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Back Wheel wobble


acecadillac

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My 93 STS has a wobble in the right back wheel. I can grab the top of the wheel and pull in back and forth about an inch. The back end of the car shifts when hitting any bumps.

What would fix the problem and is it that difficult? Just changed the front outer tie rod end and this accountant found it pretty easy to do.

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If I am not mistaken you will need to take off the caliper and rotor to replace the hub bearing assembly. The hub bearing appears to be defective from your description. These hub bearings rarely go and the assembly is more expensive than the front I recall. This job is more difficult to do than the tie rod, in that the parking brake assembly may come into play during the reinstall process. My parking brake adjuster was frozen by rust and I had to install new parking brake cables in order that I could adjust the rear brakes properly. There is a special tool that you can buy (cheap) that will allow you screw in the brake piston if you don't have it. Once you get to it, the hub is a four or five bolt process, there is a hole in the flange to access the bolts. Given the wobble you are experiencing look over your brake pads to see if they were damaged or if they are worn. Now would be a good time to do the brakes while you are there. A clean-up cut of the rotors should be done if you replace the pads. Unless the pedal is spongy I usually don't bleed them, if I don't have time, but it is a good practice to bleed the brakes if only to purge out the old fluid. Be advised that bleeding the brakes on these cars can be tricky with their ABS and the system is under high pressure that must be bled off by pumping the brake with the engine off. Use of a torque wrench to tighten the bolts is always advised. I find the front brakes to be easy and straight forward and not a problem at all. The rears are a little tricky and not as straight forward.

If you are lucky you will be able to take the caliper and rotor off and the brakes are not damaged and you can just replace the hub bearing and reassemble everything, and you won't have to go too deep. Do you have the Service Manual, the process is detailed. Good Luck, Mike

PS: I learned a lesson from this experience, every oil change I spray the parking brake adjuster with white grease.... :angry:

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I would suspect that a tie rod end or ball joint is bad. Jack the car up and support it with jackstands. Crawl under the car and observe the tie rod ends and ball joint while rocking the tire. If either is bad, you will be able to see it when you rock the tire.

Get this repaired as soon as possible - if a ball joint or tie rod end fractures, you may lose control of the vehicle.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I would suspect that a tie rod end or ball joint is bad. Jack the car up and support it with jackstands. Crawl under the car and observe the tie rod ends and ball joint while rocking the tire. If either is bad, you will be able to see it when you rock the tire.

Get this repaired as soon as possible - if a ball joint or tie rod end fractures, you may lose control of the vehicle.

Kevin, acecadillac is referring to the rear, Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Thankyou Mike for your detailed response. Interesting that you say the bearing hub assembly. Last year I noticed a little play in the wheel and the bearing was replaced. However the new bearing also had play. The garage was not familar with Cadillacs and suggested that perhaps some play is normal, and replaced the new bearing back to the original bearing they had taken off. As a test, I checked my neighbor's STS and he also had some play, but on the left side, versus my right.

Is it normal to have some movement? I know mine is too much.

Thanks

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I would suspect that a tie rod end or ball joint is bad.  Jack the car up and support it with jackstands.  Crawl under the car and observe the tie rod ends and ball joint while rocking the tire.  If either is bad, you will be able to see it when you rock the tire.

Get this repaired as soon as possible - if a ball joint or tie rod end fractures, you may lose control of the vehicle.

Kevin, acecadillac is referring to the rear, Mike

There are tie-rods and ball joints in the rear as well.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I would suspect that a tie rod end or ball joint is bad.  Jack the car up and support it with jackstands.  Crawl under the car and observe the tie rod ends and ball joint while rocking the tire.  If either is bad, you will be able to see it when you rock the tire.

Get this repaired as soon as possible - if a ball joint or tie rod end fractures, you may lose control of the vehicle.

Kevin, acecadillac is referring to the rear, Mike

There are tie-rods and ball joints in the rear as well.

Kevin, I stand corrected, now that is something that I did not know.... Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Thankyou Mike for your detailed response. Interesting that you say the bearing hub assembly. Last year I noticed a little play in the wheel and the bearing was replaced. However the new bearing also had play. The garage was not familar with Cadillacs and suggested that perhaps some play is normal, and replaced the new bearing back to the original bearing they had taken off. As a test, I checked my neighbor's STS and he also had some play, but on the left side, versus my right.

Is it normal to have some movement? I know mine is too much.

Thanks

I am going to defer to Kevin here but I don't think any play is acceptible.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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You definitely should not have 1" of play when rocking the tire. Jack up the rear of the car and inspect the suspension components for movement when rocking the tire.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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1" of play is a lot.. it should be so little that it's almost not noticable.. are you sure the play is totally vertical ? the rear has tie rods and tie rod ends just like the front for adjusting the suspension. with 1" of play you have a bigger problem than a tie rod end.. are you sure it's 1" because that's quite a lot.. what kind of noise does it make when push/pull it? are the lug nuts on the wheel on tight? 100 ft lbs. is it ONLY the wheel that moves when you push/pull it or are there other parts moving with it?

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The play is perhaps closer to 1/2 inch and it only comes from the top. Upon further investigation it appears that most of this play comes from where the top A arm connects to the spindle. There appears to be some sealed bushing in the spindle that is worn. Dealer says the whole spindle will have to be replaced at $600 to remove play. I am thinking some sort of Mcgyver fix if really needed. I say if needed, this because I checked two other STS and they also have a little play when rocking the wheel from the top, but not as much as mine. Also the wheel does not rock when I push on the side of the car. The whole investigation started because I noticed the *smurf* of the car shifts side to side when hiting man wholes. I think the wheel bearing is okay. I pull and shift on the studs with the wheel off and no play. The car is bouncy and am sure needs new struts. Can that or something else be the problem?

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If the dealer diagnosed the problem as a worn spindle bushing and you have bad struts, why not fix the problem??

If something wears to the point that it catastrophically fails, you will lose control of the vehicle if you are traveling at any rate of speed....

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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It's just the parts guy who indicated that the bushing is part of the spindle. No diagnostics done. He never heard of this problem before. With the struts, I am wondering if this would fix the problem or is it something else. Personnal I have had more luck with this web site than the dealer. The dealer has already mistakenly changed the wheel bearing assemble in an attempt to fix this problem.

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The play is perhaps closer to 1/2 inch and it only comes from the top. Upon further investigation it appears that most of this play comes from where the top A arm connects to the spindle. There appears to be some sealed bushing in the spindle that is worn. Dealer says the whole spindle will have to be replaced at $600 to remove play. I am thinking some sort of Mcgyver fix if really needed. I say if needed, this because I checked two other STS and they also have a little play when rocking the wheel from the top, but not as much as mine. Also the wheel does not rock when I push on the side of the car. The whole investigation started because I noticed the *smurf* of the car shifts side to side when hiting man wholes. I think the wheel bearing is okay. I pull and shift on the studs with the wheel off and no play. The car is bouncy and am sure needs new struts. Can that or something else be the problem?

acecadillac,

Sounds like an upper control arm region issue. Most likely (as you've assessed) a worn bushing problem. My guess is the "knuckle" is shot. The knuckle has 2 pressed bushings (upper and lower) that can't be seen without removing the upper and lower control arms that attach to it. When those bushing wear out a lot of crazy things start to happen. Picture the layout in your mind and it's easy to see why this happens.

And of course your upper control arm bushings might be worn as well but not nearly a factor as the knuckle. If you call around and talk to people in the Cadillac parts departments (which i did) and ask them how many knuckles they sell versus control arms, they'll tell you that they sell a lot of knuckles and hardly any control arms.

One last thing, the knuckle bushings can't be purchased seperately... all one piece. Same with the control arms. Exciting information isn't it? You can buy the knuckle for $280 at: http://www.gmotors.com/

Use the website or call the toll free number. By now you've guessed that I've replaced one in mine. What a difference! Good luck.

-kg

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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My 93 STS has a wobble in the right back wheel. I can grab the top of the wheel and pull in back and forth about an inch. The back end of the car shifts when hitting any bumps.

What would fix the problem and is it that difficult? Just changed the front outer tie rod end and this accountant found it pretty easy to do.

As far as I know, from my own car, there's no play in the rear, however, a wheel alignment on a caddy requires 4 wheel alignment.

The two rear wheels should toe-in slightly which compensates for the wheels moving outward as the car moves forward. The service manual explains this in detail.

And by the way, a good shop will never do a wheel alignment if parts are worn and in need of replacement.

If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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How about ditching the SLA setup and adapting the 1986-92 E/K transverse leaf rear suspension (complete subframe)? It looks like it'll fit. You'd lose some of the fancy geometry, but it'll keep you going in a straight line. Durability and sharp bump isolation would be improved.

___________________________________________________

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How about ditching the SLA setup and adapting the 1986-92 E/K transverse leaf rear suspension (complete subframe)? It looks like it'll fit. You'd lose some of the fancy geometry, but it'll keep you going in a straight line. Durability and sharp bump isolation would be improved.

THANK YOU, NOW I understand, why I was mistaken in my diagnosis above, the rear suspension changed from my 91!!! Wow, I feel so much better now, THANKS, Mike

I NEED A MANUAL FOR MY 96!

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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a wheel alignment on a caddy requires 4 wheel alignment.

And by the way, a good shop will never do a wheel alignment if parts are worn and in need of replacement.

A Cadillac doesn't automatically require a 4-wheel alignment. There are adjustments for the rear but most of the time, only the front wheels need to be aligned as the rear wheels are still in alignment.

The alignment shop I use only charges for a 4-wheel alignment if the car needs the rear wheels aligned.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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The alignment shop I use only charges for a 4-wheel alignment if the car needs the rear wheels aligned.

A shop should only charge for a 4 wheel alignment if that's what they did. 2 wheel alignments are less money.

I was referring to the orginal poster, whatever the problem is with the wobble, once it's solved, he will need a 4 wheel alignment.

If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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How about ditching the SLA setup and adapting the 1986-92 E/K transverse leaf rear suspension (complete subframe)?  It looks like it'll fit.  You'd lose some of the fancy geometry, but it'll keep you going in a straight line.  Durability and sharp bump isolation would be improved.

THANK YOU, NOW I understand, why I was mistaken in my diagnosis above, the rear suspension changed from my 91!!! Wow, I feel so much better now, THANKS, Mike

I NEED A MANUAL FOR MY 96!

I got a manual on EBAY today only Part 1, but its better than nothing for $32.05! So I will respond more intelligently going forward (hopefully.... :blink: )

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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The alignment shop I use only charges for a 4-wheel alignment if the car needs the rear wheels aligned.

A shop should only charge for a 4 wheel alignment if that's what they did. 2 wheel alignments are less money.

I was referring to the orginal poster, whatever the problem is with the wobble, once it's solved, he will need a 4 wheel alignment.

That depends on what is actually done on the rear. You can change/replace many parts in the rear and not need a 4 wheel alignment.

"Burns" rubber

" I've never considered myself to be all that conservative, but it seems the more liberal some people get the more conservative I become. "

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It definately appears that the movement is coming from the bushings in the knuckle. However I think it is nuts that the whole knuckle has to be replaced for one small bushing.

This apparently is a common problems with Cavaliers, but after market companies make replacement bushings. I guess Cadillac doesn't have the same volume for after market companies to profit from this.

I examined the bushings and have decided to conduct a little experiment. Apparently the bushing has rubber behind the metal sleeve the bolt goes through and that is what has broken down. Therefore I am going to take a syringe and fill it with silicone. I am going to inject the silicone through the rubber seal on the outer portion of the sleeve to fill up the void and stop the play.

I have tested three other STS's and they all had a little play when pulling at the top of the back tires, one 93 as bad as mine. The play is limited to about a 1/4 inch that translates to 1/2 at the top of the tire. I will report back findings.

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Silicone as in RTV??? I wouldn't waste your time. The durometer (hardness) of the molded rubber is MUCH higher than any RTV...The RTV will just compress and the tire will wobble.

Bust down and replace the part. Check gmpartsdirect.com or gmotors.com for discounted OEM parts.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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