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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 05 taco prerunner, everything factory, it has the alumiinum 16" port wheels and factory dunlop grantrek tires. It has had this prob. for a while and the dealership has balanced them and it will do ok for a month or 2 and then it will return. At certain speeds, the steering wheel will start to shake, an wiggle, is this a balance prob. an alignment prob, or just a crappy tire prob.? anyone else had this happen with their tacomas? Any help would be appr.
 

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Mine does that when the tires are muddy, but when it's clean it Cadillacs on down the road real smooth-like.
 

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Not sure but it sounds like just crappy tires. After i bought my truck i looked up those tires on one of the websites and they were under $50. I did not have that problem however but i only drove mine for 2000 miles or so before I switched to michellin ltx m/s. Hopefully its just the tires and nothing else. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well, i've beeen reading all about the different types of balancing methods used on tacomas, i guess i will call around to some shops and see what they know.
 

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Mine also.. but only when i get to about the 50 to 60 mph range.. if u find a fix please post!
 

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Sounds like a bad tire, maybe bad/shifting belt. Swap the back tires with the front and see if the problem goes away, or changes.
 

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Interesting. I have the same problem and was about to do a search when I came across this thread. I'll explain my situation. I bought my truck after it was involved in a slight accident. I replaced everything that was damaged, including the inner tie rod, and bought 4 new wheels and tires, balanced of course. I installed front bilstein 5100's at about 2 inches of lift. I had it aligned at the dealer for $50 and they even checked the rear axle (which is not adjustable because its a solid axle) and the front was aligned within toyota specs. It rides pretty good, but not how I expected or want it to ride. It has a slight steering wheel shimmy at about 50 mph. I'm comparing the ride to my wife's 06 4runner which rides like a dream. I've checked all the balljoints and tie rods and everything appears solid. I'm going to check all the steering components again. I'll try to rotate the tires and see if that helps, if not, my next step is to ask Discount Tire to re-balance the brand spanking new tires.
 

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all these problems you guys are putting outthere seem to be caused by the tires, id say find a really good alignment/tire shop and have them balance those tires the best they can if you still get the shakey steering and everything else looks soild try mounting different tires on your trucks and see if the ride changes
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i did a search on this last night and what i have found is that toyota wheels are lug centric, Toyota themselves reccommend that the factory wheels should be balanced using this method: http://www.gadgetonline.com/Vibration.htm
read up, this website has some great advice. I'm going in the morning to discount tire as they are the only one in my town that have the right adapter, and i am having my tires rebalanced. I will post my findings tomorrow. I believe that this is the answer to many of our questions, as i also do believe that the cheap Dunlop Grantreks aren't helping me either.
 

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I went to Discount Tire today and they re-balanced and rotated the tires. The ride improved but I still have a faint steering wheel shimmy at about 50. I called them up and they set me up for a Saturday appointment on their road force machine.
 

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My truck came from the factory with horribly balanced tires so the steering wheel was shaking on the freeway. After repeated visits to the dealer, they still couldn't balance them. I took it to a mom & pop tire shop and they balanced all the tires perfectly on the first try. They used a road force balacer and the Haweka adapter. No hint of shimmy from the steering wheel now.

Toyota certified technicians, what a fucking joke, they don't even know how to balance tires properly.
 

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With a loaded bed (500-1000+ lbs) I have a slight oscillation of the steering wheel at some speeds. With less than a 500# load it disappears. I figure mine's a steering geometry/alignment issue and I'm not worried about it.
 

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could it be the steering dampener or rod?
just throwin this out there
 

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Could be but I think it would do it whether loaded or not. Should have checked when I straightened out and resecured my peeled skidplate. Right now I'm so happy with the OME stuff I don't care. Thanks.
 

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My 05 reg cab 4x4 did the same shit. Got Yokahoma geolanders instead of the grand trecks and the shimmy went away, went wheeling now it's back but alot less then before. So wheel balance could be the problem but suspention is the more likely sorce
 

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I missed my roadforce appointment on Sat at Discount Tire. My ride is better after the re-balance but still has a faint shimmy at highway speeds. Since I missed my Saturday appointment, I took the time to do some work on Sunday. I swapped the 4 wheels and tires from wifey's 06 4runner to my truck and vice versa. My truck did not have the wheel shimmy that it used to. This was with the Dunlop GrandTrek 265's on 17's. I was going to drive the 4runner with the truck's MB motoring wheels and BFG All Terrains, but they rubbed way too much. So I swapped back and atleast now I know that it is the MB wheels and BFG tires, and not something with my truck. When I was doing all this work, I did notice that the MB wheels/BFG's use different lugnuts and I think that may be part of the problem. The stockers use the lugnuts that center the lugs, (lugcentric stock wheels). The other have a conical seat but I'm not sure how good they are at centering the wheel on the lugs. I'm going back to Discount Tire sometime to talk to them. Besides, the new conical lugs only take about 6 spins to come off. Its scary, that they only use that little of thread from the lugs.
 

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Okay, here's an update. My shakey steering was just about fixed w/re-balancing. I had the slightest hint of shakey steering (and only at about 50mph) but I got used to it and it didn't really bother me anymore. I found out that the lugnuts on my aftermarket wheels only caught about 5 to 6 threads, so I was worried and went back to Discount Tire. I explained to them that it only took about 5 to 6 complete turns to take off a lugnut and asked if they had better lugnuts that would catch more thread. They said that is how the toyota's are w/ aftermarket wheels and not to worry about the lugnuts. The guy asked me how the ride was after the re-balance and I told him it was better, just a slight shake of the steering at 50. Since I tightened the hell out of the lugnuts, he said he'd put the truck in the bay to re-torque the lugs to 80 ft/lbs.
Turns out they re-balanced the 2 front tires again, because of what I told him. Now the steering shake is more noticeable. Crap! So when I got home, I lifted my 2 front tires and noticed that there is some play w/ the rack and pinion. When a front tire is in the air, I grab the tire from both sides and shake it and the steering wheel turns slightly back and forth. I think this is why any imbalance in the tires causes the shakey steering. So how much play is acceptable in the rack?
 
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