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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Just noticed the Xterra has apparently developed a vibration above 55. I did some searching and it seems that either U joint or tires tend to be the cause. The tires are pretty old, when I wanted to get them rotated the shop said they were too old, so I am leaning towards it being the tires. Are there any other ways to tell if it might be the U joint instead of the tires. There is no noise or anything else until just above 55 mph. Below that runs smooth. Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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The speed of the vibration will tell you a lot. If it's a high frequency vibe, then it's probably a U-Joint. Lower frequency is more likely the tires. Climb under your truck and wiggle the front and rear ends of your driveshafts. If you have axial play, replace them. If your tires are old, or have lost a balance weight, you'll have a noticeable vibe beginning around 55-60 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Awesome, thanks much for the help. Seems more low vibration, I will check when I get home.
 

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When my rear U-joint 'went' about 6 years ago, the vibrations were far more noticeable at highway or near highway speeds.
 

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I am not feeling any vibration at all until 55 mph.
My intuition is that you would start to feel tire vibrations below 55 mph. But I suspect that FishCannon has more experience than I in this regard.

You could remove and visually inspect the wheels for lost weights. A shop will likely want to test drive the vehicle. An experienced, competent mechanic should be able to make a diagnosis during the test drive.

In my case, in order to diagnose and then have the rear U-joint replaced, I had to go to another shop as my mechanic at the time had no idea what was going on. I was not impressed with 'my [former] mechanic'.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks very much. The tires need replacing anyway, so I will do that first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, update on the vibration. Brand new tires and it is still happening. It only happens while foot is on the gas. Meaning if you are at 55mph and it is vibrating and you take your foot off gas vibration goes away. Guy at the tire place said he thought the transmission may be missing some teeth? Never heard of that, but I will still ask you guys for opinions. I am thinking U joints. Am I correct that the way to check is just to crawl under and try and move them back and forth? Thanks again for any help.
 

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Guy at the tire place said he thought the transmission may be missing some teeth? Never heard of that, but I will still ask you guys for opinions. I am thinking U joints. Am I correct that the way to check is just to crawl under and try and move them back and forth?
Guy at the tire place is not a mechanic, just a tire jockey and has no idea what he is talking about.
Yes, you are correct about checking U joints. Try wiggling them in all directions, clockwise, counter clockwise, up, down, and any other direction you want. There should be very little play.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Guy at the tire place is not a mechanic, just a tire jockey and has no idea what he is talking about.
Yes, you are correct about checking U joints. Try wiggling them in all directions, clockwise, counter clockwise, up, down, and any other direction you want. There should be very little play.
Hello,
Thanks, that is what I was thinking. However, I just smiled and said I would check it out.
 

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U joints are pretty cheap, you should just pick up a set and have them installed if you know a cheap/reputable mechanic. You can also try switching into 4 wheel drive to see if the vibration decreases (that may also point to u-joints). I had the exact same issue and since my tires still had some solid life left and U-joints are cheaper I went with that first and it fixed my vibration.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
U joints are pretty cheap, you should just pick up a set and have them installed if you know a cheap/reputable mechanic. You can also try switching into 4 wheel drive to see if the vibration decreases (that may also point to u-joints). I had the exact same issue and since my tires still had some solid life left and U-joints are cheaper I went with that first and it fixed my vibration.
Thanks.
It doesn't look like too big of a job either.
 

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I think I might be starting to get some driveshaft vibe, between like 35-55 , if i get on the throttle a little i feel a very slight vibration. not there off throttle.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update on the vibration. So, I didn't really feel movement from the drive shaft when I climbed under, but I decided to pull it off anyway. As soon as I got it out I saw the problem. One of the cups with broken and completely rusted, not a needle bearing in sight. Replaced the u joint and everything seems fine now. I will say I learned a couple of things. First, it may be bad with little to no movement. Second, those bolts are tight, I mean really tight. I ended up heating them up and they came of with some effort. Anyone else have an opinion on heating those? I did reused them as they seemed okay and I tightened them the best I could. Probably a little more than the 44. Thanks again for the help folks.
 
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