Help diagnosing vibration

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Joined
May 24, 2016
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Location
Arkansas
so I've got a new 100. I just replaced the timing belt and water pump, steering rack, front axel, full tune up and an alignment. Also changed all the fluids. Picked the car up and drove it 20 miles to get new Michelin LTX tires put on. Truck was smooth driving the 20 miles to Discount tire. Had the new tires put on and began to drive home.

Once I hit 55mph I notice vibration and can hear a deep rumbling vibration that sounds almost like a really crappy subwoofer rolling close by. The vibration is not solid, but slowly pulses. Hitting the accelerator intensifies it.

I assumed it was a bad balance job, so took the truck back. They road force balanced the tires and that reduced the vibration quite a bit but it's still noticeable. It's not bad, but I can definitely notice it if I pay attention. Took it back and they said they balance is perfect, so they are ordering new tires saying that maybe there is a bad tire.

I'm supposed to leave on a long road trip in this truck tomorrow and the tires won't be in till next week.

1. Could this vibration possibly be caused by the axel replacements do it just took a bit of driving to show up? Or is this most likely a tire issue...

2. Any danger with putting 1000 miles on the truck with this vibration?
 
1. Since it drove smooth the 20 miles to Discount Tire, and all Discount Tire did was mount and balance new tires, I'd say it was a tire issue.

2. If the vibration is minor and just slightly audible, and since they're ordering you a new set of tires, I'd drive it on the trip as is. If the vibration is significant I'd have them throw the old tires (that were rolling smoothly) back on in the meantime for the trip.
 
You should call and see if they recorded the numbers for the road force part of the balance process. I have no idea what system of measurement is used but I do know the bigger the number the more out of round for the tires. In my case I had tires that ranged in value from 11 to 54. Did they break the tires back down and try to rotate them on the wheel to see if any high value numbers improved? That is part of why road force balance costs more.

Two things my local shop said.
1. Don't get road force until the tires have a week or two road use - this is to eliminate any temp flat spotting from sitting on a rack for some time before being mounted.
2. Measurements should be under 18 - and that you should move the tires with the higher numbers to the rear. In my case, after intitial installation the truck had some shaking in the steering wheel above around 50mph. But after the toad force I put the two with numbers of 11 and 15 on front, the two with numbers of 28 and 54 on back pending a warranty claim resolution. The steering wheel vibration (at least up tot 70mph) is gone.

As a side note, the shop is a multi-brand tire and service center that claims to be seeing more problems with Michelin than they have ever seen before. I've been in this neighborhood for 28 years and they were here before me selling Michelins so....
 
Can't hurt to run it by another shop and get a second set of eyes on it if necessary. You want confidence all is well for the trip.
 
Sounds like bad tire. I have a used tire that I picked up for a spare. It has good tread and balanced fine by Discount, but has the exact same symptoms at the same speed and higher.
 
Thanks guys, I have a bit more peace of mind that it's just the tires. Hopefully the new set takes care of it.

On another note, I noted that the DOT date on the "new" tires is from mid 2015. That seems a bit old to me. Especially considering, I only drive about 10k miles per year I was hoping to get 7-8 years out of these. Kinda sucks starting off a year old... Is this normal to put year old tires on as "new"?
 
A year does seem a bit old, but this article from the Tire Rack would indicate it's ok if they have been stored properly.

Tire Aging — Part #1
 
500 miles down and have a bit more detail now. The worst vibration is between 50 and 65 mph when rpm is between 1700 and 2000. At this point it has the deep rumble that kinda reminds me of the sound my manual Camry would make when I would shift into a gear that was too high for my speed. Somewhere between that sound and the sound it makes if someone pulls up behind me with a crappy subwoofer that's rattling the whole car.

I realized that before I put the new tires on I filled up with 87 octane gas. Any chance the lower octane could be contributing to any of this vibration? Maybe that's a stupid question, but just trying to cover all the bases before I get back and try the new tires they ordered.
 
I thought Road Force was used to balance lug centric vehicles like 3 Gen 4Runners; 100 series are hub centric correct??
 
I thought Road Force was used to balance lug centric vehicles like 3 Gen 4Runners; 100 series are hub centric correct??
I've been told RFB help all vehicles as it simulates the pressure the tire will be under while in use, this yields a more accurate balance.

In fact, I can't fathom as to why the way the wheel mounts or is centered would matter wrt the balance of the wheel / tire combo.
 
UPDATE: They got the new tires in, put the original 4 on the Road Force Balance machine and got rid of the 2 worst. Then check the two new tires which happened to be the best and placed them on the front. They said it should drive perfectly. NOPE. Still the same issue, although maybe just slightly better. Now they are saying that maybe the Michelin LTX M/S is not a good fit for the 100 - which is pure BS. I brought the truck into them driving perfectly smooth with a set of 10 year old Michelin LTX M/S tires on it. They are insisting that the only thing they can do now is to try a completely different tire and said they would have to get back to me with options. However, I'm starting to have doubts that this is a tire problem...

As I said in the original post I had just had a new front axle put on due to leaking CV boot, and drove it directly from the shop for 20 minutes to discount tire. I've realized I never drove it at the speed at which I'm noticing the vibration after I picked the truck up from my mechanic. So, I'm wondering if the rumbling noise and vibration was actually present before the new tires and I just didn't drive it fast enough to notice? Could it have something to do with the new axle? Anyone have experience with vibration from a new axle and what this would sound/feel like?
 
I know this might seem redundant but they are doing a hub centric balance and not a lug centric correct?

And I agree, placing blame on the tires not being a good match is BS. That's them throwing their hands in the air.
 
I know this might seem redundant but they are doing a hub centric balance and not a lug centric correct?

And I agree, placing blame on the tires not being a good match is BS. That's them throwing their hands in the air.

Honestly, I have no idea if they are doing "Hub Centric" vs a "Lug centric" balance. I assumed, being a professional tire shop, that they would know when to use what. I've always bought from Discount Tire for nearly 15 years and have never had any issues until now.
 
Did they replace the front axle/CV joints with OEM?
If not, that's probably the problem.
Our vehicles are notoriously fickle when it comes to non-OEM CV joints/axles...
 
Did they replace the front axle/CV joints with OEM?
If not, that's probably the problem.
Our vehicles are notoriously fickle when it comes to non-OEM CV joints/axles...
I'm not sure. I assumed so, as my mechanic always mentions when not using OEM parts. I paid $200 parts and labor for the axle replacement. Does that sound like OEM or aftermarket?
 
Doesn't sound OEM. A single front axle assembly is $350-400, unless they put on a used part or it wasn't the whole axle...
 
UPDATE: They got the new tires in, put the original 4 on the Road Force Balance machine and got rid of the 2 worst. Then check the two new tires which happened to be the best and placed them on the front. They said it should drive perfectly. NOPE. Still the same issue, although maybe just slightly better. Now they are saying that maybe the Michelin LTX M/S is not a good fit for the 100 - which is pure BS. I brought the truck into them driving perfectly smooth with a set of 10 year old Michelin LTX M/S tires on it. They are insisting that the only thing they can do now is to try a completely different tire and said they would have to get back to me with options. However, I'm starting to have doubts that this is a tire problem...

As I said in the original post I had just had a new front axle put on due to leaking CV boot, and drove it directly from the shop for 20 minutes to discount tire. I've realized I never drove it at the speed at which I'm noticing the vibration after I picked the truck up from my mechanic. So, I'm wondering if the rumbling noise and vibration was actually present before the new tires and I just didn't drive it fast enough to notice? Could it have something to do with the new axle? Anyone have experience with vibration from a new axle and what this would sound/feel like?

I think you figured it out. If you didn't get it up to vibration speed on he 20 miles to the tire place and if the mechanic used aftermarket axles, it's really likely the vibration is those axles. And, if you have a choice, don't go back to that Discount Tire. It's awful when businesses make stupid excuses instead of just admitting they don't know how to help further.
 
I would ask specifically if they are doing a hub centric balance or a lug centric balance. I know the road force is used at my local shop with the additional attachment for the machine to do lug centric balancing on certain Toyotas. Sadly, most shops, especially DT, are clueless. If they are doing a lug centric balance then you're never going to be cruising smoothly.

The road force is not cheap and the majority of shops do not have it.

Maybe it says on your paperwork? If not I would call and ask blindly, did my LC receive a lug centric or hub centric balance? If they don't know what you're talking about or tell you lug centric then you have your answer.
 

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