Heavy Steering / Trans Tune Flush

Joined
Sep 15, 2019
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Houston, TX
Is your LX470 hard to steer? Mine has been heavy since I bought it half a year ago. The dealer/mechanic said that is normal for cruisers because they are so heavy.... But then I drove my father in law's 100 series LC and it was a breeze to steer (GCC model though, so maybe different? Seems unlikely).

The seller said that the rack and pinion was recently replaced. Bad install? Other issues?

I am thinking about flushing with trans tune based on this youtube video. Has anyone on here tried this method? I was warned by a mechanic friend that it will destroy the seals, but the reviews on Youtube and amazon are really impressive. Thoughts?
 
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May 26, 2008
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Calgary
 
 
Watching... replaced the pump and reservoir on my LC100. Solved the problem with heavy steering, but for big $$$.
 
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Have you tried new ATF yet? That would be my starting point.
Haven't tried, but I ordered some with the trans tune. Was planning to do the trans tune wash, then flush the system, then refill with new ATF. Just wanted a reality check before I use trans tune in case it really is harmful.
 

DirtDawg

"It'd be alot cooler if you did"
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Haven't tried, but I ordered some with the trans tune. Was planning to do the trans tune wash, then flush the system, then refill with new ATF. Just wanted a reality check before I use trans tune in case it really is harmful.
Never used the product. I would assume since it’s safe for trans, it would be safe for the power steering system.

But.... ATF is cheap and you can literally swap the fluid with zero risk first.
 
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Never used the product. I would assume since it’s safe for trans, it would be safe for the power steering system.

But.... ATF is cheap and you can literally swap the fluid with zero risk first.
☝🏾 Yup! That’s where I’d start too.
 

DirtDawg

"It'd be alot cooler if you did"
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Pumps usually whine when air is introduced. Did you run it low on fluid? Level is good?

Try the cleaner if you want. A fluid flush should clean out they system well enough though.
 
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Level is good after flushing. Turned steering wheel and refilled until level stopped going down. Then I lowered the front two wheels back to the ground, turned engine on briefly then back off and refilled. No more level drop after that.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
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A new rack cured my heavy steering. Replaced the original because of a leak and got the added bonus of much easier steering.
Feels like a new truck now even with the 285 tires.
 
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My rack is new.(allegedly). I'll get a picture of it today to confirm. If it is new, next step is new pump I guess? Process doesn't seem too bad, and cheaper than a new rack. Maybe I'll do that this weekend.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
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Flooded timber of Arkansas
 
 
I too flushed the power steer reservoir (about 3 months ago) with hopes of easier steering. Flush went well but the steering is still too tough for oem sized ko2 tires.
 
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My rack is new.(allegedly). I'll get a picture of it today to confirm. If it is new, next step is new pump I guess? Process doesn't seem too bad, and cheaper than a new rack. Maybe I'll do that this weekend.
Pump is super easy to remove/install. About 1/4 :banana: difficulty. However, from your description, I'm not convinced your pump is bad or failing just yet...
 
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Pump is super easy to remove/install. About 1/4 :banana: difficulty. However, from your description, I'm not convinced your pump is bad or failing just yet...
Agreed. Evidence for pump: hard steering and whine. But hard steering could be a lot of things and the pump only started to whine after flush and it was minimal.

I checked the rack and it appears to be a maval rack and pinion 9295. So it has been replaced, but I don't know when. Maybe it was replaced a while ago and is failing and that's why it is so hard to steer. Or maybe it was replaced recently and steering was stuff tough and that's why it was for sale. Who knows. Planning to f* all and just do the trans tune flush and hope for the best. If it messes up my rack and pinion, well maybe that was the problem all along...
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2019
Messages
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Houston, TX
Update:
- Pulled a vacuum on the PS system for a few minutes and then drove it around for a while. No more whine. Must have been trapped air.
- Flushed the system with trans tune (removed ~8 oz ATF fluid, added ~8 oz trans tune, lifted front, turned wheel every few minutes with engine off for ~30 mins, removed as much fluid as I could with syringe, topped off with fresh ATF fluid). No leaks, thankfully. But also not much change... It may have helped a little, but steering is still very heavy. Thinking it is a rack and pinion issue.

Side note, during this process I also did a 1" AHC lift, rear King springs, cracked TBs, got AHC fully in spec with the 1" lift. Took it for an alignment after the lift. When I got back I did the trans tune flush. With the front wheels off the ground I noticed a very concerning metal screech whenever I turned the wheels all the way to the right. It would occur as I got almost all the way to right lock. Any thoughts? Bad alignment? As far as I can tell it doesn't happen when the wheels are on the ground. Harder to tell though.
Link to video
 
Joined
May 6, 2020
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Limestone County, AL
My 99 LX was/is hard to steer since purchase a few weeks ago. Thought it was PS pump, flushed and burped ATF with front wheels off ground and motor off, no change. But since purchase it has gotten easier and easier to drive. After a few days of research I found a Youtuber that had the same problem with his 3rd gen 4runner.

Inspected the steering column u-joint thingies and noticed the bottom end, before going into rack was rusted and caked in mud from PO. Soaked in PB Blaster, cleaned off with WD-40 and finished with water resistant u-joint grease/gel. Have to re-grease once every couple weeks but there is a HUGE difference in steering.. can add pics if need be.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2019
Messages
141
Location
Houston, TX
My 99 LX was/is hard to steer since purchase a few weeks ago. Thought it was PS pump, flushed and burped ATF with front wheels off ground and motor off, no change. But since purchase it has gotten easier and easier to drive. After a few days of research I found a Youtuber that had the same problem with his 3rd gen 4runner.

Inspected the steering column u-joint thingies and noticed the bottom end, before going into rack was rusted and caked in mud from PO. Soaked in PB Blaster, cleaned off with WD-40 and finished with water resistant u-joint grease/gel. Have to re-grease once every couple weeks but there is a HUGE difference in steering.. can add pics if need be.
If you have pictures that would be great. I will try it out.
 
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