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4runner Question


nc211
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After attempts over on the 4runner site to get answers, I've basically given up on it. Good to, and I quote, "rep yo' rig, yo'", which really isn't my speed, ya' dig, yo'. So, thought I'd toss this one up over here... A note: it is all-wheel-drive w/ 57k miles, practically all highway...

When driving straight, the steering wheel is fine, no shaking. But when I put a little pressure to turn it, or the road's grade rolls just a little and it takes a little effort to keep it straight, I get a wobble vibration in the steering wheel. Additionally, when hitting bumps in the road, it really looses some of it's footing comfort, gets a little hoppy, if not wandery. No "clunks" or noises. It tracks dead on straight, so I don't think it's an alignment issue. I don't get the brake peddle vibrations when coming to a stop either, but a very slight pulsation sometimes throught the car "can't tell if it's the down gearing though".

So does this sound like classic ball joint issues? Or warped rotor issues up front? The rear's were warped and had them turned a few weeks ago, which did eliminate the brake peddle pulsations. Wuite honestly, it's been too long from dealing with the LS problems back in 05' to recall the symptoms anymore. Apparently the dealership replaced the fronts when we bought it last summer, but my faith in them isn't all that and a bucket of chicken. Car has 57k on the clock now...

Thanks Amigos...

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Hhmm, Without having the truck and the unit in front of me this is some stabbing attempts, but, I think you may be having a varible power assist issue? From what you describe, " the very light steering correction" produces a wobble feel in the steering wheel. Toyota, along with most others now, don't just use a hydrolic vain pumps anymore. They also use an electronic motor to assist the hydrolic pressure feeds.

It could also very well be a rotors, balancing issues, ball joint, etc.

Does the speed of the truck matter? I mean does it "wobble" faster at higher speeds or stay the same? Does it only do it after a certian speed, or all the time? What does it do at very slow speeds? Say like 10 or 15 mph? And you only feel it in the steering wheel? and not the truck itself?

So let's do soem elimanating first. Go to the truck and start it, drive it around the block, make sure it's warmed up and loosened up. then bring the truck to a stop, but keep it in gear, and keep one foot one the brake and lightly turn the steering wheel. Put the emergancy brake on tight and maybe put a little pressure on the gas pedal to bring the rpm's up to say 2000 ish, but don't load the truck up either.Remember, it's a speed sensetive assist,so if you feel even a slight wobbling, then it could be the varible assist motor going, and you may need to have that looked at or replaced.

If you feel nothing at all, then next step is to drive the truck and turn the steering wheel and hit the brake at the same time. Does this make it worse? Or exaggerate the issue in any way? then it could be your rotors, or brakes. If not then jack the truck up and look for play in the ball joints and bearings. 57K miles on it and all highway though huh? I don't see it being those though. I know it's possible to over torque the bearings and burn them up quick, but sounds like you should still be on factory settings. :huh:

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Thanks Smooth... It's an 05' V8. Yeah, it's speed sensitive, between 50-65mph area. it's not a dominating feeling, it's faint, but not too faint. At city speeds below 50, you don't really notice it, especially when parking or turning in neighborhoods. It's only when I'm at cruising speeds 50-65, then it fades out after that. The truck absolutely cruises beautifully at 70-80mph. I think it's either the brake rotors truely are warped, or a bad ball joint in either the lower or upper. I'm thinking upper due to the tempermental nature. Lower's usually show their flaws easily. I guess it's back to the garage I go this weekend! Sweet! The ole' pnumatics were getting dusty anyway...

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I don't think it's your brake rotors from your description. Brake rotors would do it all the time, and get worse with brake input.

It could be your upper ball joints, but you say it's all wheel drive? I don't know man. The fact that you can only feel it at cruising speeds of about 50-65 make me awful suspiciuos.

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What condition are the tires in nc? I'm wondering about balancing & an alignment for starters.

:cheers:

That's what I thought, Some tires track differently at varying speeds, Try a balance and rotate first. :cheers: Nc, How many miles on what tires ?

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It's hard to tell how many miles on these tires actually, because everything appears to be stock as is. They're Michelin's, and from what I've read on the 4runner site, several folks get over 65k+ on them. Factor in the obvious highway mileage "52k in 18 months", makes me think these are indeed the originals. They're in pretty good shape, with plenty of tread left on them, but certainly not new. I downloaded the entire manual and TSB's, like I did for the LS, and was reading the TSB's last night. A few interesting ones refer to a steering part update, which I don't think is the problem, and another one refers to a different approach to balancing and aligning the tires, to compensate for centrifigal pull, which sounds about right. After driving it this morning to work, and reading that stuff last night, I think whatever it is, it's got to do with alignment and/or rotors. It's been a few months since having it aligned and balanced, that's for sure.

It's going to the dealership soon for a general inspection "only $49 bucks!", and I'm going to have the cat's replaced under the emission warranty due to severe rotten-egg smell when goosing it, which I've heard they've finally fixed with new cats. God does it stink too...burns your nose and makes your eyes water sometimes if you've got that back window down "but great for tailgaters ;) ". I'm going to have them align/balance everything and then I'm going to repair anything they say needs some attention myself. I know the pads are about 70% used up on the back. It's a very easy vehicle to work on, with lots of room and clearence.

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No one at t4r.org figured out what your problem was? Honestly, I don't even know where to start in advicing you what the possible problem is! hehe..

But once you get that fixed, you'll love your new SUV ;)

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Maybe I've been looking in the wrong sections over there, but from what I've seen, it's a lot of show n' tell, with some modification questions here and there, and very little actual mechanical repair solutions, with only a few responses. I like that site, love the pictures and such, but I don't seem to get a lot of good feedback. I've gotten some, but the technical stuff hasn't really impressed me that much... Or I could just be a LOC ho'. :lol:

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Well, sseing as how your close to needing new tires, then maybe deal with it until you change them out and see if the problem is still there afterwards. If so then it wasn't the tires then.

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That's true.. There are too many young gurus there, all just wanting to "PIMP MY 4RUNNER" and just showing off! hehe.. But there is a certain forum there for technical stuffs, try posting there.. I'll go check to see where you should post. ;)

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