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Old 11-28-2022, 10:22 PM #1
4runnerfever67 4runnerfever67 is offline
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Steering wheel vibration

Issue: I have a 2000 limited 4WD that when I drive at highway speeds has a vibration/shimmy in the steering wheel and also noticeable in the transfer case shifter. It usually starts lightly around 50mph and Increases with speed. Sometimes the intensity varies.. I'll be driving with the shimmy and then on occasion it will lessen or go away even though I maintain the same speed. 4runner has 250k miles on it

Steps I have taken:
-The brakes are brand new and the brake pedal doesn't pulsate when applied.
- both lower ball joints were replaced.
- I've been through 2 other sets of tires before and the vibration never changed
- I've used 2 different set of rims and it didn't change
- alignment was done and didn't change
- crawled under and shook the ujoints - I don't notice any play


So I went to inspect it myself, I jacked the front end up on jack stands and shook the wheels. There was absolutely no play at the 12 and 6 position. I inspected the outer tie ends and neither of the protective boots are cracked but they do look original. I disconnected the tie rod from the ball joint and it immediately fell down towards the ground and is very loose. I also pushed/pulled the tie rod in and out motion in the direction of the steering rack and there is no play at all. Finally I had someone shake the wheel while I inspected the steering rack.. there was a very small amount of play side to side by about 1/16".

Although It is time for me to get new tires again. I don't expect it to change because it didn't make a difference in the last set i had. Does anyone have any ideas for me? The tie rods had no in and out play but they were definitely loose when disconnected from the wheel assembly?
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Old 11-28-2022, 10:49 PM #2
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If you don't feel it in your seat at all I would suspect:

Steering rack bushings
Motor mounts

Is there any play in the steering?

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Old 11-28-2022, 10:53 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octanejunkie View Post
If you don't feel it in your seat at all I would suspect:

Steering rack bushings
Motor mounts

Is there any play in the steering?

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
There is small amount of play in the steering not too bad.
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Old 11-28-2022, 11:46 PM #4
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It doesn't sound like it clunks from what you said, but my old 98' had sloppy steering and would clunk pretty bad offroad. I'd recommend checking out the shaft tack weld mod that people do as it solved the slop for me and is pretty say to check (grab the steering shaft and shake the steering wheel in either direction to see if you feel play in the shaft). If it isn't sloppy I'd agree with octane to check the motormounts. Another thing to check for are your LCA bushings. Does it pull/dart instead of tracking straight when hitting a pothole? It seems like the LCA bushings start to wear out around 200k and they improved my steering feel pretty significantly and made the front end feel much tighter and track straight when hitting potholes.
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Old 11-29-2022, 02:17 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4runnerfever67 View Post
Issue: I have a 2000 limited 4WD that when I drive at highway speeds has a vibration/shimmy in the steering wheel and also noticeable in the transfer case shifter. It usually starts lightly around 50mph and Increases with speed. Sometimes the intensity varies.. I'll be driving with the shimmy and then on occasion it will lessen or go away even though I maintain the same speed. 4runner has 250k miles on it

Steps I have taken:
-The brakes are brand new and the brake pedal doesn't pulsate when applied.
- both lower ball joints were replaced.
- I've been through 2 other sets of tires before and the vibration never changed
- I've used 2 different set of rims and it didn't change
- alignment was done and didn't change
- crawled under and shook the ujoints - I don't notice any play


So I went to inspect it myself, I jacked the front end up on jack stands and shook the wheels. There was absolutely no play at the 12 and 6 position. I inspected the outer tie ends and neither of the protective boots are cracked but they do look original. I disconnected the tie rod from the ball joint and it immediately fell down towards the ground and is very loose. I also pushed/pulled the tie rod in and out motion in the direction of the steering rack and there is no play at all. Finally I had someone shake the wheel while I inspected the steering rack.. there was a very small amount of play side to side by about 1/16".

Although It is time for me to get new tires again. I don't expect it to change because it didn't make a difference in the last set i had. Does anyone have any ideas for me? The tie rods had no in and out play but they were definitely loose when disconnected from the wheel assembly?
Mine had a terrible vibration around 55-60+ but would dissipate depending on road conditions, I always thought it was my tires but it wasn't. My tires were out of balance and worn out but it was not the root of my problems.

The tie rod "falling to the ground" does not mean it's worn out. My brand new OEM ITRE's did that. Change your rack bushings and give your LCA bushings a really, and I mean REALLY good look. Mine didn't have any play until I unbolted my coilovers, then it was super loose. Also, give your steering rack guide a look.

I'm guessing it is your LCAs.
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Old 11-29-2022, 01:29 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm01 View Post
Mine had a terrible vibration around 55-60+ but would dissipate depending on road conditions, I always thought it was my tires but it wasn't. My tires were out of balance and worn out but it was not the root of my problems.

The tie rod "falling to the ground" does not mean it's worn out. My brand new OEM ITRE's did that. Change your rack bushings and give your LCA bushings a really, and I mean REALLY good look. Mine didn't have any play until I unbolted my coilovers, then it was super loose. Also, give your steering rack guide a look.

I'm guessing it is your LCAs.
Thank you! Sounds like my tie rods could be alright then. I will definitely check out those LCA's!
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