04 steering question


Im going to take my 04 D-Cab to dealer (still under warranty) to have them look at the steering wheel slop and wandering Im experiencing. The steering wheel has 1" to 1 1/2" play, is that normal? 2nd the truck is wandering/drifting a bit on the road, just did alignment so could it be tie rods/steering rack? 3rd when going on washboard the steering wheel chatters/rattles back and forth. Ive only had it for a month now, seems to worse after some light offroading, I think it should feel more solid. Just looking for ideas that I might mention to dealer other than stated already. I guess im mostly concerned with the wandering im getting, its especially bad on uneven road serfaces as its all over the place.


The play could be the steering rack bushings. Only about $15, but not exactly fun to replace.

The wandering/drifting could be rack, tie rods, or bent frame (although the frame is unlikely unless you abuse your truck harder than me).

The chatter has been an endless debate. Mine has done it since I bought it at 26,000 miles. At first it annoyed the **** outta me, but now I just deal with it. One guy solved his chatter by tack welding the two parts of the column together. Lemme dig up that link real quick, one sec....


If you figure out what is causing your chatter and drifting, please post it up here. I'd like to know.


As far as the steering rattle, my 89 did it real bad, and my 2004 does it also. It doesn't seem as bad in the new truck, but the old one rattled back and forth something fierce, but I never seemed to have a problem from it in over 250k. I guess I just got used to it, because I only noticed it about half way trhough the day on the last trip. Maybe if I remember, I will ask the dealer about it this weekend. Let me know if you find any info yourself.

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Ill probably try to get it in week of 9/11, will let you know what they say. I can live with the rough road rattle, but really want to get the drifting diagnosed and fixed. Compared to my old 99 Taco and the Tundra this thing is all over the place (its really not that bad but not right non the less)


Quite possibly new tie rod ends and new rack bushings will take care of it. You should be able to troubleshoot these items if you can get it up in the air and have someone sit inside and move the steering back and forth. You can see the whole rack move if the bushings are worn out, and you will be able to have someone hold the steering wheel and then you move each wheel by hand and see if there is play in the TRE's. How many miles are on it?


I'm giving this thread a bump owing to the recall notice I received from Toyota concerning the replacement of the steering relay rod at no cost to the owner.

This recall just might be related to problems mentioned in this thread as the years affected are '89 - '95.

Our SR5 is a 93, yet Toyota even sent a "follow-up" notice when I didn't respond to the first one.

Problem is our SR5 lives down at PB, BCN, Mex, so when the first notice came I read it, talked to Toyota in Prescott, then checked out the rod on the '93. It seemed fine with no sign of failure at the weak spot and those roads in Baja would surely have tested the strength of the rod.

After the second notice came (now in Idaho), I again spoke with the Toyota dealer in Twin Falls. The Service Mgr there told me that he has replaced about 50± and has found cracks in only two. I suppose that Toyota considers 4% to high to risk an equipment failure. Good on 'em!

Since I didn't want the hassle of bringing the SR5 back up to the States I talked Toyota into selling me the rod and I can replace it on my own. If I bring a "mechanic's receipt" and the receipt for the cost of the rod back to the dealer they will submit them to Toyota and I will get a full refund.

Not bad.

I took the rod down to PB this last trip but my "mechanic" was busy with other matters, so replacement will wait.

Has anyone else addressed this recall?

Allen R