Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Saint Cloud, FL
Car Year: 2002
Car Model: Forester L
Low speed front end shimmy - it's not a dance!
Please help me here you geniuses of Foresters. I have a 2002 Forester L, with 105,000 miles. I replaced both front axles recently. Actually I replaced both front axles twice recently because of this problem. I'll explain more. After the first round of replacements I noticed a shimmy in the front end at low speed, 15-25 mph. After that speed if it's there it's much less noticeable, to me. It feels like a bent wheel, but I rotated the four tires and the spare several times and it never went away or changed. So I asked some local mechanics about it and they suggested I might have an out-of-balance new axle. To be sure I changed both of them, AGAIN. The dreaded shimmy is still there.
Here's my theory. It's either bad lower ball joints or bad tie rod ends, and I may have damaged one or more of them during the replacement processes. I'm considering replacing both on both sides to eliminate that possibility.
Give me your best guess if you've got one.