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Slip joint clunk

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by goldheartminer, May 11, 2012.

  1. May 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    goldheartminer [OP] Member

    May 10, 2012
    First Name:
    09 Tacoma SR5
    Step rails, 265 Revos, tonneau
    My 09 DC SR5 with 34k miles just started the infamous clunking when the weather got warmer a couple months ago. It is classic...feel play in the drive train upon stopping and pulling out along with a little squatting. Worse the hotter the outside temp. Didn't notice during the cold winter at all. Had dealer look into it during oil change this week. Even before i handed over the keys, the guy tells me this is a "normal" and a known issue in Tacomas and FJs. But of course he'd have his guys check it out. Keep in mind, THIS IS A CERTIFIED PREOWNED TOY. THE ORIGINAL FACTORY WARRANTY IS STILL VALID AS IS THE FULL MAINTENANCE PLAN I ALSO PURCHASED. Right off the bat I'm thinking he's already greasing me to accept what will later on be the denial of any Toyota responsibility or warranty work.

    Sure enough, when i returned for the truck the service guy told me they checked it out and basically "it's just the way it is." In our brief conversation, in which I told him I wasn't satisfied with his explanation/refusal to address the problem, he denied that the clunk is due to a worn or faulty component and that it wont cause exessive wear or future problems with other drive line components. What's more interesting and suspect to me is the explanation I later read on the invoice where either he or the tech wrote that this "clunk" was likely being caused by my 265 tire size. The service guy NEVER even mentioned my tires during our conversation when he was telling me the cause of the problem that is not a problem.

    The truck certainly didnt roll off the lot with play in the drive shaft and clunking when new. Obviously something is worn, loose, or otherwise NOT normal.

    Am I crazy in thinking this should be covered by the warranty or the "protective" maintenance plan??? I am planning to have it evaluated at another local Toyota dealership that has a good rep for quality customer service. When i explained the issue to my personal mechanic and before i searched the forum here, his immediate hunch was the slip joint. And he suggested the problem could happen due to it not getting lubed regularly or adequately.

    Question: should this be covered under warranty/maintenance plan? Note: the maintenance plan spells out precisely all the components it does NOT cover and slip joint as well the rest of the driveline components are not listed.
  2. May 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    BlueT Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2009
    07 Dbl Cab LB with LSD
    I moded 1999 Taco so much it had turned to Land Cruiser
    Ok that should be easy to find out. What you need to do is slide the rubber bot that covers the splines on driveshaft and grease it up. Having hiLift would help because you could lift rear end a little to extend driveshaft. If you get no clunk or its muffled after greasing then its DS. If you continue driving like that it will probably get damaged.
    Now last part is that Used cars no matter sold by who will always require some work. Its a nature since no company sells used cars in factory maintained quality. All dealership wants to make quick sale and have somebody else pay for maintenance items.
  3. May 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    lj973gm Sold it, dont miss it yet.

    Sep 16, 2011
    06 DCSB 4wd
    Typical toyota warranty service. They are getting worse and worse.

    I have the clunk and shifting in driveline it is very apparent and obvious told me to pound sand as well.

    Told me it had to be physically broke to warranty it.
  4. May 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    bigmooze Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    First Name:
    Belle River, ON
    2009 4x4 access cab SR5
    Bilstein 5100's all round (0" up front with stock springs), 265/75/16 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs, K&N 63 Series Aircharger Kit, Flowmaster Super 44 Muffler, Delta Champion Toolbox, fog lights, back-up lights, Sirius satellite radio with PA15-TOY, Midland 1001z CB radio with 2' Firestik II antenna, Weathertech floor mats, AVS sill protectors, Marathon SuperHides Seatcovers (Universal Digital Camo), trimmed front mud flaps, Viair 20005 OBA, Warn W650D driving lights and W650F fog lights on N-Fab light bar, Hi-Lift X-treme jack with off road accessories, TracRac "TracONE" system
    OP, I have been experiencing the same problem as the weather warms up. Had the issue for a couple of years now.

    I had two new driveshafts under warranty. My dealership's service manager was awesome, and agreed that the slip yoke was the problem - he had also seen the problem in Lexus and Ford vehicles.

    Even with the third driveshaft, it was only so long before the "clunking" returned. It's only prominent in warm weather, never cold.

    I have dropped the driveshaft from the truck twice, cleaned and re-greased the splines, and reassembled. I have proved to myself (twice), that the slip yoke is the problem. I just haven't been motivated enough yet this year to repeat the process.

    IMO, the problem should be covered under warranty, and in my case, it was. I just stopped bothering to take the truck in, when all I need to do is play with it for a couple of hours in the driveway. Unfortunately, the DS is not designed with a grease fitting to apply new grease easily.

    Edit: I should add that the new DS's started to clunk very quickly after being installed, within 15,000 km or so. I'm not blaming Toyota since it's a Dana driveshaft. I just wish that Toyota would spec a grease fitting in their requirements from Dana.
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