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Discussion Starter #1
  1. I just got my entire steering system replaced on my 08 fj. New rack, pump, fluid lines, and lower steering shaft. Since getting it replaced my steering wheel seems to be slipping. Like if I turn the wheel all the way in one direction and then continue to add a little bit of pressure (or after hitting a bump in the road) my steering wheel will no longer be straight with the wheels. I can then turn it the other direction with a bit of pressure and bring it back to straight. The only thing I can come up with is that the new lower steering shaft is a little loose and slipping. But the garage that replaced everything assured me everything was tight and nothing was wrong. The only thing that isn't new would be the intermediate steering shaft, but I want to eliminate the possibility of anything else before I replace it. Because this issue developed right after getting the steering system replaced. Has anyone else experienced this? Any idea to what could be causing it? The garage is willing to fix anything that's been done wrong, but we're struggling to pinpoint where the problem is.
 

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Almost sound as if the steering rack is moving. I don't think it's possible tho, I'm not sure how it mounts to the FJ.
 

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Almost sound as if the steering rack is moving. I don't think it's possible tho, I'm not sure how it mounts to the FJ.
It bolts on, there is some give in the rubber mounting bushings but nothing as OP described.

Try marking the shafts where they connect to each other, then turn the wheel as you described and go check your marks. It does sound like one of those junctions is loose which is extremely sketchy. Get this figured out before driving or it could end very badly.
 

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It wasn't happening before you took it in to be "repaired", and it's happening on its return from that garage.
They've done some poor work and given you what most inspectors would consider to be a dangerous vehicle.
It is the responsibility of the workshop that did the work to remedy the situation.
Did they use 100% genuine parts or some ebay knockoffs?
Why did you have to replace all those parts?

@CabinCruiser @FJtest what say you?
 

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Clearly something is quite wrong, but we need to better understand the magnitude of the "steering wheel misalignment".

All the critical connections between the steering wheel and rack are splined, so even if one connection is not properly tightened & clamped, the amount of free play should be very small, only a degree or two at the steering wheel rim.

You might jack up the front end, and with the engine running turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock, looking for any movement of the rack relative to the crossmember it is mounted to.

Repeating amaclach's questions:
Exactly why was (almost) the entire steering system replaced?
Were ONLY Toyota OEM parts used?

And adding one more:
Was the shop the performed the work a Toyota specialist, or a "fix-it-all" shop that will try to repair any issue with any vehicle brought to them, whether or not they have any prior experience working on that type of vehicle?

I assume that you've described & demonstrated the problem to "the garage". If, after seeing the problem, their only response is " ... assured me everything was tight and nothing was wrong", then they are dangerously incompetent.

I agree that the vehicle should not be driven until the fault is corrected.
 

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All the critical connections between the steering wheel and rack are splined, so even if one connection is not properly tightened & clamped, the amount of free play should be very small, only a degree or two at the steering wheel rim.
I've seen the cheapo non-oem joints have little to no splines cut in due to poor manufacturing tolerances. (bad copy? lol) But hey, 1/5th the cost? Most non-dealer shops are buying these brands too.. ?
 

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トヨタ Master
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You stated that the rack was replaced. It sounds as if the steering shaft collar engagine the splines on the rack are still loose. When said shop told you that everything was tight, did they actually put it back up on a hoist and check? The new rack and pinion could be stripped also, many shops only buy the remanufactured units to save money. This is a serious safety liability and the shop owner himself (or herself) should be looking at this under a microscope. The last thing us shop owners want or need is to put people in jeopardy of safety and this could be a huge problem potentially. I would stop driving the vehicle until you can get it sorted out, even if that means a tow bill, which the shop will be paying for.
 

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A new rack went in. R&P is connected to tie rods. Maybe it is as simple as setting the tie rods up correctly. Where else would you start to troubleshoot this after checking everything is tight?


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Are we sure they installed the correct rack for the model year?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It bolts on, there is some give in the rubber mounting bushings but nothing as OP described.

Try marking the shafts where they connect to each other, then turn the wheel as you described and go check your marks. It does sound like one of those junctions is loose which is extremely sketchy. Get this figured out before driving or it could end very badly.
I tried the markings and everything stayed straight. I thought it was the steering shaft too but it doesn't seem like it. The only thing the garage has found so far is my upper control arm bushings are bad, but that doesn't really explain the steering issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You stated that the rack was replaced. It sounds as if the steering shaft collar engagine the splines on the rack are still loose. When said shop told you that everything was tight, did they actually put it back up on a hoist and check? The new rack and pinion could be stripped also, many shops only buy the remanufactured units to save money. This is a serious safety liability and the shop owner himself (or herself) should be looking at this under a microscope. The last thing us shop owners want or need is to put people in jeopardy of safety and this could be a huge problem potentially. I would stop driving the vehicle until you can get it sorted out, even if that means a tow bill, which the shop will be paying for.
I haven't been around to witness the work/testing they've been doing but I was told that the steering shaft was completely removed and readjusted so I'm assuming that if the splines were bad they'd notice.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It wasn't happening before you took it in to be "repaired", and it's happening on its return from that garage.
They've done some poor work and given you what most inspectors would consider to be a dangerous vehicle.
It is the responsibility of the workshop that did the work to remedy the situation.
Did they use 100% genuine parts or some ebay knockoffs?
Why did you have to replace all those parts?

@CabinCruiser @FJtest what say you?
The rack was replaced with a one from NAPA because the original one was still under the 2 year part/labor warranty. My fj has gone through 3 racks in 6 years (I've owned for 3 and dealt with 2 of the replacements). I chose the garage because it was a NAPA service center which would do the work for free under the warranty. The rack had to be replaced because one of the gear tooths broke off and was causing inconsistent steering. I replaced the pump because fluid contaminats had worn it out and my lines because they were leaking. The steering shaft was replaced because a shop a year or so back told me it had play in the U joint but I hadn't gotten to it until now. I figured an entirely new steering system would be a good idea.

It wasn't happening before you took it in to be "repaired", and it's happening on its return from that garage.
They've done some poor work and given you what most inspectors would consider to be a dangerous vehicle.
It is the responsibility of the workshop that did the work to remedy the situation.
Did they use 100% genuine parts or some ebay knockoffs?
Why did you have to replace all those parts?

@CabinCruiser @FJtest what say you?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Clearly something is quite wrong, but we need to better understand the magnitude of the "steering wheel misalignment".

All the critical connections between the steering wheel and rack are splined, so even if one connection is not properly tightened & clamped, the amount of free play should be very small, only a degree or two at the steering wheel rim.

You might jack up the front end, and with the engine running turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock, looking for any movement of the rack relative to the crossmember it is mounted to.

Repeating amaclach's questions:
Exactly why was (almost) the entire steering system replaced?
Were ONLY Toyota OEM parts used?

And adding one more:
Was the shop the performed the work a Toyota specialist, or a "fix-it-all" shop that will try to repair any issue with any vehicle brought to them, whether or not they have any prior experience working on that type of vehicle?

I assume that you've described & demonstrated the problem to "the garage". If, after seeing the problem, their only response is " ... assured me everything was tight and nothing was wrong", then they are dangerously incompetent.

I agree that the vehicle should not be driven until the fault is corrected.
The garage is called "Tom's alignment" so in theory they should be good in the area of alignments and steering. The rack was from NAPA because the previous one was still under warranty and the shop was chosen because they had good public ratings and are a NAPA service center so the replacement was free under the warranty. The pump was also NAPA but the lines from autozone. The only thing that would be "sketch" is the steering shaft which I ordered from 1A auto because I was struggling to find a replacement that was affordable. The shaft seems to be good quality and has been ruled out for being the issue. If it is going to fail it'll be in a couple years and would just be play in the U joint.
 

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トヨタ Master
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So did they fix it?
 

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Sounds like your steering wheel isn't tightened onto the shaft, if that is even possible? Assuming the airbag has to be removed to tighten the nut underneath
 

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トヨタ Master
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The steering wheel is still splined to the steering shaft, so if the nut is on, it would be nearly impossible for it not to mesh unless the steering wheel splines are stripped, which is also nearly impossible, and you would feel that. A test for this would be to turn the wheel to lock (either side) and then use some muscle to try and force it even farther, slipping the wheel on the splines.
 
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