hard spots in steering?

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TooManyToyota's
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My tercel:: 1984 Tercel 4wd SR5, 1987 tercel 4wd 4a-fe swap
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hard spots in steering?

Post by TooManyToyota's » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:07 am

over the last few days ive been noticing that there is a spot when turning left and a spot when turning right (approx. 45 degrees wheel rotation each way) where the steering gets harder and then breaks loose again. my car is a 1984 sr5 equipped with power steering, I flushed the power steering system and put in new fluid (I forget the brand but not atf) about 5 months and 5000 miles ago, and there is no noise from the pump, so I have a feeling that isn't the issue, I have it unloaded up in the air right now and I can still feel the hard spots when I turn the wheels by hand, Is my steering rack beginning to wear out? the car also has 6 month old inner tie rods but I didn't replace the outers at the same time. I did shake the wheels side to side and didn't feel any play in them so I assume they are also fine any ideas?
Cars
1984 Tercel Sr5 4wd 6 speed Red/tan
1987 Tercel Sr5 4wd 6 speed Gold (4a-fe swapped)
1988 Camry Station wagon 5 speed (305k and climbing) (winter rig)
1989 Nissan Pulsar NX 5 speed (autocross rig)
1997 Pontiac Sunfire (Circle track car)
1991 Camry V6 wagon (Derby car)
1987 Celica Convertible 4 speed auto (for sale)

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rer233
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Re: hard spots in steering?

Post by rer233 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:41 am

My guess is steering shaft U-joint. Try spraying it with WD40 or some other kind of penetrate, turn the wheel a bunch of times and see if it frees up. I lube my shaft U-joints @ every oil change. Good Luck.
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
83 SR5 Silver/Blue (Snowmobile/work beater)-totaled but drivable
85 SR5 Blue
88 SR5 White (the 'good' one)-not anymore-totaled
87 fwd silver wagon a/t
87 4wd dx Cream (a/t- not anymore- now m/t)

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TooManyToyota's
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My tercel:: 1984 Tercel 4wd SR5, 1987 tercel 4wd 4a-fe swap
Location: Hudsonville MI
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Re: hard spots in steering?

Post by TooManyToyota's » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:15 am

thanks, ill lube that up too, I found that one of the boots on the steering rack was loose, probably allowed some dirt to get in there, I steered it all the way left and put some chassis grease on the splines of the rack. after I ran that back and forth its a little smoother now, glad it wasn't something super major, it looks like a pain to sneak the rack out of there
Cars
1984 Tercel Sr5 4wd 6 speed Red/tan
1987 Tercel Sr5 4wd 6 speed Gold (4a-fe swapped)
1988 Camry Station wagon 5 speed (305k and climbing) (winter rig)
1989 Nissan Pulsar NX 5 speed (autocross rig)
1997 Pontiac Sunfire (Circle track car)
1991 Camry V6 wagon (Derby car)
1987 Celica Convertible 4 speed auto (for sale)

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: hard spots in steering?

Post by Petros » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:04 pm

that is usually the steering shaft u-joint. there is a thread on replacing those since you can not buy a replacelment assembly.

other source could be a bad rack, the teeth get beat up and start binding. if that is the case likely replacing it is the simpliest option with a good used one. the racks are fairly durable, so likely it is the steering shaft u-joint. but a used rack is a good bet if you need one since most last a long time. I have 400,000 miles, many on rough gravel roads, on my original rack, still is tight.

a bad boot will not cause binding, there is an inner seal that keeps grit out of the inner rack parts. best way to know the cause is to take out the steering shaft (it slips back on the spline and allows you to remove it once you loosen the pinch bolts).
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

The Professor
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My tercel:: 1987 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon
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Re: hard spots in steering?

Post by The Professor » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:31 am

I had a hard spot on lefthand turns when I first got my Tercel. It had been sitting for about a year with 196 on the odometer and felt like it would lock the steering intermittently when turning left. I sprayed it with WD-40 once a few years ago and have never had the problem come back.
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door
1987.5 Subaru RX 3-door
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan

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