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04 explorer vibration at highway speed??


Well-Known Member
August 9, 2009
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
04 xlt
Let me run down the list here .

New rims at 30k miles as they were carodded .

New tires at 50k. (oem replacements)
New sway bar bushings
New steering wheel intermediate shaft

shaking started to come and go around the new tires.

Had them rebalanced/ road force balanced and after the 3rd time the vibration at highway speeds seemed to have gotten better.
Got 2 new front rims again as two of them had a "hop" to them. Little better,but still not like new..

Now it is back again. Any idea?

Would a allignment help out? Never had this thing alligned( bought it new)

If you let go of the wheel, you can see it shaking just a little bit.

Wheel bearings dont make noise, but could this be a sign of a bad bearing?

thanks in advance

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I will try that first. It cant hurt.

Any other people have a similar experiences with this vibrations at highway speeds and what you do to fix it??


i can say i do, also started with some new tires about 6 months ago at 60k now at 71k. I also bought a used rim from a junkyard so i could do a 5 tire rotation, but besides a slow leak it seems fine.

New front wheel bearings at 55k ABS light related.
Then the new tires i also got an alignment at 60k
Vibration was still there took it to a second shop for a re-balance and another alignment - 61k

Also notice its road dependent's. Some roads are fine others its rather noticeable, always between 70-80. Sometimes only on this one bend a long right curve at about 75mph its at its worse.

So my plan is at the next rotation is to take it in for a rebalance and another alignment, this time i'm going to bring in 'camber adjustments' as in the first two go around while in spec the camber was off 3-4 degrees driver side while the other was only 1-2 degrees off. Spec is up to 0-6 degrees. Another thing on the tire balance i've noticed a lot of buildup of corrosion inside the rim where the hub sits, i'll try and clean it up before the balance i wonder if its throwing the machines off????
Other than than check all the Ball joints, tie rod ends and do the same on the rear.

Does it pull to one side or another on straight, flat roads? What does the wheel do when if you apply hard braking?

I'd go with the alignment first. Don't be surprised if they tell you that your ball joints and/or tie rod ends need replacing. If you know what they look like/where they are located, inspect them before you go to get the alignment. There are some good pics on here in some of the ball joint threads.

If alignment issues don't exist and those parts are OK, I'd also take a close look at the CV boots to see if they are intact. A bad CV joint could also cause shaking.

Does it pull to one side or another on straight, flat roads? What does the wheel do when if you apply hard braking?

for me, no pull, tracks straight, braking no change, nothing its smooth.

Ball joints look fine, but the driver side is off 3 degrees off from the other side, might be an indication of it being worn. I'll keep an eye on the CV joints. . .

Worn struts could also affect alignment.

check your u joints, mine did this. also check to see if you diff's and t case are full, as said before your CV shafts, wheel bearings.

its also easy to check if your wheels have play in them, (telling you if its a wheel bearing or tie rod or ball joint(s)

but usually its caused by high road force (some shops don't have machines that can fix it, or the tech is just to lazy to fix it.) can be caused by shifted belts, aggressive treads and bulges, and cheap tires. not that im saying yours are.)

it can also be that the tech used the wrong type of wheel weight on your rims ^_^ or the wrong spacer on the balancing machine.

25 and under is acceptable and may be noticeable, but you want to get it as low as possible.

(i work a Canadian tire and see this complaint all the time.)

I am in the same boat as JRFORD.

I will check over everything again like tie rods/ cv boots and wheel movement.

I am sorta convinced it is the road. I took the same highway in my mother in laws 07 fusion and i can feel it in there too. So most of it must be in my and my wifes head. haha.

I will say though after the last balance the guy said it was off a ounce and that will be noticeable. I had tires put on by sears and balanced, then took it to fords 2nd shift kid to rebalance them and he said sears was off, then back to sears to have the balance checked and they said it was " way off".

I will keep you updated.

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like it could be alot of things. I know it isnt the bearings as they dont make noise, Allignment- doesnt pull at all and tires arent wearing goofy.

see this guys post,
has a good idea might give that a try. . .kinda what i was thinking but more on the inside, where the hub sits. .sounds like it could be multiple surfaces. .which could throw off the balancing machine. hum. . .it should start warming up soon

Tires are Michelins LTX A/T2. .

ha i read that topic yesterday and didn't even think to put the two together :O.

hey guys , drove my 05' limited to work today and back, shimmy / vibration gone.
the dealer put new tires on before i bought the ex. so it goes to say wheels were not put back in exactly the same location.
all that junk and corrosion between the 2 mounting surfaces could definetly throw your wheel into a slight wobble, more noticable at higher speeds....