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steering wheel shake and rattle..

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by 3.4L, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Mar 30, 2010 at 10:04 PM
    #1
    3.4L

    3.4L [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed that on a lot of Tacoma's that they have a rattle and shake coming from the steering wheel when going over certain bumps.. Drives me crazy. My current 97 with a cheap lift and 285/65/18 BFG's and moto metal wheels doesn't do this at all. It has 121K miles on it.


    My old 98 4x4 Limited ( essentially the same truck) with NEW Bilstiens, and New Bridgestone potenza's and 130K miles and in MINT condition did it so bad I got rid of the truck. My G/f's 1995.5 and 260K michelin LTX tires and stock original shocks:)eek:) does it also badly.

    What gives? The ones listed above that do it are both automatics.. my current ride is a manual
    Any idea??:confused:
     
  2. Mar 30, 2010 at 10:37 PM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Every situation is different and when they get that age - anything is possible.... Start researching.

    Start by giving us detailed information (if you want us to assist you).

    When does it vibrate/shake? How bad does it shake?

    When was the last time you rotated your tires? When was the last time you had your tires balanced? Are you missing any wheel weights?

    Crawl underneath the truck and start inspecting steering components, wheel bearings, steering rack....list goes on.
     
  3. Mar 30, 2010 at 10:47 PM
    #3
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    Is yours speed specific? Proper balancing is a good place to start.

    I just went through this with the stock aluminum wheels and new Michelin AT2s. Steering wheel shook at 60 mph and above. Wheels weren't balanced correctly, had to take them to a better shop.

    Toyota recommends the Hakewa adapter for balancing them. However, the second shop I went to didn't have one (but they knew about it without being asked), but they were still able to balance on a dynamic balancer.

    Others swear by road force balancing to fix the problem. There are many threads about this to find on this site...search the wheels and tires forum usign these terms for a start.

    Good luck. It was annoying as hell, especially with new tires.
     
  4. Mar 30, 2010 at 10:54 PM
    #4
    3.4L

    3.4L [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No, it doesn't shake and rattle when going down the road, only when going over bumps. You do bring up balancing and that has crossed my mind.. I was thinking possibly some harmonic balance problem and it does it when going over broken asphalt... The steering wheel will torque out of your hand and its like the steering wheel itself is actually loose on the shaft and it rattles.. I hate it!
     
  5. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:40 AM
    #5
    Ry1984

    Ry1984 Well-Known Member

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    i thought this was a common problem with the first gens? man i take mine off roading or down a bumpy dirt road and it feels like my steering rack is gonna fall off. I replaced the bushing thinking it would help and it did nothing. it feels like there is tremendous amounts of play in the steering column. I would love to rip her apart and fix it, i just dont know what to look for.
     
  6. Mar 31, 2010 at 7:08 AM
    #6
    Space Wrangler

    Space Wrangler Well-Known Member

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    i know what you mean. ..i get all kinds of weird shaking and bumping in the steering when i go down a dirt road.

    i've heard some people put a tac weld on the slip joint and that cures some of the bumping ...but i haven't tried it.
     
  7. Mar 31, 2010 at 8:07 AM
    #7
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    These trucks don't have any steering damener or stabilizer to help absorb that kinda stuff and I haven't seen anyone build a modification for it - as I don't think its possible on IFS.

    Inspect your balljoints on the upper & lower a-arms where the steering knuckles attache. Inspect the steering rack and the bushings.

    If you're offroading - keep your thumbs OUTSIDE the steering wheel. Because when the steering wheel does snap back, and your thumbs are on ont the inside....that's gonna hurt. I offroaded with a 96 tacoma and yeah, the wheel does snap back on that kinda terrrain. I never noticed it while driving on the streets. But then again, I drive around the bigger holes in the roads and hold onto the wheel at all times.
     
  8. Mar 31, 2010 at 9:11 AM
    #8
    jvandelft

    jvandelft Member

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    im putting poly urethane bushings on my steering rack soon....you can get them from Chaosfab.com they got everything :)
     
  9. Mar 31, 2010 at 1:58 PM
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    Silvatacoma

    Silvatacoma Active Member

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    I have the same problem. I got help on another forum but I haven't tried replacing it yet. See below.

    Yes, I have had the same problem. It is your upper steering shaft/joint just before in goes into the column. It took me about year to figure it out... Lots of mechanic shops keep telling me it was my ball joints and or steering rack. But i knew both were good, as i had replaced them. Its a Toyota only part, you have to get it from the dealer. Bitch to replace.... And would reccomend doing it. Mine had crazy slop in it towards the end...
     
  10. Mar 31, 2010 at 3:02 PM
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    3.4L

    3.4L [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A ha! That makes sense.. Thanks!
     
  11. Apr 1, 2010 at 7:59 AM
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    Ry1984

    Ry1984 Well-Known Member

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    do not expect this to stop the knocking in the steering column. i replaced mine as well and didn't help whatsoever. it did however improve the steering response a great deal. IMO at least :)
     
  12. Apr 30, 2010 at 4:52 PM
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    shift96

    shift96 Well-Known Member

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    I was checking out the parts diagram for the steering column and there are 2 universal joints in the column. Could this be the clunking? Maybe the U-joints are worn?
     
  13. Apr 30, 2010 at 5:01 PM
    #13
    ywen

    ywen Well-Known Member

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    yeah me too.. driving over bumps/minor pot holes in the road at speeds of above 25mph, would result in the shaky steering wheel symptom. This is more pronounce when going over multiple bumps in an instant, and the steering wheel shakes with high frequency.
     
  14. Apr 30, 2010 at 7:34 PM
    #14
    01taquito

    01taquito "thats what she said"

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    i already did this and it improved the handling for a couple months but my truck still kinda wonders on the the highway. and if there are multiple bumps on the highway my truck feels like its "skipping" around. weird
     
  15. Apr 30, 2010 at 7:39 PM
    #15
    Koov

    Koov MonStar

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    Got the same problem with mine. Taking it in to get Road force balanced tomorrow. I hope this fixes the problem.


     
  16. Apr 30, 2010 at 10:34 PM
    #16
    Mr.Fahrenheit

    Mr.Fahrenheit Dennis = sinneD

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    MONEY this is it. same on my old '99:rolleyes:
     
  17. May 1, 2010 at 7:30 AM
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    ywen

    ywen Well-Known Member

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    Ok so is this rattling steering wheel normal for the 1st gen? Or is it a sign that a component is damaged worn?

    You folks who did the road force balance, that's to fix a constant shaking at highway speeds right? So this would occur even on smooth pavement? We're talking about the steering wheel shake when going over bumps.

    Is this the great Toyota quality we should live with? My truck at 78K shows WAAAAYY more age than my 04 Honda Element at 91K.. Everything from the shitty steering wheel, Front Diff bearing fail, f-ed up rust all over,, sigh...
     
  18. May 1, 2010 at 8:15 AM
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    shift96

    shift96 Well-Known Member

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    about the wheel shaking on the highway: Well I just got back from getting my tires balanced at a shop that actually knows how to do it and it's a night and day difference. No Haweka adapter either. My truck has never ridden this smooth on the highway. I'm telling you guy's, it's a balance issue and most all of these tire guy's are incompetent/lazy. I have finally found someone who is skilled at what he does after years shabby work. Thanks Dave!:D

    as far as the wheel clunking when hitting bumps? That is the U-joints in the steering column
     
  19. May 1, 2010 at 8:18 AM
    #19
    ywen

    ywen Well-Known Member

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    Ok so you had a consistent vibration at highway speeds? And the balance fixed it. That would be totally expected.
     
  20. May 1, 2010 at 8:28 AM
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    shift96

    shift96 Well-Known Member

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    Well duh, Yes! :D Everyone knows that the balance would fix it. The issue was actually finding a tire shop that could balance properly. I have been to about 5 different shops inluding the dealer and all did it wrong.
     

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