01 F250 Steering wheel shimmy - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:11 AM
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01 F250 Steering wheel shimmy

I have a 2001 F250 7.3. 4x2 It had the stock 16" wheels on it.

I recently came across a set of factory 2005 18" wheels off of a f250 4x4 that I put new tires on and put them on the truck. They were rubbing on the axle as the lug pattern is the same but quickly found out that the back spacing on the rim was different.

I had the tire shop put 2 wheel spacers on the front only on each side (a total of 4 large spacers ont he front) to buffer the rubbing. I'm told the spacers used are the largest they make apprs 1/4 inch in thickness. Now when I said it rubbed it was not real bad. You had to make a turn where the wheel was cut as far as it could go which is something I never need to do but just to make sure it wasnt touching I put the spacers in. Now it will still run alittle but you have to turn the wheel as far as it will go and hit a bump for it to rub.

When driving I noticed the truck steering wheel when accerlating around 40 mph or if hitting a bump at 50 to 60 mph on the interstate the steering wheel shakes from left to right real bad I beleive the technical term is shimmy. You can feel the shake in the wheel when driving at all times but it gets real bad as described above. It was shaking real bad the entire trip but I found out this was related to all of the wheel weights missing as I will discuss later in the post.

I brought the truck to a different tire shop (firestone) as the other one seemed a little shady. I got a long over due front end alignment which I was told the toe was way out but now the truck is perfectly aligned. They also balanced the tires again as they said the other place didnt put the weights on correctly and it threw them all off.

Now the problem still exists as described above. Before the tires were re balanced and the wheen alignment was done the truck would shake the entire trip and you could feel the steering wheel shimmy. So I assumed that the problem was one in the same. It turns out that when the truck shook because of the wheels being unbalanced then it would trigger the shimmy in the steering wheel. Now that the wheels are balanced then the shake it still in the steering wheel but is only there when you accelerate or at certain speed or if you hit a bump. The rest of the ride is smooth. WHen the shake starts real bad if I let off the acceleration or If I change speeds it stops shaking violently and goes back to a milder shake that is there all the time that is not as bad. The truck was not doing this before at least I do not think it was as the tires needed replaced real bad and the ride sucked but I do not remember it doing this.

Some people say it might be the spacers but it just doesnt seem that the spacer would cause this and I'm not willing to write it of as this just yet. What do you guys think is causing it?

Last edited by cmb7684; 05-04-2008 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:48 AM
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i was told my some local wheel shops that on these models you can not use a wheel spacer, because it is a hub centric wheel. And it would cause, as you were saying, the shaking and vibration, and would enventually waller (spelling?) the wheel out and would eventually ruin the wheel. so the wheel shop told me they would NOT put a wheel spacer on these trucks
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:02 AM
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Lake charles huh bud...I'm from NOLA ...I was just your way in sulphur, LA a few weeks ago. Anyway thanks for the response ...I actually just got a call from Firestone as I brought it back to have them look more into it...the good news was they checked everything in the front suspension and he said everything looked good and tight ..no movement. The bad news was that he said they test drove it and felt the same vibration or shaking at 40 mph and have no idea what is causing it other then the spacers. So I guess there is something to it ....sucks big time but just the way it is I guess. [Im going to have them pull the spacers and just see if the shaking continues. If anyone has any ideas of feedback please let me know.



Update *****

While I have not picked up my truck to check I did speak to a highly referenced guy who owns a wheel adapter business hXXp://www.wheeladapter.com/home.asp (notice I changed the http to hXXP so it is not a live link.

He said you are correct about the hub centric wheel as the lugs are just meant to hold the wheel on not keep the wheel centered. The hub is meant to keep the wheel centered and when you push the wheel away from the hub using he spacers it is not only dangerous but have been told by two people that it will shear the log bolts and studs off and the wheel will come off the truck. So anyone doing this ...DO NOT USE SPACERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I spoke with the guy who owns wheeladapters.com and he said to correct my problem I will need a 2 inch wheel adapter. He said while he sells aluminum adapters for cars that for trucks he uses all steel adapters and are more expensive then aluminum but are the right thing to use for heavier duty trucks. He acknowledged that some sites will sell you an aluminum adapter but cautioned against using them as more or less fly by night and unsafe. While it may have been a sales tactic ...in not sure but sounded sensible enough for me to want to pay the extra money then take the risk . He says that the 2 inch spacer will allow the rim to offset away from the frame so it will not rub anymore. It also is claimed to have another hub pressed on to ensure the wheel hub is centered on the rim as it is supposed to be.

The cost for a set of 4 hubs to me shipped is 634.00. Pricey but will accomplish what im trying to do. I will let you guys know how it works when I get them in this week.

Last edited by cmb7684; 05-04-2008 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:04 AM
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Oh ok, cool, i was in sulphur this past weekend. Let me know about those spacers you get and if they work. Because i was told you couldnt use a spacer of any kind no matter what it is. But if this guy claims they work then maybe they do. I was wanting to get the new 20"s but they said i couldnt because the back spacing is different and you cant use a spacer. So let me know the outcome. i'm very curious
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:43 AM
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well I had the spacers pulled off and until the adpaters come in im going to drive it without spacers and just avoid hard turns.......... The shimmy is gone so that was the problem
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:00 PM
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Ok update ....I got the wheel adpaters in a few weeks ago but have been to busy to put them on. I just got them on last night and all is great ..truck drives like a champ and no rubbing at all. The spacer was a 2 inch spacer and the tires and rims are pushed out even with the fender and it looks pretty cool and no shaking at all.

That was absolutly the problem so I will run them for a few weeks and then post back but all is god so far. I will try to take some pics for anyone interested.


Also he said there is no problem using these adapters for towing or off road. He said he makes up to 3 and a half inch adapters for rock crawling and the like.

Last edited by cmb7684; 06-09-2008 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:50 PM
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where did you get the spacers that you have no problems with. I purchased spacers and had the same problem that you had before.
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