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Land Cruiser 200 Intermittent Vibration on Highway Bumps

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@MisterPoet you didn't explain if the vibration is from your foot (brake-related) , steering wheel (rack & pinion, bushings), driver seat (suspension-related). To accurately diagnose, you need to find a garage with RuidCar suspension-testing machine like this >> https://www.instagram.com/reel/CpSBXlGKQWD/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y= 

Then they will use stetoschope or long screwdriver + funnel to find the source of vibration by pressing the screwdriver to all metal parts until "not normal" noise is found like here >> 

Since we can't mention any garage in forums, send me whatsapp on 056-724-2156, my friend recently found a garage who uses this stetoschope method to fix his 4WD not engaging but making noise only (Ford uses actuator at the wheels to automatically switch to 4WD, one of the actuators was stuck and the stetoschope pointed which one)

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Thank you @Zed for such an elaboration.

The vibration I feel is neither on steering nor on brake padel, its on car seats and at times I feel back seat on passenger side slightly shaking and making bit of noise. This vibration is not felt during whole drive but only when there is old highway patch. (like on E611 and E311). I feel it mostly between 80KMPH to 110KMPH speeds.

Secondly, there is no clunking noise while hitting bumps or potholes. Yesterday, I got my car ramped and inspected front underneath - both side ball joints doesn't show any wear, neither the rubber looks old; but small wear was seen on exposed part of the lower arm bushes. Mechanic advised to leave the car, so that he could open LCA and UCA and check if replacement is required. If required, he suggests to change the whole Control Arms rather than only bush replacement which he said won't stay longer.

I would definitely send you a message boss.

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Ok @MisterPoet now we have a bit more info, I noticed you bought 2013 (10-year old) LandCruiser, and since my part-time job is also fixing my 20-year old LandCruiser 😂, this is how I'd approach it (in this exact order):

Note A: The wheel bearings I wouldn't worry at this stage. Wheel bearings will make noise as you accelerate the car more, it's like humming or buzzing sound when you go above 80 km/h. It's good preventative maintenance for 10-year old car, but you can do it after you hear the buzzing sound from outside at high speed _all the time_ (not intermittent / unpredictable).

Note B: Yes you can replace just the bushing only without the whole Lower Control Arm (LCA). I did that cos I was being cheap, but felt bad to the mechanics... they spent the whole day hammering because the bottle jack / bush-presser-tool couldn't push them out. It was much easier for them if I just replaced the whole LCA 😂  But it's worth it, the old bushing in the LCA was bad >> see https://www.instagram.com/p/CaFeRpJJuAR/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link 

Things To Do:

  1. Replace 2 Motor + 1 Transmission Mount. Because the vibration is under the seat, so this is a cheap fix. And because 10-year old rubbers will wear out in this climate.
  2. Do "ROAD FORCE BALANCING" . Stand behind them and make sure they use the Road Force machine and not being lazy and tell you they've done it without proof.
  3. Do "Propeller Shaft" Balancing. Propeller Shaft is the drive shaft that connects front axle to rear axle and it's under your seats. If it's a bit bent or unbalanced, it will cause some shuddering/vibration at certain speeds. Of course just like LCA, you can buy a new propeller shaft, but 500dhs of shaft balancing sounds cheaper than 1000+ dhs for new propeller shaft 😁
  4. This is the last option: go to transmission specialist and ask them to Rebuild Torque Converter, but not the whole gearbox/transmission clutches, just the torque converter. My Jeep has this issue, when reaching 80km/h it would shudder/vibrate for 5 seconds before shifting gear, seems the torque converter is slow at locking-up.
  5. Last last thing: if 1-4 are done and you still get vibration: live with it and accept it as part of owning an Old LandCruiser 😅 Of course you can still throw money at it by replacing wheel bearings + CV axles, but as I've said before wheel bearings make buzzing sound constantly at high speed and CV axles make noise when making full U-Turns or Climbing upwards in mall & apartment parkings.

Good luck!

Edited by Zed
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As u explained now with more details, it still seems like an unbalanced tire or when sand goes in any tire and makes them unbalanced.

I know you've changed tires, but have you seen 0 and 0 on both sides of each tire while balancing with your eyes? If not, get all wheels balanced again and stand next to the machine and see every tire reach 0 and 0 with your eyes.

If you've seen the 0 and 0 with your eyes, then do a straight rotation of the front and rear tires, if vibration comes from the front now, surely one of the two wheels is bent or cracked.

If still noise comes from the back, then I would seek a professional mechanic to diagnose than just throwing parts randomly.

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Last self-check: please mention if this vibration comes on a smooth road or not. 

If it's not, then it cannot be tire/wheel, as unbalanced tires make intermittent vibration at different speeds, especially from 80 - 120 bracket (exactly as u mentioned).

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Thank you @Zed and @Gaurav for great support.

If I explain this vibration a bit further, I would say that I feel small bump in the body of the vehicle on bit old road patches like on E311 or E611 and that bumpiness is intermittently only when there is unevenness on road. It stays for less than second and is not continuous. Otherwise, since I changed all shocks, tyres and tie rods etc, car drives like a charm on smooth/new road.

I changed my tyres 2 weeks before, then day before yesterday I again went to redo wheel balancing and seen 0 and 0 with my own eyes as @Gaurav mentioned. So, this is not tyres for sure.

Moreover, last month I thought of it as propeller shaft greasing related thing, so I steam washed the vehicle underneath and applied grease on all 6 greasing zerks/fittings.

@Zed - I sent you whatsapp - can you plz respond to me with garage details in DXB/SHJ who have some type of  suspension-testing machine that you mentioned, and also let me know the garage from where you got the bushing job done on LCA.

Now, my last 2 areas of focus are either (1) replacing LCA or its bushing only (2) removing propeller shaft and getting it aligned which apparently doesn't have any issue. Out of these 2 areas, what would you think to be more related to my problem?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to everyone's support. 

I finally got front lower and upper arms changed and front side momentary shake is totally gone. 

@Zed I changed the complete arms not only bushing. This is because my mechanic did bushing through machine press for another Prado some months ago but it lasted only for 2-3 months. I think this has to do with the required amount of pressure for removing old and installing new bushing; and this varies depending on the bushing. So, the safest way forward was to replace the whole arms instead.

I might try to replace bushing on the rear control and support arms (I saw there are 4 arms in rear - 2 on each side); but I am not sure where in Sharjah or Dubai is the right place to get it done or even its bushing comes separate or not? I read that LC200 rear suspension parts are same as that of LC100.

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1 hour ago, MisterPoet said:

I read that LC200 rear suspension parts are same as that of LC100.

Well done @MisterPoet for taking the leap and trusting your judgement to change the Front LCAs đŸ‘đŸ» In the LC space and others we say "Cry once but extend car's life for another 20yrs" 😁

Only way to check if parts are same is to check VIN. You can WhatsApp me the VIN and I can check if parts are same. I already replaced the Rear  Lower Arms when I did the Lift Kit, and changed to IronMan's adjustable ones. But if you haven't done Lift then stay Toyota  stock of course 🙂

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  • 1 month later...

This is a status update for friends who have been advising and helping me on the issue of my LC 200 bumpy ride.

Background: My vehicle gives me a feeling that it shudders at speed between 80-100 at times. This is mainly felt when I drive over uneven road patches (small ups n downs, and road pothole covers). I also feel small noise from 3rd row wall mounted seat behind passenger side. But when the speed is like 110 and above, I don't feel any issue. On bigger bumps and road issues, car feels super strong. I feel shudders only on small uneven bump which no other car will feel at all (I have 2012 Pajero and I don't feel these shudders on small bumps)

By start of April, I replaced 4 shock absorbers + Front Upper and Lower Control Arms, Steering + Both Link Rod and Tie Rod Engs + Steering Boots + Greased Front and Rear Drive Shift + 4 Tyres changed to Bridgestone.

Post all above, in my last message on the thread, I mentioned momentary shake is totally gone. It seems it was only temporary relief, though the impact has been reduced but not completely gone.

I haven't changed rear upper and lower Trailing/Control arms yet; and I am totally unsure about doing it as I can't preempt will it resolve my issue or not; as I feel it in whole vehicle not in the rear only. 

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