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Needle bearing issue?

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010+)' started by COexplorer, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Jan 8, 2019 at 7:06 PM
    #1
    COexplorer

    COexplorer [OP] New Member

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    Anyone have an issue with their needle bearing? I recently started getting weird videos and a faint rumble/grind. It seems to happen between 30 and 50 mph, and is more pronounced when going down hill, off the gas. After doing some research I suspect the needle bearing.

    Anyone have a similar issue, or needle bearing failure?
     
  2. Jan 8, 2019 at 7:42 PM
    #2
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    Do the vibes go away when you are in 4wd?
     
  3. Jan 8, 2019 at 8:00 PM
    #3
    COexplorer

    COexplorer [OP] New Member

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    As far as I can tell, yes. Which is more evidence towards needle bearing.
     
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  4. Jan 8, 2019 at 8:08 PM
    #4
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    Yeah, that's where I was headed.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2019 at 8:31 PM
    #5
    COexplorer

    COexplorer [OP] New Member

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    I had it at the dealer today and they said the “could not replicate” so didn’t do anything. My concern is that it will fail when I take it on a long trip, which I routinely do. It is my road trip car, not a DD.

    I was hoping to get information from anyone that has had one replaced, and/or fail, on what happens.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2019 at 10:44 PM
    #6
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    A lot of the Tacoma guys go with the ECGS bearing for a needle bearing replacement (East Coast Gear Supply). I don't know if that's a "thing" with the 4runner crew.

    And ECGS sells a tool to use for removal of the faulty OEM bearing (if you're a do-it-yourself-er, which I am not when it comes to needle bearings).

    Hopefully someone will chime in here for you. For future reference, the sister site TacomaWorld.com has a 4runner sub-forum. You can also ask questions there. For technical stuff, it can also be great resource.
     
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  7. Jan 9, 2019 at 2:17 AM
    #7
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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  8. Jan 9, 2019 at 10:29 AM
    #8
    doxidad

    doxidad New Member

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    I had this problem with the needle bearing on my 17 ORP. The first time I took it to the dealer they said there was something there but they thought it was the tires (original Bridgestones with 20K). Took it to Firestone and they road force balanced and said they were fine and checked roundness and said they were better than spec - no charge. Took it back to the dealer... This time I got a tech to drive it with me riding with him. He heard and felt it and when I had him put it in 4hi and it rumble/noise went away. I pointed out that there is a TSB about this and they agreed and ordered the part and it was replaced. Day and night difference after it was done. I would have done the ECGS bearing thing but this was under the drive train warranty and they said they wouldn't install anything in it that wasn't factory.
     
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  9. Jan 9, 2019 at 10:53 AM
    #9
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    If I remember correctly... this isn't something that causes a catastrophic failure. It's more like the the bearing wears badly and results in the vibes.

    Very common problem after lifting a Tacoma for some reason. Not sure about the 4runner.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2019 at 8:08 PM
    #10
    COexplorer

    COexplorer [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the help everyone. I think the needle bearing in my truck is starting to fail, but not too bad yet. 20K, not lifted yet, but has lived a hard life. The dealer told “normal” so far, but I have a feeling it will get worse in the near future.

    I would not have even taken it in, but this car is my road trip/expedition car, not DD. I don’t really want it to fail on a 4000m trip.

    I will keep this thread up to date as it progresses, or doesn’t, but I have a feeling the dealer will be doing the needle bearing shortly.
     
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  11. Jan 9, 2019 at 10:34 PM
    #11
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    I've seen a lot of pics of failed needle bearings in Tacoma's. Sometimes it's like they wear bad in one spot and that's it. Once the damage is done, it stays just like it is.

    Kinda hard to explain, but you may or may not actually see progression of "symptoms". Still needs to be addressed, obviously.
     
  12. Nov 13, 2019 at 8:26 PM
    #12
    thirdyota

    thirdyota New Member

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    Mine started having this issue last winter at around 20,000 miles. Exactly the same symptoms as the OP's. I didn't do anything about it.

    The issue isn't nearly as noticeable in warmer weather, so I had kinda forgotten about it over the summer.

    Now that the temperatures have dropped, it's annoying me again. Currently at 28,000 miles. Really struggling to decide if I even want to bother with taking it to the dealer, or just installing the ECGS bushing whenever I get around to it.

    If I take it to the dealer, any opinions on whether or not I should walk in with a print out of the TSB in hand, or just let them drive it and see what they come up with?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
  13. Nov 13, 2019 at 10:12 PM
    #13
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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    Six, half dozen the other. It all depends on your dealer. If they have a history of being idiots (most do), I mention the TSB

    As mentioned (I think but didn't read back), I decided to just take it to ECGS and get the permanent fix instead of worrying if it will happen again or not but next time out of warranty.
     
  14. Nov 13, 2019 at 10:29 PM
    #14
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    I’d take the TSB in hand. No sense in sending them on a wild goose chase if you know what it is. Just tell them you researched it on the internet and you think that’s what it is but you’re not totally sure. Ask them to see what they think. They’ll drive it and probably know right away what the problem is. It’s a common issue. The 2wd vs 4wd test is pretty cut and dry on this one.

    (let them feel like they’re the professional- and they’ll appreciate the guidance whether they tell you or not, as it’ll save them some time).

    That’d be my approach. But as Wally said, six to one... either way works.
     
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  15. Nov 14, 2019 at 10:02 AM
    #15
    MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

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    Assholes call travel "overlanding"
    So, old thread, but since it popped up again, here's my experience (edits in parentheses are dated Feb 2021)

    14 TE, 2.5" lift, needle bearing went at around 45k. Dealer initially couldn't replicate the issue and said it was fine. I persisted and after a second visit and riding with the tech they agreed there was an issue. They replaced the needle bearing under drivetrain warranty. They replaced it with a factory part, would not do ECGS bushing and cover the labor under warranty. Sold that 4R a bit later so I can't offer any more follow up on it.

    17 SR5, 2.5" lift, 50k rough miles and original needle bearing is still good. (Edit, now with 70k and still fine)

    (Edit, second SR5, .85 Bilstein leveling lift since brand new, 29k miles, good needle bearing at time truck was sold)

    (Edit, 19 ORP, 2.5" lift, 36k miles and needle bearing failed. Knew exactly what the symptoms were from having my 14 so I had it replaced with the ECGS bushing. All good...)

    My symptoms on the 14 (and 19) were:

    Cyclical groaning noise and corresponding faint vibration, felt like coming from under pass side front, most obvious between 30-45 mph under constant/ even throttle, went away in 4 hi.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  16. Dec 16, 2019 at 7:55 PM
    #16
    4Runner4Runner

    4Runner4Runner New Member

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    I believe my needle bearing is going out, anyone have the TSB that they can share on this issue?
     
  17. Dec 16, 2019 at 10:10 PM
    #17
    thirdyota

    thirdyota New Member

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    This is the most recent TSB for it.

    Google it and you can find a PDF of it...
    T-SB-0012-19

    On a related note. I've decided to skip the TSB and replace the needle bearing with the ECGS bushing. Planning to do it next week.
     
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  18. Dec 17, 2019 at 2:50 AM
    #18
    4Runner4Runner

    4Runner4Runner New Member

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    Awesome, thank you! And why would you skip the TSB and replace it with the ECGS Bushing?
     
  19. Dec 17, 2019 at 6:34 AM
    #19
    glwood54

    glwood54 Stop making me buy stuff!

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    From extensive reading on this issue on Tacomaworld, it seems the ECGS bushing is a permanent fix. The TSB fix just replaces the failing needle bearing with the same type.
     
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  20. Dec 17, 2019 at 8:09 AM
    #20
    doxidad

    doxidad New Member

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    The new TSB replaces the whole diff. Too bad it wasn't issued before mine was replaced.
     
  21. Dec 17, 2019 at 5:39 PM
    #21
    thirdyota

    thirdyota New Member

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    Decided I would rather do a permanent fix myself than bother with the dealer.

    I have heard of people getting the diff replacement and have the needle bearing become a problem again later.
     
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  22. Dec 17, 2019 at 7:26 PM
    #22
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    I'm having the symptoms of this issue on my 2019 ORP. I purchased new in January and noticed the symptoms last winter. As mentioned earlier, it seems less noticeable in warm weather. Lately, I've been noticing it again. I'm currently at about 24K miles.

    Has anyone experienced a failure due to this issue that left them stranded?

    I'm curious because I'm about to drive from Wisconsin to Florida and back in February. I noticed the issue before I drove down there last winter and had no problems.

    If anyone has had the most recent TSB; What was the time frame from when you took the truck to the dealer until you had the truck repaired and back in your possession?

    I don't want to end up in a situation where I'm driving to Florida in a loaner or a rental. I'm debating whether to take it in before the trip, or wait until after I get back.

    Any thoughts?
     
  23. Dec 17, 2019 at 10:14 PM
    #23
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    They should be able to repair it same day if it is the needle bearing and they have it in stock. Do it before your trip. It’s not a big deal. Covered under warranty. And more than likely you’ll be good to go for the life of the vehicle.
     
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  24. Dec 27, 2019 at 2:28 PM
    #24
    thirdyota

    thirdyota New Member

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    Did the ECGS bushing swap today. Needle bearing looked fine despite the fact that my 4Runner first had the symptoms of bearing failure about 9000 miles ago. Runs smooth as glass now with the bushing in...no more groan or rumble.

    Pics of bearing after removal...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  25. Dec 27, 2019 at 2:33 PM
    #25
    glwood54

    glwood54 Stop making me buy stuff!

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    Did you take any photos of the ECGS bushing?
     
  26. Dec 27, 2019 at 2:40 PM
    #26
    thirdyota

    thirdyota New Member

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    Only after I installed it...

    [​IMG]
     
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  27. Dec 27, 2019 at 8:03 PM
    #27
    WallyT4R

    WallyT4R New Member

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  28. Jan 21, 2020 at 10:03 AM
    #28
    gotjeepomaha

    gotjeepomaha New Member

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    My wife's 2017 just started doing the same thing, subtle vibration/harmonics, but went away in 4wd. I worried about the dealer not finding this issue. They had it 3 days but finally must have found this thread, they said they found something "online" that directed them. They fixed the front drivers side needle bearing, part# on the invoice: 90364-35008. Seems to have been fixed.

    It is a bone stock 2017 with 24K miles. The admitted to pulling a drive shaft off one on the lot to see if it resolved it, which it didn't of course. Glad it seems to be fixed.
     
  29. Jan 21, 2020 at 1:04 PM
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    Firefly21

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    Why does shifting into 4wd eliminate the vibrations?

    20k I think I can feel it in the steering wheel.
     
  30. Mar 6, 2020 at 1:29 PM
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    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    I just had mine looked at. I'll be getting a new front differential next weeko_O
     

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