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Sloppy steering question

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas' started by PA452, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Sep 16, 2010 at 10:30 PM
    #21
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    Yea, I think you have a bit of both things going on.
     
  2. Sep 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM
    #22
    TacoSupreem

    TacoSupreem Dirty Trucker

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    Dudes lately i've noticed my steering wheel shaking while on gravel roads. Is it the shaft problem with mine? I'm obviously out of warranty but would like to get it fixed. Anybody know abouts how much it would cost?
     
  3. Sep 17, 2010 at 3:30 PM
    #23
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about calling a local Toyota parts department tomorrow to ask for the price on that part. I might ask them for kicks what they'd charge to do the replacement, but I have a feeling it's more than I'll want to pay.
     
  4. Sep 18, 2010 at 5:44 PM
    #24
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was rotating my tires today, so while I had jacks out, I took the time to jack the front up on both sides.

    I can grab both front wheels by hand and they don't budge in any way. So I don't think that's the problem. Tie rod ends feel solid also.

    With both wheels off the ground, the steering wheel seems to have a good .5"-.75" play where I can wiggle it around with pretty much no effect on the wheels. But I don't know if that's too much, don't know what it should be.

    I've been trying to pay very close attention to the details of the issue. It's very hard to define though, and it's not terribly consistent. The only consistent thing is that it generally wants to steer to the right.

    Turning to the left typically takes slightly more effort than a turn to the right. I also sometimes notice a slight pulsing in the wheel when turning to the right. But again, it's not consistent.

    I'm able to drive the truck alright, but these little quirks are driving me insane. At first a long while back I thought I was just becoming hypersensitive to every little thing, but this is not something I'm imagining.

    I'm about ready to call a dealership and just tell them something is jacked in my steering and let them figure it out. Typically I don't trust dealerships to figure these things out, plus I don't want to spend the money. But I'm not in a position to figure this out, and it is really pissing me off.
     
  5. Sep 20, 2010 at 7:05 PM
    #25
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    Bump for this.

    I've got the exact same problem with play in the wheel and vibration over rough roads. Don't have time to figure it out and warranty is out.

    I'll get around to it some day I guess when I get the chance.
     
  6. Sep 20, 2010 at 7:07 PM
    #26
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    That really sounds like tire wear issues actually.... my G35 used to do the same crap, new tires were a dream every 6k (camber was intentionally out).

     
  7. Sep 20, 2010 at 7:08 PM
    #27
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Other than the pulling right, I considered the tires as a slight possibility. But, I think the fact that it's doing the exact same thing after rotating the tires rules that out.
     
  8. Sep 20, 2010 at 7:11 PM
    #28
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    mmm that depends on how they were rotated honestly... I'd measure the inside/outside tread on them
     
  9. Sep 20, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    #29
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, I did only rotate by switching the fronts and rears. They stayed on the same sides. But even so, I just can't see it feeling exactly the same way with the fronts and rears switched.

    The shudder feeling when applying pressure to the wheel almost strikes me as the power steering acting up. But I don't know enough about how the power steering works to really make much of a call on that.
     
  10. Sep 22, 2010 at 2:26 PM
    #30
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    Found my problem today and I am glad I did!

    The u joint on my steering shaft just before it enters the steering rack is completely toasted! Loads of play and has to be replaced like yesterday. Have no fear however, Toyota only wants $388 Canadian for just the shaft. Basically giving it away...:rolleyes:
     
  11. Sep 22, 2010 at 3:36 PM
    #31
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Interesting.

    Did you discover the problem yourself or was it a shop? Do you have any pics?

    Did you notice the loose feeling on pavement too? Or just dirt roads and rough terrain?
     
  12. Sep 22, 2010 at 3:42 PM
    #32
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    Found it myself and will fix myself. I usually do all my own work now that I'm out of warranty. No point going back to the dealer and paying double for something I can do myself.

    I don't have pics but if you follow the steering shaft all the way to the bottom of the engine bay you'll find a u joint maybe 3 inches from the steering rack. This is the one. Maybe once the shaft is out a machine shop can get a new u joint in there and I'll keep it as a spare - we'll see.

    I noticed recently a rattle on dirt roads, but have increasingly noticed the steering slop on the highway over the past two weeks or so.

    At least this problem doesn't make my leaking front engine oil seal that's spewing oil across the front of the engine look so bad...
     
  13. Sep 22, 2010 at 5:02 PM
    #33
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I can find out myself tomorrow in the daylight, but can I get to this to check it without removing or disassembling anything?
     
  14. Sep 22, 2010 at 5:56 PM
    #34
    Fortech

    Fortech Well-Known Member

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    Yup, don't need to remove a thing. Grab the shaft on either side of the joint and give it a twist in opposite directions. You could also put your hand over the u joint itself and get someone to gently rock the steering wheel back and forth also - with the truck "OFF". You may want to turn the key to the "ON" position though to keep the steering from locking.
     
  15. Oct 6, 2010 at 9:13 PM
    #35
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Update:

    A little over a week ago I took it in to another Toyota dealership. I would have taken it to the last one to complain first, but they're a couple hundred miles away from my current location.

    So at this dealership, I told the guy at the desk that I'd like to ride along with the tech when he drives it so I could point out the problems I was referring to and talk to him about possibilities and what I'd already checked. The guy at the desk half humored me on that, but they never came and got me.

    He comes and finds me after about an hour, said the tech didn't notice it pulling but did notice a bit of vibration. He said he couldn't find anything that seemed loose or worn out in all the linkages, and he suggested checking the tire balance. Well I know it's not the tire balance. I told the guy that, and asked if they checked the alignment. He said they did.

    So I leave with nothing solved. Then it hits me, did they actually check the alignment or just look up the results from the last dealership.... I call him back, ask if they checked the alignment, he said they did. I said, "Did your tech physically mount the sensors and check himself? Or did he look up the results from the last dealership?". He said he didn't know, he'd have to go check with the tech. He comes back and says since the tech didn't notice the pull, he didn't check it...

    So tomorrow I'm going to a tire place to get the alignment checked again. If the tire place solves this problem, I'm going to go ballistic on both of these dealerships...
     
  16. Oct 6, 2010 at 9:15 PM
    #36
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    Lame. Just a quick update I got the steering column update today.. my truck feels WAY more solid now... almost night day even on the pavement.
     
  17. Oct 6, 2010 at 9:27 PM
    #37
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I might look into that if I ever get my current issue fixed. If I can't get it fixed, I'll just roll the truck off a cliff or something, because it's driving me insane.

    I've been driving it like this for long enough now, I'm starting to get more of a feel for the problem. I'm more and more convinced it's an alignment problem. And since I found out the second dealership didn't actually check it, it means it's still only been checked by one person.

    I used to really enjoy taking the truck out for drives. For the past month, I hate driving anywhere with it. I look for the shortest routes to get anywhere. On the plus side, I suppose that's saving me gas. Although my fuel efficiency has taken a dramatic hit as of late. I don't know if it has to do with the problem or if it's because I've recently had to make lots of short trips and almost no long trips, along with the truck sitting sometimes a day or so between uses.
     
  18. Oct 6, 2010 at 9:32 PM
    #38
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    It's too bad you're not local, I'd try to help you diagnose it better :/

     
  19. Oct 7, 2010 at 2:22 PM
    #39
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Alright, so they said the alignment was off just slightly, but not enough to cause what's happening. I believe they did adjust it to correct it, no effect.

    Then they wanted to swap the front wheels to see if it's a tire issue. I told them that I already rotated them front to back, but kept them on the same side. They said it could still make a difference. So I said alright, go for it. I went for a drive with the tech. We both agreed the pull was still there.

    I asked what about the rear wheels. They said there was no point in swapping the rear, that couldn't cause the problem. But if that's the case, there was no point in swapping the fronts either, because it was about three weeks ago when I swapped the fronts and backs, and that had no effect.

    Don't know what to do now. I can swap the rears myself just to cover that base, but it's not likely to change anything.

    I'm running out of ideas. The guy suggested that there could be a problem with a power steering valve, but I don't think he has any idea.
     
  20. Oct 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM
    #40
    PA452

    PA452 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was just out for a longer drive. 99% of my driving here is local and very little above even 50mph.

    All I really have to add is that the pulse is much more substantial at high speeds. Above 60mph, that pulse was a clear as day vibration easily visible in the wheel. Pull to the right is still there as well.

    Someone on another forum said this:

    What do you guys think of that?
     
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