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Thread: Steering issues

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    Default Steering issues

    Hi All,
    I just purchased an 05 with 205K (not sure what that is in miles) on it - it has a 2.5" levelling kit and I'm running Goodyear duratrack 18" studded tires. (275/75/R18). I've noticed while driving at highway speeds that the steering feels a little loose and there's a bit of play - I find myself having to constantly adjust the wheel in order to keep'er straight.

    I've heard sometimes the levelling kits can do this but I'm really new to trucks so can't back that up. Before I bring it in to have it looked at, I thought I'd post it on here and see what you guys think.

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Steering issues

    I would speculate tie-rods as primary cause...but you should also check steering rack for leaks, worn bushings/rack looseness, and upper & lower ball joints. Then inspect all the A-arm bushings, too.
    What does the level kit consist of?....Did you buy it with the same tires that are on it, and did the PO give you any history on when the lift & tires were installed? and most important, if a proper alignment was done? Anytime suspension & tires are changed, an alignment should be done. Before going for an alignment, do a search here for "DJs alignment specs".

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    Default Re: Steering issues

    I can't say much about the kit but what I can say is: the truck failed inspection because the guy I bought it off of was running 33's x 12.5 inch tires and they were rubbing against the strut assembly. (the truck was purchased out of province thus the need to have it inspected in order to get it insured).

    I should mention too: there is some humming noise when the vehicle is running at normal and highway speeds which to me, sounds like bearings but what do I know!. I can say that on my camry when I turned sharply to the left, I heard a grinding noise; not to hard to figure out that is was a wheel bearing issue - replaced and the noise went away.

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    Default Re: Steering issues

    With 12.5s, you'll need wheel spacers. The humming is probably the tires rubbing against the Upper A-arm. If the lift is a spacer type, and the tires are rubbing, you're wheel bearings could very well be going, as well as ball joints. Sounds like you need to check the CV shafts/boots as well. Unfortunately, you better basically check your whole front end.

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    Default Re: Steering issues

    thanks - ya, the 12.5's were removed a while ago. I'm running 10.5's or whatever 275mm equates to- maybe the previous owner did some damage running those tires without spacers? I'll ask my buddy to have a look - should I take it it and get an alignment done in the mean time? Apparently there's a shop that has a top of the line machine to do it.

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    Default Re: Steering issues

    what kind of maintenance has been done on the truck? with 155,000 miles, it is not unheard of for your front-end to need refreshing (bushings, tie rods, shocks, etc.) if it hasn't been loved.

    humming could be the tires.

    assuming you have 4wd, grease the prop.

    may as well order up a set of steering rack bushings right now; you need them.

    are you shocks original? if so, plan on replacing them and you may as well go with bilstein 5100s what will allow you to yank you level kit and run a shock that is built for the lift.

    i'd do all the work asap and then go get the alignment with DJs specs. doing it now and not having to redo it after you do all the work it needs will only save you time, money, and potentially bad tire wear.
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    Default Re: Steering issues

    The previous owner faxed to me the service records. It shows at 196000 the front and rear shocks were replaced, steering gear replaced (bushings and bolts, rack and pinion), lower ball joints. Aignment done when tires, rims and leveling kit installed. Along with battery replacement, diff and trany fluid change. Timing belt done at 167k.

    So I'm thinking getting the bearings looked at and possibly an alignment since the tires I just put on are new and quite smaller than the one that were on there.
    Last edited by Chuckster_ca; 11-28-2012 at 10:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Steering issues

    also with a lift you want to set the Caster higher for better highway stability. that will most likely solve the steering issue. like said look up DJs alignment numbers and have it done to them.
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    Default Re: Steering issues

    Thanks - it's on the hoist as I type. Buddy figures maybe tie rods, CV joints. We'll have a look and make the necessary changes before getting an alignment done.

    Regardless of what we find, I will get an alignment and use those specs as outlined in DJ's. About that: do I simply tell the mechanic that I want those exact numbers for those 3 settings? I'm concerned they'll come back and say something along the lines of "oh, those numbers don't match with what Toyota says" or you know, something similar to that.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Steering issues

    If the alignment tech knows what he is doing and is properly trained on the equipment, he should have no problem meeting/getting very close to those specs. They are all within the Toyota specs predefined in the alignment software so there is no reason whatsoever for them to balk at it. If they do, it means they don't know what they are doing and are not willing to admit it. Find someone else. Ideally, you want to find a shop that uses one of the Hunter alignment consoles and understands the benefits of using the CAMM (Control Arm Movement Monitor) screen.
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    Default Re: Steering issues

    Brought it in and this is what they said: specified degrees are not attainable due to rusted sleeves on adj. bolts.

    They did get them to

    Camber: Lf: 0.2. Rf: 0.1.
    Caster: L.f: 1.2. R.f: 1.4.
    Toe: Lf. 0.03. Rf: 0.05

    Total toe: 0.07

    Camber: Lr: -0.5, rr: -0.2.
    Toe: Lr: -0.25. Rr: -0.02.
    Total toe: -0.27

    Dj's specs:
    camber: +0.25 degrees
    caster: +2.00 degrees
    total toe: +0.08 degrees
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    Last edited by Chuckster_ca; 12-03-2012 at 11:04 PM.

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