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New 2010 kinda wanders down the freeway

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by zdog, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. Mar 6, 2010 at 2:53 PM
    #1
    zdog

    zdog [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My new 2010 taco has been a pleasure to own so far. It is a 2WD 4cly access cab model. Nothing like a new car to lift your spirits. I have noticed one uncomfortable trait that my pickup has. When driving down the freeway it seems to wander from side to side just a little bit...just enough that you have to be constantly applying a little pressure on the wheel one way or the other to keep it going straight. I understand about the crown in the road and that is not the problem. Having to constantly be tweaking the steering becomes tiring after a while.

    I have a tool that I can check the toe of the alignment with. It is a metal plate that moves side to side when you drive over it and indicates whether the front tires are toed in or out. I used it on this truck and it indicates that the front tires are toed out 1/16 inch. I would like to hear what you think as to whether or not this is enough to make this truck dance just a little. Does anyone know what the toe in is supposed to be set at? Is anyone else notice this happening on their rig?

    The only other thing that I find a little lacking is the lack of volume on the standard SR5 radio.....I guess I just need to turn my hearing aide up.

    Best to all,
    Zdog
     
  2. Mar 6, 2010 at 3:03 PM
    #2
    Krazie Sj

    Krazie Sj Resident Jackass

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    Coming from a 91 Corolla to my Taco, I found due to the wider track, especially with high traffic roads, the truck tends to follow the ruts from the big rigs a lot more. I dunno if this is the same problem you're having, but that's my observations. In terms of new flat pavement, I haven't had an issue with it being squirrely.
     
  3. Mar 6, 2010 at 3:08 PM
    #3
    Black Taco

    Black Taco Well-Known Member

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    Have you checked the tire pressure? Too much air tends to give it that feeling as well.
     
  4. Mar 6, 2010 at 3:16 PM
    #4
    jtav2002

    jtav2002 Kenny Fuckin Powers

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    I've noticed it a couple times. However it's not all the time and nothing that really bothered me much to worry about it.
     
  5. Mar 6, 2010 at 3:21 PM
    #5
    zdog

    zdog [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The tire pressure is 30#s. I know on large trucks that if the tires are toed out it will cause them to dance like that. I would like to know if Toyota calls for a zero toe or a slight toe in.

    Zdog.
     
  6. Mar 6, 2010 at 5:07 PM
    #6
    JKD

    JKD Well-Known Member

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    If it's really new, maybe the alignment was off from the factory or dealer prep. I have a vague memory of alignment being covered up to 12,000 miles...but I don't know if I saw it in the "new vehicle" literature with my truck, or if someone posted it on a board.
     
  7. Mar 6, 2010 at 5:26 PM
    #7
    zdog

    zdog [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I recall seeing that too. I think I would just as soon make the adjustment myself if I can find out what the toe setting should be.

    ZDog
     
  8. Mar 6, 2010 at 5:31 PM
    #8
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    Doesn't the factory use laser alignment? Honestly, that's all I'd trust anyway... not using little shop tools. Just my $0.02.

    Trucks have a tendency to do this anyway, a lot more than a car anyway. Tire pressure is usually the biggest thing to affect it though. Running a bit under recommended can help it feel a little more planted, but you'll wear faster.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2010 at 5:38 PM
    #9
    judd94

    judd94 Well-Known Member

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    these tacomas are really sensitive. mine has never been able to drive straight even with a fresh alignment from dealer. i think its the combo of camber and toe-in.
    toku58 uses 0 toe-in and 0 camber and 2 caster. works pretty good for him. i am gonna try those settings soon.

    i'm so used to constantly pulling the wheel one way or another that when i drive my wifes 02 celica i get pulled over for swerving.
     
  10. Mar 6, 2010 at 6:03 PM
    #10
    Black Taco

    Black Taco Well-Known Member

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    Don't know about alignment specs. What brand tires did it come with? 30 lbs should be ok. Have the dealer check it out just in case.
     
  11. Mar 6, 2010 at 6:23 PM
    #11
    zdog

    zdog [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It came with firestone destination le tires.

    The tool I use to check the toe in is an SG align-a-matic. I have used this tool for 20 years and have saved $100s of dollars keeping my toe setting adjusted when the tires start to wear unevenly. I bought this tool after I took a nissan wagon in for a rear wheel alignment after it was shredding the rear tires. They ran the rear tires over this tool and made one adjustment and then a second when it was still out a bit. They charged my $50 for 10 minutes work. I bought this tool the next day.

    If it is common for the Tacoma to wander a bit on the highway then that answers my question and I just need to learn to live with it.

    Thanks for the info.

    ZDog
     
  12. Mar 6, 2010 at 6:25 PM
    #12
    ShadowFalken

    ShadowFalken Well-Known Member

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    I suggest not doing an old fashoned broomstick and string alignment on a newer vehicle. Others have given good advice on checking tires and such and having it checked by the dealer. Pay attention to roads too.

    Many new vehicles have some type of stability control and your truck is no exception. Messing with toe on a vehicle with a steering angle sensor can be a fail.

    Visine alignments (get the red out) are a thing of the past with new equipment. If you are not happy with factory settings, one thing may be to have a shop increase the caster setting a little. That is the steering stability/return to center angle with the most authority. It may make slow speed steering take a little more effort and the wheel will want to pull back to center more on moderate turns. (balancing act)

    Caster is like rake on a bike. Think of a chopper as opposed to a sport bike. The first has a lot of sweep from the pivot to the tire, the second is very steep. The first likes to go straight and the second can flick from side to side quickly and easily.

    A good front end guy is worth his salt.
     
  13. Mar 6, 2010 at 6:30 PM
    #13
    DeathBound

    DeathBound Well-Known Member

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    Take it back to the dealer, tell them the prob, let them fix it. It's a 2010 by God.
     
  14. Mar 6, 2010 at 6:37 PM
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    NWtacoma

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    yea. you'll get used to it eventually.
     
  15. Mar 7, 2010 at 6:47 AM
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    tuckr2

    tuckr2 Well-Known Member

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    Take it back to the dealer to have it checked. Some might think this normal but all I can say is mine is tight and doesn't act this way. If it's under warranty, now is the time to question it. Ken:cool:
     
  16. Mar 7, 2010 at 9:20 AM
    #16
    OffroadToy

    OffroadToy This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok

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    Taking it back to the dealer was a waste of time for me. The roads here where I live in Oregon are rutted due to studded tires. I drive close to the center line, and the truck pulls to the left. When a service tech drove the truck, he drove closer to the shoulder and the truck pulled to the right. I've had the dealer and 2 alignment shops try to fix it, but no luck. I think it's the stance of these trucks and the wider tires. I've noticed while going down a road that's been freshly paved the truck tracks straight as an arrow. I run 32 psi and might lower it a bit to see if that helps. The only other option from what I've read is to get a after market upper control arm to be able to set the caster higher. I thought this was due to my 2" lift up front, but it sounds like even without the lift this is a common occurrence with our trucks.
     
  17. Mar 7, 2010 at 9:51 AM
    #17
    tuckr2

    tuckr2 Well-Known Member

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    so, if it handles fine on good roads you may have to live with it.
    I looked at your bio and it doesn't indicate you have wider tires. If the tires are stock and beginning to wear you may also see some related wandering. I know I will be glad when mine wear down sufficiently to be able to justify a new set of tires and definitely not another set of Dunlops.
    Also, did this problem occur prior to the lift? could be one of the culprits.
     
  18. Mar 7, 2010 at 3:59 PM
    #18
    PMK

    PMK Well-Known Member

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    My truck is a 2010, it was bought new at the end of December 2009. The tires are what it came with, and have nitro fil, the pressure has been set to the door factory specs with a good gage. The suspension, wheels and tires are as delivered. The truck has less than 2000 miles on it.

    I have noticed this same sway phenomena since day one. The truck though, will not pull left or right, either at cruise or when braking. A road with worn low spots from use make it more noticeable. Even on a recently paved road the sway remains though not as bad.

    Ironically, while returning from Daytona Supercross last night, I was talking to my friend about this. Once I pointed it out, he could notice it also. A very slight wavering. Not five minutes later, another newer Tacoma caught and passed us slowly, we were traveling at about 80 so he was doing 85 or so. Once the other truck got clear of us, about 20 feet in front of us, you could clearly see this truck swaying also.

    My truck is a doublecab long bed, the other was an access cab. My suspicion is not so much the front end alignment, since it doesn't feel like that to me when I drive. My thought is the rear springs are soft and let the truck have a very slight body roll that makes the back of the truck move back and forth. I know the shocks should control this, but I think the sway is happening at such a slow rate the shocks are along for the ride.

    To kind of back this up, I have been debating on having the rear spring TSB done to minimize bottoming when loaded. From some of the posts I read, a few other owners stated their truck felt more stable with the new springs. I'm guessing the back is undersprung for those truck owners that buy these expecting a car type ride, and the soft springs on the heavier trucks like my DCLB make the sway more noticeable.

    Just some thoughts.

    PK
     
  19. Mar 7, 2010 at 4:06 PM
    #19
    Taco-NB

    Taco-NB MMMMM Taco's

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    I honestly don't notice any wandering with my '09 4x4.

    I'd have them look at it.
     
  20. Mar 7, 2010 at 4:17 PM
    #20
    jdwoodie

    jdwoodie Member

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    Same here...I had an 08 extended cab and never noticed this issue. Now with this 2010 DCLB I notice it usually when going speeds over 60mph, and it tends to get worse the faster you go from there. I tend to keep blaming the wind, but this is interesting to here that more people are seeing this same thing.

    I haven't noticed any pulling to the left or right so I would have to agree that it has nothing to do with the front end alignment, but rather the springs.
     
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