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Old 05-27-2013, 08:34   #1 (permalink)
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99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

I've searched this forum, but I don't think I've come across this exact type of issue.

When I hit any type of a bump I can feel instability in my front end. It's like it will shimmy and skip a bit. It only lasts for a split second after the bump. The higher the speed, the worse it is. It's particularly noticeable when I am cornering. If I hit a bump while cornering to the right, the vehicle feels like it shimmys and skips to the left - as I said it only lasts for a split second. It's kind of scary. It's been doing this for a while. I knew I had a bad lower ball joint on the passenger side as it was rattling and squeaking. I went ahead and replaced both upper and lower ball joints as well as the front shocks. The squeaking/rattling is now gone. I had hoped this would also fix my shimmy/skipping problem; however, it didn't help it at all. I also notice no improvement in the ride from the new shocks. The shocks are Monroe Gas-Matic LT. These may not be the best money can buy, but I should notice a slight improvement.

1999 Ford Ranger XLT, Ext Cab, 3.0 V6, Coil Spring Susp.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:44   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

Checking alignment / geometry after all that work wouldn't go amiss .
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:20   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I plan to get the allignment done tomorrow. It's not way out, but definitely needs to be done. I didn't know if the alignment would account for my symptoms since it was doing it prior to all the work I did. I guess I'll just see how it performs after the alignement. It needed done anyway.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:41   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

Always better to check alignment after doing suspension work in case it's altered , eliminates a possible cause anyway .The worn ball joint wouldn't have helped prior to repairs .Take it coil springs o.k ?
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:02   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

If by OK, you mean intact - Yes. I must admit I don't know much about the coil springs. Unless it's broken, I wouldn't know if one was bad. If the coil springs could be the cause, I'll look into it.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:09   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

As you say , normal faults with springs are broken coils or weak / flat .Can sometimes notice with height measurement but other factors can affect settings .
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Old 06-10-2013, 15:32   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

After I finished installing the upper and low ball joints and lowered the vehicle, I noticed the upper control arms rotated quite a bit upward. Am I supposed to be able to tighten them enough where they don't move? I also noticed a couple of days later a severe rattling at the slightest of bumps. I took it to have an alignment and they said didn't see anything wrong. Thoughts?
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:56   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

According to the repair shop the upper control arms are supposed to pivot up and down. Glad to know that.

The tie-rods being bad made sense; however, today I noticed when I applied the brakes the rattle would go away - every time. Sounds to me like the calipers might be loose. I could have sworn I tightened them adequately, but I'll be pulling off the wheels to make sure. Hopefully that winds up being the culprit.

Either way I think the tie rods need replaced. Fixing the rattling won't fix the shimmying I experience when going over bumps.
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Old 06-13-2013, 18:01   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 99 Ranger - Front End Shimmy/Skip with Bumps

You may have a wheel bearing issue. Driving for a while with worn front end parts takes it's toll on the bearings. Still, pull the tire to check the calipers, but check for the bearings while you're at it. You're guide pins could also be worn, which would cause a similar symptom.
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