Front-end bounce on my '99 Mercury Villater

I’ve put on new Michelins (a total of seven), had a front-end alignment, replaced the entire rear brakes (cylinders, drums, shoes - the brake work was needed), and the drum was already replaced once and turned three times, put on a new left half shaft (the right is only 6 months old), and just today new shocks and struts.

Why do I still get a bounce over 58 mph like my tires are not balanced, when they’ve been spin balanced at least 6 times? At 70 mph highway speed, this bounce is not tolerable for long.

First, a correction to the question title - the van is obviously a Mercury Villager, not a Villater, and at 182K miles, it’s still very tight and a wonderful van.

Second, Michelin, to their credit, has replaced all my previous tires again with four more new tires, upgrading to Harmony wide-tracks at their expense. That means a total of 11 brand new Michelins at the price of four have been put on this car, to no avail.
I still have the bounce that feels very much like the tires are not balanced. But I’m now pretty well convinced that it’s not tires – and the wheels are perfect.

Any ideas out there?

One mechanic recently indicated I have a slightly loose right lower ball joint and left inner tie rod. Can either of these contribute to this bounce?

I’ve spent about $3K trying to get this fixed, and to do the two above changes will add about $450 more to that total, which sounds like throwing money down the proverbial rat-hole at this point unless I hear from someone that they might cause the bounce.

I’m desperately looking for any input that might help here. Thanks.

Has your mechanic checked the condition of the McPherson struts? If they are the originals, they are likely worn out, and this can lead to “wheel hop”.

As noted in the original write-up, new struts were applied to the front-end of my van just a week ago, so they are no longer the original. The mechanic had suspected either shocks or struts, and rear shocks and medium-ride struts and upper strut tower plates on front.

I’m presently leaning toward a rear-end problem of some sort. The bounce is mostly in the seats, and less on the steering wheel until high speeds at which point the whole car shakes. I haven’t found anyone yet who can put the car up on it’s suspension and run the rear wheels up to 70 mph - tough since the van is a front-wheel drive. I think that if i can get that done, one or both of the wheels will show some bounce. Then the puzzle will be to figure out what it might be.

The original brake work 4 weeks ago used 3rd party drums which introduced a brake thump because it was spun too fast in manufacture: when applied, the shoes follow the track and then thump back into position. The installer turned the drums to get rid of the thump, and the thump went away but now the rear end shook with brakes applied - notable with just the emergency brake applied. I gave up on that installer and took the car to a local Merc dealer who had to turn the drums twice again (this makes three “turns” of brand-new drums) and adjust the pads to get rid of the vibration.

Considering the poor job they did on the original brakes, I wish I had some idea of what else this installer might have done to the rear end to ruin the rear independent suspension. Mostly I want to find out why it’s such a problem now, since it had no problems prior to their work on the car.

Thanks for your interest, and I’ll watch for any additional input.