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Front Diff problems, Steering shaft problems. No help from toyota

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Old 04-15-2009, 12:20 PM   #1
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Front Diff problems, Steering shaft problems. No help from toyota

I've been lurking here for a couple of years now but never posted. I have an 03 Taco TRD O/R with 51K miles. The truck is basically stock except for the deck plate mod and 5100's all around.

First problem. I've had the common growning / vibration coming from the front of the truck for appox 4 years. I first took the truck in back in 05 and the dealer could hear and feel the problem but could not find or fix it. The truck has been back in for the same problem about 5 times all with the same results. The truck is now out of warranty and the vibration is really bad. I know it's the bearing in the front diff. I've told the dealers it's the bearing. Toyota knows there is a problem yet they refuse to help out.

Second problem. The truck wanders around and the steering wheel jerks from left to right on rough roads due to the steering shaft sleve problem. Again. Toyota knows there is a problem with these trucks but refuses to help out. I've had the truck in for this problem several times as well with no help. Always got the "It's normal".

I recently spoke to a rep from Toyota and she basiclly told me I was SOL. After reading all of the posts here and on other forums I know both of these problems are common, well documented and still affect the models built through 08.

I've already decided that there will never be another toyota owned by myself or anyone in my family. I've had enough of the crap. I'm ready to take this to the next level. I have contacted the local news stations here and asked if they would be interested in running the story. one answered yes. They would consider it but I would need to give them something to start with. I'd like to know if anyone on here would be willing to come forward with their problems / repairs on the front diffs or steering columns. Having completed warranty papers for these problems would really help.

If you would rather not post your problems please feel free to PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:32 PM   #2
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Chris4x4 will likely have a lot of info for you but until he responds. Your steering should NOT jerk away from you. I have an 06 and that has NEVER happened. As far as the vibration goes, perhaps you should try putting a 1" drop on your diff's. Cost about $20. I did it and it made a SIGNIFICANT difference. Especially if you have the 5100's adjusted for any lift. Have the alignment checked as well as the tire balance, all those factors affect ride quality. What size tires does your Taco call for standard? What are you running on it?

Anyways, that is a start on the questions.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:44 PM   #3
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The 5100's are set to the stock height (lowest ring). When I installed the 5100's I did the sway bar and rack bushings as well as tie rods. After all of that I had the truck aligned. The tires are stock sized 265/??/16 Revo's. The Revos are only about a year old and there is no pull or vibration in the wheel except when the truck hits a bump so I'm sure they are balanced.. All of these problems have existed for about 4 years and continue to get worse. I have spoken to a couple of people that have the Diff problem and it is without a doubt a bearing in the diff that failed. I also had a chance to drive a truck with the steering shaft problem before and after the repair so I'm sure of the cause on that as well.
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Old 04-15-2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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Sounds great. I'll check back a little later tonight. I know how much car companies hate when the media gets involved and there are way too many of us on here suffering from the same problems and getting no help from Toyota
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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You gotta stir up some shit!!

For Gawds sake, you've taken it to Toyota to have THEM fix it and they can't figure it out...is a bunch of pure BS!! Dude - you need to start drinking lots of Red Bull & caffeine and get yourself all wired up and pissed off. Because.... someone's gotta set a fire up Toyota's ass to get you some results. Seriously, I hope you saved copies of everything - all your visits to the dealership, receipts, etc. You can take the truck to a totally separate garage just to 'confirm' the problem (kinda like getting a 2nd oppinion). Call CORPORATE Toyota and create a big stink and don't back down! If they don't do anything for you - you can always try to get BBB involved.
(Better Business Bureau). www.bbb.org
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:19 PM   #7
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I started this thread a few months back and only received a couple of replys and no one really seemed like they wanted to come forward.

My idea was to take the common problems like the front diff bearing failure and the steering shaft problem to the local media and try to get toyota's attention. As I stated in my first post the was a station that wanted to discuss it further but needed some supporting documents before they would run with it.

With all the problems toyota is having right now the media is just looking for one more problem to talk about and I was contacted yesterday by the station that was interested way back in Apr 09. They wanted to know if I had any additional info to add etc.

So i'll ask again. If your truck is suffering from the diff bearing failure or or steering shaft problem please come forward. If your truck had these problems and you already had it fixed please come forward.

If you don't want to post in the forum please PM me and we can discuss. I personally am tired of the run around i've gotten from toyota and their general attitude toward fixing large scale problems. I was told by the regional manager that the steering shaft problem was an isolated problem and not a mfg defect and they had never heard of the problem. When I ask him if he felt they slop is the steering shaft was a safety issue he responded yes and I should have it fixed before it failed but toyota was not going to be involved.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:29 PM   #8
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I've got an '03 Tacoma Xtracab, TRD, Auto.

No problems to report here. Truck drives, handles and performs as I expect a Toyota with 83k miles on it. My only concern is the damn dash rattles on the passenger side but there is a TSB on it. Since I bought it out of warranty it can't be fixed without paying for it, so I just turn the radio up a little more.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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My 03 TRD w/ 77k also has the front diff bearing problem.. rumble strip vibration during 20MPH to 35MPH.. goes away when 4hi is engaged. Also goes away after having driven at freeway speed for a while. The latter makes me think it might also be a lubrication problem.. gonna change the front diff fluid and see if it helps.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:27 AM   #10
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If you change it yourself go with Royal Purple Gear Oil. The dealer changed mine the first time and it only made a difference for a couple of days. I talked to a few people and they told me to try the Royal Purple. It did make a difference. The problem is still there but not nearly as bad as it way.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:37 AM   #11
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I'm trying to understand your plans.. the 04+ Tacomas I believe have a different front diff than the the ones prior to that. The current Tacomas do experience bearing issue with the front diff and the fix for them have been to replace the front diff under warranty.

Are you saying that you want TOyota to fix our front diff that is now out of warranty? For that to happen, there has to be a strong connection between the current models that experience the issue and our 03. LIke I said, I believe it's a different diff entirely, which is not to say it can't have the same issue. Correct me if I'm wrong
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:18 AM   #12
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The Diff problems started way back with the 1998 (as far as I can tell) models and continued thru at least the 2004 model. I have no clue what diff is in the 2005 and up models but if they are experiencing the same problem then I'm guessing the newer trucks use the same diff. The problem is the drivers side bearing fails and cause and intermittent rumble noise that sounds just like driving over a rumble strip. When the truck is placed in 4WD it goes away but returns as soon as the truck is placed back in 2WD.

I have 34 documeneted repairs from owners dating back to 2001 and those are just from members that have come forward on the different forums. I've also spoken to a number of different Toyota mechanics and so far all but one of them knew exactly what I was talking about and had performed the repairs several times yet there is no "official" recall and the dealers won't admit there is an issue.

If I could get a few more people to come forward I'd turn all this over to the local media but they want more than what I have so far...
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:04 PM   #13
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Good luck with Toyota helping out with anything!!!..unless the government gets involved,it ain't gonna happen..
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Old 05-30-2010, 07:12 PM   #14
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the question is.. if the front diff bearing issue is such a common issue, it should have been reported more often on 1st gen trucks.. Mine and only a handful 1st gen reports come up on the internet...

This is a common issue with 2nd gen no doubt.. but I don't think the 2nd gen and 1st gen shares the same front diff..
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:25 AM   #15
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Also are you the original owner? I purchased mine as a 2nd owner when the truck had 73K on it.. no idea if it was abused by the original owner. I have the same issues as you.

What kind of argument can one use against these kinds of potential engineering deficiencies if one doesn't have all of the maintenance history as reference?
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:35 AM   #16
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Well well well... differential problems you say. I have been having vibration at lower speeds and buzzing at higher speeds, erratic shifting when accelerating and decellerating and was just told by the dealer they are going to replace the the rear diff`(Pig) but they`ve never heard of this problem on the Tacomas but they are going to replace it under warranty-going in this Monday. The tech told me that he`s not 100% sure that`s the problem but he`ll start with that. I don`t buy it- if he wasn`t sure why would he go and replace such an expensive part- I agree that Toyota is in the know and needs to be pressured into honoring the product. Who ever heard of paying 30k for something and it breaks down to the point described in this thread and the manufacture wipes their hands of it! My truck has 52km and I`ve spent 15 hours of my time at the dealer since I bought it a year ago. I`m thinking of sending them a bill for my time wasted while the product is still under warranty.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:31 PM   #17
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You're is a rear diff problem? We're talking about the front diff here...
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john01374 View Post
I've been lurking here for a couple of years now but never posted. I have an 03 Taco TRD O/R with 51K miles. The truck is basically stock except for the deck plate mod and 5100's all around.

First problem. I've had the common growning / vibration coming from the front of the truck for appox 4 years. I first took the truck in back in 05 and the dealer could hear and feel the problem but could not find or fix it. The truck has been back in for the same problem about 5 times all with the same results. The truck is now out of warranty and the vibration is really bad. I know it's the bearing in the front diff. I've told the dealers it's the bearing. Toyota knows there is a problem yet they refuse to help out.

Second problem. The truck wanders around and the steering wheel jerks from left to right on rough roads due to the steering shaft sleve problem. Again. Toyota knows there is a problem with these trucks but refuses to help out. I've had the truck in for this problem several times as well with no help. Always got the "It's normal".

I recently spoke to a rep from Toyota and she basiclly told me I was SOL. After reading all of the posts here and on other forums I know both of these problems are common, well documented and still affect the models built through 08.

I've already decided that there will never be another toyota owned by myself or anyone in my family. I've had enough of the crap. I'm ready to take this to the next level. I have contacted the local news stations here and asked if they would be interested in running the story. one answered yes. They would consider it but I would need to give them something to start with. I'd like to know if anyone on here would be willing to come forward with their problems / repairs on the front diffs or steering columns. Having completed warranty papers for these problems would really help.

If you would rather not post your problems please feel free to PM me and we'll discuss.
I just posted about this same thing. it seems to be a common known issue with toyota and the steering problems veering you off the road if you dont watch yourself at all times. I really think they should stand behind there product when it comes to this huge of a safty issue as this. I have no idea what to do as this has been with every tacoma ive had and ive wasted money trying to fix this issue before and it didnt help the problem.
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