Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

  1. #1
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1986 LE
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    258
    Rep Power
    1

    Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Hey, got a good one:

    I exhausted the search engine on this one and hate to post a new thread but.........

    Coming back from Orlando and about 15 minutes into the ride I noticed my steering wheel was beginning to shake, like out of balanced tires. I also felt I needed more power to keep her at 70MPH.
    The shaking then got so bad my temp gauge needle was shaking almost full scale. So I applied brakes to pull over that really made it shake much more, where I had to let go of the brakes and let her coast to a stop.
    Walked around the front and all looked fine until I saw smoke coming out of the right hand wheel. I was still 100 miles from home. So I got back in, pushed on the brakes just to see if that felt different and it did but very little, maybe spongy but not much. So I said what the heck, let's give it a go. Started up and she was fine the remainder of the trip. Like zero problems. I took the left wheel off to see if I could see anything and it was all normal except I may need pads soon.
    Drove it another 500 miles with no issues but then yesterday it did it again.
    When this happens it does not pull to one side as if I have a brake pad engaging all the time.
    Has anyone had this problem. I could do a total brake job but I just cannot be sure that is it.

    Weird...........

  2. #2
    Van Obsessed Carbonized's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    87 LE in full "restormodif" mode... ... All Toyota with a twist or two! 89 4WD cargo in need of a little reshaping.
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    wherethevanisrare. FL
    Posts
    600
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Shacking: something is out of balance or binding. Smoking: something is overheating from chafing or binding. Not pulling to one side and intermittent : very weird indeed! You're right, it might not be the brakes.

    OK, just throwing things to the ceiling and see what sticks. I had bad vibrations once on my Dodge RAM, I could barely hold the steering wheel and I could see the hood jumping up and down on the driver side from 55 to 65 mph and only for the first 10, 15 minutes of a drive. Turned out that my good looking well threaded tires were the victims of old age, dry rot, and after a couple of days parked they would "flat spot". It took some heat and centrifugal force to bring them back to round, until I parked the truck again for a few days and the problem reappeared again. But I never saw any smoke!
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

  3. #3
    Van Addict
    My Van(s):
    1987 Toyota 4wd Cargo Van
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Lakeside, Az.
    Posts
    393
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Few things that come to mind...

    warped rotor (typically only feel this when you brake though)
    wheel bearing/s failing... they don't always squeel.
    one of the hubs left in the locked position (4wd only)
    idler arm going bad
    Alignment... bad toe in/ toe out

    With smoke coming from the front wheel though, I am leaning towards wheel bearing OR something is possibly caught up in there causing a bit of binding.

    Hard to know without seeing it.

  4. #4
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1990 Hiace Super Custom 4WD diesel
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    214
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Quote Originally Posted by Flecker View Post
    Few things that come to mind...

    warped rotor (typically only feel this when you brake though)
    wheel bearing/s failing... they don't always squeal
    With smoke coming from the front wheel though, I am leaning towards wheel bearing OR something is possibly caught up in there causing a bit of binding.
    How's the brake fluid?
    I'd check the brakes and bearings first to rule them out.

    Ive had a bearing seize without warning(noise or vibration)

  5. #5
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1986 LE
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    258
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Thanks guys. Well I wish it were the tires but they are a new set of coopers with less than 3K on this. Plus I drove it about 20 miles before it occurred. But good shot at it Carbonized.

    The bearing idea sounds a bit more that ACE brought up. Although it is so intermittent it would have all these symptoms

    I will try to pull off the wheel today and take a look.

    Thanks again guys.

    MT

  6. #6
    Van Obsessed
    My Van(s):
    88 4WD DLX 5spd
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    833
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Given that its not pulling I would concentrate on bearings.

    Had one instance of weird intermittent, hard to explain and diagnose issue on an old GM once.
    It would come and go and drove me nuts for about 2 months.
    It never made any noise, just weird intermittent vibrations.
    In the end, the RF wheel seized while driving (fun stuff)
    Downside was I also had to replace the spindle (not fun)

  7. #7
    Van Obsessed
    My Van(s):
    1988 4WD LE auto dual range t-case (the mistress) 1988 4WD LE auto(the donut van)
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Tacoma, Wa
    Posts
    590
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Don't rule out the tires just because they are new. In fact i would consider them more suspect if it didn't do this at all before the tires were replaced. If you take it back to the tire shop and explain the situation, they should be able/willing to check the tires on the balancer to be certain it isn't them. Just make sure they check them all.

  8. #8
    Van Obsessed Carbonized's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    87 LE in full "restormodif" mode... ... All Toyota with a twist or two! 89 4WD cargo in need of a little reshaping.
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    wherethevanisrare. FL
    Posts
    600
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Bad shock??? = Wheel bouncing like a beach ball, or more like an air plane doing a 1000 landing a minutes = shake and smoke! Doesn't explain the intermittence

    Drive shaft CV Joi.... never mind , yours is rear wheel drive!

    Wouldn't a bearing going bad show in an unusual tire wear due to out of spec camber and or toe? And a bad bearing does not rebuild itself between drives. There comes the intermittency again!

    BTW a brand new tire that spent 3 years in a hot warehouse is old and could be dry rotted, check the date of production on the tire side wall .
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

  9. #9
    Van Addict
    My Van(s):
    1987 Toyota 4wd Cargo Van
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Lakeside, Az.
    Posts
    393
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    We can only guess...

    But you need friction to make smoke. And if it was in fact smoking, then it boils down to brakes, or bearing. It's the only things I can see making enough heat to cause some smoke.

  10. #10
    Van Obsessed
    My Van(s):
    1988 4WD LE auto dual range t-case (the mistress) 1988 4WD LE auto(the donut van)
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Tacoma, Wa
    Posts
    590
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonized View Post
    And a bad bearing does not rebuild itself between drives. There comes the intermittency again!
    I had a front bearing on my f350 4x4 give intermittent problems. It had a noise and vibration that seemed bearing related now and then but was never significantly loose so I assumed it was coming from somewhere else(Didn't want to take the time to pull locking hubs and such to check them if I didn't have too either). When it finally went completely, I was missing multiple rollers and the cage for the outer bearing was twisted like an overachieving pretzel. My theory was that the intermittent noise was a loose roller being ground to a sparkly paste in my grease. Once it was ground up the noise went away until the next one turned sideways. As was Burntboot's experience, it took the spindle with it.

    MT, your best bet may be to drive it until it acts up again and then immediately pull over someplace safe and check hub temps, jack it up and spin the wheels to check for binding, and check for bearing play. You could visually check the tires too while you're spinning them. Look for lumps that may be occuring with heat.

  11. #11
    Van Addict
    My Van(s):
    1987 Toyota 4wd Cargo Van
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Lakeside, Az.
    Posts
    393
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Quote Originally Posted by originalkwyjibo View Post
    I had a front bearing on my f350 4x4 give intermittent problems. It had a noise and vibration that seemed bearing related now and then but was never significantly loose so I assumed it was coming from somewhere else(Didn't want to take the time to pull locking hubs and such to check them if I didn't have too either). When it finally went completely, I was missing multiple rollers and the cage for the outer bearing was twisted like an overachieving pretzel. My theory was that the intermittent noise was a loose roller being ground to a sparkly paste in my grease. Once it was ground up the noise went away until the next one turned sideways. As was Burntboot's experience, it took the spindle with it.

    MT, your best bet may be to drive it until it acts up again and then immediately pull over someplace safe and check hub temps, jack it up and spin the wheels to check for binding, and check for bearing play. You could visually check the tires too while you're spinning them. Look for lumps that may be occuring with heat.

    All of this ^^^^

    Will get you in the right direction of diagnosing. On a 2 wheel drive it's pretty easy to pop the cover off the wheel hub and take a peek inside to see the condition of the grease and bearing. Hope ya get it MyToy.


  12. #12
    Van Obsessed Carbonized's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    87 LE in full "restormodif" mode... ... All Toyota with a twist or two! 89 4WD cargo in need of a little reshaping.
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    wherethevanisrare. FL
    Posts
    600
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Quote Originally Posted by originalkwyjibo View Post

    MT, your best bet may be to drive it until it acts up again and then immediately pull over someplace safe and check hub temps, jack it up and spin the wheels to check for binding, and check for bearing play. You could visually check the tires too while you're spinning them. Look for lumps that may be occuring with heat.
    If you have smoke at that time try and use your nose to identify the smell. Rubber, brake materials and grease, all have a distinctive smell. (Easy for me to say, I could do that in my sleep) Metal to metal friction heat, without grease, is almost odorless like some rock getting stuck between the brake caliper and the rim. Speaking of.... have you checked for annular scratches on the inside of the rim? Long shot but you never know
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

  13. #13
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1986 LE
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    258
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Wow, all good stuff guys.

    Well I took the replacement bearing route, since that is so easy to do. Besides I really wanted to see what the pads looked like with the calipers off. So I pull the calipers off and I notice this was one of those cars that came with noise screamers when you pads get to thin. Also very cool but they had a ways to go before they would scream so I am thinking by pads are fair.
    Then I had to take off the back plate that the caliper attaches to. After studying this for about 30 minutes I realized I clearly did not have the same van that is in the service manual. In there it shows two distinct bolts, one on top and one on the bottom to pull off the plate and get to the rotor removal. Nope, not mine!
    In fact after removing two other bolts on the bottom knuckle and didn't do anything I realized I was over my head. Check TVC all over for someone who had one of these but never found anything. So the entire afternoon was blown as I put it all back together in disappointment.

    Since I still have a clunk that appears under my foot when I make are hard stop or a fast start I thought I would look a bit at that. I tried rocking the tires both left and right and up and down to see if I could see or feel any play and there was none.

    So my thought is to bring her into a front end guy for the clunk and have him change the rotors, bearings, and pads since I really can't do any front end work like this.

    Will keep all posted.

    By the way, there was no sign of anything burnt. When it did smoke it did don't t think it smelled like brake liners. The rim was hotter than hell, so maybe it was the grease.

    Thanks for all the input guys. We will find this and add it to our archives for sure

    MT

  14. #14
    Van Addict
    My Van(s):
    1987 Toyota 4wd Cargo Van
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Lakeside, Az.
    Posts
    393
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    If the wheel was pretty warm/ hot, then I am putting another vote towards the bearing... it's a symptom. Hope it works out man, and keep us posted!

  15. #15
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1986 LE
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    258
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Just another update here.

    I replaced both inner and outer bearings and new grease. Got about 500 miles on her and she seems to be fine. But this happen before, so we shall see.
    Cross your fingers.

    MT

  16. #16
    Van Obsessed Carbonized's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    87 LE in full "restormodif" mode... ... All Toyota with a twist or two! 89 4WD cargo in need of a little reshaping.
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    wherethevanisrare. FL
    Posts
    600
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    How did the old bearings look?
    I hope that does it for you once and for all
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

  17. #17
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    95 Previa SC, RWD, Auto
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    55
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Surprising nobody's said more about the brakes. caliper slide pins can intermittently lock like that, so can deteriorated 30 year old brake hoses acting like check valves. I've replaced all 4 front calipers between my 2 subaru bajas due to sticking slide pins. The 03 will act exactly as the OP described: start to stick, drag (which exacerbates the sticking), shaking from the rotor warping till it almost locks up, then when it's cooled to take the tire off and troubleshoot or the next time I went to drive it was fine.
    -Russell
    "You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"
    -95 Previa SC RWD
    -05 Subaru Baja Turbo, 03 Subaru Baja NA, 01 BMW R1200c, 94 Firebird v8, 70 VW Beetle

  18. #18
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1986 LE
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    258
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    Hey Carbonized:

    The shop did not say anything about them nor did I get them back.
    I may have to go back over there. So if I do I will ask

    MT

  19. #19
    Van Obsessed
    My Van(s):
    88 4WD DLX 5spd
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    833
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    I always inspect the old parts, its the only way of knowing if your diagnosis was correct.

    If they scored, burnt or discoloured, then you can be pretty sure you've found your culprit.
    If however they looked "new" then you have more diagnosing to do.

    K-980 does make a good point about calliper sliders, they can indeed cause intermittent problems.
    As far as flex lines go, they too can cause problems but aren't usually intermittent.

  20. #20
    Van Obsessed Carbonized's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    87 LE in full "restormodif" mode... ... All Toyota with a twist or two! 89 4WD cargo in need of a little reshaping.
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    wherethevanisrare. FL
    Posts
    600
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Steering wheel shake, smoking right wheel

    I recently took my wife Civic to the stealership for service, while I was waiting, the tech send me a video of him removing the AC filter zoomed on it and asked me if i would authorize replacement, same for engine air filter, I was impressed. Turns out that they noted in our file that at each of my previous visit I asked them to leave any replaced part in the trunk for my inspection
    LG.
    "perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A. de St Exupery.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •