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2.4 2RZ-FE - how much vibration is 'normal'?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas' started by Johnson Rod, May 29, 2012.

  1. May 29, 2012 at 5:17 PM
    #1
    Johnson Rod

    Johnson Rod [OP] New Member

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    Rob
    Tampa, FL
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    Hi all...first post for me. I need help as I'm starting to think that I'm chasing a ghost. I picked up a 96 2.4 Tacoma (2wd, auto, regular cab) a couple months ago. It needed some work...but I intend to be the truck's last owner and I enjoy pretending to be a mechanic after I leave my cubicle every day....so the time and expense are not a problem though I certainly don't want to dump money into it just for fun.

    Bottom line question I'm trying to figure out: how much engine vibration is normal on this motor? Specifically after the engine is hot and the truck is stopped in drive. I feel, and visibly see, what I consider to be excessive vibration. The hood shakes pretty violently, the steering wheel shakes, drinks in the cup holder stay well-mixed, and the view through the rear view mirror is pretty blurry. Shift into neutral and it all goes away....becomes nice and smooth.

    I don't want this post to turn into a novel - but I assume I'll be asked about what I've already done...

    Brand new Toyota parts: rotor, cap, plug wires, plugs, fuel filter
    New exhaust - including the manifold and all the way back...new 02 sensors
    New EGR and PCV
    Removed and thoroughly cleaned the throttle body, IAC, and MAF
    All vacuum lines replaced
    Fuel injectors remanufactured (original...I did an R&R through Rock Auto)
    Motor mounts and tranny mount replaced
    The CEL is not on and there are no issues according to he hand-held OBDII scanner I have.

    Hopefully no one goes crazy on me here...as I said...though this list put a big dent in my pocket, I enjoy doing the work as a hobby and since I just got the truck and it was in bad shape, I wanted the piece of mind of going right through it myself.

    After putting on the new mounts on and still having the same vibration, I was frustrated. I actually took the truck to the local dealership. They had the truck for a day and called to tell me they could not find anything wrong. I went back and the tech took a test ride with me. As the first light, the truck was shaking like an old man at Hooters, but the tech said the vibration was normal for the 2RZ-FE. I asked him if it could be the harmonic balancer and he said that he looked at it already and it looks fine. Good news is they didn't charge me a penny for diagnostics.

    The voice in my head is telling me the vibration is enough to do damage (crack my new manifold or something) and I should just replace the balancer to see what happens...of course, I may as well replace the belts while I'm there and fix the very minor leak I have coming from the timing chain cover or crank seal (not sure which one yet). The other part of me (sounds like my wife's voice) is saying 'enough already'. What if I do all of that the vibration is still there. The truck runs fine except for this vibration which may be 'normal'. I don't know how to post a video, or I'd put up a clip showing the vibration as I know it's hard to tell if it's 'normal' or not based upon written description.

    Sorry for this long post from a newbie...I just need help to figure out if I keep chasing this, or accept what I've got and just drive happy.

    Peace.
     
  2. May 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM
    #2
    trmarshall1

    trmarshall1 The Least Interesting Man In The World

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    Tim
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    This probably won't help, but my 98 Taco had the same engine, and I never experienced the kind of violent vibration you described. My first thought was motor mounts, but you replaced those, so:notsure:
     
  3. May 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM
    #3
    Johnson Rod

    Johnson Rod [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I'm having a hard time accepting that this is 'normal' as the tech said. Guess I've gone this far...may as well try replacing the harmonic balancer. I saw a nice post out here somewhere with lots of pictures detailing the steps to replace the belts which will help make the job easier.
     
  4. May 30, 2012 at 2:22 PM
    #4
    trmarshall1

    trmarshall1 The Least Interesting Man In The World

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    Yeah, sorry I couldn't be more help. I'd definitely say not normal.
     
  5. May 30, 2012 at 5:53 PM
    #5
    Ga tacoguy

    Ga tacoguy Well-Known Member

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    :) I can not find out about the 96 4 cylinder engine, but if it is like the 93 that I can read about about, this may help. If the 96 is like the 93, then you may need to adjust your vale clearances. This could make it run rough. You do not seem to have a balance shaft style of engine, so this is not a part of your engine. If your valves are ok, then I would check the automatic transmission. You could have a part inside the tranny causing the imbalance.

    Good Luck.
     
  6. May 31, 2012 at 4:41 AM
    #6
    Johnson Rod

    Johnson Rod [OP] New Member

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    Thanks GA. I did read a thread somewhere that mentioned checking the valve clearances from time to time. The truck has 144k on it and I'm not sure if/when they were adjusted last. Guess it would be easier to try that first rather than swap out the balancer (I did see harmonic balancers online for this truck, so I'm pretty sure it has one), but I hate to do that and find no difference. The tranny shifts really smooth, so I didn't put a lot of thought into that either. Thanks for the reply...I think checking the valves first is a good idea.
     
  7. May 31, 2012 at 4:56 AM
    #7
    rleeharris

    rleeharris "Old Timer," compliments of 11Taco2.7

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    OP, when I first read your post the first thing I thought of was the transmission, not the engine. When we got together, my wife had an old high-mileage Accord that developed a horrible vibration when in gear. It mellowed out as the vehicle went faster but at a stop it was unbearable. We thought it was something in the engine because it shifted/drove fine and gave us the impression it was not the tranny.

    Turned out to be the transmission... had to have the thing rebuilt. Wish I could remember the exact part/culprit. I hope you get this identified and fixed. Good luck with your quest and welcome to TW!
     
  8. May 31, 2012 at 10:18 AM
    #8
    MowTaco

    MowTaco Well-Known Member

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    I have the same engine as you OP and although I wouldn't describe it as a "smooth" running engine I don't think what you are describing is normal. My amatuer guess is that it's transmission/driveline related since it goes away with the tranny in neutral. I wouldn't bother with replacing balance shafts as they don't exist in your engine haha.
     
  9. May 31, 2012 at 3:57 PM
    #9
    Johnson Rod

    Johnson Rod [OP] New Member

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    I didn't really give the tranny a serious thought since it seemed to be shifting smooth, but the fact that the vibration goes away in neutral may point that way. Sounds like I won't spend too much time trying to find the balance shaft : ) However, I'm pretty certain that I do have a harmonic balancer (pulley off the crank that has a rubber seal in it to dampen some of the vibration). I thought that shifting to neutral may be taking the load off the pulley, and thus reducing the vibration. So far it doesn't seem like anyone is telling me that they've had to replace their balancer/damper, so maybe I will bump that down the list if it's not a common problem on this motor. I guess it won't hurt to check the valve clearances as suggested earlier, but assuming the vibration persists, there seem to be some good arguments for having the tranny checked out next.
     
  10. May 31, 2012 at 5:05 PM
    #10
    isu2014

    isu2014 RAT Products

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    View the build. Too much to list.
    My old 96 with the 2.4l used to vibrate the hood and steering wheel pretty good sometimes. It was a stick so I knew it wasn't the transmission.
     
  11. Aug 29, 2012 at 10:02 AM
    #11
    Paychecks Taco

    Paychecks Taco Member

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    Mine has done that since I got it. It's really bad when the RPM drops as the AC kicks in. I raised the idle a tad and it's a bit better.
    Still drives me nuts though.
     
  12. Jul 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM
    #12
    netsomnia

    netsomnia Active Member

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    My 2RZ does it too. After owning a smooth running 22RE, I was a little disappointed but I really like the acceleration and high RPM's of the 2RZ on the highway. Looks of the 5 lugger Tacoma are somewhat deceiving in that respect. I won't ignore the vibrations and will continue to improve through tuning where I can. For example, I have the P0420 and I have heard that after people replaced the downstream O2 sensor, the idle improved. I am aiming for the O2 sensor and replacing NGK sparkplugs with iridium Densos to clear the CEL and hopefully get rid of some of that rough idle even though you already said that didn't help yours. I have a manual transmission.
     
  13. Jul 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM
    #13
    tjent

    tjent Member

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    None yet. Just got it...
    This is for netsomnia.......I just got my 99 2rz with a CEL light on. It was a PO420 code so I put in a new catalytic converter and the CEL went away. The cost and the work load is not really different from swapping out the O2 sensor. Plus a clogged cat will cause vibration and poor performance.
     
  14. Aug 6, 2014 at 5:22 PM
    #14
    netsomnia

    netsomnia Active Member

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    That sounds hopeful. How many miles did your old catalytic converter have on it? I am still concerned that I have not found the root cause of the catalytic converter going out. Although when I bought mine the gaskets at the catalytic converter inlet and outlet were broken and rattling and I had flanges cutoff and welded instead. I did not receive P0420 until after the weld and, at this point, trying to trust the exhaust welder would tell me if he noticed my old cat rattling inside before we he welded on. I hate to burn up another cat prematurely.
     
  15. Aug 9, 2014 at 1:22 PM
    #15
    netsomnia

    netsomnia Active Member

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    Replaced CAT but idle still could be better, I think. I will continue to tune where I can. O2 waveforms look much better. The downstream one isn't following the upstream as bad as it was.
     
  16. Oct 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM
    #16
    upndowntacotown

    upndowntacotown New Member

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    Johnson Rod,

    Man, I can't tell you how long I've tried to track this down on my 1995 2rz fe. I've been working on this for like 4 years. There is actually a super long thread on Yotatech started by me that has lots of folks chiming in and we never solved it. I came across an old timer once that had lots of shade tree mechanic experience and he said it was the torque converter and not to worry about it.

    I've done all the things you said and am now thinking the HB is the culprit as well. I now have a ticking/chirping sound coming from the HB/crank pulley/WP/fan pulley area. I've taken off the AC and PS belts and it changed nothing. So I've got the sound pinned down to the aforementioned area. I plan to stethoscope in more detail soon and see if I can tease it out. I'll update as I progress. Please keep us informed of what you find out as well.

    The HB isn't too expensive but the job seems like a genuine PITA.

    The rubber in the HB is crazy old too.

    Other thoughts?
     
  17. Oct 20, 2014 at 9:37 AM
    #17
    upndowntacotown

    upndowntacotown New Member

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    Hey All,

    If you're done contributing to a thread close it up.

    Johnson Rod, you there, what's the update man.

    So I have to replace my harmonic balancer because it is bad. I've got the bad one off and waiting with bated breath for the new one and a seal and new bolt too.

    I'll update you when I do the replacement and let you know if it fixes the vibration, idle issue we're all facing with this engine.

    What's new from your end? Replaced anything worth mentioning.
     
  18. Oct 20, 2014 at 9:39 AM
    #18
    upndowntacotown

    upndowntacotown New Member

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    Just realized this post started years ago.

    Please wrap up threads. Don't just join up to a forum, gain knowledge, not report back, and disappear.

    Forums help everyone. Keep updates and end threads if you find the solution.
     
  19. Oct 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM
    #19
    offrdmania

    offrdmania Taco Wagon

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    Do a google search, it is a very common issue and as of yet; I have never seen a solution
     
  20. Jan 17, 2015 at 9:16 PM
    #20
    dfowl946

    dfowl946 New Member

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    I have a 2000 Toyota Tacoma with relatively the same issue at idle and just off idle following engine rpm and also causes a higher frequency vibration as the engine is revved in 5th gear coming in at around 65-70 mph. I don't have the exact rpm due to no tach. in truck but is probably around 2500 or above. I notice the rear view mirror shaking looking back at the cars and they are blurry. Is this normal? Did the balancer fix the issue on others?
     
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