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From: Jim Helm
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
Date: August 11, 2003
The "vibration" you are describing sounds a lot more like front end problems than anything else to me. I once had a car that did much the same thing--it was smooth up to a certain speed, but above that speed the slightest bump in the road would cause the front end to shimmy violently. I had to almost stop the vehicle to get it to stop "shaking" once it started! I would suggest that you look closely at your ball joints, tie rod ends, center link, pitman and idler arms, control arms, and even the steering gear. Worn out rubber bushings and loose metal joints in these parts can work together to find speed sensitive "harmonics" that can cause problems such as you are experiencing. It is difficult to test all of these parts without special tools and know-how, so my first suggestion is to take the car to a front end mechanic that you trust. If that isn't possible, be sure that you "load" the parts to check for looseness--don't just shake them with your hands. These are heavy duty parts and require significant force to show looseness/wear, especially while still hooked together in the car. Jacking the front of the car and "shaking" the wheels/tires back and forth, first top to bottom and then front to back (steering direction) may give some preliminary indications. Good luck!