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Old 11-07-2002, 07:35 PM   #1
sttev
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Default steering wheel shakes VIOLENTLY at 40-45 mph

90' conv w/56k miles...seller says its a tire pressure problem. Both front fenders and steering wheel shake violently
when accelerating from 40 thru 45 mph. Car drives smooth below and above that speed. I'm thinking tires need
balancing or the car has been wrecked and has serious suspension/steering problems. Any advise?????
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Old 11-07-2002, 07:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: steering wheel shakes VIOLENTLY at 40-45 mph (sttev)

Tire pressure problem = :bs

Sounds more like balance or damage. One thing that can happen, is if the car has been spun-out and gone off-road into dirt and mud etc. (not entirely unheard of w/ Vettes-- they can get away from you sometimes if you're doing a particularly over zealous burnout or whatever) , clumps of mud and junk can dry up inside the inboard part of the wheels and screw up the balance something fierce, but this usually makes it shake at all speeds.

It needs to go up on a lift and be inspected closely by someone knowledgeable. :yesnod:
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Old 11-07-2002, 07:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: steering wheel shakes VIOLENTLY at 40-45 mph (sttev)

Quote:
90' conv w/56k miles...seller says its a tire pressure problem. Both front fenders and steering wheel shake violently
when accelerating from 40 thru 45 mph. Car drives smooth below and above that speed. I'm thinking tires need
balancing or the car has been wrecked and has serious suspension/steering problems. Any advise?????
:cheers:
Tell the seller you will buy the car once the problem is solved! If it is tire pressure, why wouldn't he simply adjust the tire presure?

Could be several things individually or cumulatively.

Out of balance
Bad shocks
worn suspension parts
bent rims
and so forth!


Don't buy it till it's right and ask to see the receipts for what was done to fix it

Jack
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Old 11-07-2002, 07:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: steering wheel shakes VIOLENTLY at 40-45 mph (sttev)

Also, welcome to the forum and tell us more about this one or others you look at for potential purchase, including price. People here love to help, and there is much Corvette knowledge here. I'm still learning :yesnod:
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Old 11-07-2002, 08:09 PM   #5
sttev
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Default More info-this forum is great

Thanks, I have been reading this forum for a few months now and have learned more
about vetts than in the past 2 years of reading books etc. I've been looking for a 90' 91'
I have been looking for a 90 91'conv for about 2 years now and have found that there are some cherrys = expensive and
some lemons = cheap. This car is in nice condition for a 90' with only 56K and seller is the
2nd owner. He was asking 12,500 which is about right for a car in good shape. He has recently
dropped the price down to 9,300 which is cheap considering the mileage. He needs the money.
I drove the car once and told him that no one would by the car with the steering issue and no a/c
and I left. He called me back a few days later and said he had fixed the shake by adjusting tire
pressure and fixed the a/c by replacing the altenator????? Smells fishing to me.
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Old 11-07-2002, 08:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: More info-this forum is great (sttev)

He called me back a few days later and said he had fixed the shake by adjusting tire
pressure and fixed the a/c by replacing the altenator????? Smells fishing to me.
[/QUOTE]

I think that guy is trying to pull the sheep over your head :yesnod:
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Old 11-07-2002, 10:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: More info-this forum is great (corvette0096)

something smells rotten
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Old 11-08-2002, 08:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: More info-this forum is great (corvette0096)

Quote:
He called me back a few days later and said he had fixed the shake by adjusting tire
pressure and fixed the a/c by replacing the altenator????? Smells fishing to me.
:bs :bs :bs
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Old 11-08-2002, 08:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: More info-this forum is great (sttev)

Quote:
I drove the car once and told him that no one would by the car with the steering issue and no a/c
and I left. He called me back a few days later and said he had fixed the shake by adjusting tire
pressure and fixed the a/c by replacing the altenator????? Smells fishing to me.
Go back and drive it again. If it doesn't shake the tire pressures could have been off between wheels. It happens occasionaly on my 88 when I don't keep the same pressure in the two fronts. He should have checked it before. Now with the AC fixing it by replacing the alternator = :bs , he had another problem you didn't notice (probably the battery isn't charging).

With that drive it again and check the AC operation and the wheel shake. Then decide if you want a 9K car you are going to put $1500 or so a year into fixing it up or if you keep looking. ($9K is what I'd offer him if it works better than it did the first time, but I can do 80 -90% of my own work)

And welcome to the forum!!!
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Old 11-08-2002, 03:47 PM   #10
sttev
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Default I drove it again...and

I drove it again and the steering was much better, but still a lil shake, very lil this time comparied to last time.
He said that the car had been sitting for 5 months and the tire pressure was way off in the passenger side tire.
Also that the remaining shake was because the drivers side tire was still under inflated and needed 5 lbs more air.
The a/c was blowing cold and he did replace the altenator with a reman. so I don't know what was up with that.
The old alt. was not putting out enough juice for the system to work properly????? The car has spider webs on both
front and rear bumbers about the size of a lemon. Tires have about 40 % of the tread left. It needs new carpet and
drivers side seat side repaired wear it rubs getting in and out. Console is scratched up and ashtry cover too and
will need replacing. The door/window seals and rubber are in good condition just a few small cracks. He just had the
break done and has reciept but the car did not brake as good as it should have with new brakes...I had to press down
with quite a bit of force, a lot more than in my 91' 300zx to get it to stop....Also the powering steering was much more
difficult to turn and made slight groan when doing a u-turn. I offered him 8500.00 and told him that I would need to
take it to a corvette repair shop to have the steering and suspension system checked as well as the rest of the car.
I don't know corvettes well enough to know what i'm looking for......Was I too hard on him??????
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Old 11-08-2002, 04:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: I drove it again...and (sttev)

Here is my .02

The vibration could be a $40 fix (re-balance tires) or $400+ (ball joints, tie rods, etc.). IMHO, chances are it's a simple balance problem, but that is a gamble you have to weigh while deciding on this car.

I don't see the connection between the alternator and A/C. Well, I did have the A/C head unit go bonkers (mind of its own) when my battery was dead and dropped below 10.5V though. But I don't think that is your problem.

Stiff steering and groaning could mean the PS pump is on the way out.

It is totally reasonable to ask for a mechanic to look over the car before purchase. If the seller doesn't consent to this, walk away. :)
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Old 11-08-2002, 04:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: I drove it again...and (sttev)

Sounding much better at $8500 if you are willing to put a little more $$$ in it after you get it.

By spiderwebs - did you mean actual insect created webs or cracks in the paint?

If cracks in the paint then the front end wobble is probably something more serious than tire pressure. The power steering groan is either a "fluid needs changed" or "steering rack" needs to be changed problem.

Hard brakes probably just need bleed if they were done by a good shop.

It all comes down to "pick this one up at 8500 and have lots of work done to it" or "find another car in your price range that doesn't have as many issues".
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Old 11-08-2002, 05:09 PM   #13
sttev
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Default cracks in paint

The spiderwebs are actual cracks in the paint, not chips or flakes but just cracks where he has bumped something. I just don't see how with only 56k miles that the powersteering rack/pump could be going bad don't those things usually last for 100k??? Anyway, I am handy and can fix most of the things that we have discussed with the exception of things u would need a lift for. I have a paint shop in my garage with compressor and air tools. So what I am thinking is i can dump a couple grand in this car and have 10500 in it and have new carpet, good paint and mechanicals etc and at 56k have a car that is worth 12k. Am I way off hear and not taking into consideration all the other things that will break in the near future????
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Old 11-10-2002, 11:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: cracks in paint (sttev)

Whew, couldn't access the forum since Friday...anyways...

I neglected to remember that the PS groaning could also be caused by old PS fluid (I think), old drivebelt or loose tensioner. At 56k those are probably more likely than a dead PS pump. But if the car was autox'ed or raced, then the PS pump becomes a very real possibility again.
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Old 11-10-2002, 11:33 PM
 
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