After all the hard work and sweat you have poured into your Toyota Tacoma, it can be concerning and even discouraging when unusual sounds and vibrations start happening. Trust us; we have been there, and the stress is real.
Before you get discouraged or start pulling your hair out, keep in mind that the issue (and solution) is usually simple. In fact, Toyota Tacoma vibrations are very common, especially if you have lifted your truck.
If you are like many lifted Tacoma owners who have suddenly started experiencing vibrations when starting, stopping, or just driving along, you have come to the right place. This widespread problem is easy to diagnose and fix. Simply read on to learn more.
What Causes Tacoma Vibrations?
When it comes to what is making your Toyota Tacoma vibrate, there is a usual suspect. Every Tacoma comes from the factory with a two-part drive shaft that is fairly complex. Because of its multi-piece design and complexity, issues are more likely to develop, even if you have never lifted your truck.
That being said, lifting your Tacoma can contribute to your driveline vibration because it changes the angle at which the driveshaft is operating. In essence, lifting your Tacoma upsets the delicate geometry that keeps the driveline performing optimally.
This change in geometry can ultimately lead to faster, more serious wear and tear on the bearings, joints, and more that are essential to your Tacoma’s driveline functioning properly.
Fixing Your Toyota Tacoma Vibration
The problem causing your truck’s vibration is relatively simple—the angle of the driveshaft has changed. The simplicity of the problem does not always translate to an easy fix, though.
Sometimes, all it takes to reduce or eliminate the vibration you feel in your Tacoma is a spacer to drop the carrier bearing or shims beneath the springs to adjust your truck’s pinion angle. These solutions work for some people because they correct the driveshaft geometry enough to negate the vibration. However, they can lead to other issues, such as shifting stress to other components and causing premature failure of your u-joints, for example.
For these reasons, a more permanent fix is preferred. The best solution for eliminating the vibration of your Toyota Tacoma is to replace the problematic driveshaft entirely. Not only does this address the immediate issues of poor geometry and vibration, but it also sets you up for long-term success with higher-quality materials and joints that are better suited for off-road use.
Replacing Your Tacoma Driveshaft
To truly fix your Toyota Tacoma vibrations, you will want to opt for a custom one-piece driveshaft. While a one-size-fits-all driveshaft may correct your problem, going the extra mile by getting a driveshaft tailored to your specific vehicle will ensure the proper fit and get your truck running smoothly for the foreseeable future.
There are a few steps to take when upgrading your Tacoma’s driveshaft. We recommend working with a reputable name in the industry, such as Tom Wood’s Driveshafts.
- Measure. You will need to measure the length of the stock driveshaft, as well as the horizontal and vertical distances between mounting holes at both the transfer case and pinion. The best way to do this is to measure from the center of the bolts.
- Assemble the u-joints. Once you have provided the company with the correct measurements, they will make a completely custom driveshaft for your Tacoma. This process starts with assembling either greaseable or non-greaseable u-joints, depending on your application.
- Make the driveshaft. Once the u-joints are ready, your driveshaft will be made. It all starts with the right diameter tubing, which is cut to the correct length and prepared for welding. The spline is then pressed into the tube, the necessary welds are made, then it is balanced and painted. Tolerances are checked frequently throughout the entire process.
- Remove the factory driveshaft. Using a 14mm socket and wrench, unbolt the factory driveshaft starting in the rear. In the front, you will need the same 14mm socket and a 17mm wrench. Finally, remove the carrier bearing—be careful because the driveshaft will fall out when this is removed.
- Install your new driveshaft. Simply reinstall the bolts at the front and rear. You will notice that you no longer need the carrier bearing because the custom driveshaft is one piece. Make sure all the bolts are tight, and you are good to go.
So, there you have it—a new one-piece driveshaft and no more vibration. Your Tacoma is now better than new and ready to hit the trails.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you want a more detailed look at how you can correct your Toyota Tacoma vibration by installing a custom driveshaft, check out the in-depth video. If you are ready to replace your stock driveshaft or are looking for other great aftermarket additions to your Tacoma build, visit our website. Thanks for reading; now get out there and explore!