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Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4447
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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I've got the dreaded "rumble strip" vibration in my '04 V8

Customer Question

I've got the dreaded "rumble strip" vibration in my '04 V8 4WD 4runner and I've read sooooo many things as far as solving the problem. We've already had our truck in twice. U joints ok, slip joint lubed but tech noted slight chugging from torque converter. I'm really at a loss where to go. I'm tired of taking it in, only to have the vibration remain. Thinking of trying the Trans fluid change..and go from there. What would you do if it were yours?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Vibration happens between 25-35mph, under a load, going up a slight hill. Passengers can feel the vibration. Speeding up or slowing down makes it go away.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 3 months ago.

Hello, thanks for posting

The mechanic that told you ro have the driveshaft balanced may be right, this has a two piece driveshaft with a center support bearing, the bearing may be the problem or it's just out of balance. That's my opinion on this.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
If it has 2 pieces (driveshaft), would both have to be balanced? Would they be able to tell after removing it that the bearings(s) might be bad as well? Would it be wise to replace the bearings anyway? (it has 148k miles on it)
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Also wanted to mention that driving the car in "4" instead of "D" does not produce the vibration. Not sure why though.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 3 months ago.

Thanks for the reply,

Yes both parts of the driveshaft should be balanced and "phased" meaning the u joints have to be aligned correctly with one another, the driveline specialist will be able to determine if the center bearing is faulty. As with any rotating component there are dynamics involved this is why it may not have the same frequency of the vibration at a different rotational speed. So if the vibration is only there while driving and at certain speeds and can be felt in the frame and seats I would go to the driveshaft first.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok. That sounds reasonable to me. I will see about getting that done. Thank you for your help!
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 3 months ago.

You're welcome, please take a moment to rate positively, thanks again for coming to this site.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Just thought I'd update you. We took the 4Runner to a reputable driveline shop in town and while the driveshaft did need to be balanced, our shutter problem is still present. The owner of the shop told me, his Toyota does the same exact thing and he pops his in and out of overdrive to get the shutter to go away. He said, it's a transmission issue. If it indeed is, what in the transmission is doing that? And are we looking at a big job here? Would it be best to get rid of the truck versus paying for what might be a big tranny job?
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 2 months ago.

T​hanks for that update, the only thing that would cause this in the transmission is the torque converter, it's the largest rotating part in there. it would be a matterof removing the transmission and replacing the torque converter, probably looking at a bill of around $1200 part and labor. Personally I have not experienced this same issue at work in the past.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The torque converter...and the shop I originally went to, the shop I usually go to said the torque converter had a slight "chuggle". Well, $1200 is a lot of money but still cheaper than buying a new car. In general, how many miles can one expect to put on a '04 4Runner? I have a customer who has an '05 with 300k on his. Ours is half that.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 2 months ago.

3​00K is about right , after that the engine may need some attention, besides brakes and regular maintenance, the V8 is a pretty trouble free engine but it does have a timing belt which should be replaced at every 100K miles and it's a good idea to change the water pump at the same time.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thanks-- we are going to put off the transmission work until later this year or early next year. At least we know what it is. You've been very helpful-- thanks again.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 2 months ago.

Y​ou're welcome, if you would be so kind please leave a positive rating, thanks and best of luck.