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Technical Steering stabilizers.Who’s using one ?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by A-Bomb, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. A-Bomb
    Joined: Jan 19, 2003
    Posts: 297

    A-Bomb
    Member

    Seem to have a vibration ( shimmy)in the steering wheel at 58-61 MPH. Model A, dropped axle, hairpins, Vega box, new and balanced front tires ( did it with last tires also). 7-8 degrees caster. Would one of those stabilizers help this ? I really dont know what else to do.
     
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  2. I have had good luck with using steering stabilizers to smooth things out. They will not compensate serious problems. You have to have no looseness in the system and good alignment. In your case, you may want to also try different settings on you toe-in.
     
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  3. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,556

    oldsman41
    Member

    I would try to dial it in if I were you steering stabilizer is a band aid compared to a good alignment just my 2 cents
     
  4. Driver50x
    Joined: May 5, 2014
    Posts: 165

    Driver50x
    Member

    Have you checked the runout of your tires? Make sure they are nice and round.
     
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  5. A-Bomb
    Joined: Jan 19, 2003
    Posts: 297

    A-Bomb
    Member

    Tires looked good and balanced great. Everything is smooth till that speed range. Old tires wore even. Seem to notice it most after running up past that speed then letting off and the car is slowing back down.
     
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  6. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,610

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    Its always been either the center link or tires when any of my cars did the shimmy shimmy coco bop.. Unless it was a 65-68 Chevy Impala..
     
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  7. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,809

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I did, it helped significantly but didn't cure my problem...I also added balance beads to my Tubes in my Firestone Champion Bias plys and that really helped smooth out the shakes at numerous speeds...I can do 60 to 65mph without realizing it now and I give the beads the thumbs up on that...

    It certainly can't hurt bandaid or not...

    They come in painted or chrome...I wish I got the latter...also many use vintage vw...

    Are you running Bias plys?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  8. A-Bomb
    Joined: Jan 19, 2003
    Posts: 297

    A-Bomb
    Member

    No, 185-75-r14 on 6 inch wide Chrome OE rims.
     
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  9. A-Bomb
    Joined: Jan 19, 2003
    Posts: 297

    A-Bomb
    Member

    Also everything only has about 10,000 miles on it. Only put new tires on due to the old ones being over 10 years old.
     
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  10. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 21,809

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That's interesting as many say once they ditched the bias that ended the issue...

    I'm certainly not a front end genius but other things that are frequently mentioned are wheel offset, front and rear track...ie is the front further or in to the back...

    Drums can be out of round/balance and rims can be out as well or bent...OR not seated correctly...stud holes can be oval

    By the way I have a 50 ford steering box without cross steer so our situations are slightly different...

    I did have a shop align my front end as well...
     
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  11. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,610

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    Those balance beads work but when your driving at high speeds and you hit an expansion joint or bump the beads get disturbed and the shake will come back but just for a split second or two..
     
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  12. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,545

    indyjps
    Member

    Really check all your components. We work with piles of parts from unknown sources. If they were ever in a junkyard those vehicles get dragged around and dropped with large equipment. Any collision or even a low speed curb hit in the past can tweak parts.
    Ever check the runout of your wheels - seems excessive, but a steel wheel can be out of whack in any direction.
    Just saying don't assume old used parts don't have problems. Hope you find the issue.
     
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  13. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,646

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Put this on when mine developed an occasional wobble on some ,but not all roads , mounted to the drag link , works great , does just what its supposed to , stabalizes the steering , $ 19 of the bay . Don't pay attention the the " band aid" bad mouths , they're just regurgitating what theyve heard . IMG_20200702_101704.jpg
     
  14. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,094

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    What's your toe in? Is the whole front axle tight? Kingpins sloppy, or tie rod ends, or not enough toe in all can cause vibrations. I've never used a stabilizer because they're not needed if everything is tight, and both kingpin angle and toe in are correct.
     
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  15. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,588

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Have put a steering stabilizer on every car out of my shop for years. They just seem to smooth out the steering on a straight axle car. Not a band aid as all of these cars were new builds. A good investment.
     
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  16. A-Bomb
    Joined: Jan 19, 2003
    Posts: 297

    A-Bomb
    Member

    Everything is tight and fairly new. I will have the toe checked again. Its just strange it only does this in a small range of speed, smooth every other speed. Mainly when the car is de-cellerating.
     
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  17. A-Bomb
    Joined: Jan 19, 2003
    Posts: 297

    A-Bomb
    Member

    Will have toe checked again, everything is tight and fairly new. Mainly notice it when de-cellerating from a higher speed.
     
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  18. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,646

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    In all likelihood , because of the limited speed/ occurrence condition , its the tire/ wheel rotating mass causing the issue , rears tires can cause the front tires to shake/wobble as well .
     
  19. hemihotrod66
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 499

    hemihotrod66
    Member

    To much caster can cause shimmy... Don't know if you ever saw drag cars especially old front motor dragsters and funny cars get that shimmy at low speeds and when they were backing up...
     
  20. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,434

    jnaki

    upload_2021-9-27_7-27-43.png
    Hello,

    When we bought the 327 powered 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery, it ran, but it was all over the road, the tires shook at freeway speeds and overall, it was a problem that needed to get fixed. But, it was worth it due to the fact that it was time and money well spent. We knew we had to spend more money to get it running correctly and have to add some safety features for anyone to drive.

    It took several months to get some extensive work done on the front end. Did we use any of the stabilizers? Our neighbor told me about them and we gave it some thought. But, the underlying cause of bad handling is/was not going to be corrected by adding something that won’t work. It was as another post mentioned, a band-aid to cover up an underlying problem. It may work for some, but look deeper for the cause and not an another add on part.

    So, what is it? we have all balanced and mounted our cool new tires and rims on various hot rods and daily drivers. It is one thing that most drivers do is just that mount the new tires and get them balanced. Usually, it is always wise to get it aligned, too. But, sometimes it takes more than just a good alignment and balance.

    We recently had 4 tires mounted and balanced as well as aligned on my wife’s station wagon. When I took it for a high speed run on the nearby freeway, it was all smooth, tracked straight and not a shimmy in the steering wheel at any speed. So, we were fortunate that the last thing did not have to be done to make the car handle well.

    Most people will do what was mentioned. But, when we had other old cars and hot rods, we had to do several things to make the high speed handling safe and secure. One was a complete new build of the front suspension in parts and alignment. The tires were mounted and balanced on the car first. (40 sedan delivery) but, then, the sedan delivery still shook at high speeds. So, the wheel and tire guy said to go to this other shop and have the tires “trued.” Meaning shaved to complete roundness with the wheels mounted.

    Jnaki

    I was horrified at the amount of rubber taken off of the new tires from the Sedan Delivery. Each one looked good, were balanced well, but were still causing problems. The tire shaving guy was all chuckles at the amount of rubber that was sitting on the floor below my tires spinning on the machine. I was just looking and imagining several hundreds of miles of coastal cruising going down to the floor. He had seen it all. The solution was that the factories have those tire casings and the result of popping out millions of tires out for the general public, but not all casing forms are completely 100% round when the tire pops out.

    So, the tire true machine makes it round and despite the loss of rubber, in the long run, we would all get better handling and long life for the treads. Did the 327 powered 1940 Ford sedan delivery handle well after many months of rebuilding/repairing/replacing those worn out parts? (An overwhelming, yes!!!)

    It handled good enough for my wife to enjoy driving the 327 powered sedan delivery anytime for any reason. She never had to look over her shoulder for road handling problems or braking while enjoying the cool sedan delivery. She even took it on errands by herself. Confidence and the value of adding in safety/comfort made the rewards wonderful. YRMV
    upload_2021-9-27_7-29-10.png
     
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  21. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,646

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Yep , most every VW built for 30+ years had one of those " Band-Aids on it , those silly German engineers just couldn't get the frt. end right .... I'm sure there are other examples ..LOL:rolleyes:
     
  22. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,434

    jnaki





    Hello,

    Those old VW cars and vans had them, but they had problems in handling in the wind and ruts of hard driving. They do a job for what they were intended and your history may have had good results.

    For the most part, the shimmy is still there, the stabilizer just absorbs it as it is supposed to do. Usually, in any hot rod, the parts are old and need updating for the best choice in safety and handling. But to just add on a stabilizer is not always the answer.

    What the factory in Germany knew was that anything helped those little bugs and boxy vans going down the road in any windy conditions. (always good to C.Y.A.) Sometimes when the strong offshore winds piped up in So Cal, driving those little bugs/vans down Coast Highway was a handful. For many years and many different VW cars/vans still had the same problems.

    But, those VW Vans were upright rectangular boxes that needed something to keep the steering straight. Sometimes the wind was a lot stronger and two hands were needed to keep the vans and bugs going straight.

    Jnaki

    VWs are not HAMB appropriate and this topic is moot. So, some use stabilizers and some don't. It is not the answer for hot rods and old rebuilds... YRMV
     
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  23. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,901

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    steering damper 04.JPG steering damper 05.JPG radiator new 01.jpg I have used them on straight axle applications. Two possibilities are a Fiero and a VW. Here's a VW one I'm getting ready to put on my Logghe altered.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  24. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,308

    birdman1
    Member

    It's called bump steer. And those heavy radial tires don't help it. The drag link is so piney on a model a that it flexes and causes a shimmy
    This is true about most straight axle cars. Use the steering damper and try it, you'll like it!
     
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  25. A-Bomb
    Joined: Jan 19, 2003
    Posts: 297

    A-Bomb
    Member

    Years ago I did use a VW one on my ‘49 Anglia gasser turned street rod. It would get the shimmys occasionally when hitting a bump. The stabilizer did eliminate that.
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  26. V4F
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 4,219

    V4F
    Member
    from middle ca.

    track bar !
     
  27. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,568

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    I didn't need one,till getting one tire that,no matter how I balanced it,still made the frontend act up.
    Being I use 14in. rims on the front,now days and my low piggy bank,made me add a VW type stabilizer.
    Never needed one before,but dose make the tire so I can use it.
    I had put my old badly used up tire back on,just to see=drove fine,back to the new ones,not fine,then one new with one old,fine tell that one new, it was not> fooled around with it too long. Now I just drive it with the stabilizer/when I need another new pair of 14in. fronts,I'll try those with out the VWS on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  28. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 35,181

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The OP never mentioned WHAT TIRE PRESSURE?
     
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  29. tiredford
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 547

    tiredford
    Member
    from Mo.

    I run one. They are cheap and can't hurt.
     
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  30. 57Fury440
    Joined: Nov 2, 2020
    Posts: 39

    57Fury440

    I have a 1965 Econoline axle with cross steering and use one. They work great.
     
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