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Discussion Starter #1
Shimmy

Hey everyone. Wanted to get some opinions on my issue. I picked up an '03 svt. When driving round 65-75 mph i get a shimmy from the front end. There's a minimal feel in the wheel, but I get a small shake from the front end. I've had a full alignment and wheels balanced right after I bought it. The wheels are not bent. Could it be I have a blown or old shock. It have round 71K on the odometer and it has the original suspension on it. Could it be anything else? First time dealing with a high mileage svt focus. Not sure what the issues that others have had. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hey everyone. I posted this in the suspension area and didn't get any response. I'll try this question here. Wanted to get some opinions on my issue. I picked up an '03 svt. When driving round 65-75 mph i get a shimmy from the front end. There's a minimal feel in the wheel, but I get a small shake from the front end. I've had a full alignment and wheels balanced right after I bought it. The wheels are not bent. Could it be I have a blown or old shock. It have round 71K on the odometer and it has the original suspension on it. Could it be anything else? First time dealing with a high mileage svt focus. Not sure what the issues that others have had. Thanks.
 

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does it do it when you brake? or just reach a certain speed? if a certain speed it's most likely a balance issue.. Your shocks wouldn't do what you are saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No. Does not pulse when braking. Only when i'm up to speed. I put new rotors on the front of the car. I put my new winter wheels and tires on from Tire Rack this year that were brand new. I'm pretty puzzled at this point.
 

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How long ago were the wheels balanced? A weight could have fallen off or tires balanced and put on wrong location.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tires got dropped off bout a 2 months ago. Just hit 1000 miles on the wheels and tires. I guess i'll get them checked out again since they are only stick on weights. Then I guess start checking if anything is damaged or bent in the front end.
 

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hit a pot hole. my wheel had a slight bend in it that caused a wicked shake.
 

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check to see if ur wheel weights are still there, they can fall off. but what ur describing sounds exactly like a balancing issue!! take them in to get them double checked.
 

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Most shakes and shimmies are either caused by bad wheel balance and/or worn steering components (tie rod ends, ball joints etc). That said some cars just have a harmonic point where vibrations set in. Sometimes you can move this harmonic point to a different speed by playing with tire pressures. Experiment with that first as it costs nothing. Some wheel balancing is not as good as it should be. A dynamic wheel balance is the best as it looks at several more perimeters than a standard stock balance. Expect to pay a little more for theses. Your looking for a shop that has a Hunter 9700 balancing machine or equivalent.
 

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I see you're from Michigan. Did you just purchase the car this week? Does it shake when you reach a certain speed? The problem could be, first of all, snow/ice buildup in the tire wall. Sometimes when you have an excessive of snow on the tire wall, when the tire is rotating it rubs against that excessive snow which causes a violent shake. Power wash all that snow/ice off the tire wall so none of it interferes with the tire. Second of all, try to get as much snow/ice off the wheel as possible because the added snow/ice adds weight to the wheel making it unbalance. I'm just saying, it could be an alternate possibility? I thought I had a bad bearing last week when it really turned out to be snow/ice on the tire wall.
 

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Both 4 Bangin Ben and Obocecha bring up very valid options to look at as well. If a wheel is lug centric (vs hub centric) you need to tighten the lug nuts very slowly and evenly all the way around using a criss/cross pattern. Snow or on ice on the inside of a rim or back of spokes (where its often hard to see) can easily cause a balance issue.
 

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Good point. I forgot to mention to check for ice or snow stuck on the backside of the rim. I've had this happen to me numerous times.
 
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