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  1. #1
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Default 12 & 6 play in FL tire

    Guys, been having a shaking in my car at 55 and 80. Also, weird rhythmic groan-like noise from the front left at lower speeds that increase with tire speed. I jacked the car up today and tested the tires for play. The right side felt tight. The left side was tight 3 & 9, but had a noticeable 12 & 6 movement.

    I don't know much about front end stuff, but would that be a wheel bearing thing? I had them repacked when my front brakes were done 5 or 10k miles ago. I'm thinking otherwise the balljoint? Where are they? Dumb question, but I can't seem to locate them.

    Thanks.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  2. #2
    FEP Senior Member qikgts's Avatar
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    The balljoint is located at the outboard end of the a arm. It's what the spindle "sit's and rotates" on. The balljoint sticks up and there is a hole in the spindle that the balljoint fits into...
    '85 GT

    The other one... 2016 F-150 XLT Supercab Ecoboosted with 3.73's...

  3. #3

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    Look carefully. If the spindle doesn't move when you wiggle the tire, then it's your bearings.
    Project "WinBacK" 1986 LX Hatchback
    - CA car, 5.0 w/5 speed
    -Cheap 5 Lug Swap w/Cobra 17x8.5's + Modded Mach1 Chin Spoiler + 83-84 Hood & Scoop/85-86 "Blackout"+ FMS Mass Air Kit+ MM Clutch Cable & Quadrant + Fiore Cable Adjuster + MM SFC's+ Wild Rides "Battle Boxes" + Explorer Intake, Converted TB & Injectors, 70 mm Mass Air Meter + BBK Ceramic Shorties + 2.5" Bassani O/R X-Pipe & Cat-Back Exhaust w/ 3" Tips + 3L27 w/ Carbon Fiber Clutches​(out of retirement) + Pistol Grip Shifter

  4. #4
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Ah ok, this makes tons more sense now. I'll take another look tomorrow.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  5. #5
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    So, I was told the play was minimal. Don't know how one wheel could have more than the other, but the driver's front wheel bearing was pitted and got replaced. Had my rack bushings done at the same time. Still got a vibration, but it's time for new tires, since mine are pretty much toast.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  6. #6

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    Worn out tires can give you a vibration.
    Project "WinBacK" 1986 LX Hatchback
    - CA car, 5.0 w/5 speed
    -Cheap 5 Lug Swap w/Cobra 17x8.5's + Modded Mach1 Chin Spoiler + 83-84 Hood & Scoop/85-86 "Blackout"+ FMS Mass Air Kit+ MM Clutch Cable & Quadrant + Fiore Cable Adjuster + MM SFC's+ Wild Rides "Battle Boxes" + Explorer Intake, Converted TB & Injectors, 70 mm Mass Air Meter + BBK Ceramic Shorties + 2.5" Bassani O/R X-Pipe & Cat-Back Exhaust w/ 3" Tips + 3L27 w/ Carbon Fiber Clutches​(out of retirement) + Pistol Grip Shifter

  7. #7
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzaibullitt View Post
    Worn out tires can give you a vibration.
    That's what I'm hoping.

    Hey do any of you have your tires wear more in the center than the sides? I'm not running them at high pressure or anything, yet they are wiped in the center.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  8. #8

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    As a tire wears the balance changes and eventually causes a vibration due to the imbalance.
    Project "WinBacK" 1986 LX Hatchback
    - CA car, 5.0 w/5 speed
    -Cheap 5 Lug Swap w/Cobra 17x8.5's + Modded Mach1 Chin Spoiler + 83-84 Hood & Scoop/85-86 "Blackout"+ FMS Mass Air Kit+ MM Clutch Cable & Quadrant + Fiore Cable Adjuster + MM SFC's+ Wild Rides "Battle Boxes" + Explorer Intake, Converted TB & Injectors, 70 mm Mass Air Meter + BBK Ceramic Shorties + 2.5" Bassani O/R X-Pipe & Cat-Back Exhaust w/ 3" Tips + 3L27 w/ Carbon Fiber Clutches​(out of retirement) + Pistol Grip Shifter

  9. #9

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    If they are wearing in the center then pressure is to high. Try lowering them a couple pounds.
    86 Mustang - Part SVO, Part GT, Part LX but 3 wrecks make one car.

  10. #10
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachW04Stang View Post
    If they are wearing in the center then pressure is to high. Try lowering them a couple pounds.
    Yeah, that's the thing. I run them between 26 & 28 as it is and they still wear in the center. My dad says the Gatorbacks did the same thing. You guys don't have that?
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  11. #11
    FEP Senior Member kbrandt's Avatar
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    If you're feeling movement at 12&6 but not 9&3, I'd think it almost has to be the ball joints, and not the wheel bearings. If you have wheel bearing problems, you'd expect to see movement at all points on the wheel. You should also check the upper strut mounts and make sure the strut to spindle bolts are tight. It shouldn't happen on a street car, but those have been known to loosen up on track cars.

    If you're able to feel the movement, you ought to be able to see it if you look closely. Try pulling wheel and putting it on jack stands. Them use a pry bar between the ground and control arm near the ball joint.
    "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car." - Will Shriner

    '86 GT Mustang "Tigger"
    '95 GT convertible (wife's car)
    '86 SVO accursed car (sold)

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by 85stanggt View Post
    Yeah, that's the thing. I run them between 26 & 28 as it is and they still wear in the center. My dad says the Gatorbacks did the same thing. You guys don't have that?
    I have Kumho ecstas (16" pony rims, 245/50 tires). I've had vibration issues since I got the car 4 years ago.

    My car has a 2.5" drop (previous owner). I thought my vibration issues were related to 1. balance 2. bad alignment 3. bump steer.

    So I blanced, aligned and was contemplating a bump steer tie rod ends and camber plates.

    My bearings were tight and had been re-packed when I did the struts last year.

    Well, after seeing this post, I changed the bearings and the vibration went away.

    Also, a few other points:

    Inside the car, I found that the four bolts attaching the steering column could be tightened. Not so much that they were loose but I was able to tighten them at least a full turn. Prior to the bearings, this reduced the vibration a little bit.

    I run higher tire pressures: 33 psi in front.

    Considering I have my car lowered, no caster camber plates or bump steer tie rod ends, original ball joints, I would expect some uneven tire wear.

    All is good. My tires wear evenly, which to me is a big surprise.

    Not sure of your wear problem. I'll throw this out there: Is your tire gauge off and you are running higher pressures than you think?

    I know I have several tire pressure gauges and one of them is off by at least 5 psi (threw it out).

    Joe

  13. #13
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    I have a very good Moroso tire gauge. It is right on. I've tested it against my dad's (which is the same one) and about 5 or 6 others gauges we have in the house. They all are around 1 psi of each other.

    I think new tires are necessary at this point to quell some of the vibration. The only issue is that come August, the car is going to be parked for a long time while I'm away at school. I'm trying to find some decent tires at a good price to make it worthwhile.

    Also, the 12-6 movement isn't like crazy loose, but there's a little play there. More so than the passenger side. I was looking at the balljoint as I wiggled the tire, and I couldn't perceive any slop. Oddly enough, the driver's side bearing was pitted. The shop changed it and packed the new one with a new dust cover. No improvement really in vibration. This car as always done this. But two summers ago, I had it nearly smooth after working with a Ford NVH expert. It has progressively worsened over time. Good chance it's the tires.
    Last edited by 85stanggt; 05-28-2010 at 11:19 PM.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  14. #14

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    Have you tried tightening the left front wheel bearing preload to see if the movement gets any better? Also have you tried rotating the left front tire to say the right rear to see if the vibration moves from where you are feeling it now? Just a couple of things to throw out there for ya. Also, if the bearings were pitted what did the spindle look like? Was there any damage to it?
    86 LX coupe, the other house payment
    85 ltd wagon, the surfwagon

  15. #15
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    I have directional tires, so unfortunately I can't go FL to RR.

    I haven't messed with the preload or anything. I brought the car back to my mechanic who did the front brakes and initially replaced the bearings at the same time. He said the grease looked dry (my dust cap was leaking a little), so he took them out to repack them. That's when we saw they were pitted. I didn't think the spindle mattered...don't the inner bearings slip around the spindle, and the outer bearings ride on the inner ones? ...or do I have that wrong... I asked about the spindle, they said it was ok. I imagine they would have said something to me about it after they got in there if something was wrong. I am concerned, though, how the bearings pitted already in 2 years. Maybe they used cheap ones before.

    I got new tires on the car yesterday. Road force balanced also. Car is 80% smoother. Still a little shake in the wheel, but I'm going to try to tighten the column up under the dash and at the tilt mechanism. What I think may be the issue is the bearing preload on the steering column/shaft. Any idea how to adjust that? I think that'll really solidify things.

    Thanks for the help. The car's never been smooth, but this is the closest yet!
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  16. #16
    FEP Member Tigger's Avatar
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    Reviving an old thread. When they changed the wheel bearings did the play at 12 & 6 go away?

    My Saleen has been wandering lately. It’s driving me crazy. Jacked up the car over the weekend and found play at 12 & 6 on both wheels. None at 9 & 3. I tightened the wheel bearings which made a slight difference but there is still play. Pass side has more play than drivers. Tonight I had my son move the wheels back and forth and the ball joints do not move at 12 & 6. Just the wheel bearings. Took a pry bar between the spindle and control arm and still no movement in the ball joints.

    I’m kinda with the guy above, I would expect play in all directions if the wheel bearings are bad? Brakes and spindles are off an 89 GT I parted out. Bearings looked good when I repacked them like 7 years ago but I have no idea how many miles are on them. I put at least 12k on them since they have been on the car. I’m thinking of just replacing all four bearings to see if that eliminates the play.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  17. #17

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    when you checked your ball joints did you have the jack or jack stand under the control arm? You need to unload the spindle from the pressure of the spring to check them for play
    84 LX Vert. 5.0 5speed canyon red on white
    99 cobra, electric green on medium parchment, vortech s-trim

  18. #18
    FEP Member Tigger's Avatar
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    Well good point but I had a pretty long pry bar. I should have had enough of a moment to move it if it was going to move. Now you have me curious, i will take some weight off the spring and look at it again tonight. Thanks.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  19. #19

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    Also keep in mind you caliper can restrict movement in wheel bearings in different directions when trying to wiggle the tire. Jack up car from the control arm one side at a time. 12+6 for the ball joints. 9+3 for your tie rods. And if you canít remember when the last time you serviced the wheel bearings now is a good time to inspect them and repack them.
    84 LX Vert. 5.0 5speed canyon red on white
    99 cobra, electric green on medium parchment, vortech s-trim

  20. #20
    FEP Member Tigger's Avatar
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    That makes sense about the calipers. I will try that tonight. Thanks.

    Before I left for work today, I quickly jacked up the drivers side control arm, and wiggled the wheel. There was no change in movement. It appears that the bearings are the only thing moving still. Tonight when I get home I will take the pry bar to it while the spring is compressed. I will also do the same to the pass side.

    As for the wheel bearings, I just ordered new ones from Rock Auto. I think I am going to replace them regardless. I have no idea how many miles are on the ones that are in the car and for ~$40 with the seals, it just makes sense.
    Last edited by Tigger; 02-13-2018 at 09:07 PM.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  21. #21

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    No need to use a pry bar. If there is play you will feel it once the weight of the spring is off the ball joint. Good call on the new bearings. Rock auto has great prices on timken bearings. I just purchased some myself recently.
    84 LX Vert. 5.0 5speed canyon red on white
    99 cobra, electric green on medium parchment, vortech s-trim

  22. #22
    FEP Member Tigger's Avatar
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    Timken is what I bought. I pulled the calipers off and the bearings barely wiggled at 3 & 9. But both wheels wiggle between 12 & 6. Ball joints are tight. I pulled the rotors off and both inner bearings seem pretty sloppy to me. I will compare them to the new ones when they get here.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  23. #23

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    As the bearings wear, the cone angle changes. This means that even though the preload nut is tight, the bearings can have play because the rollers and bearing races no longer have a shape that matches each other.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  24. #24

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    Sounds like they are worn out, like jack said. The cup and cone Should match perfectly.
    84 LX Vert. 5.0 5speed canyon red on white
    99 cobra, electric green on medium parchment, vortech s-trim

  25. #25
    FEP Member Tigger's Avatar
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    Got the new bearings in. Everything is tight now. Have not driven it yet though. Going to flush the power steering system before I lower it down. Anyway it’s snowing right now. Will update when I take it for a drive.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

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