Steering "Drift" or "Play"

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LS1FJ40

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Aug 9, 2005
Messages
9,191
Location
Cedar Rapids, IA
My 80 has a little drift or play in the steering wheel. It is only noticeable on the highway. It feels like you are floating a little and drifting to the right. When it happens I turn the wheel about 3-4" before I feel the steering wheel start to tighten a little and the steering responds. Anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking it could be the steering stabilizer. Would that make sense or could it be something more in depth?

Thanks for your help.

Jeff
 
That or your shocks are spongy
 
Steering box might need to be tightened up, lots of info here in the forum on how to do it.

...via IH8MUD app

x 2

Also - 224K I see -

Give us a bit of maintenance history with regard to what you have changed / PM'd with your front/rear suspension.


Thanks,

John -
 
Mine is kinda the same way. My garage recommended tie rod ends.
I sort of deal with it currently because its not a high priority for me right now.
 
knuckle studs, tie rod ends, drag link ends, steering box adjustment nut. If you can get the vehicle jacked up off the wheels, have some one move the steering wheel slightly to see if you can detect play in any of those parts.

If no play, try tightening the gear box imo.

Richard
 
Worn ujoint in the sector shaft between the firewall and steering box.
 
Ok. I was thinking about my description as I was driving this morning. It doesn't do it at all in town on roads going 40 or less. It only seems to do it in the highway. When it does it it almost seems like something is "catching" when I turn the wheel back to correct the drift. Does that help at all?

As for maintenance that has been performed:
Within the last 3 years (about 15,000 miles) the birfields were replaced by a Toyota master mechanic during a Hoosier Cruiser club get together. All hands were on deck and people that know better than me said everything looked good.

However, as I think about it, the front shocks are about 7 years old (Rancho 5000, I believe). The steering stabilizer may be older than that. Should I start with the steering stabilizer and front shocks since it's fairly easy to do in my garage at home? My buddy owns a shop and I'm supposed to take it to him tomorrow. He treats me fairly and anything he thinks I can do he tells me what needs to be done and I do it.

Thanks for everyone's help.
 
3-4" of play would have me shaking down the front end and checking all steering components asap.
Figure it out before you end up with a vehicle that doesn't respond to the direction you turn the steering wheel.:frown:
Steering and brakes, steering and brakes, steering and brakes...all else is optional, so I've heard.
 
I have the same thing on my 94 LC, after I put on bigger tires (285/75/16) last month and while driving on the highway. As for maintenance, I haven't done anything other than regular stuff like brakes, oil, etc., since I bought it in 2008. Thanks
 
URGENT! Do a check under the right front knuckle to make sure you have all(4) studs in the bottom of that knuckle! (Trunnion Bearings) What you are describing is almost the same as what I had on mine with a loose steering arm on the bottom of the right knuckle. Mine had one broken off stud, two had already fallen out, and the fourth was extremely loose. My wheels could almost turn independently of one another. If this arm falls off, your wheels go in opposite directions and you will have no control of EITHER wheel.

CHECK IT IMMEDIATELY!
 
URGENT! Do a check under the right front knuckle to make sure you have all(4) studs in the bottom of that knuckle! (Trunnion Bearings) What you are describing is almost the same as what I had on mine with a loose steering arm on the bottom of the right knuckle. Mine had one broken off stud, two had already fallen out, and the fourth was extremely loose. My wheels could almost turn independently of one another. If this arm falls off, your wheels go in opposite directions and you will have no control of EITHER wheel.

CHECK IT IMMEDIATELY!

Agreed. I lost mine once on the road it was not a good thing. Check ASAP. I have learned my lesson and have gotten into the habit of checking all the time
 
knuckle studs, tie rod ends, drag link ends, steering box adjustment nut. If you can get the vehicle jacked up off the wheels, have some one move the steering wheel slightly to see if you can detect play in any of those parts.

If no play, try tightening the gear box imo.

Richard

I agree with the posts above, and I think richxd got it right. Check knuckle studs with a torque wrench to rule those out, then check steering components. I'm sure the box could also stand to have preload adjusted.

Of course, you could take the truck to a qualified mechanic and let him make the call. Don't ever feel silly for taking it in to let someone take a look, it's serious stuff.
 
I decided to just let my buddy take a look at everything in his nice warm shop with a lift and heat. 20 degrees today and 50 mph winds didn't seem like the best time to be messing around with this stuff. I gave him all of the suggestions from you and he's going to go over it from head to toe. It's going to get driven even less since I just bought an '88 FJ71 that I am importing from Japan. So I will be splitting the daily driving duties between these two and my Camry Hybrid. Although it's winter so the Camry pretty much just sits in the garage. Who am I kidding? It pretty much sits in the garage all of the time. :cheers:

Thank you all for your help. This is one of the many reasons I love my Land Cruisers. The people are so great and willing to help. :clap:
 
Tie Rod! Shocks, steering stabilizer, knuckles, etc. are all in good condition. The shocks could be replaced but I am going to lift it anyway so no sense in wasting the money for the next month or so.

Thanks everyone!
 
Check the toe, if toed out, or in some cases 0, they will wander. In my experience, most like the high end of the toe in spec for good stability.
 
I don't know what that means? Toe?
 

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