Question about 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Front end shimmy. Shop says passenger side radial arm is bent and wheel will not free wheel. What is radial arm? Need diagram of parts associated.

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First, the shop diagnosis sounds a bit strange, unless you are not understanding what you were told.
I have heard of a radius arm but likely I've called it by a different name (like the proper name for a driveshaft is a propeller shaft, but if you call it that no one will know what you're talking about) The part I fail to understand is that its preventing the wheel from freewheeling? Makes no sense.
I suggest that you either have them put the car in the air and physically show you what they are telling you, or have another shop take a look at it and see what they find.
Most front end shimmy I've seen is usually caused by bad ball joints or a bad bushing elsewhere in the suspension.

Posted on Jun 07, 2010

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2 Answers

What else can make front end shimmy besides tie rods?


basically everything can didnt specify type of vehicle so well go thru list first tires out of balance or under inflated and or oversized for vehicle ---hub /wheel bearing going bad ---upper or lower ball joint bad or damaged ----upper or lower control arm bushings---shocks/struts bad ---tie rods not properly installed ---idler arm bad or damaged --steering box/steering rack bad or damaged

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At 60 mph, front-end shimmy/shake


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1 Answer

Shimmy in front end


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If the shimmy is still there, then it's time for a front wheel alignment. As the suburban get's older, the suspension settles down lower each year and the geometry to the front steering system may need to be adjusted for that. On the 4X4 the ride height can be adjusted by turning the torsion bars to achieve the proper ride height again, as for the 2WD then it's going to be a coil spring replacement. 
The easy way out is to just adjust the front wheel alingment to compensate for the shimmying. ]
Good luck and hope this helps. Just make sure you find a font end person who knows what he or she is doing and not by what a machine is telling it to do. The tech must know that there must be an angel to the tie rod end so when you go over a bump you don't get what they call a bump steer where the truck will want to pull to one side.

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1 Answer

99 blazer 4.3 4speed 236 gm 272 ratio bad shimmy


A little more information would help like what kind of conditions does it happen, speed, road type and condition, etc. However I am guessing there are some front end components worn out as were very typical on these vehicles. Lower ball joints and idler arms typically only last about 60,000 miles. Checking the idler arm is easy, jack up the passenger side front of the vehicle and grab the tire and try moving it back and forth, if it seems sloppy it will need the arm replaced. Ball joints are a little more difficult to check. You need to jack each side of the vehicle up by the lower control arm as close to the wheel as possible so that the weight of the vehicle is still on the suspension. You will need a long pry bar to put under the tire. Try lifting the tire more while watching the balljoint for any movement. When you do that it should try to pick up the whole vehicle and not move seperately at the control arm. My guess is that you need balljoints and an idler arm. Hope this helps.

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1 Answer

Need to replace steering arm on pass side on 1998


Your description leads me to believe that the spindle is bent. This is the piece that the tie rod attaches to near the wheel. Sometimes the tie rod is attached to a piece that attaches to the spindle which is rather intuitive. Just remove the tie rod end, unbolt the arm that attaches to the spindle and replace the arm. In this case the only special tool you'll need is a tie rod seperator.

If the arm is a part of the spindle and cannot be removed easily:

1) Put vehicle in park and safety brake on - chock the rear wheels
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3) Remove wheel and have a friend apply brake pressure
4) Loosen hub nut with appropriate socket (22 to 35mm)
You can purchase the socket from your local auto parts store
You'll need a large breaker bar, its torqued to about 100ft-lbs
5) Remove tie rod end with a tie rod/ball joint separator
This can also be purchased at your local auto parts store.
Some spindles are made with tie rod end permanantly attached
If it is removable, remove nut and drive the separator tool
between the tie rod and spindle using a large hammer.
It'll eventually break free from the spindle.
6) Remove the strut with a strut spring compressor tool
WARNING - THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS
This can be purchased at your local auto parts store.
Compress spring before removing lower bolts (2 of them).
The strut may be left on vehicle but the spring must be
compressed.
7) Remove caliper and break assembly
Loosen the two slide bolts that go through the caliper assembly
Remove caliper and breaks - let it hang by the tubing
8) Detach upper and lower ball joints with seperator tool as in #5
9) Finally remove the hub nut from #4
The spindle should slide off the axle
10) Repair or replace the spindle and put it all back together in
reverse order using new wheel bearings. Pack them with axle
grease if theyr'e not the sealed type.

NOTE: The tie rod end may need to be replaced also. The vehicle will need a front end allignment. Be sure to torque the hub nut to the manufacturers specifications - at least 75ft-lbs. You should probably replace the wheel bearings.

Jan 02, 2009 | 1998 Chevrolet Malibu

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