Steering Shake diagnosis needed - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 07-17-2016
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Steering Shake diagnosis needed

Need some help diagnosing an issue I've been having with new tires. I'm getting a steering shake that is setting up at 50mph. I'm new to Rangers so please keep that in mind.

History: 2009 Ranger XL 4cyl 2wheel drive. 36,600 miles. Purchased a month ago. No recorded accidents.

Replaced the tires with Cooper Discover RTX 31x10.5R 15LT load C

Replaced the wheels with Procomp 7031 15x8 5x4.5 3.75BS

Had the alignment done and all four wheels mounted and balanced. Drove home and when accelerating to 50mph a steering wheel shake developed. Took it back, they checked the front and said everything to them looked tight. They re-balanced the wheels and test drove it and said the shake was still there, replaced the fronts re-balanced and test drove, shake still there. I needed to leave so I drove home. On the way to work the next day I did not notice the shake, so I was a little confused. A couple of days went by and being new wheels I re-torqued the to the spec 100 lbs. Next day into work the shake was back. So I don't think its the tires or the wheels.

Any front end guys have some suggestions what that would be? Brand new tires and wheels aligned and balanced. Not road force balanced but the fronts were replaced with new ones just in case there was a bad one. No change. Before I take it in to a Ford place I would like to be educated somewhat. Perhaps bearings? Just seems odd on a vehicle with only 36K miles.

Mods please move if in the wrong place.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Dano55; 07-17-2016 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 07-17-2016
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Welcome to the forum.

I assume there was no shake when you bought it or you would have mentioned that.

So it would have to be a problem with alignment or wheels/tires.
Does your 2009 Ranger have TPMS, tire pressure monitoring system?

Since you changed front wheels and tires a second time then it would mean alignment issue.

They would have to check the wheel bearings when doing the alignment, so they would be fine.
You can jack up a front wheel and check bearings if you want.

If the alignment was done at the same shop that sells the wheels and tires then you may have to go elsewhere to get problem resolved.

Does shaking stop or lessen when you touch the brakes lightly above 50MPH?

One thing that is related to alignment but not your issue.
Alignment guys are getting lazy, when doing an alignment they will put steering wheel straight and then turn key off so steering wheel will lock, but it doesn't lock exactly straight, it will be off, most of the time, a little left or right.
So after alignment when driving straight the steering wheel with be off left or right.
They are suppose to set steering wheel straight and then use straps to hold it straight while doing the alignment, just an extra step they often skip.
So tell them a straight steering wheel is important to you
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Old 07-17-2016
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No there was no shake when I bought it, but there were different tires on it.

Yes it has TPMS on the old tires. And yes the light comes on.

What confuses me is that I didn't sense a shake after the second time they balanced them. The shop guys said it was still there but I thought we maybe they were mistaken. Then I re-torqued the wheels and there it is again. So you think its an alignment issue?

What do I look for when jacking up a front wheel? If there's any play at all?


Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Welcome to the forum.

I assume there was no shake when you bought it or you would have mentioned that.

So it would have to be a problem with alignment or wheels/tires.
Does your 2009 Ranger have TPMS, tire pressure monitoring system?

Since you changed front wheels and tires a second time then it would mean alignment issue.

They would have to check the wheel bearings when doing the alignment, so they would be fine.
You can jack up a front wheel and check bearings if you want.

If the alignment was done at the same shop that sells the wheels and tires then you may have to go elsewhere to get problem resolved.

Does shaking stop or lessen when you touch the brakes lightly above 50MPH?

One thing that is related to alignment but not your issue.
Alignment guys are getting lazy, when doing an alignment they will put steering wheel straight and then turn key off so steering wheel will lock, but it doesn't lock exactly straight, it will be off, most of the time, a little left or right.
So after alignment when driving straight the steering wheel with be off left or right.
They are suppose to set steering wheel straight and then use straps to hold it straight while doing the alignment, just an extra step they often skip.
So tell them a straight steering wheel is important to you
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Old 07-17-2016
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Alot of play, it is subjective, so you need to know what a "little" play is and "too much" play is, so can't express that in a measurement.

If torquing wheel added a shimmy then wheel could be the problem, it is defecting with torque, could be the hub but I doubt it.
try 80ft/lb, see if it goes away
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Old 07-17-2016
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Mine had a shake between 50-60 mph I couldn't get rid of for the longest time. Finally found a shop that could balance the tires while on the vehicle and found that one of the new brake rotors was causing a shake in the steering, just so happened to be the same side that ate 2 sets of bearings in less than 10k miles. Have no idea if it was a bad cast or machined irregular but problem solved with another rotor.
Then after replacing wheels and tires I got another shake in the steering between 50-60 mph again but this time it was the wheels not being hub centric. No matter how precise the wheels were tightened down it would shake for 3 or 4 days then be fine then come right back. Installed a set of hub centric adapters and smooth as silk.
Another place to check is shocks, these play a huge role in controlling wheel bounce.

First guess would be the centric since it didn't have any shake prior to the new wheels and tires.
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Old 07-17-2016
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That's what I was leaning towards, was something in the hub. But then again the shake didn't show up with the smaller 28 tires, which stands to reason why not? If it was a hub irregularity then it wouldn't matter what size tire. And I don't think its the tires though either. I forgot to mention that at first I had the Discover 31's mounted on some old Crager Steelies that I took off a Jeep. The steering shake was pretty bad, so I figured perhaps one the wheels had been slightly bent. Which led to getting new wheels.

And to answer a previous question. When traveling about 60mph and applying the break there is no significant difference other than slowing speed with the wobble eventually subsiding.
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  #7  
Old 07-17-2016
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Perhaps rotors? Bushing? Or should I just take it to the shop?
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  #8  
Old 07-17-2016
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When you ordered the wheels did they have the measurement for the hub?
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Old 07-17-2016
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Just looked up the wheels and they don't specify hub diameter or if they are hub centric
or lug centric. So personally I would take a tire off and measure the center hole of the
wheel. Rangers have a 70.5mm hub (at least mine does being 2wd) and if the center of
the wheel is to large the wheel never truly centers when mounted.
The CCWs I have had a 80.2mm hole with a slide in center cap dropping it to 80.1mm.
Typically this is referred to as lug centric meaning centering and holding the wheel
centered is done only with lug nuts. All the weight of the truck during driving is placed
solely on the little contact area where the nut touches the aluminum wheel (steel
wheels are typically more suitable for this). Using hub centric wheels or adapters
keeps the strain off the lug nuts and studs allowing them to do the one thing they were meant
for, holding pressure in one direction.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2016
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I'll take a measurement and report back.
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