Front end Shakes

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Buzzard67
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Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:00 am
My tercel:: 1984 Toyota Tercel Delux
Location: Minnesota

Front end Shakes

Post by Buzzard67 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:19 am

First of all many Thanks to Petro over the years for all the advice , manuals and picture references.
Well ..... I feel like I'm beating a dead horse but here it goes. My 1984 Toyota Tercel 4WD DXL front end shakes with Declaration once you get over 50 mph. I usually store it in the winter so I don't put it into 4WD. Here's the New Twist . It was recently raining and I decided to put it in 4WD on the HWY ( 55-65 mph). The shake went away!!!! Now hold onto your hat.... The front end in 4WD started to Shake Violently with Acceleration Now ( WTF )
I have been dealing with this problem for over 2 years.

Here is a List of Professional Repairs:
New , Brand New driver and passenger side front drive axles.
New Tires and balanced.
New Struts
4 wheel allinement
New front sway bar bushings
Ball joints and tie rods good per 2 Mechanics

Here is a way out in left field thought.
Could it be the rear driveshaft U joints or driveshaft out of balance ?????
Transmission ??????
Is there a thing called a vibration dampener ???????

I NEED HELP !!!!!!!!!!

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Petros » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:04 pm

neither the transmission nor the driveshaft will cause the front end to shake. That is presuming you can tell it is coming from the front end, even left or right side. It usually is obvious where it is coming from, a bad u-joint or center bearing will make a vibration that feels like it is coming from the mid center part of the car under the floor. A transmission issue is a bit further forward, but you can also feel it though the shift lever.

to break it down, under certain driving conditions (speed, level, acceleration or deceleration, etc) something in the suspension is moving enough to cause a harmonic. when you accelerate you load up the suspension and it tends to drive the wheels and hubs forward, loading up certain bushings, and if worn, pushing it out of alignment enough to cause an unstable harmonic. when you decelerate, just the opposite happens, it tends to pull the wheels and hubs back, loading up different parts of the suspension. ONe of these components is worn out enough to allow too much movement so it will set up the harmonic.

All cars and trucks with high miles on them will eventually have this happen, I had a Ford one ton van (same as the truck chassis) that did this rather badly. I replaced everything, some items twice, which helped but did not make it go away (the big soft factory bushings are crap, I finally replaced several of the suspect ones with polyurethane bushings and solved the problem). but all of the high mileage cars and trucks I have owned sooner or later will act the same way, it means you have to find what is wrong, worn or failed, and replace it.

It is not uncommon to not be able to isolate the problem. When that happens, I jack the car up (with jack stands), crawl under it and stare at the suspension parts and imagine where the forces are going on each component when accelerating, decelerating or braking, and turning left and right. and than I systematically test east of the suspect parts with a big pry bar or large wrench (and verify that it is tight). It can take a lot of force to see how various parts move, shift or squish when it is loaded. Also look for bent parts, it may pull something out of place so even if the alignment is set right, the geometer is off. the alignment shop is supposed to check for that, but they can miss bent parts quite often. They do not really have time to go over the suspension in detail, and verify all the parts. they tend to just look for obvious problems.

You might also check your frame and suspension mount locations to make sure the chassis is not bent or the sub frame is shifted out of position. Has it ever been in an accident? If so, better do this check very carefully. The FSM has dimensions of the suspension pick up points you can use to verify the body is square and straight.

If the frame is square and true, all of the components are in good condition, and the alignment is correct, it should not shimmy and shake. So you know something is incorrect, you just have to find it, and fix it. I would not depend on a local mechanic to find it, when ever I had a problem I could not find, I took it to some trusted local mechnaics to see if they could find something I missed. But none of them could find it either. So it just takes a lot of diligence to isolate the source, find the problem, and than you can fix it. many times the diagnosis takes longer than the actual fix.

Do not just blindly replace parts, you will waste time and money. If parts are worn or questionable, they should be replaced anyway, but it may not solve the problem so you have to keep looking until you do. Also, do not replace parts that look good just because you are running out of ideas. to cause that kind of shimmy, something has to be way out. The tolerance on the suspension is fairly large and it will still drive fine, so it has to be something clearly out of whack. Or a number of small things out of whack that add up to a big problem.

Good luck.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

Buzzard67
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Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:00 am
My tercel:: 1984 Toyota Tercel Delux
Location: Minnesota

Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Buzzard67 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:46 pm

Thank you for all the advice. Could you tell me more about the center bearing. What it is. What it does. Where it is and any pictures. This is going to be my next thing I will look into. If I understand some of this information right, I should put my hand on the shifter when this starts happening to see if the shifter starts shaking in my hand at the same time the car shakes ? And this would tell me if it's the center bearing or something in the transmission ? Right ? I believe it has never been in a accident, so the frame should be straight. Here is another clue. Its whole life ( 1984 to 2011 ) it was towed behind a RV with a tow bar. I bought it in 2011. It still had the tow bar and wiring harness up front. Would any of this new information point you in a different direction ? When I bought this great car it had no problems with shaking. As I remember it started slowly when I changed the front struts. The struts were the wrong size from the factory ( monroe ) The garage replaced for free with KYBs Struts. Everything seemed well after that. But in small increments the car started to shake. Now mind you I don't drive this car in the winter and have only used the 4WD a few times. 4WD seems to work well. It has clunked a couple times turning it on and off at variable speed. Could the rear drive shaft be out of balance. I think the drive shaft still spins even when just in front wheel drive , right ?
I have it at a driveline specialist garage ( new place recommend to me ) to see if they can figure this out. If they can't come up with anything new I will be storing it at the end of October.
If I can't make any headway with this would you be willing to look and drive my car sometime next summer when I take it out of storage.I understand you live in MN somewhere. I would treat to lunch and beer just for a chance to share in your knowledge.
No hurry and no obligation. Just grasping at straws.
PS Just a afterthought. I know I need rear Shocks.... Would that cause any of these shaking symptoms ?
Thank You again , very good information

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ARCHINSTL
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Re: Front end Shakes

Post by ARCHINSTL » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:21 pm

Great analysis and explanation by Petros (but who is surprised?)!

One thing I might mention, though, is where the sway bar attaches to the control arm; it could be necked down. Possibly being a towed vehicle for nearly 30 years, accumulating crud there? To me, this is the only Achilles' Heel of our little guys (disregarding the trannies).
See viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3171 !
Also viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3203&hilit=bushings
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

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Petros
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Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Petros » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:53 pm

I do not think towing the car will lead to something causing shaking.

the center bearing is the one in the middle of the drive shaft for the rear wheels. the drive shaft is two piece, the front where it plugs into the back of the transmission the other end mounts in the tunnel under the floor, this is where the bearing is, also called a carrier bearing. behind that is another u-joint and the length of shaft that goes to the rear differential. if one of the u-joints or the carrier bearing is badly worn out it can allow the drive shaft to go out of balance and shake. it turns when in front wheel drive (2wd) or when in 4wd, but it usually is worse in 4wd because than it is powered by the engine, making any out of balance more obvious. but if it was bad you should feel something in either diving mode.

Not sure if you could feel it through the shift lever if the rear drive shaft was out of balance, but you would if something in the trans was out. Yes, you put your hand on the shift lever when you get the vibration, and you should feel it though the trans if it is from the trans, or possibly the rear drive shaft or the engine.

what you describe sounds like something in the front end is worn, loose or out of adjustment. but only you can determine where the vibration comes from, when you drive it see if you can make it change by turning left and than right, accelerating, decelerating, braking, up hill, down hill, etc.

And when it is noticeable, try and determine where it is coming from: Front, left side, right side, etc.

If you can isolate what driving conditions cause it to happen, and where it is coming from, it would be easier to narrow it down on what to check.

I would be happy to help but I am no where near Minnesota, I am about 2000 miles west of you. And I have no plans to travel there any time soon. I was in Minnesota just this last April, driving through.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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helipilot77
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My tercel:: 1984 SR5 wagon
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Front end Shakes

Post by helipilot77 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:25 am

I wonder if a rusted sway bar could be repaired? I wouldn’t want to weld on one since it is spring steel, but it might be possible to have a machine shop mill the end down to good metal then add a pressed-on sleeve. For our cars with this critical suspension component that is no longer available we need to find a repair solution.
. / TOYOTA
./_| |/|/ |]

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Petros
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Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Petros » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:19 pm

a bad CV joint will also cause a shake. you said they were replaced, but it is worth checking them, some of the new brands do not last very long and sometimes even bad out of the box. crawl under the car (on jacks stands if necessary), and grab each axle and try to rotate back and forth while hold the end of the axle, there should be no movement between the ends and the center. If worn it can move a bit, but for it to be worn enough to cause shaking it would have noticeable slop, perhaps a 1/4" (in rotation) or more. note, this is rotational play, not plunge or in the axial direction.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

Buzzard67
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Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:00 am
My tercel:: 1984 Toyota Tercel Delux
Location: Minnesota

Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Buzzard67 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:13 pm

Thanks for all the GREAT Advice !!!
I just picked up my car from the Driveline Specialist.
They Looked over the car from bumper to bumper. They even checked all my new parts. They checked the center bearing, u joints, yokes and rear drive shaft balance. Everything checked out good. Then they started at the basics i.e. Tires , rims, alignment and rack pinion steering.
Now I have been to 3 separate garages and mechanics over the last 2 years. And have asked this question numerous times on this forum. The Driveline Specialist being the 4th.
Drum roll.......... Front passenger side tire ( new tire ) belt separated in tire. I can't believe it !!!!!!! You Can't tell from looking at it from the outside. They swapped all 4 tires around the car to find the bad tire. They placed the tire on the balancer and no matter how many weights they put on it wouldn't balance. So the only thing it could be was separated internal belt in tire. The put the bad tire on the rear and it drove just fine.
I picked it up happy as shit. I took it on the highway...... Got it up to 75 mph...... NO SHAKE !!!!!!!!!!!!
IT WAS TIRES ALL ALONG !!!!!
I Feel soooo Stupid. For 2 years I was banging my head against a wall. I thought no one believed me about the shake.
Now I put it in storage until spring. I will buy 4 new tires sometime this winter and have them mounted so it will be ready to roll in the spring. I also have a set of old orginal rims that I'm going to send out to be sandblasted and repainted. I never liked the after market rims that came with it. ( see Picture ) Any thoughts on a good all season tire ?
Now Please accept my humblest apologies for bugging everyone on this forum about this problem. I feel like a IDIOT.
THANK YOU EVERYONE !
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Petros
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Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Petros » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:11 pm

Do not feel stupid, that was not an obvious problem, but it does happen sometiems. Actually tires and balance was my next thought for you, I have been chasing a minor shake in my car for 3 months, and once I had a similar problem. everything checked out and replacing the tire solved the problem. So I am down to tires too. And I need to replace my tires for the winter anyway, my right side is worn down very thin, left side is worn too, but not as bad.

I have new tires on order right now. I just ordered (4) General Altimax RT43 in 185 /65 R14 86T SL BSW (ITEM# 18896 from Discount Tire). It is a 75,000 mile warranted tire, and right now has a $50 rebate (in credit). Great price. I will have them installed at the local Discount Tire store on friday.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Petros » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:12 pm

btw, I would not put steel wheels on it unless you have no choice. the factory steel wheels are only 13" and noticably flexible. go with alloys in the 5.5 or 6" x 14" dia. look for used ones you like better on craig's list or at the wrecking yard.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

Buzzard67
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Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:00 am
My tercel:: 1984 Toyota Tercel Delux
Location: Minnesota

Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Buzzard67 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:38 pm

Thanks. I will look into the General Altimax RT tires.
Question : What other car ( make and model ) has the same bolt pattern in the 5.5 / 6" x 14". I love going to the auto salvage yards aka Junk yard.
Or how do I look up the bolt pattern for my make and model.
Later

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ARCHINSTL
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My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Re: Front end Shakes

Post by ARCHINSTL » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:58 pm

I think you lucked out on the resolution of your problem!
Having a broken belt is not a safety issue? Asked out of ignorance and not snarkiness!
I would still check out the sway bar; better late than sorry!

As to wheel bolt patterns - check out Stickie #2 in the Tercel 4WD Parts: New and Used Forum; I think it is pretty comprehensive.
One thing for sure - Miata Daisy Mk I and Daisy Mk II (word?) are perfect fits and also have no probs on offset.
I have Daisy Mk I on Goldie - Mk II are neater, I think, if you can find them.
If you decide on Daisy Mk I - check out this: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5827&p=42940#p42940
Dunno if the same on Daisy Mk II's but I suspect the caps would work as well.
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

Buzzard67
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Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:00 am
My tercel:: 1984 Toyota Tercel Delux
Location: Minnesota

Re: Front end Shakes

Post by Buzzard67 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:26 pm

I love those rims !!! They look Fantastic and The Car is Great as well. Correct me if I'm wrong. 1990 - 1993 Mazda Miata ? They bolt right on with no modifications ?
If that's the case I hope you don't mind me copying your look.
Its getting late in the season ( Minnesota ) to look at the salvage yards. But I will this spring.
Very Cool Car.
Thanks for Sharing

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ARCHINSTL
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Posts: 6055
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:52 pm
My tercel:: Goldie is a 1986 SR5 attualmente con Weber/also owned the first T4WD in STL in late '82
Location: Kirkwood, a 'burb of St. Louis

Re: Front end Shakes

Post by ARCHINSTL » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:38 pm

Yup on the Miata years. No mods at all. I used the Toy axle nuts.
Goldie said "OK" on steaking her look - but a quart of 10W-40 would make her happier ...
Tom M.
T4WD augury?
Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit.
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Mark Twain

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