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steering wheel shake

Unread postby highwaystar on Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:55 pm

Just took my 73 270 for a test drive today after working on it all winter. Things went fairly well except one significant issue.

At about 60mph a steering wheel shake starts then about 65mph it gets fairly bad. It just seems like the single support cannot hold the steering wheel column steady. The tires are new and the vehicle itself doesn't seems to be shaking, just the steering column.

Looking for some feedback. I have never driven a travco or any motor home before. Is this steering column shake normal or do I have to chase down an issue?

Thank you,

Karl
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby badbillybiker on Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:36 pm

the lugs/nuts are to be torqued at 500 pounds... Look about the areas where the nuts are. Look for evidence of rusting indicating loose nuts. jack up the front wheel and put some kind of indicatior close to the center of the tire tread. Spin the wheel looking for an out of round poorly mounted wheel. lastly pull and have the tire rebalanced and do the procedure again. Some wheels/rims have been know to be out of round due to the bolt holes being drilled off center...a wheel weight might have been thrown off either from the front or rear side of rim etc. etc. look for signs of something that just ain't right...Most companies paint their wheels white and any sign of rust appearing about the holes usually indicates lugs loosening...my $.02 worth...
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby datsit on Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:38 pm

Where the front tires balanced when installed ?? they used sand to balance mine.
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby highwaystar on Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:21 am

Sounds like this shaking is not a normal condition. That is good to know but now I have more troubleshooting to do :roll:

The previous owner put the tires on and said they had been balanced "on the vehicle". There are wheel weights on the outside of the front tires.

I checked a local tire place and was told they could not balance those rims so I scheduled an appointment with a truck place on Wednesday. I have never heard of balancing by putting stuff in the tires. Interesting idea. Not sure if this place I have an appointment with does that but gives me an idea if they cannot help me.

I live in a central West Virginia so don't have alot of options on places to go. May have to go for a cruise (driving slow) to a place that has more knowledge about these things.

In the mean time I will check for some of those other signs of trouble. Hope its not a rim, would think someone would have been driven crazy by that already in the last 40+ years.

Good news is I got the cruise control to work.

Thanks,

Karl
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby badbillybiker on Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:21 am

used to camp in Matheny, Wv with a old bud. Might be that the PO had luck in bolting up the rims. Still I would check the roundness & trueness ... Long shot question... is the problem coming from the wheel jumping up/down and bouncing? or.... jerking from left to right that would be indicitive of a tie rod situtation or a idler arm as in a shimmy"... Get underneath.. carefully and try to shake the tie rods... Guessing as I'm doing this remotely... more old time idea... Why not find a stretch of straight road (I know Wv has some of those) and have a real friend drive along side and watch the tires.. As long as he wouldn't charge more than a beer.. The results could be fast, economical and informative for you...IMO/FWIW
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby 77Travco on Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:05 am

Mine doesn't shake...
What does it do when stepping on the brakes while steering slightly?
As said above... either a tire issue or possibly something loose in the steering components. Get it to someone that installs large truck tires and see if they can balance them.
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby highwaystar on Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:42 pm

I drove home tonight after the tire shop balanced my tires. It is 60-70% improved. Still has an intermittent shake. Will drive smooth for awhile but then will start shaking for a few seconds.

I was mistaken that the tires are new. Turns out they are nine year old radials. Tire shop said the next step is to try new tires.
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby 77Travco on Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:03 am

I strongly recommend that 9 year old tires be replaced on any road driven vehicle. It's a big purchase but I would look into getting all new tires.
Don't forget the spare either... Years ago, I had a rear flat on an old Oldsmobile Delta 88 on a Christmas day. I put on the (really old) spare and it blew about 1/2 mile down the road. Took me over an hour to get the 12 miles home and ruined the rim.
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby badbillybiker on Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:29 am

IMO...based on reported posts.... I think the problem is... "wheel shimmy"... not a out of round tire... again... jack the front end up one side at a time (only needs to be up half an inch) and jerk the wheel from left to right... if "loose" or has play... the tie rod ends are gone... Check the idler arm, drag link and also the pitman arm......The 74 I have is a hands off going down the road at speed unit with 80k. Not only am I a bit tight, so is my front end....FWIW... I can't believe the "tire balancer" or so called mechanic didn't find a obvious clue to any cure for your situation... I would goto another garage... As it did not come from the factory in that condition... something happened and it's up to you to come to a conclusion... and as a finale'... while jacked up grab the bottom and top of the wheel and try to do a rocking in and out motion... Testing the kingpins...which are only bushed w/sleeves....The answer has to be here... BTW how IS tire wear? more wear on the inside then the outside? It's then king pin time or chaining down the I-beam front axle and springing it upward with a hydraulic jack to alter the camber...
These are from my experiences and what I look for when there is a front end problem.... HTH-FWIW
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Last edited by badbillybiker on Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: steering wheel shake

Unread postby badbillybiker on Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:03 am

Determine the real age of your tires, not what some one told you...
It's pouring rain here... so to keep busy....
Here are some charts that might be easier for one over another.... Take yur' choice.
Did NOT post a chart for tires made in 2000 and before...FWIW.
Save one or all of these files for your library... HTH
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