95 4cyl Steering Wheel Vibration

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Old 13 Nov 2004, 06:26 pm   #1 (permalink)
camry-keeper
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Default 95 4cyl Steering Wheel Vibration

Steering wheel vibrates visibly while in Drive when stopped, less in Park,
and even less in Neutral. I'm concerned about the level of vibration - no
other cars I drive are even close. Is this engine mounts, transmission
problem, timing, or something else?

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Old 14 Nov 2004, 02:28 am   #2 (permalink)
Viperkiller
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Default Re: 95 4cyl Steering Wheel Vibration

On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 19:26:50 -0500, "camry-keeper"
<pwichert@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote:

>Steering wheel vibrates visibly while in Drive when stopped, less in Park,
>and even less in Neutral. I'm concerned about the level of vibration - no
>other cars I drive are even close. Is this engine mounts, transmission
>problem, timing, or something else?


Engine mounts.
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Old 14 Nov 2004, 06:50 am   #3 (permalink)
Daniel M. Dreifus
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Default Re: 95 4cyl Steering Wheel Vibration

"camry-keeper" <pwichert@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<ae29ee997bf22d78f5130ae6abedb511@localhost.t alkaboutautos.com>...
> Steering wheel vibrates visibly while in Drive when stopped, less in Park,
> and even less in Neutral. I'm concerned about the level of vibration


Check the "dog bone" engine mount on the top of the engine that
connects to the strut tower. Look carefully for any signs of cracking.
These are usually the first of the engine mounts to show wear. If this
one goes, it puts more stress on the others and you'll need to check
them more carefully. I'd guess if the one on top is good, or you
replace it at the first sign of incipient cracking, the others are OK
as well because the "dog bone" mount constrains engine movement. The
correct factory name for the part is "engine moving control rod."
Use Redline complete fuel system cleaner. One bottle in the tank with
the first fill up, then one tenth of a bottle with each subsequent
tankful. Do this for around two years and report back. Really. The in
line four is inherently less smooth at idle with 180 degree crankshaft
throws (offset between connecting rod bearing journals), and the
steering rack is mounted close enough to the engine to transmit
vibration.
Also, any imbalance in tuning and maintenance is amplified. Check to
see that the secondary electrical system is in top operating condition
with original equipment parts. Aftermarket wires and distributor caps
have been know to have significantly shorter service lives.
Standard test for spark plug wires is test less than 25,000 ohms each.
The secondary ignition voltage on Toyota's electronic systems is quite
high so you may not notice an slight miss with weakened wires in
normal driving, but it can be more noticeable parked at idle. I had
some hesitation on harder acceleration at higher engine speed, but the
car seemed to run perfectly fine during normal smooth acceleration.
Trying out a new DMM (digital multimeter) I discovered two wires'
resistance tested infinite, and one had burned the spark plug boot
shorting to ground hidden inside the spark plug tube in the valve
cover.
The Redline CSFC is recommended because extensive testing by BMW
qualified it as the only factory approved fuel injector cleaner of any
on the market. Also, contains no harsh solvents that can damage
components, plus contains synthetic upper cylinder lubricant. Does
take a long time to affect improvements in contaminant reduction on
the intake valves, but worth being patient. Read their technical
information and study the graphs. There is an example for a four
cylinder Toyota.
One of the ways the Toyota engine generates additional power is
through the use of four valves per cylinder. This has an effect
roughly equal to turbo charging, in that it greatly enhances engine
breathing and volumetric efficiency (plus reducing valve train wear
with lighter components). If the intake valves become fouled with
residue, they still open just as far, but the flow is restricted.
That's why you'll notice an improvement in power with the Redline over
time. Can take 15,000 to 20,000 miles, but it does work. Back to the
original question, this will also help smooth the idle parked in Drive
because it balances the power output between individual cylinders.
Many fuel injector cleaners and gasoline additives make these claims,
but I know this one works. Have had little to zero results with
others.
Finally, the oxygen sensor, takes what amounts to an average reading
at the exhaust manifold such that if one injector pattern is less than
ideal and output is restricted in the least, the feedback loop signals
the ECM to richen the mixture to all injectors to compensate. By
having each individual injector operating at peak efficiency, this
will also help to smooth the idle parked in Drive.
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Old 15 Nov 2004, 08:49 pm   #4 (permalink)
camry-keeper
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Default Re: 95 4cyl Steering Wheel Vibration

Spark plug wire resistance ranged from 6500 to 12,000 Ohms, so that looks
ok; did find one loose spark plug--which scared me. Is there some trick to
getting the right torque and making sure the compression ring on the plug
is seated right? Rubber on the dog bone is slightly cracked, so I will
look to replace that -- manual says to support engine while doing this,
but that doesn't seem necessary (?) I will try the Redline, I use a FI
cleaner a few times a year, since I can't see the injectors and don't want
to pull them.

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Old 16 Nov 2004, 07:45 am   #5 (permalink)
Daniel M. Dreifus
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Default Re: 95 4cyl Steering Wheel Vibration

"camry-keeper" <pwichert@nospam.hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<ea48712ac165ff732954ee3d45946c36@localhost.t alkaboutautos.com>...
> Spark plug wire resistance ranged from 6500 to 12,000 Ohms, so that looks
> ok;


That should be fine.

did find one loose spark plug--which scared me. Is there some trick to
> getting the right torque and making sure the compression ring on the plug
> is seated right?


Seems obvious to me - use a torque wrench. The inexpensive beam type
for around $20 at Sears will work just fine. Head is aluminum alloy,
so correct torque is important. When re installing a plug use a small
amount of anti seize compound on the threads to ease removal later. If
you have a few dollars extra, those 10" extensions with the locking
button on the end are nice to ensure the socket doesn't come off at
the bottom of the spark plug tube.

Rubber on the dog bone is slightly cracked, so I will
> look to replace that -- manual says to support engine while doing this,
> but that doesn't seem necessary (?)


That's the perfect time to replace it - before the rubber cracks all
the way through. I found no additional engine support was required.
Just unbolt and replace. There again, there are torque values you can
use when installing. Best to use the torque wrench on everything -
that's why torque values are given. Although after years of practice
you get a good sense of how to tighten things, it is still best to use
the exact values.

I will try the Redline, I use a FI
> cleaner a few times a year, since I can't see the injectors and don't want
> to pull them.


Absolutely unnecessary to remove the fuel injectors, and unlikely you
could see anything without checking spray pattern. With continual use
(one tenth bottle at each fill up) the Redline CFSC will clean the
intake valves over time and is safe for continual use, but you need to
use it continuously to improve idle smoothness. May never get back to
"like new" but you should see significant improvement if you stay with
it. My steering wheel used to bounce up and down at idle in Drive, but
it doesn't do that anymore. You can feel the power pulses from the
engine coming through the steering wheel at idle, but they're
relatively mild and not objectionable.
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Old 17 Nov 2004, 09:08 pm   #6 (permalink)
camry-keeper
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Default Re: 95 4cyl Steering Wheel Vibration

I also noticed that after a few hours of highway driving, then stopping, my
idle RPMs dip about a needle's width below 750, and extra
vibration/shuddering occurs. Usual city driving idles exactly 750 RPM.
Does idle ever need to be re-set? (not that I have a tach)

I use duct tape on the socket to extension and also a strip overlapped
inside the socket to help grip the plugs -- ugly, but it works.

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