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Old 04-11-2024, 08:22 PM #1
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Front Needle Bearing TSB

Well, way back in 2013 I had my front differential replaced on my 2011 SR5 under warranty because front end noise that was diagnosed as left front needle bearing failure.
I had to take 4R back three times before dealer and Toyota found the issue, back then there was no TSB yet. When dealer took apart differential they found needle bearing was pretty much destroyed and axle was riding on the diff housing and fluid was seeping out of seal.
Fast forward, my 2020 TRD ORP had the same noise from day one, I took in for service and was told this is normal, noise went away when I engaged 4WD.
Couple weeks ago I traded that 2020 in for a 2024 and so far this one is completely silent of any noise in or out of 4WD. I'm just curious what Toyota might have done to fix this issue or am I just lucky for now. I will know for sure as miles increase.
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Old 04-13-2024, 04:02 AM #2
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Sounds like there is an updated part. He talks about it in the four wheel drive section of the video, at the five minute mark.
2010-2020 Toyota 4Runner buying guide - YouTube
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:56 PM #3
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I'm interested in what the noise is? I have a 2011 Trail Edition that has a light squeek sounds like it's coming from drivers side wheel. 90% not brakes. They were done not that long ago and braking doesn't effect the sound. Just hear it most of the time when cruising at 30mph or so a little more still there. Faster maybe it's too noisy outside to hear, but slower it's not typically there. I will check wheel bearings soon, but I've heard driver's side needle bearing goes out in a lot of this year T4Rs and Tacomas.
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Old 04-14-2024, 10:25 AM #4
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Originally Posted by Soulprogression108 View Post
I'm interested in what the noise is? I have a 2011 Trail Edition that has a light squeek sounds like it's coming from drivers side wheel. 90% not brakes. They were done not that long ago and braking doesn't effect the sound. Just hear it most of the time when cruising at 30mph or so a little more still there. Faster maybe it's too noisy outside to hear, but slower it's not typically there. I will check wheel bearings soon, but I've heard driver's side needle bearing goes out in a lot of this year T4Rs and Tacomas.
The T-SB describes the noise as a "cyclical groaning/grinding noise", so your squeak would not be caused by the needle bearings.

Granted, the T-SB covers 2016+ 4Runners but I would think the noise would be the same. (T-SB-0012-19)

The T-SB also states that the needle bearing noise goes away when 4WD is engaged, so t hat would be another way to check.

Edit: Going through my records, there is a T-SB that applies to the earlier 4Runners, FJ Cruisers, and Tacomas, all the way back to 2004: T-SB-0026-15.

Last edited by fkheath; 04-14-2024 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 04-14-2024, 10:30 AM #5
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Originally Posted by bzizzi View Post
Fast forward, my 2020 TRD ORP had the same noise from day one, I took in for service and was told this is normal, noise went away when I engaged 4WD.
Couple weeks ago I traded that 2020 in for a 2024 and so far this one is completely silent of any noise in or out of 4WD. I'm just curious what Toyota might have done to fix this issue or am I just lucky for now. I will know for sure as miles increase.
1. The T-SB for this issue states there was a production change that fixed the issue, so your '24 should not have the problem.
2. The T-SB states that the noise goes away when engaging 4WD; that is one of the ways you diagnose the issue.
3. I am always leery when a dealer tells me something is "normal" when you have a problem described in the T-SB. (T-SB-0012-19).

Edit: The T-SB says the problem was fixed by a new differential carrier assembly. It gives the new and old part numbers for that.
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Old 04-17-2024, 12:34 PM #6
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The needle bearing from hell...

The craptastic needle bearing noise/vibration is a known issue with the 4runners. The factory needle bearing is on the drivers side only as the passenger side uses a different system...WHY TOYOTA???

That said, at 93000+ miles I had mine replaced with an "oil bronze" bushing kit by Dallas OffRoad. The buzzy vibration in the steering wheel is now totally gone.

Interesting side note, the 2019 that my daughter drives (bone stock SR5) with about the same mileage exhibits none of the vibrations mine did.
Perhaps the issue is more pronounced when we add lift and weight to the front ends...just a thought...

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