A Crazy Front End Shake and Its Different Solutions


Old Steering Damper Left, New Right

When I found my new mechanic he adjusted my points, timing, and did an overall tune up, but he also recommended somethings for me to do on my own. One thing was to swap to an electric ignition, but that is for a different day yet to come. The other recommendations related to a persistent shake that I have been dealing with since the rebuild and supposedly was even a problem for my dad.

Everyone had told me that it was most likely the tie rods, but during inspection Dave checked them out and they were fine. He than gave me three options to what my problems could be. He recommended tightening my steering box first. There was a lot of wiggle there and at least it would fix that. I went about tightening the steering box and it fixed the wiggle, but not my shake.


Old Steering Damper was Leaking Oil

His next recommendation was to replace the steering damper. I ordered the part and a few weeks ago finally got around to swapping it out. The process was not too difficult. All the forums I read recommended only removing one front tire, but I found it was easier to access the damper, which runs across the front of the VW, under the car, almost from wheel to wheel, but I found it simpler to remove both tires.

Once underneath the process is pretty self explanatory. You must simply remove the nuts from both ends and swap out the parts. Easy as that. While doing this I discovered that my bushings were beat, but hopefully that can hold on for a few  months.

I was really hoping this would be the fix, that my shake would finally be gone. Driving home that night I was so excited. I made it a few blocks and than became deeply disappointing. The shake was worse! So bad I pulled over believing my wheel was falling off. I guess luckily it was not, but sadly that meant my damper had not fixed the problem.

That means I must move onto suggestion three and hopefully that will solve my problem.


New Steering Damper in Place


About Simply Alex

A graduate of CSUF with my BA in Communications - Entertainment and Tourism Studies. I love food, photography, music, and writing. New to Hawaii by way of sunny SoCal.
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