Toyota Tacoma vibration at hwy speeds

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  #1  
Old 05-14-03, 06:45 AM
wearearewe
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Question Toyota Tacoma vibration at hwy speeds

Hi all,

Figured I'd share this story for others who may have the same problem.

The truck is a 98 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 SR5 Ext Cab, 4cyl, 5spd that is pretty much stock with the exception of a color matching Century Cap installed when the truck was new.

The original tires were Firestone AT's (the famous Ford Explorer recalled tires) that gave me trouble free service for approx 30,000 miles.

The original tires were replaced with Cooper AT's which vibrated since day one despite being rebalanced and rotated numerous times. It's important to note that the wheels are the original steel wheels not aluminum/magnesium (or whatever they use these days). The vibration is typically at highway speeds of 50-70MPH which I rarely drive and therefore put off addressing. Note that the rebalancing and rotating act did manage to move the speed at which the vibration was noticed but not eliminate it.

Now I'm on a 3rd set of tires at approx 80,000 miles. This time I opted for non AT tires but still Coopers, I think they're Life Liners, a long range Hwy tire. Since the vibration is still there I am determined to get to the bottom of the problem! Here's what I've done so far.

Searching the web for "Toyota" vibration", etc... I found a forum that indicates that Toyota wheels may not be concentric, i.e. the center hole typically used for balancing the wheel/tire is not concentric with the rim. There is an adapter that uses the lug holes for mounting the wheel to the balancing machine. (Based on my stint at Firestone many years ago I recall this type of mounting is typically used for non-steel wheels) So, back to the tire store I go armed with this information to have the tires rebalanced using the lug mount adapter. No Luck! The vibration moved, but its still there between 55-65MPH. Still determined I take the truck to my mechanic to have a look to see if itís an axle, front end part, etc... Nada, he rebalances the tires yet again without luck. I head back to my buddy "Google" and continue to search and find a site that explains "Harmonic Mounting/Match Balancing" in detail:

http://www.murrelltires.com/vibratio...leshooting.htm

Not all wheels or tires run "true" (concentric), they all have a certain amount of run-out. Harmonic Mounting/Match Balancing is a method by which the tire is mounted on the wheel so as to cancel the runout between the two. Special equipment is required.

Armed with this new informaion I call my mechanic back (who is also determined to make me happy) and let him know what I found. He agrees to do it and that's where we stand now. I have an appt. scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday. I'll keep you'll posted.

Reading further on the subject of "Harmonic Mounting/Match Balancing" I find that some tires are "defective" from the factory. They have a heavy spot that exceeds some limit. I'm still reading about it and haven't found any hard facts yet but was wondering if anyone else has run into this. I guess there is a range, measured in "down force pressure" PSI?? If some limit is exceeded by the tires "heavy spot" it may be "defective". Can anyone shed more light on this?

Thanks to all!

- Jeff
 
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  #2  
Old 05-14-03, 07:59 AM
Joe_F
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Rotate the tires from front to back. If the problem goes to the back (or to the front if it's in the back now), the problem is wheel and tire related.

If not, it is likely it is something else---suspension for instance. Start there.

You could also have a bent rim or a driveshaft where the weight fell off or is out of balance.
 
  #3  
Old 05-14-03, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,531
Put a set of Michelins on it and end all your problems. Michelin will consider a tire defective if it takes more than 2.5 oz of weight! I have seen Dunlop, Bridgestone, Goodyears, etc take 5 or 6 oz of weight.
By paying for a premium tire you will receive a better ride.

All of our complaints with new cars and trucks about slight vib and shimmy are corrected by replacing the tires with Michelins. They expect the steering wheel and vehicle to feel the same at 70 mph as it does when sitting still. The Michelins make the difference.

I have to give Honda credit because they put Michelins on most of their cars eliminating customer concerns about ride

Barring that find some one with the lastest Hunter Balancer (about $10,000). It's capable of balancing taking radial force variation in to account(actually places tire under a load while balancing), phase matching tires and wheels, etc.

Larry
 

Last edited by toyotaman11769; 05-14-03 at 04:17 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-14-03, 02:18 PM
redneck
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I had a '96 tacoma, v6, 5spd, ext. cab 4x4. I put 60k on the original tires (goodyear I think?) Then put michelins on it. It had a "shimmy" or "vib" at highway speeds from day one, even with the michelins. Had it to the dealer under warrenty several times--they thought I was nuts--so I just drove the hell out of it! good little truck!
 
  #5  
Old 05-14-03, 03:24 PM
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don't want to hijack the threads, but while we have all the toyota tacoma people in one place, has anyone found a tacoma or toyota specific message forum?? I run across 4x4 forums, but mine is not a 4x4---
 
  #6  
Old 05-14-03, 05:52 PM
racer
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I have a 1995 Tacoma 4x4 that had the same problem and it turned out to be the shocks in the front. Got them changed and no more problems.
 
  #7  
Old 05-14-03, 07:07 PM
redneck
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The front shocks caused a vibration at highway speeds???? I had the rear shocks replaced under warrenty along with the leaf springs after one of the springs broke and wiped out a shock!
 
  #8  
Old 06-22-08, 02:38 PM
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I had the same problem. Driving 60km/h or higher the truck would vibrate, especially when accelerating. Turned out to be the last u-joint was worn out. It was easy to fix and only took about a half hour in the driveway.
1991 extended cab short box pickup 4cyl 4x4
 
  #9  
Old 06-22-08, 03:17 PM
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ujoint,
This may be a record. Over a 5 yr old thread. Please check the dates before you post. Welcome to the board, glad you found it. Look forward to your inputs.
 
  #10  
Old 06-22-08, 03:19 PM
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I agree with Toyotaman, the Hunter with radial force variation measuring ability may be necessary to fix the issue which may require tire/wheel replacement. This machine takes into account any radial run out of the tire and wheel and allows you to minimize it.

******I just saw how old this thread is, oh well, maybe someone will learn something!***************
 
  #11  
Old 11-27-08, 05:24 PM
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Before retiring this thread...

...there may be something to it.

Today, twice and for the first times ever, I experienced a massive shaking, but it was more like "hey the truck is about to shake itself apart", not just a "shimmy". Not fun at 70+ MPH.

Each time, I was driving for over a half hour at 70+ MPH with no problems, then the shaking started. I had to pull off the road, to under 25 MPH, before the shaking stopped.

After that, I changed my plans and drove it home, always under 60MPH, with no further shaking.

(2002 Toyota Tacoma, 4WD, Extended Cab (jump seats), ~35K miles.)

I'm planning to take it into the dealer to find out what's going on. Tires are original but have been re-mounted and balanced within the past few years. Service has been regular.
 
  #12  
Old 12-04-08, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
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One more thing

Just some general info. Shimmy is when the front wheels move rapidly side to side and has nothing to do with balance. Sometime starts after hitting a bump, Vibration from shocks usually occurs at around 40 MPH. A vibration on acceleration points to bad U Joints. A vibration at 50-60MPH is balance or out of round tires. If you feel it more in the steering wheel suspect front wheels,if you feel it in the seat look at the rears. As stated before if it takes more than 2-3 oz. to balance one it probably wont roll smoothly.You can balance a square block but it wont roll very smooth.Hope this hleps someone in the future. RW
 
  #13  
Old 12-04-08, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by retired wrench View Post
Just some general info. Shimmy is when the front wheels move rapidly side to side and has nothing to do with balance. Sometime starts after hitting a bump, Vibration from shocks usually occurs at around 40 MPH. A vibration on acceleration points to bad U Joints. A vibration at 50-60MPH is balance or out of round tires. If you feel it more in the steering wheel suspect front wheels,if you feel it in the seat look at the rears. As stated before if it takes more than 2-3 oz. to balance one it probably wont roll smoothly.You can balance a square block but it wont roll very smooth.Hope this hleps someone in the future. RW
Dynamic imbalance will shake the tire/wheel assy sideways and will cause shimmy.
 
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