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OFFICIAL 2nd gen 4x4 front differential bearing vibration thread

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Old 04-17-2011, 02:24 PM   #1
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Exclamation OFFICIAL 2nd gen 4x4 front differential / diff bearing vibration thread

I wanted to start a thread that compiles all the collective, up-to-date knowledge of remedies, repairs, and replacements related to vibrations that originate at the front differential.

It has been identified in a number of previous threads that vibrations may originate from a worn needle bearing and/or CV axle shaft on the driver's side of the front diff, a condition that is often exacerbated by putting a lift on the truck. A worn bearing/axle shaft condition may be present if you experience vibrations/groaning/growling (most typically between 30-40 mph, but also at other speeds) and the vibrations disappear the instant you switch from H2 to H4.

Some members whose trucks have experienced front end vibes have tried using a differential drop kit (such as Toytec's) to alleviate vibes with mixed success. A number of members have had their front differentials replaced (some under warranty and some by paying out-of-pocket) with mixed success. Recently, a number of members have allegedly attempted to replace the needle bearing and other appertenant parts themselves -- without removing the diff from the truck -- as a DIY job with mixed success.

Let's try to keep this thread as tidy, concise, relevant, and on-topic as possible. This is not a place to discuss rear driveline vibration issues, rear carrier bearings, rear driveshafts, axle shims, or other irrelevant matters.


Here is a list of threads that are relevant (will be updated as needed to include other threads -- I'm open to suggestions about other threads that should be included):

"Front end growling noise" (Patrick0625):
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...ing-noise.html

"Front diff bearing replacement" (Silver_Taco):
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...placement.html

"Front end clunk found! questions about front diff now" (Krookz): THREAD DELETED
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...-diff-now.html

"Front differential side bearing replacement.. done!" (Metallikatz3):
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...ment-done.html




NEW!! Here is a great write-up on how to remove the driver's side CV to access the side bearing in the front diff:

"How To Remove CV Axle+Replace Front Wheel Bearing 2nd Gen" (KenpachiZaraki):
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...ml#post4074919

UPDATE!! Chase and friends at East Coast Gear Supply (ECGS) have invented--and now produce and sell--a fix for this vibration issue using a PFTE bushing that replaces the needle bearing in the front diff. I installed the bushing in mine and it makes a WORLD of difference. No more annoying vibes or growling noise!

Skip to page 4 of this thread and read on. Check out East Coast Gear Supply on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Eas...ly/21641121597 or go to their website to order a bushing and needle bearing removal tool: http://eastcoastgearsupply.com/i-853...-and-tool.html

We all need to thank Chase and ECGS a million for coming up with this fix!!!


.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texoma View Post
Vibe is now back. Very upset. 2 months into new diff and cvs, now something is seriously wrong.
That really sucks to hear. I was denied on warranty coverage again Friday but the regional service rep is "confident" they can fix it with $800 parts and labor (new bearing, CV, seals). This makes me think they're still using the same bearing in the differentials they supply for replacement. Is the vibe worse than before?
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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Yes, worse. The only difference is now the vibrations/noise can be turned off using the 4wd. By that I mean when I hear the noise and I put it in 4hi, the noise goes away, and then disengage 4hi, and it "sometimes" stays gone. Unlike before when I would engage 4hi it would go away, then disengage it would come back. Very strange. It's like something is binding or cocked and then when something moves it it dislodges something. I think my next trouble shooting technique will be to pull over next time the vibe comes and see if there is something I can personally knock loose. Like when you beat an old starter to get the bendix spring free. But yeah, noise is louder and vibe is stronger when it's there. Right now it's fairly intermittent.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:11 AM   #6
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Tex, can you remind me of what lift you are running? And have you been doing much offroad driving since your replacement or has it mostly been pavement?

EDIT: I just read your post in silvertacos thread that you are running FB's 2.5". Sorry to hear the problem came back. I know that would irritate the hell out of me if I had previously done a replacement.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:17 AM   #7
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What I'd like to know is why did Toyota recall 51,000 Tundras for potential for slip yoke failure all because of ONE documented case of a slip yoke failure, but on the other hand hundreds or thousands of Tacomas (from what it sounds like) have had this front diff bearing problem and Toyota hasn't seen it as a big enough deal to do anything about?
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texoma View Post
Yes, worse. The only difference is now the vibrations/noise can be turned off using the 4wd. By that I mean when I hear the noise and I put it in 4hi, the noise goes away, and then disengage 4hi, and it "sometimes" stays gone. Unlike before when I would engage 4hi it would go away, then disengage it would come back. Very strange. It's like something is binding or cocked and then when something moves it it dislodges something. I think my next trouble shooting technique will be to pull over next time the vibe comes and see if there is something I can personally knock loose. Like when you beat an old starter to get the bendix spring free. But yeah, noise is louder and vibe is stronger when it's there. Right now it's fairly intermittent.
Mine seems to be very intermittent... sometimes it drives smooth as glass (rarely) other times it drives like I'm driving on the rumble strip along the side of the road in 2nd gear at 35 mph, but most of the time it's somewhere in between the two extremes. It is weird how it's so inconsistent, and I have also wondered what causes the inconsistency. I don't know if steering might have something to do with it -- if you steer sharply it may further perturb the CV angles beyond what the lift is doing, then a resonance starts in the bearing, and kind of sustains itself from there. All I know is that it's weird and I wish it would go away.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:00 PM   #10
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my front diff noise...


Just started getting a little louder. I do not have a lift installed. The truck is entirely stock with the exception of a K&N filter and new tires/brakes... I have done all services, including a fluid flush at Toyota. I bought out the truck from the lease, and with that purchase, I got a 100K "Toyota gold" warranty... Is this a warranty issue, or will they claim it is like a brake job and screw me with the costs of CV and bearings?



John
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:20 PM   #11
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Here is a link to krookz truck with some clunking noise

http://youtu.be/o4Yf2osrEcY
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racemybuick View Post
my front diff noise...

Just started getting a little louder. I do not have a lift installed. The truck is entirely stock with the exception of a K&N filter and new tires/brakes... I have done all services, including a fluid flush at Toyota. I bought out the truck from the lease, and with that purchase, I got a 100K "Toyota gold" warranty... Is this a warranty issue, or will they claim it is like a brake job and screw me with the costs of CV and bearings?

John
I'm not familiar with the limits of that warranty, but I would guess the front diff and CV's would be covered, especially since you don't have a lift... ?? Even if it's not covered, I would certainly call Toyota corporate and give them an earful. Judging from other TW member experiences, worst case scenario is Toyota would meet you half way on replacement cost.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacoma89 View Post
Here is a link to krookz truck with some clunking noise

http://youtu.be/o4Yf2osrEcY
^^ very interesting. Thanks for posting that. I will have to give that a try and see what mine does...
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:35 AM   #14
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texoma View Post
Vibe is now back. Very upset. 2 months into new diff and cvs, now something is seriously wrong.
This is crazy. I to have had the vibe come back after getting a NEW Diff from the dealer.

All was quite for about two months after the new Diff.

The whole problem started when I put the Billy's on the truck IMMEDIATELY on the way from the installer of the shocks on the way to the alignment shop the sound started and was terrible.


I'm going to now:

1)Change the setting from 1.75 back to stock (more money)will it go away?

2)Buy BFG mudders so I cant hear it anymore

3)Turn up the radio

4)Accidentally leave the truck running in the parking lot of a convenience store in a REAL rough neighborhood at 12:00 A.M. at night.

This is my second Tacoma and now the last.I just think that a 1.75" lift is such a (Minimal) modification and amazed the truck cant even handle it!

I could have stayed with American and had these problems.
Pardon me for being negative but life is WAY too short to be messing around with crap like this.I have far too many more important things to do than chase my own tail.

I'm done with Toyota.....

Good luck
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonataco View Post
This is crazy. I to have had the vibe come back after getting a NEW Diff from the dealer.

All was quite for about two months after the new Diff.
That sucks.

Curious -- did the dealer replace the CV axle when the diff was replaced or did they just do the diff?

Sorry to hear that you got the vibes again. The more I read the more it seems that a lot of people share the same story as you -- vibes returning after diff replacement. WHY hasn't Toyota issued a TSB/recall for this??
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:58 AM   #16
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update on my diff prob

My local dealership(Tri county Toyota) has called their tech support and is going to be replacing the diff and cv's again. They told me that tech support told them that the diff and cv's must not have been paired up correctly. So on tuesday they are recieving the correctly paired parts. Hopefully this is the actual fix for this. It seems like this would be a logical explanation for this problem. I will post again when I go and get my truck back on tuesday and I will pull as much info out of those guys as possible.
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:06 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texoma View Post
My local dealership(Tri county Toyota) has called their tech support and is going to be replacing the diff and cv's again. They told me that tech support told them that the diff and cv's must not have been paired up correctly. So on tuesday they are recieving the correctly paired parts. Hopefully this is the actual fix for this. It seems like this would be a logical explanation for this problem. I will post again when I go and get my truck back on tuesday and I will pull as much info out of those guys as possible.
good luck!! one more time, and i would drive the truck thru the showroom door.

crazy how this happens. i have a gentle 2" lift, and no issues. i've lifted the truck about a year ago..and maybe 20,000 miles. lucky i guess.

i do have $$ put aside should this go sideways.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:16 AM   #18
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Hi Guys,
I had my front diff replaced back in March of this year, and the vibration is back. I brought it back to the same dealership, and they immediately got a new diff on order. I asked them if they had any info on this issue, and it seems like I'm the only one in the area here that has brought this issue to their attention. I had them give me the serial # of the new diff and it was made 1 month after the one currently on my truck. Knowing that they are most likely the same exact design with the same bearings, etc., I didn't want to have it installed without further investigation on Toyota's part. I contacted Toyota USA and they are sending a tech out on Thursday to inspect and investigate the issue further. I informed the rep that this is not an isolated issue, and that I belong to a forum where there are many people having the same problem. I will be sending Toyota the link to this thread and hopefully they will issue a TSB. I will post an update as to what they decide to do.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobK View Post
Hi Guys,
I had my front diff replaced back in March of this year, and the vibration is back. I brought it back to the same dealership, and they immediately got a new diff on order. I asked them if they had any info on this issue, and it seems like I'm the only one in the area here that has brought this issue to their attention. I had them give me the serial # of the new diff and it was made 1 month after the one currently on my truck. Knowing that they are most likely the same exact design with the same bearings, etc., I didn't want to have it installed without further investigation on Toyota's part. I contacted Toyota USA and they are sending a tech out on Thursday to inspect and investigate the issue further. I informed the rep that this is not an isolated issue, and that I belong to a forum where there are many people having the same problem. I will be sending Toyota the link to this thread and hopefully they will issue a TSB. I will post an update as to what they decide to do.
Now the Rep will come out and blame it on your lift and then they'll say you're SOL. Hope you didn't ruin it for yourself by calling attention to Corp, as it may backfire. Regardless, make sure they replace the cv axle on the driver's side. I bet you'll find marks on it like I had.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:21 PM   #20
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Hi Guys, new to the Tacomas and this website, let me just say that everyone on here disscussing this bearing/ front diff issue has really helped me fiqure out my problem. I read about this topic after work for the past 2 days after my tacoma started having vibration issues. I bought my truck used 3 months ago from a dealer and got a 6 year 60,000 mile warranty. It's a 08 DCSB 3 inch revtek lift, 67,000 miles, TC UCA's and 285 70 17s. Took it in today and the warranty is going to cover it, i bet they might have gave me crap if it wasn't lifted when i bought it from them. The tech told me that the bearing on the driverside was just exploaded and all over the inside of the housing. There going to replace the bearing and the CV shaft. I just hope the new parts will be able to least last another 60k but i'll see. Thanks again for all the great info and tips, this is a killer site!!!

Brett
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