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23/10/09 - More Jimny Wobble
There is a fair bit of information around about the Jimny "Death Wobble". Followers of this website will know that I am a firm believer in sorting out the Kingpin Bearings and Wheel Bearings as a main source of problems with wobble. However, this is not the complete cure in some cases. I know from other websites that people have rebuilt the front end of their cars and yet still suffer from wobble. This has reached the point where Suzuki have brought out a kit to help reduce the problem. Suzuki apparantly say that the Jimny was designed for small wheels and that larger wheels change the loading on the bearings and result in "harmonic wobble". This is partially born out by the number of instances of wobble in Jimny "O2" variants - with large factory fitted alloy wheels. Suzuki has now brought out a kit for vehicles affected by this and (as only Suzuki can) charge a fortune for it.....
I have looked at what is in the kit and put a DIY version together and, of course, I had to test it out on my car.
The kit consists of small shims that increase the loading on the Kingpin Bearings.
1. These are NOT the same as the SJ shims which start by decreasing the load on the bearings and increasing the load as you remove the shims. This kit is NOT for SJ owners despite the set-up being almost identical
2. As stated this kit INCREASES the load on the bearings. Clearly there can be consequences of this, premature wear and bearing failure. If you are going to do this then you are responsible for the results!
DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!
The kit I have put together comprises of 3 shims per Kingpin bearing, there are 4 bearings so there are twelve shims in all.
The shims are in a selection of sizes - 0.2mm, 0.5mm and 1.0mm
This will let you put together different sizes:
0.2mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 1.0mm, 1.2mm 1,5 mm and (if you are really desperate!) 1.7mm
Installing them is a trial and error process. First of all - YOU HAVE CHECKED AND REPLACED YOUR KINGPINS BEARINGS AND WHEEL BEARINGS HAVEN'T YOU. This is not a cure for worn out bearings!
First jack the car up and undo and lift the brake caliper clear by undoing the bolts on the rear of the caliper carrier.
Undo the bolts on the steering bars (one on the drivers wheel and two on the passenger wheel)
Split the steering joints with a splitter, the hub has to be completely free to move around from left to right.
Undo each Kingpin and slip on a shim. Do both the top and bottom at the same time and then tighten the kingpins back up. Try moving the hub from left to right. If you are doing the "Suzuki" method you should pull the hub with a spring balance and measure the starting "pull". This is really difficult so I did it by hand. Add and remove shims until the wheel moves smoothly but firmly (not too loose) from side to side. Sometimes it feels "lumpy", this is not desirable and add or remove more shims to remove it - strangely adding more shim thickness can remove it. Do not get it to the point where the hub willÂ not swivel. Take your time and get it to a point where you are happy that it is firm but not at the point where you will wear out the bearing in 5 minutes.
So what's it like?
Well I have got the firmest steering I have had in a long time. It is smooth with no wobble. I can still feel bumps in the road steering the car (bump steer) but no wobble!
Mine took 0.7mm on the drivers side top and bottom and 0.2mm on the passenger side lower kingpin. I think the fact that the passenger side took an uneven amount of shimming shows that in fact I have a wearing bearing on that side.
If you want to try this for yourself then they are in the shop HERE