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2008 2wd ranger shakes on decel

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  #1  
Old 05-11-2017
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2008 2wd ranger shakes on decel

Hey everyone.

I have a 2008 2WD standard trans 3.0L Sport Ranger, with torsion bar suspension. almost 200k on the odo

About two weeks ago i noticed a heavy shake when i hit my brakes and figured it was my rotors. About 2 days later i realised i didnt even have to hit my breaks to make it happen. its more common at highway speeds, and then letting off the throttle, or hitting the brakes, but will also happen occasionally at low speed 40-50km/h. The shake can be felt in the steering wheel, but doesnt seem to be originating in the steering. This shake happens intermittently , and there isnt a fool proof way to recreate it reliably other than hard decel at hwy speed (probably 90% of the time). all other times is random.

First thing i checked was the tie rods and ball joints. Tie rods seem fine, but the ball joints were toast.

So i replaced the upper control arms and lower ball joints(both sides)with Moog. When i took off the drivers side tire, i found a broken sway bar link. (bolt rusted through and broke at the nut)
The sway bar link hasnt been replaced yet ( will be tomorrow, going to do both sides) but with the work done so far, there has been no change in the shake. it does drive over bumps a hell of a lot nicer though. I dont believe a broken sway bar link would cause low speed shakes, but maybe im wrong.

I have owned the truck since new, and i am the only driver. I can vouch that it hasnt been put through hell. its been on pavement and the occasion back roads when camping. thats about it.
While im at the parts store, is there anything else i should look at that may cause this?
 

Last edited by ninja; 05-11-2017 at 10:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2017
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Welcome to the forum

While front end might cause the vibration I would look more at the back end.
When you accelerate or decelerate you change the angle on the rear end, it doesn't move much but it does move.

First I would check the u-joints, failing u-joint can cause this, when it gets bad enough then driveshaft will vibrating all the time.
Look for play at the u-joints, won't be much but there should be 0 play
 
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2017
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Thanks for the info!

So when i check the ujoint itself for play, i cant get it to budge in any direction. However... i am getting backlash on the driveshaft itself. i feel as if i shouldnt have any.. or at least very little.. but there is a definite clunk when rotating in either direction


While im confident enough doing the work (millwright and machinist of 6 and 13 years), im not familiar on what is and isnt normal when it comes to automotive. (at least without tearing it apart)
 

Last edited by ninja; 05-12-2017 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 05-13-2017
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If backlash was too much you would have noticed a clunking noise when shifting, vibration wouldn't be caused by that because its not a balance issue.

There will be some movement of drive shaft and a clunk from rear end, but that is part ring/pinion and part axles and when added together it can "feel" like alot.
You could have some wear and at 10 years old I might change differential fluid and look for metal in the old gear oil, there will be some, that is not "normal", but is expected if it has never been changed before.

Thought of something else
Manual transmission is a direct connection in drive train when clutch pedal is up

Does the vibration change with clutch pedal position?
 
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Old 05-13-2017
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it doesnt change with clutch position.

I had the diff fluid change probably 50k ago by a shop. but have developed a bit of a pinion leak since then. I have kept it topped off, but while im working on the truck, i will be swapping the seal out hopefully this weekend.

Im just waiting for the sway bar, and brackets to dry (painting everything as i replace, or inspect) and will be putting it back on in an hour or two. I dont think i will see a difference from this. but.. might as well try.


I will list everything i have done since i bought the truck off the lot.

Motor: (within the last 2 years)
Plugs
wires
camshaft position sensor
IAC valve
cleaned out the throttle body
unhooked AC compressor electrical, as it was causing a weird idle with the heat on ( kept cycling the AC clutch on and off every 15 seconds)


suspension/brakes

Rotors (2 years ago)
pads and drums (2 years ago)
Ball joints
Upper control arms
sway bar links (untested as of now)

Fluids

All fluids have been flushed at least once within the last 3 years
motor oil always changed within 5-8k intervals with standard dino oil
differential oil changed 50k ago
clutch needed to be topped up about 3 years ago, hasnt dropped since
brake fluid changed, but never needed to be topped up


Inspected:

ujoints (seems solid in all directions)
wheel bearings (no pitting, blueing or slop that i can find. roll smooth)
tie rods, with wheels off the ground i cant get any movement out of them until i use enough force to bounce the steering off the locks
lower control arm bushings (not sure how to properly test, but with the wheels on the ground and a friend rocking the truck up and down, side to side, back and forth, i dont see any play in them)

I do hear a squeak in the rear end when rocking side to side that sounds like a bushing. but i havent checked any of that as of yet.
No clunking or weird lurches when driving. just the shake. Which seems to have gotten better with new ball joints and upper arms, but still there.

By better i mean: low speed shake seems to be gone, but 100 km/h plus it comes back while coasting or decel. doesnt apear to be there on acceleration, and seems to be less noticeable while turning right at speed. left seems to make it worse. might be in my head. I have NOT had an alignment yet, as i was hoping to have these issues worked out before i took it in.

Should i bite the bullet at get the alignment done and hope that is the issue? or should i replace the inner/outer tie rods for good measure and then get the alignment done?

The fact its intermittent makes me feel like the alignment isnt the source.. but maybe a contributing factor. Maybe im wrong.
 
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Old 05-13-2017
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Don't do alignment until all parts you want to replace are replaced

Since motor was replaced I would check motor mounts
Pop the hood
Set Parking brake
Start engine and put in 1st gear
Let out clutch a bit and watch engine under the hood gap to see it torque a bit, lift on one side
Then do the same in Reverse

Looking for motor to lift up too much on one side, indicating a loose or broken motor mount

This could cause vibration on deceleration but I would think pushing in clutch pedal would stop the vibration instantly
 
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Old 05-13-2017
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sorry, wasnt clear on that. motor itself wasnt replaced. it was just a annotation for what i have done to the motor.

but i will do that to check the mounts regardless

I think i will insure my f250 for a while so i can keep plugging away on my ranger without beating up new parts, and wearing the tires due to daily driving. but... i really love this truck and want to get it sorted out! :)
 

Last edited by ninja; 05-13-2017 at 01:23 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2017
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Tried what you suggested. motor flexes the same in either direction. which is almost nothing. hardly noticeable.
 
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Old 05-13-2017
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Ok.

so sway bar and new links installed.

I took it for a drive on the highway and its still there. It was fine for the first 5-10km. and then the shake got very noticeable again. hitting the throttle doesnt get rid of it, but makes it less noticeable.
coasting and decel are where it is most pronounced, and once it starts, you can feel it from 40 km/h and up, but doesnt seem to start until you bring it up to hwy speed for at least 5 min.

I took it for a low speed test drive (30 km/h) through the side roads and slammed the breaks, reverse to forward, hard and abrupt turning left and right, slam the breaks again, etc etc.
no wobbles or out of the ordinary sounds apart from ABS now and then when i really hit it hard.

So the ball joints definitely helped the cause, but there is something somewhere else.

Im going to rob a set of wheels/rubber off a ranger that drives straight and no wobbles just to confirm or deny that they might be the cause. Ill update later when i do that.
 
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2017
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i got tired of waiting for the wheels so ran to the parts store and picked up inner and outer tie rods. figured i might as well change them as the rest of the front end is all new now.

Seems like this has solved the shake. knock on wood. Going to go for a hour or so drive to confirm.

Even after removing the old tie rods, they dont seem worn out, but i admit i may have overlooked something small and not noticed. Alignment is definitely in need of adjustment, but as of now its driving smooth. I just hope it stays that way.
 
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Old 05-14-2017
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Good work

Thanks for the update and the "FIX", fingers crossed :)
 
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Old 05-14-2017
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Well, it came back... thats the bad news.


good news... i think i found it.

Last night, it was great for about 5km of hwy driving. and it started again. So i parked it and this morning, i ripped the front wheels off again, sprayed the brakes down with brake klean, double checked the torque on everything, snugged the sway bar links a little more as they didnt appear to be wrinkled on the bushings, etc.
Put the new wheels on the front end. and went for a drive..

Yet again, it came back within about 5km.

So pulled back into the garage, and started pulling the rear tires. First up was the drivers rear tire. Soon as i can get it off, (wet hands from the tire) i touched the brake drum, and instantly... dry hands. Water hissed and boiled off the drum almost instantly.


Im typing this as i let the drum cool off, but i have a feeling the rear drum is warped just enough to rub, and it doesnt cause issues until it heats up enough to start grabbing.

This in my mind would explain why everything i replace seems to help temporarily, it simply has enough time to cool down and stop rubbing, and why it gets progressively worse as i drive it. At least until i park it and try again later.

Looks like a rear brake job is in my immediate future?

If this is it... well.. damn near rebuilt the whole thing... might as well throw new leafs in too
 
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Old 05-14-2017
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Yes, rear brakes barely heat up at all on a pickups 70/30 proportioning

That does sound like a reasonable diagnoses

I would expect vibration to change with applying the brakes but rear brakes can be tricky in that respect
 
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Old 05-14-2017
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thats where it gets tricky.. once it starts shaking.. it progressively gets worse at coasting, or decel. and yes brakes made it worse once it got bad enough, and throttle mostly made it better. I mostly assumed it couldnt be the brakes, as they have been done not too long ago, and they feel fine while city driving, or for the first while on the highway.

Im assuming hitting the throttle would somewhat overcome the drag and allow it to feel like less of a shake.

I dont have access to any parts until next week. would i be able to spin that little star tensioner and loosen them off on one side for the time being? without it being too much of a hazard? most of the braking is done at the front so i assume if i just back it off a little it wouldnt be any worse than having a worn out shoe?
 
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Old 05-14-2017
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i pulled the drum off, and found my ebrake was sticking. Cleaned everything and got it all moving again. took it for a 35km drive.

drum didnt heat up, same temperature as the front rotors, and no shaking.

I can see i will need a new ebrake cable, and while im at it i will probably pull both drums off and clean them out the best i can once more. Lots of shoe left, and drums feel smooth. so i dont want to replace them as of yet, but ill add it to my maintenance list for later.


thank you muchly for your help. Kind of pisses me off that it was something so simple, but also happy everything is done now. :) Drives like new again.
 
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  #16  
Old 05-14-2017
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Good work

Not an easy one to track down

Rear brakes never even popped into my head let alone typing fingers :)
 
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