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Front End Vibration -- Can't be new wheel bearings...right?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by SpeedwayBlues, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Feb 6, 2018 at 7:22 PM
    #1
    SpeedwayBlues

    SpeedwayBlues [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I had a vibration in the front end from 40+ mph that turned out to both left and right wheel bearings (dealer confirmed when they did the driveshaft u-joint warranty work). I ended up getting new hub/bearing assemblies from Marion bumper2bumper and just put them in last week. I watched a lot of the how-to's on youtube and got some pointers from Bill over the phone so the install process went pretty smooth. Hardest part was getting the spindle off to get at the inner seals. The rest was pretty straight forward. After hand tightening the spindle nut and putting everything back together, I popped the center cap off the wheel, put it back on, lowered the truck so the tire was on the floor enough not to slip(but not putting the whole weight of the truck on it) and torqued them to 173 ft-lbs with a big fat torque wrench I bought off Amazon. All of the other bolts were torqued to spec too, right down to the lug nuts.

    Test drive went well that night, up to 55 mph, and I thought everything was good until the next day when I got it up to 65. Then I felt a deep hum and vibration coming from the front that was proportional to speed up till 75 (didn't want to go any faster). Slowed down to 60 and it went away. It doesn't feel the same as the vibration from the old bearings. Here are the symptoms:
    • Proportional to speed over 65
    • doesn't change with quick lane changes . The highway around me is pretty straight so that's about the most I can do. Even then it was raining pretty good so I didn't get too aggressive. I might have to find a good on-ramp.
    • doesn't change on asphalt vs concrete
    • doesn't change in 4WD vs 2WD
    • doesn't change w/ acceleration, deceleration, or coasting in neutral
    • no vibration in the steering wheel
    • truck brakes smooth and straight
    • wheel bearing assemblies are pre-fab'd and pre-greased
    • old ones were very loose and you could spin them easily by hand. New ones are tight (but felt about the same as the ones on my car when it was new).
    • new u-joints installed by dealer a month ago
    • new center bearing on driveshaft done by dealer at the same time as the recall.
    • I didn't see any damage to the CV boots, but the passenger side CV shaft was a little reluctant to come off the old hub, and didn't go back in as smooth as the driver's side. But if there's no difference in 4H, would they be a culprit?

    • haven't had the truck aligned yet after taking everything apart. I figured everything went right back together at the hub, so not a huge need like if I did the struts or something. Plus I found a ripped tie rod boot when I was doing the work, so figure I'd get that done after I replace both sides this week.
    • haven't tried rotating the tires yet
    Not sure what else to try at this point. Any other suspects? Could it be the torque wrench is off right out of the box and I actually over tightened them?
     
  2. Feb 6, 2018 at 7:24 PM
    #2
    Stig

    Stig Resident smartass

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    could be the junk needle bearing in the front diff... ECGS bushing will fix that vibration.

    OR

    Could be "just how trucks are supposed to drive" according to Toyota.
     
    327 likes this.
  3. Feb 8, 2018 at 6:56 PM
    #3
    SpeedwayBlues

    SpeedwayBlues [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'm going to have to dig into that a little more. I'm going to do the tie rods tomorrow night, anything I should take a look at while I'm in there?
     
  4. Feb 8, 2018 at 8:05 PM
    #4
    Tcomaboy

    Tcomaboy Well-Known Member

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    It might be your rear wheel bearing. A few years ago I had a humming noise I thought was coming from my front end whenever I was 60+ mph. Truck drove fine, no shake in the steering wheel, everything seemed fine. Turns out it was actually the rear passenger wheel bearing. Swapped it out and no more humming.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2018 at 4:01 AM
    #5
    SpeedwayBlues

    SpeedwayBlues [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious. Tires needed balancing. It was weird because I've had tires out of balance before and they usually feel a lot worse than this was, at a lot slower. Saturday morning while I had it at a shop for the alignment, I had them do a diagnostic ($57 fee, not too bad) and they found everything was in great shape. They even put a stethoscope on the wheel bearings and the differentials and everything sounded good. Mechanic was dead sure it had to be a tire out of balance, since there weren't any other suspects. We'd never had the tires balanced on the truck since bought it 2 years ago, so said sure why not. Smooth as glass at 80 now.

    Man, I'm glad it wasn't a rear wheel bearing. That swap looks like a bear, especially w/ having to reassemble all the springs and linkages in the drum brakes. I've done worse (ball joints on a Mercedes -- Why can't germans learn just because it's complicated doesn't mean it's sophisticated), but still looks like no fun.
     

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