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Stiff Steering - try this fix first

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Old 07-19-2010, 06:11 AM   #1
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Stiff Steering - try this fix first

I've seen a few threads about stiff steering, but no solid solutions as to fixing it.

The symptoms are when you turn the wheel, and the steering goes from stiff to normal to stiff throughout the steering wheel rotation. As if there are stiff spots as you turn the wheel. A constant stiff steering is another issue.

Spray the snot out of your steering U-joint just above the steering rack with a penetrating oil. Keep turning the wheel 1/4 turn to expose the different sides of the joint. You can easily access it from underneath the truck. I used SeaFoam as it penetrates decently and also lubricates, unlike WD-40 witch penetrates well but doesn't lubricate as well.

No more stiff spots in the steering. This should get you by for a while until you need to replace the u-joint.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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I have been having this same problem with my 05 Taco......do you know where I can find just the u-joints rather than replacing parts of the whole shaft?
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck View Post
I've seen a few threads about stiff steering, but no solid solutions as to fixing it.

The symptoms are when you turn the wheel, and the steering goes from stiff to normal to stiff throughout the steering wheel rotation. As if there are stiff spots as you turn the wheel. A constant stiff steering is another issue.

Spray the snot out of your steering U-joint just above the steering rack with a penetrating oil. Keep turning the wheel 1/4 turn to expose the different sides of the joint. You can easily access it from underneath the truck. I used SeaFoam as it penetrates decently and also lubricates, unlike WD-40 witch penetrates well but doesn't lubricate as well.

No more stiff spots in the steering. This should get you by for a while until you need to replace the u-joint.
I followed this to a T including the snot and it worked. And it takes such a little time that you can do it every now and then just in case.

Thanks a bunch. I can see a lot of Tacomas out there on the verge of this problem. And this will fix it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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THIS is the exact problem I'm facing, but I'm also really, really new at working on my own truck. Some things I get, but others I am lost.

This is one of those situations. I have no idea where the U-joint is above the steering rack. Any chance of some details to find this? Perhaps a photo? I'd be very appreciative of the help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by buck View Post
I've seen a few threads about stiff steering, but no solid solutions as to fixing it.

The symptoms are when you turn the wheel, and the steering goes from stiff to normal to stiff throughout the steering wheel rotation. As if there are stiff spots as you turn the wheel. A constant stiff steering is another issue.

Spray the snot out of your steering U-joint just above the steering rack with a penetrating oil. Keep turning the wheel 1/4 turn to expose the different sides of the joint. You can easily access it from underneath the truck. I used SeaFoam as it penetrates decently and also lubricates, unlike WD-40 witch penetrates well but doesn't lubricate as well.

No more stiff spots in the steering. This should get you by for a while until you need to replace the u-joint.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoetacoma View Post
I have been having this same problem with my 05 Taco......do you know where I can find just the u-joints rather than replacing parts of the whole shaft?
I've tried to source one for a long time with no luck. The u joint failed in my steering shaft a few years ago. Check for play in the joint. I ended up having to purchase new OEM Toyota. Removed the u joint from the old shaft but no luck in sourcing it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortech View Post
I've tried to source one for a long time with no luck. The u joint failed in my steering shaft a few years ago. Check for play in the joint. I ended up having to purchase new OEM Toyota. Removed the u joint from the old shaft but no luck in sourcing it.

So the universal joint can be replaced without replacing the rack? Are there instructions somewhere to replace the joint?
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coveylane View Post
So the universal joint can be replaced without replacing the rack? Are there instructions somewhere to replace the joint?
The steering shaft and steering rack are two different items separate of each other. The joint in the shaft cannot be replaced to the best of my knowledge.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:23 PM   #9
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The next member that has this issue needs to take a couple pictures of the universal and possibly some measurements of the u-joint using a caliper .
Toyota USA or Mexico does not make universal joints , they purchase them in bulk from the aftermarket and install them on the Tacoma and call them OEM .
With some metric measurements , it wouldnt take much to figure out which u joints would work for our application
I also have an issue with my 2010 .
Here is an example http://www.flamingriver.com/index.ph...FeY7OgodohYA0g
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearcruncher View Post
The next member that has this issue needs to take a couple pictures of the universal and possibly some measurements of the u-joint using a caliper .
Toyota USA or Mexico does not make universal joints , they purchase them in bulk from the aftermarket and install them on the Tacoma and call them OEM .
With some metric measurements , it wouldnt take much to figure out which u joints would work for our application
I also have an issue with my 2010 .
Here is an example http://www.flamingriver.com/index.ph...FeY7OgodohYA0g
Done and done. Removed the joint and sent the measurements to several large manufacturers who replied it was not available. Things may have changed however, as this was three years ago.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortech View Post
I've tried to source one for a long time with no luck. The u joint failed in my steering shaft a few years ago. Check for play in the joint. I ended up having to purchase new OEM Toyota. Removed the u joint from the old shaft but no luck in sourcing it.
So ball park figure, how much was the new one, did you replace it and if so, did everything come apart fairly easy?
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:53 PM   #12
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The new shaft was somewhere around $400 CDN. It isn't a very big job to replace at all. Don't spin your steering wheel after the shaft has been removed, it will screw your spiral cable in the steering wheel, costing you another couple of hundred.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortech View Post
The new shaft was somewhere around $400 CDN. It isn't a very big job to replace at all. Don't spin your steering wheel after the sandy has been removed, it will screw your spiral cable in the steering wheel, costing you another couple of hundred.
Thanks, I have been spraying the snot out of this one but it comes back and right now it is pretty bad. Last year at about this time it started. Coming out of winter when the roads are dry and still lots of salt on them must dry it out.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coveylane View Post
Thanks, I have been spraying the snot out of this one but it comes back and right now it is pretty bad. Last year at about this time it started. Coming out of winter when the roads are dry and still lots of salt on them must dry it out.
Use a heavier oil so that it will stay in there. I put some gear oil (80 weight maybe) in an oil can yhat has a flexible spout. I was able to just slide under the truck and reach up, directing the spout to above the joint and soaked it with oil. I then started the truck and rotated the wheel back and forth stop to stop a few times. I would leave the wheel in a position 90 degrees to the previous position and repeat the oiling, then more rotating. I did this a total of 4 times and its been smooth foor 6 months now. I used a rag under the shaft to catch the oil drips since it was a messy job. Ideally I would somehow fix some plastic around the shaft and joint, securing it with zip ties so that I could really soak it in oil.
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fortech View Post
Done and done. Removed the joint and sent the measurements to several large manufacturers who replied it was not available. Things may have changed however, as this was three years ago.
Any chance you have the part number for the universal joint or at least the measurements ?

I would drill into the center cap and install a grease Zerk .
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearcruncher View Post
Any chance you have the part number for the universal joint or at least the measurements ?

I would drill into the center cap and install a grease Zerk .
I have the u joint at home in my toolbox so I'll post the measurements. The joint is way too small to install a grease fitting.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryen View Post
THIS is the exact problem I'm facing, but I'm also really, really new at working on my own truck. Some things I get, but others I am lost.

This is one of those situations. I have no idea where the U-joint is above the steering rack. Any chance of some details to find this? Perhaps a photo? I'd be very appreciative of the help!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqPF_SNueyg
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by splitbolt View Post
Great video... shows you what you might be up against if you DIY. Thanks
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coveylane View Post
Great video... shows you what you might be up against if you DIY. Thanks
He has another video where he replaces the rack too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSFLIt05YBU
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #20
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Took mine in to our own Toyota dealer for stiff steering. They took it in the back and sprayed the snot gone too! Good as new. They had it off the rack and didn't get a chance to show me where the offending u joint is, but you better bet I will find it next time! knowing the problem is half the battle!
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