Tire, Bearing, Brakes? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Tire, Bearing, Brakes?

Sorry for the cross post, I also posted in the Suspension, Wheel Brakes section.

I had given up on my project, and bought a runner (Yippee!).

She is a 78 Spider, and she seems to be running fine, except I get an intermittent shake from the right front wheel. It seems to be speed related, as the frequency of the shake varies with speed.

The tires are new, but this was a bit of a garage dweller, as the previous owners was a busy doctor with a Porsche sharing the garage. However, if this was a bad tire, wouldn't it shake all the time?

Could it be a bearing? It is intermittent. Wouldn't a bad bearing be continuous as well?

I haven't had the wheel off yet, but could it be something loose in the brake caliper? It 's pulling left, but not drastically.

Am I missing something?

Any help would be appreciated. I am a novice wrench, hoping to graduate from checkbook mechanic.

Mo in New Jersey
78 Spider
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 07:25 AM
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Sounds like you have oval tires and yes the shake at speed.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 07:31 AM
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Rotate the front tires and see if the shake moves to the front left.

Richard
76 Alfetta GTV gone to rust haven, 89 Spider the red graduate, 86 GTV6 on wish list
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 08:35 AM
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A wheel/tire out of balance will shake at a particular speed too.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 09:45 AM
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Might be flatspotted especially if the air wasn't monitored by the doctor who lied it parked... Try pumping them to 32 PSI and run for a while on a warm day. Let a loca tire store look at it. They always look for opportunities with gratis to sell you a set of tires. Honest ones will diagnose for nothing.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the answers, but please remember, this happens on and off, at the same speeds. Wouldn't an out of round, flat spotted or otherwise tire be persistent?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-25-2019, 01:36 PM
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Bad tires can do odd things. Out of balance is often more pronounced at certain speeds (perhaps related to tire diameter and other imbalance harmonics?). And remember, a square tire can be 'balanced' but it will never run smooth. A road force balance simulates the force the car's weight has on the tire's tread. An overly stiff section can make the tire appear round until it is rolling along with the car's weight on it.

First step would be to closely inspect the tire - looking & feeling for lumps & bumps that can indicate broken belts (be careful - I've seen steel belts break through the tread - they can slice open the skin of your hand!). Next step would be to swap them around - either side to side or front to rear - and see if the problem changes location. If it does not then bearings or suspension bushings are suspect.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 11:49 AM
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Thanks for the answers, but please remember, this happens on and off, at the same speeds. Wouldn't an out of round, flat spotted or otherwise tire be persistent?
Sounds like a tire out of balance imo. Go get them checked out, most places will do it for free. How new are the tires? They can dry rot.

Jack the car up and wiggle the wheel back and forth to test if there is any play in the bearing, but you would probably hear something at slow speeds (usually clicking or something, that's in newer cars not sure about alfas)

As far as brakes and such, just replace them all. It's pretty easy to do and chances are they need to be replaced anyways. Do the rotors, pads and shoes.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 12:09 PM
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One of my favorite ways for a quick, rudimentary check of bearings is to immediately get out after driving a while and feel the wheel hub. If the hub is hot/ real warm it may need some attention.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 12:21 PM
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One of my favorite ways for a quick, rudimentary check of bearings is to immediately get out after driving a while and feel the wheel hub. If the hub is hot/ real warm it may need some attention.
That plus a dragging brake can do that too. bearings usually start squaking or rumbling when they are dry or failing and you would have the heat.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 01:27 PM
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As far as brakes and such, just replace them all. It's pretty easy to do and chances are they need to be replaced anyways. Do the rotors, pads and shoes.
Uh - hang on

- From the symptoms (pulling left) it sounds like a stuck right caliper. So "doing" the rotors and pads isn't going to fix much. Stuck calipers are common on a car that has been sitting.

- "Shoes"? This is a disk brake car.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 02:33 PM
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Reckon it's worth getting a mechanic to put it on a hoist and do some rudimentary tests. Preferably one with some knowledge of these cars. It's what they do.
You can spend a lot of time and money guessing...
If you already have a mechanic, they'd probably even do that for free if they were likely to get the fix-it work. Even if not, you're only up for a half-hour labour bill.
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