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Loose Steering Column

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by eteran810, Mar 17, 2024.

  1. Mar 17, 2024 at 1:29 PM
    #1
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    https://youtube.com/shorts/zlaA3nLk0zs?feature=share

    First time posting! I just bought a 2014 Tacoma that had all sorts of front end noises. I have replaced the front struts, the LCA's and have had multiple alignments. Those repairs have sorted most of the noise coming from my front end but I one noise I haven't been able to figure out is a low clunking noise going over bumps at low speeds. Im also having some wandering when going 65+mph(without noise). Anyways I was poking around the steering column and found that there was a lot of play in the shaft. All the connecting bolts are tight. and play is more at the top rather than the bottom under the floor. Im wondering if this much play is normal before I go ahead and change this out. Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2024
  2. Mar 17, 2024 at 1:33 PM
    #2
    Superdave1.0

    Superdave1.0 Grandma Dave

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    Known issue with some 2nd gens. Replace that intermediate shaft.
     
    lynyrd3 likes this.
  3. Mar 17, 2024 at 5:10 PM
    #3
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    Thanks Dave, I’ll look into replacing it during the week
     
  4. Mar 17, 2024 at 5:20 PM
    #4
    gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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  5. Mar 18, 2024 at 8:10 AM
    #5
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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  6. Mar 18, 2024 at 11:22 AM
    #6
    gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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    I have a cheap Amazon steering shaft installed on my truck .
    Been great for a year .no grease zerk mind you .
    I rebuilt my original shaft with a greaseable u- joint . Waiting for the Amazon shaft to fail and I will throw the original factory shaft back on
     
    Rob MacRuger likes this.
  7. Mar 18, 2024 at 11:36 AM
    #7
    dtaco10

    dtaco10 Well-Known Member

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    Greaseable: Where did you get the part(s)?
     
  8. Mar 18, 2024 at 1:12 PM
    #8
    gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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    There is a write up here at Tacoma World with the procedure and the greaseable u joint part number

    Do a Google search
     
  9. Mar 21, 2024 at 2:41 PM
    #9
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    So I finally got to changing the upper shaft. The clunk it definitely gone but the wandering on Hwy speeds is still there. Thinking of changing the lower shaft. Also looking into the steering rack mounts.
     
  10. Mar 21, 2024 at 3:23 PM
    #10
    winkel

    winkel Well-Known Member

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    It might be an alignment issue (yes, still). I would have someone wiggle the steering wheel back and forth while I was under the front end, feeling every joint. See if anything in your steering is loose.
    If you can't find anything, I would recommend another good alignment.
    Post your alignment numbers here if you have them.
     
  11. Mar 21, 2024 at 4:14 PM
    #11
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    So I literally got an alignment today at a shop that specialized in lifted trucks and they actually got it right! Helped a ton! BUT the steering wheel stills gives off a loose feeling. When I twist the lower steering shaft from under the truck I can feel a light knock at the u-joints. That being said I plan on changing that lower shaft
     
    winkel and Superdave1.0 like this.
  12. Mar 21, 2024 at 7:18 PM
    #12
    dkensk

    dkensk Well-Known Member

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    Failing/sagging body mounts can cause compression on the steering shaft.
     
  13. Mar 22, 2024 at 8:34 AM
    #13
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2024
  14. Mar 22, 2024 at 10:54 AM
    #14
    Moto521

    Moto521 Active Member

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    Yeah, that ain't right. Rack shouldn't move at all.
     
  15. Mar 22, 2024 at 12:46 PM
    #15
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    Yea I figured that play wasn’t normal. I’m going to check to make sure the bolts are torqued to spec. If they are then I’m going to proceed to change them the bushing. Hoping I don’t have to change the whole rack system.
     
    winkel and Moto521 like this.
  16. Mar 25, 2024 at 6:05 AM
    #16
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    So little update from this weekend. I changed the lower intermediate steering shaft. The old was superrrrr floppy. Once I installed the new one it felt great at HWY speed. Improved handling for sure. That being said, bump steer is still the there. I had my wife turn the wheels while I was under the truck and I can confirm that the steering rack doesn’t move. I think the my camera was moving in the video and not the rack. Anyways I also notice gunk build up on my inner driver side cv boot. It wasn’t fresh but there was gunk. Didnt get a chance to take the boot off the inspect inside. I’m thinking of changing the rack and pinion system and while I have all that off I’ll put new bushing on as well. Y’all think that’s over kill or worth doing at 90.000 miles?
     
  17. Mar 25, 2024 at 1:16 PM
    #17
    nd4spdbh

    nd4spdbh Well-Known Member

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    a stock 3rd gen brand new will have a rack move left n right due to bushing play ~ +- 3/16ths if you arent moving.
     
    eteran810[QUOTED][OP] likes this.
  18. Mar 25, 2024 at 2:38 PM
    #18
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    Don’t know if it makes a difference about the movement in the steering rack but my truck isn’t stock. Have Rancho Quick lift with 2in lift and SPC adjustable ball joints on the UCA’s. Regardless I don’t see movement in the steering rack. The only unusual movement I see that if I grab the steering shaft and twist it left and right it seems excessively easy. With very little force at that. Even when the truck is off and parked I could twist the shaft and see the tires turn left and right. It’s seems just too easy to be able to do that. I feel it especially over bumps and when I drive over a grove.
     
  19. Mar 26, 2024 at 5:39 PM
    #19
    eteran810

    eteran810 [OP] Member

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    So update. Took it too the most mechanic I know my town and after inspection of all the suspension the only thing he can find was that the alignment in the tow was all the way to the right. Camber and caster were right on the money. Not sure why but he said he’ll align it right by the tomorrow. I guess my question would be can bad tow cause such bad bump steer and a loose feeling to the steering?
     
  20. Mar 26, 2024 at 6:08 PM
    #20
    Moto521

    Moto521 Active Member

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    Well, good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
     
    racerX969 likes this.

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