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#4631391 - 01/11/18 11:49 AM Steering Wheel Shock
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1154
Loc: West Chester, PA
Re: 1999 Toyota Avalon V6

For some time now I have been feeling vibration in the steering wheel when stopped in gear but not in P or N. I replaced my rear motor mount and dogbone with OEM a few years ago so I am pretty sure they are ok but maybe front mount is bad. Tranny mount checks out fine.

More recently I notice that when I hit a bump, I feel the shock in the steering wheel as if it has not been absorbed. What can be causing this? The steering rack is only connected through the tie rod ends, right? Do you think these two (vibration when stopped in gear and shock when I hit a bump) issues are related? Thanks.


Edited by artbuc (01/11/18 11:51 AM)

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#4631404 - 01/11/18 12:02 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
kschachn Online   content


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9380
Loc: Upper Midwest
If that rack is the same as on my Sienna (which I think it is) then it has rubber bushings both at the two vertical attachment bolts and at the single wrap-around bushing. All or some of those may be degraded. IIRC one of the rubber bushings is available from Toyota, and the other(s) are available aftermarket. All can be changed with the rack installed on the vehicle (at least in my Sienna) but it isn't easy. Whiteline makes a set for your car I believe.

If you can get underneath the car while someone turns the wheel a bit against the ramps, you can see the rack move if they are bad.
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1994 BMW 530i, 227K
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#4631420 - 01/11/18 12:11 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 6561
Loc: Hudson, NH
Replace intermediate shaft
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#4631421 - 01/11/18 12:13 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: kschachn]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 6561
Loc: Hudson, NH
Originally Posted By: kschachn
If that rack is the same as on my Sienna (which I think it is) then it has rubber bushings both at the two vertical attachment bolts and at the single wrap-around bushing. All or some of those may be degraded. IIRC one of the rubber bushings is available from Toyota, and the other(s) are available aftermarket. All can be changed with the rack installed on the vehicle (at least in my Sienna) but it isn't easy. Whiteline makes a set for your car I believe.

If you can get underneath the car while someone turns the wheel a bit against the ramps, you can see the rack move if they are bad.

Just had my GF Dad's Sienna in for the intermediate shaft replacement under warranty. Its been a Toyota weak spot for over a decade. If you're under 100k they will cover it. Bumping, knocking turning the wheel. Vibration over bumps, all symptoms of the shaft failing. If you google the problem, its downright dangerous if it completely fails. The steering wheel disconnects entirely, free spinning with no control
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#4631485 - 01/11/18 01:12 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: LeakySeals]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1154
Loc: West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: LeakySeals
Replace intermediate shaft


You may be right but my steering is perfectly smooth and does not make any noises while turning.

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#4631524 - 01/11/18 01:54 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12324
Loc: The Motor City
Is the engine/transmission centered left-to-right in the car?

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#4631530 - 01/11/18 01:59 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10097
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Pop the hood and sit in the car with the engine running. Put it in drive and hold the brake, touch the gas pedal a little. Look at the engine through the gap under the hood. Is it flopping back and forth?

That's how I found out my mounts were bad in my Camry last year. It was flopping back and forth, I didn't know it.
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#4631534 - 01/11/18 02:05 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: kschachn]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1154
Loc: West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: kschachn
If that rack is the same as on my Sienna (which I think it is) then it has rubber bushings both at the two vertical attachment bolts and at the single wrap-around bushing. All or some of those may be degraded. IIRC one of the rubber bushings is available from Toyota, and the other(s) are available aftermarket. All can be changed with the rack installed on the vehicle (at least in my Sienna) but it isn't easy. Whiteline makes a set for your car I believe.

If you can get underneath the car while someone turns the wheel a bit against the ramps, you can see the rack move if they are bad.


Looks like you get the prize! Just observed the rack (carís rack to be specific) while my wife turned the wheels. Could see the driver side well from above but not the passenger side. The driver side bushing was clearly bad allowing substantial movement when the steering direction changed. Looks like a nice winter time project if I can find the bushing part numbers. Thanks!


Edited by artbuc (01/11/18 02:06 PM)

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#4631538 - 01/11/18 02:07 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: Kestas]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1154
Loc: West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: Kestas
Is the engine/transmission centered left-to-right in the car?


Centered? What do you mean? How would it get uncentered?


Edited by artbuc (01/11/18 02:08 PM)

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#4631548 - 01/11/18 02:15 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12324
Loc: The Motor City
Sometimes the subframe needs to be dropped for certain repairs. It then needs to be centered while reattaching the mount bolts. If not centered, the half-shafts can run out of axial travel when jumping around.

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#4631575 - 01/11/18 02:39 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: Kestas]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1154
Loc: West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: Kestas
Sometimes the subframe needs to be dropped for certain repairs. It then needs to be centered while reattaching the mount bolts. If not centered, the half-shafts can run out of axial travel when jumping around.


Got cha. Subframe has never been touched.

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#4631624 - 01/11/18 03:58 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1154
Loc: West Chester, PA
Dorman and Whiteline sell bushing kits. Both use polyurethane. Dorman is about $10 cheaper. Any reason to spend extra for Whiteline? Thx.

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#4631661 - 01/11/18 04:50 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1154
Loc: West Chester, PA
Nevermind. Just checked her out. Must remove rack to replace bushings. 25 years ago it would have been out already. But my days of removing steering racks are long gone.

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#4631703 - 01/11/18 05:47 PM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
One thing you might be able to do is just take the bolts out and shore it up with some rubber washers, extra good if you can slip some under the bushings but if you can only put a few on top it'll still help. Did that with my Liberty for a few months before I got the courage to replace the rack.
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#4632133 - 01/12/18 06:13 AM Re: Steering Wheel Shock [Re: artbuc]
artbuc Offline


Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1154
Loc: West Chester, PA
Ok, the morning light has brought me new energy and hope! Really isnít that big of a deal to pull this rack so letís get on with the program.

So here is my new question. As far as I can tell, my original rack with 135k is in fine working order. I did replace the passenger side inner tie rod end a few years ago but no leaks or other issues. I would not replace it with an aftermarket unit but can get a Toyota remanufactured rack for $600. I plan on keeping this car for a long time driving about 5k miles per year getting groceries. Do I really want to go to the trouble of removing this rack, installing new bushings and reinstalling? Chances are good it will last the lifetime of the car. OTOH, would be nice to have a new Toyota remanufactured unit in there to make my labor seem worthwhile. What would you guys do?

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