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Steering wheel judder under light breaking - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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arbell9

Steering wheel judder under light breaking

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Hi All,

My steering wheel is now juddering under light breaking. Its like each front wheel brake is taking it in turns to break. The wheel moves up to 5 mm from side to side and has become pretty noticable.

Ok so whats the cause, and if you can suggest a cause can you also suggest a fix please?

And remember I can kill a car at less than 50 paces with a spanner and screw driver so explain in numpty langauge please

Ta

Alex

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Brakes.

I had this when I 1st bought the car, I dont believe in warped disks...sadly I never had the hind sight to clock my old ones but it's likely the pad has some build up or it's not seated properly

Lift the car up and turn the wheel it should rub un-evenly and this can be to do with the pad seating or brake dust fused to the disk - as a result I never brake heavily and rest the foot on the pedal, I have heard that this can trap shinola under the pad and almost weld itself to the face of the disk.

Try giving the thing a clean up, if not change the disks, curiously mine used to squeel also, only when turning left hehe, strnage but it did. I cleaned them up and so on, but the only thing that sorted them was the new disks - 2 years later and it's all sexy still.

Failing that a change in wheel geometry will also do it. I changed my camber slighly on my fronts and the wheel shook like a bahstard (I mean CRAZY) - it was fine when I reverted back so look at ALL 4 wheels and also check your tyre pressures incase the front is trying to crab - lift the car and carefully try and move the wheel around, you should see straight away if there is any play.

Also check the tyre condition and whether you have a small brick stuck in there (I had a rock the size of a thimble in mine once)


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...but the only thing that sorted them was the new disks - 2 years later and it's all sexy still.

I'm afraid that's the answer mate, just look on discs as 12000 mile service replacements. Try EBC for decent non-barryboy items,


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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I got the disks replaced I think about 8-9K ago ( but I will dig into my service folder for the details) . Would they wear out that soon?? They are stock lotus ones by the way.

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Check wheel bearings are at the correct setting, then use a Dial Test Indicator to measure how far the discs wobble by when rotated. If you dont't have a DTI, move the pads off the discs slightly (2-4mm) using a pointed object while rotating the discs find the point at which the point only just touches the disc when placed perpendicular to it's surface. Now rotate the discs and look at the maximum distance between the point and the discs.

If it's more than a couple of layers of paper you may have an issue.

You can have discs skimmed, that will depend on thickness now, minimum serviceable thickness and how warped they are, assuming you can find somebody who does it locally.

More common than the discs warping is them forming hard spots due to a slight high point causing them to heat in a localised area, this alters the metal and starts to harden it, which means as you brake and the discs is slightly warn away over most of its surface, that bit isn't warn as much. So it's standing proud by more than it was, heats up even more, and so on.

If your wheel bearings are out by a noticeable amount it is possible for the bearings failure to slightly disturb true running of the hub and mimic the brake disc warp, so if you do have some run-out of the discs, lok att he bearing surfaces before attempting to replace/ resurface them.

Andy

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If you lift the car and spin the wheel you should hear the swish-swish-swish tell tale of the disk not running true.

EBC's imo are excellent value for money - they might not be the best, and I don't like the pits and grooves (they do wonders for cleaning the face but cut down on braking surface area) but they are great and lasted really well.


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Completely agree with what has already been said - probably the discs or perhaps the bearings.

If you're not technically minded, as Jonathan suggested jack each side up and spin the wheel. Check it runs smoothly and listen for any rhymthic swish.

Then take the wheel off and examine both sides of the disc for any dark patches, discolouration or hairline cracks.

One additional thing is to examine the tyre side walls. I had exactly the same symptoms - judder under light breaking (but not heavy braking). It turned out there was a small bubble in the side wall. Without any brakes it felt fine since the bubble could support the weight of the car. But as the weight shifted to the front of the car under light braking, it become to judder since each time the bubble rotated round the wheel 'dipped' into the bubble. Under heavy braking the bubble 'bottomed out' similar to the rest of the tyre compressing under the weight transfer so was less noticeable.

Edited by neal

May: DON'T hit it with a hammer!

Clarkson: Why?

May: Cause it's the tool of a pikey.

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