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Tacoma 2005-2015 Intermediate Steering Shaft Replacement

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by wcstory, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Apr 1, 2018 at 4:54 PM
    #1
    wcstory

    wcstory [OP] Member

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    I've benefited greatly from lurking on TW so I figured I give back.

    Many of us have been having problems with stiff steering on our Tacoma's. The stiffness can be temporarily alleviated by spraying lube on the joint. This only hides the symptoms of a failing universal joint. After lubing it a few times I decided it needed to be replaced before it failed. My Double Cab 4wd 2009 Tacoma has 215,000 miles and I do a lot of highway driving. I'd prefer to not have a problem at highway speeds.

    The dealership charges 450-550 to replace the lower intermediate shaft. Sorry, but I'm frugal and like to save money where I can. This replacement requires no special tools or skills.

    For a 2005-2015 Tacoma 4wd the Lower Steering Shaft part number is 45203-04021 .
    - Available form online Toyota parts outlets for about 150-175.
    - Non-OEM parts are available in the $55-$85 range on fleaBay and elsewhere

    Seeing that my Tacoma is more than a bit over the hill I opted for aftermarket parts. I paid $57 with free shipping off fleaBay from a seller I have bought other parts form.

    t1.jpg

    First spray the hell out of the lower mounting bolt and upper bolts on the steering sliding yoke with PB’laster or similar. Start a few days in advance if you can.

    Remove the inner fender skirt to gain access to the 2 bolts on the yoke.

    DSCN0722.jpg

    Remove the two 12mm bolts from the yoke
    DSCN0720.jpg

    After reading the write up that EatSleepTacos did you should definitely remove the driver side wheel too for better access

    Turn the steering wheel so that you can access the lower attachment 12mm bolt. I found I could access it by the axle.

    DSCN0717.jpg

    Here's the hard part. Getting a flat chisel or screwdriver to the lower attachment to spread the ears. I had to have my daughter sit in the truck and turn the wheel so I could line it up to get access to loosen it up. Spray the hell out of it again.

    Turn the steering wheel back to the wheels straight position. Use you jack to lift up on the passengers wheel just enough so it doesn't turn easily.

    Spray penetration oil on the yolk and lower attachment again. Now use a screwdriver or flat chisel to open the yolk. You are going to drive the yolk upwards towards the cab so make sure you open the ears of the yoke enough. The problems I had were due to not being liberal enough on opening up the yoke sleeve.

    Use a hammer to drive the yoke upwards till the intermediate shaft comes loose.

    No you have the get the lower part off the splines. I used a 18" bar with a point inserted into the u-joint and levered off the METAL part of the front axle housing. DO NOT PRY AGAINST ANY ROTATING PART OF THE AXLE!!!

    Here's the crusty old one
    IMG_20180401_173026687.jpg

    LIGHTLY open the ears on the lower part of the new steering shaft for an easier fit.

    Take the new intermediate shaft and insert it into the yoke sleeve. Make sure the flat spot is at 12 o'clock for the bolt to go through, then remove the bolt. Place the lower bolt into the sleeve and make sure it can thread in. The lower attachment has a 360* gap in the splines for the bolt.

    Make sure the wheels are still pointed straight forward. The lower part of the shaft should be just able to slip onto the splines on the steering rack. Pull the intermediate shaft down onto the splines. The bolt will be at 12 o'clock position. I put the bolt in and moved it back and forth till the bolt slipped through to the threads.

    Now tap the steering sliding yoke back down so it it is almost snug against the collar of the intermediate shaft. Insert the bolts and make sure they thread in properly. Before you tighten the upper bolts tighten the lower bolt.

    Turn the steering wheel again to give you access to the lower bolt. My new intermediate shaft had a 13mm head on the bolt. I used a little Locktite blue and then secured it properly.

    Turn the steering back to straight and tighten. Because of how much I opened the yoke I chose not to Locktite till i give it some driving time. Next weekend I'll recheck the bolts and Loktite the uppers.

    Things I would have done differently.... I jacked up the front too high to access the yoke sleeve. I would consider unbolting and opening the yoke sleeve before jacking it up if I did another. Second I'd open the yoke sleeve enough the first or second time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  2. Apr 1, 2018 at 5:30 PM
    #2
    Beerline123

    Beerline123 Well-Known Member

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    Nice write-up. Thanks a lot.
     
  3. Apr 1, 2018 at 5:41 PM
    #3
    Toy4me

    Toy4me Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up. Maybe a silly question but what does the boot on the steering shaft cover?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  4. Apr 1, 2018 at 5:52 PM
    #4
    wcstory

    wcstory [OP] Member

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    It is all metal. There is a steel shaft with an accordion crumple zone pinned to it. This is a collapsible shaft to protect the driver.
     
  5. Apr 1, 2018 at 5:56 PM
    #5
    Toy4me

    Toy4me Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Also, in reference to the other steering shaft thread you posted in, does the stock u joint look like it can be removed and replaced or not? Everything I've read says that they're not rebuildable.
     
  6. Apr 1, 2018 at 6:05 PM
    #6
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    TheDevilYouLove, tomwil and trekker like this.
  7. Apr 2, 2018 at 1:52 PM
    #7
    wcstory

    wcstory [OP] Member

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    The one I removed is definitely not rebuildable.

    The new one may be rebuildable. The universal joint is held in with snap rings. IMG_20180402_163923728.jpg
     
    Jckdnls likes this.
  8. Apr 2, 2018 at 2:02 PM
    #8
    Toy4me

    Toy4me Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Your original stock one is not rebuildable, but the new oem Toyota replacement one from Toyota has snap rings and should be rebuildable. Gonna have to go look at mine. Mine was getting a little stiff and with a little lube it's fine and only a little play.
     
  9. Apr 2, 2018 at 4:25 PM
    #9
    Steve721

    Steve721 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice write up. I think I'll be replacing my intermediate shaft shortly, as mine is doing the same thing yours was doing. I want to look at this unit and see if there is a way to make it greasable. Then is would really last.
     
  10. Apr 2, 2018 at 5:06 PM
    #10
    wcstory

    wcstory [OP] Member

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    I did not go with an OEM part.
    Nice write up. Missed that one, you wrote it after I did my searches. My usual luck.

    With the tire off you definitely have better view the lower attachment. Updating.
     
    EatSleepTacos likes this.
  11. Apr 2, 2018 at 6:19 PM
    #11
    Muddinfun

    Muddinfun Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice if someone could convince Borgeson to make a shaft for the Tacos. They make a really nice shaft for Dodge trucks.
     
  12. Apr 11, 2018 at 1:55 PM
    #12
    TimsTaco

    TimsTaco Well-Known Member

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    Very nice write up. My '07, with just over 206,000 km, just started the stiffness last week.
     
  13. Apr 11, 2018 at 6:05 PM
    #13
    Beerline123

    Beerline123 Well-Known Member

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    Go to mods and tutorials and under 2nd gen tutorials is a how to rebuild steering shaft using an atv ujoint.
     
  14. Apr 12, 2018 at 5:17 AM
    #14
    wcstory

    wcstory [OP] Member

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    If anyone want to try the atv mod, they can have the one I took off. Just pay for shipping. PM me.
     
  15. Jun 22, 2018 at 3:45 PM
    #15
    Johnz

    Johnz Active Member

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    I have a question for forum members. I too had the stiff steering issue and the dealership wanted 636.00 to replace the lower steering shaft. I decided to buy the part myself and replace it. I was careful but my steering wheel is off to the right slightly. I had an alignment already done last month so I know the alignment is good. Is there an easy way to re-align the wheel without taking the whole shaft out again? I saw a few articles about removing the airbag and pulling the wheel off the column to re-position it. I also saw a few people had removed the shaft at the U joint under the dashboard. My question is which way is the correct way? Should I just take it in for another alignment and have them do it at the Wheels? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    John Z.
     
  16. Jun 22, 2018 at 3:51 PM
    #16
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-lair.495066/page-1778#post-17358252
     
  17. Jun 23, 2018 at 1:35 AM
    #17
    wcstory

    wcstory [OP] Member

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    My personal opinion would be to get another alignment. Even if you go to all the trouble of correcting it another way it may be off by even a slight amount. Tires aren't cheap.

    Sears and some of the chain auto shops have alignments that are good for 6 months. Get it done now and go back in 5 months and a couple weeks. I live in New England where rim killing potholes are a common occurrence.
     
  18. Jun 23, 2018 at 7:47 AM
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    Johnz

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  19. Jun 23, 2018 at 8:06 AM
    #19
    EatSleepTacos

    EatSleepTacos Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t the slightest clue. I don’t think it matters when it’s only a little off like that. It’s an easy fix like I did, so I would try that first.
     
  20. Nov 15, 2018 at 6:07 AM
    #20
    Sr5_Tacoma

    Sr5_Tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Great thread. Just ordered the intermediate shaft on sunday, after finding this thread. It was $50 when i ordered it. Got it on tuesday, suprisingly fast shipping. Got it installed last night in about 2 hours. Easy to do. Exact fit. Thanks for the thread @wcstory
     
    wcstory [OP] likes this.

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