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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-29-09, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Shakes at 60mph...

Let me start by saying that I know absolutely nothing about cars/trucks. I'm trying to learn, but really, I'm clueless.

I just bought a used 2002 Ford Ranger. Had it inspected and was told it was fine (needs new spark plugs and new transmission fluid). Test drove it around town, seemed good. Never went above 45mph or so though.

This weekend I got up to about 60mph and the vehicle started to shake quite a bit. I'm not really sure how else to describe it.

I had this problem with a mustang and new tires fixed it - but this truck has tires that appear to be brand new.

Can anyone help me diagnose/fix this? I can just 'take it to the shop' but I'm trying to avoid that (save $$$).

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-29-09, 07:37 PM
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Re: Shakes at 60mph...

Try having the tires re-balanced.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-02-09, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Shakes at 60mph...

Originally Posted by jwko View Post
Try having the tires re-balanced.
Had the tires re-balanced yesterday. Only cost $20 dollars for all four tires - so I felt like it was a pretty good deal. Sadly, it didn't seem to help.

I took it out on the highway and tried to pay more attention to what was going on. It seems like it starts around 60-65mph - the steering wheel doesn't shake or vibrate at all, but the truck certainly feels like it's got some up and down bounce to it.

It didn't seem to get better or worse from 60-75mph - couldn't go much faster than that because of traffic.

I didn't notice any changes when I was accelerating vs. letting off the pedal.

Does anyone have any thoughts? Also, is it possible that the shaking I'm feeling is normal and my truck just isn't a very smooth ride?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-04-09, 06:13 AM
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Re: Shakes at 60mph...

If the vibration is still there coasting, I imagine the driveshaft is out of balance. It's an easier fix, but shop around, as prices will vary. I'd take it in for a proper diagnosis, as out of balance shafts are mostly found on high mileage vehicles, as the shaft will rust and pit over time causing a slow vibration that gets worse. Rarely, unless they decide to do some mild off-roading, will a lower mileage vehicle have an out of balance shaft.

Vehicles built from 1970's and newer shouldn't have any vibration when cruising at highway speeds, especially your 2002. Another thing to check are your tie rods for any play, along with wheel bearings. Wheel bearings can be a mixed bag, as some can cuase noise, some can cause vibrations, some can cause both, and some can cause squeaks and such when turning only. I've even had a wheel bearing that made a constant noise that got louder with speed, even when letting off the gas the noise was still there. With any luck it won't cost you too much out of pocket to diagnose and fix!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-09, 11:14 AM
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Re: Shakes at 60mph...

easy way to check the tie rod ends: Jack the truck up and grab the wheel in question by both sides. If it is able to be shaken back and forth(even the slightest) you probably need new tie rod ends. depending on the miles it has this may just be normal wear and tear. If you have to have them done you will be needing a new alignment as well.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-09, 07:28 PM
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Re: Shakes at 60mph...

Could be bad u-joints on the drive shaft as well. If they do need to be replaced I recommend getting ones that have a fitting that will allow you to grease them.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-27-09, 01:02 AM
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Re: Shakes at 60mph...

Lots of things to check. A possibility is a bad tire that won't show up in a re-balance and even bad shocks could be the culprit. What kind of tires are they? If it is possible to borrow a set of tires for a test drive would eliminate tires or rims as the problem. Even new tires can be faulty or defective.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-27-09, 11:27 AM
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Re: Shakes at 60mph...

If its not the tires or tie rods it could be the drive shaft. If u don't want to bring it in, try putting 1 or 2 big hose clamps around it, then take it for a drive, if it gets worse, spin the clamps around to the other side. Then drive, if it helps, keep adjusting the clamps until the vibration goes away.

(its a quick fix, still have it looked at)
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