severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by Petros » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:56 pm

My daily driver has developed a very annoying severe vibration, but only upon acceleration at high speed. It starts off from a stop, with either hard or soft acceleration, it is smooth and fairly normal, but as it approaches 50 mph I can feel the vibration building through the shift lever. It keeps building up until about 70 mph where is it very pronounced. But when I let off the throttle and maintain speed, the vibration almost completely goes away. When I put in neutral and allow it to coast, at any speed, it is completely smooth.

I checked the spark plugs and wires, all seem normal (I thought it might be a high speed miss), when I rev the engine without load it is also completely smooth. As it is under load at low speeds (even high rpms). So I do not think it is coming from the engine.

If a tire was out of balance I would think I would feel it at speed only, no matter if I was accelerating or holding steady speed.

It seems drive train related, like perhaps a bad CV joint, or perhaps a bad wheel bearing. The right front wheel bearing has some play, so it needs to be replaced anyway, but I could not feel any noticeable play in the CV axle. since I have a new one I thought I would swap that out when I replace the wheel bearing. But I am not confident it is the sourse of the problem because when I have had bad cv axles or bearings before it never acted like this.

One other data point, it makes no difference on the way it behaves if it FWD or 4wd. I did that test because sometimes if it is related to the fwd drive system unloading it by putting it in 4wd will usually reduce the symptom, but not this time.

One other issue, one of my engine mounts was badly torn and making the engine vibrate even more. But I have replaced it and though it reduced engine movement, it did not solve the vibration. Darn unreliable engine mount, it failed after ONLY 380,000 miles! My rear engine mount looks questionable too, so I should take care of it, though I doubt that is the source of the problem.


Any ideas on what else I should check? Or anyone second my feeling, that it is either the CV axle, or bad wheel bearing? I need ideas of possible cause.
'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
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by helipilot77 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:56 am

I think I would also first suspect a bad wheel bearing. If you have the CV's you should probably change those out too just in case it is the source of the problem.

I am hearing howling from my rear wheel bearings. I know they are going bad. I have the parts, but just need to make the time to do them along with the rear brakes.
. / TOYOTA
./_| |/|/ |]

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Petros
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by Petros » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:30 pm

I drove it yesterday and it has become more severe and I am thinking wheel bearing too. I will likely have to take care of it Tomorrow morning before I go to my office.

Bad wheel bearings can causes sudden surprises, I had a rear wheel bearing suddenly go bad (became noisy), but two days later the bearing completely let go and I lost a rear wheel at 65 mph. Usually they will make noise for many miles fore they become a problem, not for me this time. Fortunately not too much damage (rear fender got crunched as the wheel rolled under the rear wheel well). I was able to maintain control of the car on three wheels and pull it over to the shoulder through heavy traffic. The lost wheel ended up coming to a stop just 20 ft in front of the car (see the picture), fortunalty it did not strike anything before it came to rest on the shoulder. It was the only time my daily drive has required a tow to get me home in 380K + miles.
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'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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marlinh
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My tercel:: 'Everett' Blue mint 4WD wagon and 'Rocky' 86 4WD Wagon
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by marlinh » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:09 pm

I would suspect an axle. I have one on my car that has been noisy. And since then, I have noticed a slight vibration on acceleration and I think it is from that axle. Haven't taken it out yet to confirm. It has been getting more noticeable over time. This is also a first time I have had that kind of vibration too.

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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
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by ARCHINSTL » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:36 pm

Wow - so fortunate you were able to be so close to the side of the road! Was the drum, etc. OK?
Another reason when I did the rear brakes, bushings, and bearings, et al, I did it ALL- do not want to be laying underneath the car when I am 85!
In all candor - and NOT because I just got closer to :oldgeek: ca. 80 instead of ca. 70 :oldgeek: - another reason Goldie and moi stick to the right lane (though going the speed limit, mind :!: ).

ION - the '88 Dodge/Mitsu p'up died. It just the other day developed a slow leak on the RF. I jacked it up, placed a jackstand on the chassis near the RF, lowered it and heard a crunching noise- the jackstand went through nearly 1/2 of the rail! :o
Upon inspection of the rest, it amazed me HOW much was Swiss cheese; I knew it was bad, but not THIS bad! I know it will not pass MO's safety inspection later this month, so - off to a charity for a donation and on for a search for another older small p'up ... :cry:
The rust "protection" on these Mitsu p'ups' chassis and bodies was just ludicrous - the American-installed bed, however - no probs! Its vaunted "Silent Shaft" motor is also a joke. When I replaced it in '04 with a Jasper motor, Jasper never replaces the shaft as a matter of course.

Tom M.
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splatterdog
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by splatterdog » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:15 pm

The shaking shifter is a strong indicator of a driveline problem. Most likely a bad inner CV joint. Without a torrn boot or obvious looseness or binding, its a guessing game as to which one.

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BaileySims
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by BaileySims » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:59 am

splatterdog wrote:The shaking shifter is a strong indicator of a driveline problem. Most likely a bad inner CV joint. Without a torrn boot or obvious looseness or binding, its a guessing game as to which one.
I think this might be the cause as well. Mine blew out a few weeks ago when the sway bar came off. Mine shook pretty hard under any acceleration though but went away as soon as I coasted.
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helipilot77
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by helipilot77 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:26 am

I remember reading about your 65 mph bearing failure. Every time I take my car for a drive lately I have been imagining myself in your shoes. I need to do the job soon.
. / TOYOTA
./_| |/|/ |]

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Petros
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by Petros » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:36 pm

The mystery deepens, interesting new information: my exhaust pipe was banging against the floor, and occasionally hitting the drive shaft and rear axle because I backed into a dirt bank and bent it a month ago. I took it to the muffler shop and had him fix it, and most of the high speed vibration went away. That was a surprise, I would not have suspected it was contributing.

But the vibration is not completely gone, just not so severe. also, it is not noticeable now until well above 60 mph, and again only on acceleration. It is mildly felt through the car, but more noticeable through the shift lever when I put my hand on it.

Last night I replaced the right CV axle (the side where it appeared to be coming from, the old CV axle had a small amount of play in it), though that made no difference this morning when I drove it. The wheel bearing on that side felt smooth and had no play so I left it in place. One other minor, and I think unrelated issue that started a few days ago, was the vibration caused a vac line to disconnect at the base of the carb that caused it to want to die out at idle, and make it hard to start, but I fixed that this morning, adjusted the idle speed and sprayed carb cleaner down the carb for good measure, so it starts normal and idles fine.

The way it runs now I am inclined to ignore it, but it is a mystery as to the cause of the vibration now (and it would be nice to fix it before it creates any other problems). It only occurs when accelerating at speeds over about 65 mph, almost like there is a miss, but it seems to have normal power. It feels like something is out of balance, but only on acceleration, not any other time.

I have been meaning to run by the tire place and have them check the balance of the wheels and tires just to eliminate that as a possibility. Though I am not confident that will cause any change.

the search continues.
'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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BaileySims
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by BaileySims » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:20 pm

I have remembered now that my 01 corolla did the same only at 65 through 70 mph years ago. Turned out the tires needed to be balanced.
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Petros
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by Petros » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:55 pm

I had the tires balanced a week ago, they said three of the four were out of balance. It seemed to make the car run smoother at speed, but the high speed vibration upon acceleration was still there.

I was suspicious that my coil may be weak and perhaps it was cutting out under high speed load, causing a miss that might feel like a vibration. I had a whole spare distributor assembly that I put into it to see if that made any difference, I set the timing and verify the vac advance we working properly. It made the car start easier and have smoother power and acceleration, but the high speed vibration is still there. It appears my fuel economy improved with the new distributor, becasue it has a functioning vacuum advance on it, and it appears either the coil or the pick up on the old one was marginal. I have not run a full tank of gas through it yet, but I would like to know if the economy has indeed improved.

So, near as I can tell the vibration is caused some where in the drive train, which is only obvious when the car is under acceleration. I have not found the cause yet.

After a recent trip up a remote and rough rocky and muddy road, my wheels picked up some mud and rocks and it vibrated rather badly above 45 mph. though that did not make any difference if I was coasting or accelerating, it was just the speed that caused the vibration. I hosed them off when I got home and it was back to normal, but it is possible there is some build up on a moving part causing the vibration. Except it only occurs on acceleration, when I let off the throttle and either maintain speed, or allow it to slow down, it is as smooth as ever. In fact smoother since I did all the changes. except upon acceleration above about 65 mph.
'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)

oldfaithful
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by oldfaithful » Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:23 am

Petros I would almost suspect that you have a bad front axle, if you have replaced them with rebuilds or remanufactored ones they are no good because all they do is regrease them and change the boots on them. The inner joint can be replaced but the outer joint cannot be, I use to buy them and eveytime I did they would be worse than the one I took out, even where the outer hub seal wears on them it would be rusted and pitted and the case harding would be gone right off them, pretty hard to keep wheel bearings in them with the dirt and water running in them,so if you have the sources to buy new, that is the way to go. Good Luck.

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Petros
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by Petros » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:35 pm

I already replaced the front axles with new ones. I do not buy re-manufactured parts, many are junk right out of the box, not worth it. I only buy new parts. I doubt is is the axle, the high speed vibration was there with the previous axle and with the brand new one.

now I am starting to wonder if it is something in the trans or the front diff, but the trans makes no other symptoms, shift smooth and quiet in all gears. It does not seem like a trans problem, the vibration seems to be coming from the front right (passanger side) corner, but it is difficult to tell for sure.

So far, in summary, here is what I did:

1. Replaced front cv axle with new one
2. Check front wheel bearing (smooth and quite, it was new a year ago)
3. Had tires balanced
4. Check/changed spark plugs, wires, distributor assembly
5. Inspected tie rod ends, bushings and ball joints (it got a new ball joint on that side about a year ago)
'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)

oldfaithful
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My tercel:: 1984 Tercel 4WD

Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by oldfaithful » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:44 am

I'm sure you checked to see if the hub or wheel are bent, did you try another wheel and tire on that side? I had a vibration on
my Celica one time, tires where all fairly new, I had them balanced several times, they looked good an true when they were turning on the balancing machine, but as soon as you drove it the vibration was still there, so the guy balanacing them said although I don't see anything wrong with the tires, I wonder if one of them has broken belts in it, the first tire which was the drivers side front tire he took off was a mess inside, it completely come apart, but yet it looked fine on the outside, put a new tire on it and the vibration was gone. I'm not saying that is your problem, and maybe you all ready tried different tires, but that was my problem with the hateful could not find mystery. It's annoying because these old girls run pretty smooth most of the time. My wife and I are on are a trip as I write this with the 'Ol Terc,we've Travelled 3600 kms since we left home 9 days ago and she is running like a singer sewing machine (Lol) today 835,000 kms will turn up on her. Well Petros, I hope you soon find your problem, it can be quite annoying when you can't. Good Luck.

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Petros
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Re: severe vibration above 50 mph on acceleration

Post by Petros » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:18 pm

the right front wheel bearing has been getting more noisy every time I drive it. yesterday it was so noisy it was clear it was the right front wheel, I could hardly hear the radio over the noise. So I took it apart this morning and it still felt fairly smooth, but was kind of tight feeling, with some slight grating feel. I happened to have a spare right steering knuckle I found in my spare parts. I had forgotten, I had picked it up in a pick-n-pull over a year ago, it had good bearings and seal in it so I bought it. That is cheaper and faster to swap it out rather than pressing out the old bearing and seal from the hub. The bearing in it was smooth and not nearly as tight, in comparison the one in the car felt like it was binding up, which was not the case when I change out the axle several weeks ago and I check the bearing for binding, smoothness, and play. It still had no play, but was now very tight, almost like someone had over tightened hub stack up. That is not really possible with this installation, but it felt that way even with the axle spline shaft out of it.

Anyway, both the bearing roar and almost all of the vibration appears to have gone now. Perhaps I am now just more sensitive, but there is still a slight vibration from the drive train when accelerating above about 70 mph. Though it is small enough I can ignore it, and I doubt I would even have noticed it before this episode.

So it appears the bearing was going out, and the first sign was a noticeable harmonic when I accelerate. And the noise became progressively worse fairly fast. What is curious is that usually when it is a wheel bearing, when you swerve the car from side to to side, the noise will change when the weight is on the bad bearing side. I did this perhaps 40 times in the last two weeks to try and isolate the noise.

The problem appears to be fixed now: culprit, bad front wheel bearing.

Usually with wheel bearings, when you can not tell the cause, if you wait long enough it becomes so much more noticeable it becomes easier to isolate the source, and obvious when you take it out to inspect it.

Now I can hear my stock radio again...time for some new speakers I think.
'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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