Shaking in Steering Wheel & Drivetrain after New Rims/Tires
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This is a discussion on Shaking in Steering Wheel & Drivetrain after New Rims/Tires within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; 2013 WRX Limited Sedan Mileage: Just over 11,000 (brand new basically) OK. So has anyone else had this issue? Is ...

  1. #1
    Registered User STRMTPR's Avatar
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    Shaking in Steering Wheel & Drivetrain after New Rims/Tires

    2013 WRX Limited Sedan
    Mileage: Just over 11,000 (brand new basically)

    OK. So has anyone else had this issue? Is this something I have to live with? Is this something all Subie owners with aftermarket Rims/Tires live with?

    So I have been researching Rims/Tires for a while trying to find a nice aggressive setup for my 2013 WRX. I decided to go with Rota Grids 18 x 9.5 +38 in matte black. I also decided on BFGoodrich G-Force Sport COMP-2 tires with a size of 255/35/18.

    Personally, I have seen this setup a million times all over NASIOC with the same rim size (even the same rims) matching up to that same size tire (perhaps a different tire, I should have gotten Potenza's, I know.)

    Anyway, ever since I had the tires mounted/balanced they seem to shake at highway speeds. Not only do I get some moderate shaking in the steering wheel, but the transmission (shifer) seems to be shaking a decent amount.

    Now I have gone back to Belle Tire on two occasions to have them look at the balancing and everything has checked out. I was skeptical, so I took it to the dealership and they showed me the printouts indicating that the tires/rims wouldn't road force balance.

    Numbers from Dealership:

    Right Front: 23 (p limits?)
    Left Front: 33 (p limits?)
    Right Rear: 25 (p limits?)
    Left Rear: 36 (p limits?)

    I sense then went back to Belle Tire complaining and they gave me new tires. After having the new tires mounted and balanced, Belle Tire showed me on their balancers how they did road force (somewhere between 17 - 18 I think).

    I guess what I'm wondering is.. is this normal? Is that much of an offset putting stress on the CV shafts/drivetrain? is this what all people with aftermarket rims/tires have to deal with?

    Now when I say shaking, it isn't anything crazy... it's subtle.. but enough to annoy me. I have meet numerous people who have the same rim/tire size as me and said that it rides perfect, like stock. Are they just pulling my chain?

    The real issue is (I think) that the tires don't like the rims. The tires won't road force to Subaru's spec on those rims. Either my rims are not true, or they don't like those tires.

    Any insight you guys have would be great! Sorry if I'm missing something, I am typing this in kind of a fury.. lol.

    P.S. I do have the hub centric rings made for the rims to fit my hub and appropriate lugs.

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  3. #2
    Registered User McBill's Avatar
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    Well rota's are technically knock off rims. It wouldn't surprise me that they could be way out of balance from the factory. That is honestly my only guess. My stock front wheels hobble just a little bit and I just had them balanced (not road force). I've also found that tire shops generally do a terrible job of balancing wheels. But it seems like you have covered all of your tracks here in taking it to the dealer. Having them tell you that the wheels would not road balance to within their specs might suggest to me that it's the wheels you just purchased.

    Edit: or it could be a combination of both the wheels and tires, or it could be a bad set of tires (I have had a few of these)
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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    There's something about aftermarket wheels that don't valance out right sometimes.

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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    I have also seen many average Joe shops that can't balance a wheel/tire to save their life. I'd try to have them remounted and balanced somewhere else with good reviews all over the web.

    Perhaps see if they can do a check on the wheels themselves before putting tires on to see if they are balanced. Get in touch with where you bought the wheels and ask questions

    Bottom line is, you shouldn't feel any vibrations like that at all.
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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    That's what I find funny. It's not complicated to balance wheels correctly. I can balance any other oem wheel at my dealership but some aftermarket wheels won't valance out even though the balance machine says it does. But the road test says otherwise

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    Registered User STRMTPR's Avatar
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    McBill - I totally agree.. tire shops do do a horrible job on balancing tires. I just know that between Belle Tire and the dealership (of who works with me closely and and I trust) just had to get it as close as they could. With that being said, I know that the dealership has a brand new top of the line Hunter brand road force balancer, but is it smart enough to determine if the shake is coming from the tires vs. the rims? Like you said, there Rota's.. but how do I know it's them and not the rim/tire combo? Perhaps I need a new tire? Softer sidewall? Something known to balance well with these rims?

    SD_GR - You know what, I've never tried.. but the issue isn't necessarily that they shake depending on where they are placed on the car. The issue is that they won't road force under 16lbs off the car on the balancer. I feel that no matter where I put the tires, they're still gonna shake.

    nsibanez - That's what I'm thinking.. but I wish that there was some way I could know if it was the rims and not the tires. Is there some place I can take the rims to see if the rims are true and consistent? Will a high end balancer do this?

    Mikie13 - I think my next plan is take them to the dealership and see what they see this time. All of the guys there are great. They are all younger Subaru enthusiasts with modded cars themselves. The guy who worked on my rims/tires went on and on about how he tried to get them to road force, pulling out all the tricks but he could only get them so close.

    I've heard before that if you just ride on them for a while and try to balance them again that sometimes something seats or wears in tot he point that they will balance.. but I'm not sure how true that is.

    In all, thanks for the help guys! Keep the suggestions coming! I'm determined to figure out what's going on. I just wish that there was something that told me if the rims weren't true vs. them just not liking the tires.

  9. #8
    Registered User STRMTPR's Avatar
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    UPDATE*

    I have contacted the dealer and explained the situation. I currently have an appointment next week for them to dismount the tires off of the rims and try re-balancing again from scratch. They are going to do everything in their power to have them balance out correctly. Talking to the dealership a bit more, it seems that the tech did test the rims and he said that they are good and true. This leads me to believe that my size Rota's just don't like those BFGoodrich size tires. Maybe it's the tread, or maybe it's because 255 sized tires are just not consistent from brand to brand, who knows?

    In addition, it seems that Subaru's spec for well balanced tires is anything under 12lbs (info from the dealership). They said anything above that you may feel a shake/vibration. With any luck, they'll get them to work. If not, I may need to sell these tires and try a different brand.

    If this is the case, is anyone interested in a set of BFGoodrich G-Force Sport COMP-2 tires? Size 255/35/18. The front tires have less than 100 miles on them and the rears have less than 500 miles. I'd want at least $750 (perhaps negotiable) for all 4. I paid $855.00 at Belle Tire and that was with them price matching Tire Rack.

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    When you road force with a hunter if it's out of the .26 inch bounce the balance machine will give you an option to see if the rim is bent or if it's a bad mold in the tire. Most of the time everything is easily within spec though and the off balance is still there.... like I said I can balance any wheel...and especially with rota they will not balance out. I did a buddies rota before and they will not balance out. As soon as you come up to 75 or 80 mph the wheel shakes.mmnot terribly but enough

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    Registered User STRMTPR's Avatar
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    Hmmm... well they do have a Hunter balancer and he said that the rim was fine. I'm a little confused by your one sentence (may be a typo) but were you trying to say that "you can balance any tire even Rota's if they typically wont balance out"? ha. You mentioned that you tried to balance your buddies Rota's and they just wouldn't road force huh? Do you happen to know the size/offset of the rims he was running? What about the size of the tire? I'm kinda upset I got the Rota's now, but I'm just hoping that if the dealership can't make it work that I can possibly correct the issue with a different brand (perhaps size) tire. What do you think?

  12. #11
    Registered User A265's Avatar
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    Not sure if you need them with Rota's but sometimes you must install hub centric rings with aftermarket wheels. Have you considered trying that?

    Do you have stock wheels and tires? or a other set (perhaps winters?) you could try for a day to ensure it's not some other mechanical issue.

  13. #12
    Registered User STRMTPR's Avatar
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    Yeah, I do have the hub centric rings. I made sure to buy them so I could avoid a problem like this. Unfortunately, I already sold my stock wheels and tires to pay for these rims and tires but I'm positive that it's something with this aftermarket wheel/tire combo because they won't road force balance. I have numbers in the upper twenties when Subaru's spec is no higher than 12lbs. I also do have a winter set of wheels/tires that I had on the car before I switched to these new ones and they were fine, so I know that it's nothing mechanical. It starts at the tires. One thing I was thinking is perhaps the quality of the hub centric rings? But then I think I'm just splitting hairs.

  14. #13
    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    No higher then .12 inches for passenger tires is pretty low. Like I said ours shows .26 being within spec and even still above that tires will balance out.
    If you're showing consistent .20, which is pretty high chances are it could be the tires as they may have a bad mold. But for all 4 this is extremely rare. Even cheaper tires.
    Just based on my experience with cheaper aftermarket wheels (especially rota) it's something about the wheel itself. Not bent or warped...brand new out of the box they do not balance right. Maybe it's because they're too light and are past calibration specs for the balancer

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    Registered User STRMTPR's Avatar
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    Hmmm.. well I do have this appointment on Tuesday to get them looked at one more time. Depending on the results, do I try to tackle replacing the tires? Or do I try returning the rims and getting something better? Do you think they'll even take the rims back if I say that they won't balance and that they're made improper?

    I guess I'm not too well versed on rims.. what's a good brand that isn't going to cost me $2,000+ for a set of 4? I'm basically looking for better than Rota quality for Rota price.. please excuse my ignorance.. haha.

    I also found this info from Hunter Engineering interesting:

    "……... incorrect tire bead seating procedures are becoming more of an issue in solving vibration complaints. In many cases, a wheel will display high non-uniformity values because of increased tire bead interference, wheel design or improper bead seating procedures. If the tire is re-loosened from the wheel and properly lubricated and remounted, the level of non-uniformity may decrease dramatically. On sensitive vehicles, sometimes there is benefit to slightly over-inflating the tire, deflating the air, and then re-inflating to optimize bead seating……………….

    Proper lubrication on the tire bead AND rim areas including bead seat, hump, balcony, and drop center are vital in achieving proper seating of the tire bead to the wheel assembly………………………..

    Some types of wheels use a square safety hump that may further inhibit uniform tire bead seating. This further underscores the importance of proper lubrication and bead seating procedures…………………."

    Hunter GSP9700 Wheel vibration Control System solves wheel vibration and tire pull problems that balancers and aligners can't fix

    I forwarded this to the tech that is going to work on my car this Tuesday.

  16. #15
    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    Good read 👍

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