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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question Can Any One Help With This Problem?

I have a 97 T Bird - V-8 and have had a shudder problem when slowing down. I have put a ton of brakes on this thing - 5 sets in 46,000 miles. I have done all the usual stuff like wheel balancing, alignments, turned rotors, etc. Finally the mechanic who is supposed to be the best Ford guy around found a TSB that said it was a tranny problem. I had the whole system power flushed and filled with the Mercon V fluid. It seemed to help a little for just a while but now the shudder is back . Never when accelerating only when slowing down from freeway speeds. It seems that the tranny would not cause this but I am not a gearhead. Should I go after the brakes again or seek out a trany guru? Could it actually be a warpped wheel? My other alternative is to get rid of it but I hate to as otherwise it is darn near pristine. And with only 46,000 on it I would like to keep it. Can you give me some advice.
If you have any ideas e-mail me at [email protected] or post here
Again , Thanks
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 06:08 PM
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You say you've gone through 5 sets of brakes... Is that just pads or rotors as well? If just pads, have the rotors ever been replaced? One or both could be warped.

Edit: Oops... I just noticed you said you had the rotors turned. Not being an expert, I don't know what else to suggest, unless the rotors are warped despite being turned.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 07:43 PM
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Driving style can change the pad life greatly. My dad's mail vehicle would go through a set every 10K miles....but that's 500+ stops a DAY. I just replaced the rear brakes on my SHO, and I beielve it's only it's second set at 176K miles....

what pads are you using?
what rotors?
Master Cylinder?
Fluid type?

what your usual commute?
lots of stops?
stops from what kind of speed?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 08:19 AM
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One of the magazine on TV shows (MotorTrend etc.) recently had a segment on a high dollar brake upgrade. The rotors had balancing weights! If you are having them turned (to the same dimentions) swap them - left to right and right to left. This could be helpful if you can tell which side the vibration is coming from. Red
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 09:15 AM
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You keep mentioning brakes, etc. By shudder do you mean it shakes the steering wheel when braking or you feel the brake pedal pulse, or is it something you feel in the seat of your pants, while the steering remains normal?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2004, 11:30 AM
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Also it is critical on these cars to torque your lugnuts to 90ft/lbs or an uneaven torque will encourage the rotors to warp prematurely.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 08:49 PM
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You say that the trans flush and fill with Mecon V helped? And then the symptoms came back again a little while later...with only 46K on the clock.

If the Mercon V really did help, and it came back a short while later, then I would suspect that the lockup clutch in the torque converter is going bad. But with only 46k on it, I'm not too sure. Anybody else thinking this?

BTW, what color was your fluid when they flushed it?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the ideas - I am going to print all this stuff out along with a few hints I picked up at and take it all to my mechanic. It seems to get getting worse. If I am coming off an exit ramp at 50-55 mph and hit the brakes it shakes like heck - pedal, seats, wheel, the whole enchilada until I get to about 25-20 mph and them all is well. If I am going 55 and just take my foot off and let it slow without brakes - no shake. It doesn't do this any other time. The brakes don't shake at any other time but if it was the tranny or TC wouldn't it do it if it was downshifting even without the brakes?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 04:29 AM
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This might sound really dumb, but you should check that all your lug nuts are installed and properly torqued. Maybe you already did. I had a similar problem, and that was the reason.



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 08:56 PM
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bout 6 yrs ago my moms van had that problem.... only shutter when u slowed down... turned out it has soemthing to do with the front steering suspension thing... i cant remember quite sure what it was.. but the mechanic said that if those broke both front tires would make a \ / and i doubt thats good.. we got it fixed and never had that prob again...... just another hypothesis that coundt hurt.....
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2004, 04:35 AM
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Oh yeah, I guess that could be worn tie rods. My car developed terrible slop in the tie rods. I didn't notice it until one day, I turned the steering wheel while stopped in a parking lot and I heard this big POP!. When I turned the wheel back and forth, it would go POP, POP, POP ... because there was a 1/4 inch or more of play in the left front tie rods! From outside the car, you could see the wheel "pop" into motion, instead of moving smoothly. That's a good thing to check.



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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2004, 09:34 AM
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too much runout at the hubs can cause the shudder. You are only allowed .002" of runout.
But it is unclear when it shudders. Is it only when you are on the brakes?

Also, aftermarket wheels , dirty hub flange surface can contribute.

The only tranny issue I can think of would be if the TC is not unlocking during deceleration from cruise. One way to test, shift into neutral before you slow down and see if it still does it.
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