Simon's new Xantia V6 and Leaf blog

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Mandrake
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

The plot thickens. :? For the next month we will be taking a different route home on the new M8 where I am regularly doing over 70mph and there is something very wrong at the front.

So much so that I was worried that perhaps Cooper's had left the wheel nuts loose on the front left wheel or there was some foreign body preventing the wheel seating on the hub properly!

Below about 40mph there is nothing, but I start to notice a vibration about 50 and by 75 it is a noisy drone and vibrating the steering wheel a bit as well. I'm pretty sure (but it's so hard to be certain!) that the noise is coming from the front. Braking hard at speed makes the vibration much worse.

So last night worried that I might have loose wheel nuts I whipped both front wheels off and did an inspection. I couldn't really find anything to be honest. :(

Wheel nuts were tight, both front discs seem to be spinning perfectly true on the faces, so aren't warped, (although they both look a bit glazed and seem to have some micro pitting) both calipers are releasing properly with no grabbing, although there is the tiniest bit of drag where the pad is touching the lip on the inside edge of the disc - and as the lip is not perfectly round it doesn't drag for the whole rotation, but I highly doubt this is the vibration I'm looking for.

I also checked for play in the drop-links and track rod ends but couldn't find any - however I'm notoriously bad at finding worn ball joints, and the drop-links were probably under tension as I'm pretty sure the right drop-link is worn from the clicking and rattling it does yet I couldn't detect any play in it... :roll: I put everything back together and the problem is still there this morning.

The front suspension is ultra simple on this car - McPherson strut, bottom A arm with rubber bushes, drop-link and track rod, that's it. No drive shafts etc as it's rear wheel drive.

Could it be a wheel bearing ? I don't hear or feel anything at all below 40mph, so that would tend to discount a wheel bearing ? I've only ever had one wheel bearing failure in all my cars so I'm not attuned to how they sound but I would have thought I'd hear it at lower speeds too as a droning noise.

Wheel balance ? Brand new "balanced" tyres on the front, but could they have made a mistake ? There was an imbalance at the front before on the old tyres but it actually seems worse now.

One thing I did notice in last nights inspection is that both front wheels especially the left one have a lot of balance weights on them. More than I have ever seen on a wheel before.

On the left wheel it literally has a continuous line of adhesive balance weights around about a 30 degree rotation of the wheel. :shock: Then on the opposite side of the wheel about 20 degrees worth of continuous weights... That can't be right surely... The right wheel doesn't have as many but still has a lot, and has two opposing rows of weights as well. (Why ?)

The worst vibration is around 70-80mph which would be typical of an imbalance, but if it was a wheel imbalance would braking hard cause the vibration to get much worse ? Perhaps due to throwing more weight onto the front tyres, which are normally lightly loaded as the car is rear heavy ?

I think the next step is to take it back to Cooper brothers and see if they will re-check the front wheel balance for free because I really don't think it can be right. I should not be noticing a vibration on the steering wheel and the excessive number of balance weights reminds me of the times that the Xantia wheels were incorrectly balanced - they (another company not coopers) were adding a lot more weights than they should have due to a wrong reading from the machine.

One other thing I noticed is that when I first picked up the car and took it for a test on the motorway I could have sworn that there was no vibration, and yet after a day of driving the vibration was there. I notice they put a lot of black lubricant on the bead of the tyre - it looks like unset black silicon sealer, and there is enough that it is spilling out of the gap between tyre and rim - is there any possibility that excessive braking or acceleration shortly after the tyre is fitted could cause the tyre to slip on the rim and lead to the wheel being unbalanced again ? (Assuming some of the imbalance is tyre and not just the rim)

While I was in there I also looked at the droplinks - tiny little things, but the nuts are quite badly rusted so I think they will definitely require the services of Mr A Grinder to change. :twisted:

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Michel
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Michel »

This sounds like a balance problem or a faulty tyre. A faulty tyre sounds likely. I've had this on a Xantia where it would vibrate badly. Took it back 3 times to be rebalanced and they gave me 2 new tyres in the end. The amount of weights on yours sounds like that tyre could be faulty and they've tried to balance it up. Are your tyres the same size front and rear, if so, swap that wheel to the rear and see if the front now behaves..

In any case, take it back. It's their problem if it wasn't doing it before.

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CitroJim
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by CitroJim »

I'm in agreement with you here Mike and the fact that a lot of balance weights were needed smells a bit of suspicion... I believe it's possible to put some weights on initially wrongly and keep on adding weights to try and compensate whereas what they should have done was to have ripped them all off and started again...

I've known one case of duff wheel bearings causing bad vibrations but that was at all speeds, not just at high ones... So it's very unlikely to be that..

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Mandrake
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

Thanks, I'll definitely take it back on Saturday and ask them to redo the balance.

Unfortunately the front and rear wheels are different sizes so I can't swap front and rear as a test. I could perhaps swap the two front wheels and see if the vibration moves, but it's already hard to tell which side it is on, so that may not prove much.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by harryp »

could be an out of round tyre; used to not that uncommon. Jack up until the wheel is "just" clear and rotate. HTH
Harry

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

harryp wrote:
07 Nov 2017, 19:21
could be an out of round tyre; used to not that uncommon. Jack up until the wheel is "just" clear and rotate. HTH
Harry

A pair of new tyres I got on my previous Xantia has problems with being out of round (I posted videos of them spinning in my old blog post) and they eventually came right with a few hundred miles of driving and a re-balance afterwards.

Alas, I checked last night spinning the wheels while they were off the ground and both wheel rims and tyres seem to be running true.

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Mandrake
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

Looks like this problem is not going to go easy. :(

On a very frosty Saturday morning I took the car back to Cooper Brothers and noticed that on the way over the vibration wasn't nearly as bad in the cold, hmm...more on that later....* anyway they looked at the car and presumably rebalanced both front wheels (I can see some signs of the weights being changed) but when I asked "what did you find", I got a very vague answer that made feel like I was being fobbed off to be honest, to the effect that they weren't sure and that "even taking the wheel off the machine and putting it straight back on can give a reading that's different by over 10 grams".... :? (Is that true, if the machine is working properly ?)

Went for a test drive and it was inconclusive - it seemed a little better at first but then later, no so much. After a couple of days driving to work on the motorway it's clearly still vibrating quite a lot and I've decided that it's not really any better and although it's hard to be sure, I think it was the front left wheel. I was off on Tuesday so I decided to swap the front wheels over - I can't swap front to rear as they are different sizes, and there is no spare to swap individually with a suspect wheel, so swapping left and right is about all I can do. :|

When I had both wheels up off the ground I gave them a good spin looking for any sign of anything running out of true - the rims seem to run true and so do the tyres axially, (no weaving of the tread sideways) however what I had not checked for before were any flat spots - and it looks like the left tyre does have a single, minor flat spot on it which you can see pass as it spins. I've had problems with flat spots on brand new tyres before (I took videos of the ones on my first Xantia V6 as they were so bad and wouldn't balance out properly) but this seems minor and I don't know how much of a flat spot or out of round it would take to give the symptoms I'm seeing. The right tyre doesn't seem to have any flat spot.

I'm also a bit unhappy about how they have positioned the weights on the right wheel - they've put them too far towards the outside of the wheel so that some of them are resting on a curve and I can easily wobble them with my finger, and I suspect a couple will fall off as they don't feel very well stuck on:
IMG_0306.JPG
That seems pretty sloppy to me ? :evil:

While I had the wheels off I decided to give the front brakes a quick overhaul, just in case there was any sticking, and to see if I could fix the infernal rattle on rough surfaces. More on the brakes in a separate post, but suffice to say I couldn't find anything with the brakes that might cause vibration at speed.

After having driven to Glasgow and back yesterday and this morning the change from swapping the wheels is inconclusive, but it does feel to me that the vibration is actually worse now, which might agree with the suspect wheel now being on the drivers side. What I'm noticing as well is that although the steering wheel vibrates at 60-75 mph, I can still feel a vibration through the car as low as 50mph, and I also don't understand why the vibration seems to vary from barely noticeable to really obvious from one minute to the next ?

So what next ? I'm loathe to end up in a situation where I keep going back again and again(as I did elsewhere with the Xantia wheels - four times!) and just can't get this right. Do I have a dud tyre and if one more attempt to balance it fails to solve the vibration should I demonstrate the flat spot to them when the wheel is spun off the car and insist that they replace the tyre ?

Is there any chance that it could be a problem on the car ? The whole point of swapping the wheels was to see if the vibration moved from one side of the car to the other but it has been inconclusive, except that it seems "worse" now. :( I tried to check the track rod ends as best as I could and couldn't find anything obvious.

* Regarding the tyre pressure - when they first fitted the tyres they only had the tyres set to 33 psi when they should be 36. When I first drove the car home I didn't notice any vibration, but after upping the pressure to 38psi (I find the softer All Seasons need to be slightly above normal pressure or they're too squidgy...) the vibration appeared. In very cold weather the vibration seems a lot less and of course tyre pressure will drop by about 2psi in cold temperatures.

Would reduced vibration at lower than normal tyre pressures be consistent with a tyre with a flat spot rather than a wheel balance issue ? An actual wheel balance problem should be bad at any pressure ?

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white exec
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by white exec »

My best guess is that tyre(s) are running out of true - not actually circular.
Possible to achieve a "balance" on the machine with an oval tyre, but it will run lumpily on the car at certain speeds, where the suspension cannot cope with damping it out (resonant frequencies and all that).

Had just that on a couple of elderly Michelins while on the NC500: perfect balance but not perfect shape. Produced steering wheel circumferential shimmy.

Simon, when the tyre depot has those wheels/tyres on the machine, peer underneath the safety cover and watch the tread for radial run-out. If they don't run true, reject the tyres. Some makes of tyre are worse than others geometrically.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

I'm going to go back again tomorrow (sigh) and see if I can get them to put the front of the car up on stands so I can show them the wheel that seems to have a flat spot. I think it's probably a waste of time having a 3rd go at balancing the wheels without first replacing the suspect tyre.

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white exec
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by white exec »

Good idea. Could even be something as crass as their balancing machine not carrying the wheel properly.
As you say, spinning them up on the car should tell a story.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Zelandeth »

Do you have anywhere near to you that could try an on-vehicle balance? Have seen these show up issues that were otherwise hard to find.

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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

Zelandeth wrote:
17 Nov 2017, 21:22
Do you have anywhere near to you that could try an on-vehicle balance? Have seen these show up issues that were otherwise hard to find.

Don't know, but I don't believe in on vehicle wheel balancing. If there is a balance issue on the hub (which is an extremely remote possibility btw) the last thing you want to do is balance the wheel to compensate for that, because you can never remove the wheel and re-position it differently on the studs...

I think it will turn out to be the flat spot. The vibration is almost not there when the tyres are cold (lower pressure) but gets worse and worse as I drive on the motorway for a while and the tyres warm up, once it is bad I can slow down as low as 45mph and still feel it, which is not usually the case with a wheel imbalance which unless really bad tends to be centred around a narrow speed range about 70-80mph.

Another thing I've noticed is driving very slowly on smooth ground - like crawling on the motorway at about 10mph the car actually rocks side to side slightly in a slight wiggle! That would also happen if one of the front tyres had a flat spot but could not be caused by just a weight imbalance, and it certainly wasn't happening before.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Zelandeth »

I wasn't thinking so much to actually balance it, but more that spinning the wheel up to speed on the car as it might make the issue more visible.

If you've got a low speed wobble though it seems like it has to be an out of round or improperly seated tyre though...

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white exec
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by white exec »

Jack a front wheel off the ground, and let the engine at idle drive that wheel in gear. You'll soon see what isn't running true - ovality or lateral run-out. Easier to assess than having to spin by hand.

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Mandrake
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Re: Simon's new Xantia V6 and Peugeot Ion blog

Post by Mandrake »

white exec wrote:
17 Nov 2017, 23:29
Jack a front wheel off the ground, and let the engine at idle drive that wheel in gear. You'll soon see what isn't running true - ovality or lateral run-out. Easier to assess than having to spin by hand.

Rear wheel drive unfortunately... :lol:

But the flat spot is pretty easy to see just spinning the wheel by hand when the front is jacked up, which is what I did the other day. There's no lateral run out (if by that you mean side to side movement of the tread pattern as the wheel rotates) nor overall ovality, however there is one spot that seems flattened down a bit so you see the tyre "dip" as that bit goes past...