Driveshaft vibrations

Discussion in '1995 - 2004 Toyota Tacoma' started by TacomaProblems, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. TacomaProblems

    TacomaProblems New Member

    Hey guys, I've been fighting a driveshaft vibration for quite some time now. Been reading a lot on forums and cannot find a solution. I would really appreciate some help.

    01 Tacoma 5-speed RWD (2.4l engine) (Single piece driveshaft) (Completely stock truck - 230k miles)

    Shuddering during acceleration. It has become so violent to the point I can no longer drive it. It does not happen in first gear (may be irrelevant), usually in 2 gear and higher. I put truck on jack stands and had someone drive it. There is a clear shuddering sound heard through drive line.

    What I've done so far:
    • I replaced both ujoints. This changed the characteristics of the shuddering (i.e. what RPM it begins, speed, etc.), but ultimately it is shuddering just the same and is only getting worse with each test drive.
    • I checked the engine mounts and they look solid. Tried shaking engine, no movement whatsoever. It is on tight.
    • Check Transmission mount. Also appears solid.
    • Removed driveshaft and checked diff flange bearing. No movement in or out. Rotates slightly, but sounds like I'm moving gears in the diff a little, feels normal.
    I read around that pinion angle may cause this issue, mainly on lifted trucks but also can happen from weak leaf springs. I did a lot of measurements so I will do my best to explain.

    Transmission: 87.8 (pointing to ground - from 90 deg)
    Driveshaft: 5.3-5.7
    Rear Diff: 88.1-88.3 (pointing up - from 90 deg)

    This would make the difference between Transmission and Rear diff .3 - .5 degrees. The joint angle at the rear diff to driveshaft is 93.4 - 94 degrees. Does this look correct? I am a bit confused if the difference between the Trans and Rear diff needs to be as close to zero as possible, or if the rear joint angle needs to be as close to 90 degrees as possible.
    4wd likes this.
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  3. Bogunn

    Bogunn Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum.
    Here’s a link from Tacoma World with a very in depth write up on the same issues you’re having.

    Some of the other members may be able to help a little more too like
    @4wd who’s kind of the gen one resident expert around here.
    OR17TRD likes this.
  4. OR17TRD

    OR17TRD Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum.
    The link @Bogunn has lots of good info but it’s a long read. Also like he said @4wd knows his gen1 taco.
    Good luck.
    Bogunn likes this.
  5. 4wd

    4wd Well-Known Member

    First off, I love your detailed description of issues & what you've done so far to fix.

    Ok, when did this start ? & was there any events leading up to the vibes you have now ?

    & your right, lifting Tacomas can often lead to vibes but you indicate you've got a 1 piece shaft with no lift (stock) have you checked the drive shaft itself for bends/dings/etc: ?

    Yes, the pinion preload may have gone away some, but this usually leads to a "howling" , that gets loader with deceleration Depending how much the pinion rolls out when you rotate by hand could cause some vibes, but you say it gets so violent as not to drive, get me some audio/video post it up , this goes miles in troubleshooting your issues, I've been a long time believer that because of the extreme axle wrap toyotas are known to have, coupled with weak springs (allowing it to happen) plays absolute hell on the drivetrain,

    I'm sorry that's all I got for you until some audio/video shows up....GL just need a little more info..
    Bogunn and OR17TRD like this.
  6. OP

    TacomaProblems New Member

    The vibrations started (2nd gear) gradually and almost unnoticeable during acceleration. Over time, it became significant and now is to the point I can no longer drive it. There is no visible damage anywhere on the drive shaft.

    I took some videos that hopefully give you an idea of what is happening. I put the jack stands on the axle in attempt to replicate the height when sitting on ground. The center jack is only for backup (not holding anything).

    Rear Diff Vibration:

    Transmission Output:

    There are three things I forgot to mention:
    1. There is up and down (ground and sky) play on transmission side, feels like shaft (or bearing) inside has movement. I was told that this should not cause vibrations. I suspect this is true since there is no real vibration on transmission side (seen in video). Vibrations seem to originate from rear diff area.
    2. When removing driveshaft, I did not mark alignment of driveshaft. It is very possible that the transmission and rear diff are not aligned. I was only informed after removing that this alignment is important. However, I am unsure how to properly align it given the output of the transmission (see attached pictures). My thoughts are to test each possible variation until it is correct.
    3. This is my first time working with driveshaft (and ujoints). I was told that there is a small possibility that ujoints are not "centered" correctly. I followed the simple procedure of pressing in the caps simultaneously from both ends. I used same material and same sized retainer clips on opposite sides (as specified on ujoint package) to ensure it was "centered". Correct me if there is something I might have missed with this.

    In summary, I am trying to do a process of elimination. The pinion angle is something that seems to be off by approximately 4 degrees. I would like verification that this angle indeed needs to be as close to 90 as possible (i.e. need shims). Below is a picture to make it clear where I am measuring this angle. Also below are reference pictures of rear diff, transmission output, and transmission bushing.

    trans_output_1.JPG rear_diff.JPG trans_output.JPG trans_bushing.JPG
    OR17TRD likes this.
  7. 4wd

    4wd Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm, wow, yeah I see movement in tailshaft (output shaft) the movement is horizontal (back & forth) this may or may not be within specs & that noise sounds like a bearing losing it's life soon, I watched the rear & looked like the pinion was pretty much ok as far as run out, as a matter of fact , that's where the back & forth movement should be (run out) not where I'm seeing it. This is a 1 piece driveshaft correct ? the info posted shows specs for a dbl cardan shaft (2 piece) This is pretty key if you don't have a carrier bearing (center bearing)...
    Bogunn likes this.
  8. 4wd

    4wd Well-Known Member

    Oh, as you found out you needed to mark the flanges & re install in original location & since you didn't it's probably 100% out of phase...But still wouldn't cause the kind of vibes that you have...
    Bogunn likes this.
  9. OP

    TacomaProblems New Member

    Yes, this is a 1 piece driveshaft (no center bearing). I apologize for that, I completely misunderstood what the diagram represented.

    From what I am understanding, you think that the rear diff area looks good? I am a bit confused when you stated that's where the back & forth movement should be.

    As far as the transmission side, I had not noticed that the output shaft was moving in and out but I do now. The driveshaft only slides onto this shaft, so could it be that this movement is happening due to the rear shifting so much? Would a bearing losing its life cause that sort of vibration? I originally assumed that since the vibrations were so significant in the rear, that's where I should look.
  10. 4wd

    4wd Well-Known Member

    Yeah, aside from the famous Tacoma axle wrap the rear diff. appeared pretty normal , what I meant about location of said movement is at the rear diff is where I would expect to see the lateral movement, though slight I see bearing run out on the output shaft in first video. & absolutely a bearing will have a short life span with continued vibrations , it's job is to hold the flange (connection point) true with no deviation at high speed, in parallel with shaft's connection on rear diff, if something (like axle wrap) over time will tear it up, & even though you hear it in the back not uncommon to have the problem originate in front & vibration resonates all thru drive train so it "feels" like it's the rear but it's not.

    EDIT: It was 2nd video...
  11. 4wd

    4wd Well-Known Member

    You know what dude, I just got done watching the rear diff video several times, those jerks were kinda violent I'm assuming it was you shifting, & not a symptom of your issue , That fucking clang I hear sure as hell isn't normal & that's whats causing your ills , & I may have mistaken lateral movement for normal function of the sliding yoke going into the tail shaft, my bad , in any event you need to drop the shaft again & determine where that noise is
  12. 4wd

    4wd Well-Known Member

    Are your Ubolts tight ? , broken spring ?
  13. OR17TRD

    OR17TRD Well-Known Member

    Just a thought... have you checked fluids? Rear diff? Tranny?
    Lynks55 likes this.

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