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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #1
If you are one of the 8,348 people who viewed or 112 people who commented on http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...e/44251-relentless-steering-wheel-shimmy.html and/or http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...relentless-steering-wheel-shimmy-part-ii.html I want to thank you for your help and announce that having driven over 100 miles since the last repair I feel confident that the relentless steering wheel shimmy has been fixed. Great news! Now I can sell this piece of crap and get a good ole 'Mericun car. Just kidding.

I inherited the beloved Little Red OBW from my sister-in-law (RIP) after it sat neglected in a field for 3 years. She did not take care of it any better than that before she passed away either. So, I have poured lots of time, money, and bloody knuckles into making the car safe and reliable enough for my soon to be 16 year old daughter to drive - when she can get me out of the driver's seat, that is. The one thing I (we) could not figure out was the intermittent relentless steering wheel shimmy.

The cause: Several things found in the posts from above plus a driver's side rear hot wheel hub that turned out to be a bad caliper piston, not the wheel bearing I'd feared. The red herring: I rebuilt the caliper last year and noticed the inside brake pad was much thinner than the outside. So, rebuild plus new pads and rotors and fixed, right? Long story short: Inner piston fails completely, brake drags, wheel shimmies, caliper replaced, wheel spins freely and the steering finally feels like it should - like riding on rails. David happy. David very happy. :D
 

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'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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3,113 Posts
I have the same shimmy. It's intermittent, and only happens on the interstate. Replaced the rear pads not too long ago, I'll go see how the pads are wearing and see what's up with the calipers. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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4,112 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
So you rebuilt the caliper but that did not help. What did help was replacing the caliper?
Rebuilding the caliper helped the wheel spin more freely but not like the effortless Ferris Wheel it has become after replacing the caliper. This was the last step in a long process. Several of the previous repairs reduced the intensity and duration of the shimmy. Things like road force balancing and struts reduced it to about 20% of the drive and only for about 1 to 2 minutes at a time. The wheel always felt a little "squidgy" and I thought it was the rack but I was not loosing PS fluid. When I started to take it apart for what I thought was a bad wheel bearing, because the hub was really hot (350 degrees F), I noticed the inside pad was wearing a lot faster than the outside, just like it was before I rebuilt the caliper. Both rear wheels spin with the same ease and the steering wheel feels more solid all the time now.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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4,112 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I have the same shimmy. It's intermittent, and only happens on the interstate. Replaced the rear pads not too long ago, I'll go see how the pads are wearing and see what's up with the calipers. Thanks for sharing!
See the links to my threads above if you want the scoop on nearly every possibility for the cause.
 
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