Last year I received a phone call from a gentleman who owned a classic 1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 with a 6-speed manual transmission; his car had a vibration that “nobody could fix.”

He told me the story of the vehicle being taken from local shop to local shop and even to a local Chevrolet dealership; nobody could figure out the problem. This gentleman contacted me because he saw some of the vibration diagnosis videos on my WeberAuto Youtube Channel and realized we were in the same city of Ogden, Utah. He wanted me and my students to look at his car and see if we could diagnose it. I usually do not allow vehicles to be brought into my classroom environment like that. Still, we were actually at the vibration diagnosis portion of my manual drivetrain class. It would be great to diagnose an actual vibration rather than one I created.

The Z28 owner told me that he has had the tires balanced multiple times, the driveshaft balanced, and both universal joints replaced on two separate occasions. The vibration he was experiencing occurred at higher vehicle speeds of 50 mph and higher.

Using the same diagnostic procedure outlined in our new NVH smartphone app, we performed a quick road test of the Camaro. The road test results indicated that the vehicle had a first-order driveshaft speed-related vibration. As the NVH app’s diagnostic help file indicates, first-order driveshaft speed-related vibrations are only caused by a few select problems on the vehicle.

  1. A part rotating the same speed as the driveshaft that is out-of-round
  2. A part rotating the same speed as the out-of-balance driveshaft
  3. Drive axle problems

I thought this diagnosis could be a little more challenging than usual because the driveshaft had already been balanced; it even had a shiny new black paint job from a local driveshaft repair shop. 

My students and I started down the list of things to check—the first thing to check in the driveshaft runout. The FIRST STEP of checking driveshaft runout is to check for excessive vertical endplay in the slip yoke splines where it slides into the rear of the Getrag 6-speed manual transmission. The vertical endplay itself was 0.015” (normal endplay on a new vehicle is 0.000”). This endplay was a problem. We checked the runout of the driveshaft just before the weld at the front universal joint; it was 0.025” (which is within specifications). I have seen this problem before; the combined driveshaft runout (0.025”) and the vertical spline endplay (0.015”) combine to create an overall driveshaft runout (0.040”) that is excessive.  This results in the driveshaft whipping around at high speeds rather than just rotating.

I told the Z28 owner what we found and recommended getting a new slip yoke. He tried to purchase a slip yoke, but they were no longer available from the Chevrolet dealer. The Z28 owner decided to build a whole new driveshaft using a custom new slip yoke.  It took about a week to get the new driveshaft built. We installed it and rechecked the spline endplay and the runout; the new values were significantly reduced. We gave the car back to the owner, and he took it out for an extended road test; the vibration was gone! The worn slip yoke splines were the cause of the vibration.

There were bad parts on this vehicle, but nobody detected them. One very unhappy customer was the result. Hundreds of dollars were wasted on attempted repairs, many hours of labor were wasted because nobody knew how to diagnose a vibration problem; they were guessing! The NVH app eliminates the guesswork in vibration diagnosis and guides you step-by-step through the entire diagnostic and repair procedure. Get the NVH app today by clicking on the link below.

What the app can do

The NVH app is designed to automatically detect the type of vibration your vehicle is experiencing, provided the instructions of the road test procedure are followed.

There are 14 types of vibrations the NVH app can automatically detect:

  • Tire speed-related (1st, 2nd, and 3rd order vibrations)
  • Driveshaft speed-related (1st, 2nd, and 3rd order vibrations)
  • Engine speed-related (0.5, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th order vibrations)
  • Electric Motor Speed Related (1st order vibrations)

Each type of vibration has unique causes. A vibration type is not the same thing as a vibration source. There are many possible causes (sources) for each vibration type. The NVH app includes step-by-step instructions on locating the vibration source once the app has identified the type of vibration.

What the app cannot do

  •  The NVH App cannot automatically tell you the source of a vibration
  • Although the NVH app is excellent at identifying the type of vibration your vehicle is experiencing, you or someone else will need to follow the diagnostic steps described in the app help files to identify the exact cause or source of the vibration.

There are almost 300 possible sources of vibration concerns in today’s vehicles

T1 Diagnostic Help

THE NVH APP IS HERE!

Turn your Phone or Tablet into a Vibration diagnostic tool! Purchase our new App to use the internal sensors of your Phone or Tablet to diagnose the type of vibration your car or truck is experiencing. There are close to 300 individual vibration sources on a typical vehicle; the NVH App knows each one of them and can guide you through the entire diagnostic and repair procedures for each one of them.

What issues have you had with diagnosing vibration, harshness and noise issues?

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