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Old 10-18-2019, 01:38 AM #1
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Loose steering while trail riding

So....as of late, my steering has been rather loose when hitting the trails....to the point where hitting a small rock at crawling/ trail riding speed causes the vehicle to jerk one way or another. On the road it is ok for the most part, though divots and imperfections in the road seems to make the steering wheel jerk one way or the other. I don't wish for it to be as tight as a sports car, though it is to the point where it has become so vague that I can visibly notice a misalignment before feeling it through the steering wheel. Is it a bad shock bushing? Bad steering rack? Ball joints going out? Tie rods?

*The power steering pump does have a minor leak, though the vague steering has been going on for quite some time before this issue.

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2003 4Runner SR5 // Galactic Grey Mica
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32" Falken Wildpeak AT3/W // 1.25" Spidertrax Spacers // 1.5" Daystar Leveling Kit // 2010 Tacoma TRD Bilstein 4600 Shocks
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48" Hi Lift Jack // Yakima-style Roof Basket
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:51 AM #2
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Do this 1st:

Install NEW POLYURETHANE STEERING RACK BUSHINGS AND get toe checked out adjusted after install. Test drive and take it from there.

Also check all ball joints for movement using pry bar under tire and jack stands on frame.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:54 AM #3
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Forgot. Also check tie rod ends for wear. Steer back and forth with a TRUSTY helper and watch tie rod end for movement 4runner on floor not jacked up. You will also confirm and see rack move if oem bushings are shot.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:13 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4gambler View Post
Do this 1st:

Install NEW POLYURETHANE STEERING RACK BUSHINGS AND get toe checked out adjusted after install. Test drive and take it from there.

Also check all ball joints for movement using pry bar under tire and jack stands on frame.
Link to bushings or part numbers for the rack? Any how to write ups on doing this?
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:29 AM #5
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Mine is the same way off road. Very hard to maintain control because the steering wheel vigorously jerks back and forth.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:42 AM #6
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Quote:
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Mine is the same way off road. Very hard to maintain control because the steering wheel vigorously jerks back and forth.
That certainly is my preference.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:41 PM #7
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Some of it has to do with tire pressure, some of it is just normal for rock-crawling, it requires a good grip on the steering wheel at times.

But maybe in your case its a significant amount?
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:55 PM #8
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There is a difference between steering wheel "play" and it just jolting back and forth from offroading. Does your steering wheel have any "play" when on highway or other roads??
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Old 10-18-2019, 02:47 PM #9
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There will always be play. Question is how much is too much.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:30 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That_Titanium_4RNR View Post
There is a difference between steering wheel "play" and it just jolting back and forth from offroading. Does your steering wheel have any "play" when on highway or other roads??
On the road it's fine for the most part...minor bumps and divots sometimes cause the steering wheel to do a little shimmy but its not uncontrollable. Speed tables also cause the steering wheel to turn one way or another. /it just feels way too loose. Off-road its gotten so bad that even gravel roads cause the wheel to do a shimmy....I recently installed 4600s in the rear so I expected a dampening imbalance until the 5100s are installed in the front, but not for it to struggle on a forest service road of all things.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:36 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inv4drZm View Post
Some of it has to do with tire pressure, some of it is just normal for rock-crawling, it requires a good grip on the steering wheel at times.

But maybe in your case its a significant amount?
I mean, i'm only running 32s at this point and no beadlocks, so the lowest i ever dare to go on the Falkens is around 24 PSI on the trails. That being said, I DON'T do any rock crawling at this point since I'm only on 4600s and 1.5" of lift; I can't afford a fully fledged build at this point being a college student . The rattling in the steering wheel is awful even at a low psi on something as simple as a forest service road.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:20 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4rociousrunner View Post
I mean, i'm only running 32s at this point and no beadlocks, so the lowest i ever dare to go on the Falkens is around 24 PSI on the trails. That being said, I DON'T do any rock crawling at this point since I'm only on 4600s and 1.5" of lift; I can't afford a fully fledged build at this point being a college student . The rattling in the steering wheel is awful even at a low psi on something as simple as a forest service road.
Are those e rated tires? If so youíll need to go down more. 24 is not low enough imo to do any good. I always go alittle above 15. You wonít have to worry about blowing a bead. Especially if you arenít rock crawling
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