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Old 08-26-2022, 04:28 PM #1
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High Mileage Steering Wheel Shake Update

Struggled with the steering wheel shake throughout ownership of this high mileage vehicle. Generally, road force balancing addresses it. Most recently watched a set of OEM Dunlops with half life left on the tread, suddenly deteriorate into shakes which eventually turned into death wobble on medium braking from 60+ mph on down. My knowledgeable local mech put it up on the rack and found the inner tie rods to have a bit of play. Tires had about 5K to 7K left on them and wife was going on a 2.5K mile road trip, so it got new Cooper AT3s with new TPMS senders and road force balancing. That took out all the wobble and virtually all the steering wheel shake. New inner tire rods and alignment when she returned and that eliminated any remaining shake or looseness in the steering. I believe that the shakes over time wear out the front end, tie rods in particular, which exacerbates the problem. But I did say it was a high mileage vehicle….
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High Mileage Steering Wheel Shake Update-a807cd47-e3e2-4b50-9d6f-5e04b277c142-jpeg  High Mileage Steering Wheel Shake Update-8acb6dd9-4cab-42bc-bc20-85abd85a874e-jpeg 
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Old 08-26-2022, 06:34 PM #2
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Another big one is lower control arm bushings.
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Old 08-26-2022, 06:57 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CutthroatSlam View Post
Struggled with the steering wheel shake throughout ownership of this high mileage vehicle. Generally, road force balancing addresses it. Most recently watched a set of OEM Dunlops with half life left on the tread, suddenly deteriorate into shakes which eventually turned into death wobble on medium braking from 60+ mph on down. My knowledgeable local mech put it up on the rack and found the inner tie rods to have a bit of play. Tires had about 5K to 7K left on them and wife was going on a 2.5K mile road trip, so it got new Cooper AT3s with new TPMS senders and road force balancing. That took out all the wobble and virtually all the steering wheel shake. New inner tire rods and alignment when she returned and that eliminated any remaining shake or looseness in the steering. I believe that the shakes over time wear out the front end, tie rods in particular, which exacerbates the problem. But I did say it was a high mileage vehicle….
Great job on the diagnosis and repair. Also, did you and your family put those miles on? If so, great job putting what I'm sure were a memorable 300k miles on the old girl.

From 50ft away she looks real clean!
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Old 08-26-2022, 07:01 PM #4
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Quote:
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Another big one is lower control arm bushings.
We tested those and all ball joints and they checked out fine. But yes both lower and upper control arm bushings can wear and be contributory.

Long term plan is to buy my wife a new ORP, keeping this one for me. That way I can take it apart and press in new bushings and ball joints on the lowers as it will be a part time car. I still have my big brother '99 K2500 Suburban diesel and I've redone the entire front end on that beast.

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Old 08-26-2022, 08:07 PM #5
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When I get my 4Runner to 306,000 miles, I'm gonna thank God I had the good sense to buy her.
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Old 08-26-2022, 10:39 PM #6
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My 2013 is at 185,000 Miles (mostly highway commuting), no serious accidents. I am just doing the recommended maintenance and oil changes at the dealership. I am guessing I should be able to get to 300K+ miles pretty easily?
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Old 08-26-2022, 11:01 PM #7
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Quote:
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Another big one is lower control arm bushings.
Not in my experience. I had both bushings on one side tear completely through on one of my LCAs (around 290k miles, iirc) and no steering wheel shake at all, just steering wheel clocked at 20 degrees while going straight and a destroyed tire tread after a few hundred miles.

The LCA bushings are quite soft and even brand new are very easily flexed with a prybar, which is how a lot of "bad bushings" are improperly diagnosed.
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Old 08-27-2022, 12:20 AM #8
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My 2013 is at 185,000 Miles (mostly highway commuting), no serious accidents. I am just doing the recommended maintenance and oil changes at the dealership. I am guessing I should be able to get to 300K+ miles pretty easily?
This is a 2014. Based on how it’s driving, it’s showing no issues and should easily go 500K.
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Old 08-27-2022, 08:57 AM #9
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Great job on the diagnosis and repair. Also, did you and your family put those miles on? If so, great job putting what I'm sure were a memorable 300k miles on the old girl.

From 50ft away she looks real clean!
Bought it new in September 2014. It’s my wife’s truck, so she puts most of the miles on. We have homes in SoCal, and SW Montana to which she is regularly driving back and forth. She is retired; I am not, but I do all the maintenance. This is one of the rare times I had a mechanic do some work as it requires a special tool to R&R the inner tie rods from the steering rack.
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Old 08-27-2022, 01:26 PM #10
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Quote:
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This is one of the rare times I had a mechanic do some work as it requires a special tool to R&R the inner tie rods from the steering rack.
A pipe wrench works great
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Old 08-27-2022, 03:55 PM #11
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Not in my experience. I had both bushings on one side tear completely through on one of my LCAs (around 290k miles, iirc) and no steering wheel shake at all, just steering wheel clocked at 20 degrees while going straight and a destroyed tire tread after a few hundred miles.

The LCA bushings are quite soft and even brand new are very easily flexed with a prybar, which is how a lot of "bad bushings" are improperly diagnosed.

Probably why my ride is so great, but after a tire rotation, it can either track dead straight or pull right.

Another vehicle for reference, my L322 pulled right when the LCA’s were bad.


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