Auto Service World
Feature   December 1, 2001   by Rich Diegle

Getting Bad Vibes?

Vibrations or oscillating harmonics and how we perceive them may or may not be a pleasant experience. For example, vibration in the bleachers while two thundering 6000 horsepower nitro methane burning...


Vibrations or oscillating harmonics and how we perceive them may or may not be a pleasant experience. For example, vibration in the bleachers while two thundering 6000 horsepower nitro methane burning dragsters rocket by – good; vibration from the handles of a concrete shattering jackhammer – bad; vibes from a $2,000 heated, multi-level vibrating massage recliner – very good; vibrations from a seismographic eight point trembler on Richter’s ole “Quake-O-Meter” – very bad…anyway, you get my drift.

When it comes to our vehicles though, any form of vibration is usually something we can totally live without. So when someone comes into your shop complaining of an annoying vibration, have sympathy for them and try your best to help.

And speaking of help, here is a tip that may save time diagnosing an abnormal vibration occurring in some 1993 through 1995 Mazda 626 and MX-6 sedans. If a customer complains of a heavy vibration they can feel through the steering wheel, shift lever or floor, wrongfully positioned radiator dynamic dampers may be the cause.

NOTE: If you have removed and/or replaced the radiator recently, pay special attention to this tip.

INSPECTION

1. Always test-drive the vehicle with the customer to confirm the intensity and location of the vibration.

2. Examine the upper radiator pins (Refer to Fig. 1). While viewing radiator from the top, confirm that the pins are centered in the upper radiator mount bracket. Then, while facing the front of the vehicle, make sure the left and right pins have approximately the same height from the upper mounts.

NOTE: No vehicle will have perfectly centered pins. It is important that the radiator move freely about this area. Pins must not be jammed or forced into one area of the bracket that limits movement.

3. If the pins are not centered or at approximately the same height, proceed to the repair procedures.

REPAIR PROCEDURES

1. Remove the fresh air duct.

2. Remove the upper radiator mounts.

3. Gently pull upward on the radiator to free the dynamic dampers from the body.

3. Warning: Hot radiators can cause a serious burn injury. Always wear gloves or other suitable protective wear when working on a hot radiator.

4. Remove dynamic dampers.

5. Place dynamic dampers in the body holes and verify that they are seated and flush (Refer to Fig. 2).

6. Keep radiator level and simultaneously insert the lower radiator pins into the holes in the dynamic dampers. Gently push down on the radiator until it is fully seated in the dynamic dampers.

7. Install upper radiator mounts.

8. Install fresh air duct.

9. Check the position of the dynamic damper. Refer to inspection procedures (Steps 2 and 3).

10. Verify the effectiveness of the repair.

Now don’t you feel good? It’s nice to be able to help your fellow human being solve an annoying problem with their car and receive a little compensation for your efforts as well. By the way, you should charge approximately one-hour labor for your humanitarian benevolence.

ALLDATA is a registered trademark of ALLDATA LLC

Written by Rich Diegle, an editor with ALLDATA. Rich is an Advanced Engine Performance Certified, ASE Master Technician with an associate of arts degree in automotive technology and 22 years of dealership and independent shop experience.

ALLDATA LLC

www.alldata.com


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