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  #1  
Old 07-05-2017, 11:07 AM
a_hynes a_hynes is offline
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Default Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Need your help, FRF fam

This past weekend I replaced the sway bar links and sway bar bushings (2WD XLT). I was missing 2 out of the 4 sway bar link busings on both sides causing a TON of body sway especially around corners. Thankfully the sway has been greatly reduced now, but at about 70 mph on the highway to and from work I'm getting a decent amount of vibration felt in the steering wheel. It comes and goes too; if i accelerate up to 70 mph I can really feel it. If I'm above 70 and I coast down to 70 mph I don't feel it as much. I wouldn't think the sway bar links are a contributing factor to this and that it's just a coincidence, but due to the timing I'm curious. Regardless, I want to get it fixed cuz it scares the s##t out of me that a tires gonna fly off on the way to work one day.

Appreciate any help y'all got for me
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2017, 11:10 AM
ford4thot ford4thot is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Have you checked tires for balance?
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2017, 11:19 AM
a_hynes a_hynes is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ford4thot View Post
Have you checked tires for balance?
Is there a way to do that without taking it to a shop?
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:21 AM
ford4thot ford4thot is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by a_hynes View Post
Is there a way to do that without taking it to a shop?
Not really that I know of

----------

I would personally take it to a shop to have them check tires for balance and check alignment
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:28 AM
a_hynes a_hynes is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ford4thot View Post
Not really that I know of

----------

I would personally take it to a shop to have them check tires for balance and check alignment
Fair enough. The tires are coming due for a replacement anyways, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's the problem. I just thought the timing was weird that as soon as i fix the sway bar links I start noticing the vibration. Maybe I was so focused on the swaying that I never noticed the vibration
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:51 AM
ford4thot ford4thot is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Yep that's a real possibility
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:01 PM
RoberticusMaximus RoberticusMaximus is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

i bet the vibration was always there, just that tightening up the sway bar made it noticeable! that happens to me a lot lol
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:02 PM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Check all the front end parts for play or looseness. Front end parts I am talking about are tie rod ends, ball joints, wheel bearings, rack mount bolts etc.

Normally a tire balance problem shows up around 50-70 MPH

I agree you may need to balance your tires, but before you spend your cash check the front end parts.

Also if you have tires that collects rocks, pick them out and see if your symptoms improve.
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Last edited by EaOutlaw1969; 07-05-2017 at 01:44 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2017, 01:03 PM
RoberticusMaximus RoberticusMaximus is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

oh yeah that reminds me, i was gonna ask, no pulsing in the pedal? just the wheel?
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:54 PM
WVJefo WVJefo is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

An alinement & tire balance does wonders for front end vibration.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:45 AM
a_hynes a_hynes is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by EaOutlaw1969 View Post
Check all the front end parts for play or looseness. Front end parts I am talking about are tie rod ends, ball joints, wheel bearings, rack mount bolts etc.

Normally a tire balance problem shows up around 50-70 MPH

I agree you may need to balance your tires, but before you spend your cash check the front end parts.

Also if you have tires that collects rocks, pick them out and see if your symptoms improve.
I'll do that. I have noticed that when I spin the steering wheel right and then slowly turn it left again i feel and hear a "popping" noise every 10 degrees or so of wheel turn. I'll get the wife out there today to turn the wheel for me while I'm down there listening to figure out exactly where it's coming from. Since I only hear it while turning, my thinking is a tie rod end or ball joint, and it feels and sounds like it's on the left side somewhere. Could that be causing vibration though at high speed?

And luckily no cash will be spent anyways; I work for a tire company so one perk is free tires every once in a while lol. But if they weren't free I agree, best to identify possible other causes that may be a lot cheaper than paying for 4 or 5 tires.

And RoberticuMaximus, no pulsing in the pedal as far as I'm aware, I can double check on the way home today though. What could that mean if I did have that?
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2017, 09:35 AM
RoberticusMaximus RoberticusMaximus is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by a_hynes View Post
I'll do that. I have noticed that when I spin the steering wheel right and then slowly turn it left again i feel and hear a "popping" noise every 10 degrees or so of wheel turn. I'll get the wife out there today to turn the wheel for me while I'm down there listening to figure out exactly where it's coming from. Since I only hear it while turning, my thinking is a tie rod end or ball joint, and it feels and sounds like it's on the left side somewhere. Could that be causing vibration though at high speed?

And luckily no cash will be spent anyways; I work for a tire company so one perk is free tires every once in a while lol. But if they weren't free I agree, best to identify possible other causes that may be a lot cheaper than paying for 4 or 5 tires.

And RoberticuMaximus, no pulsing in the pedal as far as I'm aware, I can double check on the way home today though. What could that mean if I did have that?
Pulsing in the brake pedal would indicate possibly a warped rotor. Which can eventually wear out other components. Starting to sound more and more like tires to me!
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2017, 09:36 AM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Yes loose front end parts can cause unwanted vibrations.

There are plenty of how to videos online that show how to inspect your front end parts.

None of useful videos include someone turning the wheel for you.

To check the tie rod ends both inner and outer require safely jacking the vehicle in the air.

Make sure to use the parking brake and use wheel chocks if you feel it is nessasary to prevent the truck from rolling.

Use jack stands under the frame just behind the front tires.

With the front wheels off the ground grab ahold of the tire at 3 and 9 o'clock and shake the wheel. If you have any play it should be obvious and may even make noise.

If the play or slop is not so obvious you will have to get someone to shake the wheel for you
While you look at the inner and outer tierod ends.

The inner tierod ends will be protected by a rubber boot you will not be able to see them.

But if you see the whole tie rod assembly move on one side yet the movement does not go all the way to the other side then you know the inner tierod end is bad.

The outer tierod end is easier to identify when they are bad because you will see play at the ball end of the outer tierod end and the spindle assembly.

While your looking at the inner tierod end Dust boots, they should not be ripped, torn or wet with fluid.

If they are ripped or soaked in a oil like substance not from a leak above you may have a bad or worn rack and pinion assembly.

Add this to a worn inner tierod end then you would want to purchase a long rack which includes both inner tierod ends and dust boots.

Only replace the entire rack if the rack is leaking power steering fluid.

Otherwise a new boot and tierod end can be installed.


Ball joints should be inspected at this point. With the truck still on the stands, position the floor jack under the lower control arm and jack up one wheel at a time.

You want to relieve some of the spring pressure off of the ball joints, but not so much you lift the truck off of the stands.

Then grab the wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock and shake the wheel, if you have any play or slop, have someone shake the wheel while you look to see what ball joint is worn out.

If you do not see or feel any play in the ball joints clean off each dust boot. Look for tears in these boots.

If the ball joints have no play and the dust boots are good look for grease fittings.
Lubricate each ball joint with a grease gun just until each boot swells a little.

Do not over lubricate the ball joints as you will breK the seal or blow out the boots allowing water and dirt to ruin the ball joints.

Same thing applies for the tie rod ends, if they do not have play or slop and you find grease fittings lubricate them as well.

Chances are if your front end parts are making noise some of these parts will be worn and not helped by greasing them.

If you find any worn parts and need help on how to change them just ask.

While the truck is in the air spin the tires look for rocks caught in the treads and look for recently missing wheel weights.

While you are spinning the tire make sure the tire looks round and look for even tread wear, a tire that has been out of balance for some time will have a choppy rough looking pattern to it.

A tire that has been subject to a poor alignment or a poor alignment due to a worn part will have excessive tire wear on one side of each front tire.

If the tires have not been rotated properly it will be hard to determine if your truck has been out of alignment.

Many tire wear patterns will tell a trained technician what may be the cause, you can look at these patterns online and compare them to what you see if your not sure.

By the time your done inspecting this truck, it should be obvious what is wrong and what you need to do to fix the problem.
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2017, 09:37 AM
RoberticusMaximus RoberticusMaximus is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

good stuff! ^^^^

That popping sound while turning sounds like my ball joints did starting at around 100k miles.

edit: this video isn't too bad, but i've seen better ones for checking ball joints:


Last edited by RoberticusMaximus; 07-06-2017 at 10:29 AM.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2017, 07:05 AM
a_hynes a_hynes is offline
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Default Re: Steering Wheel Vibration at High Speeds

Thanks Outlaw for the good info! Like you said if I have issues I'll ask. This is why I love the Ranger Forums!
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