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2005 4X4 manual six speed, 260,000 miles crew cab

Was driving freeway speed, could feel a vibration start, it quickly progressed, then is sounded like something broke loose. I pulled over and checked driveline, and everything looked good, when I started back up the vibration starts at 20mph, and is really bad by 25 to 30. So i limped it home on back roads.

Vibration does not diminish when I take it out of gear and coast
Gear shift vibrates, but does not feel like trans is the source since the vibration in the gearshift dampens to almost nothing when I hold it firmly
No grinding noises
Tachometer holds steady during vibration
No movement in driveline when I move it by hand
Put the rear end on jack stands with the wheels off the ground and ran it at 40mph.. no apparent vibration.. maybe because it's not loaded with weight at that point.. also driveline looks to be turning smooth when eyeballing it..
Looked at front wheels while driving and no apparent vibration there
Pulled all 4 wheels and had tires re balanced..no change

Any Ideas?
 

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Wheel bearings? I had a wheel bearing on a trailer blow out that did that.
 

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Who rebalanced the tires? Did they also check for separations or out of round tires? if the tire jockey simply put the tires on the balance machine and did not crouch down to look at the tread surface as it spins on the machine, they could have still balanced out fine, but have a skip to them. When I worked at a tire shop years ago, I was the only guy who would do that on rebalance jobs. I caught separated tires randomly that the machine said were balanced.

Also, check your U joints.
 

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I would check u joints. Also i don't believe putting a truck on jack stands and running it, especially to 40mph is a good idea. But its your garage.
 

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You don't say much about how you sense the vibration, but when I've taken my truck to the shop and complained about vibration that could be felt through the steering wheel I was told "tires". Twice, and he was right both times. I guess back tires wouldn't transmit through the steering wheel so much, though.
Another time in our Toyota that happened- freeway speeds and it just came on. An inspection of the tires revealed one with a big bubble of delamination in the tread.
 

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When you say 'something broke loose'. How was the sound?

Bad wheel bearing would be indicated by sound getting worse with higher speed, and if it got loud turning one way that would indicate which side. They can still be bad even if there is no play in them.

I personally would start with the tires. A band could've very easily snapped. A balanced tire does not make it a good tire as previously pointed out by another member. Like them, I worked in a tire shop and saw this as well. When you are checking the wheel by using the method you used...make sure you put wheel chokes on the other tires and have your foot on the brake pedal.

I would check in this order:

Tires
Wheel Bearings
U-Joint
 

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The issues with mine in the past have normally been tires needing rotated.
 
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