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Old 11-23-2019, 08:51 PM #1
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Stiff steering system

I'm curious as to how folks bleed their steering system. I have a 99. I changed my rack and pinion as well as my PS pump. Flushed through 4 quarts of fluid by sticking my return hose with an extension into a clear container. Saw the fluid come through clean with ,minimal bubbles. Engine running and refilling Reservoir as needed. Wheels off the ground as well.But steering is stiff as hell No bleeder valve noted on my rack or where steering connects... any advice?
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:37 PM #2
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Make sure your power steering belt is tight enough to play a tune on it. Also make sure no ball joints or tie rod ends are seized up.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:39 PM #3
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Did you check to see if your reservoir screen was blocked up. Your steering rack may be starved of fluid and that's why you're steering is stiff.

Also, when you changed out your steering rack, you might have inadvertently put extra tension on the steering shaft. Go under your rig and loosen the pinch bolts on both the upper and lower sections of the rag joint. Maybe you tightened up the bolts of the rag joint after you secured the rag joint halves to the steering rack and steering shaft. As you tightened the bolts that bring the two rag joints halves together, it makes the steering shaft bound up a bit because it's too tight. By loosening both pinch bolts for the rag joint halves, you will let the halves reset into a more neutral or loose state unbinding the steering shaft.

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Last edited by mtbtim; 11-23-2019 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:16 AM #4
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I 2nd mtbtim mention of steering shaft pressure on rack, also providing everything installed properly. If steering shaft has extra pressure on rack, its really stiff. Happens to a lot of people doing body lifts also. So I'd loosen up the pinch bolt spine, lube it up, they can be seized too, may have to torch. You can take a long screwdriver with a hammer and wack up the pinch thing that holds the bolt if its not budging in the spline.
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Old 11-24-2019, 10:58 AM #5
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Originally Posted by dogtail View Post
I 2nd mtbtim mention of steering shaft pressure on rack, also providing everything installed properly. If steering shaft has extra pressure on rack, its really stiff. Happens to a lot of people doing body lifts also. So I'd loosen up the pinch bolt spine, lube it up, they can be seized too, may have to torch. You can take a long screwdriver with a hammer and wack up the pinch thing that holds the bolt if its not budging in the spline.
The body lift scenario was exactly what made me think of the steering shaft being bound up. Like you said, many guys have ended up having stiff steering after a body lift and it's because they first tighten the pinch bolts for the rag joint halves and then bring the halves together with the 2 bolts/nuts. What people need to do is first bring the halves together with the 2 bolts/nuts and then tighten the individual pinch bolts. It doesn't take much to bind up the steering shaft.

He lives in Oakland California not too far from me in San Jose and I'm suspecting corrosion isn't a problem for him, but you never know.

I'm betting this is most of the OPs problem but a cleaning of the power steering reservoir screen wouldn't hurt either.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:00 PM #6
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Thanks all for the replies. Here is what I did the long story...

4 months ago changed upper and lower ball joints

2 weeks ago. Changed steering rack and pinion as well as outer tie rods. Bushings and all. Flushed the system. Has been driving well for the two week period, steering has been great. So I am doubtful at this point it is anything to do with my steering rack causing the stiffness after changing my pump.

During the flush I performed on the steering rack I noticed my PS pump was leaking. SO yesterday I changed the PS pump. I did the flush procedure as described in my original post.

This morning I did tighten the belt up way more. I repeated flush sequence. Motor off wheels up. No impovement. It's like I have no power steering what so ever.

Do you think day to day driving is enough to get the air out?

Last edited by G_Raw; 11-24-2019 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 11-24-2019, 01:26 PM #7
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Originally Posted by G_Raw View Post
Thanks all for the replies. Here is what I did the long story...

4 months ago changed upper and lower ball joints

2 weeks ago. Changed steering rack and pinion as well as outer tie rods. Bushings and all. Flushed the system. Has been driving well for the two week period, steering has been great. So I am doubtful at this point it is anything to do with my steering rack causing the stiffness after changing my pump.

During the flush I performed on the steering rack I noticed my PS pump was leaking. SO yesterday I changed the PS pump. I did the flush procedure as described in my original post.

This morning I did tighten the belt up way more. I repeated flush sequence. Motor off wheels up. No impovement. It's like I have no power steering what so ever.

Do you think day to day driving is enough to get the air out?
Did you see exactly where the power steering fluid was leaking from? 9 times out of 10 the culprit was the o-ring the seals the reservoir to the pump. I hope you didn't give your power steering pump to an auto parts store to satisfy the core charge because you very well could have given up a functioning OEM pump. I'm guessing the pump you got came from an auto parts store? Sounds like to me the pump you got is bad.
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Old 11-24-2019, 02:52 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbtim View Post
Did you see exactly where the power steering fluid was leaking from? 9 times out of 10 the culprit was the o-ring the seals the reservoir to the pump. I hope you didn't give your power steering pump to an auto parts store to satisfy the core charge because you very well could have given up a functioning OEM pump. I'm guessing the pump you got came from an auto parts store? Sounds like to me the pump you got is bad.
This. It happens. Pain in the butt; but it does happen. Should be able to take it back and exchange it or even upgrade.
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Old 11-24-2019, 03:59 PM #9
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Auto parts store pumps have been about a 60% success rate for me over a 13 year career. Worst one was a pump on a Chevy duramax. You have to use a special tool to press pulley off and on to remove the pump body while bent over a fender or radiator support with arms fully extended. Replacement pump worked worse than the one I removed. Did that job twice back to back.

Another thing I've seen (or did once as a total novice tech) was I left the shipping plug on one of the ports of the replacement pump and installed it... Of course no fluid flow means no power steering. And when I removed what I thought was a defective pump I saw the plug and felt like a moron. System worked great with the plug removed...

My rule of thumb: if the steering works poorly turning only one direction it's the rack/steering gear box. If steering works poorly in BOTH directions, it's the pump. Only real way to test is a high pressure hydraulic gauge T'd in. And I've never seen one in real life.
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:29 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbtim View Post
Did you see exactly where the power steering fluid was leaking from? 9 times out of 10 the culprit was the o-ring the seals the reservoir to the pump. I hope you didn't give your power steering pump to an auto parts store to satisfy the core charge because you very well could have given up a functioning OEM pump. I'm guessing the pump you got came from an auto parts store? Sounds like to me the pump you got is bad.
Took your advice Tim. I reinstalled the old pump ( did not take it back to auto store until I knew I was in the clear) with the new reservoir and O-ring from the new pump on it. Cleaned my old reservoir up and installed on new pump. Returned the new pump being straight forward and honest about what I did. The guy gave me a refund on the part but not my core. I am completely okay with this.

Will continue to monitor to see if it leaks with the new reservoir and o-ring in place...

Issue solved steering is smoother than ever. Tundra brakes coming after the holiday weekend! Then lift time...
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Old 11-24-2019, 09:26 PM #11
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Took your advice Tim. I reinstalled the old pump ( did not take it back to auto store until I knew I was in the clear) with the new reservoir and O-ring from the new pump on it. Cleaned my old reservoir up and installed on new pump. Returned the new pump being straight forward and honest about what I did. The guy gave me a refund on the part but not my core. I am completely okay with this.

Will continue to monitor to see if it leaks with the new reservoir and o-ring in place...

Issue solved steering is smoother than ever. Tundra brakes coming after the holiday weekend! Then lift time...
That's great to hear. Glad it worked out for you. By the way, we have a video for the TBU and a video for the lift as well.

TBU: YouTube

Toytec Lift:YouTube
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Old 11-25-2019, 09:18 AM #12
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That's great to hear. Glad it worked out for you. By the way, we have a video for the TBU and a video for the lift as well.

TBU: YouTube

Toytec Lift:YouTube
Who's video do you think I watched for my rack and pinion!?

I don't have a YouTube account but watch your vids as tutorial guides for projects I haven't tried before. I've watched your TBU video numerous times over the years.
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