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Front End Shimmy

1155 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Old School
Hi Gang,

I had this front-end shaking problem a while back and changed all of the tie rods - inner's, outers, everything. Initially she tightened up really nicely and the clunking, thumping nonsense went away.

It’s been a few months since then and mysteriously the shaking is back. The car has about 142.000 on the clock and was well taken care of her whole life. The previous owner kept her in a garage in upstate NY and the only thing she left the garage for was groceries - the car is beyond Cherry.

There's no way all of the tie rods I just replaced have gone bad.

She’s never been raced, no whole-shots, none of that BS. I take equally good care of her. The CV's are original but in really good shape, no clicking in the turns and no ripped or torn boots spilling grease.

The springs and shocks are all original as is the other suspension hardware. As stated previously, the only things I've replaced have been all of the tie rods including the one's that connect from the rack & pinion.

When I jack the car up and turn the tires from left to right, there’s no play. There’s no play when I try to push them up or down either. As far as I know, the wheel bearings are original also.

None of it makes sense because the vibration isn't constant. It's intermittent with no rhyme or reason. There’s no causal effects (that I’m aware of) that would make the shaking just come on abruptly, and go away abruptly.

One second she's going down the road as smooth as a Rolls Royce, the next second the front-end feels like it wants to tear itself away from the car.

I know it's not a balance issue because the tires are fairly new and none of the balance weights have fallen off.

I've seen some postings on this issue on this forum and I’m hoping one of you have some answers or resolutions.

Any Ideas?????
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If all those parts was changed I have to ask, did you use aftermarket parts? It's a known fact that Legends don't do good with after market parts. They fail within a couple of months depending on road conditions and how much it's driven.

If the parts you replaced were OEM then the next culprit is the rack n pinion.
I'll be honest, the parts were aftermarket and I definitely mean no disrespect (especially to someone who has helped me in the past)

But I've had many discussions on many different forums regarding aftermarket parts. The short of my argument concerning aftermarket parts are:

• Most aftermarket parts are made by the same auto parts
manufacturers that make OEM parts. The only difference is the
labels that are affixed to the parts when they leave the factory.

• All automotive parts that are made at most auto parts
manufacturers undergo the same and even sometimes more of a
rigorous quality control program than OEM parts undergo.

• Lastly, parts that were either recalled or known to be defective
from OEM manufacturers are improved by aftermarket auto parts
manufacturers by re-engineering them - while “stealerships” have
the same original OEM parts to sell you.

(I work as a quality engineer and I conduct quality audits for a living)

All that said, I'm not a big believer in the myth that OEM parts are necessarily better than aftermarket parts. I’ve been working on cars and buying aftermarket parts for too many years to believe they’re inferior.

I have to admit that this is my first experience with an Acura, but some of the other aftermarket electrical and engine parts I’ve bought for the car seem to holding up just fine.

The rack wasn't leaking any fluids when I changed the tie rods and it didn't exhibit any signs of wear but I will check into it.

You would think that there would be play in the steering if the rack or the tie rods were bad. But as I stated in my original post - there's none.

Would a bad rack act up sporadically the way my front end does, or would it be bad all the time? I would think that if the rack was bad, my front end would shake all the time.
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no disrespect taken, if aftermarket works for you than by all means use them. There are certain things I personally wouldn't buy aftermarket, WP, TB, HG etc. The rack doesn't have to shake all the time to be bad/on it's way to being bad. I know with mine it only act's up under certain conditions. (mine doesn't leak either)
I'll lift her up again and do a really thorough examination of the entire front end, and I'll pay special attention to the rack and the new tie rod ends I just put on.

I'm hoping that the problem will just jump out at me.

Thanks for the good advice Bigboy, I'll post a follow up and let you all know how I make out.
Yea, nothing wrong with aftermarket parts, EXCEPT, for some items I agree you should get at the dealer, mostly the electronic stuff. Anyways, no mention of ball joints, you say tires are new to you, but what's the date code say. This summer I bought brand new off the shelf tires for my 240, and they were 3 years old according to there date code. I took em because it was a good deal, plus hard to find 60 series tires that are 14", well, they have flat spots from sittin on that shelf for 3 years, and yes I have front end shimmy. Had this was even verified at a rim straighting shop, one rim was slightly bent, (in the back now,) but tires were the cause of my vibration of front now. (not as bad, need new rims) Also, I haven't looked at mine yet, (new owner as well,) and do these have an adjustment for the rack and pinion? Most Racks do. I have been down this road with other cars, the rack is not bad, (if not leeking) it just needs adjustment. Is your tire pressure at 33/30. (I believe thats what it says on door) Last....just because you fix something dosn't mean something goes right after that. I wouldn't be discouraged, once you find this little issue, you'll love the car again. Every car has issues, but these Legends are worth having some patients with. Shoot, I just bought mine and now it don't start, but I have confidence, and hope. Once this issue is fixed, I'll be loving it. Good luck, think simple.
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Well, we'll let others rage on about the whole aftermarket vs. OEM debate.

Believe me, some people get as passionate and hot about that as they do politics.

I don't know what the date code on the tires are, but I bought them from Town Fare Tire which is pretty reputable and I've never had issues with their tires before.

Besides that, out of balance issues, flat spots, and all those other "tire" related issues would be constant, not intermittent the way this problem is.

As far as the work being done correctly or not (please don't take offense) I'm no rocket scientist, but I've been restoring, building, repairing and in general - been working on cars for more than thirty years.

I've rebuilt more front ends than I can remember so I'm confident all the parts went on correctly and soundly.

I've been reading a lot of posts on this issue (which seems to be very prevalent with these cars) and my conclusion is that the CV's are probably bad.

Most folks with this same issue always draw it back to bad CV's, and once they're changed - the front end is golden again.

Every other front wheel drive car I've ever owned never exhibited the symptoms my Legend does, and I'm learning that Acura CV's aren't necessarily bad when they dry up and "click" in the turns like most other CV's

I’m used to only changing CV’s when they dry up and “click” in the turns. Apparently Acura CV’s are very finicky, and can be bad without the clicking.

Acura CV's can be as quite as a mouse and be bad if there’s any play in them. (from what I’ve read in all the Acura forums)

I'm going to go that route first and see what results it yields; hopefully it will fix the problem. If not, I'll move on to the rack and see where that gets me.

Thanks for the suggestions bro, happy trails.............
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your welcome, good luck and I will be watching. If changing your axles fix your issue guess I will be changing mine also. ( a rack can be faulty without leaking) The leaking just means the seals are bad.
Well I like to keep an open mind and that may be a possibility. As far as the tire thing, yes it can be intermittent, and unless you have X-ray vision, how can you tell the tire is an issue. Of course it is different diagnosing something in person than online. Also, did not ask what you know, YOU ASKED the question, so therefore gave some comments that might help, so take it as a grain of salt. Let us know how the guess work goes. So maybe I should inform you that I have been doing this for 30 years as well, been a master mechanic for 20 years, and also an instructor. I'm just new to owning this car, but not new to mechanics, especially from Japan. Peace.
I'll post a follow up like I always do because I think it helps everybody.

I'm not quite sure where all the sarcasm and indignation is coming from. I thought my reply was calm, respectful in tone and gracious.

Apologize for any comments that may have offended, that's not where my head was at all.

You might want to consider switching to decafe......
Ha ha ha... I am glad everyone is on the same page...
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