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Mar 17, 2015, 5:05 PM

Post #1 of 5 (1091 views)
steering/suspention Sign In

I have a 1989 Chevrolet celebrity front wheel-drive. 2.8 liter. It has a shimmy in the front-end and I dont have a clue what it could be. I checked the tie-rods and wheel-bearings and they appear to be tight. But it has a shimmy for sure. Any help would be appreciated.

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Mar 17, 2015, 5:53 PM

Post #2 of 5 (1083 views)
Re: steering/suspention Sign In

Shimmy at slow speeds? Shimmy while cruising, on accel, decel, or all of the above?

If you rotate the front tires to the rear, does it still shimmy in the front? Have you inspected the tires for slipped belts or bubbles? Was this in an accident before the shimmy started?

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


Mar 18, 2015, 7:12 PM

Post #3 of 5 (1071 views)
Re: steering/suspention Sign In

The front-end shimmies at all speeds. I have changed the tires completely and it still shimmies. I have about reached my whitts-end. I don't believe it has been in an accident. Thanx for the response.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 19, 2015, 12:53 AM

Post #4 of 5 (1067 views)
Re: steering/suspention Sign In

Not sure what you mean about the tires and what you have done? As DS suggested you would take whole wheel and tire and rotate them to rear and see if the problem changed with that but seems it doesn't or you didn't do that yet?

Could be the wheel not the tire so if only a new tire on same bad wheel doesn't count yet.

Spin the wheels with tires on, car in "N" - properly hoisted both front wheels for this complaint and car. Watch the wheel and tires while turning by hand for flaws.

From there if all is right I would move on to checking brakes for problems. First clue would be one tighter than the other and worn more on one side than the other.

Areas of brake problems include the rotors, calipers, pins that stick, pads that failed, rotors that have built up dirt/rust between rotor and hub will show as an out of round wheel when installed and tightened back up and requires removing rotor to clean up or more depending on what found and how long it was driven might need new rotors AGAIN even if done already and not done properly. Flex hoses can allow caliper to drag but usually fail worse than you are describing such that a caliper locks up, gets hot and car pulls as that brake can't release.

The problem of dirt or rust between a rotor and hub can happen anytime a wheel is removed - even just normal wheel and tire rotation IF rotor is free from a hub when wheel is removed the dirt/rust flakes fall unseen and would show as warped. A bit common for vehicles where rotors are not fastened to hubs like this car AND with age and exposed to road salts especially.

It all counts - wheels if aluminum type also can build up crud and won't spin true.

This should actually be easy to diagnose still unknown what to fix until you go thru the check list of things that could cause this. Pretty much anything that turns with the wheels. Why are you so sure it's not a bearing? The description isn't consistent with a bad bearing but still not ruled out to me yet. More common is complaint of a growl with bearings. If a wobble it's about ready to fall off!


Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Mar 21, 2015, 5:45 PM

Post #5 of 5 (1040 views)
Re: steering/suspention Sign In

Lots of good suggestions to check out........Not a whole lot of info on the problem.........
If the shimmy only happens under acceleration (when you are giving it gas) and not when you are coasting.......Then more than likely you have a bad inner CV joint.

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