LC 80 steering gets hard after long drive

Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Islamabad
Visit site
Hi All, I had purchased a 80 series last year and so far had been completely enjoying it, last week I took a 2000 km trip around the country and observed steering issue after taking a long drive, more than an hour duration. The steering starts getting hard you need extra force to turn it around. While on short trips it works perfectly fine. I have checked the steering fluid level and it is perfectly fine. Also the ATF looks pretty clean. The LC is equipped with 33 inch MTs since I have purchased it. Any idea what could be the issue, where I need to start looking?
 

enox

GOLD Star
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
954
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Visit site
@NLXTACY makes a steering fluid cooler kit which would help with what you're describing.

I deal with the same issue once the system gets really hot.

Currently in the process of installing a rebuilt gearbox from red head. I'm curious to see if the new gearbox will help with "heavy steering" or if I need to add the cooler kit down the line.

Remember the stock cooler is just a paperclip shape on the front under the radiator. It picks up plenty of road heat and isn't that effective for cooling.

Someone else can correct me if I'm mistaken bit I believe the issue is worn out gearboxes along with hottt fluid.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Islamabad
Visit site
@NLXTACY makes a steering fluid cooler kit which would help with what you're describing.

I deal with the same issue once the system gets really hot.

Currently in the process of installing a rebuilt gearbox from red head. I'm curious to see if the new gearbox will help with "heavy steering" or if I need to add the cooler kit down the line.

Remember the stock cooler is just a paperclip shape on the front under the radiator. It picks up plenty of road heat and isn't that effective for cooling.

Someone else can correct me if I'm mistaken bit I believe the issue is worn out gearboxes along with hottt fluid.
@enox Thanks for the details. So does installing the fluid cooler will still work if the steering gearboxes are worn out or in this case the best option would be getting the steering gearbox inspected? I want to understand if installing the fluid cooler will help it sustain for long time or eventually we have to get the steering gearbox inspected.
 

baldilocks

Battle Ground, WA
GOLD Star
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
7,257
Location
Battle Ground
Visit site
Driving on improved roads in a normal manner should never overheat the PS fluid. No one should need a bigger cooler other than someone wheeling hard on big tires in higher ambient temps.

First of all, what year is your 80 and what are its specifications as pertaining to engine, transmission and transfer case? I see that you are not in the U.S.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Islamabad
Visit site
Driving on improved roads in a normal manner should never overheat the PS fluid. No one should need a bigger cooler other than someone wheeling hard on big tires in higher ambient temps.

First of all, what year is your 80 and what are its specifications as pertaining to engine, transmission and transfer case? I see that you are not in the U.S.
Okay right I forgot to mention the details. Yes I am not in US and based in Pakistan, mine's is 1991 year, This is Japanese import with 1hdt engine and A442F 4 speed automatic transmission. The model is HDJ81. The engine and tranny is in pretty good condition and it has clocked 223000 kms so far. When I bought it it was sitting at 210000 kms and I had driver 13000km so far in a year.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
11,447
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
Visit site
Steering hard would indicate parts heating up and binding, lack of fluid, or possibly losing pressure.

First, I would remove the reservoir and thoroughly clean it, as there is a screen in there that could be clogged. Or, replace the reservoir with new.

Replace any hoses that have any indication of being excessively soft or hard. Soft would mean a hose breakdown and particulate into the system, clogging a screen, or a hole to allow air to suck in.

A hard hose may be doing something similar.

I would flush the steering system one or two times with Dexron 3 or equivalent. Possibly do this twice depending of color and quality of fluid in there and how much debris comes out with it.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
177
Location
Tennessee
Visit site
Pump is going out. Pressure is most likely being lost due to the inability of the pump to build pressure when fluid viscosity is low.

Had a Tundra last week that had no steering issues, but a bad inner tie rod end. Replaced the rack with OEM Toyota, and after about 30 minutes of driving, power steering assist would be gone. Replaced rack again, thinking it was a bad remanufactured part, (it was the only part we replaced in the system so...)with no success. Ended up putting a new pump on it and the condition was eliminated. Hope this helps.
 

nukegoat

Should have bought a Jeep
SILVER Star
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
6,305
Location
San Jose, CA
Visit site
Pump is going out. Pressure is most likely being lost due to the inability of the pump to build pressure when fluid viscosity is low.

Had a Tundra last week that had no steering issues, but a bad inner tie rod end. Replaced the rack with OEM Toyota, and after about 30 minutes of driving, power steering assist would be gone. Replaced rack again, thinking it was a bad remanufactured part, (it was the only part we replaced in the system so...)with no success. Ended up putting a new pump on it and the condition was eliminated. Hope this helps.
Something like this, except could be steering box too, bypassing less viscous fluid etc.

Sounds like things are wearing out
 

enox

GOLD Star
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
954
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Visit site
Swapping in rebuilt now, due to same symptoms, heavy steering, sloppy wheel...

PXL_20210712_190300979.jpg


PXL_20210712_190326613.jpg
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Islamabad
Visit site
Thank you everyone for the valuable input. Now I know what to start looking at, so I will start with cleaning the reservoir and the screen. Will see than if it solves the problem or otherwise will go ahead from there to the next steps. Will update in few days about the progress and results on it.
 

enox

GOLD Star
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
954
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Visit site
Results are in - rebuilt gearbox is a huge improvement.

Steering feels responsive and turning the wheel with 35"s takes quite less effort.

Wheel turns, tires turn. I don't have play like I did before.

Long hot drive and it still feels nice. I'm sure the new clean fluid helped too.
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2015
Messages
675
Location
Reno ,NV
Visit site
Hello everyone,

i am having similar steering issues as described by OP. I have flushed the system several time with mobile synthetic hydrualic fluid. I have the Witts End power steering cooler, new lines, and a relatively new pump. A year ago I had a line burst and the pump went out deep in the back country, hence the replacement pump, hoses, and cooler.

My 80 is my work truck and it goes off pavement almost everyday. When I get home the steering is basically gone. It’s a two hand operation just to park the damm truck. This was super frustrating and felt unsafe on a recent swamp lake wheeling trip.

From this thread it seems like my next steps should be:

flush the system
Clean the reservoir (how does one do this)
Replace the steering box (mine doesn’t leak but is original)

does that make sense? Does anyone have additional thoughts?
Thanks!
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
11,447
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
Visit site
Hello everyone,

i am having similar steering issues as described by OP. I have flushed the system several time with mobile synthetic hydrualic fluid. I have the Witts End power steering cooler, new lines, and a relatively new pump. A year ago I had a line burst and the pump went out deep in the back country, hence the replacement pump, hoses, and cooler.

My 80 is my work truck and it goes off pavement almost everyday. When I get home the steering is basically gone. It’s a two hand operation just to park the damm truck. This was super frustrating and felt unsafe on a recent swamp lake wheeling trip.

From this thread it seems like my next steps should be:

flush the system
Clean the reservoir (how does one do this)
Replace the steering box (mine doesn’t leak but is original)

does that make sense? Does anyone have additional thoughts?
Thanks!
Cleaning the reservoir requires you to drain the system, remove it from the truck, then un-crimp the top to pull the screen out. There is an O-Ring between the body and the stamped steel top. Once open you can remove the screen, clean it and the inside of the body, find a new O-ring to match, then re-crimp the top back onto the body.

Or, you can buy a new reservoir for about $70 I think it was.
 

enox

GOLD Star
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
954
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Visit site
Hello everyone,

i am having similar steering issues as described by OP. I have flushed the system several time with mobile synthetic hydrualic fluid. I have the Witts End power steering cooler, new lines, and a relatively new pump. A year ago I had a line burst and the pump went out deep in the back country, hence the replacement pump, hoses, and cooler.

My 80 is my work truck and it goes off pavement almost everyday. When I get home the steering is basically gone. It’s a two hand operation just to park the damm truck. This was super frustrating and felt unsafe on a recent swamp lake wheeling trip.

From this thread it seems like my next steps should be:

flush the system
Clean the reservoir (how does one do this)
Replace the steering box (mine doesn’t leak but is original)

does that make sense? Does anyone have additional thoughts?
Thanks!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom