I took it out for a ride, and they shook bad after 50. I did some more research on balancing and found no shop had the equipment to do it correctly. I bought new 60 spoke wheels, and mounted them myself. I bought an old bubble balancer from a friend, and balanced them myself. They now are smooth as glass and no problem since.
 

Madflyer

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First TR 6 wheel do not have pins for hub caps and may be wider. Is the problem the same on all roads? Will it hold straight with hands off the steering wheel at any speed? It sounds like you have a number of tires laying around are they all the same brand and what age are they ? If you go up to say 65 and then back down to 50 what happens then? You say you have play in steering wheel at about 1 inch before wheels turn. If that is true add grease to gear box. Checking toe in with a tape from center of tread at front and back of tire. Are the lug nuts stock and tapered to center to hub. I do not think a lose ball joint or other would start shaking but would allow it to start but find away to return to less shaking. If all fails add a steering shock to tie rod. Madflyer
 
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DennisT

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Hi
I have Michelin xzx 165 on the steel wheels (tr3 wheels). and four toyo 165 on the wire wheels I like the idea of shooting some grease in the steering box , it seems to be less now that I tightened up a front wheel bearing
 

CJD

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I find that a constant shaking in the wheel is always a wheel and/or tire problem. Not to say that a bad joint can eventually cause the tire problem to develop shaking. Think of it this way. If your car has perfect wheels and tires, but a worn out steering gear, then it will not shake unless you hit a particular bump that sets up a resonance. But, on a smooth road, you should be able to drive any speed without shaking. When I say "resonance", I have had several cars with completely worn out suspensions, and they drove perfectly (albeit sloppy) at all speeds. But occasionally I'd catch a bump just right so it would start a resonance and the wheels would slam back and forth violently against the sloppy joints until I slowed down enough to bring it out of resonance. But once the shaking stopped, I could speed right back up with no shaking at all...at least until I hit the perfect "bump" to start it again.

So...from above I gather that if your wheels and tires are good, but suspension bad, you do not get a constant, predictable shaking at any particular speed.

Now let's take a car with perfect wheels and tires and a brand new suspension. It won't shake and drives great. What if I introduce toe in? It will not shake, it will just pleasantly scrub the tire treads down to the cords. Same with toe out, accept the car handles wildy with toe-out. Same with castor and camber. If your wheels and tires are good, then you do not get a shaking from a bad alignment. From the first analogy with the worn out suspension, you also do not get shaking from good wheels and tires and a worn out suspension either. Just one caveat...if you run a set of tires with a worn out suspension, the tires can eventually wear cups into the tread, which can then cause shaking. But, by then it is a tire problem causing the shaking, not the worn parts.

This has been long winded, but if you are still with me, these are my conclusions from dealing with shaking over the years:

A constant shaking in the wheel is ALWAYS a wheel or tire problem.

To finish this out...another example. I took our 19 year old Range Rover to Discount this summer for new tires. The car then had a shimmy at highway speeds. I took it back to Discount, and they re-balanced the new tires. No help, still a shimmy at highway speeds. I then carefully checked the suspension, and found the front ball joints worn...so I replaced them. Took it back to Discount for a second rebalance on the tires. Bummer...still a shimmy at 65mph. Then I detected a very slight wear in one tie rod end...so I replaced all the tie rods. STILL a shimmy!!

The way this ordeal wound up, I took it back to Discount and told them that I had replaced everything that was loose, and the tires started the shimmy to begin with, so by deduction, the problem HAS to be their new tires. I wanted them replaced with a different brand if they could not fix it. Here it got interesting. They ran a test on the car and determined that the tires were actually slipping on the wheels! I had never heard of such a thing. But they did something (chemically) to prevent the tires from spinning in relation to the wheel...rebalanced for a 4th time...and the car was finally great to drive at any speed without shimmy.

The moral, shimmy is ALWAYS a wheel or tire issue. New tires are not immune.
 

Madflyer

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John: Great information and story. With many years of tire talk it is always the same, it's the tire stupid so good call. My TR 250 from earlier years and my TR 6 had the same problem. At about 62 MPH I would get a light feel in the steering wheel I would go up to 70 MPH and back down to 65 MPH smooth after that. I put new tires on the TR 6 and my wife drove the car home. When we got home she asked what happened to the car? I said why. Her reply was; when on the freeway she looked down at the speed and was doing over 80 MPH. She used the 62 MPH as a way to keep from speeding. I tell people three things when buying new tires. One : Tires are now dated so get four tires the same date of production even just close. The reason not two off the shelf and two from the warehouse. Two : Balancing will have weights if just to offset valve stem they may have say two or three weights placed on inside or out side of rim or stick on's. All four tires should be about the same, If one or two have many more do not buy them Weights may be hid on the inside. Best to take wheels in and not car. Three : if you have wheel covers ( hub Caps ) balance with them on if you can. And last in my drag racing days we glued or tires to rims And YES new tires are not immune. Your life is riding on them! Madflyer
 

TR-3rg

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Hi Dennis,

I cannot tell from the thread if you have steering slop sitting still. If so, check the Silent Bloc bushings. I replaced the rubber bushings with the Teflon from ARE. If the other replies about tie rods, idler arm, box adjustment, etc are good...

I had about 1" of slop in the steering wheel at any speed, including sitting still. Turned out to be the steering wheel nut was loose. The wheel is on a tapered spline. The nut had backed off, but was still staked.

If every thing is tight sitting still, I fully agree with the replies about wheels and balance. When everything is correct, you can run 70+ mph with no shake in the wheel.

Good Luck, Roy
 
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