1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

1998 Tacoma Play in Steering Wheel

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by bobinyelm, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Jul 6, 2020 at 10:47 PM
    #1
    bobinyelm

    bobinyelm [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2018
    Member:
    #258051
    Messages:
    50
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    1998 4WD Tacoma 177k miles.

    The steering wheel on my "new-to-me" Tacoma has about 3/4" "play"measured at the rim.

    I wiggled the wheel back and forth and had a partner look for "lost motion" at universal joints in the steering shaft, flex coupling, rack, or tie rod ends.

    He said the play was totally in a U-Joint he could feel inside the cab below the steering column.

    I found a diagram here ( https://parts.toyota.com/p/Toyota__...t-Coupling--Flexible/63545789/4523035090.html ) and believe maybe this one
    ( https://parts.toyota.com/p/Toyota__...ke--Steering-Sliding/63552040/4529035040.html ) nay be the culprit, but I am not sure.

    Anyone notice such play with an answer how to fix it?

    If I picked the right part, I see it lists for $482 JUST for the U-Joint coupling!

    Tell me it ain't so!

    I saw that the specs ( I think I found it in the owners manual?) said something like an inch or 1.25" is considered "acceptable" though I'd rather it be zero in my truck.

    I this play somewhat common, and does it REALLY cost $500 to fix it?

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. Jul 6, 2020 at 10:51 PM
    #2
    Abeyancer

    Abeyancer Not so secret, secret van guy

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Member:
    #288326
    Messages:
    7,515
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jimmie
    PNW
    Vehicle:
    98 4x4 ex cab tacoma 3rz
    Don't spend 500 dollars
     
  3. Jul 7, 2020 at 4:23 PM
    #3
    bobinyelm

    bobinyelm [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2018
    Member:
    #258051
    Messages:
    50
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob

    YES, Thank-you.

    I kept looking here and then just Googled and found THIS thread:

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/steering-wheel-play.474634/

    I spoke to a friend who runs and import shop and he recommended:

    1) Drilling and threading the outer shaft and using an Allen set screw with Loctite to solid-up the play by tightening the set screw until there is no rotational play, saying in the even of an accident the inner shaft will STILL slide and protect the driver
    2) Drill precisely and inset a tight fitting brass brazing rod that SHOULD shear in a collision then slide
    3) Fit a piece of brass shim stock between the two shafts (at the gap between the two) and let it extend an inch or so and secure with nylon strapping tape so it will be retained, but in the event of a collision the shafts will slide as intended

    He did not like the welded-bead technique in case it does NO break looked in a collision.

    I do not see how to do any of these w/o removing the steering column as some suggested though.

    And NO, I would not spend $500, as much as I dislike play!

    Toyota is very proud of their parts. I need a rear mud flap (one was missing) and Toyota wants $90 for ONE rear replacement mud flap! I bought a semi-mud flap on Amazon for $22 and when it comes I will use the remaining flap as a pattern to make TWO new rear mud flaps (since they are mirror images) and replace BOTH back ones. A few years back I needed a new one for my Dodge Cummins Dually (law requires mud flaps for dual wheels) and I bought a PAIR of new ones with metal penal at bottom facing aft (stiffens the flap and is "bling.") and they only cost $63 a PAIR and I thought THAT was a lot.

    Bob
     
  4. Jul 7, 2020 at 5:18 PM
    #4
    LearningToFly

    LearningToFly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Member:
    #213089
    Messages:
    91
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt
    Northeast Alabama
    Vehicle:
    2004 Double Cab
    Go here and check out post #42
     
  5. Jul 7, 2020 at 9:15 PM
    #5
    bobinyelm

    bobinyelm [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2018
    Member:
    #258051
    Messages:
    50
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Yes, that post is in the tread I posted and it makes it look easy.

    Hopefully it IS, or will be!

    Have you done it, and if so did you do it that way?

    The play is not out of limits, nor does it making driving truly unpleasant, but it IS annoying!
     
  6. Jul 8, 2020 at 2:30 AM
    #6
    LearningToFly

    LearningToFly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2017
    Member:
    #213089
    Messages:
    91
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt
    Northeast Alabama
    Vehicle:
    2004 Double Cab
    Yes, that’s exactly the way I did it. If this is the culprit, you will be amazed at how much better it drives after you fix it. I fixed mine with two small opposing tack welds.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2020 at 7:02 AM
    #7
    frizzman

    frizzman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Member:
    #113212
    Messages:
    4,957
    Gender:
    Male
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Vehicle:
    04 XCab 4x4 TRD/OR
    OME 2.5,Tundra 17s,Falken Wildpeak AT3W hitch w/ 7-pin, ARE cap, JVC HU w/BT, HID/LED lights
    the play is the annoying part. the steering wheel "slip-joint" is the (as I see it) un-needed part. the rack and all joints sit behind the engine and frame cross-member. the only significant way that the steering wheel is going to hit your chest if there is an impact from the driver's side front fender at the pinch weld. and if that happens it won't matter anyway, the door will cave first causing the cab to deform and "move" the steering shaft towards the passenger side. if you get hit from the front it literally has to go through the cross-member and back another 6-8 inches before the vertical steering shaft is touched. great concepts, just in Toyota where everything is behind the solid points, makes it less useful, which is why many do the tack-weld :notsure:
     
    LearningToFly likes this.

Products Discussed in

To Top