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Old 03-03-2014, 11:51 PM #1
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The dreaded highway shimmy/shake/vibration = fixed

Well, I've found the cure (or what cured mine anyways) to this highway shimmy/shake vibration that many 3rd gens are prone too....


....and that would be to ditch the stock wheels/tires! If I would have know this sooner, I would have purchased different wheels/tires a long time ago. I picked up a local set of FJ wheels/tires this weekend and the highway vibration is completely gone! Mine was rather noticeable at speeds above 60mph but now it is smooth sailing at all speeds. I can FINALLY enjoy commuting now and can do so in some style

Good luck to those that have this same issue. If this didn't fix it I was going to have my stockers road forced balance as I've heard that will help as well.

edit: Before buying these new to me FJ wheels/tires, I had the following done or checked: I replaced the front rotors and pads, had NTB balance the wheels/tires about 6 months prior with no change, inspected the tie rods, u-joints, wheel bearings, and driveshaft, and all looked good/lubricated. I still had the vibration. What fixed mine was removing the stock wheels/tires and replacing them with new to me FJ wheels/tires. I didn't want to spend money tracking down a potential issue with the stock wheels/tires.

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Last edited by Golfinz; 03-04-2014 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:02 AM #2
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your wheels probably werent balanced.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:45 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Farms View Post
your wheels probably werent balanced.
I never had them hunter road forced balanced but I did have ntb rotate and balance them twice and both times the vibration was still there
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:21 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Farms View Post
your wheels probably werent balanced.
Yup, there wasn't anything wrong with your wheels, just poor balancing or bad tires.

This isn't a cure for shake. Typically shake is either warped rotors (if it shakes under braking), or a bad u-joint (if it shakes under acceleration). Anyway, the cure for your shaking was probably actually to either get them balanced better, or to replace the bad tire. Don't blame it on the stock wheels though (unless you hit a curb and bent the wheel or something like that).
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:27 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelsonmd View Post
Yup, there wasn't anything wrong with your wheels, just poor balancing or bad tires.

This isn't a cure for shake. Typically shake is either warped rotors (if it shakes under braking), or a bad u-joint (if it shakes under acceleration). Anyway, the cure for your shaking was probably actually to either get them balanced better, or to replace the bad tire. Don't blame it on the stock wheels though (unless you hit a curb and bent the wheel or something like that).
Nope, rotors and pads are new because I replaced them, the tires had never been patched and were worn evenly, the truck had never been offroad, and according to ntb, they were "balanced." It also didn't matter if I was accelerating or decelerating, the shake was there, which would eliminate the u-joints.

Any other "this isn't a cure" comments? I investigated all possible items (except for getting the wheels/tires hunter road forced balanced) and changed out my stock wheels/tires for an FJ set and the shake is completely gone. Seems like a fix to me....
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:17 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfinz View Post
Nope, rotors and pads are new because I replaced them, the tires had never been patched and were worn evenly, the truck had never been offroad, and according to ntb, they were "balanced." It also didn't matter if I was accelerating or decelerating, the shake was there, which would eliminate the u-joints.

Any other "this isn't a cure" comments? I investigated all possible items (except for getting the wheels/tires hunter road forced balanced) and changed out my stock wheels/tires for an FJ set and the shake is completely gone. Seems like a fix to me....
You missed my point... If there was something wrong with your wheels, like they were bent or otherwise damaged, then yes, replacing the wheel would fix it. They way you phrased it makes it sound like there is some defect in the stock wheels that makes them unbalanced, so other people should just replace their crappy stock wheels for better ones, and their vibration will go away (obviously assuming it isn't a u-joint or rotors), which isn't true and is why I said that isn't a solution.

Taking u-joints and rotors out of the equation, I am not sure what the "highway shimmy/shake vibration that many 3rd gens are prone too...." is. It seems to me that most of the time it's either brakes, driveshaft, or unbalanced tires (or occasionally the pinion bearing). This is the first time I have heard of the wheels themselves taking the blame.

When you replaced the wheels, did you move the same tires over to the FJ wheels, or are you now running new wheels AND tires. If you're running new wheels and tires, then you haven't eliminated poor balancing as a cause. NTB may say they're balanced, but they also said my steering was aligned, when my steering wheel has to be turned 20 to go straight.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:33 PM #7
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It is clear that you fixed the problem. The question is, "What was the root cause?" It could have been:
1. A bent wheel(s). In that case - good you replaced it but might not have had to buy 4.
2. A tire or tires not balanced correctly. Sounds like you let the tire folks take a couple shots at it without success.
3. A tire or tires not mounted correctly. You can end up with a wheel that takes a lot of weight at more than one location per side to balance it. Most of the guys at the tire shop just keep putting weights on the wheel until they get a green reading. I had this issue after 40,000 miles on a set of tires and Roadforce balancing helped identify the problem I removed the tire, cleaned the built up corrosion from the bead area of the rim and remounted it. The wheel balanced using very little weight and the problems was solved.

I would hate to leave folks with the impression that you have to replace all your wheels to solve this problem.....expensive.....

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Old 03-04-2014, 12:50 PM #8
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Correct me if I am wrong but in addition to the above, couldn't these factors also give you the shimmy at highway speeds?

Worn tie rod ends
Wheel bearings
Worn lower ball joint?
No front tire
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:56 PM #9
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In general, Poosker, you are correct....but the OP said he changed the wheels and it went away. Trying to stay focused on the facts.

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Old 03-04-2014, 01:30 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelsonmd View Post
You missed my point... If there was something wrong with your wheels, like they were bent or otherwise damaged, then yes, replacing the wheel would fix it. They way you phrased it makes it sound like there is some defect in the stock wheels that makes them unbalanced, so other people should just replace their crappy stock wheels for better ones, and their vibration will go away (obviously assuming it isn't a u-joint or rotors), which isn't true and is why I said that isn't a solution.

Taking u-joints and rotors out of the equation, I am not sure what the "highway shimmy/shake vibration that many 3rd gens are prone too...." is. It seems to me that most of the time it's either brakes, driveshaft, or unbalanced tires (or occasionally the pinion bearing). This is the first time I have heard of the wheels themselves taking the blame.

When you replaced the wheels, did you move the same tires over to the FJ wheels, or are you now running new wheels AND tires. If you're running new wheels and tires, then you haven't eliminated poor balancing as a cause. NTB may say they're balanced, but they also said my steering was aligned, when my steering wheel has to be turned 20 to go straight.
I am merely providing another avenue to explore. All parts on my rig looked great and I was still left with the highway shake and it turned out to be either the wheels or tires. I did not move the 16" tires from my stockers to the 17" FJ wheel...tried but they wouldn't fit The tires on the FJ wheels were already mounted from the previous owner. He upgraded to a TRD set for his FJ

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Originally Posted by Buckaroo View Post
It is clear that you fixed the problem. The question is, "What was the root cause?" It could have been:
1. A bent wheel(s). In that case - good you replaced it but might not have had to buy 4.
2. A tire or tires not balanced correctly. Sounds like you let the tire folks take a couple shots at it without success.
3. A tire or tires not mounted correctly. You can end up with a wheel that takes a lot of weight at more than one location per side to balance it. Most of the guys at the tire shop just keep putting weights on the wheel until they get a green reading. I had this issue after 40,000 miles on a set of tires and Roadforce balancing helped identify the problem I removed the tire, cleaned the built up corrosion from the bead area of the rim and remounted it. The wheel balanced using very little weight and the problems was solved.

I would hate to leave folks with the impression that you have to replace all your wheels to solve this problem.....expensive.....

Buckaroo
Not sure of the root cause, but it appears mine was caused by either a wheel or tire issue. I thought I was clear enough in my OP that stated I replaced my stock wheel/tire setup with a new to me wheel tire setup from an FJ. I'm glad I spent the $500 on the FJ wheel/tire setup vs spending money trying to track down an issue with the stockers. Now I have a better looking rig, imho, along with no hwy shake. Win win

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Originally Posted by papapoopski View Post
Correct me if I am wrong but in addition to the above, couldn't these factors also give you the shimmy at highway speeds?

Worn tie rod ends
Wheel bearings
Worn lower ball joint?
No front tire
The last one made me laugh. I looked at what you listed and all appeared to be in good shape so I didn't spend money chasing those down.

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Originally Posted by Buckaroo View Post
In general, Poosker, you are correct....but the OP said he changed the wheels and it went away. Trying to stay focused on the facts.

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Old 03-04-2014, 02:01 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papapoopski View Post
Correct me if I am wrong but in addition to the above, couldn't these factors also give you the shimmy at highway speeds?

Worn tie rod ends
Wheel bearings
Worn lower ball joint?

No front tire
not usually. they may exhibit other traits, but not normally high speed vibrations.


also, stock Toyota wheels are notorious for being hard to balance.
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:35 PM #12
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I bought my 2002 Runner new. I had a hell of a time with the tires/wheels. Neither the Dealer of Discount Tire could balance the damn things.

First, I got rid of the crap Dunlap tires and put a set of Michelin M/S tires on and still had balancing problems. Next step was to replace the Stock wheels on both my Runner and my Wife's Tacoma. -> Problem solved!!!

Also, most 3rd Gen owners on Yota Tech were replacing the stock 4-Runner wheels because of the balance issue back around 2002-2004. That used to be one of the first Mods back then.

It cracks me up to see how much trouble members here now go through to find the original wheels for their 3 gens.. Maybe the Balancing systems have improved to where they can be balanced these days.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:04 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevada View Post
not usually. they may exhibit other traits, but not normally high speed vibrations.


also, stock Toyota wheels are notorious for being hard to balance.
Quote:
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I bought my 2002 Runner new. I had a hell of a time with the tires/wheels. Neither the Dealer of Discount Tire could balance the damn things.

First, I got rid of the crap Dunlap tires and put a set of Michelin M/S tires on and still had balancing problems. Next step was to replace the Stock wheels on both my Runner and my Wife's Tacoma. -> Problem solved!!!

Also, most 3rd Gen owners on Yota Tech were replacing the stock 4-Runner wheels because of the balance issue back around 2002-2004. That used to be one of the first Mods back then.

It cracks me up to see how much trouble members here now go through to find the original wheels for their 3 gens.. Maybe the Balancing systems have improved to where they can be balanced these days.
Boom! That was exactly what I suspected! I am definitely glad I did not waste my time and money trying to fix other things and still have the issue.

For $500 I got a perfect set of wheels/tires and no highway vibration. Best money I've spent on this thing yet!
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:49 PM #14
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I know this rim balance issue occurred on 16" Split 3 spoke / pizza cutter, but was it the same on 5 star or coke bottle design as well?

OP, which rim did you have?
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:58 PM #15
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Here's what I had. Even with these Michelin tires they would not balance.
This was taken around November 2002. Right before I replaced the wheels.

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