Vibration in Steering Wheel (25-40mph) - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
KettermanJ
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Vibration in Steering Wheel (25-40mph)

The past few days, there has been a very noticeable shake/vibration that can be felt most vigorously between 25 and 40 mph. It happens during acceleration, and when i push in the clutch, it rolls smoothly. I still have a lot to learn about my jeep so hopefully some of you guys can help me out.

From what I have read, some of the most common problems associated with this is wheel balance, and u-joint wear in the rear drive shaft. The only problem is, is that I had everything balanced and rotated today and my whole rear drive shaft and u-joints are new and have no sign of wear, but the problem still exists.

So my plans are to drop the front drive shaft tomorrow and drive it with it off to see if it eliminates the problem.

Do any of you guys have any ideas what it could be?

Thank you,
-Josh

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post #2 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 05:17 AM
Louie4
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I would check all the tie rod ends, drag link, ball joints, and wheel bearings for play. Just jack up the front end and grab the wheels and push them side to side and in and out to see if it's tight.

Lou

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post #3 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 05:35 AM
EABiker
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The front drive shaft won't spin in 2WD unless you are locked. The front axle shaft U joints will spin of course, but pushing in the clutch won't cause the vibe to quit. Make sure you aren't chasing a slight engine miss at that speed range.
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
KettermanJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louie4 View Post
I would check all the tie rod ends, drag link, ball joints, and wheel bearings for play. Just jack up the front end and grab the wheels and push them side to side and in and out to see if it's tight.
Thanks I will try that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EABiker View Post
The front drive shaft won't spin in 2WD unless you are locked. The front axle shaft U joints will spin of course, but pushing in the clutch won't cause the vibe to quit. Make sure you aren't chasing a slight engine miss at that speed range.
What would be a good test to see if it was an engine miss? Sorry, I'm a newly starting jeep "mechanic" :P
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
KettermanJ
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Just got out from under the jeep. The track bar was completely loose and shaking. I tightened that up and the vibration isn't nearly as noticeable. But it is still there. The thing was a pain in the *** to tighten up. I think there is still some tightening that needs to be done. The bushing looked pretty shot also.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 03:50 PM
YJMonster
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Mabey thats why my front end vibrates i seem to have. I seem to have "Misplaced my track bars" Awhile back.

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post #7 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
KettermanJ
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Well it wasnt the track bars... infact I am thinking mine might be getting "misplaced" soon.

I had a look once again and found that it actually was the rear DS ujoints.
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-02-2010, 05:42 PM
joe_98tj
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I'm having the same problem!

Same thing: My steering wheel shakes up and down violently while either accelerating, or engine braking between 20 and 30 mph. Shaking stops when clutch is depressed.

Tie rods, rear DS u-joints, track bar, ball joints, engine mounts, bearings, tires, and alignment are all fine. No shaking when in 4WD. I am currently having my front drive-shaft rebuilt, and the shaking is just as bad with it removed.

I'm glad I'm not the only one having this problem! Very wierd

I'll post if I get it figured out. Probably gonna take it to the shop soon...
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-30-2010, 10:30 AM
AidanMullen
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YJ vibrates at 45 MPH, but rolls smoothly when clutch is in.

Hey there,
It would seem that my problem is similar. I have a new motor, new clutch, and all related parts with less than 500 miles on them. I JUST replaced all 4 front ball joints, and steering U joints. When he looked at it, my mechanic didn't notice anything else suspect. He also inspected the rear drive shaft and U joints. All seem well. When driving in 2WD, anything after about 40 MPH in 3rd gear of higher, causes a very uncomfortable vibration that feels like it's bogging down the engine, but it goes away when I push in the clutch. Sometimes the jeep feels OK, but most often, it feels like I'm not going to make it home. It is VERY strange and VERY frustrating! I feel like I'm chasing my tail. The pilot bearing in the Manual transmission has been whining loudly, so I'm off to the transmission shop now. I will have them go over EVERYTHING. Any ideas of what else to look for? Could this be caused by a bum transmission or perhaps transmission mounts, or????
Thanks!
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-30-2010, 09:40 PM
joe_98tj
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Ended up being that the rear drive-shaft u-joints were bad. They seemed fine with the drive-shaft installed (not too much play), but I had my mechanic take it out, and I drove with only the front shaft for a while, and the shaking was gone. So, when we looked at the rear shaft after taking it out it was much easier to see that the u-joints were shot.

Got a new drive-shaft and that fixed it. Weird that the vibration came all the way up the drive-train, and up the steering column.

Drop out the rear DS and see how it feels.

Good luck!
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post #11 of 20 Old 10-01-2010, 10:23 AM
AidanMullen
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Hi Joe,
Thanks for the info. I've felt that this was the culprit, but wasn't totally convinced. I have the transmission being looked at today, and will make sure that they have a good close look at the DS at the same time. Since you have the experience, are the DS U joints themselves replaceable, or will it require replacing the entire assembly?
Thanks again,
Aidan
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post #12 of 20 Old 10-02-2010, 12:47 PM
joe_98tj
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Depending on the overall condition of your DS you might be able to get away with just replacing the worn parts of the U-joints. In my case it was a little banged up, and worn out overall, so I just decided to bite the bullet and get a whole new DS for peace of mind.
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post #13 of 20 Old 11-04-2010, 07:33 PM
AidanMullen
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Hello all,
So.... New transmission/transmission mount (which was all but disintegrated) in addition to all of the other stuff previously mentioned. Told the mechanic to have a close look at the DS. He gave it a thumbs up. The thing ran MUCH smoother with the new tranny and mount for about a week. The job did however dislodge my exhaust pipe from the manifold, causing a brutal leak. New front exhaust pipe, bye bye cat converter (no smog gear on this jeep at all) and new Flowmaster 40 muffler. Since then however, I'm right back to square one. Third gear and up, (40+ MPH) this thing feels like something's loose. Timing was out, and the carb need to be adjusted. Took care of all of that thinking I'd solved it. Went to a different shop today to have the brakes looked at, and was invited under the chassis for a complete evaluation. I need lots of new bushings, in addition to brakes. Trac bar bushing are shot, and was told this could be the problem. Tie rod ends, etc are all ok. Wheel bearings are ok. We twisted the rear drive shaft and found a "tiny bit of play" but both the mechanic and his supervisor called this perfectly acceptable. Are they correct, or does a tiny bit of drive shaft play in the jeep translate out to trouble?? I'm really at my wits end with this guys. ANY help, or encouragement would go a very long way. If I DON't figure this out, my wife's gonna blow the whistle on my spending. I'm starting to feel like the current administration!
THANKS!
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-21-2010, 12:48 PM
joe_98tj
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Aidan,

I went through exactly the same process ("We twisted the rear drive shaft and found a "tiny bit of play" but both the mechanic and his supervisor called this perfectly acceptable") and it was only when we actually removed the DS that we saw just how shot it was. The fact that there was no vibration while driving around in FWD with no rear DS confirmed that the DS was the problem, even though it looked OK while installed.

Try removing the rear DS and test drive it running in FWD. No more vibration = time for a new rear DS.

Trust me, I feel your pain!

Good luck!

Joe

P.S. Re: "If I DON't figure this out, my wife's gonna blow the whistle on my spending. I'm starting to feel like the current administration!"--Come on man, just borrow a few hundred billion from China, or better yet just print some, it's just paper after all!! ; )

Last edited by joe_98tj; 11-21-2010 at 10:18 PM.
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-23-2010, 01:36 PM
AidanMullen
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Joe, thanks for the encouragement! I will try as you suggest. What kind of a job is it to remove/ replace the DS? It'd be great if I could do it myself. If I need one, do you, or anyone else, recommend an upgrade, or is OEM ok in this instance??
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