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Re[2]: '71 Squareback front end

Whoa, slow down!  Since the front end shake happens only around a certain 
speed (+/- a couple of MPH) you are probably experiencing a harmonic wheel 
vibration.  A much cheaper solution would be to take the car to a wheel 
store and have them balance the front tires.  I once had the same problem 
around 50MPH and a wheel balance cured the problem.

While it's up on the lift (and they'll let you) look at the suspension ball 
joints and the tie rods ends (they look like smaller versions of the ball 
joints).  If any of them have their boots split and/or leaking grease then 
you know that it will eventually need replacing.

The steering dampner is something you can buy and replace yourself.  
However, it will NOT stop the shaking!  It's just a shock absorber and it 
works exactly like the shock absorbers at each wheel.  Generally these 
don't go bad very often so if you don't see any oil leaking out then just 
leave yours alone.  If you suspect it may be bad just disconnect it at one 
end and try compressing/expanding it.  You should feel some resistance.  If 
it moves easily then replace it.

Also, make sure the torsion arms and upper stabilizer arms are not sloppy.  
I just had this problem -- bad shimmy around 35-40MPH, especially during a 
mild curve.  My mechanic tightened the upper stabilizer arms, greased the 
torsion housing bearings and snugged up the wheel play on the spindles (all 
within specs).  Problem fixed.  After messing with the front end be sure to 
have it aligned (I've yet to have one cost me more than $20).  My ball 
joints were new and I had all of the tie rod ends replaced as their boots 
were split, but these replacements occurred *before* the tightening job and 
didn't solve the shimmy problem.

     Toby Erkson
     '72 VW Squareback 1.6L bored and stroked to 2.0L
     '75 Porsche 914 stock 1.8L for sale

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: '71 Squareback front end
Author:  type-3-errors@umich.edu at SMTPGATE
Date:    3/10/97 9:31 AM

The 30 MPH shake.

Kinda like the Macerena,...    with caffiene.

You didn't mention, DOES it quit when you get ABOVE 30?

It's probably your steering dampner and/or your ball joints (suspension
or tie rod ends).

First, I would go to a "Brake Check"-type place that will check your
front end for free.

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