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Old 11-29-2022, 02:19 PM #1
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Sticky Steering

So lately, I've noticed my steering is a bit sticky. When I take a corner it's harder to return the wheel to center. My steering rack was replaced about 2 years ago as well as my steering pump and reservoir. All OEM. These weren't done to address this problem. It was just time.

The only thing I can think of is a low tire tread. hence more tire on the ground as I turn. But that's just a hunch. Tie rods are a few years old as well but definitely on the newer side. Wondering what else it could be. Any ideas?

Thanks!!
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:28 PM #2
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Originally Posted by psea17 View Post
So lately, I've noticed my steering is a bit sticky. When I take a corner it's harder to return the wheel to center. My steering rack was replaced about 2 years ago as well as my steering pump and reservoir. All OEM. These weren't done to address this problem. It was just time.

The only thing I can think of is a low tire tread. hence more tire on the ground as I turn. But that's just a hunch. Tie rods are a few years old as well but definitely on the newer side. Wondering what else it could be. Any ideas?

Thanks!!
Is this while driving or while stopped?
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:39 PM #3
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while driving.
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Old 11-29-2022, 11:20 PM #4
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Check your power steering fluid level.
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:00 AM #5
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Did you find the problem?
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Old 11-30-2022, 03:28 AM #6
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You need to lift the front tires off the ground, both at once, and turn the steering
wheel full left and right with the engine off and see if it turns freely or binds.
You could have a bad ball joint or tie rod end or anything in the steering system.
If nothing is binding you may need an alignment.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:02 AM #7
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Check your Intermediate Steering Shaft. The universal joints in it corrode over time and start to bind up. This generally presents itself as a loose - tight - loose - tight feel as you turn the wheel. Sometimes you can coax a little more life out of one with lots of penetrating oil followed by Fluid Film.
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Old 11-30-2022, 12:06 PM #8
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The 3rd Gen 4Runners Steering shaft U-joint is located inside the cab and don't rot out like the 4th gen 4R and 2nd Gen Taco that have the steering shaft located beside the wheel well. Maybe check the rack guide tension, and body mounts.

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Check your Intermediate Steering Shaft. The universal joints in it corrode over time and start to bind up. This generally presents itself as a loose - tight - loose - tight feel as you turn the wheel. Sometimes you can coax a little more life out of one with lots of penetrating oil followed by Fluid Film.
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Old 11-30-2022, 03:13 PM #9
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Quote:
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The 3rd Gen 4Runners Steering shaft U-joint is located inside the cab and don't rot out like the 4th gen 4R and 2nd Gen Taco that have the steering shaft located beside the wheel well. Maybe check the rack guide tension, and body mounts.
Thank you for the correction! I didn't see that he's in a 3rd gen until after I posted. The Intermediate Steering Shaft is a big issue in 2nd and 3rd gen Tacomas and 4th and 5th gen 4Runners. Ask me how I know that.
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Old 12-02-2022, 12:05 AM #10
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fluid level is perfect and the fluid looks good in general. not an ounce of rust underneath. grateful for az weather. I'll lift the front and see if anything is off. im stumped. it feels like when i make a turn, the edge of the tire is catching and it fights me to return to center. just not all the time.

remember when youd ride a bicycle and turn the handlebars to much and you went over the wheels/crashed? it's kind of oddly like that.
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Old 12-02-2022, 12:12 AM #11
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Could possibly be a worn out or jammed up steering rack guide? I know when I have adjusted mine too tight before, the steering has gotten kind of notchy like you describe. Maybe try taking it apart, cleaning, and greasing it.
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Old 12-02-2022, 12:23 AM #12
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Id go have the alignment checked. Not enough Caster can cause this and if there is anything else wrong or worn they will find it.
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Old 12-02-2022, 07:22 AM #13
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i might be the only guy who buys a lifetime alignment when the truck reached 210k mi lol. I'll go get it checked.

not sure what the steering rack guide is though. will need to learn more about it.

thanks for all the input guys.
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Old 12-02-2022, 08:15 AM #14
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Quote:
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not sure what the steering rack guide is though. will need to learn more about it.

thanks for all the input guys.
Here's a write-up on upgrading to the newer style guide (which your replacement rack should have already) but it shows the process with photos.

How to: Replace steering rack guide- Pictures

Pretty much mark the current position with a paint pen or sharpie, then take channel locks or an adjustable wrench to loosen the big nut and it'll come out. Clean and grease it.

Then reassemble (need a big allen wrench or threaded rod connector for the inner part) and play with the adjustment but still have the original one marked to go back to if you can't make it any better.
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:09 AM #15
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hmm. my rack is nearly brand new oem. maybe 10k mi on it.

thx for posting the link. if i cant find another problem, I'll investigate this more.
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