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228 Posts
This thread brings back some memories.

FYI, I am nearing 9 years on my repairs, and have about 210k on the vehicle now, and everything is still solid. Steering rack leaks a little now, will get to that in time. After all the headache to fix the slop, I'm less concerned with t rack leak than I am a new sloppy rack.

1 Posts
Thank You

Thanks to the guys that saw this through! Welded my steering shaft today. Took 2 hours start to finish. Easy job. Wow I wish I had done this sooner. Perfectly tight direct steering - as it should be. For those of you that are do not need to replace anything what so ever when pulling, welding, reinstalling the steering shaft.


2 Posts
Got an 2007 4runner SR5. 2WD with 190k on it and have had the loose steering rattle for the last 100k. So after 6 or 7 years of just putting up with it I found this thread went for the repair.

Found a few short cuts along the way on the 2007 4runner SR5 that might help others with a similar models name it an easier/ faster process.

1) Disconnect the battery ( I did both sides)
2) Remove plastic cone cover where the bottom of steering shaft inserts in to the nuckle just inside the fire wall.
3) mark the shaft and lip of the black cone just above the nuckle with a sharpie
4) remove the 12mm bolt pinching the nuckle on to the steering shaft, cone should move up the shaft.
5) mark a line at shaft & nuckle with sharpie so you know exactly how the line up on re-insert
6) remove top & bottom steering colum cover just behind main steering wheel body (3 Philips), comes out as 2 pieces top & bottom
7) unplug the 5 wire p!ugs behind the steering wheel (2 white, 1 yellow, 1 black small, and one black large)
8) remove 2 springs on to of wheel, use vice grips needle nose at hook mount on wheel side.
9) remove the two 6mm Allen Bo!ts, right & left side of yellow nuckle ball
10) pull tilt left on the left to release it, move wheel up to clear the metal foot from the bottom of the colum and pull the steering wheel straight back into the car and wah-la the whole colum has been removed from the car.

This year/model does not have the hex crush sleeve to weld as shown in this thread. It has a round billet sleeve with splines inside and there was ZERO. Play in this crush sleeve so that was not the problem and Toyota mush have modified this from earlier models based on the issues detailed here.

On removal I worked the steering wheel back and forth and could see & hear (but barley feel) the interior side of the tilt ball move/knock vs the hood side when rocking the wheel left to right. So figured I try the plastic bushing fix so...

11) put the whole wheel & colum upside on the ground and when you bend the lower shaft down to 90* mark the top of the shaft "UP" with a sharpie BEFORE pulling it off the tilt ball (pull to the side with lower at 90* to the steering wheel side of the shaft). ** I did not do this and put it on upside down/ reverse and had to do this entire process a second time to flip the lower shaft 180* on the tilt ball because the steering wheel was upside down when i got it all back together. SO MARK THE TOP WHEN YOU REMOVE IT AND PUT IT BACK TOGETHER THE SAME WAY YOU TAKE IT APART.

12) spin the tilt ball 90* to the steering shaft jaws and then pull straight up, ball comes out and splits in two with spring in the middle.

12) cut out the flat part of a plastic oil bottle/ shampoo bottle, etc. Use one side of the tilt ball as a temp!ate, cut the spacer to fit the outline of the half of the tilt ball. Use a socket that is the same diameter as the spring, put in center of the plastic spacer, mark the hole, cut out the center. Now you have a plastic spacer for the tilt ball.

13) re-assemble the tilt ball halfs with the new spacer in-between the halfs. Grease the ball and prongs on both sides of the steering column.

14) put the reassembled tilt ball in the steering wheel side jaws so the thinnest part of the center is verticle. Once ball is in the jaws rotate it 90* along the jaw sides. *. Since the tilt ball is now wider it may take a little coercing with a flat head screw driver to help rotate the ball and needle nose pliers to squeeze it together. Once rotated, it'll be tight so I used a dead blow to tap the final rotation of the tilt ball to get it perfectly perpendicular to the jaws.

15) re-install he lower steering shaft back on to the tilt ball. Come at the tilt ball at 90* perpendicular to the tilt ball making to have the side you marked "up" facing up so it all goes back together correctly.

16) work the ball up & down on the steering wheel side and make sure it's greased well in the channel. Move the steering shaft side to side (180* arc) and make sure the channels are well greased. Grease below the billet crush sleeve where the wear marks are. Grease the splines on the bottom of the steering shaft and grease the female hole at the firewall that the bottom of the steering shaft I seats in to.

17) put the re-assembled steering wheel & colum back in to the car.

18)When the colum is almost all the way back in, pull the tilt lever back and tilt the wheel to the top making sure to get the ridged metal foot UNDER the bottom of the colum that's still bolted to the car. If the foot is inside the lip the steering column won't be able to fully insert back in to the nuckle at the bottom or get back in far enough to put the side Allen bolts back in. It'll basically be stuck and you won't be able to get it all the way back in.

19) once you've got the metal foot/ claw under the bottom of the colum sleeve that's mounted to the dash. Put the keys in the ignition and turn it to accept so the steering colum won't,t lock out on you as your trying to rotate it and push it back in. Now Get the floor board, put the locking cone on the steering shaft wide side towards the steering wheel. Now push in whole colum with the splines lined up to the edge of the female splined nuckle. The steering shaft has a marked blue flat spot where the bolt goes through the nuckle and locks in the steering shaft. The blued flat spot needs to line up with the side of the female nuckle with the split sleeve. Plus you should have markings on the shaft and female nuckle from when you took it apart. Turn the wheel left & right until you get the splines lined up and it slides in to the female nuckle. ( It helps to have a 2nd person sitting in the driver's seat pulling the tilt release and pushing the whole colum in while you work it back & forth to get it lined up so you can push it back in the female nuckle.

20) Once fully inserted in the female nuckle put the locking cone over the female nuckle and install the 12mm bolt.

21) pull the tilt lever Al the way in, push the bottom of the colum up until the Allen bolt holes line up, install the Allen bolt on one side, then the other. Torque to spec or pretty darn tight.

22) put the springs back on, hood side hooked while loose, needle nose vise grip the other end and install hook in to holes on steering column side. You can look over the top of the wheel to see where the holes are at to put the springs in.

23) re-hook up the 5 wire harness plugs

24) put steering colum top & bottom covers back on

25) Torque 12mm bolt on female nuckle where steering shaft inserts.

26) check tires and steering colum are lined up. * If it's not and it's 180* out, you put the lower steering shaft back on upside down. You win the booie prize and get to do the whole thing over again.

This simple plastic shim fixed 7 years of rattle & steering colum chatter.

Good luck
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