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Front vibration: diff bearing vs wheel bearing

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by eeberleeber, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Jan 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM
    #1
    eeberleeber

    eeberleeber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am doubting an initial diagnosis I made regarding front end vibrations in my 05 4x4 that has a 2" lift. Thought it was the front diff bearing that's been discussed on here, but now thinking it could be a wheel bearing.

    Here's the particulars:

    -Pretty much constant vibration from 25mph up, getting louder with speed.
    -vibes have gotten more intense over the last few weeks
    -engaging 4 hi doesn't stop vibration.
    -when I turn to the right slightly, the vibes almost disappear.

    Most folks on the diff bearing vibe threads say 4hi makes the vibe go away. It also seems like theirs is most noticeable between 30-40mph, mine is constant.

    If it's a wheel bearing, am I correct in thinking its the left side, since it gets louder when turning right?

    Am I on the right track here?
     
  2. Jan 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM
    #2
    XXXX

    XXXX Well-Known Member

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    One of my bearings was toast and when I was turning the wheel receiving the weight would get much louder and sound almost like I was driving on a MT.

    That said you don't need anything but some hand tools and a 35mm socket to check and see if the bearing has failed. They are easy to check if blown out so I would start there.
     
  3. Jan 11, 2012 at 4:26 PM
    #3
    undermoneyed

    undermoneyed aka Alley Opp,

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    Jack the truck up. Grab the top and bottom of the tire, push in at the top and pull out at the bottom, reverse the process. It it is your wheel bearing, you should notice some play. HTH.
    Mark
     
  4. Jan 11, 2012 at 7:18 PM
    #4
    eeberleeber

    eeberleeber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I guess a right turn could compress the left side suspension, effectively reducing the lift. So either right wheel bearing or left diff bearing and cv axle.

    Nice odds!
     
  5. Jan 14, 2012 at 10:30 AM
    #5
    eeberleeber

    eeberleeber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Jacked up both front wheels and there's definitely play in the front left. Thanks again for your help!
     
  6. Jan 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM
    #6
    greenrustic

    greenrustic Well-Known Member

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    I think I may have a bad wheel bearing too on the right side. I heard a tah-tah-tah sound that increases or decreases in frequency as I speed up or slow down. I haven't had the chance to jack it up and check for play. Also I heard this right off the lot when I picked the truck up three weeks ago, I though it might go away after I did some miles at this point I have 2000+ and I think its getting worse. What did yours sound like? I am just trying to get some more information before I go back to the dealer and fight the service manager who claims he can't hear it. Anyone have any good ideas?
     
  7. Jan 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM
    #7
    tacomtn

    tacomtn Well-Known Member

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    Mine used a stethoscope and I was able to hear clearly where the grinding was coming from. Why don't more mechanics use these effective simple tools? It so simple its silly.
     
  8. Jan 19, 2012 at 3:42 AM
    #8
    eeberleeber

    eeberleeber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My bad wheel bearing caused a loud hum and very noticable vibration at any speed above 15 mph or so. Definitely check to see whether engaging 4hi stops your noise. Mine did not stop the vibe/hum, which led me away from my incorrect diagnosis of a bad diff bearing.

    Try turning the truck slight to the left and right at road speed, to see if either reduces or eliminates the noise. Jacking it up and checking for play in the wheel is really easy and quick, too.

    Just got my truck back with the new leftside bearing and had my 5100/AAL setup set back to stock height. Didn't want to tempt fate with all the front diff issues folks are having. Nice a quiet now, and I can live with a stocker.
     
  9. Jan 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM
    #9
    eeberleeber

    eeberleeber [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a few left/front wheel bearing threads, ala
    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/technical-chat/7016-left-front-wheel-hub-bearing.html

    Got my bearing sorted out and a new alignment, but now the truck drifts to the left noticably with the hands off the steering wheel. Not that I'm driving hands-free that often. At highway speeds there is no shimmy; she runs smooth. Just wants to pull slightly to the left. I don't have to turn the steering wheel toward the right to keep straight; straight steerer drives straight, but if I let go of the wheel it'll start to turn toward the left.

    Is it possible the new bearing is a little tighter than the older bearing on the right side? I would think a new bearing would be smoother if anything. Since it was just aligned, I'm a little baffled by this.
     
  10. Jan 19, 2012 at 6:13 PM
    #10
    greenrustic

    greenrustic Well-Known Member

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    I would have the alignment checked again. I had a similar experience with my last truck '03 Tacoma 4x4 TRD and it turns out the new alignment I got was no good, I guess they put the new guy on it. Ask around and see who does the best alignments and have them check it out, I found that they body shops were the best source and they all pointed me to the same guy he checked it and fixed it and it was dead on, then go get your money back from the other guys with the print out/report from the good guy.
     
  11. Jan 20, 2012 at 5:51 AM
    #11
    fleabagger

    fleabagger New Member

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    Please report back on your experience at the dealer. I have the same noise, but haven't taken the truck in yet.
     
  12. Jan 25, 2012 at 7:05 PM
    #12
    greenrustic

    greenrustic Well-Known Member

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    Basically I got the run around. Went in today and the sales guy I was hoping to get on my side who sold me the truck doesn't work there any longer so I spoke with another manager who told me I need to talk to Bob the customer relations manager. After waiting for Bob for over an hour I was told that Bob was in a meeting, fifteen minutes later I was told that Bob was in a meeting in a town an 60 miles away and they weren't sure when he would get back. At this point they said I needed to go talk to Dave the deaf service manager, as soon as Dave saw me he said that I need to talk to Bob. I said to the sm Dave I came all this way to deal with this and no one is helping me so come on lets take it for a ride. We went for a ride and of course I can hear the noise plain as day but he can't but he did admit that maybe he doesn't hear as well as I do. I asked if there was someone else who could look at it and he said Bob would get the Toyota Regional Service Rep but that could take a month and I would need to be prepared to leave my vehicle for a while. We went back to the shop and he said he would have Bob call me to set this up but Bob never called so tomorrow I start hounding Bob. In the mean time I had the opportunity to jack the truck up and grab the tire to see if there was any play from top to bottom or side to side, but there was not. I know this is not a definitive wheel bearing test so maybe its the bearing, or maybe its something else. Hopefully Bob will do the right thing if can get him on the phone.
     
  13. Jan 27, 2012 at 5:53 PM
    #13
    greenrustic

    greenrustic Well-Known Member

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  14. Feb 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM
    #14
    greenrustic

    greenrustic Well-Known Member

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    Apparently the noise I am hearing is the Transfer Case Chain. The Toyota Service Rep checked it out even listened with some chassis ears and said that it was normal and all I was hearing was the transfer case chain. We even drove another 2012 Tacoma and I did hear the same noise though it was not as loud. Guess I just have a loud one. Does anyone else hear this noise? Do you think this is plausible?

    Still don't like the noise and know it's gonna drive me crazy for the life of this truck, and of course I think if its a loud one its gonna have some issues later. Time will tell, I'd like to get 200k out this like my last tacoma.
     
  15. Feb 5, 2012 at 5:08 AM
    #15
    fleabagger

    fleabagger New Member

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    Well, that's disappointing. I am planning to take mine in the next couple of weeks, and will report back. From the way you describe it, my truck makes the same noise.
     
  16. Feb 5, 2012 at 8:56 AM
    #16
    greenrustic

    greenrustic Well-Known Member

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  17. Feb 19, 2012 at 2:20 PM
    #17
    greenrustic

    greenrustic Well-Known Member

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    Traced my noise to the rear passenger side wheel. Think its a dragging break but may be a bearing idk but will take it in to a different dealer and lead the to the right wheel. We will see what they say.
     
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