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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone had a front end shimmy after:

New Tires, new or inspected.for.wear front end?

I have. I narrowed down the problem and solution!

Please reply is this becomes valuable to you.

I am a do.it.yourselfer. so I replaced, with a shop press the four control arm bushings. Cost $40. No more shimmy. Pass this on.

If you are not a do.it.yourselfer and you feel a shimmy, do the following like I did:

Check rim trueness and replace.
Balance tires, making sure they do not have bad belts, etc.
Check/replace shocks, tie rod ends, ball joints, sway links, stabilizer bar busings.
Drive it. Is it better? Have you removed layers of problems you never new you had? Finally, if there is a shimmy in the front end, have the mechanic buy and replace your control arms, which each come with two new control arm busings, and a new ball joint.

The above works. I am happy to pass this solution on in hopes that someone will really benefit.

PianoTek
 

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Thanks. I do have a shimmy noticeable in my steering wheel at medium speeds around 30-40 mph. Once you get into the 60-70 range it isn't as noticeable. I've also noticed with my condition, when I get new tires it is nice for awhile, but as they wear, the shimmy comes back. I have a set of Triple Treds on my '03' right now, and they have very little tread left. The shimmy is pretty bad at this point. I've been thinking of replacing all the struts and shocks to see if that makes a difference, but it's pretty expensive. Around $700. I think perhaps my van may have been in an accident from the previous owner. I've noticed the right side has more squeeks, and the right rear has some pretty significant negative camber. I've aligned my van I don't know how many times, and my tires keep wearing wierd. Perhaps I'll look into the control arms and see if that takes care of my shimmy and wearing issues. Thanks for the tip.
 

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Thanks for the info. I have the shimmy now around 70 mph, but smooths out around 80 mph. I'll look at the control arms in the spring and decide if I want to tackle this. I have replaced all steering components on my Chevy 2500HD, and have decided that front end work is harder than I remember. : )

Did you replace both the upper and lower control arms on both the driver and passenger sides?
 

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I have 147000 miles on my 04 and am on my second set of micheline harmony tires. The tires look like they are wearing a little more on the inside. I am going to put new tires on soon and wondering what if anything I should do to rebuild or replace the front suspension components. It is expensive but I dont want to really wear out the new set.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Correction. This odyseey has only One control arm, with three fasteners. Ball joint nut, front control arm bushing bolt, rear control arm bushing bolt. I replaced these bushings, as the final parts replacement in my front suspension. I replaced these bushings on both the driver's and passenger's side.

Pianotek
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have my limits in diagnosing problems. Yet, first, tire pressure should be your constant. Make sure your pressure is at Honda specs on your driver door. I have Harmonys and love them. 36 lbs all year. How are your lower ball joints? How is your alignment? Have you had a tech adjust it? A quality technician?
 

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On my '99, starting around 60k miles, I noticed the rear bushings on the front lower control arms showed cracking in the rubber. Various mechanics advised me to change them along the way, but I figured that it could just be surface cracks so I just kept an eye on it. Finally, around 200k miles (yes, 140k miles after the visual cracking was first observed), I noticed some looseness at freeway speeds. This is my wife's car, which might make it easier for me to notice things since I don't drive it every day. I looked at those bushings again and the cracks looked pretty deep, and figuring it could be a cause for the looseness (you could call it a shimmy), I replaced the bushings.

Replacing only those bushings (not the front ones in the control arms, since they looked fine) fixed the shimmy 100%. The info on the repair is in some other thread here:
http://www.odyclub.com/forums/24-1999-2004-odyssey/151415-pressing-out-lower-control-arm-bushings.html

I did not use a shop press, just cut out the old bushings carefully, and then pressed in the new ones using a vise. By far the hardest part of the whole job (perhaps the only hard part) was getting the ball joint to separate. There is a special tool for this, unlike the various common ball joint tools you'll find at most auto parts shops. I ended up getting it done using a C-clamp, hammer, and a carefully applied pickle fork.

So I'm confirming PianoTek's diagnosis (worked for me - but I did it before this thread, and it was the only thing I fixed at the time).

If you're going to do it yourself:
1. It IS possible without needing a shop press
2. Focus on the ball joint separation - that will be the toughest part. You should maybe try to remove that before trying the other bolts, because you may not be able to get it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Forgot one reminder. This is taken from another member.
Taking off the controls arms it a pretty easy. Remeber to torq the bolts when the full weight is back on the van.
This is important. When you do your work think carefully about why this is important. If you don't the rubber will/can rip and your work will have to be redone.
 
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