View Full Version : S14 serious shimmy mostly at highway speed HELP!

02-18-2003, 03:02 AM
I don't think it has anything to do with tire balance, because I have three different sets and the problem is the same with each set.

Maybe it's tie rods. Can anyone educate me about tie rods?

Are there inner and outer tie rods on the S14, what about ball joints. I am fairly mechanically inclined, having done all of the work on my car so far including struts, but I don't know jack about tie rods and ball joints or even what the difference is. Is the ball joint what the tie rod attaches to? Is there inner and outer tie rods? How can I diagnose the problem myself? I'm guessing that tie rods are the most common problem for my symptoms...Assuming it is the tie rods, is it a difficult job, or not to bad if I rent the proper tool and measure everything and use the FSM?


02-18-2003, 04:13 AM
tie rods!! tie rods!! tie rods!! OMG calm the hell down who told you about those??

LOL!!!! ok shimmy, and you said your tires are fine right? did you try a force balance (weight simulation) what kind of tires are you using? are your rims within tolerance? (we dont know this- who knows- all your rims could be bent!)

get your wheels and tires checked and then you'll have one 'unknown' out of the equation..

next, take your car to an alignment shop/ garage and have your front end looked at. Look at your T/C rods, at your tie rod ends (the farthest ends of your steering rack that connect to the hubs) and have them checked for play.

Hubs as well.. make sure you have good hubs (no annoying roughness that starts around 40mph-ish)

gotta be more descriptive with the symptom.. is it a harsh vibration that eminates through the steering wheel? or is it something that you feel in the floor? is it a roughness that can be distinguished as a hub bearing?
if in doubt.. pay somebody that knows, or find a buddy thats done front end stuff before.. our front ends are really easy.. one lower control arm, a traction control arm, a strut and a steering rack.... good luck!

02-19-2003, 12:45 PM
It's a steering wheel shimmy not so much harsh, and not through the floor of the vehicle. The T/C rods bushings are new (whiteline polyurethane). Does anyone know the deal with tie-rods and ball joints. What is a ball joint...Is that what the tei rod connects to, and if so is it ussually the tie rod that wears before the ball joint?

Is there inner and outer tie rods, or just the outer ones?

I want to do the work myself except for the allaignment if possible. I am ordering the polyurethane bushings and tie rods from pdm-racing this week, and I am just tryiing to do all my homework. I have an extra car available for 2 weeks so this is when I need to do they work...No problem if I am of the road for a week waiting for shop to press bearings and my friend to help me with everything else.

I'm gonna take the control arms off and then pay someone to do the bearings rather than drop off the keys and wait for A HUGE BILL. How much is reasonable to pay someone to press front lower arm, rear lower arms and rear upper arm bushings. And how difficult is it to replace the tie rods?


02-19-2003, 01:43 PM
one things for sure!.... take it to a shop! the can do all the diagnostic for under 80 bucks! they'll check for play in the tie rods ends(innner and outer)(MOSTLY THE OUTER TIE RODS) also check all the allignmet necessitys as well! I will definitly go shop around for prices, but definitly go to NISSAN!(they now the dilly!)

02-19-2003, 02:58 PM
If it has snowed in your area recently it's probably just snow stuck in your wheels. Yes it can cause a very bad shaking at highway speeds.

02-19-2003, 03:08 PM
If it has snowed in your area recently it's probably just snow stuck in your wheels. Yes it can cause a very bad shaking at highway speeds.

I've had that happen before, with ice frozen to the bottom of all my wheels (while parked) made then EXTREMELY unballanced and unstable while driving.

02-20-2003, 03:36 AM
Honestly, you could probably do the diagnostic portion at home. Here is what you need
1) 2 floor jacks or preferably 2 floor jack stands and 1 floor jack
2) A friend (preferably not a blind one)
3) A flash light

Here is what you need to do. Jack up both sides of the car so both front tires are off of the ground. Now have your friend crawl under the car and hold the flash light looking at the suspension. Now put your hands on the tire at the 12 and 6 position and start shaking the tire. It should not be moving. Now put your hands at the 9 and 3 position and shake again. It should not be moving. The tire should only rotate, but should not have movement in it. If it does have movement then what this is showing to you are signs of either bad bearings or bad tie rods (you will be able to tell the difference or rather whoever is looking under the car at the suspension should be able to tell the difference). If you still can't locate anything else, then take it to a shop and see if they find anything for you. Good luck.

Tim '95 SE

04-21-2003, 03:53 AM
I've had the tires all balanced and I have new tie rods and new LCA and T/C rod bushings and the car still shimmies like a *****.
If I am turning and bracking like on an off ramp the wheel shimmy gets very bad while I am on the brake, and on occasion the shimmy gets worse when I step on the brake, but it shimmies even when I am not on the brake and you can't feel any vibrations throught the car or brake pedal, just the steering wheel. Is it possible that my crappy slotted cross drilled rotors are so badly warped that they are causing the shimmy ( like maybe if the rotors were hanging up a tiny bit or if the rotors were badly warped, I would think that you would feel this through the brake pedal though??????

04-21-2003, 08:29 AM
it sounds pretty bad, you should be able to find something. i recently noticed a nasty wobble out of mine and found out i had a wheel bearing going bad.try getting the front end off the ground and moving the wheel with your hands in a side to side kinda thing...if it clicks then see whats moving. if the hub stays still and the wheel wiggles. it's your wheel bearing...get a new hub. i got one from the dealer for 80$....