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truck ~n~ tow
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off... I just had (going on 4 months, around 5,500 miles) a new OEM full rack installed w/inner and outer T rods and ES bushings... Done by the stealership... $$$ ouch! The sound I'm feeling and hearing seems to be coming from the steering column. Engine off, load on the tires, turning the steering wheel left (not very hard) there is a light clunking noise that I can hear as well as feel. Turning back to the right it does it again. The rack is under warranty so I'm going back to have it rechecked but I was just curious if anyone else had this or knows what it might be? After all if it's not the rack then I gotta pay them weenie's more $$.. Loose bolts on the steering wheel? Sloppy joints? I searched but all I found was a million rack/T-rod questions... Geeezzzzz....
 

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cbrRRman said:
First off... I just had (going on 4 months, around 5,500 miles) a new OEM full rack installed w/inner and outer T rods and ES bushings... Done by the stealership... $$$ ouch! The sound I'm feeling and hearing seems to be coming from the steering column. Engine off, load on the tires, turning the steering wheel left (not very hard) there is a light clunking noise that I can hear as well as feel. Turning back to the right it does it again. The rack is under warranty so I'm going back to have it rechecked but I was just curious if anyone else had this or knows what it might be? After all if it's not the rack then I gotta pay them weenie's more $$.. Loose bolts on the steering wheel? Sloppy joints? I searched but all I found was a million rack/T-rod questions... Geeezzzzz....
the work is warrantied. I wouldn't worry about it unless they give you a bs line about it being something else.
 

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Do you have tilt wheel? If so, it's likely the ball joint in that lets the tilt wheel 'tilt'. It's annoying as piss. Dealer did a rack and pinion, upper steering shaft ujoint and a P/S pump (not once did they listen to me say "It's in the tilt wheel joint, dude") and *then* finally did the steering column and fixed it. Toyota wasted a PILE of cash because they didn't want to listen to someone who had more information than their stupid f*cking "tech" line.

However, I have driven other Tacomas that have this same clunk in the shaft, so they will say "It's normal". I suppose that's not entirely untrue. But it is annoying and if you pester enough, they'll swap out the shaft for you.
 

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I 've had the same problem for around 80K. Had the rack replaced, as well as an ITRE. Still clunking. Installed Energy Suspension bushings - still clunking. Annoying as hell. Notice it most when hitting washboard type surfaces at slow speeds or even the expansion joints on concrete bridges at highway speeds.

I was under the truck a couple of days ago and noticed the problem seems to be coming from the shaft. The shaft seems to have more play than normal when shaking pushing it.

What kind of $$$ are we talking for a new shaft? Does any of the 4Runner parts swap here?
 

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truck ~n~ tow
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
obscurotron said:
Do you have tilt wheel? If so, it's likely the ball joint in that lets the tilt wheel 'tilt'. It's annoying as piss. Dealer did a rack and pinion, upper steering shaft ujoint and a P/S pump (not once did they listen to me say "It's in the tilt wheel joint, dude") and *then* finally did the steering column and fixed it. Toyota wasted a PILE of cash because they didn't want to listen to someone who had more information than their stupid f*cking "tech" line.

However, I have driven other Tacomas that have this same clunk in the shaft, so they will say "It's normal". I suppose that's not entirely untrue. But it is annoying and if you pester enough, they'll swap out the shaft for you.
Yeah... I bet your right on the money...( I have tilt) I'm gonna investiigate that further.. did you change it yourself? Any idea on the cost of the u-joint? Thanks again. I overlooked that thought... Uh... no more warranty here... can you just replace the joint? Or do ya gotta do the shaft? Hmmm....
 

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cbrRRman said:
Yeah... I bet your right on the money...( I have tilt) I'm gonna investiigate that further.. did you change it yourself? Any idea on the cost of the u-joint? Thanks again. I overlooked that thought... Uh... no more warranty here... can you just replace the joint? Or do ya gotta do the shaft? Hmmm....
wow, this whole time i thought i was the only one who had this problem. the simplest solution might be to replace the entire steering column. i got one from a junkyard for about $125 and just swapped out the entire unit. it fixed it, but unfortunately, 2 years later, the problem returned. i just gave up and live with it.
 

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Toyotajoe said:
I 've had the same problem for around 80K. Had the rack replaced, as well as an ITRE. Still clunking. Installed Energy Suspension bushings - still clunking. Annoying as hell. Notice it most when hitting washboard type surfaces at slow speeds or even the expansion joints on concrete bridges at highway speeds.

I was under the truck a couple of days ago and noticed the problem seems to be coming from the shaft. The shaft seems to have more play than normal when shaking pushing it.

What kind of $$$ are we talking for a new shaft? Does any of the 4Runner parts swap here?
if you hold the shaft from under the dashboard, above the brake pedal, and then turn the steering wheel, you will feel play. if it feels like an excessive amt of play, then it prob is the steering column. i personally was never able to figure out which exact piece on the steering column was worn out (it's complex as shit) so i just replaced the entire unit.
 

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truck ~n~ tow
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
obscurotron said:
Do you have tilt wheel? If so, it's likely the ball joint in that lets the tilt wheel 'tilt'. It's annoying as piss. Dealer did a rack and pinion, upper steering shaft ujoint and a P/S pump (not once did they listen to me say "It's in the tilt wheel joint, dude") and *then* finally did the steering column and fixed it. Toyota wasted a PILE of cash because they didn't want to listen to someone who had more information than their stupid f*cking "tech" line.

However, I have driven other Tacomas that have this same clunk in the shaft, so they will say "It's normal". I suppose that's not entirely untrue. But it is annoying and if you pester enough, they'll swap out the shaft for you.
The noise and feel I'm getting is right at the fire wall. Anyone know if theres a joint a the fire wall? Gotta be something as the angle changes drastically there. Any one know if that joint is replaceable? I'm way past the warranty thing here. Hmmm... I'm gonna go insane... Guess I'll have to throw my money away at the dealer...
 

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cbrRRman said:
The noise and feel I'm getting is right at the fire wall. Anyone know if theres a joint a the fire wall? Gotta be something as the angle changes drastically there. Any one know if that joint is replaceable? I'm way past the warranty thing here. Hmmm... I'm gonna go insane... Guess I'll have to throw my money away at the dealer...
the steering wheel shaft has a joint right at the firewall. you'll have to pull the cover plate from the inside to get to it.
 

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The other thing to chech is the bushings on the rack itself Just helped my neighbor replace his with urethane. Noise gone. Boy you should see the rack flex when he turns the wheel on dry pavement. The side without the clamp moves like a couple inches. Don't figure it's going to last long doing that.
 

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truck ~n~ tow
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hytenor said:
the steering wheel shaft has a joint right at the firewall. you'll have to pull the cover plate from the inside to get to it.
Do you know or have an FSM that states whether the u-joint at the firewall can be replaced alone with out replacing the shafts? I think I've pin pointed the play to that area instead of the the tilt u-joint. But that'll probably go bad after I fix the lower one... sigh...
 

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cbrRRman said:
Do you know or have an FSM that states whether the u-joint at the firewall can be replaced alone with out replacing the shafts? I think I've pin pointed the play to that area instead of the the tilt u-joint. But that'll probably go bad after I fix the lower one... sigh...
my '00 fsm shows two different types of steering for the taco. Nastech and TMC.

have you checked the online fsm ('03)?
http://fsm.afraid.org/

everything should be the same since they really didn't change much from year to year until '05.
 

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Rattlecanpaint said:
The other thing to chech is the bushings on the rack itself Just helped my neighbor replace his with urethane. Noise gone. Boy you should see the rack flex when he turns the wheel on dry pavement. The side without the clamp moves like a couple inches. Don't figure it's going to last long doing that.
Done and Done - didn't help...
 

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truck ~n~ tow
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
hytenor said:
my '00 fsm shows two different types of steering for the taco. Nastech and TMC.

have you checked the online fsm ('03)?
http://fsm.afraid.org/

everything should be the same since they really didn't change much from year to year until '05.
Bump... Thanks again for sharing... I found that the lower shaft and joint are one piece and will set me back more than the noise annoys me... Maybe I'll get lucky at a salvage yard... what's the odds I find one that doesn't already have the same issues... :rolleyes:
 

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If what you guys are talking about is the same thing as what I have been calling steering column chatter, then it is not in the shaft u-joint or shaft, or even being aggravated by the natural flexibility of the rag joint. It is inside the upper column right near a white plastic circular retainer. (If I recall. It's been about 18 months since I have given up on pinpointing it)

This chatter was driving me so crazy that I took the column apart to the extent that it allows (without breaking the safety bolts) at least six times. I have jiggled the steering u-joint and shaft endlessly trying to trace it thru. I am convinced it is in the upper column, but am resigned to waiting for it to break so I actually pinpoint the chatter point.

At least 60K miles now.
 

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toyguy said:
If what you guys are talking about is the same thing as what I have been calling steering column chatter, then it is not in the shaft u-joint or shaft, or even being aggravated by the natural flexibility of the rag joint. It is inside the upper column right near a white plastic circular retainer. (If I recall. It's been about 18 months since I have given up on pinpointing it)

This chatter was driving me so crazy that I took the column apart to the extent that it allows (without breaking the safety bolts) at least six times. I have jiggled the steering u-joint and shaft endlessly trying to trace it thru. I am convinced it is in the upper column, but am resigned to waiting for it to break so I actually pinpoint the chatter point.

At least 60K miles now.
hey man, i had that same chatter for almost 50k miles with a bunch of offroad miles. it aint going to break! it will get progressively louder and louder until you get it even hittin small bumps/cracks on pavement. eventually, you'll go crazy and decide to get a whole new steering column, at least the part from the firewall to the steering wheel. the funny thing is the one i got from the junkyard eventually ended up failing after maybe 20k miles and since then, ive just given up.
 

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toyguy said:
If what you guys are talking about is the same thing as what I have been calling steering column chatter, then it is not in the shaft u-joint or shaft, or even being aggravated by the natural flexibility of the rag joint. It is inside the upper column right near a white plastic circular retainer. (If I recall. It's been about 18 months since I have given up on pinpointing it)

This chatter was driving me so crazy that I took the column apart to the extent that it allows (without breaking the safety bolts) at least six times. I have jiggled the steering u-joint and shaft endlessly trying to trace it thru. I am convinced it is in the upper column, but am resigned to waiting for it to break so I actually pinpoint the chatter point.

At least 60K miles now.
138K on mine and still chattering (started at 50K)...
 
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