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5100's Installed on 2005 4x4 0.85 Setting w/ Vibration

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:44 PM   #1
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5100's Installed on 2005 4x4 0.85 Setting w/ Vibration

I recently bought and installed the Bilstein 5100's all the way around on my 2005 TRD Sport DC 4x4. The rears went perfectly fine, with no issues. I do not have the TSB leafs.

The fronts took some work, but I eventually got them done. I set them at the 0.85 setting to level out the truck. I disconnected the sway bar and steering tie rods (removed the ball with a pitman tool), in order to access the shock assembly, replaced with the new assembly, and reinstalled and torqued everything to specifications.

After the install, I noticed a low speed vibration in the drivetrain. From about 20-40, there is a slight vibration felt through the floor/gas pedal. It isn't horrible, just slightly annoying. It goes completely away if I switch into 4HI, and returns when going out of 4HI.

I got BFG 265/70-17 TA KO's installed, and an alignment (toe on drivers side was only off a little less than a degree, and that was it). Vibration still exists.

Not sure what to think at this point. It is not cyclic with the wheel turning, so leads me to believe it may be between the xfer case and front diff, but I know little about such things. It's not a constant vibration, but has a cycle to it that changes with speed. CV boots seem to look ok. I have never greased the drive shafts with 120,000 miles, perhaps that needs to be done.

I wouldn't think this minor of a lift in the front would have caused this, but here I am. Anyone have any suggestions? Everything I've searched seems to be for higher lifts, like 1.5 and higher settings on the 5100's.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
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did you do an alignment and is every at tq spec? Any lift requires an aligment
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:21 AM   #3
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Yep, as mentioned in my post. Torqued everything to manual specs, and had an alignment done the following day. Vibration was there before swapping tires, and before/after alignment.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:03 AM   #4
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This is a very common result of lifting our trucks. Install a driver side front differential bushing to replace the factory bearing and you'll be good. ECGS sells the bushing and a puller that will be needed to extract the stock bearing.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:16 AM   #5
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^^ this - I just installed them at 1.75 and got the same vib... the diff drop helped but I need to do the bushing...
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:37 PM   #6
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Wow, interesting. So that's the only fix? Looks a lot more involved than I was hoping to get. But it would also cost me another $92 and a lot of labor to put the shocks back at 0... I can't believe these trucks can't take less than an inch lift.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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Would the diff drop be easier? I've heard they can cause their own problems...
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:50 PM   #8
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A diff drop is much easier, but will not fix the vibrations.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:10 PM   #9
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Did you do the bushing install? What did you think? It doesn't look too terrible, except I know my impact won't fit on the UCA ball joint (maybe need a universal socket joint). The scary part would be getting the bearing out, and pushing the bushing in... I also wonder about longevity of the bushing, since its been out less than a year.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:28 AM   #10
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I did it myself in about 4 hours. I would rate it at 7/10 difficulty ( gauging againt the front suspension install at 5/10 ). I have no font end vibes with about 2.5 inches if lift.

Rent a slide hammer with a single hook attachment to pull the C V. Hose clamp the hook to the CV body. Mine came out pretty easy using this method.

Get the ECGS bearing puller. Take your time and this step goes pretty easy.

I would get a race driver to install the bushing. I used a socket installed backwards on an extension. Worked, but not well.

If you replace the oil seal get a length of 2" pvc with a coupling on the end to drive the new one in. Go slow and don't drive it in crooked or too far.

If you did the front suspension, you can do this.

I removed the lower ball joint from the spindle, not the top ball joint. Your choice of course.

I've seen guys report over 50,000 miles on the bushing with no problems. I only have about 1000 currently.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:41 AM   #11
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Thanks for the reply with details. The suspension install wasn't bad once I knew what to do, just frustrating that I didn't know everything going in, and wasted a couple hours figuring it out.

I'll mull this over and take a look at the tools you've suggested to see if I want to attempt it. Really appreciate the response!
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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So you mention removing the lower ball joint from the spindle, did you have to remove the caliper, rotor, and hub, or were you able to pull the hub end of the CV out by just removing the lower ball joint? I watched a YouTube video of a guy replacing the needle bearing, and he removed all of that stuff, plus the steering tie rod.

I checked the play in the bearing, and it looks like it does in the ECGS demonstration video, lots of up/down play, compared to the passenger side, which has hardly any.

Did you drain the front diff, or just top it off when you were done? Seems like it might be less messy to just drain and refill it, although I already have Royal Purple in it.

Thanks for the tip on the oil seal. Might as well replace that while I'm in there, for only $15. Just hope that my CV joint doesn't fail like 2 weeks later, and have to do all this again.

While this looks more difficult, I'm still weighing if it is worth having the truck level or not. I'm not running larger tires, but it would still cost me about $100 to lower the strut back down to 0. In the end, this is probably a worthwhile upgrade, considering the amount of play in the bearing.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #13
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Removed the caliper and rotor...yes. be careful with the ABS sensor and wire.

Remove the sway bar and tie rod from the spindle.

Leave the hub attached to the spindle. Remove the axle nut, and the hub/spindle will slide over the outer end of the axle. Bungee everything back out of the way and continue with removing the CV axle assembly from the differential (slide hammer).

I just topped off the oil when done (didn't loose much).

It is easy to drive the seal in too far. Be careful.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #14
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Is the axle nut fairly large? Just wondering if I have a big enough socket/wrench.

I didn't realize the removal tool was $60 itself. Seems a little high for what it is, but looks like it would be difficult to make one with the right diameter piece for going behind the bearing. Guess I can order it, and maybe sell it on ebay or the forums, after I'm done...hopefully I wouldn't need it again.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:09 AM   #15
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IIRC the axle nut is 32mm. 172 ft-lbs.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:29 AM   #16
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IIRC the axle nut is 32mm. 172 ft-lbs.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #17
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Thanks. I'll just pick up a cheap socket at Northern Tool for that.

Any chance that maybe the driver's side CV came out of the front diff while working on the shocks? Seems unlikely, just still don't see this happening with a less than 1" lift.

Secondly, I was browsing through the service manual, and am just confused. Why does this bearing only present an issue on the driver's side, when the passenger side has an identical bearing?

I should have my bushing and tool tomorrow, so am hoping to get this done this weekend, to prevent putting any more miles on this thing with it in this condition. Gotta go see what kind of slide hammer Advance Auto can loan me...
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:50 PM   #18
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Just like to thank you, sir, for the wonderful directions. Got this done today, and took me about 6 hours with a few breaks, and 2 trips to Ace Hardware, which could have been prevented, had I just went ahead and purchased the hose clamp and 2" PVC pipe coupler from the get go.

I was able to borrow the slide hammer, pitman arm puller, and axle nut socket set from Advance Auto, and a race bearing and seal driver from O'Riley's. the axle nut set was a great idea, because it was free.99, and it also contained 4 sizes of impact sockets. The Tacoma's axle nut actually is 36mm, but debating on if it might be 35mm, because the 36 fit loose, but worked, but the 34 wouldn't fit at all, but was close.

Once I used the hose clamp with the hook attachment on the slide hammer, the axel came out with a few slides. The hardest part was probably getting the bearing out. My tool from ECGS seemed to be a bit large. I couldn't get the nut piece behind the bearing no matter how hard I tried, or tried to use a punch and hammer. After 6+ failed attempts, I removed it, and looked at the back of the nut. Noticed a few scoring marks right in the very edge, where the bearing was being hammered on. Took my file to the back side of the nut, and removed the scoring marks, and rounded off the corners a bit, so that perhaps it would side by the bearing. Couple more attempts, and it slid right in, without even using a hammer. Then it was hard to know of the bearing was coming out with the tool or not, because my all thread was spinning, but it worked.

Getting the bushing in was also difficult, to make sure it was straight. Even with a race driver, that was hard. The bushing is a tight fit.

I replaced the oil seal too, and that also turned into a job. A buddy came over and he was doing a lot of googling, when he came across a posting that you should just take a pair of vice grips to them, until you pop the thing out. Worked pretty well, after pulling with it in about 3 places. It finally came loose. Then the trip to get the 2" PVC coupler and coupler end (used that to stick in the other side of the coupler to use my dead blow hammer on. Worked perfectly.

I then just used the old axel nut and socket to hammer the axel back in, and put everything else back together. Filled the diff back up with oil and checked the play on the CV axel, way less. Took it for a spin this evening, and the vibrations are completely gone.

So glad this worked. It is probably the hardest car work I have ever done, but with all the right tools and knowledge, I was able to pull it off.

I thought about keeping the removal tool, in case I ever had to remove the bushing, but think ill just buy another one if I need to down the road, so I think I'll sell it.

Now time for the 30,000 mile service interval...
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:31 AM   #19
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Glad it worked out and fixed the vibes!

I agree. It was more difficult to do this than I had anticipated.

I had to grind a little off my puller too. I'm not sure you could use the puller again to change the bushing. It is longer than the bearing and there is less room for the puller to be inserted. Hopefully we won't need to change it again.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:42 PM   #20
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Lol, I was actually thinking the same thing after I got it in there. I noticed the bearing was inserted a little more than flush, but think you're right, still less room. Hope you're right too.
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