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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I have had a problem since I bought it back in Feb - when on the highway, between speeds of 55 and 75 mph, the steering wheel will shake pretty badly. It ranges from annoying to violently, and goes and comes, but usually comes, haha. It feels like a looseness up front rather than a tire problem. I've had rotors replaced, balanced, aligned, with no luck at fixing this.

So I got under the vehicle and found on the passenger side a torn boot on some steering rod (tie rod? I'm not sure)

Here is a picture of the diagram I found on Opposed Forces, it's number 8.



Anyway, here are my questions...

1. Is this what is causing the shaking up front at high speeds?

2. Is there anyway I can spray some grease up there to see if it makes a temporary fix, simply to prove it's the problem?

3. Is is something I can fix myself, anybody have any writeups? (Found the part online for 20 something dollars)

4. If I did fix it myself, how would I put the grease back in the boot? What kind, how much, etc

Thanks guys! I'll be under the car exploring some more while I wait for some help haha :29: You guys are great
 

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Get under the front, when the car is safely parked and you know it is not going to move at all. Safely block the wheels so the car cannot move. If you can do this in a location where the front end is overhanging something low, like a large depression in the lawn or on the edge of a driveway or parking lot with a dropoff. If not, then ramps are the second choice under both front wheels, again REAR WHEELS BLOCKED, Parking brake ON and the car in reverse for a Manual trans (or first) - or PARK for an automatic.

Turn the key to 'on' (DO NOT start the car) so someone can turn the steering wheel. While they are turning the wheel back and forth, with the engine off, shine a bright flashlight up there, you may need them to turn the wheel all the way to the right to check the right side and all the way to the left to check the left side.

While they are turning the steering wheel the whole time at least 1/4 rotation (1/2 rotation, back & forth, would be better if they have the strength), you are looking for loose parts, you may need to put on a blue vinyl glove so you don't get greasy and feel each location where there are connections, feeling for anything that is loose and looking for things that are moving that are connected to things that don't seem to be moving as much as the adjacent adjoining parts. It should be pretty obvious if there is something loose that should not be!

You should NOT have a torn boot as that is allowing all manner of dirt, grit, sand, abrasives get into the steering rack. It may be that the thing has been torn for so long that the rack now needs replacing due to all the wear all the abrasives would most likely cause over a long period of time.

The rack is the large round center thing (extending left-to-right) into which the steering column extends and into which both the left and right tie rod ends extend. The thing that has the torn boot is most likely a tie rod end, unless you are referring to a LOT LARGER boot, in which case you may be talking about one of the front axles, but I DOUBT IT!
 

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swap tires front to back.

Inspect the steering rack bushings (Saint J's test may show the rack shifting too much - probably the bushings are worn)


make sure the wheels sit around the hub, are flat (no chunks of rust or debris behind them). Check for loose/cracked lug nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Get under the front, when the car is safely parked and you know it is not going to move at all. Safely block the wheels so the car cannot move. If you can do this in a location where the front end is overhanging something low, like a large depression in the lawn or on the edge of a driveway or parking lot with a dropoff. If not, then ramps are the second choice under both front wheels, again REAR WHEELS BLOCKED, Parking brake ON and the car in reverse for a Manual trans (or first) - or PARK for an automatic.

Turn the key to 'on' (DO NOT start the car) so someone can turn the steering wheel. While they are turning the wheel back and forth, with the engine off, shine a bright flashlight up there, you may need them to turn the wheel all the way to the right to check the right side and all the way to the left to check the left side.

While they are turning the steering wheel the whole time at least 1/4 rotation (1/2 rotation, back & forth, would be better if they have the strength), you are looking for loose parts, you may need to put on a blue vinyl glove so you don't get greasy and feel each location where there are connections, feeling for anything that is loose and looking for things that are moving that are connected to things that don't seem to be moving as much as the adjacent adjoining parts. It should be pretty obvious if there is something loose that should not be!

You should NOT have a torn boot as that is allowing all manner of dirt, grit, sand, abrasives get into the steering rack. It may be that the thing has been torn for so long that the rack now needs replacing due to all the wear all the abrasives would most likely cause over a long period of time.

The rack is the large round center thing (extending left-to-right) into which the steering column extends and into which both the left and right tie rod ends extend. The thing that has the torn boot is most likely a tie rod end, unless you are referring to a LOT LARGER boot, in which case you may be talking about one of the front axles, but I DOUBT IT!
No it is definitely the rack boot, and I checked and found nothing loose, but I sprayed the entire inside of the assembly under the torn boot with some lithium grease, and it seemed to get rid of most of the vibes on the highway - happened maybe 1/4 of the time rather than preetty much the whole time! Is this coincidence or could this be the problem?

swap tires front to back.

Inspect the steering rack bushings (Saint J's test may show the rack shifting too much - probably the bushings are worn)


make sure the wheels sit around the hub, are flat (no chunks of rust or debris behind them). Check for loose/cracked lug nuts.
Already swapped the tires many times with no luck. The bushings seemed okay from what I can tell; didn't really notice anything abnormal. The rims are sitting flat and the lugs are all in perfect shape. As I said before too, everything is balanced, rotors replaced, aligned... could these boots be it?
 

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....I sprayed the entire inside....Is this coincidence or could this be the problem?
The torn boots themselves on the tie rods would not cause a vibration. A vibration could, I suppose, begin to happen, over time, when the steering rack starts wearing out, as the front tires would not be both aimed straight ahead. If one, or both front wheels are a little "sloppy" in not keeping a straight line down the highway, vibration could result from a tire that is wiggling back and forth a bit, I suppose. I am not a front-end specialist, I can only tell you what I think, based on any common sense I may have.
 
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