spitfirebill
spitfirebill Dork
1/31/11 8:09 p.m.

A few weeks ago my trusty 99 4runner started having some steering issues. When cold started, the steering is stiff and fights back. It does the same thing when warm, but to a lesser extent. It drives OK once underway, but you can make it do it if you try. It makes no noise. No leaks. I've changed the fluid out some, but not a complete change.

I've never had to work on power steering before other than changing a belt or hose. I suspect its the pump, just because that's cheaper to replace.

Any sage advice?

internetautomart
internetautomart SuperDork
1/31/11 8:10 p.m.

sounds like rack and pinion morning sickness to me.
Pumps usually make noise.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill Dork
1/31/11 9:05 p.m.

Well shazam. I just checked toyotapartsbarn and the rack is cheaper than the bloody pump.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf Dork
2/1/11 9:44 a.m.

change out the fluid 1st it's cheaper. Over time it get full of crud as the oil breaks down.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
2/1/11 10:08 a.m.

Are you sure the belt isn't slipping? Try tightening it up first just for the hell of it.

ransom
ransom New Reader
2/1/11 11:04 a.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: Are you sure the belt isn't slipping? Try tightening it up first just for the hell of it.

Do like Dr. Hess says. That would've saved me a bunch of time and money on my F250... I didn't think it was the belt. Didn't seem like it ought to have been the belt. It was totally the belt.

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit New Reader
2/1/11 11:52 a.m.

Start the truck when cold and raise the RPM (not in gear) and see if the steering is easier, if so more than likely the pump is weak, other wise may be a rack.

Paul B

dculberson
dculberson Reader
2/1/11 12:45 p.m.

Your rack may also have a solenoid with a screen in it. I believe that if the screen gets plugged up your steering can stiffen up. Many Toyotas have this, even trucks. Look at the drivers side of the rack, you will see a cylinder going up into the bottom of the rack with a thin hex piece at the top. It has an electrical connector on it. If you unplug it then remove that cylinder (a bit of p/s fluid will leak out!) there's two o-rings and a screen in there. Clean the screen, bleed your steering, and it might help.

If you haven't flushed the fluid, I would do that as well. Whether to do the flush before or after cleaning the screen is a personal choice.

Make sure to use the right fluid, too; I was using power steering fluid in my car until I read that you're supposed to use ATF (transmission fluid). Dextron II or better. Dex III worked fine.

If you need more details, let me know - somewhere I had a link to a guide with pictures of the solenoid. I'll try to dig that up.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill Dork
2/1/11 4:54 p.m.

Thanks for advice. Like others, I don't think the belt is slipping, but I will check that out first. I will do a complete fluid change. First I had heard of the solenoid, but will look for that too. I have seen a filter listed on the auto parts vendors web sites for the return line, but that may be like the chain tensioner listed for the 12A and 13B.

edited: Ummmm, I just remembered, the belts are the originals. 11 years old.

dculberson
dculberson Reader
2/2/11 10:27 a.m.

The filter they list is probably a generic in line filter; it would be separate from the solenoid screen. The solenoid screen is, as far as I know, not available separately and you have to buy the whole solenoid. But it's a metal screen and is easily cleaned - once you have it out, of course.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill Dork
2/2/11 11:23 a.m.
dculberson wrote: The filter they list is probably a generic in line filter; it would be separate from the solenoid screen. The solenoid screen is, as far as I know, not available separately and you have to buy the whole solenoid. But it's a metal screen and is easily cleaned - once you have it out, of course.

I'll check that too.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill Dork
2/6/11 4:48 p.m.

Update

I did the fluid change out and it seems to be better now. I could not see the belt slipping but it was a tiny loose. I really didn't see how to tighten it.

I didn't see the thing DCulberson was talking about on my rack.

I made a jim dandy mess in my driveway. ATF all over the damned place. Low pressure return doesn't mean it THAT low.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
2/6/11 5:20 p.m.

If the belt is that old, it could be slipping even if it is relatively tight. I haven't pulled apart your particular vehicle, but on my Toyotas, the idler pulley is where you tighten that belt. You loosen the bolt in the middle of the pulley, then put a socket on the adjuster bolt that runs vertically behind and probably under the pulley. Crank it until the belt is where you want it, then tighten the bolt in the middle of the pulley.

I think they're both 14mm.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill Dork
2/6/11 10:06 p.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: If the belt is that old, it could be slipping even if it is relatively tight. I haven't pulled apart your particular vehicle, but on my Toyotas, the idler pulley is where you tighten that belt. You loosen the bolt in the middle of the pulley, then put a socket on the adjuster bolt that runs vertically behind and probably under the pulley. Crank it until the belt is where you want it, then tighten the bolt in the middle of the pulley. I think they're both 14mm.

No idler pulley on this belt. It would be the power steering pump that would have to be moved. I didn't get under it enough to see how it was adjusted. That will be another day.

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