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Mystery screw fell out from under my dash

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by erics37, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. Sep 12, 2010 at 1:41 PM
    #1
    erics37

    erics37 [OP] Member

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    Greetings! First time poster here.

    I have a 2003 Xtra cab 4x4 V6 manual tranny Tacoma. A few years ago I felt something rolling under my foot as I was driving, and it turned out to be some sort of little machine screw. I believe it fell out from somewhere under my dash, or the immediate vicinity. I tossed it in the cup holder and forgot about it.

    More recently I've been having some issues with the parking brake. The parking brake light would stay on unless I manually pushed the brake lever (twist 'n pull type) all the way in, but then it would bounce back a little bit, disengaging the switch under the dash and turning the light back on. At first I thought the mystery screw had something to do with that, but after researching on this and other forums, I crawled under and cleaned some crud and corrosion out of the spring-mounted parking brake cable arm under the driver's side seat area. That worked great; the parking brake now sucks all the way in like it's supposed to.

    Another issue I had was that the parking brake was largely ineffective on moderate slopes. I had to pull it out like 35 clicks just to make it barely hold. Again, I wondered if the mystery screw had something to do with it. Turns out it doesn't, and after reading more forum stuff here and elsewhere, I took the rear wheels off and manually adjusted the little ratchet star adjustment nut inside the drum brakes. Worked like a charm; now my brake engages properly somewhere around 15 clicks, which I believe is in keeping with the recommended spec.

    So regarding the little mystery screw, I'm still clueless. So here's a couple of pictures. Does anyone recognize this thing and what it might have fallen out of? Nothing else seems weird or loose or not functioning properly. Thanks for your help! Sorry for the long first post.

    - Eric

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sep 12, 2010 at 1:43 PM
    #2
    005Tacoma

    005Tacoma Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago? lol
     
  3. Sep 12, 2010 at 1:44 PM
    #3
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Ah...I see it now...
     
  4. Sep 12, 2010 at 1:47 PM
    #4
    4WD

    4WD cRaZy oLdmAn

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    Sounds like that mystery screw has taught you alot about your truck


    Mystery screw is a good teacher......:cool:
     
  5. Sep 12, 2010 at 1:56 PM
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    erics37

    erics37 [OP] Member

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    Yep, a few years ago.

    I was driving when I noticed it, and I figured if I was still driving after it fell out, then whatever it is wasn't doing much. Maybe it just holds some wiring harness in place or something.

    Any ideas?
     
  6. Sep 12, 2010 at 2:31 PM
    #6
    005Tacoma

    005Tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Maybe its not part of your truck. Might be just something you picked up in your shoe.
     
  7. Sep 12, 2010 at 2:33 PM
    #7
    Trap

    Trap Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for admitting you have a screw loose !
     
  8. Sep 12, 2010 at 2:43 PM
    #8
    erics37

    erics37 [OP] Member

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    I figured I would come clean right off the bat :p
     
  9. Sep 12, 2010 at 2:44 PM
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    erics37

    erics37 [OP] Member

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    If this is the case, then it's going to drive me nuts until I figure out where it came from. Like the mystery key on my key ring. I don't know where I got it or what it opens. I use it to open boxes and stuff.
     
  10. Sep 12, 2010 at 2:52 PM
    #10
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    That key opens the magical land of free beer and naked ladies. I just know it.
     
  11. Sep 12, 2010 at 4:35 PM
    #11
    shitroc

    shitroc Master of War

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    kinda looks like the brass colored screw that holds the steering column cover up the one on the bottom of the cover i mean. have a look under your steering wheel and see if that screw is still in place.

    the pic in the middle is the screw im talkin about
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Sep 12, 2010 at 5:55 PM
    #12
    erics37

    erics37 [OP] Member

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    Nope, it wasn't that one. All the steering column cover screws are in place.
     
  13. Sep 12, 2010 at 7:17 PM
    #13
    Apple X C0re

    Apple X C0re Atomic Punk

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    I too have had the mystery screw appear, under my floor mat years ago. I checked everything under the dash, nothing was hanging loose. So i threw it in the tool box, and forgot about it. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Sep 12, 2010 at 7:22 PM
    #14
    topgun155

    topgun155 Well-Known Member

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    It looks like the screw for the flux capacitor.
     
  15. Sep 12, 2010 at 7:30 PM
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    jab08

    jab08 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a aftermarket radio or have ever had the stock one removed at on point in time? Just saying that looks exactly like the ones that holds the radio in place, and trust me if you dont have a magnetic screwdriver you will more than likely drop one behind the dash. Trust me I dropped one down behind there and have never seen it since.
     
  16. Sep 12, 2010 at 7:37 PM
    #16
    docbrown

    docbrown Well-Known Member

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    No no. Flux capacitor screws are all platinum...with sparkles:rolleyes:
     
  17. Sep 12, 2010 at 8:58 PM
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    Digiratus

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    It is pretty awesome when the main complaint about an 8 year old vehicle is an orphaned screw and the e-brake adjustment. Says a lot for the vehicle. :D
     
  18. Sep 12, 2010 at 9:10 PM
    #18
    zero4

    zero4 Metal Cutter

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    LOL, damn mystery screws! I agree that it probably got picked up from your shoe. Doesn't look like a Toyota screw to me but then again I haven't been everywhere in my dash yet.

    Last week I had a mystery panel clip appear out of no where. Nothing seems loose yet. That's what the ash tray is for, throw the mystery screws & clips in there, then one day when you come across something missing, look in the ash tray & you'll say" oh so that's what that was for, glad I still had it."
     
  19. Sep 12, 2010 at 9:13 PM
    #19
    cabarbhab

    cabarbhab Well-Known Member

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    i am a helicopter mechanic and i find mystery screws all the time. i just put them in my pocket and move along.
     
  20. Sep 12, 2010 at 9:14 PM
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    zero4

    zero4 Metal Cutter

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    :eek:

    I wouldn't want any damn mystery screws from my helicopter if I had one! ;)
     
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