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Old 10-31-2019, 11:49 AM #1
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Loose Steering - Suggestions?

**Solved - see last post**

Hey all, I've looked through some previous postings and acted accordingly, but my 98 Limited 4X4 is still experiencing fairly loose steering when going above about 50mph. A good description of the symptom is that it seems to wander around the road more than I think is normal, and the tires seem to want to follow any divot or dip in the road causing me to have to constantly correct the steering. There is no vibration in the steering wheel while this is happening.

Previous steps to attempt to remedy : Inner/Outter Tie rods, LBJ, UBJ, Steering Rack bushings, alignment.

For those of you guys that know these rigs better than myself, what would be your next step? I'm thinking Wheel Bearings, but they don't seem to have much play. I know my control arm bushings are pretty worn, but I wouldn't think those to affect steering in this way.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: I can't english sometimes
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Last edited by dapanvid; 11-18-2019 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:08 PM #2
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Well, worn control arm bushings could cause what you're describing. The other possibility is you have play in your steering shaft but that's usually described as just excessive play in your steering wheel and not the cause of your rig to wander on the road. I think I'd replace the LCA bushings as a next step. Another possibility could be worn front differential mount bushings.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:58 PM #3
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I 2nd the worn CAB but thought i would add it mite not hurt to look at the intermediate NO.2 shaft and sliding yokes and make sure everything is tight working correctly. I just replaced my intermediate NO.2 and yoke, as it was worn, because my runner had started wondering like urs.

Loose Steering - Suggestions?-steering-jpg
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:11 PM #4
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Sweet - that's great info. I'll look into those possibilities. Leaning towards the bushings vs the yoke, but it honestly could be any and all on my 300k mile rig.

Greatly appreciate the suggestions, guys!
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:42 PM #5
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There is also the steering rack guide bushing\bearing.

I believe it originally came with a bearing but toyota changed it to a bushing later on.

YouTube
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:02 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo8 View Post
There is also the steering rack guide bushing\bearing.

I believe it originally came with a bearing but toyota changed it to a bushing later on.

YouTube
Yes, the steering rack guide is a good idea.

OP, here's videos related to the subject at hand and maybe one or more will help you figure out your issue.

This video shows you how to swap out your LCA bushings utilizing a bottle jack


This video shows you how to swap out the LCA bushings if you own a press and have bearing splitters and press sleeves at your disposal


This video will show you how to check and fix play in your steering shaft

This video will show you how to upgrade your steering rack guide to the new version Toyota designed.


Finally, if you wanted to swap out your UCA bushings as well, this video will show you one way how to get it done with a press.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:35 PM #7
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Thanks, Tim! Very familiar with your videos and appreciative for your knowledge. I'll start digging in once the weather around here warms up a bit.

One thing I'm wary of is my Cam adjustment bolts on my LCA's are definitely pretty rusty and I'm mentally preparing to have to cut them out if worse comes to worst. Anyone have any thoughts on best process to do that? Thinking angle grinder to the head of the bolt. Just not sure how it all interplays with the adjustment sleeves and whatnot.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:56 PM #8
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Originally Posted by dapanvid View Post
Thanks, Tim! Very familiar with your videos and appreciative for your knowledge. I'll start digging in once the weather around here warms up a bit.

One thing I'm wary of is my Cam adjustment bolts on my LCA's are definitely pretty rusty and I'm mentally preparing to have to cut them out if worse comes to worst. Anyone have any thoughts on best process to do that? Thinking angle grinder to the head of the bolt. Just not sure how it all interplays with the adjustment sleeves and whatnot.
That LCA Part 2 video covers cutting frozen cam sleeves out. I had to cut out 2 of them on my 98 3rd Gen.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:36 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbtim View Post
That LCA Part 2 video covers cutting frozen cam sleeves out. I had to cut out 2 of them on my 98 3rd Gen.
Ended up having to cut 3/4 out, man that wasn't a pretty job! Got all of the LCA bushings out and new whiteline's in, decided to do my UCA as well, picking up some new cam sleeves from a buddy at Toyota tomorrow and then I'll get it all reassembled. Thanks for all of the input and suggestions.

If this doesn't work, I'll look into the steering slip yoke possibly.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:18 PM #10
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Appreciate the post, I too am having the same issues. Having what feels to be a 1/4 play in the steering sucks.

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Old 11-11-2019, 03:03 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDXLIV444 View Post
Appreciate the post, I too am having the same issues. Having what feels to be a 1/4 play in the steering sucks.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
It's kind of a rough one to diagnose. I'm not sure the bushings will help my situation, but they definitely cannot hurt. All 4 on each side (upper and lower) were completely shot. I'll update if this helps my problem! Glad it's helpful.
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:37 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDXLIV444 View Post
Appreciate the post, I too am having the same issues. Having what feels to be a 1/4 play in the steering sucks.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
Definitely check out mtbtm's video on how to check the steering shaft. It's a REALLY simple thing to check for before you start tearing into various parts and replacing stuff.

Just performed the steering shaft fix and it feels GREAT now. I recently wiped out on the highway and ended up in the ditch on an icy day. Really thankful that no one was hurt and there was no damage, but I am pretty certain the steering play contributed to this and not being able to finely control the vehicle as I would've liked.

Thanks alot for the video, mbttim!
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:58 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobb View Post
Definitely check out mtbtm's video on how to check the steering shaft. It's a REALLY simple thing to check for before you start tearing into various parts and replacing stuff.

Just performed the steering shaft fix and it feels GREAT now. I recently wiped out on the highway and ended up in the ditch on an icy day. Really thankful that no one was hurt and there was no damage, but I am pretty certain the steering play contributed to this and not being able to finely control the vehicle as I would've liked.

Thanks alot for the video, mbttim!
Dang, glad to hear you're ok. Part of the push for me to start sorting my problems out was driving in the rain over the summer, hit a few puddles and it felt like the car wanted to throw me off the road. It is not a pleasant feeling driving a car like that, especially with winter snows coming in my neck of the woods.

Thanks for the input on the steering shaft - did you end up having to have your shaft tac welded?
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:05 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapanvid View Post
Dang, glad to hear you're ok. Part of the push for me to start sorting my problems out was driving in the rain over the summer, hit a few puddles and it felt like the car wanted to throw me off the road. It is not a pleasant feeling driving a car like that, especially with winter snows coming in my neck of the woods.

Thanks for the input on the steering shaft - did you end up having to have your shaft tac welded?
Yea, you don't realize how important that sort of fine control is until you're at higher speeds and in slippery conditions. Even in the dry, the vehicle feels SO much tighter in control and confidence now so this mod is definitely worth it.

I'm not really a fan of the tac weld method, I just used the smallest drill bit to make a hole and punched a small nail in there. Did not drill through the entire shaft, just one side only. The shear force of that small nail should be much lower than a weld so that hopefully I'm not defeating too much of the safety.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:32 PM #15
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Finally had a moment to jump on and follow up for anyone struggling with the same issues. I believe my problem was fully fixed and resolved using the above steps. My main step was LCA bushing as well as UCA bushing, but I also did the steering shaft mods (roll pin in the column and plastic gasket in the pivot joint at the wheel)

It is ridiculous the night and day difference these repairs made in the control of my vehicle. As always, thanks guys for the help, and especially thanks to mbtim for the videos he and the guys have made to help others.
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