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Old 09-11-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
nmoyer23
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Mysterious intense highway vibration

Hello all,

I write to you today as a very frustrated focus owner. I currently own a 2005 focus zx4 st with roughly 91k miles on it. I use it as a daily driver to work and put on about 500 miles a week. About 2 months ago i needed a new set of rims a tires because the tires were bald and the 2 out of the 4 rims were bent at the lip. I purchased a wheel and tire combo set from discounttiredirect.com which cost roughly $800 including the road hazard warranty(not bad, right?) This is where the problems started to intensify. The first set that I bought included the 16" konig incident rims and the hankook ventus v4's 205/50/r16 tires. They also came with the 73 63.4 hub centering rings. Once I put on the wheels I noticed an immediate improvement in ride handling and stability but at highway speeds the car vigorously shook from 50mph to 80mph. I returned the set of wheels and ordered a different set... 4 times... These sets included the MB wheels viper with the same tires twice... same problem. The last fourth set that i ordered that i currently have are the MB wheels vipers with the Hankook ventus v2's. I've had 5 different mechanics look at my car and all have said something different. "oh its the wheels, the rims are out of balance, the suspension is broken... etc) I've had my local mechanic that is 2 minutes from my job look at my car for 2 weeks straight. He changed out the front 2 axles, changed the transmission fluid, tweaked the top motor mount, checked EVERY bushing, nut bolt, you name it... whatever is attached to the front end of the car was checked and checked and checked. The mechanic told me in his 35 years experience working at the same shop, has never seen a problem like this. He is completely stumped and feels very bad for me because of this situation. I hope someone on here in this forum can help me out.

Thank You

- Nick


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Old 09-11-2012, 05:37 PM   #2
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FWIW, if you didn't dispose of the original rims & tires - trying them again to see if the problem goes away would have been (and still is) a good diagnostic to prove the NEW wheels/tires are the real issue.....

The car is VERY sensitive to balance by the way, i had an EXTREME vibration at speed one day a couple winters ago - snow had blown in, melted & refroze to the rim, and that LITTLE bit of ice threw it out enough for a SCARY vibration when I hit 55 mph.....

Luck!

(Oh, and wheels that need adapter rings to fit need EXACTLY the right ring or they won't be on properly... )
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately I don't have the original rims anymore. They were in bad shape and I ended up selling them (definitely regretting that right now). I've had these mb wheels viper rims balanced over 10 times and each machine said they are balanced. The mechanic also threw on a different set of tires with no difference. I've tried 12 different sets of hub centering rings and the ones i have on there now fit ok but they are not snug on the hub. If anoyone recommends a specific set of centerics I am willing to try them out. Also, could the lug nuts be a problem in this equation? Motor mounts? I did change out the front sway bar links with a set of MOOGS that i purchased from advanced auto...
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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Have you tried an alignment?
How old are your shocks and struts?
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmoyer23 View Post
Hello all,

I write to you today as a very frustrated focus owner. I currently own a 2005 focus zx4 st with roughly 91k miles on it. I use it as a daily driver to work and put on about 500 miles a week. About 2 months ago i needed a new set of rims a tires because the tires were bald and the 2 out of the 4 rims were bent at the lip. I purchased a wheel and tire combo set from discounttiredirect.com which cost roughly $800 including the road hazard warranty(not bad, right?) This is where the problems started to intensify. The first set that I bought included the 16" konig incident rims and the hankook ventus v4's 205/50/r16 tires. They also came with the 73 63.4 hub centering rings. Once I put on the wheels I noticed an immediate improvement in ride handling and stability but at highway speeds the car vigorously shook from 50mph to 80mph. I returned the set of wheels and ordered a different set... 4 times... These sets included the MB wheels viper with the same tires twice... same problem. The last fourth set that i ordered that i currently have are the MB wheels vipers with the Hankook ventus v2's. I've had 5 different mechanics look at my car and all have said something different. "oh its the wheels, the rims are out of balance, the suspension is broken... etc) I've had my local mechanic that is 2 minutes from my job look at my car for 2 weeks straight. He changed out the front 2 axles, changed the transmission fluid, tweaked the top motor mount, checked EVERY bushing, nut bolt, you name it... whatever is attached to the front end of the car was checked and checked and checked. The mechanic told me in his 35 years experience working at the same shop, has never seen a problem like this. He is completely stumped and feels very bad for me because of this situation. I hope someone on here in this forum can help me out.

Thank You

- Nick
First of all Nick, I don't know how you tweak a motor mount. You pretty much replace it when it's bad.
Second of all, the fact that you tried so many different wheel/tire combos leads me to believe it has nothing to do with this at all.
I have about the same problem and I'm pretty sure and I've been told by a couple mechanics I know, I work in auto parts, that it's probably the inner tie rods. The cause a shake at higher speeds but don't give up much handling when bad, unlike outer tie rods.
So I would have those checked out.
P.S. I have the exact car at about the same mileage, 95,000. I plan on changing mine out soon, as soon as I have the cash, and will know if that fixes the problem.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:34 AM   #6
nmoyer23
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Tried an alignment and the suspension is stock .My mechanic said that there is zero play in the inner tie rod but i did notice something strange lately. Whenever i accelerate hard from a stop i can feel some wobble and vibration unrelated to the vibration i feel on the highway. Almost seems like rod or bushing is loose or possibly a mount. I ordered new aluminum centering rings from justforwheels.com so hopefully that'll either solve the issue or rule it out.
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