Rhythmic shudder beyond 60 MPH - 1999 ES300 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

Camry 3rd & 4th Gen (1992-1996 & 1997-2001)/1st Gen Solara (1999-2003) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 1992-1996 & 1997-2001, as well as Solara discussion for years 1999-2003. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #1 of 72 Old 04-15-2017, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Rhythmic shudder beyond 60 MPH - 1999 ES300

Hey guys, I'm sure some of you have noticed my ongoing 1999 ES300 resurrection project. Well, I ran into a snag and need input.

I took it for a test drive, and right at 60 MPH (until 80 MPH), it starts shuddering rhythmically. Shudder moderately hard, then nothing for a second, then shudder, then nothing for a second. Like a metronome, there is no variation. Here's what else I observed:

- it's not dependent on throttle. If I let go of the throttle, it will keep up the shudder on/off until speed drops below 60 MPH, at which point it will abruptly stop
- inner and outer tie rods are good, wheels will be checked for balance when I align it this week
- driver's side lower control arm's rear bushing has a tear, but I don't think suspension components could cause shudder like this
- car has two 205 tires and two 195s. They were crossed, so I moved 195 to the back. No change
- between 20 and 40 MPH, steering wheel will shudder when braking. I think this is unrelated, possibly a warped rotor

I'm hoping it's not the transmission/torque converter.

What do you guys think?

Thanks as usual.

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post #2 of 72 Old 04-15-2017, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention a couple other things:

- motor mounts have all been changed (front, rear, dogbone), but trans mount is still old
- passenger's CV axle is a new Cardone unit. I have a replacement for the driver's, but it's not leaking so didn't change it. Very rusty though
- about seven quarts of new Valvoline MaxLife in the trans

I don't think it could be the engine missing or something...I think a miss that bad would throw a code.

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post #3 of 72 Old 04-15-2017, 11:56 PM
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I'd get that transmission mount replaced but I'm suspecting this is all related to tires. I assume this also occurs if off throttle and in 'neutral' as well, right?

When it does do the shuddering rhythmically thing, if you are say taking a freeway bend, does the rhythmical change? (i.e. faster patterns or slower?). That would possible rule out/in wheel bearing/tires

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post #4 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kingdom934 View Post
I'd get that transmission mount replaced but I'm suspecting this is all related to tires. I assume this also occurs if off throttle and in 'neutral' as well, right?

When it does do the shuddering rhythmically thing, if you are say taking a freeway bend, does the rhythmical change? (i.e. faster patterns or slower?). That would possible rule out/in wheel bearing/tires
Yup, not throttle dependent. I did a few other tests just now on the highway.

1. At 80 MPH, I dropped into Neutral...still there
2. At 80 MPH and in Neutral, I turned off the engine. Still there. Turned the engine back on after five seconds.
3. At 70 MPH, turned off overdrive/4th gear. Still there.

...I'm thinking this is not a transmission/TC issue.

I know just the right bend, so I will test that tomorrow, thanks.

Might just go ahead and order LCAs and trans mount as it is.

95 Camry 5S-FE 168k
95 Camry 5S-FE 125k CRASHED BY "FRIEND"
00 Camry 5S-FE 187k
99 ES300 243k ALMOST DONE!
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post #5 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 01:12 AM
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I believe BMR had a shudder (possibly not rhythmic!) that would not go away until he did wheel bearings and brake rotors.

Also If you have new drive axles install both sides; don't wait for the age old one to leak
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post #6 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tedmich View Post
I believe BMR had a shudder (possibly not rhythmic!) that would not go away until he did wheel bearings and brake rotors.

Also If you have new drive axles install both sides; don't wait for the age old one to leak
Sigh, might as well. Ordered the LCAs and trans mount, so I'll do it then.

95 Camry 5S-FE 168k
95 Camry 5S-FE 125k CRASHED BY "FRIEND"
00 Camry 5S-FE 187k
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post #7 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 02:18 AM
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did u say your struts were shot? Maybe at high wind loads you are getting some sort of strut/tire resonance happening? Can you see/feel the car having any up/down movement at the higher speeds? See if you can yank on your struts by hand to see if there is any lateral movement. Maybe have someone driver beside you on the highway to see if there is anything visual.

Also look for any broken welds around the suspension components.

How is the steering when the shudder happens. Is it pulling at all? Do feel the shudder primarly in the steering wheel?

Check the ball joints and check for any play in the wheel bearings. I would think a wheel bearing would need to be pretty bad to give you a shudder.

Last edited by davemac2; 04-16-2017 at 02:22 AM.
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post #8 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insightbrewery View Post
Yup, not throttle dependent. I did a few other tests just now on the highway.

1. At 80 MPH, I dropped into Neutral...still there
2. At 80 MPH and in Neutral, I turned off the engine. Still there. Turned the engine back on after five seconds.
3. At 70 MPH, turned off overdrive/4th gear. Still there.

...I'm thinking this is not a transmission/TC issue.

I know just the right bend, so I will test that tomorrow, thanks.

Might just go ahead and order LCAs and trans mount as it is.
Hmmm Yea. If the car is shut off, the engine/transmission should be ruled out I think. At least the drive-train sounds...sound. If the pattern changes with the right bend, then you can isolate it to a possible moving part in the wheels. Tires...or now wheel bearings/rotors, although I would think rotors being more consistent along with wheel bearings. Could be one of those things though where it's that right RPM speed that is causing the part to show the defect though...




Quote:
Originally Posted by insightbrewery View Post
Sigh, might as well. Ordered the LCAs and trans mount, so I'll do it then.
I'm curious...how much is already put into this car?

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post #9 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 10:35 AM
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The shudder I experienced in my Camry that was fixed with new bearings was constant. Any speed over 50 mph or so. Although at the miles on your ES, new bearings all around wouldn't be a bad idea.

I suspect bad tires.

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post #10 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 10:58 AM
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couldn't hurt to have all the tires balanced as most places around here only do fronts for some insane reason...
also, there are places that can check for out of round tires. if they check out good, then move on to the wheel bearings all around. don't discount rears as they can do some bad stuff that makes you think it's the front.
as for the braking problem, new rotors and pads should cure that.
report back with what you find isb.
tony

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post #11 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 11:10 AM
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Are the wheels stock Toyota hub centric? If not a tire shop Mensa candidate may have tossed the spacer rings which need to be installed with non-hubcentric wheels. What do ya do with something ya don't recognize.... look around to see if anyone's watching and then TOSS them.

Last edited by Men in Black; 04-16-2017 at 11:26 AM.
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post #12 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davemac2 View Post
did u say your struts were shot? Maybe at high wind loads you are getting some sort of strut/tire resonance happening? Can you see/feel the car having any up/down movement at the higher speeds? See if you can yank on your struts by hand to see if there is any lateral movement. Maybe have someone driver beside you on the highway to see if there is anything visual.

Also look for any broken welds around the suspension components.

How is the steering when the shudder happens. Is it pulling at all? Do feel the shudder primarly in the steering wheel?

Check the ball joints and check for any play in the wheel bearings. I would think a wheel bearing would need to be pretty bad to give you a shudder.
Well, I just replaced the struts with brand-new Moogs; the shudder was there before the replacement. No up/down movement, and as soon as I get a friend who has a car/isn't waiting on me to help them out with one, I'll do the side-by-side thing LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingdom934 View Post
Hmmm Yea. If the car is shut off, the engine/transmission should be ruled out I think. At least the drive-train sounds...sound. If the pattern changes with the right bend, then you can isolate it to a possible moving part in the wheels. Tires...or now wheel bearings/rotors, although I would think rotors being more consistent along with wheel bearings. Could be one of those things though where it's that right RPM speed that is causing the part to show the defect though...

I'm curious...how much is already put into this car?
I'll drive it around a bend tonight and report back. Lol, I'll tally it up for my other thread after it's done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMR View Post
The shudder I experienced in my Camry that was fixed with new bearings was constant. Any speed over 50 mph or so. Although at the miles on your ES, new bearings all around wouldn't be a bad idea.

I suspect bad tires.
I'll check the fronts one more time...they don't show any of the classic signs of worn-out bearings. I replaced the rears because several studs were snapped off. Will report back after getting the tires checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgowaw View Post
couldn't hurt to have all the tires balanced as most places around here only do fronts for some insane reason...
also, there are places that can check for out of round tires. if they check out good, then move on to the wheel bearings all around. don't discount rears as they can do some bad stuff that makes you think it's the front.
as for the braking problem, new rotors and pads should cure that.
report back with what you find isb.
tony
Cool, I'll have them all checked. I'm wondering about this, because I moved the front 195 to the rear, so now the two fronts are 205 and two rears are 195. No change in the shudder.

95 Camry 5S-FE 168k
95 Camry 5S-FE 125k CRASHED BY "FRIEND"
00 Camry 5S-FE 187k
99 ES300 243k ALMOST DONE!
01 ES300 151k
01 Insight 137k
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post #13 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 11:43 AM
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When you say shudder, is it like when there are high winds or the body feels wobbly, or shimmys? Almost as if when you push the rear side of car and it shimmys horizontal on tires?
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post #14 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by betaerror View Post
When you say shudder, is it like when there are high winds or the body feels wobbly, or shimmys? Almost as if when you push the rear side of car and it shimmys horizontal on tires?
Nah, it feels more like the whole car is shaking. Say, if your engine was missing really bad.

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post #15 of 72 Old 04-16-2017, 12:31 PM
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Sorta like when you drive over rumble strips at the edge of the road? But not as harsh?

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