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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Understanding Driveline Vibrations…By Ken Cooke

Vibrations are one of the most difficult powertrain related complaints to diagnose in a truck since they can be triggered by many different issues. With so many rotating, twisting and moving components the possible causes and combination of causes are virtually endless.

The first step in diagnosing a vibration is to gather information. The technician will need to know information such as: When did the vibration start? Is the vibration worse under load or high torque conditions? Is the vibration speed or RPM dependent and is there a noise?

Secondly, the technician will need to simulate the conditions on a road test and record findings like: Road speed, RPM, gear position, coast or under power and loaded or unloaded.

Thirdly, the technician must conduct a stationary inspection looking for problems such as: Worn tires, cracked or bent rims, loose or worn engine mounts and driveline related problems like dented driveshaft tubing, missing balance weights, out-of-phase driveshafts, worn yokes, u-joints, steady bearings and splines.

Finally, the technician will need to determine if the truck has the correct ride height and driveline working angles. Varying heights, angles and configurations can create torsional vibrations throughout the drivetrain, which in turn can cause noise complaints and vibrations that result in significantly reduced drivetrain component life. Frequently, vehicles are sensitive to small changes in driveline angles, making it virtually impossible even for a seasoned technician to visually inspect a driveline and see whether its component angles are going to lead to costly problems down the road. Eaton’s Roadranger® Driveline Angle Analyzer (DAA) allows the technician to properly measure driveline angles and diagnose potential problems before serious damage occurs. The analyzer also identifies corrections for optimum component life.

If your truck has a vibration call Coastline Transmission and set up an appointment to have your driveline u-joint working angles analyzed.

Phone us locally at 604-533-4651 or toll free at 1-888-686-4327.