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Shimmer/vibration after lift kit and carrier bearing drop.

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Thcvet, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Nov 8, 2018 at 6:16 PM
    #1
    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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    Hello everyone. My 2018 super white 4WD Tundra TRD off road package new truck is done with all my planned mods within several weeks of getting it. I love the truck. And I sold my 2008 4WD crewmax with 170K miles for 15K. Very happy with that. Mods on the new truck are LineX spray on bedliner, Rough Country 3.5 in bolt on lift kit (installed at a recommended, highly rated 4WD shop) with the included front diff drop, not included was a carrier bearing drop, so we dropped it 3/4 inch with 3 stainless steel spacers from Home Depot. Borla out the back dual exhaust - love it, no drone when cruising, but great V8 noise when accelerating. I didn't want obnoxious noise, and this exhaust system is perfect, and finally I had heated towing mirrors installed.

    I absolutely love the truck, but there is a shimmer/vibration that occurs between 17 and 20 mph. It is most pronounced when I cruise along at 17 mph, and it occurs at that speed when coasting in neutral or in gear. When I accelerate from a stop it is usually barely noticeable b/c I quickly pass through the 17-20 mph speed range. If I accelerate slowly, then it's more noticeable b/c I'm in that speed range longer. It's more pronounced when slowing down b/c decelerating is usually more gradual and it keeps me in that speed range longer. But it has no relation to whether I'm braking or not, I can let the truck coast and slow down without braking at all and it's the same shimmer when in that speed range. If I come to a stop more rapidly, then it's barely noticeable, b/c again I'm only in that speed range for an instant.

    I'm honestly not sure if the shimmer/vibration was there before the lift, so don't truly know if it's lift related. So I could tell the dealership that I believe it was there before the lift and have them look for wheel bearing, CV joint, or insufficient drive line lubrication problems, or whatever else, if that's what you recommend. I have noticed that my wife's 2018 honda CRV and my 2008 Tundra have a similar very brief shimmer when coming to a stop. Almost like it's normal for engines to shudder/shake briefly when they first decelerate to idle. Is this the case? However with the new truck, it's persistent if the speed is maintained at 17-20 mph, not sure if that is the case with the other vehicles.

    The Rough country lift is a 3 inch spacer above the front springs (shocks?), includes a front diff drop, and has new N3 shocks that replaced the rear bilsteins, and 2.5 inch blocks in the rear. It didn't include a carrier bearing drop, and people on here who contacted Rough Country were told it's only needed if vibrations during acceleration occur after the lift. Other people said it's only a problem b/c the 4WD trucks don't have the one piece drive shaft that maybe the lift was designed for.

    So I deferred to the expertise of the 4WD shop I used for the install of the lift. The mechanic looked at the drive shaft angles and he decided on the 3/4 inch carrier bearing drop (with the 3 home depot spacers). We never did a test drive after the lift and before the carrier bearing drop, so I have no idea if there were vibrations before the carrier bearing drop was added. The coachbuilder drop kits have a 0.75 inch drop for 1-2" rear lifts, and 1.5 inch drop for 3-5 inch lifts. This initially made me think 1 inch would be perfect for my 2.5 inch rear lift, but the mechanic thought 3/4 inch looked better. I also have the toytec 1 size fits all, one solid metal piece drop that would drop it 5/8 of an inch (the current 0.75 is 6/8 inch of course) - this hadn't arrived yet so it wasn't used. Another brand of carrier bearing drop has multiple shims, and their recommended guideline is 1/4 inch drop for every 1 inch of rear lift (then adjust accordingly) - for my 2.5 inch rear lift, this would be exactly 5/8 inch by some crazy coincidence. Of course other people on here have said that by dropping the carrier bearing, the front pinion angle is changed and that could be a bad thing in the long run - so maybe a carrier bearing drop is not the best solution - then what is?

    So what do you tundra and lifted truck gurus suggest? Could this be normal, like in the other vehicles, but it seems more pronounced in my truck for some reason? Should the carrier bearing drop be removed and we test drive the truck for improvement or worsening? Then try decreasing to the 5/8 inch toytec drop (would only be 1/8 inch less drop than right now) to see if it relieves any stress on the front pinion angle and improves things? If no improvement or worsening, then try increasing the drop to 1 inch with four of the steel spacers from Home Depot? Or flip the carrier bearing over (how much drop does this achieve again?), and add 1 or more of the 1/4 inch spacers, or flip the carrier bearing and add the 5/8 inch toytec spacer instead of the 1/4 inch spacer. Or should we get all technical and actually measure all the drive line angles to most properly balance out the system. Some people mentioned adding rear axle shims for a similar problem on Tacomas when only the carrier bearing drop doesn't fix drive line vibration problems. Please advise.

    As you can see I have read and researched just enough to be dangerous, but I'm still pretty clueless. I fix dogs and cats, not vehicles! I'm a vet during the day. Thanks for any help you can give.
    Taro.
     
    Jadoti likes this.
  2. Nov 8, 2018 at 6:48 PM
    #2
    Watt maker

    Watt maker Keepin' the lights on!

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    The general rule of thumb is 1/4” for every inch of rear lift but that is really only a starting point in some cases. I would start with nothing and see how it feels and note down at what speeds it vibrates. Move up to a 1/4” spacer from there and do the same. From there, I would increase the spacing by 1/8” if possible, until you find the correct amount of carrier bearing spacing. You may end up with more spacing than you had or none at all. It also may change the speed at which the driveline vibrates. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a trial and error experiment.
     
    15whtrd likes this.
  3. Nov 8, 2018 at 6:59 PM
    #3
    15whtrd

    15whtrd Mr. Blonde

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    Is there a specific degree of angle the driveshaft is supposed to be is there a specific degree of angle the driveshaft is supposed to be at? I wonder if a wedge On the leafsprings will help.
     
  4. Nov 8, 2018 at 7:37 PM
    #4
    Watt maker

    Watt maker Keepin' the lights on!

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    That’s a good point. @Thcvet , I would look at the lift blocks under the leaf springs and see if they are tapered (one end of the lift block shorter than the other end). If so, the short end should be facing the front of the truck.

    I would try to set the middle u-joint at zero degrees in relation to the tranfer case output flange. The pinion should be around the same angle as the middle u-joint. This is kind of a starting point.
     
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  5. Nov 12, 2018 at 11:21 AM
    #5
    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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    Thanks @Watt maker!!!! But I realize I gave you wrong information - my current carrier bearing drop has only TWO 1/4 inch spacers, so 1/2 inch, not the 0.75 inch (6/8), that I reported. The 4WD shop mechanic thought 1/2 inch looked good (based on what I’m not sure), so he didn’t do the 3/4 or 1 inch I was considering due to reading about the two Coach Builder manufactured spacers and their parameters. But there are obviously no definitive parameters.

    So does it sound like this is the type of vibration that a rear lift would cause? People on here describe vibrations when accelerating from a stop (or coming to a stop?). Is this because this makes you pass through a certain speed of vibrations when accelerating or decelerating (for me approx 17 mph)? And the vibrations still occurs when going past that speed, whether it’s during braking, accelerating, of coasting through that speed. And I must not notice it much when accelerating or coming to a more rapid stop b/c I’m rapidly going past 17 mph. I love the lift otherwise, and could live with the 17 mph vibration, but it’s worth trying to improve or eliminate it.

    I’ll check to see if the rear blocks look tapered. I don’t think they are. I’ll try different thickness carrier bearing drop spacers, and initially test drive with no spacer through different speeds.

    Unbolting the carrier bearing looks really easy. I should put something to support the drive line when doing so, right, because it will drop a little (or fall to the ground)? And I don’t have a torque wrench, so I’ll just tighten bolts to similar degree (by feel) to what the mechanic left them at. Finally, how much drop will the original carrier bearing bolts allow for? And what are the specs on those bolts so I know how much longer to order, and where to order from? Would Home Depot have appropriate bolts to use if longer ones are needed. Thanks so much for your advice.
    Taro.
     
  6. Nov 13, 2018 at 7:39 PM
    #6
    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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    So I tried different carrier bearing drop distances and measured the angle of the drive shaft behind and in front of the middle u-joint. It turns out I did have 3 of the spacers on for a 0.75 inch drop. Also I checked the rear blocks -

    No drop: -10.5 degrees behind, -6 degrees in front. (For reference-drive shaft angled upward towards the front of the truck).

    0.75 inch drop (3 spacers): -9.5 degrees behind, -7 degrees in front.

    5/8 inch toytec spacer + 1/4 inch spacer (1/8 inch higher): -10 degrees behind, -8 degrees in front.

    5/8 inch toytec spacer + 1/2 inch (2 spacers): -8 degrees behind, -7 degrees in front.
    I test drove my truck after all of the above. The top 3 had a similar mild to moderate shudder/vibration at 17-20 mph like I previously described. For the last one (9/8 inch drop) the vibration seems more mild. But I’ll test drive it more.
    I wanted to try 1 and 1/4 inches to get the before and after angles equal, but the carrier bearing bolt wasn’t long enough. Would it be worth trying this? At what point am I possibly causing more problems by stressing the front drive line angles too much? Thanks again.
    Taro.
     
  7. Nov 13, 2018 at 9:12 PM
    #7
    Watt maker

    Watt maker Keepin' the lights on!

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    Sorry I didn’t reply earlier, been having some internet issues.

    I think it’s worth a try to drop the carrier bearing more to see it that eliminates the vibration. Not all trucks are the same. I’ve seen some trucks require more carrier bearing drop than others. Just be sure to drive the truck at all speeds to test. One spacer may eliminate the vibration at slow speed, only to move it to a higher speed.
     
  8. Nov 17, 2018 at 1:30 AM
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    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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    Thanks @Watt maker! No problem on the delay. I will try the 1 and 1/4 inch drop when it arrives. I’ll keep you posted. Also I did check the rear blocks. They are only slightly tapered, with only approx 1/16 inch difference in height from one end to the other. And yes, they are in backwards - shorter end towards the back of the truck. The highly recommended and reviewed 4WD shop mechanic told me he had to modify the blocks to get them to fit my truck - so I can check to see what he meant. Maybe they only fit in backwards. Or he didn’t even notice they were tapered, or that the rough country directions have a bold instruction specifying shorter part of block towards front of truck.
    So with only a 1/16 inch difference in height, would this really make a difference? Thanks again for your help.
    Taro.
     
  9. Nov 17, 2018 at 8:35 AM
    #9
    Watt maker

    Watt maker Keepin' the lights on!

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    I would start by turning those blocks around. 1/16” doesn’t sound like much but it could be affecting the pinion angle just enough.
     
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  10. Dec 7, 2018 at 4:06 PM
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    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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    Thanks again @Watt maker, and sorry on the long delay on my end this time. I had the 4wd shop confirm that the tapered blocks were in backwards, had them change the around, and I now have zero noticeable drive line vibrations at any speed. After this I rechecked the drive line angles to see if they changed at all with the carrier bearing still dropped 1.5 inches (coachbuilder 1.25 inch metal cylinder below a 1/4 inch steel spacer from home depot): -8 degrees behind the carrier bearing, -8 degrees in front of the carrier bearing, and -8 degrees is the angle of the shaft coming out of the front differential. So zero angle across the U joints, so I'm going to leave everything the way it is. Thanks so much re: the blocks being slightly tapered because I had no idea. I was close to just living with the slightly annoying vibrations at 17 mph, and it was going to be my trucks one imperfection. But now it is perfect!!! And zero safety system problems with the lift. So happy, in a big part thanks to you!!!!
    Taro.
     
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  11. Dec 7, 2018 at 4:12 PM
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    Blueknights75

    Blueknights75 WHITE is the FASTEST color!!!!!

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  12. Dec 7, 2018 at 4:19 PM
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    Watt maker

    Watt maker Keepin' the lights on!

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    Glad to hear it's been fixed!
     
  13. Dec 16, 2018 at 6:40 PM
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    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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    @Blueknights75 here are the photos. I love the truck. The Rough country 3.5 inch bolt on is definitely a nice starter lift, but make sure those rear blocks are in the right direction (1/16 inch shorter end facing forward). And carrier bearing drop of 1.5 inches made my drive line u-joint angles zero. Coach builder 1.25 inch metal cylinder, under the 1/4 inch spacer from Home Depot (photo to follow), and the supplied coach builder longer bolts were still long enough. My final addition was the TRD rear sway bar, which makes the truck handle great around turns.

    85B78D31-B725-4746-AE9F-F2290DC10F78.jpg
    83148824-555B-41D0-BB67-8F4BD6DA1FA2.jpg
     
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  14. Dec 16, 2018 at 6:49 PM
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    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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  15. Dec 16, 2018 at 7:13 PM
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    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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    Also I added the tundra heated tow mirrors like my 08 had. Zero blind spot with the lower wide angle mirror. I love them.
     
  16. Dec 19, 2018 at 8:25 PM
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    r1-superstar

    r1-superstar Kailua Boy

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    What shocks up front; OEM? And can you measure the distance from the ground to the bottom of the fender above the center of the tire; front and rear? Looks like your truck is higher than the rear.
     
  17. Dec 24, 2018 at 1:15 PM
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    Thcvet

    Thcvet [OP] New Member

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    Hello @r1-superstar. Front shocks are the stock trd off road bilsteans. Tires 275 70r18 32 inch tires. Front of truck from ground to fender (at center of wheel): 41.5”. Rear 40.75 inches. So about 3/4 inch of rake still. I actually like the rake, so wouldn’t mind an extra 1/2-1 inch in the back. I think adding shackles would be an option for that later, if they clear my Borla dual mufflers that is. But maybe I shouldn’t risk it causing another vibration
     

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