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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old April 25th, 2012, 14:34   #1
Fuel_Miser
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TDI(s): 2000 Jetta
Default Unexplained Front End Shimmy Ė Need Help

I have a 2000 Jetta A4. I usually very good at diagnosing problems but this one has me confused. I have a front end shimmy, but only under acceleration or climbing hills. As soon as I lift, the shimmy goes away. Iíve had it into shops twice but everything in the front end seems tight. Of course it never does it when I have it with them. Seems to get worse the longer I drive. It can vary from sight to severe. I can be going up a hill and front end is shaking like hell. I can lift and it goes away entirely. On a recent trip (9 hours) it started shaking so badly at one point I thought I would not reach my destination. I stopped for a while, got back on the road and the shaking had almost completely gone away. I drove another 3 hours. Thatís what has me confused. It comes and goes. Lately it seems that while under power when I swerve from side to side it makes more noise when I swerve to the right, but again it goes away completely when I lift. Iíve been trying to diagnose this problem for the last 10,000 miles
If it makes any difference Iím running large 245/40R18 tires
Hereís what Iíve already done.
Rebuilt Injectors and replace nozzles.
Swapped tires from front to rear.
Checked steering components, tie rod ends, and replaced all rubber bushings in the suspension. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old April 25th, 2012, 14:52   #2
03Springer
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You say that it only occurs under acceleration or under a load, could be your CV joints???
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Old April 25th, 2012, 14:57   #3
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just did my cv joints last weekend.. smooth so very smooth now. Do it you won't regret it
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Old April 26th, 2012, 01:25   #4
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Just throwing it out there but how about the dmf?
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Old April 26th, 2012, 06:15   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by db252 View Post
Just throwing it out there but how about the dmf?
That's something I hadn't considered but I'm more inclined to think its something drive line related, because the rpm of the shake seems to match that of tire rotation. You do have me thinking. I'm going to check into your idea further.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 06:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03Springer View Post
You say that it only occurs under acceleration or under a load, could be your CV joints???
I think that's going to be my next step. Beeman had the same suggestion. I just want to make sure before I replace something. Is that the way a bad CV joint acts? Oddly, I've never had to replace a CV joint before.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 06:29   #7
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"Here’s what I’ve already done.... and replaced all rubber bushings in the suspension"

How about the control arm bushings (rears in particular)?

--Nate
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Old April 26th, 2012, 07:50   #8
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It's either one of your inner CV joints.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 08:14   #9
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I've had a similar issue..very faint vibration/shimmy only accel. I figured it was CV joints... it's just not bad enough to do anything about it yet. It will eb interesting to know if it fixes your issue.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 09:46   #10
TDI WGN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemboy View Post
It's either one of your inner CV joints.
This is the answer, just changed my drivers side. Had the same exact issue your are having.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 10:01   #11
turbocharged798
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Its one of your inner CV joints. If you have time, you can take each joint apart, clean, regrease, and reinstall on the opposite axle. This way the balls ride on the oppsite side of the race which usually has very little wear(unless you drive a lot in reverse, most people don't). That's what I did on the 99.5 and it cost me nothing and totally fixed the shimmy on acceleration issue.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 15:22   #12
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Ding! Ding! Ding! turbocharged798 is the winner with the most complete and correct answer! Save money! Do it yourself! Learn about your car!

Really, everything he says is right on the money. You probably won't even need new boots for the CV joints. Just at least 10oz of good CV joint grease ( a good EP grease will do, if you can't find Redline CV2 grease) and lots and lots of paper towels.

If you don't have a manual, which tells you how to disassemble the joints, then do a thorough search for more information. There's some threads with good pix on here somewhere.

Cheers!
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Old April 26th, 2012, 18:23   #13
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I think that if you are going to do only one CV joint, there is one that the exhaust cooks, there is a plastic guard that is supposed to prevent it but doesn't really help. I had a shimmy on accel and replaced that one shaft, I'm not with my car now and can't remember for sure which side. I'm sure you can look and see where the exhaust runs right next to the axle on the one side. Was a fairly easy task, and if I remember right the parts weren't to expensive. There are some crap parts out there. On the other end of it, highly recommended on here was RAXLE's out of Florida.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:58   #14
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I notice a slight shimmy on my '04 and it is when I unload the engine, but not on engine over run. At 50 MPH plus I have to press the accelerator just enough to not load the drivetrain by accelerating, or decelerating, and then the vibration will occurr. I was suspecting worn inner CV joints, but when I load the engine (accelerate lightly), the shimmy stops. I noticed this all of a sudden one day and in 10,000 miles or so, it has not gotten worse. I even condidered replacing the transaxle pendulum mount. I also believe my rear control arm bushings are worn and plan on replacing them soon.

Any ideas what the shimmy is?

Tx.

--Nate
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Old May 1st, 2012, 13:47   #15
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what's a shimmy? is it like a vibration, but low-frequency, almost like as if the brake rotors were warped?
i've been noticing this ever since the genius at firestone decided to remove the tires with a hammer. vibration at all speeds, and while slowing down. maybe struts, maybe mounts... i'm saving up for a 150000 mile overhaul.
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