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Old 07-27-2018, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default The Maddening Drive Line Vibration Checklist

My goal for the summer is for my mechanic and I to finally solve this elusive vibration issue.

Background story: I think the problem may have developed after my girlfriend used my truck for a too-heavy load of gravel. The problem has been ongoing for quite some time, so timeline details are fuzzy.

I had a vibration on take off, switching to 2nd gear, and hills. Seemed to be torque-related. Everything was more pronounced with an incline, even a small incline. The pinion angle must have been off because the rear diff eventually went south.

Done so far: The rear diff (the entire chunk) got replaced 5-8K ago out of necessity, but the problem remained. I learned how to drive around the problem with super slow take offs from stop and from 1st to 2nd. The worn out rear shocks have been replaced- rode a bit nicer, but did not help the problem. After that, we replaced the leaf packs with new ones. That made a significant difference but the problem is definitely not totally resolved.

Currently: Still have a vibration taking off from a stop (though not as bad as before the new leaf packs) which is helped to some degree if I stay in the clutch longer than normal. Have a vibration on steep-ish slow hills ( a hill that requires 1st gear). The vibration (which was considerable) going from 1st to 2nd has been all but eliminated. It doesn't take much to exacerbate the residual issues. For example, I notice a difference having only my canoe loaded in the bed with a receiver hitch load-extender.

What the issue probably isn't: The carrier (two-piece drive shaft support) bearing looks and feels good.

I appreciate any help and you guys being here. I do not work on the truck myself nor will I. I'm just trying to help my mechanic figure out this confounding, potentially multi-cause problem. Been wondering if mounting a Go-Pro type camera under the truck could be helpful.

Thanks again, everyone. I have been thinking maybe replacing U-joints next, but I would hate to do that unnecessarily.

BC
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Old 07-27-2018, 04:57 PM   #2
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My first thought is U-joints
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:44 PM   #3
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Stupid question time, did you maybe throw a weight off the driveline?
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Old 07-27-2018, 06:03 PM   #4
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Hmm. Unsure, but I will add it to the list of potential cures. To be honest, I did not know the drive line was weighted which I why I start threads like these. She rides great when she's not loaded: interstate for example.
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Old 07-27-2018, 06:06 PM   #5
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Have you checked the transmission mount? It can cause a vibration on takeoff if it's worn out or broken. It will also do it in reverse if that's the case, quick and easy way to check.
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Old 07-27-2018, 06:19 PM   #6
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Just looked. I assume the coin-shaped protrusions are weights. The long shaft has two-one near the front and one near the back. The short shaft has only one at the tranny end.
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Old 07-27-2018, 06:21 PM   #7
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Reverse seems to ok. Tranny mount was replaced with in the past few years. Even at it's worst, down-shifting also seemed to be ok if that helps.
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Old 07-28-2018, 01:51 AM   #8
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Hey, my truck does this too!

Mine shows up (usually) when I am accelerating in 3rd or 4th, and usually when the truck is fairly cold.

My assumption is that some piece of rubber warms up and gets loose enough to absorb the vibrations as I drive.

I don't know.

I'm listening, if you find your issue, though.
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Old 07-28-2018, 02:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
Hey, my truck does this too!

Mine shows up (usually) when I am accelerating in 3rd or 4th, and usually when the truck is fairly cold.

My assumption is that some piece of rubber warms up and gets loose enough to absorb the vibrations as I drive.

I don't know.

I'm listening, if you find your issue, though.

I have a similar vibration that occurs around 40mph when accelerating, usually right as I'm about to shift from 3rd to 4th. I swapped the wheels around a while ago and have determined that it's probably related to the bargain basement tires I purchased for it a few years ago. They still have plenty of tread left so I'm not going to throw any money at it until they don't. The truck had Michelins on it when I bought it but they were so old and dry rotted that it wasn't safe to be driving around on them anymore. It did ride nicer on those, though.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:05 AM   #10
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You've eliminated clutch chatter, I will assume?

Do you feel vibration in the steering wheel, or is it mostly in the body of the cab? If there isn't anything much in the steering wheel, you can probably eliminate a front-end or steering gear vibration. If it's in the body or felt in the seat or cab, it's something between the imput shaft on your driveline and the rear u joint.

Does the vibration seem to favor one side of the truck over the other? Wheel problem perhaps.

If bad u joints are at fault, the problem will get worse, not stay the same for a long period, and get worse rather quickly. Just saying. If one breaks on you, it can actually be very dangerous. Once a u joint goes bad, mainly they just fall to pieces on you, not stay with the same vibration for weeks or months. In other words, they get WORSE.

*Submitted by Old School Nissan Guy* Who is older than dirt.
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