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ToyotaTom
ToyotaTom, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  8+ years experience, ASE Certified
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Submitted: 1 year ago via CarComplaints.com.
Category: Car
Expert:  ToyotaTom replied 1 year ago.

ToyotaTom : Welcome and thank you for choosing just answer. What is the year/make/model of your vehicle?
Customer:

1994 Isuzu trooper 3.2 engine

Customer:

where is my answer?

ToyotaTom : Thank you for the information. Have you had this into a mechanic to diagnose, or is this something you were trying to fix yourself?
Customer:

trying to determine if adjustment on steering box is place to start and how to direct mechanic

ToyotaTom : Well, first you will want to find out what is worn. Have you had ANYTHING replaced in the steering system?
Customer:

not that I,m aware of am going to have front wheel bearings replaced

ToyotaTom : Okay. Here is where I would start, because you really will want to narrow it down first.
ToyotaTom : Sit in front of the car on the ground so that you can see everything between the box to the wheels. This would include the Pittman arm, idler arm, tie rods, etc. these all have joints on them that can wear out
ToyotaTom : Have someone else inside the truck turn the wheel left to right. Not all the way, but just to where the wheels start to turn and then start going the other way
ToyotaTom : You will usually see pretty clearly what is work. You will see one of the components flex before it moves. Then narrow down to which part is moving vs the next part in series that is not
ToyotaTom : This will narrow down to the joint. Then replace the part that joint is attached to
ToyotaTom : Now just to be prepared... That's a pretty old truck. These steering parts can snowball very quickly
ToyotaTom : I wouldn't immediately assume box, because those really don't fail all that often. But all of the parts between the box and the wheels could snowball and you may end up replacing all of it
Customer:

what is the adjustment nut on the steering box referring to?

ToyotaTom : That adjusts the preload of the worm gear... Don't touch it! Tighten it and it could wreck the gear inside the box very quickly
ToyotaTom : Typically once that is set, it will never need to be touched again. And it is set when building or rebuilding the steering box
Customer:

would a qualified mechanic doing it matter?If yyou can't touch it what does it adjust?

ToyotaTom : Have you ever done rear end or transmission work?
Customer:

no

ToyotaTom : Basically it sets the steering box to a certain specification. It sets it so the gears inside the box "mesh" at a particular threshold. Too loose and they will wear down quickly from lack of contact. Too tight and it will wear them out like that. Like I said, that is something that should be set when the gearbox is built initially, or needs to be set with the box opened up and using feeler gauges for a preset gap. Once it's set, will not need to be touched again
ToyotaTom : Steering boxes aren't generally the cause of failure. 99% of the time it is the "wear and tear" parts like the idler and Pittman arms, tie rods, relay rods, etc that will cause the looseness
ToyotaTom : Obviously, this is all generalization, because it is impossible for me to say what the source is without having the vehicle in front of me, but a good idea of what to expect anyway.
Customer:

I guess my major problem is I live in the booney's of Oregon,it's not called the Outback for nothing so I'm pretty limited in Isuzu mechanics.I took it to this regional tire outfit with a good rep.and they couldn't find any thing specific.while doing lube work and checking brakes they suggested wheel bearings but didn't push it as unsafe.This vehicle has been done over pretty well,new shocks,radiayor engine,timing water pump etc,tranny rebuilt works flawlessly,doesnt burn a drop of oil,starts whether it's =26 or +100 on ist key turn.Bought from honest mechanic who served the vehicles original ownerHe's now retired >I guess I'm just afraid 100's will turn to 1000;s it is old after all.Was looking for the cheapest answer.

ToyotaTom : I understand completely. I would recommend an alignment shop. These guys have the most experience with steering systems, and should be able to narrow it down pretty quickly
Customer:

Thanks for your help>I'll give it a try.Good job

ToyotaTom : Anyone experienced with steering systems should be able to turn the wheels and see what is moving, and what shouldn't be moving right away
ToyotaTom : It is possible a new Pittman arm at about 50 bucks will fix everything. It is also possible that over 20 years, every one of the joints is worn and it could be several hundred dollars. Real hard to say without seeing it in person
ToyotaTom : Have a good night, and let me know what they come up with. If you feel I have been helpful, a positive rating would be greatly appreciated :)
ToyotaTom, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1402
Experience: 8+ years experience, ASE Certified
ToyotaTom and 13 other Car Specialists are ready to help you

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