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slight shake at 70 mph

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Sep 10, 2015, 7:04 PM

Post #1 of 14 (1205 views)
slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

The front end has a slight shake that is in the 65-70 mph range and the front end shakes when you apply the
brake to slow down from that speed. I'm trying to sort out what work needs to be done now to fix this problem. I have
just finished with a lot of other work on the front end.

I just put new upper control arms with new bushings and upper ball joints and lower ball joints on my 4wd 1989 Jimmy s15. Its got 276,000 miles on it.

The front end has never been touched. The upper control arm bushings were shot on both sides.

I have not changed out the tie rod ends. The truck does not have a problem from tire wear due to toe in so
I blew off replacing them. I figured I would wait until I got through with the other stuff and let a shop check it
out because I do not know if changing the control arm and ball joints would even affect toe in.

You can see that they are in pretty bad shape as the rubber is trying
to separate where the tie rod buckles up to the front end.

I just had some tires put on the front end and I had all the wheels balanced. So, the slight shake may mean
the front end has still has some worn out parts still on it.

I'm trying to decide if I should get some new tie rod ends since they appear to be worn out.

I'm going to take it to a shop anyway to have it checked out. I've replaced everything I think could
cause the shake.

I did not replace the cv axles and joints but they aren't clicking. So, I figure they
aren't the problem. I did break a boot on one and I replaced it but the joint was still full of

I'm considering putting new tie rod ends on but since I intend to take it to a front end shop
I'm not sure its something I should tackle as I've never put tie rod ends on. Looks like they
are about 5 bucks apiece.

I believe since I have a hammer and pickle fork it would be easy to
put new ones on. All I'll have to do is count the turns to make sure I put them back on in the same
position as the ones are on that are worn out. I'm going to find out what the front end shop will charge to
install them.

Before I get any further into this could those worn out tie rod ends be the reason for the slight shake at 70 mph?
What other things could cause the shake that I should also check out.

(This post was edited by jackx on Sep 10, 2015, 7:36 PM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 10, 2015, 8:18 PM

Post #2 of 14 (1193 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

Quote">>The front end has never been touched. The upper control arm bushings were shot on both sides.<<"

jackx: It's hard to take you seriously about anything anymore and think you should quit working on this thing till you can pass tires '101' at least.
Worn front end parts - of which above control arm bushing are but front end has never been touched?? nor alignment done with a something to do with sheet rock you said (that's a first) do not cause shaking - imagine that. It can and will exacerbate any and all other reason the DO cause shaking or imbalance.

It's time you get this vehicle somehow to a real tech for an estimate and list of everything about it that needs attention and how much it would cost much like you should do when buying a used vehicle and go from there,



Sep 10, 2015, 8:40 PM

Post #3 of 14 (1188 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

Sorry you are confused. The front end had never been touched for 276,000 miles.
It was worn out.

I decided to replace the upper control arms recently and after doing that I replaced the
lower ball joints I did the work myself myself. So, yes its been touched now.

After doing this I wanted to set the camber so it could be driven awhile before I took the
front end shop.

I decided that the best way to do that was use my sheet rock square to determine how to
turn the 2 camber bolts found on each end of the control arm so that the wheel would be
perpendicular to the ground. A sheet rock square is shaped like a 3 foot tall L. It is what carpenters
use to draw 90 degree lines on sheet rock to cut off pieces of sheet rook when they are sheet rocking a wall, I had
one so I use it to make sure my tires are setting at 90 degrees to the ground. This worked fine. I used the sheet rock square to determine if the tires on my Blazer which was professionally aligned were setting at the same angle as on my Jimmy. They are. So, the camber is the same. So, the 1989 Jimmy camber is ok.

Now I believe that the slight shake the Jimmy has at 70 and the shake at that speed when you hit the brakes
may be due to a bad outer and inner tie rod ends. I am comfortable now that all the tires are
in balance so, they aren't causing this shake. I had that done today.

All I want to know is can worn out tie rod ends cause a vehicle got shake once it gets up to
65-70 mph. Will these bad tie rod ends also cause the vehicle to shake when you hit the
brakes at that speed? My Jimmy is doing this.

I will replace those tie rod ends myself next week because they are worn but I wanted to know
if they could be causing the shake. I looked up the cost and I should be able to do it for about 40 bucks.

I will set the toe in myself. It does not appear to be that hard to do. I'm past the point of taking it to a tech
now. The front end has all been rebuilt except the tie rod ends. Next week I will do that myself. Then if its
still got a shake at 65-70 I will take it to a tech.

I have no idea what tires 101 is. I assume that is a comment of how knowledgeable I am about cars. Well if I was an expert and did this for a living I would not be on this forum. If I am such a dumbass that you guys don't want to help me then fine. Don't. Soon nobody will be coming to your forum because most are probably just as stupid as I am.

HT has always made rude comments, He didn't even read my last post about mismatched tires because he kept talking about how I should not put a mismatched tire on the rear of my truck because it would mess up the differental. If he had read it he would know that I was putting the tire on the front. I didn't want to mess up the differential. Decrete finally had to get in there and made it clear that it was ok to put it on the front.

Now you are telling me to bone up on tires 101. I guess because you don't understand what I am saying. Well I did my best to explain to you what a sheet rock square is. I really am having a hard time also understanding that you did not understand my truck's front end was worn out because it had been driven 276,000 miles without ever having any front end work done. That's what it was parked. I knew it needed the front end fixed because it was dangerous to drive. I decided to fix it myself and save money. All I knew doing into this challenge was the tires needed to be perpendicular to the ground to wear correctly and the car's tires should not be toed in or toed out. So, that's all I'm shooting for before
I take it to a front end shop. after I take it to them they will check it out for 20 bucks and tell me if they need to align it.
that alignment would be astronomical in cost if I had not decided to install all the replacement parts myself and just leave them to needing only to readjust the camber and toe in.

Give me a break. I don't have the tools you guys have always had to rebuild front ends. I have never rebuilt a front end before. I have to learn as I go. I have do make do with what I have. Descrete is the only one that actually will discuss stuff with me without saying something totally inappropriate.

I give up. From now I will not be disappoint if you and HT stop responding to my posts. Life's to short to have to deal with being talked to like I'm an idiot. The people who have threads with problems on this forum aren't auto tech students
who know the auto tech vocabulary you are used to hearing.

(This post was edited by jackx on Sep 10, 2015, 10:18 PM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 10, 2015, 10:08 PM

Post #4 of 14 (1181 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

Oh boy - I'll humor this some more and don't know why.

Just how did you support or hoist front wheels to check "CAMBER" with this "L" square? If you hoisted by frame you get one angle and by lower control arm another. Please don't suggest you know a thing about alignments or seriously search out what it takes to do one live on YouTube might be enough to show you how much you DON'T KNOW.

Adjusting cams at control arm also effects caster which is an angle that will not wear tires but can make a vehicle pull. Worn front end parts of many types will NOT cause shake! Got that?
It shakes when you use the brakes which is a problem on top. Rotor spins with the wheel at all times and part of the overall balance not included in balancing a tire and wheel unless you find an "on car" type alignment place - none close to me anymore.

A sticking brake could cause a shaking as well as anything untrue. Are wheels and tires true? Just how are they balanced? You mentioned 5 weights on one were needed? Weights range from generally 1/4 oz to 3 oz either stick on or wedged onto rims. You could balance a square wheel, warped wheel and it would still shake from lack of trueness. Tires (any) can have tread separation and other assorted flaws not always easy to determine.

Shaking from imbalance frequently will pick a speed around common highway speeds and run itself out of that at another speed but don't suggest this vehicle be driven at highway speeds yet at all as there's just too much unknown.
Tie rod ends to do not cause vibrations or shaking but can make it worse as other front end parts.

You've said this has 275,000 miles now. Every part in the thing is in question IMO. Time long past to determine what parts are thought good and know what parts are not all thru it. By miles and age it should have been thru about 4 pretty intense inspections for all wearing items to declare if worth continuing with it at all both IMO and experience.

OK - shakes, vibrations, noises are warnings of something wrong anywhere. How far do you want to go with this vehicle and if not willing to spend some time and money checking it out it's a parts vehicle or subject to surprises at any time.

Of all things it has to be safe to use it at all if not for yourself for anyone else that could be harmed by this thing,



Sep 10, 2015, 10:38 PM

Post #5 of 14 (1178 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

I adjusted the camber with the car setting in the drive way. It was not suspended or hoisted up in any way.
The Sheet rock square was just pressed up against each tire in two places to make sure it was perpendicular to the ground (with the car setting on the ground) when I finished. The places I pressed it up against the tires was directly in front of each cam adjustment bolt.

All the front end parts except the tie rod ends have been replaced. The tires were balanced today and checked
to make sure they were true.

The tire with 4 or 5 weights was removed from the left rear and is now a spare. I bought two new tires today.
One to replace the mismatched tire and one to replace this tire.

Thanks for telling me that the tie rod ends are not probably causing the shake at 70 mph. I will look elsewhere.

The two tires I did not replace are fairly old and I put them on the rear. Since they aren't brand new they may be causing the problem.

Like I have said I was simply trying to make sure I have replaced all needed parts that might be causing this problem
before I take the vehicle into the front end shop. I don't have 400 or 500 bucks to pay them to do what I chose to
do myself to save money.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 11, 2015, 12:57 AM

Post #6 of 14 (1174 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

You didn't do squat checking alignment - learn something, anything about it. With a sheet rock tool or what with weight on the tire it's fatter at the bottom so if you even wanted within a mile you missed. Adjusting anything changes the next in that and other adjustments. You support all wheels with weight and check by the rim not the tire. Get's better, steering wheel must be straight ahead and centered. If not all results are wrong.

Tie rod ends are greaseable. If done enough they could be good still or so tight from rot you couldn't tell. Can drive and steer till they fall off and lose all control. New and super cheap could be bad out of the box or fail faster. If you are unable to tell with checking learn how is what I'm saying.

Balancing weights? How much weight? If more than so much you change position of the tire on the rim and inspect that tire new, used and anything wrong with it. Watching it spin you can see some flaws and some from the inside. Could be some debris, tar, rust or something inside the rim too.
OK - Back on vehicle and moving al things that turn are back in the balance. Rotor itself for from, drums for rear on this. Anything that spins with the wheel.

Brake issues, dragging slightly or moderately can feel like unbalanced. Load on u-joints, cv joints and angles they are at most can make a pattern and shake at that time.

It's hard enough when cost is no object with all the right equipment and knowing how to use it. There can be things that will be missed by the eye or near impossible to check. Is the driveshaft to the rear in balance? How would you know or anyone except for getting a new one?

Let's at least know this is safe. All parts to do with suspension known safe. Since braking changes this "slight shake" you need to know at least the calipers and pins are good such that they don't drag and rotor shows no uneven spots.

There's a lot to it all about this,


Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Sep 11, 2015, 4:36 AM

Post #7 of 14 (1162 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

How is your camber measurement going to be accurate by checking it with a T square if the tires bulge out at the bottom from the vehicle's weight?

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Sep 11, 2015, 4:37 AM)


Sep 11, 2015, 4:48 AM

Post #8 of 14 (1158 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

Thks for giving me all that advice. It was very helpful.

I believe I'll let a mechanic look at it. After he checks it out for 20 bucks I can decide then
if the additional work he wants to do can be done by myself. If he wants to replace the cv
axles and joints I can do that myself and save me the money. Two had tears at the small end
and I repaired that myself with epoxy and a patch. I tore one at the big end and I replaced that with
a new boot. It still had grease in it and they weren't clicking. So, I figured they did not need to be
replace just yet. I wish now I had gone ahead and got new ones and put them on.

If he wants to replace the outer tie rod end that should not be expensive and I'll let him do it.

I was only trying to get close with the sheet rock square. I had first used it to see what it showed
when I used it to check out my Blazer which was aligned a while back. I made sure they showed the
same after I adjusted the Jimmy camber bolts. That took a lot of adjusting and its tight in there when the
vehicle is setting on the ground.

I was placing the square next to the tire and it was not actually touching the bottom where its fat. It
was touching the tire about 1/4 way down and 3/4 way down. I could not put it down where
the tire is fat because I had to slide the bottom of the "L" on the driveway under the front of the
tire to measure the angle of the tire to the flat surface of the driveway. I did the same on the back
side of the tire too.

The reason I never had anything aligned all those miles is it ran fine and the tire wore fine.
Now after 276,000 miles it was shaking so bad I had to park it until I fixed it or got rid of it.

I did take it in once after I put new tires on it when it had 80,000 miles on it and the tech
wanted to rebuild it then for about 500 bucks. So, I never took it back. I didn't trust him.

I've been in shops and heard them talking about how they were going to get the repair job cost
up on my vehicle because I would never know that it didn't need the work done they were going to
tell me that needed to be done. They were paid based on what the jobs cost the customer. One tech
offered to give his buddy my mustang because his jobs that week had not resulted in him getting what
he usually got paid for a weeks work. They didn't know I was standing there and heard them talking.
All I wanted was my wheel bearing greased. They were running a special on greasing wheel bearings,
They said they were going to tell me I needed all kinds of brake work done too. My brake pads were
not worn out and I always replace them myself when they need it. So I told them to just grease the
bearing and I'd fix the pads myself.

My uncle was a mechanic and he once told me that he once quit a job after the owner of the
shop started trying to make him do the same thing.

Yes I'm aware that lots of mechanics like you are honest and would have done the same thing my
uncle done. Now at least you know why I check things out before I let anybody work on my

Thanks for your help. I will leave you alone now. I am sorry I had such a hard time explaining to you
what I was trying to explain. I don't know a lot about front ends and I am sure my way of fixing things
are not in the book a lot of the time and hard for anyone else to understand.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 11, 2015, 5:20 AM

Post #9 of 14 (1154 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

I don't care what you are measuring with, if you don't have the sires on sliding turn plates, you can't measure anything.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.


Sep 11, 2015, 5:49 AM

Post #10 of 14 (1151 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

HT I hope you are right and maybe after the front end shop makes some adjustments to the camber cams maybe
the shake will be history.

If not then it is probably the rear tires after reading Tom's responses. They were mfg in 2008 and are beginning to show weather cracks on the sidewall. The front tires I put on were mfg in 2015, so, I'm not that concerned with them. I just hope the shop balanced them correctly. The tire shop said the rear tires were ok too but how would they know if the weather cracks are a problem. When they spin them they are not under a load.

At least I am past the point of believing the tie rod ends cause the shake. I had googled it and there are some
guys saying that bad tie rod ends do cause a shake at highway speed and do cause the front to shake when you hit the
brakes at 65. You can read anything on the internet when you google it. I wanted to get a technical opinion
from this site.

I sure as hell was not trying to convince anyone I knew how to align a front end. If I knew that
I would not be asking the questions on the forum. After you replace control arms and ball joints you have to set
the camber tentatively just to get it to the shop to have it checked out. That's all I have done. I just figured it was
probably pretty close and not the reason I had the shake since it is set like my other vehicle when I check it with
the square. Guess I may have been wrong.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 11, 2015, 6:08 AM

Post #11 of 14 (1149 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

Wheel alignment will not cause nor cure a shake. If it is shaking when you hit the brakes at high speed, you have warped rotors.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 11, 2015, 7:15 AM

Post #12 of 14 (1147 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

jackx - I've said worn parts nor alignment (unless something wild and your are there) doesn't cause shaking but rather will "exacerbate" {{make worse}} the problem.
New parts you generally put back as best you can as old ones came out then directly off to get an alignment not change it from where it was last known correct.

As said again and again this one is worse with braking so brakes are the primary issue.

You wont like the cost of a real alignment or what more no doubt will be found. Said in this mess that if the steering wheel isn't straight or was put on without indexing it straight with a mark on shaft seen where steering wheel bolts on it wont be right either,

Lots more to it that angle iron measuring so sensitive a full vs empty tank of fuel will give you different readings!



Sep 11, 2015, 2:35 PM

Post #13 of 14 (1135 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

I fixed the shake. I had found that the inner boots had come loose from the cv shaft so patched both boots. My patches were rubber tire tube epoxied over the ends of the both inner boots with the patches cinched down to the shaft with hose clamps. I got to thinking maybe straping all that to the cv drive shaft was not the best temporary fix since it
does rotate. Eventually I knew it would need new cv shafts.

I took that crap off and presto. I'll worry about them at a later date when they start clicking. It zips up to 70 and 90 % of the shake is gone. Definitely drivable now. I did check the tie rod ends and they are way past worn out. You can move the front wheel back and forth about an inch. Lots of slack. I have found a shop that will do an alignment and I will take it to him now and have him fix the tie rod ends and adjust the camber.

As Tom suggested I did read up on camber and caster. Camber is simple to adjust. I probably need about 1 or 2 degrees based on what I read.

I have not got a clue as to how you adjust caster though because you need a special gauge and you have to turn the wheel 20 degrees to get the info necessary to determine what the caster is.

It is pretty much the same thing as trail on a Harley. If you chop the neck and kick the front end out its called raking the
front end. I ranked one on my scooters 5/16 of a inch and put a 12 over front end on it. Now it goes down the road
with a lot more trail and you don't need to lay a hand on the handlebars because its glued to the road like its on railroad
tracks. What I read said you need as much caster as you can get on a automobile. If you have less trail the bike is easier to turn in smaller radius but it is not near as stable on the highway. I guess caster must be affected as a
a result of the camber angle you have. I really don't understand much about it. I will let my mechanic deal with that.
The parts are about 50 bucks and I suspect he will charge me 150 bucks to install them and adjust the camber and caster.

Thanks for the education. Now I'll start looking for 2 tires to replace the ones that were mfg in 2008 that are weather carcked so bad.

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 11, 2015, 3:12 PM

Post #14 of 14 (1131 views)
Re: slight shake at 70 mph Sign In

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. You don't always want a lot of Caster. That's why all cars have specifications. Every car has different geometry.

Forget your 1 to 2 degrees of camber too'. I would be surprised if you have more than one degree of total adjustment. What's more important than anything is the relationship of the wheels to each other. Wheel alignment is far more complicated than you can imagine. Besides Camber, Caster and Toe, you also have SAI (steering axis inclination), included angle and thrust angle.

Don't even attempt a DIY alignment.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Sep 11, 2015, 3:13 PM)

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