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need a suspension expert

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by coehorn1, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Jan 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM
    #1
    coehorn1

    coehorn1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My '03 truck frequently will not track a straight line. Three mechanics have looked at it. I've had new:

    1) shocks and struts
    2) swaybar bushings
    3) rank and pinion mechanism + bushings

    Tire pressures have been changed from Toyota recommended values all the way to 38 PSI.

    In heavy crosswind, it's a real struggle. Also, it wants to follow imperfections in the road surface. To me, it feels sloppy -- like ball joints.

    Other vehicles -- a Prius and S10, track fine. I've previously owned a pre-Tacoma Toy truck and a Camry.

    Suspension experts ..... I sure need your help. Where should I look to put this nonsense to bed once and for all?
     
  2. Jan 14, 2011 at 11:15 AM
    #2
    Space Wrangler

    Space Wrangler Well-Known Member

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    what's your alignment specs look like? ..have your camber and toe checked.
     
  3. Jan 14, 2011 at 11:30 AM
    #3
    PLC721

    PLC721 Well-Known Member

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    is it pulling a certain direction?
     
  4. Jan 14, 2011 at 11:59 AM
    #4
    coehorn1

    coehorn1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It's been aligned 3 or 4 times now. I did not ask for the specs. The last time, the mechanic said he checked the real wheel alignment too.

    Is there a slot in the specs that's known for being "right"?
     
  5. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM
    #5
    coehorn1

    coehorn1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It seems to follow road defects or slope. When it starts to wander, I have to counter steer just slightly until it starts to respond. Like there's some slop in the linkage somewhere.

    Sorry, but I don't know the proper terminology.
     
  6. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM
    #6
    PLC721

    PLC721 Well-Known Member

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    you might have answered your own question, your steering shaft might be loose?
     
  7. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:09 PM
    #7
    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    Has the truck been in an accident and when repaired is it dog trailing meaning, standing behind the truck 20 -25 ft look at the back wheels,are they in alignment with the front wheels.
     
  8. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:11 PM
    #8
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    FYI - Every Toyota truck I have owned acts like a sailboat in crosswind.
     
  9. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:12 PM
    #9
    PLC721

    PLC721 Well-Known Member

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    yes thats true
     
  10. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:12 PM
    #10
    coehorn1

    coehorn1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'll have it checked. Thanks.
     
  11. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:13 PM
    #11
    coehorn1

    coehorn1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I picked up the truck with 35K miles. No dirt on carfax and the truck has been examined by lots of mechanics. But who knows what has really happened in the used-truck crapshoot?

    I'll get someone to follow me and check it. Thanks.
     
  12. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM
    #12
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    What tires are you running?
     
  13. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM
    #13
    coehorn1

    coehorn1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Dunlop A/T Radial Rover
    P26570R16

    They were new on the truck when I picked it up.
     
  14. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:48 PM
    #14
    HeadlampRevamp

    HeadlampRevamp Well-Known Member

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    Ditto, my truck wanders. As far as I know this is perfectly normal for 1st gen tacos.
     
  15. Jan 14, 2011 at 12:51 PM
    #15
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    Reviews on TireRack list various pros and cons but nothing about highway wandering. Some tires with soft sidewalls or bias plies tend to follow grooved in the road like you describe so I thought that might be the issue.

    The search continues...
     
  16. Jan 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM
    #16
    coehorn1

    coehorn1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Nice site.

    What tires do people put on these 1st gen 4x4's? I need tires for slow and easy off road maybe 5% of the time. Other than that, need a quiet highway tire for mileage.
     
  17. Jan 14, 2011 at 6:19 PM
    #17
    Supra TT

    Supra TT Solid Axle FTMFW!!

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  18. Jan 14, 2011 at 6:39 PM
    #18
    NegroTundra

    NegroTundra Well-Known Member

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    I wish you the best in figuring this out....I know how annoying it can be, I actually sold my last truck (03 Tundra) because of this exact problem. Spent probably $4000 trying to fix it; tires, steering, suspension, the whole nine yards. Let us know!

    To the other guys that say its normal....the 03 Taco I picked up feels rock solid and drives true compared to that Tundra...just fyi
     
  19. Jan 14, 2011 at 6:40 PM
    #19
    NegroTundra

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  20. Jan 14, 2011 at 8:12 PM
    #20
    Digiratus

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    IMO the "in spec" numbers are way to lax. Then there are the inexperienced techs using the equipment.

    Toe should be 0*, camber should be 0*, and most importantly, regarding highway wander, the caster should be higher than 2.0*. Ideally, the caster should be 2.5-3*.

    I think you need to take a closer look at the actual results of the alignments.
     
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