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Author Topic: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!  (Read 9159 times)

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Offline shanebo

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81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« on: December 21, 2011, 11:20:21 PM »
Hey guys I just had a quick question about a vibration my new 81 sx4 4 spd, full time 4x4.  It runs a drives great up to about 70. at 70 it starts getting a vibration that i would compare to driving on a washboard road or a real gnarley rumble strip the dash really shakes but and its pretty loud yet it really doesnt seem to shake the whole car...it still handles ok if that makes sense. Pigonawing has a similar post but mine seems a little different. once you cross the 70 mph mark the vibration gets worse the faster you go...under 70 mph it rides like a cadillac...I was wondering if I put the car up on jackstands and ran it up to 75 if I could get it to reproduce that vibration.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 01:40:30 AM by shanebo »
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Offline WoodenBirdOfPrey

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2011, 11:36:26 PM »
I'd be pretty cautious about putting it on stands and running it fast.  If it's because something in the drive line or a wheel/tire is out of balance it could end up being a lot worse without any load on it.  With that, there's a chance of it shaking off the stands and chaos will ensue.

Have you checked the wheel bearings?  I had a work van that was like that, at slow speeds it was fine, but at highway speeds it would start humming/vibrating almost exactly like the sound of rumble strips.  As the bearings got worse and worse, it started happening at pretty much any speed over 15 or 20 and would be so loud it was difficult to talk to the person sitting 3 feet away.  In that case it was the front passenger side wheel bearing, and the only time it would get quiet was when I turned one direction (I think it was when I went left) it would get quiet momentarily like nothing was wrong.  Also going over a sharp hill where the van sort of floated up off the suspension it would get quiet for that split second as the weight lifted off the bad bearing.
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Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2011, 01:00:24 AM »
Heres a shot of the rear end...it looks pretty wet, do ya suppose somthing in the rear end is causing this? Ive had rear ends go out before and the made a growling sound...this is totally silent, until you hit 70 that is....
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Offline shaggimo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 09:16:21 AM »
After a frontend shake down, if nothing seems obvious, look towards your tires. How old are they? When was the last time balanced? I have had tires on my car that were perfectly smooth up to a specific mph, then they would rattle your teeth loose. I balanced the tires, no more shake. I have to re balance my jeep tires a couple times a year for this issue as well.
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Offline eaglefreek

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 09:54:02 AM »
I agree that I would start with a tire balance and work your way form there. Try to find someone that uses a Road force machine and hopefully they know how to use it correctly. Tire shops want you in and out. They don't charge a whole lot to balance tires so they aren't going to spend a lot of time on your tires. The little experience I have with tire balancing was when I was in high school auto mechanics class. I would take the time to break the bead of a tire and spin it accordingly until I got it close to zero without weight. However the teacher would show us with an on the car balancer, how a balanced tire may still not be right once on the car.
Here's a interesting read regarding Road Force balancing. http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/tires-and-wheels/96268-road-force-balancing-what-questions-ask/
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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 10:12:37 AM »
I have a vibration on mine when I get above 60 and it settles down around 70. I'm thinking tire balancing as about 8000 miles have been put on it since we got it and haven't rotated the tires. Going to try and get them rotated/balanced this week to see if this sorts mine out
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Offline captspillane

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2011, 10:27:05 AM »
If it comes and goes as you accelerate, replace the steering stabilizer first. If it comes and gets worse directly as you increase speed, it has nothing to do with the steering stabilizer. Eagles are prone to a resonance issue and that stabilizer is more important in an Eagle than any other car.
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Offline ozarkrebel

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2011, 12:12:26 PM »
BE SAFE!!!!!  When you have a vibration the safest thing to do is check out all parts, especially when it comes to your steering components. Even if you find one part is bad (ball joint, tie rod end, steering stabilizer, etc.) go ahead and check the other parts as well, you may just find other parts are wore just as bad, which is usually the case. Replacing one part to see if the vibration goes away and ignoring the rest is just plain ignorance. You are gambling not only on your own safety, but you passengers and everybody else who happens to be in your path when a steering part lets go.

Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2011, 02:48:49 PM »
It seems to do it regardless of accleration....Its that 70mph mark that seems to be where it starts...Im going to jack it up in the garage and give ita good looking over and see if I can find any worn parts.
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Offline craigp29690

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2011, 10:13:46 PM »
I agree with tire balancing as the first place to look.  Then I'd look to rod ends, pitman arm and ball joints keep going from there. 
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Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2011, 12:32:09 AM »
I got all up under it today and the u-joints look good. The tires are very evenly worn...Some of the bushings are a little dry rotted but nothing alarming...however a replacement in the near future would be a good Idea. The pitman arm looks pretty good...almost like it has been replaced in the past few years...Tire balance is the first on my list...then I can work from there
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Offline Eagle1984

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 03:43:57 AM »
Mine does the same thing. Though it seems to be coming from the back only. Has gotten a little better since replacing the back shocks, not it is more around 75-80mph when it does it.

Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2012, 12:27:14 AM »
Come to think of it the back shocks look pretty worn out....I bought a new set for the front, I should probably quit being so cheap and replace the rear ones too. Ill try anything at this point....thanks for the input ill pick up a set this weekend, even if its not it....it sure can't hurt anything.
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Offline Rucuss

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 10:41:31 AM »
I'm currently having a simaler issue in my wagon when I hit 40mph it vibrates mostly from the rear then nothing till 70mph and only when in gear. Just ordered new u-joints so I'm going to start there.

Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 12:28:17 AM »
Im curious to see what you find out with that. I poked around and did the jiggle the drive shaft test but didnt find anything conclusive. Please keep me posted as to your findings. If it fixes yours ill change em in a heart beat..by the way, is yours a stick or an automatic?
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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2012, 09:00:27 AM »
My 83 Wagon had a similar issue but between 60-65. Ended up being passenger side front tire was out of balance.
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Offline Rucuss

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2012, 02:48:10 PM »
Im curious to see what you find out with that. I poked around and did the jiggle the drive shaft test but didnt find anything conclusive. Please keep me posted as to your findings. If it fixes yours ill change em in a heart beat..by the way, is yours a stick or an automatic?

I have a stick shift.

Offline Rucuss

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2012, 10:24:47 AM »
Ok spent the last two days fixing the U joints. After getting the wrong one for the rear and dropping my drive line at 60mph. Got the new one with the proper half clips for a 81 wagon and the vibration is gone. Now just seem to be leaking transmission fluid from the transfer case.  :banghead:

Offline carnuck

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2012, 12:11:58 PM »
Rear cone or elsewhere? I'm about to part the 129 I have to get the rear cone for my 229 swap and front yoke.
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Offline Rucuss

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2012, 02:05:17 PM »
Really wish that I knew. ??? The only thing I know is that it isn't or shouldn't be the seal. I replaced it when I had the drive line out. All I can tell so far is that its running from some where and dripping from the out put shaft.

Offline jonnyeagle

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2012, 02:13:22 PM »
haha, had the same exact thing at 45 mph in my 85 wagon, automatic. went wild ended up replacing the whole front end 800$, changed the tyrod ends, steering stabilizer shock, upper and lower ball joints, steering gear, front shocks even rotors,and cv joints. (over about 2 weeks, trial and error) after the final work and still same result i had to hesitate not to drive the death wobble wagon right into a nice big oak tree at full speed :banghead:. after letting it sit and ponder on what it could be, we finally rotated the tires.... it drove 200% better, although the wobble was still a little in the back, it was still drive-able. moral of the story, rotate or bring your tires to a mechanic and get them balanced again. a weight probably fell off.
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Offline carnuck

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2012, 11:19:40 PM »
It could also be a rear hub going bad too.
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'82 Eagle Wagon (Brown Betty) 4.2L/727/NP229 and soon 8.25 rear axle and non-vacuum 3.08 front to match. 235/75/15 tires. It's down to minor body work (someone creamed my driver's door but I have another in good shape) almost rust free and interior work (seats are worn and carpet torn). $2000 but about to go up due to more work being done.

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Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2012, 12:47:21 AM »
I there's a sale on tires at pep boys so I'm gonna get some new rubber here soon....I'm keeping my fingers crossed this vibration disappears along with the old tires.....how would one check for a bad hub
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Offline jonnyeagle

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2012, 09:05:08 AM »
when you have the hub right in front grab the bolts and try and move it, you shouldn't be able to jitter up and down too much. should be pretty solid; and smooth when rotating it. like anything when it gets bad, gets sloppy and loose  ::)
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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2012, 10:08:20 AM »
like anything when it gets bad, gets sloppy and loose  ::)

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Offline milliard431

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2012, 07:23:49 PM »
When you drive a 30 year old car at 75 mph you will create all kinds of leaks and rattles. If it is made of rubber or is considered a gasket then it will need attention. A 30 minute trip down the highway can destroy a rear main seal quicker than  years of around town driving

Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2012, 10:23:04 PM »
Ive been driving it quite a bit lately and im not sure if im just getting used to it or its getting better...but the vibration seems to be lessening, maybe this things like Christine.
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Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2012, 02:01:38 AM »
Today I took my eagle in to the shop to get all the fluids changed from front to back. While waiting in the lobby I noticed a sign that said huge tire sale. I inquired while I waited.and they informed me select tires were buy 3 get the third one free.....so I left there with a new set of rubber along with all new fluids. I took the interstate home just to see and sure enough I got her up to 80 with very little vibration...before anything over 80 darn near shook the car apart....it still has a little vibration but it seems to be rpm related so I'm thinking the harmonic balancer may be the next thing on my to do list....all in all though its 95% better.

By the way the guy at the shop informed me the tires I had have not been produced since 1992...I guess it was time.
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Offline vangremlin

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2012, 08:40:08 AM »
Glad to hear the vibration is pretty much gone Shanebo!  Its amazing your old tires even held air.

Now there is no way the rest of us are going to be able to keep up with you on that drive to the Eagle Motel!!!
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Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2012, 11:56:36 AM »
I'm glad I didn't make myself suffer any longer with those tires....they didn't look too terrible but like ya said they had flat spots...heck they were probably only the cars second set.
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Offline Draekon

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2012, 01:58:37 PM »
That means that my car's vibration is probably also from old tires.  The tires on it are over 10 years old, but they also only have a few thousand miles on them.

Offline carnuck

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2012, 07:42:26 PM »
Yup. You have to lift the car off the ground on axle stands to prevent the steel belts from kinking from sitting in one position too long with weight on them.
FOR SALE
'87 Comanche 4.0L AW4/NP242 3.73 gears, lifted 5" on near new 33" tires $3500 obo
'82 Eagle Wagon (Brown Betty) 4.2L/727/NP229 and soon 8.25 rear axle and non-vacuum 3.08 front to match. 235/75/15 tires. It's down to minor body work (someone creamed my driver's door but I have another in good shape) almost rust free and interior work (seats are worn and carpet torn). $2000 but about to go up due to more work being done.

Pics of my other for sale stuff http://tinyurl.com/jimsclads

Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2012, 09:10:03 PM »
ill tell ya what, it sure makes a world of difference...Not just in the ride but the steering, the road noise and the breaking have all improved with the new rubber...Id like to say I learned my lesson but Ill probably continue to drive around on tires that should have been replaced a decade ago....hey, ya cant fix cheap  8)
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Offline donnyeagle

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2012, 10:05:46 AM »
Your line about "you can't fix cheap" is so true. I bought three new tires for a 95 dodge truck to match the brand new spare. Worst tires I ever had. Years of driving a nice truck that drove like crap just because I was to cheap. I replaced all 4 with a good set. Wow what a difference, ride, steering, traction, vibration. The bad tires where Mastercraft brand the replacements where GT Radial brand. I hope that fixes my "cheap" problem. Actually I like to use the word frugal. Sometimes you have to look past the price and think long term. Old age will do that to you because you want to fix it once and not keeo messing with it. Thanks for the laugh!

Offline shanebo

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Re: 81 SX4 vibration at around 75mph....Solved!!!
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2012, 12:04:25 AM »
I'm a sucker for saving a dime....even if I spend a dollar doing it  :rotfl: I come by it honestly though, my grandfather was a restaurant owner who would save the strings off of worn out aprons to be used as shoe laces for my dad and his brothers....my poor dad peeled shrimp and chopped onions from dusk till dawn for $3.00 a day...Dad says he can still smell that stuff on his fingers 50 years later.
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