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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Too much play in steering wheel

I have a little too much play in my steering wheel. What causes that? More importantly how can I fix it?
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Vehicle specifics always help when you're asking a question, but assuming you don't have rack and pinion steering (which I think only came out in 3rd gen 4R's), there's an adjustment on the top of the steering gear box. Loosen the lock nut, turn the adjustment screw clockwise, then re-tighten the lock nut. Do it in steps of 1/4 turn at a time, trying it out in between steps... you don't want to tighten it too much, because your steering wheel will not "self-center" coming out of a turn.
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Worn tie rod ends would be my guess? Get it aligned its like 40 bucks :-D
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Old 02-22-2007, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSGALLANT View Post
Vehicle specifics always help when you're asking a question, but assuming you don't have rack and pinion steering (which I think only came out in 3rd gen 4R's), there's an adjustment on the top of the steering gear box. Loosen the lock nut, turn the adjustment screw clockwise, then re-tighten the lock nut. Do it in steps of 1/4 turn at a time, trying it out in between steps... you don't want to tighten it too much, because your steering wheel will not "self-center" coming out of a turn.
What exactly does turning the screw do out of curiousity?
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Old 02-22-2007, 04:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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What exactly does turning the screw do out of curiousity?
It reduces the backlash in the steering gear box.
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Old 02-22-2007, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Worn tie rod ends would be my guess? Get it aligned its like 40 bucks :-D
Yeah... check the pitman and idler arms for play also.
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. Getting alignment tomorrow.
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Old 02-22-2007, 09:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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And yah what he said about tightening that bolt/screw combo I tried that before on my old truck hoping itd make the steering firmer but after it didnt I learned what it really does.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I also say check your idler arm. It is common for the bushings to wear in those and cause excessive play. You can rebuild them cheap if you do it yourself.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yep, like they said check your tie rods pitman and idler arms. Alignment will only do so much if those are shot. Gotta replace mine actually lol...
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Check the power steering gear box pitman arm ball joint (which is permanently attached to the arm). Mine was bad and everything else was fine. I had 6 inches of play in my steering wheel. I drove like I was drunk everywhere I went trying to compensate for all the play fast enough to not drift into another lane or overcorrect and serve. I just bought a new pitman arm and everything is back to normal.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:42 AM
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