Povertycove

Front end wobble

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I just came back from a nice 300 mile tour here in Florida with my 1927 boattail runabout. The car behaved perfectly, and cruised easily at 45 mph, burning about 11-12 mpg. The only problem that I've had with the car is an occasional front end wobble, easily corrected by either slowing down or speeding up. Does anyone have a solution to the problem? I'm thinking of putting a hydraulic damper on the steering, as I've dove on my Chrysler Airflow to correct a similar issue.

IMG_0027.JPG

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Alex - 

 

The factory referred to this as "Wheel Wabble".

There are a great many potential factors that can contribute to it - all of them related to front end connections & adjustment.  I have always avoided a steering damper (and removed a fair number of them) as it is only masking a problem that is correctable and it changes the wonderful light feel of the Ser. 11 steering. 

 

The 1st and simplest thing to try and often the cure is to balance the front wheels and be sure tire pressure is up.  Nicely balanced wheels with factory toe-in and castor can run smooth and wabble free, even with significantly worn steering & spring connections.  Give it a whirl if you haven't tried those things already and let me know. That car should be as fun to drive as it is to look at.

 

tom

 

 

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I did notice that the "wheel wabble" (love the term, sounds like Bugs Bunny) improved when I made sure the tires had exactly the same amount of pressure in the front. I'll check toe-in and castor, and rebalance the wheels. Nice to have some cost-free solutions. I've had new king pins made, and installed, as well as new wheel bearings, so everything is tight up front, except for the wheels themselves, which creak and click.

Thanks for the help Tom.

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Povertycove, 

 

Nice looking boat tail. I've always liked that shade of yellow on a Franklin.

 

My '21 9B will need kingpins soon. Can you give any advice on having new kingpins made and installed? 

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17 hours ago, Povertycove said:

I did notice that the "wheel wabble" (love the term, sounds like Bugs Bunny) improved when I made sure the tires had exactly the same amount of pressure in the front. I'll check toe-in and castor, and rebalance the wheels. Nice to have some cost-free solutions. I've had new king pins made, and installed, as well as new wheel bearings, so everything is tight up front, except for the wheels themselves, which creak and click.

Thanks for the help Tom.

I've found that loose spring mounts to frame connections, loose spring pivot bolt thrust adjustments, loose steering ball/sockets (you can tighten the socket plug as per book instructions), worn steering sector shaft bushings are bigger culprits than worn king pins. There are a lot of joints on that whole front end. 

tom

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32 minutes ago, RansomEli said:

Povertycove, 

 

Nice looking boat tail. I've always liked that shade of yellow on a Franklin.

 

My '21 9B will need kingpins soon. Can you give any advice on having new kingpins made and installed? 

 

Series 9 used a case hardened pin in hardened steel bushings. The biggest problem with them is lack of lubrication as they were designed for oil and often had grease zerks installed later on in place of the oilers. Grease cannot get to the joints as the pins have felt wicks to allow the oil to migrate to the bushings.  You might find that if you disassemble and clean everything, they may be O.K.

The 9 pins were fitted with a lot of clearance. Oftentimes a rebuilder will fit them far too tight and stiff steering results. The book has specs. 

tom

 

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Going over the car, post tour, I did notice that the axle nuts, the hubs, had to be tightened a turn. That may be part of my wabble problem. Also the spokes have some play in them, so I am going to apply some linseed oil to try to swell them up a bit.

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Nice article, thanks. Ive had several sets of wooden wheels made for me by an Amish family in Baltic, Ohio. Marvelous work, and economical. The best Ive seen, really. These were for Saxon touring cars.

Examining the stouter spokes of the Franklin, I think they require only some TLC at this point.

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I like Tom's reply.  

 

I have had really good luck with the Firestone tires that you have, though I would consider jacking up the car and seeing how true the wheels are - have sent a few tires back over time that could be balanced but no real correction for square or egg shaped tires, or...

 

A good race shop may be able to align - we actually have one locally in Cincinnati who had the 1930 Franklin on his hunter program, but most know I would think know the engineering and can figure it out.

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Alex,

 

Is that the one which came from the gentleman in Madisonville, Louisiana several years back?

 

Great car !

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)

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Thanks. This car was restored by Brad Hindall here in Sarasota about thirty five years ago. Almost all the 11A and B sport runabouts were painted this shade of yellow, with pinstriping designed by the Franklin company. There are a surprising number of them left. This is another shot of mine in Florida, with Norm Madison's 11A in the background.IMG_1555.JPG

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