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First time lexus owner, possible problem with steering wheel has free play/movement

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Old 10-06-10, 09:51 AM   #16
airestonia
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Originally Posted by gs-ireland View Post
Right,

This was on my car nearly 4 years ago. The fix, a cable tie and some lithium grease.

Next step to confirm if it is this same fault.

Drive over some more gravel/rough surface and with your left foot, push on the steering rack just above the pedals.

Let me know if the shaking stops.
wow, will check!

But what about if I just push on the rack while standing still and see if I have the free or not, will check either way!

Thank you!
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Old 10-06-10, 11:15 AM   #17
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Default Possible solution?

I have a -99 GS300 and also have too much free play at my steering wheel. Shaking the intermediate shaft feels very loose and I tried the zip tie method. -> Most of the play was gone and the rattling stopped completely. I've been trying to find out which part exactly is malfunctioning. Is it the roller bearing at the lower end in the steering column assembly? Maybe, but what if the problem lies within the assembly? As we have tilting and telescoping steering wheel, the shaft cannot be just one piece. So, inside the assemby, two shafts connected by "grooves" similar to the ones at the intermediate shaft, only these you don't lock with a screw. They slide within.

Has anyone opened their steering column assemby? Toyota sells grease that you can use to remove slack at those kinds of parts.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by gs-ireland View Post
1. Removed the lower cover to expose the bottom of the steering column.
2. With the engine 'on' LOOSELY wrap a few cable ties around the steering shaft (the part that is ~3" long - exposed between the main column housing and the knuckle) and the steering column support bracket - its about 3" above the shaft. Have the cable-ties's clip away from all moving parts!!!!
3. Apply grease to where the shaft & cable-ties touch.
4. One by one, slowely tighten the cable ties (1 click at a time) as you turn your steering wheel left-right. As soon as you feel a little extra tension to turn the steering wheel STOP.
5. Re-assemble and go for test drive
I have taken a picture of the steering column that I can see without taking off the plastic covers.
I have pointed out two rubber covers, in yellow and in red.
Do I understand correctly that I need to take off the one in red and proceed with wrapping zip ties around the shaft.

Could you please specify what shaft exactly do you have in mind and maybe you have a picture of how it looks right now with the zip ties applied and has the free-play problem came back since then?

Thank you very much once again for your input and help, will try to heal the problem today!
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-07-10, 01:28 AM   #19
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You MUST remove this cover. Its nothing to do with the yellow or red box on your pic.

It will expose the steering columns shaft that needs the cable-tie. From memory the cable tie needs to be positioned about 3" higher than the steering knuckle in your yellow box.

Edit:

I recall just using 1x cable tie
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Old 10-07-10, 02:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by gs-ireland View Post
You MUST remove this cover. Its nothing to do with the yellow or red box on your pic.

It will expose the steering columns shaft that needs the cable-tie. From memory the cable tie needs to be positioned about 3" higher than the steering knuckle in your yellow box.

Edit:

I recall just using 1x cable tie
Thank you for a quick reply!
I've just removed the panel like that:
Click the image to open in full size.

This has exposed the following (do I need to remove the panel in the red box on the pic?):
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Please pardon for still not understanding what part of the column I need to address , but do you see it on the pictures? If yes could you point it out?

Thank you once again!
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Old 10-07-10, 05:44 AM   #21
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Like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

In that picture you can also see the lower roller bearing that might be lose...
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Old 10-07-10, 07:52 AM   #22
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Its the last picture, cable-tie where your yellow line is on the right hand side, nearest the knuckle.

Make sure the cable tie is around 5mm wide for strength

USE PLENTY OF LITHIUM GREASE ON THE SHAFT
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Old 10-08-10, 01:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aijoju View Post
Like this:

In that picture you can also see the lower roller bearing that might be lose...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gs-ireland View Post
Its the last picture, cable-tie where your yellow line is on the right hand side, nearest the knuckle.

Make sure the cable tie is around 5mm wide for strength

USE PLENTY OF LITHIUM GREASE ON THE SHAFT
Thank you gs-ireland!!! Thank you aijoju!!!

I can't believe how this minor little thing could fix such a major issue for me!
I can't thank you enough guys!

I didn't have a proper cable-tie on me, so used what I had. No grease or anything and a super thin ghetto looking multiple cable-ties
Will replace these this weekend.

Here is how it looks at the moment:
Click the image to open in full size.

Now to the results! There is no free-play at all!!! And I mean it
When I drive on the gravel or bad road, I feel no discomfort as to constant "kicks" in the steering wheel, all of that is gone completely!
Haven't felt any changes in how hard it is to turn the steering wheel, so the fix hasn't influenced anything in a bad way!

I know this cable-tie method looks like a temporary solution, but hey if it fixes my issue, it's more than a good solution for me!
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Old 10-08-10, 01:24 AM   #24
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Glad to hear it worked.

Re grease, use some vaseline until you get some lithium grease and a proper cable tie.

The proper fix will cost lots of to get a new steering assembly, so if you decide to replace it you will need loads of vaseline as you will be shafted by the stealership,

Just keep this temporary solution. I have for the last few years and Im not changing it!
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Old 10-08-10, 06:55 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gs-ireland View Post
Glad to hear it worked.

The proper fix will cost lots of to get a new steering assembly, so if you decide to replace it you will need loads of vaseline as you will be shafted by the stealership,
I work at the "stealership" and checked that a new assembly costs about 800 without any discounts. So, tomorrow I'm gonna remove the assembly and check if theres a better solution to fix this...
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Old 10-08-10, 06:58 AM   #26
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I work at the "stealership" and checked that a new assembly costs about 800 without any discounts. So, tomorrow I'm gonna remove the assembly and check if theres a better solution to fix this...
You go for it!

Thank you once again for your input!
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Old 10-09-10, 02:26 AM   #27
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Today I removed the assembly, took about a half an hour. There is a slight play at the lower roller bearing, but I don't think its enough to cause all the effects at the streering wheel (play and clunking noise). The real culprit a sliding joint inside the column assembly. It propably is curable by thick shaft grease but I don't have the time to disassemble the column. So now going with the zip tie which sucks because it stiffens my steering (yes, used grease) and doesn't remove _all_ the play... :/

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Old 10-09-10, 04:58 AM   #28
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Very cool thread! I had no idea this fix would be so successful! Subscribed!
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Old 10-11-10, 07:48 AM   #29
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Default My final solution

Today I went and bought a roller bearing to replace the zip tie thingy. Installed it at the exactly same spot that the tie, made a steel support for the bearing and attached it to the brake pedals support cage. The bearing now quite solidly keeps the steering axle from bending all over the place. No hardened steering, no clunking noise at large gravel roads and almost all the free play at the steering wheel is gone. Almost. This is the most that I'm willing to spend on the issue - the bearing cost 4... Now I'm 65% pleased and going to just live with it...
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Old 10-11-10, 01:32 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aijoju View Post
Today I went and bought a roller bearing to replace the zip tie thingy. Installed it at the exactly same spot that the tie, made a steel support for the bearing and attached it to the brake pedals support cage. The bearing now quite solidly keeps the steering axle from bending all over the place. No hardened steering, no clunking noise at large gravel roads and almost all the free play at the steering wheel is gone. Almost. This is the most that I'm willing to spend on the issue - the bearing cost 4... Now I'm 65% pleased and going to just live with it...
pics for the visualizers
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Old 10-11-10, 01:32 PM
 
 
 
 
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45260, adjustment, difficult, es300, freeplay, intermediate, lexus, move, noise, problem, replace, sc400, shaft, steering, wheel

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