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Wheel Wobble


Overdrive

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Hi All. We are in Parma Italy at moment - done about 1000 miles from home and would appreciate your opinions.

 

Having traversed the Alps we are experiencing a serious offside wheel wobble accelerating uphill 4th gear at 40mph. All other gears and speeds seem OK, and only uphill!! It shakes the cab. Have removed the wheel to check for tyre bulges missing weights, poor tread etc, nothing untoward in suspension I can visually see. There is a slight movement in wheel bearing. Wondering if to try tightening wheel bearing or if a loose bearing is better left than risk t overheating?

 

Tyres are less than 3 years old, total vehicle mileage 56k.

 

Anyone else experienced a similar wobble?

 

 

 

 

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Ah, but how do you know it is on the O/S? :-) It may feel as though it is, but you may just be feeling a reaction that originates from almost any of the wheels because, at a guess, the O/S is where you have been sitting and driving.

 

It is similar to the symptoms of a part seized drive shaft CV joint. There are two joints on each drive shaft, one outboard, and the other by the differential (though I believe this one may not technically be a CV pot type joint). If the grease in the joint has been lost, or water has penetrated the joints - generally due to a split or displaced gaiter - the joint will stiffen and, especially travelling uphill, when the shaft drive angles tend to become exaggerated (nose up etc), can produce a quite strong reaction back through the steering. If it is an outer joint, this would tend to be more noticeable on uphill bends, but if an inboard joint probably not. Why that gear and speed? No answer! Possibly that that combination excites a harmonic reaction in the engine/gearbox mountings, exaggerating the effect. However, careful examination of the gaiters would be a good precaution as it will not get better with use, and may become a serious problem if not remedied. It may be that a joint has lost grease (dobs of grease on the surrounding bodywork/mechanicals in line with gaiter would be a useful clue) and the haul up the Alps caused it to overheat and begin seizing.

 

Another possibility is that the pull up the Alps has broken an engine/gearbox mounting. Depending on the route you took, the strain on the whole drivetrain while negotiating the inside of a hairpin is quite severe, and that strain is transmitted via the resilient mountings, so if one is in poor condition it may have been overtaxed leaving it flapping around to create strange vibrations.

 

If you can't see anything obvious at wheels, drive shaft joints, or engine/gearbox mounts then, unless someone else comes up with the answer, I think a visit to a Fiat commercial garage would be a good idea. It'll give you a chance to explore your garage Italian and if that fails, the Italians are very good at gesture language! :-) Good luck.

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Guest pelmetman
When I drove my old mans Hymer (Fiat) back from Spain it suffered from similar symptoms going over the Pyrenees.................I stopped and checked the wheel nuts too *-)...................in the end I put it down to the Hymer being front wheel drive, and heavy so struggling to get grip ;-)
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My money is on the offside outer CV joint, its a not uncommon issue on Sevel based motorhomes. As to why it happens at that speed in that gear it will be down to a combination of load versus torque multiplied by driveshaft angle. Hauling uphill puts a lot of strain on the drive train and at certain speeds it causes problems.

 

D.

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RogerC - 2012-08-23 8:13 PM

 

CV joint gets my vote......I had a similar experience on an Iveco based conversion.  Like has been said a visit to a workshop sounds in order.

 

But Iveco don't make a front wheel drive vehicle as far as I'm aware so there are no CV joints invlolved and certainly not any in the front half, unless of course yours was a 4X4?

 

D.

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This is not uncommon on tail heavy coachbuit 'vans due to weight transfer rearwards on steep hills causing the front suspension to run on full droop with the CV Joints running at maximum angle or beyond.

 

However the Rapido 710F is a rear lounge design with the heavy bits well forward. This does suggest there may well be a problem with a CV Joint.

 

Time to find a garage, a CV Joint in Italian is a giunto cardanico and most of the latin languages involve the word cardan. Gerolamo Cardano was a 16th Century Italian mathematician but as he died in 1576 its no good expecting him to figure out your probem.

 

Quoting this bit of bull poo to an Italian receptionist might convince them of your technical knowledge which is usually no bad thing.

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Dave Newell - 2012-08-23 8:43 PM
RogerC - 2012-08-23 8:13 PMCV joint gets my vote......I had a similar experience on an Iveco based conversion.  Like has been said a visit to a workshop sounds in order.
But Iveco don't make a front wheel drive vehicle as far as I'm aware so there are no CV joints invlolved and certainly not any in the front half, unless of course yours was a 4X4?D.

 

Oooops brain fade...you're right it was on a Renault Trafic......

 

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Hi All

 

Thanks for your evaluation. We are now down in Florence the journey was uneventful if rather warm!!

Brian there is no sign of anything untoward on the outside of the UJ and think you are right in saying the issue could be there. I have no noise or feeling of anything strange with the steering wheel, just an odd movement in the cab.

 

Most of Italy is on holiday at present including 2 garages we have called into. So I think we shall press on with the holiday, I am just going to avoid 4th gear at 40, and change to 5th earlier, or stay in 3rd longer until we can get to an open garage!!

 

Failing that a breakdown in Italy with a Fiat!! I'll keep you posted if anything changes, but camped in Florence for next week, so not going anywhere soon.

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Failing that a breakdown in Italy with a Fiat!! 

We had a breakdown in France with a Fiat " Don't Hold Your Breath " Fiat was true to its word " Fix It Again Tomorrow " and tomorrow and tomorrow 18 months old with Fiat Camper WE DO NOT Care .

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Overdrive - 2012-08-26 10:02 PM

 

Hi All

 

Thanks for your evaluation. We are now down in Florence the journey was uneventful if rather warm!!

Brian there is no sign of anything untoward on the outside of the UJ and think you are right in saying the issue could be there. I have no noise or feeling of anything strange with the steering wheel, just an odd movement in the cab.

 

Most of Italy is on holiday at present including 2 garages we have called into. So I think we shall press on with the holiday, I am just going to avoid 4th gear at 40, and change to 5th earlier, or stay in 3rd longer until we can get to an open garage!!

 

Failing that a breakdown in Italy with a Fiat!! I'll keep you posted if anything changes, but camped in Florence for next week, so not going anywhere soon.

The classic test for knackered CV joints is to find a nice level car park, and drive gently forward and backward, first on one full lock and then on the other. If worn, it should be possible to hear the joint clicking, but commercial diesel engines are not the quietest, so may mask the sound. Dave will know, if he's still picking up.

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Don't normally comment on this site however....

My 2002 Ducato developed this fault at the end of a long Norwegian tour.

On the flat it can be induced in third gear at maximum torque.

All checks have been done including rolling road tests, test drives with an expert, complete wheel/tyre checks/balances......nothing found!

I'm saving up for some new CV joints.

By driving carefully and changing up early it's not a great problem.

 

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  • 7 months later...

Hi All. Just wanted to finish off this posting. Finally got around to getting the Driveshaft replaced on our van to cure the wheel wobble. Garage confirmed it was only the passenger side that needed doing. I asked if they could put the offending part in the passenger footwell never having seen one, I was expecting it to be around 2ft in length. I got quite a surprise - it's 44" long and is very heavy!!

 

Attached is a link to a photo of the driveshaft - there is no apparent wear to the UJs and did not click on full lock they are full of grease behind the rubber boots, but the roller bearing on the far right is shot and very rusty!

 

http://s8.imagestime.com/out.php/t850230_XDriveshaft.jpg

 

Cost:

£144 Parts

£144 Labour

£56 VAT

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Glad you got your problem sorted David. I'm just posting this in case anyone else sees the title and comes looking for help: only this week I had my van in for similar symptoms, assuming I'd lost a balance weight bouncing over a pothole. Turned out to be a REAR tyre, badly misshapen due to age and mistreatment (like me!). So never assume the obvious!
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hi i have just read your post and i am having the same problem i have a 2007 peugeot boxer i have tried three wheels a new tyre and at the moment the trackrod ends are being changed if the garage can source the correct parts.The wobble starts between 40 and 60 it is worse if i accelerate hard and is almost nothing if slight downhill,what vehicle have you got
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