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5th Gen Steering Wheel Shake: SOLUTIONS ONLY

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by James P, May 18, 2022.

  1. May 18, 2022 at 4:51 AM
    #1
    James P

    James P [OP] New Member

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    So there are a zillion threads about steering wheel shake around 60mph, with much discussion and a mix unresolved issues. I’d love to create a thread that consists only of posts from people who HAD the steering wheel shake at highway speeds, found a solution, and haven’t had the shakes return. If this is you, please share the solution that cured your vehicles shakes for good.
     
  2. May 18, 2022 at 5:29 AM
    #2
    Yoytota

    Yoytota New Member

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    Like global warming vibrating 4Runners shakes are a naturally occurring phenomenon not a man-made phenomenon my solution was to put a hula girl on the dash and watch her get down from 60 to 65
     
  3. May 18, 2022 at 5:30 AM
    #3
    DallasTRDPro

    DallasTRDPro New Member

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    I only have minor shaking 50mph. I only notice it if I take my hand off the steering wheel to check. I had my 4R road force balanced and that helped a ton. I've never had shakes at highway speeds, but in Texas thats 70mph
     
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  4. May 18, 2022 at 9:06 AM
    #4
    LandCruiser

    LandCruiser I have Toyotas

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    Mine does it. It’s mild and doesn’t affect anything. I just ignore it.
     
  5. May 18, 2022 at 9:50 AM
    #5
    neverEnoughRice

    neverEnoughRice New Member

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    I had vibrations when I switched over from OEM to Falken Wildpeaks, turns out the wheels weren't balanced or balanced incorrectly from the tire shop according to my mechanic. Shame because Tire Rack rated them a Top Installer; it was All Weather Tire on Long Island. I got them road force balanced at a nearby, quality mechanic with a Hunter machine and the only vibrations I get now are when I don't drive it for a few days. I am assuming it is from flat spots in the tire because the vibrations go away after a few minutes of driving. I did have to get one of the tires replaced because it was defective though, it was a simple process through Tire Rack.
     
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  6. May 18, 2022 at 10:29 AM
    #6
    Yoytota

    Yoytota New Member

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    Defective as in they couldn't balance it or it was falling apart
     
  7. May 18, 2022 at 10:32 AM
    #7
    LandCruiser

    LandCruiser I have Toyotas

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    I’m guessing they couldn’t balance it???
     
  8. May 18, 2022 at 12:42 PM
    #8
    nimby

    nimby in the drink

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    WHEEL BALANCE!!!
     
  9. May 18, 2022 at 12:46 PM
    #9
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    Wouldn’t it do it 100% of the time of the wheel wasn’t balanced properly?
     
  10. May 18, 2022 at 1:00 PM
    #10
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    I endorse the purpose of this thread and hope it leads somewhere positive. But my analysis of all the user experiences is that the 4R is inherently hyper sensitive to both imbalance and to some-so-far-unspecified witches brew of tire tread design, tire construction, road surface, atmospheric conditions and day of the week, perhaps correlated with both wheel design and the signs of the zodiac.

    A good balancing is a clear must. But it's also clear from my experience and that of others that a good balance isn't always enough. Something else is going on. I suspect that only some Toyota engineers really know. And they don't seem to be talking.
     
  11. May 18, 2022 at 1:06 PM
    #11
    hossler1788

    hossler1788 New Member

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    Anyone else notice how it does it sometimes but not other times. I only notice it when I first start driving then it goes away
     
    roc and 7Runner like this.
  12. May 18, 2022 at 1:07 PM
    #12
    hossler1788

    hossler1788 New Member

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    + alignment from a quality shop
     
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  13. May 18, 2022 at 1:22 PM
    #13
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    My shimmying began with new tires and wheels on the factory alignment, which seemed spot on showing no sign of uneven tire wear over 13K miles. It then continued after an alignment to push out the caster, then after a realignment to fix the lack of centering of the steering wheel during the first attempt. This alignment also seems spot on while driving. So alignment is not on my list of solutions. At least not for my rig.
     
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  14. May 18, 2022 at 4:37 PM
    #14
    James P

    James P [OP] New Member

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    I appreciate all of the responses, and love that people are pitching in, but this thread has already turned into what I was hoping to avoid: people chiming in saying they’ve got the shakes too and then sharing a list of things that didn’t work. The idea was to try to create a clean thread consisting of only “I had the shakes, did X, and then I didn’t have shakes”. Apologies for creating another meandering steering wheel shake thread. If you had the shakes and you cured them, please share how. Otherwise maybe just follow instead of posting your own unresolved shake story? Trying to create a streamlined, useful resource here…
     
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  15. May 18, 2022 at 5:06 PM
    #15
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    Us that have the shakes are to fucking pissed off to not ignore another chance to bitch about the shakes. And shimmy’s.
     
  16. May 18, 2022 at 5:17 PM
    #16
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    Ha! I’d like that too but alas it ain’t gonna happen. Here’s the bottom line:

    Lots of people have solved this problem through new balance attempts. Some of them had to do RoadForce balances.

    Some people have solved it by trying different tires.

    Some people have tried all of the above and gotten only improvement, not a full solution.

    It is what it is. Having read dozens of posts on this topic, I can assure you that no one has a magic bullet yet. Or even a firm diagnosis beyond the truck being sensitive to wheel balance, for reasons unknown.

    If this thread gets only posts that offer full solutions, it will end up so far down the list of threads that few will ever find it again.
     
  17. May 18, 2022 at 6:44 PM
    #17
    PVT Pablo

    PVT Pablo

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    It's wheel balance. For why it's not all the time watch your washer spin, it'll go good for a while and then it'll lose its shit at a certain speed and make a horrible racket.

    Speed, road material/condition, temperature and tire pressure all play into when you're tire vibrates from not being perfectly balanced. Wheel/tire techs are far from infallible people, and not all tires are perfectly manufactured. This is not unique to the 4Runner.
     
  18. May 18, 2022 at 6:51 PM
    #18
    K-Paul

    K-Paul Looking for a water x-ing

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    "No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again..."
    Here I am with a 2013 at 155K running wildpeaks and moderately offroaded. And mine is smooth as butter. No shakes.

    So yeah...... just mind of watching this out of curiosity.
     
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  19. May 18, 2022 at 11:09 PM
    #19
    Ramrod88

    Ramrod88 Drives a 4Runner on a Corolla budget

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    I had the shake while I had the spacers on. Got multiple balances from multiple good tire shops and even went to a shitty USED tire shop in the hood and was told by all of them that the tires were perfect.(ko2s). Took the spacers off and shake be gone for good. Yes I know, you probably don’t have spacers on yours but as I thought, this thread is more of a who had the issue and what, if anything, fixed it for them. Im only guessing here but what about the factory wheels being out of round?
     
    BionicRandy likes this.
  20. May 19, 2022 at 1:06 AM
    #20
    ElectroBoy

    ElectroBoy Ad astra

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    In a perfect world you would make an appointment for a road force balance with the tire shop (cost = $20 per tire). Then 45 minutes before you’re due you’d take your 4R out on the highway and run it for 15 minutes at 65-70 MPH to warm up the tires. Get it to the shop on time and their best technician immediately starts carefully balancing your wheels/tires taking as much time as needed to get it perfect.

    That’s the best scenario. In reality, even if you bring them warmed up tires, chances are your vehicle will sit for long time and cool down. And you get a rookie or less than expert tech who’s in a rush. Or you didn’t pay extra for the best road force balance. When you test them at highway speed they shake so you bring them back for another try. Rinse and repeat.
     
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  21. May 19, 2022 at 7:18 AM
    #21
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    I think multiple balance attempts is really the best solution we've got so far. But I'm curious if anyone knows for sure whether the info I got from a nearby Firestone makes sense.

    Here's what happened:

    I went there for RoadForce. Both the guys and the facility seemed really good. They said their procedure is to test each wheel on the RoadForce machine and perform a RoadForce balance only if the computer says it would be helpful. They only charge for the RoadForce balance if it does, and only per wheel. In my case they said each wheel spec'd out so well that the computer would not permit a RoadForce balance attempt on any of them, even if we wanted one. But they believed the prior regular balancing, on a Snap On machine at my local shop, wasn't great. So they did a new regular balancing. This cost less, and they'd already spent the time checking each wheel for RoadForce balance, so I concluded that they were being honest about it all.

    What do you guys think?

    The tech also said that my tires (Pirelli Scorpion AT) tend to be high quality and not hard to balance, but with the aggressive tread it's just hard to get a consistently smooth ride.

    PS Their 'regular' balance did in fact improve things. But obv the shimmy still pops up unpredictably.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
  22. May 19, 2022 at 7:42 AM
    #22
    Spare Parts

    Spare Parts New Member

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    I think they would have charged you more if they could, so I would think they are being honest with you.
     
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  23. May 19, 2022 at 8:15 AM
    #23
    Trail Runnah

    Trail Runnah New Member

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    Mine seemed to barely do it over the winter, but now with the warm weather it's really bad at times. Road surface seems to play a part as well.
     
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  24. May 19, 2022 at 8:23 AM
    #24
    Ajmogen

    Ajmogen Staying Stock

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    I test drove a 2018 OR with no miles, completely stock and it had the 50-55 MPH shake. I think that tire balance is the most critical factor, but I also think that for some reason, the 4runner suspension and steering is highly susceptible to magnifying imperfections in the wheel balance.
     
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  25. May 19, 2022 at 8:25 AM
    #25
    Yoytota

    Yoytota New Member

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    Yeah it's definitely designed in a way that makes you feel every imperfection in the road it seems. I can basically feel it when I drive over a white or yellow paint line lol
     
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  26. May 19, 2022 at 8:27 AM
    #26
    Yoytota

    Yoytota New Member

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    I've also tried dangerously low and dangerously high tire pressures and that doesn't do anything
     
  27. May 19, 2022 at 8:30 AM
    #27
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    On my 5th gen, it’s very sensitive to tire rotations. I get vibes when the fronts start to wear unevenly. Run your hand counter clockwise around the tread of the tire, noting particularly the inner or outer edge of the tire. If your hand catches little ledges of the tread, on every other lug or every three or four lugs, it’s starting to wear unevenly and those tires need to go to the rear. (It’ll feel smooth if you go clockwise)

    Once rotated, the vibes go away.
     
  28. May 19, 2022 at 8:57 AM
    #28
    PVT Pablo

    PVT Pablo

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    I would check your alignment. Additionally, different styles of driving can lead to some of the wear you describe. Frequent tight turns, turns at high speed, tire pressure, braking throughout a turn.

    I don't say any of that to say you're a bad driver, but certain driving conditions can lead to certain tire wear. A guy who drives all day in a straight line is going to have tires a lot longer than the guy who drives tight city streets all the time.

    Part of the reason rotations are so important. If somebody didn't rotate, they'd be burning through front tires and the rears would last forever.
     
  29. May 19, 2022 at 9:37 AM
    #29
    mem4runner

    mem4runner New Member

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    This. Mine doesn't behave like that, but every so often mine will just decide it's a shake day. I'd say once a week tops. Very odd
     
  30. May 19, 2022 at 9:40 AM
    #30
    08TXRunner

    08TXRunner New Member

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    Funny you mention that, because mine does that with KO2's first thing in the morning when I get on the highway. Like clockwork, 55-62 mph. Then after a few miles it goes away most of the time.
     
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