Steering Rack Replacement

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  #1  
Old 04-10-14, 01:37 PM
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Steering Rack Replacement

I'll be replacing the steering rack on my 2004 Tundra later this year. I've watched a couple YouTube videos and have both the FSM and a Haynes manual and all the required tools. One thing that has me a bit puzzled is that the FSM lists one of the first steps as removing the steering wheel. Why the heck would I need to do this? The Haynes manual does not say to do so, and it isn't clear why I would need to do this. Also, from what I've seen/read, getting the steering wheel perfectly aligned after replacing the rack seems like a challenge for some reason. If I align the steering shaft coupler with the new rack and the rack is centered and wheels straight ahead, shouldn't the steering wheel end up in the centered position? If it doesn't, isn't it just a matter of rotating the coupling one or two splines until the steering wheel is straight? I don't understand what's so difficult about that. I read one place to re-center the steering wheel itself, and another reference said to adjust the tie rod ends. Why not just lock the steering wheel in the centered position and slide the coupler back on with the new rack perfectly centered???
 
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  #2  
Old 04-11-14, 08:51 AM
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I am not familiar with the Tundra but typically a steering wheel that is not centered is straightened by adjusting the tie rod toe adjustment sleeves.
 
  #3  
Old 04-12-14, 07:25 PM
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Sure that may work for minor adjustment but that isn't the best way to do it because the more you adjust the tie rods the more asymmmetry there will be which leads to issues like bump steer. According to the fsm, the tie rods should be within 1.5mm of each other.
 
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Old 04-13-14, 05:32 AM
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I've not worked on rack and pinion but basically you center everything up from below and then make minor adjustments with the tie rods. I'd be leery of messing with the steering wheel on modern day vehicles because of the air bag.
 
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Old 04-13-14, 08:18 AM
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You turn the sleeves equal amounts to turn the wheels in the same direction. We are not adjusting the toe here. We are centering the steering wheel not making major adjustments here.
 
  #6  
Old 04-14-14, 02:18 PM
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We are not adjusting the toe here. We are centering the steering wheel not making major adjustments here.
I understand we are not adjusting toe, but adjusting the tie rods to compensate for a crooked steering wheel is going to make the tie rods unequal lengths, likely more than 1.5 mm. My point is that if the steering wheel is centered and tie rods are equal lengths with the old rack installed, then the same should be true with the new rack installed. If it isn't, seems like the steering shaft coupling should be adjusted accordingly followed by the tie rods if necessary (within 1.5 mm). Again, the FSM says to remove the steering wheel, RR the rack, then reinstall the steering wheel centered.
 
  #7  
Old 04-16-14, 11:25 AM
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Exclamation

just use caution
that the steering wheel/coulmb-shaft are not accidently rotated with the coupler disconnected from the steering gear.
DAMAGE to the electrical coupling between the air bag /other steering wheel mounted switches & the stationary part of the columb will occur
 
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