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Old 09-15-2020, 12:01 PM #1
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Loose front end or brakes

Been driving my new-to-me rig for a few days now and have started to notice a few things.

When I'm at speed I notice little nudges in the steering wheel like the car wants to go a little to the left or right and doesn't really just want to keep going straight. It's not a constant pull, just little nudges in the wheel that I need to actively correct.

When braking it seems to want to pull to one side. Sometimes it's to the left, sometimes the right, sometimes not at all. At first I thought it was just ruts in the road but it seems to be happening enough that it might not be.

At highway speeds I'm noticing some vibrations. Seems to vibrate around 60 mph and again around 70 mph.

I've been driving a newer Audi for the last couple of years so at first I just attributed it to getting used to "truck handling" but now I'm not so sure. I'm going to try and inspect some suspension points...lower ball joints, tie rods, control arms, wheel bearings to see if anything is loose. But I know the last owner put brakes on it less than 500 miles ago so I'm wondering if it could be a hanging caliper or something. My gut is saying it's going to be lower ball joints but I just wanted to see what the collective thinks.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:21 PM #2
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You are going in the right track. lower balll joints need to be changed 100k miles or more frequently if off roading. The lower control arm bushings could be worn. The inner tie rods worn or the steering rack assembly.. I would replace the rack then just do the inner tie rods which is a better bang for the buck. It will tighten up your front end. Hopefully help with the vibraitons. Diagnosing vibration on my runner has become a part time job of mine they disappear after each intervention and it's good for a while but reappear just when you are feeling like you fixed your issue.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:23 PM #3
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sounds like some sticking brake calipers as well. notorious problem on 3rd gens
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:12 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texadelphia View Post
Been driving my new-to-me rig for a few days now and have started to notice a few things.

When I'm at speed I notice little nudges in the steering wheel like the car wants to go a little to the left or right and doesn't really just want to keep going straight. It's not a constant pull, just little nudges in the wheel that I need to actively correct.

When braking it seems to want to pull to one side. Sometimes it's to the left, sometimes the right, sometimes not at all. At first I thought it was just ruts in the road but it seems to be happening enough that it might not be.

At highway speeds I'm noticing some vibrations. Seems to vibrate around 60 mph and again around 70 mph.

I've been driving a newer Audi for the last couple of years so at first I just attributed it to getting used to "truck handling" but now I'm not so sure. I'm going to try and inspect some suspension points...lower ball joints, tie rods, control arms, wheel bearings to see if anything is loose. But I know the last owner put brakes on it less than 500 miles ago so I'm wondering if it could be a hanging caliper or something. My gut is saying it's going to be lower ball joints but I just wanted to see what the collective thinks.
Calipers are probably sticking, or were sticking. This also will create an uneven surface on the rotors compounding the problem. Also if the hubs weren't cleaned up before the new rotors were put on this would cause the rotor to not sit perfectly flat on the truck. Every little thing adds up to that "not perfect" ride.

I also drive a new Audi...a 20 year old 4Runner will never be a new Audi, or any new car for that matter. A lot of people on here go chasing vibrations and such to try to get that new car ride and honestly most of it is a waste of time. My truck drives pretty good but it will never be as smooth as a new car. These trucks are well manufactured but at the end of they are still 20 year old beaters with 200,000 miles on them!


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sounds like some sticking brake calipers as well. notorious problem on 3rd gens
Yup!
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:20 PM #5
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Surprised to see so many votes for brakes. Thought for sure someone was going to say the lower ball joints were shot.

It is interesting though because the guy I bought it off of replaced the brakes like 500 miles ago. Maybe they didn't clean things up right or lube the slide pins?
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:01 PM #6
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Just spoke with the previous owner. Said he didn't lube the slide pins when he put it all back together. I guess that will be the first thing I try.
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:25 PM #7
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Put new slide pins in today and lubricated them. Seems marginally better but maybe still pulling ever so slightly.

New twist during test drive. I had my window down and noticed that there's a metal scraping noise coming from the back driver side wheel during braking and subsequent forward motion. Took pictures of the rear shoes through the witness holes on the rear dust shields. Not sure what I'm looking at though.


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Old 09-16-2020, 10:12 PM #8
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Best to pull the rear drums as youíll be able to get a better assessment of any issues regarding the condition of the shoes as well as other brake components and if any seepage from the rear axle seals.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:16 PM #9
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Pad thickness window. Is what you are looking through. Check the drum lip shield. They rust off in my areas but they can rub the drum as it spins and make noise.

Also I agree it's always best to take the drum off and look things over.


If they wont come off you may have to take the rear center grommet out and use a brake tool screwdriver to back off the adjuster to get the drum off.

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Old 09-17-2020, 09:34 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brillo_76 View Post
Pad thickness window. Is what you are looking through. Check the drum lip shield. They rust off in my areas but they can rub the drum as it spins and make noise.

Also I agree it's always best to take the drum off and look things over.


If they wont come off you may have to take the rear center grommet out and use a brake tool screwdriver to back off the adjuster to get the drum off.

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Yeah, I get it's to check pad thickness but I can't tell what's the pad, whats the metal the pad is mounted to, and what's the drum.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:31 AM #11
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Quote:
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Yeah, I get it's to check pad thickness but I can't tell what's the pad, whats the metal the pad is mounted to, and what's the drum.
Then you need to pull the drum off to inspect
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:12 PM #12
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For the vibration problem, as someone said earlier, it could be a stuck caliper piston. Just jack front end up and spin the tires, see if one spins less than the other.
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:22 PM #13
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For the vibration problem, as someone said earlier, it could be a stuck caliper piston. Just jack front end up and spin the tires, see if one spins less than the other.
I tried this yesterday when I was replacing the pins. Both wheels seemed to spin freely. MAYBE the passenger side didn't make as many revolutions but they both went well past one full revolution.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:27 PM #14
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Damn well i feel your pain, I have a vibration and steering shake from 45-60 that i can't figure out. It was never there until I put king shock on, jba upper control arms, and new lbj. I want to make a thread about it, but havent done enough replies to allow me yet.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:31 PM #15
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Then you need to pull the drum off to inspect
Pulled the drums and found this. Haha. Any thoughts on the front shoe being down to the metal with plenty of meat on the rears? It looked like the front shoe was sitting low in the piston while the rear was pretty well centered. There was also a TON of brake dust just sitting in the bottom of the drum. Seemed odd to me. Guess I know what I'll be doing on Sunday.

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