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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2021, 03:54 PM
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Default Question about steering wheel shaking while driving

Hello all, i have a 2008 Backdraft #880 I notice a shaking in the steering wheel when i drive it. Its not real bad but im courious if this is normal. There is a little bit of play in it also. If anyone is on here from around Ohio that has a backdraft maybe we could meet up and compare the way they drive. Maybe this is normal and im being too picky with the way i feel it should drive. Canfield, ohio here. [ATTACH][ATTACH][ATTACH]Name:  2E268E9C-33BC-48E3-AE19-30BBF2978D07.jpg
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Old 11-10-2021, 04:31 PM
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Usually steering wheel shake is an indication that the tires are out of balance. You might consider having them rebalanced to see if the problem goes away.
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Old 11-10-2021, 04:41 PM
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Depends on what speed it occurs at.

First thing to do is spin the wheels and observe the tread for runout.

Little point in balancing wheels that have excessive runout.
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Last edited by Gaz64; 11-11-2021 at 09:19 PM..
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Old 11-10-2021, 04:55 PM
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Can also be alignment
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Old 11-10-2021, 05:10 PM
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I think Backdraft's have a strut style suspension in the front although I could be wrong. If they have a wishbone style front suspension like the SPF cars, the ball joints can introduce this type of vibration. Cobra Valley offers a pair of replacement ball joints for SPF cars that they call Hi-Performance Adjustable Ball joints to correct this sort of problem in the SPF cars.

As others have already suggested your tires could be culprits in the problem origin also. A bias ply tire can flat spot and also produce steering vibrations until they smooth out again.

The play in the steering wheel might be attributable to wear on the rack and pinion steering. Most R&P steering systems provide for some adjustment to compensate for wear. The other thing that could produce steering play could be steering u-joints that are beginning to fail.

Lots of stuff to chase down. Aren't these cars fun to own?


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Old 11-10-2021, 05:20 PM
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I also suspect front tire out of balance or round. If your front and rear tires are the same size, you can swap fronts for rears and see if the symptom changes. If so, you know its the tires.
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Old 11-10-2021, 05:32 PM
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If you can find someone at your local Cobra club that will let you do a quick switch (and has the same size front tires as you) that's an easy way to test out your tires. If after switching the front wheels and tires your car no longer shakes, and your buddy's now does, then that speaks volumes.
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:25 PM
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Thanks all for the info, they are brand new tires and rims. They were balanced at Shelby racing in Vegas so i take it they know how to do it right. I had 17 inch on her before and was getting the same vibs. So i cant blame it on these older style tires plus i love the look of 15 inch with the billboards. I will get a alignment and have them check the balance and everything else around the wheels. It might just be me, but i feel it should not shake so bad.
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Old 11-10-2021, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanpatrick View Post
They were balanced at Shelby racing in Vegas so i take it they know how to do it right.
I wouldn't bet on it. Here's a very short thread from the last time I had my tires mounted and balanced on my pin drives. Mounting & Balancing New Mickey Thompsons on Pin Drive Wheels
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Old 11-10-2021, 08:19 PM
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I have BDR #983 that remains stock from the day it was built. 17" wheels with newly installed Nitto NT05s (previously it was wearing the Goodyear F1s). I've had the steering wheel shake ever since I have owned it. It usually comes on at around 60 MPH - above or below that speed it is smooth. What's more, sometimes there is no shake at all! It's inconsistent to say the least and its not like the roads are drastically different between the times when it shakes and when it doesn't. Leaves me scratching my head to say the least. Only 8k miles on it. Have checked the rack, the steering linkage, the steering shaft bearings, etc. It's not the wheels since the shake is intermittent and disappears over 60 MPH. The next thing that I plan to try is replacing the original Gabriel shocks.

Welcome to the club of shake!
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Old 11-11-2021, 04:37 AM
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Had a steering wheel shake about 1 month after new Nitto tires all around.

Came on at 60 MPH.

Found that one of five 1/4 oz. stick-on wheel weights had fallen off right front side.

Replaced it and shake was gone.
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:01 AM
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The billboards may be your issue, they ride horribly in my opinion. I had to switch to another brand and all my vibes went away. I had also tried Mickey Thompson tires, they were all road force balanced and indexed on the rims and still rode bad. Not until I put Avons on it did it ride like glass. The tracking and the stability is extremely good now, no issues to 125 so far, but that is about as fast as I go with this car.
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:42 AM
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You should consider this upgrade:
Steering shafts upgrade

It adds a Borgeson Vibration Reducer. It won't help the 60mph steering shake that a lot of us have, but it's worth it in steering feel. My #272 did not need the Heim joint support because the the steering column is longer than Spdbrake's (yours probably is too).

If you do it, buy the stainless version of DD shaft (Borgeson 419422 - Stainless Steering Shaft - 3/4"-DD x 22" Long) (I only used around 13") and paint the couplers and vibration reducer before you install or they will rust. This, and the KYB KG5529 rear shocks, are the best (and cheapest) upgrades I've done so far. Oh, and change the steering column bearings while you've got it apart (https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...hoC3g0QAvD_BwE).
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Old 11-11-2021, 09:27 AM
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Default Backdraft Steering wheel shake

Hi Guys, I have BDR RT4 build # 1946 that came to me new in Dec. 2019. The car has a Coyote motor, Tremec TKO 500, and had stock suspension. I live in SoCal, and the roads are not great. The steering wheel shake was noticeable from day 1. After checking with Reg and the crew @ Boynton Beach, they advised that some steering wheel / cowl shake was normal. I spent a lot of time on wheel balance, steering system inspection, and tightened up all the bolts that hold the angle iron braces from the frame up to the windshield mounting under the dash. No real improvement. The steering wheel shake / cowl shake is noticeable to a more or less degree on every drive. Smooth roads, no shake. Rough/patched blacktop roads = lots of shake. I now have over 4,000 miles on the car, and have just put on a new set of Nitto NT555G2 tires ( 18" ) in the 295 rear width, and 245 front width with Road Force Balancing instead of standard wheel balance. I also just added the Eibach front springs that Jay recommended to soften up the front of the car , and it definitely rides better over rough roads, but the car still has steering wheel / cowl shake. I mention the cowl shake because during my relentless attempt to minimize the shaking, it became obvious that BDR has a MINIMALLY supported dash structure with small angle iron bolted on vertical supports from the frame tops to the dash support piece. The small supports, 6mm support bolts, and the weight of the windshield frame & glass led me to the conclusion that BDR engineered the car to have the dash supported by the strength of the fiberglass, with some steel as a supporting role. So, I keep everything tight, move my hands from the 10 & 2 positions on the wheel to the 5 & 7 positions on the wheel ( to reduce my hand/arm shaking ) and I drive the car with a smile despite the shaking. Wow, long explanation for shaking, but it is annoying, and can't be simply fixed. Mark
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Old 11-11-2021, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unique427 View Post
Had a steering wheel shake about 1 month after new Nitto tires all around.

Came on at 60 MPH.

Found that one of five 1/4 oz. stick-on wheel weights had fallen off right front side.

Replaced it and shake was gone.
Came on at 60 MPH. Did it get progressively worse as your speed increased (I imagine that it would with an out of balance wheel).

My shake is only at around 60. Above that it smooths out.

Last edited by SBSerpent; 11-11-2021 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 11-11-2021, 02:46 PM
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UPDATE Had the front wheels checked and balanced. (guy seemed to know what he was doing) Still getting a shake. It was shaking before I put the 15 inch rims and Billboards on her. If i grab the steering rod leading into the dash, if i try to move it i have a slight movement. Im thinking it might be I have a higher expectation of how the car should feel. Id love to see how another Backdraft feels to see if this is just normal Backdraft behavior. If it is the engineer should be fired. Im going to look into that steering upgrade post a few post up. Ill try to post a video of the shaking.
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Old 11-11-2021, 03:33 PM
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Do an exhaustive search on this forum and you will find your answer. In short, we’ve all had the shake you’re experiencing and it’s a wheel balancing problem, nothing more.
Just because a tech balances your wheels on a Hunter road force machine doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing. I had to go to five different shops before I found a guy that actually knew how to road force balance a wheel and tire. It involves several steps, including dismounting your wheel and tire and rotating the tire so that the stiffest part of the tread matches up with the lowest spot on your rim. Then a precision static and dynamic balance. Can take 20 minutes per wheel to get it right and most shops don’t want to spend the time. Keep looking until you find the magic tech that actually knows what he’s doing. Then marry him to your daughter to keep him in the family.
Watch this YouTube video and then watch your tech to make sure he does each step. https://youtu.be/G0RzxgOpJzQ
Try to shoot for less than 10 lbs and make sure he uses your inflation pressure (whatever pressure you will be running in the tire). Most techs inflate the tire to 35 lbs and then balance them. Won’t work with our cars.
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Old 11-11-2021, 03:43 PM
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Do an exhaustive search on this forum and you will find your answer. In short, weíve all had the shake youíre experiencing and itís a wheel balancing problem, nothing more.
Just because a tech balances your wheels on a Hunter road force machine doesnít mean he knows what heís doing. I had to go to five different shops before I found a guy that actually knew how to road force balance a wheel and tire. It involves several steps, including dismounting your wheel and tire and rotating the tire so that the stiffest part of the tread matches up with the lowest spot on your rim. Then a precision static and dynamic balance. Can take 20 minutes per wheel to get it right and most shops donít want to spend the time. Keep looking until you find the magic tech that actually knows what heís doing. Then marry him to your daughter to keep him in the family.
So what you're saying is not to line up the yellow dot on the sidewall with the valve stem (as most tire installers do) but to go through an exhaustive process of matching the stiffest part of the tire with the lowest part of the rim. Tire installers automatically go with lining up the dot with the valve stem but you're saying that this is not the proper way?
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Old 11-11-2021, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
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Do an exhaustive search on this forum and you will find your answer. In short, weíve all had the shake youíre experiencing and itís a wheel balancing problem, nothing more.
Just because a tech balances your wheels on a Hunter road force machine doesnít mean he knows what heís doing. I had to go to five different shops before I found a guy that actually knew how to road force balance a wheel and tire. It involves several steps, including dismounting your wheel and tire and rotating the tire so that the stiffest part of the tread matches up with the lowest spot on your rim. Then a precision static and dynamic balance. Can take 20 minutes per wheel to get it right and most shops donít want to spend the time. Keep looking until you find the magic tech that actually knows what heís doing. Then marry him to your daughter to keep him in the family.
Watch this YouTube video and then watch your tech to make sure he does each step. https://youtu.be/G0RzxgOpJzQ
Try to shoot for less than 10 lbs and make sure he uses your inflation pressure (whatever pressure you will be running in the tire). Most techs inflate the tire to 35 lbs and then balance them. Wonít work with our cars.
This is the only way, takes time.. even doing this with than 3 lbs road force, I still had vibes until I changed tire brands.
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Old 11-11-2021, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBSerpent View Post
So what you're saying is not to line up the yellow dot on the sidewall with the valve stem (as most tire installers do) but to go through an exhaustive process of matching the stiffest part of the tire with the lowest part of the rim. Tire installers automatically go with lining up the dot with the valve stem but you're saying that this is not the proper way?
Correct. Our cars are so light and the wheels so wide, that regular balancing techniques donít work for us. Works fine on a 4000 pound daily driver with narrower tires and plenty of shock absorbers between the steering links.
Find the guy that goes through all the road force steps. Tip him well, and your ride will be much more fun at 60mph. And yes, occasionally you will have a bad wheel or tire with too much runout. If so, heíll be able to tell you how to fix or replace the offending tire or wheel. But, itís rarely a faulty tire or wheel.
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