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Just bought a Tacoma. Truck shakes. Curious how much is normal.

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Revel, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Feb 17, 2016 at 10:17 AM
    #1
    Revel

    Revel [OP] New Member

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    Hey guys. I just bought a 2003 Xtra 4sp Auto Prerunner Tacoma! I test drove it but after buying it the more I drive it the more I'm noticing a few things and I'm curious how much is normal vs a problem I should look into. I have been driving a car for 7 years now so I don't know exactly what to expect. Thanks.

    The truck shakes/jitters as it goes down the road. It also will really shake when braking (from speed, not if you are stopping slowly). Also I should point out that you pretty much feel every bump in the road in general.

    How much of this is just the bumpy roads and highways i'm on? One reason I wasn't too worried at first is because I noticed things will be different on a nicely paved road. I'll get up to 45-55 on those roads and things feel much smoother on those nicer roads, including the braking. 55 on some of the highways can be pretty shakey.

    I can't tell if it is a consistent issue or something that comes and goes. I would assume if there was an issue it would be consistent and therefore even across different roads. But it seems that it is not as bad in some places.

    Things I've considered are.

    - Warped rotor/drum (My initial thought. Largely from the stuttering while braking I get. But I don't think I feel a lot of shake in the pedal)
    - Brake sticking
    - Bad shocks (from how much I feel the road in general and how much the truck sways etc..)
    - Alignment - Note: The truck drives straight! I can usually let off the wheel and it doesn't pull. So may be its something more like a warped wheel or a flat area in the tires if the truck sat for a while. The tires are Toyo Open Country A/T
    - Bearings?

    ...A combo of the above....

    Thanks!

    Sucks to do this right after I bought it, but I might take it in to be looked at soon. If anybody knows of a good place for Tacomas in the Raleigh NC area, it's greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Feb 17, 2016 at 1:33 PM
    #2
    KdF

    KdF Old Rednek Type

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    How old are the tires / rotate them to see? Flat areas should wear off after a while, unless the belts are damaged.
    May need the poly bushings in the Steering rack.
    Struts and shocks may need changing.
    Warped rotors maybe, but shaking without braking makes me wonder if that at all.
     
  3. Feb 17, 2016 at 1:37 PM
    #3
    Revel

    Revel [OP] New Member

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    Thanks. The tires appear very new. I have no idea if the truck had been sitting on them in place for a long time.

    I get the feeling that it could be shocks and struts so i'm just feeling everything going on. They (shocks) look... "original". But I'm not sure.
     
  4. Feb 17, 2016 at 3:03 PM
    #4
    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne Well-Known Member

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    Get used to it. It's not a toyota unless it shakes, rattles, and squeaks all over. It may sound/feel like a POS but it'll run forever.
     
    FirstGen Jer and JKU3000 like this.
  5. Feb 17, 2016 at 3:07 PM
    #5
    adrenalnjunky

    adrenalnjunky Well-Known Member

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    Coming from speed, like taking a long off ramp - and you get lightly on the brakes, if you feel shaking in the steering wheel there, you're likely dealing with warped rotor(s) issues. In a lot of cases, getting harder on the brakes that shake goes away.
     
  6. Feb 17, 2016 at 3:09 PM
    #6
    Fenwick1993

    Fenwick1993 Hillbilly

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    It's pretty normal in a first gen to feel every bump and dip in the road- or at least that has been my experience. Still doesn't hurt to check out everything you mentioned, though.
     
  7. Feb 17, 2016 at 3:17 PM
    #7
    SnowroxKT

    SnowroxKT Well-Known Member

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    I'd look at the shocks, front brakes, and maybe springs too.
     
  8. Feb 17, 2016 at 3:21 PM
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    MakoTacoma

    MakoTacoma Well-Known Member

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    If stock suspension/shocks, this gen is notorious for exaggerated bump!! I've read that a quality aftermarket substantially improves the ride.

    Congrats on the purchase!
     
  9. Feb 17, 2016 at 3:47 PM
    #9
    Clay_916

    Clay_916 Well-Known Member

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    Take it to an alignment shop. If it's anything other than rotors they'll be able to spot it (guessing it's just worn steering and suspension components).
     
  10. Feb 17, 2016 at 6:23 PM
    #10
    keakar

    keakar Well-Known Member

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    no shaking is normal so you shouldn't feel any at all. I think its just a lot of neglected undone routine maint that's all.

    first easy step is to borrow a lift if you know someone where you can take it so your not trying to do this in your driveway.

    a tip is, sometimes you can find a muffler shop or small garage who will only charge you a few dollars or a case of beer to use the lift so you can get under there to inspect your truck.

    once the tires are off ground, spin each tire and check for out of round warped tires or bent rims.

    next check each wheel for bad bearings or front end parts like tie rods and ball joints by push and pulling in all 4 directions (12 o'clock / 3 o'clock / 6 o'clock / 9 o'clock.

    next check the carrier bearing, it should have no more then 1/4" of movement or its bad, then check all the u-joints.

    now pull the wheels and check brake pads and check rotors and drums for out of round. if they are warped you will notice they only rub in one spot as they turn instead of lightly dragging all the way around.

    I would bet there will be quit a few things you need to replace after this checkup.
     
  11. Feb 18, 2016 at 9:19 AM
    #11
    Buckoma

    Buckoma Well-Known Member

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    While these trucks do tend to be a bit shaky as they get older, you almost certainly have some worn components. It may not be mission critical, but I'd look into assessing and replacing some parts here and there. With a new-to-you older truck, it's a good idea.

    My top 4 vibration checks:
    tire balance
    center support bearing
    tie rods
    u-joints

    I would also look into new shocks (and maybe even new springs) in the near future if able... it'll ride a lot nicer in general anyway. Based on your description checking the rotors wouldn't hurt, but I doubt it's the rear brakes. New steering bushings can help tighten up some slop, but I seriously doubt that is actually causing your jitters.
     
  12. Feb 18, 2016 at 9:52 AM
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    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    Quick and simple rundown of what I'd look at first.

    Touch the brakes and the steering wheel shimmies, warped rotors or glazed rotors. No shimmy but shaking through the body, glazed drums/shoes.

    No vibration until a certain speed, then vibration, then gone when that speed is exceeded, balance issues. Feel it in the steering wheel it's front axle. In the body, rear axle.

    Bobbing up and down after a bump? Worn shocks. A whole lot of leaning into turns, worn shocks. A real 'thump' when going over a bump, really worn shocks.

    Depending on the severity of warped brake components you may not notice a whole lot through the pedal. Since 'bad shaking' is pretty subjective, no way to really know how 'bad' is when people talk about it. But it's quick and cheap enough to get the 4 tires balanced and the brakes checked.

    A bent or warped wheel will be felt like a balance issue, plus people will pull up next to you at stop lights and tell you it looks like a wheel is about to fall off (personal experience :laugh: )


    These trucks don't ride like caddy's, most trucks don't. And the not fantastic ride will be really noticeable on bad roads.
     
  13. Feb 18, 2016 at 10:06 AM
    #13
    thumper72

    thumper72 Well-Known Member

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    check the rotors and also the ujoints and driveshaft, tires... personally i just bought a 2000 prerunner and had issues also but the truck is now really awesome..have faith and check the leaf springs and front springs to make sure they are still good also mine were shot!! good luck
     
  14. Feb 19, 2016 at 9:46 AM
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    Revel

    Revel [OP] New Member

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    Thanks a lot guys! Great information. I recently noticed that it can get bad between 65-75 mph. So around 70. And then it levels out at 80mph.

    I am having it looked at soon.

    I figured a good chunk of it of it is the nature of the beast, which is fine.
     
  15. Feb 19, 2016 at 10:07 AM
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    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne Well-Known Member

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    The longer you own the truck, you'll start to get better at knowing the difference between a normal shake and a problem.
    Same with squeaks. "Oh that's a normal squeak"... "Oh that's not supposed to be squeaking.... need to fix that soon"

    That kind of thing.
     
  16. Feb 19, 2016 at 10:17 AM
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    Indy

    Indy Master of all I survey.

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    Almost always a tire out of balance in that scenario. Once you hit a certain speed that out of weight chunk will start oscillating pretty bad, spin it faster and it averages back out.
     
  17. Feb 19, 2016 at 10:29 AM
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    thumper72

    thumper72 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah a high speed balance may be needed, I don't recall the name exactly something like road force balanced comes to mind..
     
  18. Feb 19, 2016 at 12:38 PM
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    keakar

    keakar Well-Known Member

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    road force balance just means they squish the tire as it rolls so it simulates getting the weight of the truck pressing down on it, its actually turning a slower speed when balancing but should be more accurate because it more accurately simulates real conditions and finds hard spots (and soft spots) in tires
     
  19. Feb 19, 2016 at 2:01 PM
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    skeezix

    skeezix Well-Known Member

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    >>It's not a toyota unless it shakes, rattles, and squeaks all over.<<

    Too bad for you if that's your experience. I drove my 1998 TRD off the showroom floor and with a bit of routine maintenance it rides like it did that day.
     
  20. Feb 19, 2016 at 6:48 PM
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    fireturk41

    fireturk41 I like to break shit!

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    First get your tires balanced, start cheap first. Second I would guess either your ujoints or carrier bearing may be shot. Best way to check is to replace them, its fairly straight forward and i think ive seen a write up on here about doing both. East coast gear supply should have all the parts. Olivers drive shaft in winston would too but theyd have to ship it. I plan on taking a shaft to them next week to be redone
     

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