Steering shaft binding - Page 2 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#16 Old 03-09-2012, 11:47 AM
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Crawl under the back of your driver's front wheel and crawl forward, it is on the bottom of the shaft and bolts to the steering rack. Shoot it with PB Blaster, if it fixes it, that's your problem. I'm sitting in an office at the dealership as I type this, getting mine replaced. Nice of them to give me an office ... LOL

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#17 Old 03-09-2012, 06:21 PM
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The shaft is now replaced, it's all good now. $330 later and I'm steering smooth again.

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#18 Old 03-09-2012, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HotRod53 View Post
Crawl under the back of your driver's front wheel and crawl forward, it is on the bottom of the shaft and bolts to the steering rack. Shoot it with PB Blaster, if it fixes it, that's your problem. I'm sitting in an office at the dealership as I type this, getting mine replaced. Nice of them to give me an office ... LOL
A few good shots of penetrating oil and now things are fine. Works just like new. The problem with this "fix" is that PC Blaster is not a lubricant. I need to get some lithium grease into the u-joint somehow.

Since I just started having a problem hopefully I was able to eliminate any actual damage.

Now we'll see how long it lasts
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#19 Old 04-11-2012, 11:54 AM
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2005 Taco 4x4 2.7L engine: I just turned 100K miles on very salty Ohio roads, and the steering U-joint started to bind a few days ago. This looks like a pretty bad design with the exposed U-joint and no good way to grease it up. I guess Toyota must consider a $330 shaft replacement a routine maintenance item.

I'm going to soak it with PB Blaster tonight to see what happens. I'm surprised at how quickly the steering went from perfectly fine to can barely turn it with all my might. This is a pretty bad safety issue. If anybody else gets in the truck, the power steering will help them crank the wheel to make a turn, but the return to center is gone, and the steering wheel must be manually cranked back to center after going around a corner. I can picture a nasty crash risk by over steering into a left hand turn at an intersetion and hitting traffic waiting at a red light on the other street.

I would recommend that if you are having this issue, posting on the NHTSA Office of Defect Investigation web site may be a good idea, as this is a potentially serious safety issue.

I had an old '83 AMC Alliance that had a similar steering link setup thtat had similar corrosion issues. There was a mandatory recall. The fix was for the dealer to grease it up good, then snap a plastic cover over the U-joint to keep the salt spray off of the joint. It was probably about a $2 fix + the dealer's labor FRU for the job.
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#20 Old 04-11-2012, 12:55 PM
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Hey Rootstown, welcome to TN. And thanks for adding your experience to this problem too. You made a very good point on reporting the problem to NHTSA. I agree that this is starting to sound like a safety issue. On that note, just a reminder to anyone (HotRod) that has had to pay to replace it...keep your receipts. If a recall happens in the future, you do get reimbursed.


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#21 Old 04-11-2012, 02:01 PM
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Hi 05Moose,

Thanks. The easiest way to find the "NHTSA ODI" web site is to put that into a seach engine. It was the top site on the list when I did. In fact, I did file a complaint. You need your VIN, and you have supply your personal contact info.

Normally, I am not a crybaby, but I was pretty shocked because the sudden onset of the problem with little warning. Normal steering one moment, and then bad binding the next. I think if my girlfriend borrowed the truck, she'd crash making a left hand turn. I almost did! I was caught off guard by the streeing not returning to center after making a turn.

At least one of the people that filed a complaint on the ODI site said that Toyota replaced the intermediate shaft and U-joint for $880, and that the new shaft had a boot, but the old shaft did not. Toyota must know that this is an issue.

I have a feeling that soaking the U-joint with PB Blaster is only going to be a short term fix and that the U-joint is going to get torn up with corrosion and sloppy.
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#22 Old 04-11-2012, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rootstown View Post
Hi 05Moose,

Thanks. The easiest way to find the "NHTSA ODI" web site is to put that into a seach engine. It was the top site on the list when I did. In fact, I did file a complaint. You need your VIN, and you have supply your personal contact info.

Normally, I am not a crybaby, but I was pretty shocked because the sudden onset of the problem with little warning. Normal steering one moment, and then bad binding the next. I think if my girlfriend borrowed the truck, she'd crash making a left hand turn. I almost did! I was caught off guard by the streeing not returning to center after making a turn.

At least one of the people that filed a complaint on the ODI site said that Toyota replaced the intermediate shaft and U-joint for $880, and that the new shaft had a boot, but the old shaft did not. Toyota must know that this is an issue.

I have a feeling that soaking the U-joint with PB Blaster is only going to be a short term fix and that the U-joint is going to get torn up with corrosion and sloppy.
I sprayed the u-joint multiple times for a couple days with PB Blaster which quickly freed the joint up fine. Then I soaked it a few times over a couple days with spray lithium grease and have had no more problems. I got ahold of the intermediate shaft with a pair of channel locks and there is no play in the joint. With the exception of some periodoc shots of lithium on a regular basis I think mine is resolved. Also see my post #18.
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#23 Old 04-12-2012, 05:43 PM
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Regarding the comment about having a boot, mine has a boot up on the collapsable part of the shaft, but not on the bottom where the U joint is. My son's GMC ZR2 has a snap on plastic cover that goes over the joint.

And YES, I saved my receipt.

Don't count on PB Blaster or Lithium grease lasting forever, at least it didn't for me. IMO, I wouldn't trust it as far as safety goes.

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#24 Old 04-13-2012, 07:24 PM
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185,000 km's and no problem yet. Just luvky on this issue, have definitely heard about this though. Some trucks have TSB I believe, only good for 60,ooo kms though.

The snow is leaving, still a foot
Cooper AT3 work great
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#25 Old 04-13-2012, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotRod53 View Post
Regarding the comment about having a boot, mine has a boot up on the collapsable part of the shaft, but not on the bottom where the U joint is. My son's GMC ZR2 has a snap on plastic cover that goes over the joint.

And YES, I saved my receipt.

Don't count on PB Blaster or Lithium grease lasting forever, at least it didn't for me. IMO, I wouldn't trust it as far as safety goes.
I wonder if this plastic boot would work on our shafts?
Anyone have a part # for this GM part?
My shaft started to have this issue about 4 weeks ago. Came on very quickly too.
I sprayed it with penetrating oil several times over a few days. This seems to have loosened it up. Next I'm going to dose it with chain drive lube from work. that stuff is magic on roller chains. (Chesterton 601 chain lube)
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#26 Old 04-14-2012, 10:35 AM
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Rootston, I followed your lead and filed a NHTSA complaint too. I really think that this is a safety hazzard.

blckgnznstuff. I don't think the GM unit would work. If I remember correctly it fits over the steering box and then covers the joint, the ZR2 does not have a steering rack, but a steering box.

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#27 Old 04-14-2012, 10:59 AM
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Ohh well.
I agree that this should be a safety concern.
Up here in Canada, I was quoted $390.00 and one hour labour + tax, to replace the shaft. About $500 bucks because Toyota cheeped out on a 30 cent rubber boot.
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#28 Old 05-02-2012, 11:05 PM
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I never did replace or cover this u joint on the steering shaft.... it's still turning smooth and the joint is still tight. I'm well past 100k now, and may be trading it in soon for something a little easier on gas for a daily commuter. I knew this would be a reoccurring problem amongst tacomas. Anyone would agree just by looking at the poor design and placement. Hope they do recall this issue and get things set straight to Toyota's loyal customers, those of whom have stuck through their bad rep. with their other recalls. You would think engineers would be trained to know better from other company's flaws and failed designs, but as is all things in production today, they're built to break, and not to last anymore. I'm glad we are paying 20k + to have a temporary vehicle that will be replaced by another p.o.s in 6 years anyways. When it comes to trucks, that is one area that should not be feeling the repercussions of poor quality, but so be it. Best of luck guys!
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#29 Old 07-23-2012, 03:34 PM
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I soaked the U-joint the best I could with PB Blaster several times for a few days in a row. The joint is not in the easiest location to reach, and I think as much PB Blaster landed on the ground as landed on the U-joint. I soaked it from underneath the truck. It seems at least some of the Blaster hit the mark becasue the steering did loosen up and I'm not afraid to drive the Taco for now. I have a suspicion that one good snow storm and road salt application may well jam up the U-joint again.

The body on my Taco looks almost show room fresh, but the frame looks like a nightmare from a 1968 Chevy pickup with 300,000 miles on it. Whatever passes for undercoating seems to all but wash off and leave a surface as red as Mars with rust.
It is almost like Toytoa only tested 2000-2012 Tacos in a dry desert somewhere and completely missed what real world condidtions in the midwest United States can do in terms of corrosion.
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#30 Old 07-23-2012, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rootstown View Post
I soaked the U-joint the best I could with PB Blaster several times for a few days in a row. The joint is not in the easiest location to reach, and I think as much PB Blaster landed on the ground as landed on the U-joint. I soaked it from underneath the truck. It seems at least some of the Blaster hit the mark becasue the steering did loosen up and I'm not afraid to drive the Taco for now. I have a suspicion that one good snow storm and road salt application may well jam up the U-joint again.

The body on my Taco looks almost show room fresh, but the frame looks like a nightmare from a 1968 Chevy pickup with 300,000 miles on it. Whatever passes for undercoating seems to all but wash off and leave a surface as red as Mars with rust.
It is almost like Toytoa only tested 2000-2012 Tacos in a dry desert somewhere and completely missed what real world condidtions in the midwest United States can do in terms of corrosion.
It's been three months of driving since I sprayed the joint pretty heavy with Blaster and lithium grease and I have had no problems. I know I shouldn't have to do this but I plan to do it on a regular basis going forward and expect that will care for this problem. The frame on my 05 Tacoma looks all rusted also. Makes me mad because it looks bad.

Last edited by randy976; 09-03-2013 at 06:23 PM.
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