Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

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02srlux
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Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by 02srlux » December 19th, 2017, 6:41 pm

Hi there guys. I'm new to the forum and have an extensive background in high performance cars but know little about diesel 4x4s.

So over the weekend I towed my jetski up the Murray over a distance of 300kms round trip. I had launched and retrieved it twice, once in 4wd as it was a very steep boat ramp and had no issues. Jetski weighs less that 600kg trailer and all.

It was about 43° on the trip home and all was well. I pulled over to use the bathroom and I could smell a very very heavy smell of clutch/brakes as a truck passed me. I thought nothing of it though a little suspicious. I carried on another 80kms up the highway doing about 105 and past over a shallow crest. At this point I thought I had hit some shallow corrugations in the bitumen but the road was very smooth. I thought maybe a flat tire or something. I pulled over and while slowing down to about 60 kph and it went away. I took off and sure enough there it was. Violent shudder/vibration once I hit 80/90kph does it all the way down to 60/70kph then goes away.

I can replicate this time and time again.

Got home took the trailer off still does it.

Doesnt lack in power, no smoke, Wheel nuts not loose, tire pressure all good with good HT tires, can't see any wheel weights come off. No loose bolts or nuts that I could find. Car is stock suspension no lift. 210000kms miticulusly looked after. Hd Cutch installed. Never hard 4x4 driving. Full service history, was brought from Mercedes Benz Adelaide from the maintenance department. Always been an adealide car. It is beautiful in and out. Until now. I've only done 11000kms in it in a year and all on road.

I know jack all about these hiluxs and any help would be appreciated.

I live country Sa and far from a repairer so if I can trouble shoot it before taking it somewhere will save me some big$$$

Thanks guys.

Peter Aawen
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Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » December 19th, 2017, 8:09 pm

Hi 02SR, is there any chance you've left it in 4WD? That vibration/shudder would likely be the least of the bad things that could happen if you had & then towed from Murray Bridge back to Adelaide, altho the Freeway is pretty smooth & you could've been lucky!

Another possibility is that your front Free-Wheeling hubs &/or the auto disconnect diff (do you know which your vehicle has?) may still be locked, so even tho it's not in 4WD via the transfer case anymore (which is NOT good!) the front diff & driveshaft might still be turning & creating the vibrations....

Still, I'd be checking that the front wheels are free & that the transcase isn't still in 4WD, either cos you forgot to take it out, or cos one of the FWheel hubs or solenoids isn't working well. Good Luck! ;)

Ps: I sent you a PM. :thumb:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

02srlux
I'm new, be nice!
Posts: 7
Joined: December 19th, 2017, 6:04 am

Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by 02srlux » December 20th, 2017, 4:01 am

Hi peter, thanks for you help mate.
I definitely took it out of 4wd. Though I'm not 100% sure it's disconnected properly. Once I get home tonight I'll jack her up and have another look. I have my suspicions as it was a problem that just all of a sudden happened. Not something that gradually got worse like i would have thought leaving it in 4wd would have caused. However I will surely check this.
So if this could be the 4wd side of the drive line and I manage to disengage it properly is this problem only going to reoccur when 4wd is selected? Or could to much damage be done already that it will continue to vibrate constantly out of 4wd?

02srlux
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Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by 02srlux » December 20th, 2017, 5:49 am

So I've noticed that one of the Universal joints has thrown all of its grease out and left a mess under the car. Could this be the cause of the problem?

Peter Aawen
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Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » December 20th, 2017, 7:59 am

Leaving it in 4WD on the bitumen can create issues within as little as about 1 cars length, IF the wheels are trying to turn at different speeds due to your steering or the firm road surface, traction, etc; OR it can take as much as a fair few kms of travel over relatively flat & smooth, level, straight high traction surface driving.... It all depends on how level & smooth & straight the road surface is & how much the 4 wheels are trying to turn at different rates, plus how much traction your tyres have & all sorts of things pertaining to that like how often there's a loose or slippery patch... So the important thing to remember is that you really don't want to leave it in 4WD on the bitumen for very long at all if you can help it, altho leaving Free Wheeling hubs locked while The transfer case is in 2WD isn't usually a major issue for anything but extra fuel use & long term wear, depending upon the type of FWHubs or disengement that your vehicle has.

That said, the uni joint really sounds like it could be a prime candidate - if you grab the driveshaft close to the joint & try to rattle the joint sideways, is there any movement? If there is, it's an even greater prime candidate for causing those vibrations!! But blowing uni-joints or driveshafts is also one of the 'other' potential problems that can occur if you leave it in 4WD & drive for too long on the black stuff!! So it could still be a symptom rather than the root cause! So still check that it's coming out of 4WD & the hubs are disengaging... :(

Do you have manually selectable Free Wheeling Hubs?? You know, the 'twist from Free to Lock' thing in the middle of the frony wheel hubs? Or do you have something like a button on the dash or auto engaging hubs that work as you drive forwards once 4WD is selected?? I guess I shouldn't just assume that it's a Hilux too, so what sort of vehicle & age is it?? Come to that, which road were you driving on going to/from the Murray?? I just assumed the Freeway & that Adelaide/Murray Bridge sorta route - and we all know what 'assuming' can do?? :p
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

02srlux
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Joined: December 19th, 2017, 6:04 am

Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by 02srlux » December 20th, 2017, 9:21 am

I have a button on the gear selector to engage 4wd. Its a simple push on push off. There is no locks on the hubs. I'm almost 100% positive that I did not leave it in 4wd.
It was about 120kms after I used 4wd and into the trip home when the vibrating started. The 200 or so KMs before that no issues at all.

02srlux
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Posts: 7
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Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by 02srlux » December 20th, 2017, 9:22 am

It is a hilux. To mate. 2003 SR5 TD. Dual cab.

02srlux
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Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by 02srlux » December 20th, 2017, 9:25 am

One I got back from launching the ski it was left in 4wd and parked. The next time I used it I selected H2 depressed the 4wd button and reversed out the driveway and then took off.

02srlux
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Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by 02srlux » December 20th, 2017, 9:40 am

The short trip back from the boat ramp is about 2kms. All dirt roads with lots of loose stones. Parked on gravel and sand when I got back.

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Re: Vibrations/shudder while driving - any ideas what it could be?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » December 20th, 2017, 2:08 pm

So IIRC about that model, you've got a vacuum operated Automatic Diff Disconnect that's activated by that button on the gear selector - it triggers one solenoid for On, another for Off, & those solenoids allow vacuum to disconnect or connect one of the half-shafts coming out of the front diff. The other half-shaft is engaged all the time, so the second/other half-shaft engaging effectively engages the front diff & also 4WD when the half-shaft locks in - and also means the other half-shaft & the drive shaft that are still turning all the time will be spinning & wearing as a result, altho the disconnect means it's just spin or 'no-load turning' cos there's no drive going thru the diff until thar 2nd half-shaft is engaged. And all that means that failing front uni's can make for a heap of vibration as you drive along, even if you aren't in 4WD, but then so can diff bearing failures &/or CV's failing.....

Sooo - Check all the uni's for sideways movement or slop, especially that messy one, and fix as appropriate; but also check to make sure that the 4WD button is actually freeing up one wheel once 4WD is turned off & then engages when you turn it on. Still, often enough one or the other solenoid can fail, so you end up either unable to engage 4WD or unable to disengage 4WD, despite the button & even sometimes the lights telling you otherwise. A rough'n ready check for that is to get both front wheels in the air then trying to spin them with the g/box in gear as you switch the trans case between 2 & 4WD, swapping the vacuum hoses to the solenoids on the firewall & checking to see if that makes any difference to the way the the front wheels turn or otherwise - bearing in mind that if the solenoid didn't disengage so that you weren't actually in 2WD while you were driving/towing home like you thought, then your problem could still be the transfer case - altho here's hoping, the dead uni sounds like the best & most likely option out of all those possibilities!

Good Luck! :thumb:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

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