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Old 04-19-2021, 05:43 PM #1
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2014 Trail - Odd Vibration Troubleshooting

I'm currently chasing an annoying vibration that happens under light acceleration right at 40mph. At one point I felt it around 30mph, but not since I have really started to trouble shoot it. 40mph-ish seems to be the sweet spot.

If I let off the gas when the vibration begins, it immediately goes away.

I have also confirmed that I can replicate it getting up to speed @ 40mph even if I have the transmission in a fixed gear like 4th. So, it's not happening during a gear shift.

If I accelerate with a heavier foot to get up to speed, I can't replicate it. Only seems to happen on stretches of stop and go with stop lights or the occasional traffic on the highway.

I'm hoping this is a tire issue, but initial steps to solve this have started to blur the line.

Some more info: 2014 Trail Premium KDSS w/ 150k. 285/70 C-rated KO2. Toytec 3/2 lift with SPC UCAs. Tires were new in Nov 2019 @ 106k, so I have 44k on them. My prior E-rated KO2 set lasted 80k.

I have been to Discount Tire twice in the last few weeks since this issue started occurring. Both times they did a full re-balance. The 2nd time they didn't rotate again. I do have some subtle cupping on all tires (I have rotated every 10k). The issue didn't change at all. It could very well be due to the cupping, but I haven't committed to a new set of KO2's just yet. That might be next on my list.

I also had Toyota grease and check the torque on my propeller shaft today during an oil change. I had them do a ATF fluid replace based on some other users experiencing a similar issue. Issue is still present and didn't change at all.

I also recently changed the rear diff fluid and did my spark plugs since this issue started. I still need to drain and fill my front diff when I get a chance (it's been 50k since the last fluid swap).

If it's not the tires, what's the most efficient and cost effective approach to continue troubleshooting this?

I would hate to find out it's the torque convertor or something expensive. Maybe a bearing? Not sure how I could easily narrow that down though.

Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by timelapse; 04-19-2021 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:08 PM #2
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I'll be completely honest with you, this sounds like the "rumble strip" torque converter issue. Your description of the light vs. heavy-footed acceleration is what did it for me.

My Mom's GS350 had the issue and was exactly as you described.


I'm assuming you're lifted? How high? How are your CV/driveshaft angles?


Also, the only way to know 100% if it's not the tires is to replace them...
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:13 PM #3
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Yes, lifted. Details in the original post. CV angles are good. I installed the diff drop kit from Toytec when first installed several years ago. That helps manage the angles just a bit.

I'm not sure if it was you or someone else who posted about the torque convertor in another thread, but I recall seeing it on here. Just not specific to a 5th gen 4runner so hopeful this is not a major transmission issue!

I have always cared for this truck and it's served me well so far.

Hmmm
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Old 04-20-2021, 08:38 AM #4
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I get some gear hunting at those speeds (40-45) under a light foot, which could be interpreted as vibrations. Always done it, always noticed it.

One other time I had vibrations and found that the oil screens at the front of the OCV valve in the valve cover had become clogged with some sludge. I cleaned them and it went away. It did throw a code, which also cleared.

I have KO2's and wasn't great about rotating them and they developed cupping. But that is more audible than felt vibrations. I like the tires, and will get another set but will rotate at 5k every time. I've got about 70k+ on them and have had the noise since about 20k.

Could also be the spiders, could have one worn if not been greased routinely.

Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:17 AM #5
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I'm going to continue looking into the driveline. I can get it to happen when I'm manually shifting gears (without a shift), so I don't think it's the gear hunting that is common on the 4runner.

i.e. I can have it set in 3rd or 4th gear as I accelerate to 40mph and replicate the brief vibration without any gear shift.

Not getting any code errors on the dash.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:44 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timelapse View Post
I'm going to continue looking into the driveline. I can get it to happen when I'm manually shifting gears (without a shift), so I don't think it's the gear hunting that is common on the 4runner.

i.e. I can have it set in 3rd or 4th gear as I accelerate to 40mph and replicate the brief vibration without any gear shift.

Not getting any code errors on the dash.

Thanks for the replies.
I hate to say it, but it may be your transmission. I've had 3 previous cars that exhibited that when the transmission started to go.

If you have a "great" transmission shop around they may be able to tell you for sure by driving with the computer hooked to it. might cost around 50-100 for the diagnostics. If not that, I might try a trans fluid change. Hope its not the tranny, but that's probably where I would start given what you describe.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:31 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jivewalker View Post
I hate to say it, but it may be your transmission. I've had 3 previous cars that exhibited that when the transmission started to go.

If you have a "great" transmission shop around they may be able to tell you for sure by driving with the computer hooked to it. might cost around 50-100 for the diagnostics. If not that, I might try a trans fluid change. Hope its not the tranny, but that's probably where I would start given what you describe.

Spot on. Likely a clutch pack acting up due to an imperfect seal somewhere in the valve body.

Good news if it is this, it can be addressed from within the pan (under the vehicle) without dropping the transmission.

Pan off, remove valve body, replace any tube & bridge seals, gaskets, etc.


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Old 04-22-2021, 05:13 PM #8
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I had Toyota do an ATF fluid exchange a few days ago. I also got the tires re-balanced again. Problem didn't go away.

Today I got the truck on the alignment rack and realized it was out of spec and super uneven between sides even though it was driving straight. Got it all dialed back in now. We also inspected the u joints etc and they all looked good. Freshly greased too.

After the alignment, I drove around for 45 minutes and couldn't replicate the issue anymore. I had become pretty darn good at replicating the issue over the last week. The truck feels really good now even with the slightly cupped KO2s.

I'm not totally convinced the issue is solved, but it might be. Seems like the alignment was off enough to create some very unique vibrations under acceleration.

Hoping this is all it was. Will report back if anything else changes after I logged some more miles.

Thanks for all the quick help.
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Old 04-23-2021, 02:57 PM #9
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Thanks for all the quick help.
Thanks for updating. Fingers crossed that bad vibes stay gone!
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:12 PM #10
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2015 Rear Brake Rotors Getting Hot

I have a 2015 SR5. I had the rear brakes done a few weeks ago. New Rotors and pads, same calipers. Rotors started getting hot the same day. Seems intermittent, driver side is worse. Took it to a different shop, they said everything looks good. Still getting hot, sometimes up to 175 deg. on the driver side. I had new calipers installed today. The mechanic said the old ones seemed fine. Still heating up! 170 deg. on the drive home. It canít be sticking calipers. What else could cause this? Thanks
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