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Front Wheel Wobbles?
Topic Started: Mar 21 2010, 07:50 PM (11,407 Views)
JohnDN


Lately, my Metro has started making a weird thumping sound sometimes, almost a knocking sound (not engine knock though). It seems to happen most when I am coasting in gear with my foot off the gas. My rear passenger wheel has only had three wheel studs since I bought it (one broke off), thinking the wheel might have been offset, I replaced the broken stud. Also, I have 13" wheels, but I have 10mm studs and can't find the acorn bulge style nut to fit a 10mm stud, I can only find them for the 12mm studs. However, I took all the wheels off. Made sure they were all properly mounted and torqued them down to 44 ft-lbs. I just test drove the car, still same result the thumping at times.

However, while the car was jacked up. I noticed that the front passenger wheel will wobble in and out quite a bit(toward the car and away from the car). All other wheels are steady (with a extremely small barely noticeable wobble in the rear passenger wheel). Is this a tie rod end? Ball joint? The frame is in good shape on this side of the car, no rust, so that's not the problem. I know my way around the engine pretty well, and I'm getting pretty good at electrical too. But steering systems are still pretty much untouched territory for me.
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slander
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Tech Certified

Are your hub bearings worn out? Did your hub nut come loose? Re-torque your hub nut to 130 ft lbs. If that doesn't fix the issue, I'd pull the hub from the spindle using a slide hammer, check your bearings. Usually a bearing will piss and moan and you'll notice it before it goes. But if the wheel and be pushed in and out like that, something is worn out.
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96Geoman


I have read that if one of your lug bolts is broken, it's best to replace all the lug bolts on the same wheel because the others could be stressed.

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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

:gp S

"the front passenger wheel will wobble in and out quite a bit(toward the car and away from the car)"

I have to ask if your "wobble" is a twisting as in grab the wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock and twist which could be rack & pinion tie rod or tie rod end, loose bearing or even control arm bearings/bushings.

Pull it in and out as in push and pull and you are looking at loose lug nuts, half shaft nut, strut/strut bolts and control arm.

Grab the wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock and push/pull and it tests wheel bearings.

Tire wear can tell whats wrong also. www.aa1car.com/library/tire_wear and I will pull the tire and wiggle the spindle to see what happens. Lastly a tire shop will usually do a free inspection on the chance you will spend $$$ for them to fix it. But can you do a little more inspection, please, or wait until someone has better suggestions.
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Johnny Mullet
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Kim John Mu

Bent rim?
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mwebb
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FOG

bent rim or
extreme belt separation on the tire -

stop driving the car until you id the problem

i had a thumping in the RF , removed the tire and there was a burble in the tread ,
left the tire in the car mounted , to be replaced the next day

over night the tire blew out the tread , a hole the reached across the steel belts and 100% of the tread
if i had been driving with that tire in place ....

i would be driving the audi now as the metro would be wrecked
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Rooy


Bulge lug nuts for 10mm studs: http://www.brandsport.com/grla-41118.html
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nerys
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Grr

ouch man mwebb. Lucky! super lucky! any damage to the inside of the car?
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JohnDN


I forgot to check for wobble at 9 and 3 last night, but it was wobbling at 12 and 6. A guy I work with at AutoZone said he suspected the wheel bearings,which agrees with Bad Bent. I purchased the wheel bearing and will look at it when it stops raining. If I don't need it I'll just return it, I would've got the tie rod ends as well, but we didn't have those in stock. Wheel bearing would be a relatively easy fix, so I'm hoping for that.
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Woodie
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Front wheel bearings on a car with 12" wheels are no easy fix at all, and there's not any "look at it". Once you pound it out with a slide hammer to look at it, it's bad.
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Rooy


If there's play at 12 and 6, it's very likely the wheel bearings.

You'll also need a new a new axle seal (goes on the inner).
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nerys
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Grr

they are not too hard to do. you will need a good heavy hammer. a spike wedge and the oem tire iron your car came with.

once you have it apart stick the wedge between the hub and frame and start whacking. turn whack turn whack (so your changing where your whacking) the hub will work on little by little. in 3 or 4 minutes you will have it off.

once off stick it on two pieces of wood so the bearing has a place to "fall out"

stick the blunt end of your tire iron into one side push the spacer asside and set it against the bearing. Whack Whack too good hard whacks. TURN the iron to put it in a different spot on the bearing whack whack turn whack whack in 30-60 second the bearing will pop out the bottom. Flip and repeat for the other bearing.

get your new bearings and find SOCKETS that "fit" the outermost diameter of the bearing or you will damage them!!

gently tap tap tap to put it in not hitting harder till its seated and working its way into the hub (move the hammer blow around so it goes in evenly.

I have not done the front bearings yet (I had to get the hub off to change the stud) but the REAR spacer sleeve was directional ie would only go on one way. I assume the front will be also so make sure you check for this or your going to have to remove that bearing again and possibly wreck it :-)

really not too hard.
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JohnDN


Turns out I got lucky. It rained all day yesterday, but today isn't too bad out. I went out to start taking it apart, got the wheel off, put the 30mm socket on.....and could turn it by hand. Yep, it was that lose. I consider myself lucky that it didn't come off and cause me to wreck. I tightened it to 132 ft-lbs. The figures I found said 129 ft-lbs, but I figure I'd add in 3 extra ft-lbs. just for my own peace of mind. Went around and check the axle nuts on all the wheels just to be safe. Both front ones are now good and I torqued the rear ones to 84 ft-lbs because I couldn't find the actual spec for it. The closest I found was a post on teamswift.net with one guy saying he thought it was supposed to be 74 ft-lbs.

Anyway, thank you everyone for throwing out suggestions to help me figure this out. You put forth a lot of useful information and hopefully it'll help someone else in the future.
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starscream5000
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Got 70 MPG?

So it's not wobbling anymore then?
Stake that nut!
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JohnDN


Not wobbling at all anymore thankfully. What do you mean by "stake that nut", do you mean like put a cotton pin through it? I looked for a hole in the nut to do that, but I didn't see one. Maybe it was just covered by dirt.
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