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Thread: Rear Wobble and Wiggle around sharp corners and sweepers - only when turning right

  1. #1

    Rear Wobble and Wiggle around sharp corners and sweepers - only when turning right

    Going around a sharp left turn at high speeds, no problem. Going around a sharp right turn at mid-speed causes a serious wheel wobble or wiggle. At it's worst it feels like the driver's rear tire is changing it's angle by 10-degrees left and right, throwing the car all over the place. Rather disconcerting when going around a long sweeper or S-curve. Other times it feels like the tire is folding in on itself, but I've since rotated the tires and keep 40psi in them without improvement.

    I've been desperate to solve this problem for seven-months now. I've replaced most of the front and rear suspension in the process. The mechanic I go to (and trust) has not been able to find the problem, and there is no play in the system when on the lift. Given that this is the first suspension work I've done on my 117,000 mile 2003 FX45, there have been plenty of things in need of fixing, but the dollars have been adding up. I've been using low-cost aftermarket components, but I had the dealer replace the hub on the offending wheel (at three times the price) in the hope that the dealer could fix it. Nada. The aftermarket shocks are softer than stock, but nothing that would explain this. Alignment has been freshly done.

    The problem seems to occur when shifting weight onto the driver side rear wheel. When going around 65mph S-Curves the slip light and VDC kicks on, but only when turning right. Brakes and acceleration seem to be working properly. Left turns work properly. This seems unrelated to dealing with bumps.

    At low speeds a sharp right will produce a small wobble. It isn't until higher speeds that a serious wiggle kicks in. I get a vibration in the steering wheel on straight freeways, but other times it seems to lessen.

    I need your help. If anyone can give me a list of what failed parts could be causing this and what to check in some semblence of order, I'll be forever in your debt.

  2. #2
    Update:

    The car misbehaves when there is a sharp weight shift onto the driver's side rear wheel. The wheel seems to reach a point of failure suddenly but recovers quickly once the extra load is removed. In a gradual weight shift the effects are present, but minor. I'll take guesses at this point to help me locate the problem.

  3. #3

    Long Drive

    After a long drive my mechanic could not identify anything wrong. This is likely because he wasn't driving as aggressively as me (who wants to wreck a customer's car?), but it could also be his not being familiar with the stock suspension and feels that this now soft suspension is perfectly normal.

    Having not found anything that would lead him toward the problem, we are back to the tires as being the likely culprit. Eventually I'll write down the name of them, but they have otherwise been perfectly satisfactory Chinese tires. The working theory is that the sidewalls are either sub-standard, defective or damaged. That the problem started right around the time the tires went on leads me with no choice but to explore the possibility, with a new set of four replacing my 3000 mile tires. I'll give you an update once I've scrapped together enough scratch to give that a shot.

    Hopefully this thread will help someone someday.

  4. #4

    Front-end Splay

    Update: So I bought new tires. Yokohama Parada Spec-X 265-50R20. They do help, but the problem still exists. I'm not experiencing the truly frightening lurch on freeway curves, but I did discover a new symptom.

    It's been know for awhile that a right turn is what causes the problem, now it seems to be more like a 90-degree right turn at 30ish mph. I need to refine this so as to produce a repeatable result.

    Now that everything that can be tightened up has been tightened up, the new symptom is the car misbehaving during right turn braking. This leads me to believe the problem lies with one of the front wheel suspensions turning a few degrees (word of the day: splay) more than it should under braking pressure, upsetting vehicle balance. This could explain the 90-degree turn problem as that maneuver tends to be accompanied with braking. It also would explain why freeway speeds without braking seems to be better. With the incremental improvements I consider the car safe to drive with the possible exception of emergency braking maneuvers, end even then it's probably better than most of the cars on the road.

    Next time I'm in the shop I'll report my findings (including a repeatable test) to the mechanic and see if that sparks any new ideas. I'd be happy to hear from any of you if you wouldn't mind sharing your thoughts.

  5. #5
    Man, you've touched all the bases I would have suggested, up to and including the tires. Is the the brake rotor okay (?) A badly-warped rotor possibly could set up an oscillation in a turn.

    Other than that, a malfunctioning anti-slip sensor or ABS sensor in that wheel could cause it to apply braking in a pulsing manner when it's not supposed to. Have you checked those?

    I'm not familiar with the FX ... does it have rear-wheel steering? If so, that could be malfunctioning.

    Other than those, I'm out of ideas. Good luck finding it!
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  6. #6
    Thanks for the response. I'll have the mechanic look into each of the items you mentioned.

    No rear-wheel steering on the FX.

    My new theory is that one of the front wheels is the problem. While everything tracks straight going forward, once torque on one front wheel reaches some set point, the suspension suddenly lets go a few extra degrees. I think this is what causes the balance to get upset. First the car tracks one front tire, then it tracks with the other, throwing the car into a short but violent oscillation. Breaking only makes matters worse.

    That's what it does at the failure point. Once both front wheels are under full load the problem stops. It's just that 1-2 seconds transitioning in a curve where things go very wrong.

    In any case, I've grown use to it. I've felt it enough to know it's not going to throw me into a crash, and it's not likely to cause a catastrophic mechanical failure. More importantly I know when I am approaching the failure point and adapt my driving and alertness accordingly. I will eventually find and slay this dragon, but I'm not afraid to drive the car.

  7. #7
    Well, good luck with it, and be careful driving it!
    If someone blows up a school with a bomb they go after the bomber ... if someone shoots up a school they go after the gun.

    A privilege is just a right that has been taken away by government.

    Political correctness is cowardice wrapped in a lie.
    ________________________________

    2013 Acura RDX Tech, 30% tints, hardwired Escort 8500 X50

    2011 Infiniti M56, 30% ceramic tint, hard-wired Escort 8500 X50, LED cabin and trunk lighting - traded!


  8. #8

    Fixed!

    Sent the old FX to get my 6-month old tires rotated. They called me down to take a look. The entire inside tread on both rear tires was shredded while the outside was pristine. Alignment? No, something much worse. Or is it?

    With direct evidence of a significant problem the mechanic started tearing things off the back end. Eventually he got all the way down to rear knuckle bushings. Eureka! They were blown.

    The OEM part was $1200 each and I needed two. My mechanic figured out that this exact same part was available from some higher volume car for a fraction of the price. Installed for $600 each, + alignment, + tire rebalance, + breaks = $1957 + tax.

    For those who speak mechanic the receipt says "r&r rear knuckle bushing api w press fees 600.per side $1200

    It's fixed. I'm happy. Hopefully someone else can get theirs fixed without spending a year wondering what the problem could be.

  9. #9
    Senior Administrator palmerwmd's Avatar
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    I am happy you got it fixed!!!
    Been watching this thread but didnt post in it since i didnt know.

    The FX does share quite a few components with other vehicles from the Nissan/Infiniti line so big kudos to your Mechanic to know this and act on it.

    Happy thanks giving!
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  10. #10
    Yeah, that wasn't a cheap fix, but you're definitely a lot safer now ... especially with those rear tires being so worn!
    If someone blows up a school with a bomb they go after the bomber ... if someone shoots up a school they go after the gun.

    A privilege is just a right that has been taken away by government.

    Political correctness is cowardice wrapped in a lie.
    ________________________________

    2013 Acura RDX Tech, 30% tints, hardwired Escort 8500 X50

    2011 Infiniti M56, 30% ceramic tint, hard-wired Escort 8500 X50, LED cabin and trunk lighting - traded!


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