1997 3.3 v-6 4 speed auto trans has a shimmy(not a hop) side to side on acceleration mostly between 40-45 mph, just before fourth gear. Back off on throttle, shimmy lessens,or goes away. Driveshafts, struts, swaybar bushings and links, tie rod ends(inner and outer), hub bearings have all been replaced. Tires and wheels check out ok and balanced. Van has done this for years, I can only think of the lower engine mount (trans mount) as the culprit. Any advice on this, it's making me crazy!!
The buses I work on tend to shimmy when one or more of three things occur. 1) the alignment is off. 2) the tires are worn uneven 3) the tires have worn and now need to be balanced. The first thing I would do is take it and have a four wheel balance and check the alignment.
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check the manifold is not leaking on the intake side. also check and clean the intake top. carb clean helps to clean out all the muck out on to a cloth. also carb cleaner will help if you have a leak spray round the intake when engine is a temp. engine will cut out or speed up depending on carb cleaner used. were there is a leak.
What speed are you going when it chugs? It could be as simple as a bad spark plug or a spark plug wire/boot grounding out. When spark plug boots get old, the rubber cracks and lets voltage arc out the side and to the engine instead of through the plug. This will be most noticeable when trying to maintain a speed of over 40 mph, or under mild acceleration. The reason for being noticeable at this speed/acceleration level is that the transmission torque converter will be locked, transferring the vibration from any engine miss straight through to the wheels.
Sounds like warped rotors and worn pads or a worn front end or both. Most shops will check this for free I believe. If it were something like wheel bearings, or rear end you would likely notice this at lower speeds as well with out the brakes being applied. So the direct answer to your question is "Maybe, maybe not". Gee, that was helpful was'nt it?