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Old 04-12-2021, 11:25 AM #1
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PSA for those of you with steering shakes: new findings and theories

Many, including myself, have run into issues with steering wheel shakes right around 60 mph with both stock and after market tires/wheels and all sorts of tire sizes.

This may not work for you, but through trial and error I'll share what worked for me and hopefully this will help you.

There are three key things here to get the balance right.

1. Road force. Most know this, but make sure the shop checks it.
2. Adapter plate. Make sure the shop uses these instead of the cone adapters. This is important for Toyotas

Now for the most influential factor in my case:
3. On some Hunter machines, there's a program that's called "Smart Weight". If you're struggling with balance, ask the shop to turn it off. . For me, the above points 1 and 2 were perfect but the steering still shook. Everything, even the alignment was checked and yet I had shimmies and shakes.

Turning off "Smart Weight" and rebalancing resolved the issue immediately and seemingly consistently (twice now on different tires and thousands of miles apart). I'm not an expert on what that program does, but apparently it's counter-productive for balancing in some cases, at least.

My work was done as Discount Tire, so likely the DT around you will have the same Hunter machines.
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Old 04-12-2021, 01:30 PM #2
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Good to know. My tires didnít shake at first but I notice now 1k miles later. Goodyear from DT. Will have them check it out.
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:50 AM #3
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sub'd. Thanks OP.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:51 AM #4
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I had a second set of 265/70/17 C Load KO2s put on a couple weeks ago and had shimmy issues. I took the truck back to DT yesterday and they did exactly as the OP described. They used the "technical" or whatever option on the Hunter Road Force machine.

One tire was showing 39lbs road force, and the cut off is 35lbs. The machine told them to spin the tire on the rim and it brought it down to 16lbs. Each tire took about 3oz weight total.

So far their smooth, but I have a big trip planned starting this weekend so I'll definitely know more soon.

DT said they see tons of KO2s returning for balancing issues. They're great to work with and said they could swap to another tire if they can't get these right.

I had pretty good experience with the KO2s on the last set I had, so I'm hoping these work out, but if not I'll try something else.
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:46 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throwback View Post
I had a second set of 265/70/17 C Load KO2s put on a couple weeks ago and had shimmy issues. I took the truck back to DT yesterday and they did exactly as the OP described. They used the "technical" or whatever option on the Hunter Road Force machine.

One tire was showing 39lbs road force, and the cut off is 35lbs. The machine told them to spin the tire on the rim and it brought it down to 16lbs. Each tire took about 3oz weight total.

So far their smooth, but I have a big trip planned starting this weekend so I'll definitely know more soon.

DT said they see tons of KO2s returning for balancing issues. They're great to work with and said they could swap to another tire if they can't get these right.

I had pretty good experience with the KO2s on the last set I had, so I'm hoping these work out, but if not I'll try something else.
Glad your issues seem to be resolved. When I was talking to the DT guys during this last balancing, they say that they get "more than they care to admit" 4runners with balancing issues. When I asked whether KO2s seem to be 'worse' than others to balance, they said "not really" and that they see a similar number of balance problems with different makes and different sizes. I am in the "4runners' steering is sensitive" camp when it comes to balance issues. During my first test drive of my then-new 4runner, I noticed a lot of road feedback at low speed, so the steering/balance sensitivity logic makes sense to me.

Last edited by ahtoxa11; 04-14-2021 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:53 PM #6
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Can't say I've had that problem, but I appreciate the OP documenting this.
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:06 PM #7
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Mine had a slight vibration at 55-60mph while stock (with TRD Pro wheels and 265/70 Nitto Terra Grapplers). Very slight, just enough to feel it in the steering wheel, then after that speed it smoothed back out.

After my lift & new UCAs, putting on FN f(x) Pros & 285/70 Nitto Ridge Grapplers, EimKeith PCK, and having the alignment done (with 4.5 on the caster on both sides)... there is no vibration, shimmy, shake, or whatever at any speed. It actually rides better, more controlled, and smoother than it ever did stock.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:29 PM #8
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I had horrible issues with mine when I changed wheels and tires. It took 3 sets of tires to get something remotely acceptable and then I still wound up taking it to the dealer for a road force balance. No problems since. Another theory I have heard is the lower control arm bushings are too soft. And they definitely are. I swapped mine out for whiteline urethane bushings and the steering response and overall tracking is so much better. I don't have balance issues currently but my tires are chopped from a poor alignment (same shop that couldn't balance 3 sets of tires) so chances are I will be doing tires again before long. I'm not terribly impressed with the snow or off road performance of the AT3 Toyos. Probably will go back to KO2's or Grabber ATX's
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:04 PM #9
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It also helps to tell the tech to put the tires with the worst Road Force numbers on the rear. That number tells how out-of-round the tires are. 10 or less is good, 11-15 is ok, 16-20 is bad, 20+ is garbage. That took away 95% of my steering wheel shake. Now I only get it when the tires are really cold in the morning.
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:18 PM #10
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The first thing they need to do is line up the painted on dot with the valve stem.
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:54 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baldrik78 View Post
It also helps to tell the tech to put the tires with the worst Road Force numbers on the rear. That number tells how out-of-round the tires are. 10 or less is good, 11-15 is ok, 16-20 is bad, 20+ is garbage. That took away 95% of my steering wheel shake. Now I only get it when the tires are really cold in the morning.
Yeah, but then you are hiding the problem until the next rotation or don't rotate them at all -- neither are ideal, but sometimes it happens, I get it.
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Old 04-15-2021, 03:18 PM #12
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Yeah, but then you are hiding the problem until the next rotation or don't rotate them at all -- neither are ideal, but sometimes it happens, I get it.
You can also just tell the tire shop, when you buy the tires, that you don't want that tire that has a 20 RF#.

That said - and this is going to sound like blasphemy - I don't rotate my tires. Proper inflation and alignment go a long way.
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:08 PM #13
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I just sprayed the 5 lbs of mud out of the inside of my rims and my shake shimmy went away...weird! Road force is new to me though so I did learn something from this read thanks OP!
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Old 04-17-2021, 10:08 PM #14
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Thank you much appreciated for sharing with us !

PSA for those of you with steering shakes: new findings and theoriesPSA for those of you with steering shakes: new findings and theories.

It is incredible that after 11 years I still see issues with this.... C'man Toyota !

Cheers.

G

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahtoxa11 View Post
Many, including myself, have run into issues with steering wheel shakes right around 60 mph with both stock and after market tires/wheels and all sorts of tire sizes.



This may not work for you, but through trial and error I'll share what worked for me and hopefully this will help you.



There are three key things here to get the balance right.



1. Road force. Most know this, but make sure the shop checks it.

2. Adapter plate. Make sure the shop uses these instead of the cone adapters. This is important for Toyotas



Now for the most influential factor in my case:

3. On some Hunter machines, there's a program that's called "Smart Weight". If you're struggling with balance, ask the shop to turn it off. . For me, the above points 1 and 2 were perfect but the steering still shook. Everything, even the alignment was checked and yet I had shimmies and shakes.



Turning off "Smart Weight" and rebalancing resolved the issue immediately and seemingly consistently (twice now on different tires and thousands of miles apart). I'm not an expert on what that program does, but apparently it's counter-productive for balancing in some cases, at least.



My work was done as Discount Tire, so likely the DT around you will have the same Hunter machines.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:34 PM #15
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PSA for those of you with steering shakes: new findings and theories

Iím at DT now with my 2021 SR5 713 miles on it with Bridgestone Dueler H/T p265/70R17 113s.

I read off this thread word for word. They said that it sounds like you know what youíre talking about. Letís hope. Thanks for this.

I hate paying 40k for something I canít enjoy on the highway.
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