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Old 10-02-2023, 03:53 PM #1
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Sloppy Steering and Vibration at 60+

I've been having an issue with my 4runner where she starts to get very skittish starting at around 60. Either she reeally doesn't like I-80 or something's up.

Basically once you get up to 60 the steering wheel starts to vibrate, then around 65 ish a front end vibration shows up. This front end vibration varies in intensity and seems to come and go, you can feel it in the steering wheel and floor and the front of the car starts to wander around while pulling right.
It gets worse until about 70 where it peaks and the front end feels loose and it starts jerking around unpredictably (especially while turning left it seems), before calming down past 75+ and remaining as a wobble and slight right pull.

I have jacked the vehicle up to see if there was anything was loose in the steering system/suspension only a very slight side to side motion in the FR wheel. However it was incredibly minor, and I'm not sure if it would cause a vibration so severe.

On occasion I can hear a faint metal pinging when it gets really bad. But that hasn't happened in a long while.

Any help is much appreciated.
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Old 10-02-2023, 05:44 PM #2
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hows the alignment?

I just had my inner and outer tie rods replaced, feels like a new truck again.

also hows the upper and lower ball joints? the bushings in the control arms? a lot of combination comes to play.
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Old 10-02-2023, 06:12 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riceandpho View Post
hows the alignment?

I just had my inner and outer tie rods replaced, feels like a new truck again.

also hows the upper and lower ball joints? the bushings in the control arms? a lot of combination comes to play.
It had an alignment about 4,000 Miles ago when I completely destroyed a C/V axle and Joints. It did vibrate before then so it's not related to that mishap.

From what I've been told the tie rods ends are still good, although the slight side to side play in the FR wheel leads me to believe something might(???) be lose up there.

I think I tested for ball joints correctly, there is no play up and down on the front wheels when jacked up.

The upper control arms look good, Lower also do, there is a huge scuff on the FL side from the destroyed CV accident but I was told it was just a chunk of rust knocked off the surface and will have no influence on the car.

I did notice the sway bar bushings on the FR side are totally shot and rotting apart.
My power steering fluid also smells burnt and turned black.

One last thing to note I had American Racing rims and Toyo A/Ts installed recently. The Toyo's are a size larger than stock. I am pretty sure they balanced the tires. I'll be pissed if that's what it turns out to be, but least it's cheaper than suspension fixes.

Will grab some photos later today if I have time.

Last edited by Moist; 10-02-2023 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 10-02-2023, 07:14 PM #4
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Best to check for loose parts with the car on the ground, key on but engine off. This lets you feel and listen for looseness when turning the wheel side to side up till it takes force to move it. Should be very little play with this slight movement. Is the shake exactly the same if you switch the front and back wheels?
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Old 10-03-2023, 08:30 AM #5
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tires and tire pressure might be the problem, I was loaned a 04 or earlier tacoma when my truck was in for all that work, once I hit 70, I felt the truck shake also, that tacoma had off road type of tire and different wheels, I just kept it under 70 on my way home from the shop.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moist View Post
It had an alignment about 4,000 Miles ago when I completely destroyed a C/V axle and Joints. It did vibrate before then so it's not related to that mishap.

From what I've been told the tie rods ends are still good, although the slight side to side play in the FR wheel leads me to believe something might(???) be lose up there.

I think I tested for ball joints correctly, there is no play up and down on the front wheels when jacked up.

The upper control arms look good, Lower also do, there is a huge scuff on the FL side from the destroyed CV accident but I was told it was just a chunk of rust knocked off the surface and will have no influence on the car.

I did notice the sway bar bushings on the FR side are totally shot and rotting apart.
My power steering fluid also smells burnt and turned black.

One last thing to note I had American Racing rims and Toyo A/Ts installed recently. The Toyo's are a size larger than stock. I am pretty sure they balanced the tires. I'll be pissed if that's what it turns out to be, but least it's cheaper than suspension fixes.

Will grab some photos later today if I have time.
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Old 10-03-2023, 08:40 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinNH67 View Post
Best to check for loose parts with the car on the ground, key on but engine off. This lets you feel and listen for looseness when turning the wheel side to side up till it takes force to move it. Should be very little play with this slight movement. Is the shake exactly the same if you switch the front and back wheels?
There is some disconnect between the steering wheel and steering, so a small amount of play.
Otherwise nothing seemed loose upfront.

Upon closer inspection the steering bar thing that connects the wheels to the steering wheel has some up and down play to it.

The inner tie rod end on the FL side is leaking something. Not sure what.

Unable to swap front and rear tires at the moment as I no longer have the space to in the parking garage. (Honda parked too close to me)



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Old 10-03-2023, 08:46 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riceandpho View Post
tires and tire pressure might be the problem, I was loaned a 04 or earlier tacoma when my truck was in for all that work, once I hit 70, I felt the truck shake also, that tacoma had off road type of tire and different wheels, I just kept it under 70 on my way home from the shop.

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That could well be it. I havent seen a speed limit for the tires.
The shop that installed the rims and tires said to keep the front and rear tires inflated to 55 psi any lower will cause tire damage. (They came inflated to 60)
I keep them around 50 and the tire says max of 50.

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Old 10-03-2023, 08:49 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moist View Post
That could well be it. I havent seen a speed limit for the tires.
The shop that installed the rims and tires said to keep the front and rear tires inflated to 55 psi any lower will cause tire damage. (They came inflated to 60)
I keep them around 50 and the tire says max of 50.

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depending on your tires, what size did you end up with?

it can be good to lower them to 34 psi if its not those LT tire.
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Old 10-03-2023, 11:02 AM #9
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Is that leak grease or steering fluid? Hopefully ball joint grease. If not you may have seals going bad in your steering rack. That would also explain your contaminated, burnt fluid. Possibly aeration occurring within rack also. Would cause all sorts of steering issues. Are you having to add fluid occasionally? Hopefully that's not the issue, that sucks. For your other steering components you can check for excessive play at the bushings and joints carefully with a pry bar. Was the other CV axle replaced, that going bad could also cause those symptoms. Check at the joints for lateral side to side play. There should be none but you will have about an eighth inch of in, out play. I would first rule out the steering rack because that's a pretty in depth rack replacement or rebuild if you're into doing that kind of work. Very expensive part and a mechanic will charge the crap out of you. Hope it's something easy 👍
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Old 10-03-2023, 11:07 AM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moist View Post
There is some disconnect between the steering wheel and steering, so a small amount of play.
Otherwise nothing seemed loose upfront.

Upon closer inspection the steering bar thing that connects the wheels to the steering wheel has some up and down play to it.

The inner tie rod end on the FL side is leaking something. Not sure what.

Unable to swap front and rear tires at the moment as I no longer have the space to in the parking garage. (Honda parked too close to me)



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You're pointing at the CV axle inner joint. The other boot is your inner tie rod joint. It looks like it's leaking from there. If that's steering fluid which I hope for you it's not the rack seals are going bad. That would explain your fluid issues also.
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Old 10-03-2023, 11:30 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakeepoo3 View Post
Is that leak grease or steering fluid? Hopefully ball joint grease. If not you may have seals going bad in your steering rack. That would also explain your contaminated, burnt fluid. Possibly aeration occurring within rack also. Would cause all sorts of steering issues. Are you having to add fluid occasionally? Hopefully that's not the issue, that sucks. For your other steering components you can check for excessive play at the bushings and joints carefully with a pry bar. Was the other CV axle replaced, that going bad could also cause those symptoms. Check at the joints for lateral side to side play. There should be none but you will have about an eighth inch of in, out play. I would first rule out the steering rack because that's a pretty in depth rack replacement or rebuild if you're into doing that kind of work. Very expensive part and a mechanic will charge the crap out of you. Hope it's something easy 👍
I have to add fluid almost monthly. The power steering pump makes a hell of a lot of noise while idling.

Otherwise the other C/V joint was replaced about a year before this one from wear. The C/V I had replaced got hit by a chunk of broken road about the size of my head kicked up from a car in front of me while I was going 60 something, smacked the axle and destroyed it and took a chunk out of my skid plate.

I will check for lateral play later this week as it is midterm week and time is a bit tough right now :Thumb3:
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Old 10-03-2023, 11:50 AM #12
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I have to add fluid almost monthly. The power steering pump makes a hell of a lot of noise while idling.

Otherwise the other C/V joint was replaced about a year before this one from wear. The C/V I had replaced got hit by a chunk of broken road about the size of my head kicked up from a car in front of me while I was going 60 something, smacked the axle and destroyed it and took a chunk out of my skid plate.

I will check for lateral play later this week as it is midterm week and time is a bit tough right now :Thumb3:
I hear you bud I remember working and paying my way through college, kind of haha. At least your skid plate did it's job! Sounds like rack bushings though.. hopefully not. Also check above the boot to make sure the leak isn't dripping from somewhere else. Possibly the high pressure feed or return line connections could leak. They're on the driver's side right by that boot. That would be simple and much nicer than bad rack seals. 👽
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Old 10-03-2023, 12:20 PM #13
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depending on your tires, what size did you end up with?



it can be good to lower them to 34 psi if its not those LT tire.
Toyo open country a/t 265/65 R17 tires, I went out quick and dropped all 4 to 35 ish psi. Will return with results later.

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Last edited by Moist; 10-03-2023 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 10-03-2023, 12:56 PM #14
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I would take the truck to a REALLY knowledgeable Toyota shop or else a Toyota dealership and have them give the front end a complete checkup. If you're having a lot of vibration then it's not going to get better and could get dangerous. You might want to even consider taking it to both places and get estimates from them. Have you rotated the front to rear (same side) to see if that makes any difference?

I don't know a lot about tires but those tire pressures sound very high. Max pressure for when you have a max load, otherwise you should use the pressure on the driver's door plate. I tow a 6500 lb. Airstream and I never go over 35 PSI. You want the footprint of the tire to make full contact with the road. Overinflated will keep only the center in contact and will cause the tire to wear out in the middle and you will lose traction because of the smaller footprint. Underinflated and the tire will have traction only on the outer edges, wearing out those first and also losing traction.
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Old 10-03-2023, 03:27 PM #15
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Losing P/S fluid and pump noise is not a good sign. Clean up the wet boot that covers the inner tie rod and see if it gets wet overnight without moving but it may take movement. I wouldn't be surprised if that boot was half full of P/S fluid. Been there multiple times on other cars, not yet for a Toyota though. If you have to replace the rack you also have to make sure the system is flushed really well or contamination will ruin the seals in the new one. You can get these in a rebuild. This is a pricey job if it's your issue.
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