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Wandering at highway speeds

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Black Hills Tony, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Aug 30, 2011 at 6:20 AM
    #1
    Black Hills Tony

    Black Hills Tony [OP] Member

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    I replaced my tires about a month ago, and now I've noticed increased wandering when driving on paved roads at highway speeds. It is particularly noticeable when the road has "ruts" worn into it. It's more of an annoyance than a performance or safety issue.

    The change in tires is not the only variable here. The old set of tires were my bridgestone blizzak winter tires mounted on cragar wheels with about .25" less backspace than the stock rims I put the new tires on. The blizzaks were p245/75/16s.

    The new tires are toyo open country a/t LT265/75/16 mounted on the stock wheels.

    I checked the threads concerning steering play. I have some very slight play in the steering slip joint, and some movement in the steering rack when I turn the steering wheel. Neither seem as bad as other people have described (no popping or clunking).

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Aug 30, 2011 at 6:21 AM
    #2
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Very well could be the tires themselves. I noticed more 'wandering' when I swapped out from the 245 series dunlops to a wider 265 series Cooper tire. Did you get the truck aligned when you had the tires replaced?
     
  3. Aug 30, 2011 at 6:27 AM
    #3
    Sport11

    Sport11 Well-Known Member

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    x2 they should have aligned it when you got your tires replaced
     
  4. Aug 30, 2011 at 6:34 AM
    #4
    T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    More caster..............x3 on the alignment with new tires on. Also went with wider tire.
     
  5. Aug 30, 2011 at 7:03 AM
    #5
    pootermobile

    pootermobile Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem when I switched tires. Its believe its because they have a flatter, wider contact patch on the road. I found that if i'd air them up a little more than required( I run 44 psi) on my 285s, that its a little less squishy.
     
  6. Aug 30, 2011 at 7:19 AM
    #6
    bicklebok

    bicklebok Well-Known Member

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    I noticed the same problem when I changed the tires on my car. I verified the air pressure was correct and it was. After a while I just got used to the way it drives and I dont even notice it anymore.
     
  7. Aug 30, 2011 at 7:27 AM
    #7
    Demon Taco

    Demon Taco Well-Known Member

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    maybe the side wall of the tire is more flexible than your original tire set up.different rated tires have different side wall constuction.what about rim width?are they the same.
     
  8. Aug 30, 2011 at 9:19 AM
    #8
    TacoDell

    TacoDell Truck ~n~ Tow

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    fresh tires don't scrub as easily...
    it's likely yer toe setting is off some
    get an alignment done...

    If it still wanders...
    then it could be deteriorated(loose) rack mnt bushings or ITRE play
     
  9. Aug 30, 2011 at 9:22 AM
    #9
    bicklebok

    bicklebok Well-Known Member

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    Plus one
     
  10. Aug 30, 2011 at 6:55 PM
    #10
    Black Hills Tony

    Black Hills Tony [OP] Member

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    hmmm...last alignment was in july 2009 after I put bilstein 5100s on. I put the front coil over setting on the middle setting (.75" lift over stock?) which made the handling kind of tweeky untill I got an alignment done.

    I think I'm probably due for another alignment. If that fixes the wandering, cool. If not, at least it should help my tires last longer. Like some posted, I might just get used to it.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  11. Aug 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM
    #11
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    Pressure?

    I had Toyo ATs and they worked great... I don't recall what I ran them, but they probably work best about 5 psi or a tad more under their max. listed pressure, but likel;y more than the door jam pressure which was for the soft Rugged Fails or whatever yours came with, new?
     
  12. Aug 30, 2011 at 9:04 PM
    #12
    Digiratus

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    Billies for the 1st gens don't have a .75 setting. If you used the middle setting, its 1.25".

    If you are running the stock coils, that lift should allow a decent caster alignment. If you are running aftermarket coils (eibachs or OMEs) then that may be some of the issue you are having.

    More that 2.5" over stock will reduce or eliminate altogether, the ability to get a reasonable caster setting. Wandering at highway speeds is an indicator of a low caster setting.
     
  13. Apr 15, 2012 at 7:52 AM
    #13
    Black Hills Tony

    Black Hills Tony [OP] Member

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    Ok,
    so I just swapped out my winter tires (245/75/16 michelin LTX winter 10PR) for the Toyo ATs again. I had no wander issues with the michelins (they are 245s on different rims, so it's not exactly apples to apples).

    I've been experimenting with different tire pressures.

    When I run the toyos at the door-jam recommended pressures (26 front, 29 rear), they handle fine on the highway. I jacked them up to 57 front and rear, and found that it wandered like crazy. I had originally intended to jack them up to just shy of the max tire pressure of 80, but my tire pressure gauge only goes up to 60. It's probably good that I didn't test 80 psi considering the wandering 57 psi caused while passing on a two lane highway at 85 mph (a bit sketchy and a lot stupid, but it was in the name of science!).

    Next I'm gonna take the fronts back down to the recommended 26 psi, and keep the rears up at around 45. After all, the primary reason I wanted to use higher pressures is for hauling firewood.
     
  14. Apr 15, 2012 at 8:01 AM
    #14
    Black Hills Tony

    Black Hills Tony [OP] Member

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    Nope, I'm running stock trd springs. I had an alignment done a few weeks after putting the billies on back in 2009. It was a big improvement at the time, and I didn't have any issues with highway handling for the past three years until I switched to the toyos.
     
  15. Apr 15, 2012 at 8:54 AM
    #15
    JdevTac

    JdevTac Negative Ghostrider

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    It probably wouldn't hurt to have an alignment done if you've been switching out tires and your last alignment was in 2009.

    I had a 2002 4Runner that really pulled, had it aligned but then found out it ended up being a screwed up axle and axle housing, something the used car dealer failed to acknowledge, either on purpose or just from not knowing. But the main sign from that was really awful/weird tire wear from the tires basically riding half sideways down the highway. Also the ride was very bouncy/rumbly more than normal.

    So it could be a number of factors, but at least a tire alignment will give you a piece of mind?
     
  16. Apr 16, 2012 at 7:08 AM
    #16
    T@co_Pr3runn3r

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    I have noticed on my 2 2nd gens from regular alignments since I buy 3 yr alignments, that the toe is notorious for not staying put and a coupla times the camber had to be adjusted too. This wasn't from any kind of extreme driving, lift or tire setup either.
     
  17. Apr 16, 2012 at 8:45 AM
    #17
    natemoore2088

    natemoore2088 Well-Known Member

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    After your alignment, be aware that wider tires will always wander more than skinnier tires. They have more surface contact with the road and tend to follow ruts more aggressively.
     
  18. Apr 26, 2012 at 4:57 AM
    #18
    Black Hills Tony

    Black Hills Tony [OP] Member

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    thanks folks,
    I'll post again after I get an alignment
     
  19. May 16, 2012 at 6:37 AM
    #19
    Black Hills Tony

    Black Hills Tony [OP] Member

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    finally got an alignment. They said the right wheel way out of proper toe (it needed more toe-in). That was them main problem. They also had to make small adjustments to the camber. Bottom line: no more wandering at highway speeds. Thanks for the tips everyone!
     
  20. Jul 7, 2012 at 8:11 AM
    #20
    mmiller2002

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    Old thread, I know.

    I have an 04 double cab 2WD that wanders. What are good rules of thumb for a street handling alignment? I know what's good on my Subaru WRX for the track, but know nothing about trucks. i.e. zero toe all around, -X degrees negative camber up front, etc.

    Everything seems tight underneath, and I have new tires. Is the Taco known for this?

    Thanks!
     
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