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Old 04-06-2021, 04:11 PM #1
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Vibration at Idle While in Gear - V8

It's been a while since I posted here, but I was hoping to get some help from the T4R.org crew on something that has been bugging me for a few months now....

A few months ago, I began to notice that my '07 V8 4R would start to vibrate when I was sitting at a stop light. Normally my engine runs so smooth and quietly (even with 177k miles on it) I can hardly tell it is running. This is still the case when the car is in park and in neutral. However, once the engine is warmed up (it doesn't seem to be as prevalent when the engine is coming up to temp) and in gear while at a stop, the vibration begins. It's very noticeable at this point, but the car runs and drives great other than the vibration at a stop. No check engine light, either.

I changed my spark plugs last fall (coil packs still looked great), and cleaned the throttle body and MAF sensor while I was at it. I clean the Volant reusable air filter once a year as well. Everything was running fine at that point. After the vibration at idle in gear began, I visually checked vacuum lines but everything appears to be in good shape.

It sounds exactly like what happened to @NJshadow93 in the thread below. He stated that his shop eventually found a small exhaust leak due to a rusted bolt on a flange gasket. I've checked underneath my 4R multiple times, and I can't see, smell, or hear anything that would indicate I have an exhaust leak. I tried PM'ing NJshadow93 to see if he could be more specific on where the vibration originated, but he might not be active here anymore.

V8- Vibration in Gear at Idle - Toyota 4Runner Forum - Largest 4Runner Forum

The rough idle in gear began right around the time I had my alternator replaced at my shop (I can't remember for certain if it was before or after the alternator went south). I'm not suggesting that the alternator replacement is what caused it, but it's a data point none the less. I asked my shop about what I was experiencing, and they recommended to clean the throttle body again and give it a few days/couple hundred miles for the ECU to potentially relearn the mapping from the throttle body from having the battery disconnected during the alternator install. I did that but almost 2 months and hundreds of miles later, it feels the exact same. I stopped by my shop again for them to scan my ECU for any faults but it came back completely clean. I was almost hoping there would be a fault code so I could start looking in the right direction, but I'm just throwing spaghetti at the wall at this point hoping something sticks and I can fix the problem.

What am I missing?? Engine mounts? The PCV valve? Vacuum leak that isn't being detected by the ECU? I'm at a total loss here.

Any advice or recommendations on where to look next would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:00 PM #2
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Question

I'm a nube.

My 04 4r has the same minor vibe at stop lights.

What's a MAF and where is it located?
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:09 PM #3
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Check your sparkplugs. I just replaced them on my 06 V8 last night and 2 of them were almost fully backed out, maybe threaded in half a turn. I had a slight vibration before and now I have none. After doing some research it looks like this happens to some 2UZ's for some reason.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:22 PM #4
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Replaced all 8 plugs and torqued them myself. No old plugs were loose. Vibe continues.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:25 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E=mc^SQD View Post
I'm a nube.

My 04 4r has the same minor vibe at stop lights.

What's a MAF and where is it located?
MAF stands for mass airflow sensor. It is part of the emissions system and measures airflow coming through the intake just behind the air filter. It is screwed into the air intake with two screws and has a plug going into the back of it. It is recommended that you clean it periodically with a MAF sensor specific cleaner.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:39 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig553 View Post
Check your sparkplugs. I just replaced them on my 06 V8 last night and 2 of them were almost fully backed out, maybe threaded in half a turn. I had a slight vibration before and now I have none. After doing some research it looks like this happens to some 2UZ's for some reason.
Interesting. You have me thinking now. When I changed my plugs last Fall, there was one that was loose and was easily taken out using my fingers only. That coil pack had quite a bit of carbon on it, likely from blow-by coming out of the spark plug hole as it had backed out, but was otherwise in good condition. I did not notice the vibration at idle back then, but I think I'm going to go back and check now to make sure that they're all seated correctly.

Do you happen to know the torque specs for spark plugs on these engines? I should probably have torqued them properly, but went off of feel (don't hate) as I've always done with spark plug changes on this car and others over the years.

There seems to be mixed opinions on whether to use antiseize on the threads of the spark plugs or not. I opted to use just a little to prevent the spark plugs from potentially seizing in the heads, but perhaps that is causing one or more of them to back out of the heads but staying in place due to the coil pack. I'm wondering if I should have skipped the antiseize.

I'll go check them tonight and report back.
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:52 PM #7
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I found online to torque them to 13-15 ft lbs, I did that then pushed another 1/8 - 1/4 turn on the cylinders that were loose. I'm planning on checking them in a couple thousand km to see if they are still backing out. I've heard not to use anti-seize on these types of sparkplugs so I didn't use any, on other vehicles I've never had an issue with stripped plugs so I didn't see the need anyway. The two that were super loose were I was able to unscrew by hand like you said.

This is some reading I've found about 2UZ LC100s having the same issue
Spark plugs Alert Alert Alert! | IH8MUD Forum
And Tundras (My 2 ignition coils with the loose plugs looked identical to these pics)
Just changed spark plugs...never believe the previous person was capable of anything? | Toyota Tundra Forum
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:51 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig553 View Post
I found online to torque them to 13-15 ft lbs, I did that then pushed another 1/8 - 1/4 turn on the cylinders that were loose. I'm planning on checking them in a couple thousand km to see if they are still backing out. I've heard not to use anti-seize on these types of sparkplugs so I didn't use any, on other vehicles I've never had an issue with stripped plugs so I didn't see the need anyway. The two that were super loose were I was able to unscrew by hand like you said.

This is some reading I've found about 2UZ LC100s having the same issue
Spark plugs Alert Alert Alert! | IH8MUD Forum
And Tundras (My 2 ignition coils with the loose plugs looked identical to these pics)
Just changed spark plugs...never believe the previous person was capable of anything? | Toyota Tundra Forum
Well I checked each spark plug last night, and they were all in there pretty snug. I was able to get maybe an 1/8th of a turn more on a couple of them, but none of them were what I would consider loose. I haven't driven the car since, but I doubt that was my problem.

I may change the PCV valve next. I don't have high hopes that it will help, but it's a $5 part and looks fairly easy to swap out.

I might also need to check the engine mounts.

Any other ideas?
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:17 PM #9
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Exhaust manifold heat shield. Possibly broken or missing a bolt. My 03 V8 has done this for a while. It's an annoyance but not a major issue. Haven't been able to visually verify because they are difficult to see. Mainly comes from the passenger side.

Changing the PCV valve won't hurt, it might need it anyhow. But it's not going to resolve the vibration. Nor would it have anything to do with spark plugs.

If you have what I have, it's a harmonic vibration that only happens at a specific RPM, in drive, at a stop light/sign or just sitting still for any reason. Engine mounts are next to impossible to tell if they are bad just by looking at them. The whole motor would torque over to one side if you had a broken one tho.

Check the AC lines on the passenger side and ensure you haven't lost any of the retainers and one is rubbing on something. Unlikely but more possible. Really, you need someone to sit in the truck when it's doing it and leave it in drive while standing on the brake so you can rummage around underneath to see if you can find it. Going to need to have the skids off too so you can see inside the engine compartment.
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