Piston Slap: You (Axle) Tramp!

Timothy writes:

This isn’t a question about any car that I current own, or even a car that was ever mine.

While watching one of my all time favorite shows, “The Rockford Files,” our hero Jim was stuffed into the back of a mid-’70s Cadillac Fleetwood. As the driver dropped it into drive and the Cadillac moved out, I noticed a very peculiar rear-end wiggle. This isn’t the first time that I’ve noticed this in a General Motors vehicle.

Growing up, my parents had a ’81 Chevrolet Caprice coupe and a ’77 Pontiac Catalina coupe, and an ex-girlfriend of mine had an ’81 Pontiac Catalina sedan that did the same thing. (While I love my parents dearly, I’ve never understood why they bought Ford trucks repeatedly, but never ventured into a Ford car.) They all had that exact same low-speed rear-end shimmy.

What the heck is that?

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