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Terrible vibration PLEASE HELP!


mako's Avatar
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09-18-02, 05:51 AM   #1  
Terrible vibration PLEASE HELP!

1986 Olds Cutlass Supreme 2dr, 307 V8, auto, 104K miles.

OK, I mentioned a while back about vibration coming from the rear and suspected a wheel out of balance or warped. Well, it's neither. I don't think it has anything to do with the actual tires or rims.

It's not the road conditions either, as it does it everywhere.

I've moved them around in several combinations with basically the same result- a very annoying vibration coming from the rear at speeds 40mph+. It's the kind of vibration like something BIG is out of whack- it's not a small vibration. It actually almost gets to the point of shaking the whole car. The dashboard actually quivers once it gets going, as do my legs. My blood is the consistancy of a milkshake now.

Anyhow, it seems to come from the rear. Generally it "feels" like it comes from the driver side rear, but often it seems to switch sides and come from the passenger rear.

I have a handful of thought that folks have mentioned, and seem like possible ideas.

Could it be:
Drive shaft coming loose and vibrating at higher speeds?

Rear axle or other suspension components going bad?

Perhaps the place where the wheel bolts on (there at the brake drum) is warped itself, bent or something?



I am going to take it to a specialist to have them take a closer look. What should I ask them to do/check? What are all possibilities?

Thanks for the help- I am about to completely lose my temper with this car!!!!!!

 
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09-18-02, 05:53 AM   #2  
Joe_F
You hit all the nails on the head. It could be a missing weight on the driveshaft. That will really throw things out of kilter.


Try to bring it up to speed and then dump it into neutral (do it on a wide and open stretch of road). By taking the tranny out of the picture (in neutral) that might help narrow it down. Any noises?

Always have a spare car (or two). That's what I do. That's why my Chevy Cavalier (25k original I inherited from my 92 year old grandfather) goes on the road tomorrow .

 
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09-18-02, 06:48 AM   #3  
Great idea in the neutral cruise- will do as soon as I hit I26 this aftn. If it is what you mentioned, is it an easy fix?

How can I check the axle?

 
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09-18-02, 06:50 AM   #4  
JackMaster
Mako,
I too would have to agree with Joe and you on this one.

Since you replaced both rear rear rims and had the tires balanced, that eliminats that possibility. I definitely believe you will find it to be either the driveshaft missing a balancing weight or possibly bent. Another possibility would be worn ujoints. Do you hear a high pitched squeeking noise coming from the mid to rear section of the car when backing up at low speeds, like out of your driveway? Roll you window down and listen real close. If so, this is a true indicator of worn ujoints.

Take it to a driveline/gear specialist for inspection. If it is the driveline, they will be able to true it and rebalance it for alot less $ than replacing it with a new one. They will also be able to replace the ujoints if necessary.

Good luck and let us know the outcome.

 
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09-18-02, 09:04 AM   #5  
Will let you guys know- will be taking it to a place tomorrow.

I haven't heard any sort of squeeking and I drive a lot with the windows down (the night air in Charleston SC is great!). So no squeeking but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I'll have them check it out.

 
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09-18-02, 09:33 AM   #6  
If your Cutlass is rear wheel drive, it could be a worn universal - that's where the driveshaft joins the rear axle. It's a common problem, and shouldn't be too expensive to repair.

 
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09-18-02, 10:38 AM   #7  
Next time you're under there, also check your rear transmission mount.

 
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09-18-02, 03:38 PM   #8  
nope

The thing about dropping it in neutral at full speed didn't do a thing- the vibration continued. I quadruple checked it, just to make sure. S O S. If I can't find someone to figure this thing out I'll be making another donation to the Joe_F pile of GM cars, lol.

 
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09-18-02, 05:05 PM   #9  
Universal joints

If it still vibrates in neutral and you have eliminated the rear wheels, I'll bet a bucket of money it's the universal joint(s). Could be a driveshaft out of balance, but unless this happened suddenly, I doubt it.

 
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09-18-02, 09:14 PM   #10  
Joe_F
I agree.

Mako: It's an old car with questionable history. You will have problems, but in the scheme of things they are minor compared to similar problems on a front drive car. Front drive axles list at over 200 each. Any car requires work, no matter who it comes from.

I inherited a Chevy Cavalier (1989) from my grandfather. It needs some work and I have maintained it since 1989 !!

I can't see all the U-joints installed being 200 or much more.

 
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09-19-02, 10:17 AM   #11  
I might be out of line on this one....but did you check the condition of your shocks? I have often seen cars driving down the freeway with shocks/springs so worn that their wheels are literally bouncing off the pavement like basketballs.

You could have a friend follow you in a different car. If the shaking is that bad, maybe he will see something.

 
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09-20-02, 05:31 AM   #12  
The shocks are less then 2 mos old, the ones that were on it were so bad the car bounced up and down when at a complete standstill (lol, just joking but they were BAD).

NOW, the springs may be a different story.

Joe- after scrutiny of the places I drive, I have noticed that the car will vibrate EVERYWHERE but the vibration is worse on certain tracks of road. For example, eastbound I26 will give you a good shake-rattle-and-roll but westbound is only a minor jiggigiigigigle.

So, could this problem be bad coil springs? If so, are they a lot of $$ to replace?

 
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09-20-02, 05:33 AM   #13  
Joe_F
I don't think coil springs are the problem, and they are under 100 bucks a pair at most parts stores if so and pretty easy to do on your own.

Have it checked out. It sounds like driveline related before anything else.

 
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