1986 lincoln town car vibration

When going from 45 to 50, I get a shaking from the car, then from 50 to 55, it goes away. When slowing down from 55 thru 45, I also get it. It does not happen until I go above 45. If I’m on smooth concrete or new smooth blacktop, it does not happen. I replaced shocks 16 months ago. I had the tires rebalanced and put back in the same place. The right rear had to be replaced, bulged sidewalls.

Is this anything to do with ball joints? The steering wheel is fine when this happens, no turning, shaking or anything. I raised the vehicle and grabbed the

tire(s) top and bottom to check for play. It has about 1/8" play. Has anyone experienced this before? Thanks.


It could be ball joints. But you didn’t inspect them the proper way.

Place a floor jack under the lower control arm of the ball joint to be inspected, and raise the vehicle so that the tire is 4"-6" off the floor. Place the end of a 6’ long bar or 2X4 under the tire. While someone observes the ball joint, pry up on the tire and release it. If the ball joint is worn, it’ll be seen moving up and down in it’s socket.


Thank you very much. I will try it.

It’s good to check things yourself, but you still have to go to an alignment shop. They will check the ball joints and the rest of the front suspension, replace the worn parts and get the toe-in right.

If you have loose ball joints or tie rods, you won’t just get additional tire wear: The tires will jump off their track to correct for the misalignment and cause the vibration at certain speeds. You have it happening at two different speeds, so that you almost know that it isn’t balance related, at least at one of those speeds.

You’re on the right track, and if you have Ackerman steering (anti-dive and anti-tip), you should keep up on alignments. You’ll recognize that type of system if the ball joint is as far forward as the front bushing of the lower control arm. The rear one will be way toward the rear of the car. It’s a great system for driving through town at low speeds like 35 MPH and for cornering at lower speeds.

That’s very good information. I never have given the car an alignment, it has always gone straight. Might be worth checking into. Thank you very much.