Jump to content

MR2 steering wheel shake enigma


JayW

Recommended Posts

I have a 1988 "Super Red" Supercharged Toyota MR2 that I have had for a few months. It only has 27K original miles and is completely stock, including the wheels. The only fly in the ointment has been some annoying steering wheel shake/vibration at about 62-68 mph. The Yokohama tires only have a few thousand miles on them, but are over 6 years old based on their DOT date codes. I took it to the Toyota dealer and had them balance all 4 wheels which did not solve the problem. They inspected the suspension, declared it sound and told me to get new tires.

 

I ordered a set of 4 Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S tires from TireRack and took them to my local installer this morning. They mounted them and checked the alignment, which was fine. I drove it out with great anticipation and.....it still had the same shake at the same speed :mad: The shaking seems to be only in the steering wheel and is not severe, but is enough that I would not enjoy taking a trip in the car. It actually feels better at speeds over 70 mph.

 

What is going on? I am taking the car to a show tomorrow and asked the installers not to put any weights on the outside of the wheels, so they attached them on the inside instead. They suggest I bring it back and let them re-balance them with weights on the outsides of the rims which they say is a better way to balance a tire/wheel assembly. I don't know if that's true or not, but I may let them try it. I cannot live with the car like this.

 

Any ideas from the wise collective? Thanks!

 

Jay

Link to comment

Here a couple of photos for those of you who haven't seen a MK1 MR2 in a while.

 

apr12mr2512.jpg

By jwgrosse at 2012-06-15

 

 

apr12mr2513.jpg

Yes, that is an aftermarket exhaust. It also has TRD headers that were installed by Toyota when it was new. Other than those things, it is unmolested.

 

 

Jay

 

 

Link to comment

Sorry, no advice on the shaking but I do like that car. I had a white 1986 MR2 than I have very fond memories of.

 

Only down side was that she was terrible in the snow. That light front end would just slide as soon as I touched the brakes. I put a couple sand bags under the hood which helped a bit. You sure get funny looks when you open the hood and drop in a sandbag...

 

 

Link to comment

Early Miatas had/have a similar, infamous 65 mph shimmy. As hard as it is to accept, its almost always in the wheel or tire. Mine had it and it took multiple balances to get it gone. The last time I had them take all weights off, demount, remount and rebalance. Same tires, same wheels as each other time, but finally success. Oh, and you might try a bit higher pressure that you normally would. That also seemed to help.

 

Some folks swear by the Hunter GSP9700 Road Force Balancing machine. Those that do, say you should find a shop that knows that they can balance to different levels of road force. Specify a balance to less than 15 lb road force on each wheel, ideally less than 10 lb.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment

Have you had the rotors checked for warpage? Ham fisted airgun operators generally don't torque the lug nuts correctly and then warp the rotors on you.

Link to comment

Thanks for all of the suggesions. I had the wheels balanced yet a third time, this time allowing the technicians to put weights inside and outside if indicated. This does seem to have helped, but has not eliminated the problem.

 

The rotors seems fine in terms of stopping the car smoothly, but I will check runout to be sure. The MR2.com site had some thoughtful suggestions too including checking the steering rack and double checking the tie rod ends.

 

I suppose sorting things like this is all part of the "fun" of owning a classic car.

 

Cheers,

 

Jay

Link to comment
... double checking the tie rod ends.

 

A precise alignment at the same time would also be handy. Give the shop specific target settings, not just a range of + - values that the stock settings allow. I assume the MR2 sites (like Miata sites) have suggestins on alignment specs.

Link to comment
Have you had the rotors checked for warpage? Ham fisted airgun operators generally don't torque the lug nuts correctly and then warp the rotors on you.

Yes, and for that matter how about runout of the wheels themselves? (Check them on the car.)

Link to comment
Sorry, no advice on the shaking but I do like that car. I had a white 1986 MR2 than I have very fond memories of.

 

 

I'll second all of that. It looks to be in great shape. I bought a new MR2 in early 1985, upon returning to the States from an overseas assignment. It wasn't the quickest in a straight line (mine was conventionally aspirated, while you have the more powerful supercharged engine), but it was a delight to drive.

 

I hope you get the steering wheel wiggle figured out.

Link to comment

 

 

Find a shop that can balance the wheels while mounted on the car.Probably be hard to find. Older alignment shops would be where I would look.Its almost a lost art.

 

On the car balancing,balances the whole hub and wheel assembly,plus it will show up a bent axle.

 

 

 

Link to comment

worst case drive slower than 62 and faster than 68. :dopeslap: only joking as these issues can drive anyone nuts. good luck with sorting it out.

Link to comment

I've seen a lot of odd vibration conditions develop in cars and now that you've been through the wheels/tires multile times and still have it, its time to look elsewhere.

 

The website info is good. Many small bits of subtle wear are possible on cars of that age such as the rack, tie rods, bushings for the rack or suspen sion mounts, even a shock.

 

If you really want the front end gone through, find a road racer or front end shop that likes to play with the model you own and skip the normal tire aqnd wheel guys, many of whom couldn't troubleshoot anything mechanical.

 

Your car is one of my favorites from that error- sweet handling and adequate power to weight for fun though of course not the huge hp numbers seen today- some called it a budget Ferrari due to the layout similarity which wasn't far off- Ferraris of that era and particulalry fast. If you take it to a track to play be aware it will swap ends on you in heartbeat if driven badly, though not as readily as the model that followed it.

 

Link to comment
jrcarpenter

I agree with big-t. When I worked at the Honda dealership in the mid-80's balancing the tires on the car was about the only way to keep them from shimmy-in. We also would turn the rotors while on the car, but that takes special equipment. If you get them balanced on the car and it helps, don't forget to mark the wheel to a stud before removing.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...