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Wandering steering

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Major, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Dec 26, 2008 at 8:23 PM
    #1
    Major

    Major [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have an 09 TRD (off road) 4X4 DC, V6 that has an all stock suspension and the stock BF Goodrich tires. Ever since I have had this truck it just does not seem to steer correctly. After taking delivery, it had a wheel shimmy at 55-65 MPH which the dealer seems to have corrected with an alignment; however, when in the center steer position, the truck seems to wander. At speeds of 70-75 MPH it is a fight all the time to keep it tracking straight. The dealer has checked it and said they can find no issues, but I feel should not have to make constant steering corrections to keep the vehicle in a straight line. Seems when the wheels are turned it tracks correctly, but back to a center steer position (wheel in straight steer position) and it will begin to wander. If there is any wind at all, the fight is really on. Any bit of wind and the truck is all over the road. Given this is a smaller tuck and lighter, I expect cross winds to be felt, but if you are not paying attention, you might end up in the other lane. Anyone else having the same issue or is this normal for this truck? I keep thinking that the steering rack has an issue, but the dealer has said all is normal.

    Also, is there a steering stablizer kit out there that will help with this?

    One other issue I have noted of late, my drivers front coil spring squeaks when the suspension travels. The noise appears to be coming from the bottom end where it mounts into the bottom plate, anyone else had this?
     
  2. Dec 26, 2008 at 8:47 PM
    #2
    fireturk41

    fireturk41 I like to break shit!

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    i dunno i think my 02 needs to be alighned as well, if you think it could be the weight though try adding sandbags in the back to help
     
  3. Dec 26, 2008 at 9:06 PM
    #3
    Major

    Major [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I did put three 60 lb sandbags in the back and it had not effect. Love the truck, but it will wear you out on a 2 hour trip.
     
  4. Dec 26, 2008 at 9:10 PM
    #4
    fireturk41

    fireturk41 I like to break shit!

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    let someone you trust really well drive it a lil and make sure the problem isnt only you. im serious, in my moms vehicle the steering feels hard to turn to me but to some people its fine, just like my mom can barely drive my truck, hence why i dont let her lol
     
  5. Dec 26, 2008 at 9:16 PM
    #5
    Khaos

    Khaos Big Member

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    My truck felt like that back when I had the stock rugged trails on. But then again when I got the the truck the tires where nearly worn and the alignment was off.
     
  6. Dec 26, 2008 at 9:36 PM
    #6
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    the 06 prerunner that i previously had was exactly like your describing. had numerous alignments and tire balances, most with no avail. about the only thing i found that helped was setting my air pressure to around 32 for the front tires and 30 for the rears...........that and a "good" alignment made the ride better..............but it still didnt fully take care of the wandering issues i was having. it was a bit better when i installed new tires(bridgestone revos) though..........those rugged trails wore weird and stayed outta round after 10k miles.
     
  7. Dec 27, 2008 at 2:54 AM
    #7
    nvdeserted

    nvdeserted Well-Known Member

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    Mine's an '09 Access and I dont have that problem as descibed regarding the steering or squeaking. Tacomaman06 makes a good point about adjusting your tire pressure, if your tires are over-inflated it will make the truck much more squirrely and have alot more bump-steer and cause more wandering. I usually keep mine on the lower side of the reccomended PSI. Also make sure to check the PSI when the tires are COLD, otherwise you might air-down too much. (if your tires are 20psi cold, they will read as 50psi when hot... not really that dramatic but you get the idea). It's OK to have the front and back at different PSI's for preference, but make sure the 2fronts are the same, and the 2 rears are the same. Try 30psi and see how that affects the steering.

    As for the squeaking I wouldn't worry a whole lot, but it likely means there is some kind of friction going on during articulation: if you can pin-point the noise (which never works, but if you can...) see if any damage is occuring where the friction is taking place. Most likely the damage will be that only you notice the squeak and it will echo louder and louder in you head until it drives you insane. Spray-clean the front suspension components (springs etc) then give a healthy coat of Armorall all over everything that looks like it moves. Plus, remember that coils have an amplifying effect: give a spring a little tap with a hammer and it vibrates the noise all over the spring. Plus there are all kinds of bushings and crap pulling and pushing etc when the suspension articulates... it might just be a "breaking in noise" that will be gone by summer.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:14 AM
    #8
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    The Tacoma does not have alot of caster built into the front suspension geometry,, like most other truck (Tacoma 2,5 to 3* where as Dodge has about 6*), so that will make it feel "loose" compared to other trucks and cars. Toyota does this to give better leverage to the front tires for off roading. Adding weight to the rear brings the front of the truck up reduceing the caster.
     
  9. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:19 AM
    #9
    missileman125fw

    missileman125fw Well-Known Member

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    Huh, I was told that my low-profile tires were the cause. They said the tire is so wide that it FEELS everything in the road.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:29 AM
    #10
    Don G

    Don G Old Goat

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    When I got my taco I found myself constantly moving the steering wheel back and forth. My wife said I was making her sick weaving back and forth! ! ! Once I stopped doing that it was fine. The problem was after driving my conversion van with some ware in the steering gear, I did it even when I didn't need to:)
     
  11. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:34 AM
    #11
    Don G

    Don G Old Goat

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    Hey MM, Nice lookin' ride, I like the low profile tires!!!!:)
     
  12. Dec 27, 2008 at 7:02 AM
    #12
    missileman125fw

    missileman125fw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Don!
     
  13. Dec 27, 2008 at 8:14 AM
    #13
    Major

    Major [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Gang for all the feedback. Other than the steering issues, I could not be happier with this truck, if I get this solved I will have many happy miles ahead. I will adjust the tire pressures and see what happens. Thanks again !!!!
     
  14. Dec 27, 2008 at 8:58 AM
    #14
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    let us know how it turns out for ya man!:)
     
  15. Dec 27, 2008 at 9:20 AM
    #15
    106Tacoma

    106Tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Mine has done that from day 1, seems to want to drive in the grooves.
     
  16. Dec 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM
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    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco Well-Known Member

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    Had your exact problem right off the lot. Vibration at 50-55 and major road wander! Took it back and they balanced the tires with no success.

    They then went back and 'road force' balanced the tires and found 3 out of round.

    After they replaced the 3 tires and then 'road force' balanced the new tires, it tracked perfect with no vibration. All this before 150 miles.

    In other threads about this issue, some feel if you don't get the balance problem on the stock tires fixed immediately, it will cause them to be out of round permanantly.

    Make sure they 'road force' balance! Why they insist on a regular balance before a road force balance I have no idea.
     
  17. Dec 27, 2008 at 1:20 PM
    #17
    nvdeserted

    nvdeserted Well-Known Member

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    Haha! I find myself doing this too. I use to have this Jeep that had about 150 degrees of "dead play" in the steering while going straight, plus the steering-wheel was huge... I looked like I was trying to wave down a helicopter when I was driving straight.
     
  18. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:16 PM
    #18
    2009tacomav6

    2009tacomav6 Well-Known Member

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    I have had the same issue since I bought my truck. I have 2000 miles on the DC 4x4 and it wonders all over the place I am constantly fighting to keep it going strait. So it was a tire out of round issue?
     
  19. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:53 PM
    #19
    hoosiertaco

    hoosiertaco Well-Known Member

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    For me it was, but I also had vibration through the steering wheel at 55mph.
     
  20. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:54 PM
    #20
    toku58

    toku58 Well-Known Member

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