something weird going on, steering wheel shaking - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

I have this problem with my 2008 auto trans 4WD FJ.

Intermittently the steering wheel will start to shake like I have a wheel out of balance or a warped brake rotor (it happens when braking too and the shaking increases)

It is definitely coming from the front tires.

The other day it really started acting up and it was much worse than usual. I shifted my truck from 2WD to 4WD high and then back and the shaking immediately disappeared.

What could cause this?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 06:22 PM
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

There are a few threads on this in the earlier models before 2010s . Seen a lot clear themselves up with Alignments. I have a 2010 and got the steering vibration once . the alignment was way out even though it was driving dead straight . Once done it hasn't shaken since.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 07:14 PM
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

So happy you posted this. I have been searching for an answer to this issue. I have a '14 and this started about 3 weeks ago. When it happens under braking I feel like it is a warped rotor but then it happens when I am not using the brakes. It comes and goes. Sometimes at 40 mph other times not until I hit 70mph. I saw a thread last week about a tire with a cord that was shifting. I think that is extremely rare.

I didn't lose any wheel weights. I was thinking maybe an alignment bolt was loose. Maybe a bent wheel (but I can't tell if it is left or right front). I was going to rotate my tires tomorrow, but I just did that 3,500 miles ago. The problem started suddenly but I can't narrow it down to any kind of incident like a pot hole or anything. Please post if you find the answer.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

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Overboost44 previously said: View Post
So happy you posted this. I have been searching for an answer to this issue. I have a '14 and this started about 3 weeks ago. When it happens under braking I feel like it is a warped rotor but then it happens when I am not using the brakes. It comes and goes. Sometimes at 40 mph other times not until I hit 70mph. I saw a thread last week about a tire with a cord that was shifting. I think that is extremely rare.

I didn't lose any wheel weights. I was thinking maybe an alignment bolt was loose. Maybe a bent wheel (but I can't tell if it is left or right front). I was going to rotate my tires tomorrow, but I just did that 3,500 miles ago. The problem started suddenly but I can't narrow it down to any kind of incident like a pot hole or anything. Please post if you find the answer.
When this happens try shifting into 4WD and then back. See if it goes away. If so then we have the same thing. I really don't think it is tire or wheel or brake related. If that was the case it wouldn't come and go.

I think it might have something to do with the transfer case engaging slightly. I changed my transfer case oil and am testing now.
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Last edited by mainsoda; 06-03-2019 at 07:05 AM. Reason: more info
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:29 AM
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

Interesting problem. I have an 08 and had something similar years ago and found out that I did not correctly tighten the lug nuts on the wheels. My nephew (mechanic) pulled the wheels off and put them back on and bam....it solved the problem. Now, this of course could be your tires, wheel bearing, alignment, lower control arm, upper control arm, or even your CV shaft (I kinda doubt it's your cv shaft unless there is a huge tear in the boot and things are just starting to seize up...you would hear a clicking noise on rotation). I suggest you do the shimmy test with your tire in the air (holding it at the 9 and 3 position and the 12 and 6 and see if there is any play). If so, you should change your wheel bearings. Then take a look at your connections and see if there is any play in the control arms. This of course is all based on your tires being good to go. It's not exactly an answer, but maybe helps with diagnosing the problem.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:31 PM
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

Quote:
mainsoda previously said: View Post
When this happens try shifting into 4WD and then back. See if it goes away. If so then we have the same thing. I really don't think it is tire or wheel or brake related. If that was the case it wouldn't come and go.

I think it might have something to do with the transfer case engaging slightly. I changed my transfer case oil and am testing now.
I will try that. I didn't drive it today but will do so tomorrow. Thanks.

Quote:
BacktoFutureToyota previously said: View Post
Interesting problem. I have an 08 and had something similar years ago and found out that I did not correctly tighten the lug nuts on the wheels. My nephew (mechanic) pulled the wheels off and put them back on and bam....it solved the problem. Now, this of course could be your tires, wheel bearing, alignment, lower control arm, upper control arm, or even your CV shaft (I kinda doubt it's your cv shaft unless there is a huge tear in the boot and things are just starting to seize up...you would hear a clicking noise on rotation). I suggest you do the shimmy test with your tire in the air (holding it at the 9 and 3 position and the 12 and 6 and see if there is any play). If so, you should change your wheel bearings. Then take a look at your connections and see if there is any play in the control arms. This of course is all based on your tires being good to go. It's not exactly an answer, but maybe helps with diagnosing the problem.
I figured the same thing with the lug nuts. After rotating you (we) should always check them after driving 100 miles or so. Especially with aftermarket wheels. I had one loosen up and almost lost a wheel when they were new. Yes, I torqued them properly. The only reason I don't think it is a wheel bearing is that there is no noise that increases in volume when in a turn but I will check them (along with everything else mentioned) nonetheless. I am confident that it is not a tire. They get rotated every 5-6k and they are wearing evenly.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

OK, so I tried to take my FJ to work today and the shaking had gotten so totally out of control that I brought it back home and drove my race car instead.

After work I did some exploratory surgery, jacked the truck up and just checked some things. I found that the caliper on my drivers side was totally seized closed. I changed the caliper for a new one and BAM! the shaking has totally disappeared.

My confusion was that the caliper must have been intermittently sticking. It seemed to coincide with switching back and forth between 2WD and 4WD, but this was just a coincidence. Now I find my post sitting in the wrong section here at the forum.

Just wanted to let you guys know what I found and what fixed my issue.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 11:27 PM
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

Still shakes from the curves of the brake discs. When you ride on water, they bend. There may be a backlash in the wheel bearing.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:44 PM
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

Same problem and same solution. Intermittently sticking caliper on passenger side. Replaced calipers and rotors on both front axles and not a problem since.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 06:16 AM
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Re: something weird going on, steering wheel shaking

I have had the same issue in mine. Changed tires, rotated tires, balance, alignment, brakes, all have been done in the last 30k miles and nothing changed. And mine has been doing this intermittently all of it's life. Got 105K on it now. The thing that kills me is there is no constant. Most of the time I ride the same strip of road back and forth from work atleast 2x a day, and it's liable to shake like hell, and clear up in 100 yards on this strip of road, or ride like a cloud, or ride like I'm in a Baja race.

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