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1992 Toyota Camry Question: Front wheel vibration

 

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Nick Danger, 3.0L V6, Saint Anne, IL, February 14, 2009, 17:14
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While traviling on I57, my car's front end began to vibrate. It felt like it was in the left wheel area. It got worse everytime I took my foot of the accel pedal. Braking seemed to make it worse but just slowing down makes it worse. Putting in neutral did not make a difference. Downshifting did not make a difference. Took it to shop who replaced badly corroded and pitted alloy wheel and rotor and put spare on. No more vibration for shop test and my ride home. On drive back to get my car at shop, it started shaking again and again worse on deceleration. Shop said he saw cv shaft "hopping" a little while testing, but since road test was good, did not think cv was cause of shaking. I injected grease and penetrant into left inner and outer bearings through boot and now no shake while accel or cruise but on deceleration it starts to rap. I feel it through the accel pedal linkage in the floor board, I also hear a clunking on deceleration. I jacked up left side and turned wheel back and forth and there is freeplay of about an inch or so but it seems that all parts of the shaft are moving together and the slop seems to be in the differential. There was squeaking and more clicking clunking before I lubed the bearings. The noises do not seem to happen while turning. What more can I do to isolate the problem?

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  • Answer #1

    patrick mannion from Greg Solow's Engine Room, February 14, 2009, 18:09
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    This certainly is not safe to drive. With the car jacked up grab the wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock, and then 3 and 9 o'clock, do you have play? If you have play in both circumstances the wheel bearing is worn out. It is a cartridge wheel bearing and requires hub removal to replace. Are the CV's in tact or ripped open? When the boots rip the grease gets flung out and the joint looses lubrication, a worn out CV joint normally makes a click, click, click sound that speeds up as you incresae the speed at which you take a sharp turn, a worn inner CV joint may give a rumble on turns. Play grabbing the wheel only at 3 and 9 o'clock may be a worn tie rod end or inner tie rod end (a ball and socket type joint at the end of the steering rack).
    Check the gear box/differential for oil. I have seen the differentials fail on really high mileage cars but the last one I saw fail had 460,000 miles on it. Without seeing the car its all a guess. Get this checked out it sound dangerous to drive.

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    Nick Danger, February 14, 2009, 20:23
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    I did try moving the wheel at the o'clock positions and there was no play. I read some answers on other sites and at least two techs said that deceleration vibration like mine indicate inner cv joint problems.

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    patrick mannion, February 14, 2009, 20:44
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    I didn't want to jump to conclusions not knowing the mileage on your car and not knowing if the CV boots were in tact or not. With the car properly supported wheel off the ground, grab the inner flange differential end of the half shaft and the tubular shaft about two or three inches toward the wheel end of the inner CV boot try twisting the shaft, you should not feel play.

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    Nick Danger, February 15, 2009, 19:09
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    I forgot to mention that the shop noted that the boots looked like they had been replaced and they are not split or open. I have not had time to get under it again, so I will post after I try twisting for freeplay. The fact that the shop saw the shaft "hopping" seems to point to the joint(s) does it not?

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    patrick mannion, February 15, 2009, 21:00
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    I think your right. You will probably find you have a bad axle. Look forward to hearing what fixed your car. Hope it is not too costly.

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