Patrol GU - Steering shake

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 20:50
ThreadID: 5798 Views:9702 Replies:11 FollowUps:8
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Is there a Nissan factory front suspension modification kit to prevent steering shudder in GU Nissan Patrols?

Story so far.
I had a set of (4) 265/75/R16 AT tyres fitted to my 2000 ZD30 engined Patrol the other day to replace th original fit Bridgestone HT's. After fitting and balancing I took it for a test drive. At a 100kph the steering started to shake. I took it back and had the fronts re-balanced. The tyre seller said that he has had the same problem with seveeral Patrols and that if I pressured Nissan enough there was a factory front suspention modification kit of some kind available that would correct the problem.

Is anyone aware of this kit or am I getting a palm off. I have intentionally not mentioned the brand of tyre because doing so would probably turn this into a discussion about the merits of various brands of tyres. However I will say they are a respected brand, not retreads and certainly not cheapies. However I did think that perhaps there may be a manufacturing fault in one of the front tyres. It wouldn't be the first time.

Regards Crowie
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Reply By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:17

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:17
Coincidentally, I am experiencing the exact same problem. Changed tyres to a new Brand (xxxx) and the shaking has begun. Service manager queried the Tyre brand and stated that Nissan dealers balance them with a special hub that mimics the wheel centre, not just a tapered cone that most tyre retailers use. This did improve, but not eliminate the shake. Strangely, when I put on my mud-tyres for a play, which are after market white spoke 16x7's and BFG's, the shake does not occur. Put the road tyres back on - shake is back. Tyre retailer says, nothing wrong, go away. It can't just be my possible faulty tyres, because so many more people complain about this exact same fault with Nissan's????????
AnswerID: 24133

Reply By: diamond (bendigo) - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:17

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:17
gday crowie.
ive never heard of a factory fit for patrols.
but as far as wobble goes the simplest thing is swap front to rear ans see if it goes.
when you went back to the tyre fitter and had the front rechecked.
when they rechecked them were they out.
tyre balances always go out we recalibrated our balancer every monday and im sure some balancers dont get checked for ages.
looking foward to september(landcruiser park/fraser island)
AnswerID: 24134

Follow Up By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:19

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:19
Yes, agree. Had the road tyres re-balanced one month after fitment and the weights had to be changed on both front wheels.
FollowupID: 16238

Follow Up By: crowie - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 18:18

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 18:18

Yep they were out, he said not much, mubled 35 in one and 25 in another whatever that means grams I guess. Some of these guys seem to be in a hurry and the guy that did mine was working twice as hard that day because his offisder have dislocated a shoulder doing a wheel alignment would you believe!!! Thanks for your info and enjoy Fraser Island - what a great place
FollowupID: 16291

Reply By: BM - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:47

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:47
I had exactly the same problem after fitting the same size and tyoe BFG tires. I found changing the tyre pressure fixed the problem for me. The tyre dealer had put in 40psi, changing this too 36 did the trick.


AnswerID: 24140

Reply By: peter - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 22:05

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 22:05
Crowie, i bought a new GQ in 94 same problem from new. Found that a good on car balance fixed it. Increased tyre pressure also helps.
AnswerID: 24147

Reply By: awill4x4 - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 00:15

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 00:15
Crowie, if your car was fine before and the only thing you have changed is the tyres, then the tyres are your problem.
Patrols are very sensitive to wheel balancing and the only way to balance them is on a "finger style" balancer. On the rims the centre hole is only for clearance around the hub and isn't necessarily exactly in centre and when "cone type" balancers are used steering vibrations are often felt.
Do yourself a favour and go to your nearest Bob Jane T Mart and ask for a silver service wheel balance. With this balance the wheel is checked for balance then the tyre is rotated on the rim so that the best compromise can be reached and not simply adding more weights as many tyre fitters do. Some weights are still necessary but only the minimum required.
The finger type balancers simulate the wheel fitment to your vehicle hubs.
I had this "Silver" balancing done approx 1/2 way through my BFG's life and they balanced up perfectly and also on my new Cooper ST's and they are also perfect.
In the event you still have problems, a Gold balance can be done with balancing the wheel/tyre assembly on the vehicle. This is rarely necessary though.
Regards Andrew.
AnswerID: 24161

Reply By: Hugh - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 00:43

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 00:43

I have just experienced the same problem, also upgrading from Bridgestone HTs (without problem) to very reputable (& expensive) US sourced 265/75/16 ATs. Before removing the HTs I did have an incidence of wobble, only to find that a balance weight had let go. Rebalanced and the problem disappeared.

I have been back to the dealer 3 times now for rebalance w/ out improvement - the same dealer who re-balanced the HT. I know the guy at the dealer and he has taken lots of care to mount the tyres and balance. I have now done ~ 3000 kms and rotated tyres hoping the problem was one of the front wheels. Problem has only got worse, with a 10 km shift in speed that wobble starts. I certainly think it is a balance issue. The question is whether this is due to the tyres or a fundamental design issue w/ front suspension. I have heard from many GU/ GQ owners that Patrols are very sensitive to wheel balance. Perhaps a geometry change could reduce the sensitivity, though you'd think Nissan would have introduced this if it worked.

Similar to other feedback, I have heard from a friend that there is now balancing equipment available that replicates stud pattern. I am going to try this out. If that doesn't work then I am going to approach the importer direct to see if they'll do something. I don't think the tyres are bad, but perhaps not suited to the Patrol's sensitivity.

I'd be interested to hear from you off line at as I suspect our tyres may be the same. May make for a better case with manufacturer.

Regards, Hugh
AnswerID: 24163

Reply By: baza - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 09:31

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 09:31
Had a similar problem on a 99 GU petrol - steering shake at 85 to 90. Nissan did many balances an alignments before the dealer said there is a kit coming out to fix this problem. A few months later, they actually called me and asked me to bring the car in. Not exactly sure what was replaced (someone else took the car in for me), the only bit I noticed was the front sway bar (think that is what it is called) appeared to be new and the diff oil appeared to have been changed.

The shake was almost gone after that, finally totally disappeared when I put some Cooper ST's on.


AnswerID: 24174

Reply By: bruce.h (WA) - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 11:12

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 11:12
Gday Crowie
this problem has been around since the early gq's & usaly happens between 80 to 100kmh , some brands of tyres make this problem worse tried every thing i could think of to fix the ol gq with out any luck ende up put a set of alterain on & it stoped for quite some time but returned as thtyre got older & no amount of balancing would fix it, iwas led to believe that it is a design fault which was to expensive to fix & was carried over into the gu's,as it has been around for sop long it is posible that nissan have come up with a fix the only way to find out is ring nissan
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 24182

Follow Up By: crowie - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 18:36

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 18:36
Hi Bruce

Yeah I had a 92 GQ Ti which used to shake on some bitumen roads at about 100km. Fitted both HT's and 265/75/16 AT's and the problem seemed to remain.Always read in 4x4 mags and on these forums about GQ shake.

The GQ is as bad as what i'm getting at the moment. Just learn't to live with the GQ - but it was second hand and this GU was bought new. Not good enough.

Thanks I must come over to the west some day and see the sun set over the sea with a glass of Margeret River red in hand.
FollowupID: 16293

Follow Up By: bruce.h (WA) - Saturday, Jul 05, 2003 at 15:59

Saturday, Jul 05, 2003 at 15:59
Mate nothin better than watching the sun go down over the sea we get extra special ones in winter heaps of clouds to reflect off dont know about the red prefer a burbon , a camp fire on the beach , & a bloody cool sun set,what better slice of heaven could you ask for.
dont know what to sujest for the shake problem other than to test drive it over a few nissan sales persons,but let me know if you solve it as i am looking at buying one
ps we keep the sun on stand by just for tourists so they can see it go down once a day
Regards Bruce
FollowupID: 16337

Reply By: Gerry - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 12:38

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 12:38
As a GQ owner, I have certainly experienced this with certain brand tyres. Currently running BFG AT's (second set now) and alls seems well. I tend to think that suspension geometry plays a big part and the problem appears to worsen if the front is lifted, even by an inch or so. I have seen castor kits advertised which changes the castor angle of the front wheels. Incorrect castor angles can certainly cause front wheel wobbles. I don't have first hand experience with these kits but it may be worth speaking to one the 4WD experts or one of the suppliers of these kits to see if this may be an answer to the problem.

Regards, Gerry
AnswerID: 24189

Follow Up By: crowie - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 18:14

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 18:14
Sorry I missed your name in my general follow up down the bottom but I had read what you wrote. You will see I mentioned that my mates use BGG AT's and have not had the same problems. I have heard about the castor kits but I don't know anyone with a GU who has had to install one ( Yet). I put 265/75/16's Bridgestone AT's on my GQ and didn't have the same problems.

FollowupID: 16290

Reply By: diamond (bendigo) - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 13:47

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 13:47
another thing to try would be to duel inflate the tyres.
used to have to do it to truck steers.
pump them up to 60psi(i normally go 80psi but im saying for you to do it) let them down till theres no air left and then pump up to normal.helps seat the bead properly.didnt think of that last night(a few to many)looking foward to september(landcruiser park/fraser island)
AnswerID: 24199

Follow Up By: crowie - Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 18:06

Friday, Jul 04, 2003 at 18:06
Diamond, Steve, BM, Peter, awill4x4, hugh, Bazza.

Sound like its not uncommon, Huu

Everything you blokes have said makes sense and I will try the lot. I took the truck for another open road run today and seems a little better. Still wheel vibration only around 100 but not as bad and no problem at 110. I've tried different pressures, same front and rear, and 2.4lb lower in front, doesnt make any difference. I'll do what diamond suggested and blow them right up to 60lb, let them down and then back up.

Some you must be reading my mind because I went to another tyre fitter willing to pay for a balance just to check out whether the original tyre fitters equipment might be faulty. This guy said he could do it on a "hub which replicates the vehicles wheel hub" . This sounds like the new balancing equipment some of you were talking about. He also said the tyres might get better with a few kms more wear. They have a 13mm deep tread, but I think that's not uncommen for AT's. I'll go back to him or Bob Janes as suggested for a premium balance. I was also wondering whether the Nissans stock steering damper might not be up to the bigger tyres but i don't think it would cause the shaking.

All in all it might be that the GU is a bit sensitive to the types of tyres. Most of my mates have fitted BFG AT's without these problems but I wanted to try something different.

Thanks again everyone and if and when I resolve all this I'll post the outcome you've all be a great help. I want to head out to the Darling in the next couple of weeks if its not to wet and I get this fixed.
FollowupID: 16289

Reply By: Hugh - Saturday, Jul 05, 2003 at 13:20

Saturday, Jul 05, 2003 at 13:20
Hi Crowie and all the others that replied,

As noted above, my new tyres also had this problem. I have just returned from having them rebalanced this morning at another dealer (Richard's Tyrepower - Osborned Park WA). The result is amazing difference.

These guys have a new machine (only one in WA). Features are:
# use of finger rentention (as was noted in threads) - makes a lot of sense to me to balance of the stud locations
# static and dynamic balance (they stated that my wheels has only been statically balanced). Not happy about that!
# road force simulation (this is the unique feature: a roller places a force on the fitted tyre to simulate the road load and hence the deflection the tyre sees as it rotates. Because tyres are not necessarily uniform this picks up any imbalance due to variation in road load deflection. Also, this machine can determine if the tyre is out of spec and if so they return to supplier, rather than fit to your wheel which I think is fantastic.

I guess the end result is all that matters and the there is now no shaking, etc. So I would recommend highly that you try getting your wheels rebalanced if still experiencing a problem. I am still interested in knowing if there is an engineered fix so will post if I find out anything.

AnswerID: 24262

Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Jul 10, 2003 at 23:04

Thursday, Jul 10, 2003 at 23:04

I'm in country WA and heading to Perth in August to get a set of BFG A/T's or Cooper A/T's fitted to the Patrol.This Richards Tyre power sounds OK...where are they?

Thinking back I remember a place of similar name opposite Nth City Holden on Scar Bch that the place.

And by the much $$$ for the balance


FollowupID: 16574

Follow Up By: Hugh - Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003 at 00:48

Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003 at 00:48

Yes, you have the correct location. Speak to Andrew (owner) or Chez for great service. The cost for this balance is $25/ wheel, however is free if done in conjunction with tyre purchase.

I would highly recommend the Cooper A/Ts. For the offroading I do they are great, really good in sand and very quiet on road.

Regards, Hugh
FollowupID: 16918

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