Wobble felt through steering wheel

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Aug 7, 2003
Lewiton, Idaho
Ok symptoms are: A slight wobble felt through the steering wheel when on lightly bumpy surfaces (dirt road) or when goin say 15-20 mph around a corner. I drive alot of dirt roads here in Lewiston, Idaho with some pretty nast washboard at times, it feels as if this washboard is finally gettin the better of my front-end and I can feel it traveling up through my steering column.

Not lifted and have no exterior mod's other than slee sliders and factory rack removed. 92,000 miles and no birf pack either. Any thoughts on the culprit?
Thnx, Vince
Possible loose wheel bearings, trunion bearings, tie rod ends, steering shock. Any combination.
HMM, I just had a 90,000 mile service done that included fr and rr wheel bearing repack...and my birfs are definately overdue. So is there anything I can check myself real quick like without digging into anything?
Jack up the front of the vehicle and see if you can "shake" the tires. Grab them at 6 and 12 o'clock and try to rock the top and bottom in and out, you should get little or no movement. grab them at 3 and 9 o'clock and rock front to rear while you watch the tie rods, look for slop.

Thnx cdan,will do. Just checked the tie-rod clamps and was able to get about 1/4 turn on each one

Thnx again,Vince

I didn't see where CDan suggested you tighten the tie rods, but are you saying they were loose, or simply that you were able to muscle them 1/4 turn tighter? If the latter, then that was/is not your problem. Get it up in the air and start yanking on the front wheels in all directions. I'd guess your knuckle bearings (aka trunion) are worn. An 80 was made for washboard road, but not if these bearings were ignored and have been running dry all this time.

Doug, i was able to pretty much able to muscle them a 1/4 turn. Definately not as hard as I could but I wouldn't call them loose either. Anyways got it up in the air and no movement whatsoever in the wheels or tie-rods , seemed very tight, however I started spinning the wheels and listening and could hear a clanging on the passenger side , like something metal inside a metal drum clang sound. I watched the toyota emblem on the wheel cap and this sound occurred at the same time on every rotation.Kinda like the sound u get when you just rock the wheel forwards then backwards, like a gear sound?

sincerely scared, Vince
Vince, here's one more test you can do fairly easily, w/o getting into your knuckles. Do you have the center diff lock switch? If not, order one today http://www.sleeoffroad.com/products/products_interior_main.htm

Ok, now assuming you've got the switch installed, take your front drive shaft off. Quite easy to do, just 4 bolts&nuts per side, just don't let it slide apart once it's off. Then engage your center locker, and go for a drive. Your front diff, axles, birfs, etc should now be "at rest" and conceptually out of the picture. If your shaking is still present, then it's probably tie rods, or trunion bearings, or wheel bearings.. the fact that yoru bearings were just done suggests maybe the preload wasn't done properly? Lots of discussion on that going on right now..

Anyway assuming the wobble does go away then you've isolated it to the driveline, and you can start digging into the knuckles (may as well anyway.. it's probably time) or the driveline itself. I'm guessing it won't matter and you feel the wobble anyway, and find it's worn trunion bearings... but you'll still have fun sticking the ass end out on dirt roads in 2wd. hth, good luck.
Ok guys, thnx for the input. I think it's finally time to bite the bullet and try this " birf rebuild thing ". I've been puttin it off cuz I'm no mechanic and I've just moved to a new area and have no mechanicaly inclined buddies around here to help out. Now everything y'all have mentioned points to a front axle job.

Anybody in the Lewiston, Idaho area feel like helpin out a serious newbie with this job?

Thnx , Vince

I hope some others that have recently done the job themselves will chime in. As has been said repeatedly, it is not a difficult job. Allocate the time so that you don't feel rushed. Be sure you have the right parts on hand. Accumulate any required tools. Make sure your cleaning apparatus is efficient (big bucket of solvent is what I used.) Print out the instructions and review them a couple of times.

Post up any questions and give us a heads up before you start. :D
Tnx -B- , I'm starting my research of amsoil products needed as I type . Where is the best palce to purchase this online ? Looks like I need to become a "preferred customer" ? I've got some serious researching to do .
Thnx , Vince
Check the panhard bar too, mine looens up every once in awhile, it's the z shaped one.Brad.
[quote author=97cruiser link=board=2;threadid=6660;start=msg54533#msg54533 date=1066951558]

Anybody in the Lewiston, Idaho area feel like helpin out a serious newbie with this job?

Thnx , Vince

Sure, come on down to Boise. Or get up to CD'A, and Doug will help you :).

I'm thinking we should BOTH help him. In exchange, he pays for a videographer to tape and edit the process (with a nice soundtrack), then we offer the how-to tape on the boards for $35 splitting the profits 45-45 and 10% back to Vince. Heh.
You could make a bundle.... at least until Tyler hack's into the video, converts it to a MVI, surreptitiously loads the digitial video to his company's servers, and posts the URL for all to download for free.

Think copy protection or some way to reign in Tyler. :D

I would have thought that taking the front driveshaft off would indeed put some of the diff stuff to "rest" but that the Birfs, axles etc would still be spinning if the wheels are spinning. Not true?
Hey cruiserman and IdahoDoug, I would be more than happy to drive either way if that was a sincere offer. Though I think C&#039:DA is a bit closer Doug :D. Thats one long curvy road through McCall to Boise .

Sincerely , Vince

>> Not true? <<



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