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Discussion Starter #1
So, here’s the deal. I have a new truck that I bought and I am having some steering issues.

First a little about the truck.
98 Tacoma, SAS w/ Dana 44, 2.7 w/59k, Lockright in front, Detroit in rear, marlin dual cases, currently running 35in BFG m/t, and hydro assist.

1) On ground + Not moving = Son of a bitch to turn to the drivers side. As in, trying to turn it as hard as I can and it barely moves. I feel like something is going to break. Turning passenger side is better but still hard.

2) On jacks not moving = Not so bad

3) Driving down the road = Harder than I think it should be.

And I understand this setup is not IFS. However, something isn't right.

Also from searching around the website, I hear that the hydro assist should make the steering like night and day. But it isn’t! I also hear there shouldn’t be a problem running with the stock steering pump.

So this is what I’ve done.

Drained and refilled with the Hydro hooked up and followed Howe Performance Products online instructions for bleeding….No change.

Unhooked the Hydro completely to see if it might be the ram…..Still sucks!

Replaced the power steering pump, left Hydro unhooked…Once again still sucks!

It's pretty hard diagnosing without seeing something. I can't figure it out and it’s right in front of me. However, I know that some people are running up to 37's with a more or less similar setup and having no steering problems.

My next ideas are dealing with the steering box, but I thought I would throw it up here first. Any ideas appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Just to eliminate different things maybe pop off the pitman arm and see if it is in the box or further down the line? Lots of people here know way more than me, but I can't imagine a pump problem giving the left/right differentiation.
Maybe just work it down the line, start with the box, go to right knuckle, then altogether?

My first thought was the wheel was offcenter right when attached to the box, but you said it will turn ok to the left w/ the front end in the air...
 

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I have one question for you. Is this your first truck with a front locker? A lot of the times having a front locker will make your steering suffer 10x.

sounds to me as if the locker is holding you up, if you indeed have all the hydro set up properly. If youd did not have the H.A set up right, you would be getting a surge in your steering (truck trying to turn the steering wheel on its own without any drive input)

do you hear any power steering pump whine?
 

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I have had my steering off center as you described, it is really hard to get it off that bad and not know it. But that is a good suggestion. It is also an easy but time consuming fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just to eliminate different things maybe pop off the pitman arm and see if it is in the box or further down the line? Lots of people here know way more than me, but I can't imagine a pump problem giving the left/right differentiation.
Maybe just work it down the line, start with the box, go to right knuckle, then altogether?

My first thought was the wheel was offcenter right when attached to the box, but you said it will turn ok to the left w/ the front end in the air...
Yeah I'm trying to do process of elimination right now. Just working down the line.

I have one question for you. Is this your first truck with a front locker? A lot of the times having a front locker will make your steering suffer 10x.

sounds to me as if the locker is holding you up, if you indeed have all the hydro set up properly. If youd did not have the H.A set up right, you would be getting a surge in your steering (truck trying to turn the steering wheel on its own without any drive input)

do you hear any power steering pump whine?
With the hydro set up (currently unhooked) it was opperating fine just fine as far as push/pull the right way. I wasn't walking out on me or anything.

And no the pump is not whinning and the fluid is not all bubbly.
 

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With the hydro set up (currently unhooked) it was opperating fine just fine as far as push/pull the right way. I wasn't walking out on me or anything.

And no the pump is not whinning and the fluid is not all bubbly.
So do you think it might be the locker binding up on you? I know with my ARB turned on, even with the H.A, I can definitely still feel a difference in my turning even on flat level surfaces.
 

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Even with my hubs locked I can steer mine just fine- it just doesn't necessarily go where I am pointing it.
I don't have HA right now because mine steers like a dream, really- reminds me of my grandads old caprice classic or my old impala... too easy, really.
Locker problem I don't think would make it easy right and hard left.

In your process of elimination you might try starting with the steering shaft then and make sure. Mine doesn't just get hard to turn at the ends... it gets impossible.
 

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maybe you fittings tapped into your box are too long and are hitting the sector shaft?
 

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He said it steered fine with the HA hooked up.

If that lower fitting goes all the way into the sector shaft housing I'm pretty sure it would be below the gear- its all up high on the left, facing the steering shaft and the fitting is middle/center.
The top fitting just penetrates a fluid cavity- not a gear one.
 

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When you unlook the HA are you:
capping the lines and unhooking the ram completely?
leaving the ram hooked up to the lines but unhooking the ram from the drag link?
or.....?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When you unlook the HA are you:
capping the lines and unhooking the ram completely?
leaving the ram hooked up to the lines but unhooking the ram from the drag link?
or.....?
I am unhooking the HA comletely. I plugged/capped the holes in the steering box.
 

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I'm no Dana expert but I have a few Toyota Front Axled trucks and if you "F" up a birfield it'll turn one way and not the other sometimes. Have you checked to see if a U-joint was messed up?

If you have manual hubs and they're unlocked a front locker should have no effect on steering.
 

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I might have missed it but did it ever work correctly, the HA steering that is, with the PO? Might be why they sold it. :D

If it is still crappy with the ram out of the loop...my bet is a bad box that could have been fubared from a bad HA drill/tap.

Are you getting fluid flow when you turn the steering? As in there is some obvious "bubbling" in the PS fluid reservoir? Not cavitating, but enough "bubbling" so you know you are actually pushing fluid through the system?

Keep us posted.

:welder:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the input everyone. I've been really busy and havn't been able to tear in to it in the last coupe of days. I'll post up when I eliminate something else, or figure it out.

Post up if you have more input or ideas.
 
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