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09 steering knocking/loose off road

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by JCarter, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Mar 20, 2009 at 7:06 PM
    #1
    JCarter

    JCarter [OP] Member

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    09 Tacoma TRD Sport 13K miles. Steering and suspension perform well on road. I can feel play / looseness / knocking when the truck is taken off road. Problem shows up on the slightest bumpy situations. Worst case is washboard type roads. It's something in the suspension or steering. Toyota mechs drove it today on road and said that there's nothing wrong with it. You notice it pretty quickly when you drive it off road. Any assistance in diagnosing the problem is greatly appreciated. Taking it back to the shop tomorrow. Truck not off roaded yet. Just daily drives over dirt roads and sand.
     
  2. Mar 20, 2009 at 7:42 PM
    #2
    tacoholic

    tacoholic 09 but I drive a 012 Expedition...

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    Never heard of that problem before...on any vehicle. But somebody should be here quick to help you.
     
  3. Mar 21, 2009 at 1:39 AM
    #3
    RockDoc

    RockDoc Member

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    Yep, same thing happens to me ('09 TRD OR). Haven't taken it to dealer yet, but I have seen other threads on here saying they have the same thing going on. So unfortunately, this is what the truck feels like off road; but like you mine is golden on the pavement. More than a little annoying though...
     
  4. Mar 21, 2009 at 1:48 AM
    #4
    dunkhi

    dunkhi CSULB socal

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    yea thats how all steering is

    its not smooth so its going to be bumpy as hell and the steering will feel lose.

    but its better then being tight and jerking ur hands around like the tires are right?
     
  5. Mar 21, 2009 at 1:54 AM
    #5
    RockDoc

    RockDoc Member

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    ^^ Yeah, it's annoying but I'm used to it now. However, my '95 4Runner never did this, so Its not just the road, it actually is a characteristic of this particular truck, IMO.
     
  6. Mar 22, 2009 at 9:09 PM
    #6
    JCarter

    JCarter [OP] Member

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    Skipped going back to the dealer so that I could sleep in on Saturday morning. It was worth it. Also waited a while based on your thoughts in those messages. Thanks for your input. I understand that is how the steering / suspension normally feels off road. Tire pressure is set at the standard 35 p.s.i. Lowering it could make the ride better I suppose, but I don't think I'll be doing that because I put a lot of highway miles on that truck. I'm going to look into making sure that none of the steering components or boots are loose. I had the same problem with my 05 2500HD, and the Chev mechs tightened something around the steering. Never had this problem with an '02 Z71 that I had. Will post a final conclusion when I reach one.
     
  7. Mar 22, 2009 at 9:13 PM
    #7
    dunkhi

    dunkhi CSULB socal

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    sounds good:D
     
  8. Mar 23, 2009 at 2:24 AM
    #8
    RockDoc

    RockDoc Member

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    I do have required OR driving, w/ the trd OR package, which is why I got this particular truck in the first place. It sounds like JCarter and I feel the same thing in the steering, not in the ride (at least for me). The ride is just fine, feels better OR than on pavement, except for this steering issue. It doesnt feel good to me either, like something is possibly loose. I'm curious to hear what the dealer says, I will be going soon for the first scheduled oil change... I wouldnt be surprised if they say "Its a charactaristic of this truck."
     
  9. Mar 30, 2009 at 7:33 PM
    #9
    JCarter

    JCarter [OP] Member

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    Concur. It'll get attention from Toyota if enough people bitch. It came with Bilstein's. Do the TRD Sports come with 5100s, or are they another Bilstein product? I feel it's loose around the steering column, so minor improvements to the suspension and tire pressure aren't going to change it that much in my opinion.
     
  10. Mar 30, 2009 at 8:38 PM
    #10
    nvdeserted

    nvdeserted Well-Known Member

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    Anything will be like that on washboard at 35psi. Whenever I'm going to be on washboard for more than 15min I'll air-down to 27 (ish) psi. Don't worry about airing down, it will make your ride like you are on clouds... plus it will handle better and you can go faster. It's ok to drive on the street like that, just air-UP next time you pass a gas station or get a cheap compressor (those take a long time to fill the tires though). Also, 35psi is the max recommendation, I run mine at 30psi often; only when I'm driving extended highway miles do I go up to 35psi. Trust me: air down on the washboard!
     
  11. May 14, 2009 at 6:23 AM
    #11
    john01374

    john01374 Member

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    I'm dealing with a similar problem on my 2003 model. I'm not sure if the steering columns are designed the same on the 09 but the problem with mine is simple. The steering shaft slides into a square tube. Think of a square peg in a square hole. Problem is the the outer tube loosens up over time and the steering becomes sloppy. This took about 2 years to show up on mine and has been getting progressivly worst. I can grab the top of my steering wheel and move it left and right about 2 inches before the tires move. I'd be really surprised if Toyota still uses this design as it is so bad. Needless to say I'm not happy with this problem or any of the many others i've had. I also don't care for the BS I get from the dealers AND Toyota corporate. .

    I've always loved my Yodas but after this one there will never be another in my driveway.
     
  12. May 14, 2009 at 8:26 AM
    #12
    papabear050

    papabear050 Well-Known Member

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    Normal, I also have billys 5100's on my 08. Took it wheelin yesterday, hit some real rocky terrain and some whoops... 29psi

    Steering was loose, clicky, and knocking a bit... but I was going pretty fast. It's pretty normal. I also posted about it too because if i take the wheel and move it slightly left and right, I feel a click, and when I go over a speed bump and come down off it, it knocks once. My buddy got an 09 last week and it feels the same.

    I drove it pretty hard through the washboard and it did really well. I guess that's just how trucks feel
     
  13. May 14, 2009 at 9:58 AM
    #13
    john01374

    john01374 Member

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    My truck took about 2 years for the problem to show up. I've driven a couple of trucks after they've been repaired and there is a huge difference. I'm actually looking for someone to remove ( or tell me how) my column right now. The fix is to place a couple of spot weld where the pieces meet.
     
  14. May 14, 2009 at 10:42 AM
    #14
    papabear050

    papabear050 Well-Known Member

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    Wonder if you can just put some type of shims in there to fill in the space? Like a metal sleeve or so
     
  15. May 14, 2009 at 10:48 AM
    #15
    papabear050

    papabear050 Well-Known Member

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  16. May 14, 2009 at 10:52 AM
    #16
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    Yea mine does the same thing, did it the first time with about 300 on the ODO. I've kinda just learned to ignore it but it is a little crappy. Honestly it feels almost like the bushings have given out on the rack (does this truck even use rack and pinion? never bothered to look lol).

    I'm not convinced about the steering column shaft either, otherwise when I try to force it to move on road like that... it should do the same thing. It doesn't...

    I've never had any issues with the steering off road though so... I've just been ignoring it.


    Also... I aired down to about 25psi last weekend, and the same thing showed up.
     
  17. May 14, 2009 at 11:05 AM
    #17
    john01374

    john01374 Member

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    I've seen a couple of write ups on the steering shaft problem and from the pics I've seen there is no way t shim it. Someone tried to Pin it in place but said that it only reduced the problem a slight amount. The only real fix I've seen is the spot weld. I'm doing mine as soon as I can figure out how to get the column out. I've heard different stories about taking it out.. Some say you have to remove the wheel and airbag. Others say you don't.
     
  18. May 14, 2009 at 11:12 AM
    #18
    fletch aka

    fletch aka www.BeLikeBrit.org

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    I'm glad it's not just me. Washboards drive me crazy, truck feels so solid on the highway I thought it might be tires. Will air down next time.
    :burnrubber:
     
  19. May 14, 2009 at 11:13 AM
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    john01374

    john01374 Member

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