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Old 02-15-2017, 04:03 AM   #1
Scarecrow
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Default Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

I'm going to update my report for suspension mods made at Agile Offroad today in my other thread, but they asked to pull off one front wheel (passenger side was chosen randomly) so they could take precise measurements for a custom strut they are developing for the 3500 Sprinter Chassis -- and I obliged because I'd be interested in such a mod, as well as, I like these guys and thought I could help them and everybody here!

Then, when they put the wheel back on and we proceeded to test drive the RV -- everything seemed fine in the parking lot. Until I left to head elsewhere and got up to 60MPH. A distinct shimmy was occurring in the front, and never dissipated -- getting worse by 70MPH.

Returned to the shop, and we tried several "solutions":
1) Pulled off the Sumo Solos on the front -- put the stock Bump Stops back on. No help.
2) Pulled the wheel and examined it for defects -- found nothing.
3) Finally, they noticed there are some very small tangs that must be aligned to the inner steel hub when reinstalling the wheel -- this took out 99% of the shimmy.
4) Thought it was "fixed" -- reinstalled the Sumos. Horrible reaction on the road. Shimmy was not nearly as bad as before, but very noticeable.
5) Finally, pulled the Sumos off - put stock Bump Stops back on. Still a slight shimmy, but I'll test drive it at higher speeds tomorrow as rush hour traffic interfered with this, and it was getting late.

Can anyone explain what might be a "trick" to installing the aluminum wheels?
Any idea if they are balanced at LTV or by Mercedes while on the vehicle? This would explain part of it if, say, the wheel was rotated to a different wheel stud position when reinstalling.

We measured the inside wheel diameter with a caliper and compared both sides. They both match. The chief mechanic, Glen, says there is a slight slop built into the hub-centric alignment of the wheel -- so, if it shifted off-center a tiny fraction, this might cause the shimmy.

I put a call into Winkler, but no response, yet, from LTV.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

Did you check the simple things, like accidentally knocking of a wheel weight in the initial process of removing and re-installing the wheel?
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

If the shop can't get the problem sorted out then calling Winkler won't help as its a Mercedes issue so you'll need to get into a Mercedes dealer and have them sort it out. :-(
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

Scarecrow: Sorry to hear about your nightmare! I agree with 'ptheland' above. Sounds like a balancing weight has come off and you're chasing the wind everytime you pull the wheel. Have M-B (or other reputable, properly equipped tire dealer) do a wheel balance check and make certain proper lug torqing is applied. Sumo's should have NOTHING to do with your problem. Good luck. Keep us informed.

Last edited by hotfudge; 02-15-2017 at 08:21 PM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

Can't speak specifically to AL wheels, but what others have said is, from my experience, correct as to steel wheels. After I had a local tire company (recommended by local MB Sprinter shop) install the dually metal valve stems and re-balance the wheels, I had a shimmy. I found a thread on this forum that describes the need for a very specialized balancing machine. Turns out a different (main) branch of the same tire company had that machine. They re-re-balanced the front tires (noting the equipment and procedural deficiencies of the sister shop). Shimmy gone. So, right equipment and experienced operator should get the job done for you. (And as hotfudge says, Sumos, which I have, are not a factor.)

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Old 02-15-2017, 02:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarecrow View Post
I'm going to update my report for suspension mods made at Agile Offroad today in my other thread, but they asked to pull off one front wheel (passenger side was chosen randomly) so they could take precise measurements for a custom strut they are developing for the 3500 Sprinter Chassis -- and I obliged because I'd be interested in such a mod, as well as, I like these guys and thought I could help them and everybody here!

Then, when they put the wheel back on and we proceeded to test drive the RV -- everything seemed fine in the parking lot. Until I left to head elsewhere and got up to 60MPH. A distinct shimmy was occurring in the front, and never dissipated -- getting worse by 70MPH.

Returned to the shop, and we tried several "solutions":
1) Pulled off the Sumo Solos on the front -- put the stock Bump Stops back on. No help.
2) Pulled the wheel and examined it for defects -- found nothing.
3) Finally, they noticed there are some very small tangs that must be aligned to the inner steel hub when reinstalling the wheel -- this took out 99% of the shimmy.
4) Thought it was "fixed" -- reinstalled the Sumos. Horrible reaction on the road. Shimmy was not nearly as bad as before, but very noticeable.
5) Finally, pulled the Sumos off - put stock Bump Stops back on. Still a slight shimmy, but I'll test drive it at higher speeds tomorrow as rush hour traffic interfered with this, and it was getting late.

Can anyone explain what might be a "trick" to installing the aluminum wheels?
Any idea if they are balanced at LTV or by Mercedes while on the vehicle? This would explain part of it if, say, the wheel was rotated to a different wheel stud position when reinstalling.

We measured the inside wheel diameter with a caliper and compared both sides. They both match. The chief mechanic, Glen, says there is a slight slop built into the hub-centric alignment of the wheel -- so, if it shifted off-center a tiny fraction, this might cause the shimmy.

I put a call into Winkler, but no response, yet, from LTV.
If you are still in the San Diego area I would recommend Service Specialists in Carlsbad (760) 931-8445. They rebalanced our tires (we also have the Alcoa's) and we have not had any further problems
(9,000 miles). They can also do road force balancing if necessary.
Service Specialists website- http://www.servicespecialistsinc.com/
Local Mercedes Dealer Hoehn Motors in Carlsbad has Sprinter specific service bays.
Greg Dickson (760) 438-4454 at Hoehn Motors is the Sprinter Service Advisor
There is also a great alignment shop nearby in San Marcos. Ray at Alignment Plus has a lot of experience with RV's. (760) 471-2233. http://alignment-plus.com/
Mark
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Old 02-16-2017, 03:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

Wow! You guys and gals are the BEST! And very dependable. I am still in San Diego until the 21st. I will seek out a tire balancing service and see what happens -- then contact Agile, once more.

For what it's worth, Brad from LTV did call me this morning (he's the Service Manager that makes the videos with Dean for explaining each system). He reassured me the wheels have no special issue with them concerning reinstallation -- save one: You must be careful to not let the brake calipers bump into the internal stick-on weights they use. Otherwise, you might knock one loose. And that's going to be my guess.

If I can get the wheels balanced here, I will let Agile try once more. Great suggestions, everybody!
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarecrow View Post
Wow! You guys and gals are the BEST! And very dependable. I am still in San Diego until the 21st. I will seek out a tire balancing service and see what happens -- then contact Agile, once more.

For what it's worth, Brad from LTV did call me this morning (he's the Service Manager that makes the videos with Dean for explaining each system). He reassured me the wheels have no special issue with them concerning reinstallation -- save one: You must be careful to not let the brake calipers bump into the internal stick-on weights they use. Otherwise, you might knock one loose. And that's going to be my guess.

If I can get the wheels balanced here, I will let Agile try once more. Great suggestions, everybody!
Service Specialists does not utilize the stick on weights for that reason. I initially was not pleased with the weights on the outside but have gotten over it. I had planned to replace the Continental tires but after getting the alignment, rebalancing and suspension upgrades have decided to defer replacement for a couple of years.
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

Hmmm... I will call each source for balancing and see who can fit me in. I would like to retain the weight-free look on the outside, if I can. The owner at Agile Offroad said they've been researching, too. And an old hand at Freightliners suggested using a tapered lug nut first on all studs -- to be sure the holes are centered on each stud. Then remove one at a time and replace with flat nuts. That sounds reasonable as the stud holes do have a tiny bit of slop in them.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Removing Wheel Creates Shimmy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptheland View Post
Did you check the simple things, like accidentally knocking of a wheel weight in the initial process of removing and re-installing the wheel?
Ah, yes... the simple things were the root of all this evil!

This issue is now resolved. Glen at Agile called a friend who services fleet vehicles - mostly Freightluners. He reported they have the same problem with aluminum wheels. Their solution? Use tapered lug nuts first! This centers every hole on evety stud and, therefore, centers the hub, as well.

Once tightened, remove one stud at a time and replace with the pretty one - which is flat. Problem was solved in 5 minutes!

Put the Sumos back on - still nice!

So, it came down to a hub-centric wheel which is not a real snug fit on the existing steel hubs. No wheel balancing. No alignment. Just a specific procedure.

Agile then very kindly gave me a bag of tapered lug nuts to keep in the RV.
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