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Wheel shimmy/jerking

 
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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:00 pm    Post subject: Wheel shimmy/jerking Reply with quote

Hey all - new to the forum.

Recently purchased a 2008 SE V8 with 74,000 miles. Love the truck, body is beautiful and seems to be VERY well taken care of, but now have an issue where I have a steering wheel wobble when I move the steering wheel back and forth on the highway. It does NOT wobble when the truck is driving straight or when I am going around a curve and turning the steering wheel slowly. When the steering wheel is moved back and forth or when making a quick lane change, it has a wobble/jerk to it. When the steering is held constant, the wobble goes away.

Another issue - possibly related - when I hit a bump at any speed, the steering wheel just about jerks right out of my hand.

Steering wheel is tight, no play. Steering feels confident.

I had the truck aligned at a reputable local tire shop, after I replaced the tie-rod ends. I recently had the wheels all re-balanced at a 'Firestone' shop (don't generally like going to 'chain' stores, but it was convenient). All set with wheel balance, the problem is slightly less noticeable. When they checked the truck at Firestone, they told me my wheel bearing was really bad on the front left, and starting to go bad on the pass side. Nothing was mentioned when I got the alignment, but there is a squeaking, squealing, humming coming from the front left wheel, so that does make sense to me. They also took me out to the shop and he grabbed the wheel/tire and rocked it back and forth on the bearing. However, the noises coming from it are minimal, so it is hard to believe that wheel bearings could cause the problems above, but never owned a truck before so they are different for me when it comes to diagnosing issues.

Obviously, I will be doing the wheel bearings ASAP, but wondering if anyone has had similar problems with theirs and what the solution was for me to focus on if the wheel bearing doesn't fix these problems. I also have 2 new rear shocks and 2 new front struts that will be installed soon. I plan on towing with the truck and travelling with it, so I wanted to replace shocks/struts all the way around before I tow/haul anything.
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Posts: 4755
Location: Prospect, VA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One or more bad wheel bearings (they are wheel hubs on R51's) can definitely cause the problem you are having. It is also impossible to do a proper wheel alignment if there is play in the wheel bearings, so they should have never done it until you had the problem repaired.
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2006 Pathfinder LE VQ40DE AWD, Nitto Dura Grappler P265/65R17, aftermarket radiator, Airlift 1000's, Bilstein HD rear shocks
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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.

I agree- I have a bone to pick with the shop I got the alignment at a couple weeks ago. I went ahead and replaced both the front wheel bearings this morning. They were CONPLETELY SHOT. Drives better, front feels tighter, but the steering wheel is still jerking when hitting medium/large bumps in the road (but not nearly as much as before with the old wheel hubs) and there is still a steering wheel shimmy above 65. (With the Wheels freshly balanced)

I guess the next step is getting the new shocks and struts on and getting it re-aligned. Hopefully that will correct the wheel shimmy at higher speeds and the steering wheel jerk. I've read that mis-alignment (which is now off again, I'm sure) can cause the steering wheel to shake over bumps.

I'll keep everyone posted, in case anyone is having the same issue. If anyone has any more ideas, let me know. The tires are in nearly perfect condition, BTW.
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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also have a new/different issue. Vibration gets worse when going around a curve on the highway. And the speed at which the wheel shimmy occurs varies greatly. Hoping it's just alignment now.
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DanJetta



Joined: 03 Oct 2012
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd bet you have a tire wear issue most likely cupping or feathering. Any number of suspension issues (alignment, shocks, wheel bearing, bushings, etc) can cause your tires to wear unevenly which affects your ride.

I had my local Firestone realign and rebalance my wheels four times before another shop finally told me the outside edges of my tires were cupped, causing wheel shake in certain situations.
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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tires have some LIGHT feathering on the inside now that I look at them carefully. But- the wear is generally even. Wonder if I can throw them in the back.
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
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Location: Prospect, VA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also possibly they didn't balance the wheels properly, causing the shimmy. Some places aren't good at dynamic balancing wheel that use stick-on wheel weights so they just single plane balance the wheels, which would be fine if you were driving a tractor or a car from sixty years ago! The jerking could be caused by the fact that the alignment was done with bad wheel bearings, so it was never properly in alignment. I would address those issues before sinking a bunch of money into new struts and shocks, unless there is a known issue with them such as leaking or poor dampening.
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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for the reply! I will def take it for an alignment this week. I absolutely agree with the fact that the alignment is way off and is causing my issues. Or at least exaggerating them. I'm very frustrated that the alignment shop (specializing in front ends and alignments), didn't catch or tell me about the bearings and they were that bad. And they have done a lot of good work for me in the past.

I already purchased new shocks and struts a couple weeks ago, just haven't gotten around to replacing them. I don't notice any leaking, however it is not dampening very well at all and I plan on towing with it and want to be on the safe side and make sure all 4 are planted! The shocks and struts on it now are factory and pretty rusted, but not rusted through. Truck is squirrly in a crosswind and rough over bumps. Just figured I'd get ahead of the suspension issues before they became a problem. (Yes I'm aware the R51 is a body on gram and it's not going to drive like a CRV, that's why I bought it).

I'll report back after alignment. Going to rotate the tires as well to try and get that light feathering off the front two tires after alignment.
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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update if anyone is following:

Had the struts and shocks replaced at a shop. They were all bad. They had to cut the rear shocks off at the bottom due to the bolts being completely seized.

They did an alignment on it as well. It is better, although not like it was when I bought it. The alignment was not far off of spec, surprisingly. I rotated the tires so the feathered ones are on the rear now. That seemed to help a little bit as well. Maybe the tires (still at 80% tread) are causing an issue, but it drives smooth. Still get a little steering wheel jerk when going over bumps, but the new suspension and wheel bearings have made it 'bearable.'

I will update as anything else happens with this, but I think we are good for now. As always, any ideas or input from the community would help, thanks!
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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, about two weeks since when I got the truck back after having shocks/struts replaced and doing both front wheel bearings myself. The ride is getting worse every single day.

Steering wheel jerks out of my hand on the smallest bumps. Small bumps feel like major speed bumps. New Struts and shocks are OEM....nissan parts.

Really at a loss and getting frustrated. Not sure if it is still an alignment issue or if I need to just take it to the dealer and have them fix it or at least tell me what is wrong with the thing. The ride literally gets worse everyday. Getting very frustrating. Only thing I notice with the new shocks and struts is the wind has almost no affect on the truck anymore, which is partly the reason I put new shocks and struts in to begin with. All parts that were replaced needed to be replaced, but really hasn't helped the underlying problem of the steering wheel jerking out of my hands when I hit little bumps and big bumps/potholes, etc. I try not to hit pot holes, but, sometimes they are unavoidable and aren't really that big.

Beginning to wonder if there are other suspension/wheel/steering components that are shot. Steering is firm and quiet, no play in the wheel. Feels tight in turns.

Once again, any ideas would help, thanks!
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DiBo



Joined: 03 Sep 2013
Posts: 223
Location: Millet, AB

PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This does seem to be a "quirk" with our vehicles. I have a little wobble over rough roads but the wheel does not her out of my hands. I do however find the vehicle almost u driveable on dirt roads. Like it wanders all over black and fourth.
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2006 Pathfinder V6
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2" Rancho quick lift loaded in front
Bilstein HD in the rear and Rancho spacers
Airlift 1000
Pro Comp series 98 steel wheels
Spidertrax 1.5" spacers.
285/75/16 Toyo A/T

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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, I can handle it riding like a truck, but the steering wheel shaking all over the place when I hit a bump is disconcerting. I am taking it to the dealer for a 4 wheel alignment on Saturday. We will see what that does
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08SEPATHV8



Joined: 13 Apr 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've driven LOTS of trucks...big and small....I am not comparing how my pathfinder drives/rides to a Lexus sedan or something, I am comparing it to other trucks and it is WAY worse and downright frightening sometimes.
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