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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Backstory: been chasing intermittent vibration at highway speed for a while now. It was pretty mild until I hit a sharp bump (nothing too major, but enough to be jarring), and then got worse. Took my car in expecting a bent wheel, but they found nothing. They road force rebalanced all 4 wheels, but it actually made the vibration worse, like scary on the highway. Took it back, they couldn't figure it out, rebalanced the front wheels and it is slightly less scary, about to what it was post-bump and pre-rebalance. They said all the wheels are balancing out perfectly, without bends. Centering rings are all intact.

I do have Novustech spacers, 10mm front, 15mm rear. If I hit a bump but didn't bend anything, and it made the vibration worse, could the spacers be damaged/out of balance? Could they be the root cause of the vibration to begin with? I have noticed just re-mounting the wheels does seem to affect the vibration.

Debating buying another set of more expensive spacers as a troubleshooting tactic.
 

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Yes, the spacers can definitely case this.

BUT, why don't you check the drive shaft? Excessive play in the drive shaft can cause lots of vibration.

How do I know this? I recently put back in my EST Resonator (replaced the straight pipe that was there) and when I put it back together the resonator sat too close to the drive shaft. At normal speeds it was okay, but above 65MPH the car started vibrating...I guess the positioning of the engine/exhaust at that speed/tension caused this perfect storm.
I got home, lowered the exhaust a bit and problem solved.

To be more specific the drive shaft was touching the resonator
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Already replaced the driveshaft with a new unit last year. No change in vibration. :(

Figured it is either wheel/wheel spacer/hub, axle, or angle gear related. This bump incident has given me hope that it may be the least expensive of the three.
 

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Get rid of NovusTech Spacers, they're ****ing garbage. I bought a set from him for my Capellas and they were so uneven that a friend of mine who was driving behind me told me the wheels were visibly wobbling. Spend a little extra money and order a set from MotorSport-Tech. NovusTech is complete and utter ****.

Just my $.02
 

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Get rid of NovusTech Spacers, they're ****ing garbage. I bought a set from him for my Capellas and they were so uneven that a friend of mine who was driving behind me told me the wheels were visibly wobbling. Spend a little extra money and order a set from MotorSport-Tech. NovusTech is complete and utter ****.

Just my $.02
Wut. I've bought 3 novustech sets now with zero issues. There's not many ways a CnC mill can mess up by the way. It's probably a bent wheel.

OP, I have left-right vibration at speeds due to my wheels being bent. When I throw on a different set of wheels (brand new practically), no problems. This is with 15mm NovusTech spacers all around. I think Discount just did a poor job balancing.
 

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Do your wheels require the spacers or can you just take them off for a day and see if the problem goes away?
 

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Keep in mind that if you hit a big enough bump there may now be a tear in the laminate of your tire which you may be able to feel on a loaded tire but not see when its spinning on a balancing rig.

If you verify the wheels and spacers are true I would start suspecting tire damage. One way to find it is to rotate tires front to back to see if the shake goes from the wheel to the rear.
 

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Keep in mind that if you hit a big enough bump there may now be a tear in the laminate of your tire which you may be able to feel on a loaded tire but not see when its spinning on a balancing rig.

If you verify the wheels and spacers are true I would start suspecting tire damage. One way to find it is to rotate tires front to back to see if the shake goes from the wheel to the rear.
Would "Road Force Balancing" show tire damage or just unloaded imbalance? I don't know much about it, but the name would make it sound like it's mimicking loaded wheel/tire performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wheels are confirmed not bent. Checked twice. Wheels have been rotated front to back with no change in vibration, BUT keep in mind the spacers stay.

Or do they? That made me realize something. I'll have to run out and double check, but I think the shop put the 15mm spacers on the front, 10mm on the rear.

If that's the case, it's got to be the spacers, right?
 

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Easy way to rule out the spacers is take them off and see if the vibration goes away. If not then you may have a driveshaft issue or bad rubber.

Road force balancing is when they run the wheel on a roller to better simulate the way the tire behaves on the road, so if there is an issue with the rubber it should be able to detect and compensate for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Confirmed, spacers are on backwards. Going to swap them back today and will report back. Unfortunately the wheels need spacers to clear the calipers, so running without spacers isn't an option. Now if the vibration does subside...

I have to figure out if it is messed up spacers, or the position of the spacers accentuating something else bad (like a bad front axle). If larger spacers on the front led to more vibration, I could easily see that being indicative of a bad axle (longer moment arm).
 

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I didn't see this asked, but can you tell whether the vibration is felt from the front (steering wheel) or the back (seat) or both? That might help you narrow your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Um, I have a hard time seeing how 10+mm spacers can go on backwards . . .
Sorry, confusing way to state it. They put the 10mm on the rear and the 15mm on the front. It should be 10mm on the front and 15mm on the rear.

The vibration is not really through the steering wheel, but more of the whole car. I do feel it tugging on the wheel when turning the wheel though.
 

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The vibration is not really through the steering wheel, but more of the whole car. I do feel it tugging on the wheel when turning the wheel though.
When you swap them back, it may help to pay special attention to how the vibration has changed and how it affects the caR.
 

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Check your front axles. My passenger side had a tear in the boot and was causing pretty bad vibrations on the highway. Went away after replacing it.
 

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Wut. I've bought 3 novustech sets now with zero issues. There's not many ways a CnC mill can mess up by the way. It's probably a bent wheel.

OP, I have left-right vibration at speeds due to my wheels being bent. When I throw on a different set of wheels (brand new practically), no problems. This is with 15mm NovusTech spacers all around. I think Discount just did a poor job balancing.
I used to work in engineering at an Aerospace machine shop, and a CNC can indeed mess up. What happened is the program that he had run on my spacers and a good number of others did not cur a small enough radius between the meat of the spacer and the protrusion for the hub bore. Therefore, it was impossible to get the spacer to sit flush against the wheel because it kept pushing away in different directions. When I brought it to his attention, he wrote me a nasty email essentially telling me to go **** myself and to never speak ill of his brand, after denying to replace them. I will never buy them again.

Sorry, confusing way to state it. They put the 10mm on the rear and the 15mm on the front. It should be 10mm on the front and 15mm on the rear.

The vibration is not really through the steering wheel, but more of the whole car. I do feel it tugging on the wheel when turning the wheel though.
Whether the 10mm is on the front or on the rear will never make a difference as far as vibration goes. All that's doing is changing the width the wheels sit from the body, nothing to do with rotational equilibrium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Had a terrible experience with Novustech as well, they sent me 9 of the wrong size bolts with my order. Not even 10.

By moving the rotating weight further out on the front wheels with a bigger spacer, if there is an issue with the axle that causes vibration, won't the affect be amplified?
 

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Bump is more likely worn tie rod ends or LCA bushings - very easy to check for 'play' while up on a hoist.


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