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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,

I did some searching, but didn't find a thread that deals with my specific problem, so I figured I'd post it up and see what you all think.

2007 S, all-stock, purchased 3/8/08. Driveline vibration at 60-80 mph, salesman said dealer would fix. Took to dealer, service record said "Mud in wheels causing vibration," and they balanced the wheels. This reduced the vibration significantly, but did not eliminate it. It's still there, now at 75-85 mph. I will be taking it back until it's fixed, as the dealer agreed to this repair as part of the sale. :pukeright:

I'm pretty sure that the statement in the service record is generic "blame the owner" bullsh*t -- a truck designed for off-road use should not need the wheels balanced after they get muddy! I'm attributing this problem mainly to the off-brand Geo-Trac LTMS tires that were obviously a DPO (d*mn prev. owner) or used-car-dealer downgrade from stock.

That said, is there anything specific to the Xterra in general, or to the solid axle leaf spring suspension that makes it more susceptible to vibration? Did anybody notice any handling/vibration changes or improvements when they went to real off-road tires?

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.

Jason Z Upper
Aspen, Colorado
2007 Xterra S - all stock for now
 

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I had no vibrations when stock. After the lift, i had a slight and i mean slight vibration. After installing 3deg shims, its basically gone.
 

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In most cases, a real off-road tire (an MT) will actually cause more vibrations and they are usually heavier and harder to balance.

How bad is this vibration at 75-85MPH? You have to remember, it's an SUV, it's like driving a brick. At those speeds you are probably getting a lot of air turbulence.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The vibration isn't nearly as bad as it was, but the steering wheel still deflects about 1/8" in each direction at 70. It gets worse as I go around a curve, and it still feels like an unbalanced wheel or something in the back end.

I had Bridgestone A/T Revos on my old Montero, and they vibrated, but it was more of a higher-frequency all-over vibration than a wheel-balance or alignment-related vibration. This feels more like a shimmy than a hum.

Maybe an alignment is the next step...
 

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JZUpper said:
The vibration isn't nearly as bad as it was, but the steering wheel still deflects about 1/8" in each direction at 70...
Dude...that really is not good and probably not safe. You really need to get the dealer to fix that ASAP!


Rob
 

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ummm, 1/8" of travel in a steering wheel is not going to cause any problems. Annoying maybe, but not unsafe. Heck 1/8" of travel in the steering wheel probably doesn't even cause the tires to move if sitting still.

Again, he said 1/8 inch, not 1/8 of the wheel travel.
 

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What you're describing is not normal. Not that I do often, but I can drive over 80 mph, lifted, MTs, with virtually no vibration. The X, properly aligned and balanced, with good tires, bearings, what have you, is one smooth SUV. Make them to get to the bottom of it.
 

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Muzikman said:
ummm, 1/8" of travel in a steering wheel is not going to cause any problems. Annoying maybe, but not unsafe. Heck 1/8" of travel in the steering wheel probably doesn't even cause the tires to move if sitting still.

Again, he said 1/8 inch, not 1/8 of the wheel travel.
Maybe I'm reading between the lines here, but to me, it sounded like he was saying he could feel vibration and felt the wheel moving back and forth a little bit in his hands, in a way I have never noticed in my X or in my friend's X. I took the 1/8" to mean a jiggling that could not be attributed to the road surface. Like the feeling you get at certain speeds when a slab of mud is caked and dried inside a wheel.
 

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Yeah, it's too bad we can't just all drive each others' Xs sometimes, since this is all so difficult to compare. What's significant play and vibration to one person may not be to another.

With BFG MTs and now the Pro Comp Xtreme MTs I don't have any much to speak of in the X. Obviously some tires are going to give some noticeable new vibes. But it just sounds to me like JZUpper has something else wrong.
 

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Those off brand tires are most likely your prob.
I was an explorer driver for years and the suspension set up was very prone to out of balance tires or over torqued lugs
The nissan doesnt seem to have this problem
I would ditch those tires or have the dealer replace them with some stock tires.
When I buy tires I always make sure I state and have them write it on the ticket that they will not use more than 2 oz of weight on my tires to balance them. I see so many people with like 5-6 oz of weight on their tires and I know they must have some wicked vibrations a hwy speeds
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I took my X back to the dealer on Friday, and they re-balanced the tires again. As I suspected, the dealer said the off-brand tires were the culprit. One of the tires wouldn;t balance at all, so they took it off, re-indexed it, and got it balanced.

The shimmy is still there, but it's very minimal, even at high speed. I would guess that it would go away when I get new tires.
 
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