Steering locks up in cold weather - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Steering locks up in cold weather

Hey guys, I have a random question someone may be able to help with- I have swapped 01 tacoma- toy box in front, high steer , on stock pump/rez. I've had issues last year and already starting this year, in which the steering is very stubborn and doesn't want to give, but then will finally commit to a turn "all at once" This is a sudden turn and makes it not safe to drive (obviously). Only issue is that this only happens when it gets cold outside? Never happens in the summer or warmer weather. Could this be due to lack of fluid or pressure from the stock pump/reservoir? Seems like once the box is "warm" it turns smoothly but until then its horribly jerky and resistant. I've ensured all the air is out of the system and the reservoir is topped off. I've ran out of ideas...Any thoughts welcome. Thanks
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Mine will do it first thing on cold mornings too. It wont have power steering until I crank it hard one way then it will give and be fine. It only lasts until I turn the wheel hard.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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after a couple weeks of this I'm beginning to think it could be just my PS pump going out or just not cutting it anymore. With 175k on it, plus the added stress of the 35's for the last 3 yrs, It may just be time to swap her out? Any thoughts?

Last edited by enzogfx; 10-26-2009 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you live where it's COOOOLD synthetic ps fluid might solve your problem. Some Toyota pumps use slipper spring type p/s pumps. This type of pump has slippers on a spinning cylinder that are pushed out with springs to pull fluid in, and then the slipper hits the eccentric of the housing to push back in and create pressure. If the fluid is cold enough, the spring won't be able to pull in the thicker cold fluid, so it won't have anything to compress.

Then some will pull some in, and create pressure. With your arms turning the wheel, the flex shaft in the steering box is fully flexed, and the perportioning valve is wide open, so all the pressure suddenly shoots into the box on one side of the piston and makes it surge, taking the slop out from the flex shaft very abruptly.

Vane type pumps will have a similar problem. Gear type pumps (rare) might not.

Synthetic fluids stay liquid to lower temps, usually, so this problem might go away simply by changing to a synthetic fluid. Or letting the engine warm up a little and letting the p/s pump warm up.
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