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'28 DB Std 6 front end shake


Paul Bohlig
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My '28 DB Std 6 drives well until about 35 mph and then the front end shakes. I have had it aligned, new king pins, wheel bearings. I always assumed it was worn steering and or tie rods which are near impossible to replace.

Today I jacked up the front end and measured the run out. How much right to left off center with the wheels straight ahead; measured by spinning the wheel with a tool box at the edge of side of the tire. It appears the wood wheels are out of true by 3/16 to 1/4 inch. This may explain the shake as the out of true is magnified as speed increases. Anyone else ever run into this and how do you fix short of sending to a wheel wright?

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Guest John1918

I started a thread about 18 months ago and tried everything but my vic6 still had bad shakes. It was not just the wheels that shook, you could see the whole front shaking, the radiator shaking from side to side in time with the wheels but probably in anti-phase to them. I 90% fixed the problem by taking out all the side-play in the shackles, back and front. Tighten up all shackle nuts and back them off a castle-ation before placing the split pins. It made a dramatic difference to the handling, all but eliminating the shaking and also stopped a loud "clonking" in the rear of the car. Local Vic6 guys have had good result by using axle shims too, that will be the next thing I try although my suspension was checked and found to be exactly to specification. John

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Thanks for all the great ideas. I checked all of them out. A neighbor mic'ed the passenger side outside spindle where the bearing rides and found spindle and Timkin bearing at .75. Showed him the drivers side up on jack and he thinks the wood wheel is sprung. So, be happy in the slow lane!Paul

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  • 3 weeks later...

It still sounds like caster shimmy. Either too much to too little caster, usually too little. Caster decreases as the springs sag with age. You install angled wedges between the springs and their contact with the front axle. You can make them (hardened steel; soft steel will just flatten out in time) or, if lucky buy them NOS at a swap meet. If the shimmy starts after you hit a good pothole at 35-45 mph, and if you can steer out of it (if you have the nerve) it is most certainly caster shimmy.

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Thanks JB-ed and gundog99:

You are probably correct. Neither spring has a shim. I see them on ebay. I checked some of the Ford suppliers: Little Dearborn, Mac, Synder and no caster shims. Realize Ford did not use the double elipical front spring but certainly other old cars must have had a similar problem. Also, how can you measure caster angle if you do not have the now obsolete tools referenced in JB-ed's excellent CD in book 5, section D, pages 13-28?

Paul

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You can get a hand held inclinometer fairly cheap. With this you can measure caster angle. You can make your own shims easy enough also or go to your local big truck shop, they are still in use today. Fairly common item if you know where to looks

The same shop can have al alignment done on your car in no-time by the way. The are still using the old time theories since they still deal with a majority of straight axle vehicles

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Check your local alignment shops. They use them on older pickups with staight axles and also on rear ends to adjust pinion angle. Speedway has them in 2 & 4 degree but they are 2 1/2" wide. Some other speed shops or hotrod vendors may have them.

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How sensitive are they to wheel balance? I have an old Alemite on-the-car balancer (w/strobe light). You jack up the wheel so it is off the ground, and spin it up. There is a magnetic pickup that goes on the control arm/axle which gets synched with the strobe light. Or you can do a pretty good job by trial & error too. Maybe you can find someone in your area with one of these.

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