FJ40 Loose Steering

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Jul 20, 2003
I'm brand new to the forum. I need suggestions on what to focus on when repairing loose steering on my 1975 FJ40. Most mechanics here are unfamiliar with the FJ40s and I don't want to "turn them loose" without some direction.


There are several things that can lead to your condition. There is a steering box adjustment. More than likely it is your tie-rod end and the bushings. There are I think 24 bushings in the steering and if each is off by 1/8" that could lead to over an inch of play in the steering. Also the stabilizer can add to this if it is worn out.

Do you have oversized tires? If you do this exagerates all the problems. Hope this helps.

I recently worked thorugh my entire steering system, and I still have a little play, i think its the nature of the beast w/ these things.. I would start out w/ adjustments that dont cost anything: adjust the steering box (like mentioned above there is a nut with a flat head screwdriver adjustment on the box right behind the heat shield if yours has one) this adjusts play in the box.. mine was so bad and the seal were gone for so long I had to replace my box. Next check the play in the center arm it should not move up and down when turning the wheel. If it does, adjust. If that doesnt ork, it will have to be rebuilt. Next check and replace your tierod ends as necessary.. like mentioned above, there are so many places to pick up a little play, and all of it results in a ton of play at the wheel. Good luck!

Don't forget about the rod between the box and center arm. At the box end you'll find a cotter pin. Remove pin. Using a large flat blade screwdriver tighten large screw till it bottoms out. Backout screw approx 1/4 turn to align slot with cotter pin holes. Install new pin. Adjust box and center arm as mentioned. Check tie-rod ends. Replace any "sloppy" ends. Visit the tech links on this sight. Tons of great info.
I recommend a saginaw to solve most steering woes.
Welcome to the forum.
Just so you know, because it is helpful to have reasonable expectations, the owner's manual (1972) specifies "less than 50 mm (2")" of play in the steering wheel for an FJ40 and 40 mm for an FJ55.

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