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Occasional steering wheel shake (help me!)...

  #1  
Old 04-25-2018, 03:07 PM
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Default Occasional steering wheel shake (help me!)...

Driving along at 65-80 in my 98 4 cylinder, the steering wheel slowly starts to shake, then shake worse. If I add one notch if parking brake, itís is better. If I stop and look around, it often goes away (or if I keep driving).

replaced most of the suspension, calipers and rubber lines to the brakes. Les Schwab said I had contaminated fluid and the car is toast - Iíd have to replace most of the system they said.

Yesterday it happened again and I was able to jack it up before it went away. I couldnít turn the front wheel. Brakes in the front seem to be applied (which may explain why it goes away when all 4 are applied when I add parking brake.

im suspecting the porpotener valve (after a long period of replacing other things). They cost a lot, and I wonder if they have rubber parts that the bad fluid may have ruined or if I could just clean it out. Also, do you all think Iím on the right track?

I have flushed the sustem, replaced struts, bushings, calipers, trailing arms, control arms, and ball joints. New tires and alignment as well.

Thank you!
 

Last edited by DaveH; 04-25-2018 at 03:11 PM. Reason: Additional info
  #2  
Old 04-26-2018, 06:31 PM
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Why does Les state the car is toast?

You flushed the system after it was stated to be contaminated? Contaminated with what?

Does car have ABS?

Rear has drum brakes then?

A bad proportioning valve might lock the rear brakes.

How are the inner and outer tie rod ends?

Are any rims bent or out of round?

Is it possible when the problem occurs to stop and quickly raise each tire to check for free rotation? Plus excess heat. Comparing both sides, front and rear.
 
  #3  
Old 04-26-2018, 10:59 PM
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Default Thank you for the reply.

Les Schwab said that it looked like someone had added transmission fluid or something other than brake fluid sometime in its life. Maybe during an oil change. Iíve gotten lazy and those little garages are cheap.

They said that the repair would be prohibitively expensive. I called them yesterday and got a very patient guy who knows his stuff. I told him I wanted to save the car and he said the expensive part is the labor, and I could do it myself. He said that the lines would all have to be flushed with denatured alcohol and all rubber replaced or it would keep happening. He said it is likely the caliper rubber that is causing the issue but that I should also replace the master cylinder. The other valve was not likely the cause he said because the front brake fluid just flows through it and it shouldnít cause my problem.

I plan to pump the alcohol through each line, replace the calipers and master cylinder and add new fluid.

The car does not have ABS and is disk in the front, drum in back.
 
  #4  
Old 04-27-2018, 11:51 AM
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Adding ATF to the brake reservoir happens more often than thought. ATF causes the "rubber" seal material to swell.

Fortunately the car does not have ABS or the repair process could be much more involved and costly.

Standard procedure is to replace all parts having seals. Do you know how far the ATF traveled in the lines?

Did you flush out the contaminated fluid prior to changing the calipers? If so, perhaps the new ones are still OK. Plus the other components having seals.

For sure the master cylinder needs replacement.

If considering replacing other parts and money is tight. Sites like Rockauto sell kits with seals to rebuild the caliper and rear brake cylinders.

If going this route. Since the rear cylinders are used, you will need to pick up a hone to resurface the cylinders. The new calipers should just require seal replacement.

Flush with brake lines with alcohol. Find the highest percentage of alcohol you can get.

Alcohol attracts moisture thus once flushed, use ATF to flush the alcohol out.

Once cleaned out, change out the master cylinder, plus do any other work as you decided on.

Not sure flushing gets every bit of old material out from areas such as brake cylinders and calipers.

If changing out the proportioning valve, try Ebay for used valves. You want one for rear drums, car without ABS. You could find the Toyota part number then search the net and see what pops up.
 
  #5  
Old 04-27-2018, 06:50 PM
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Default Thank you

Thanks! The Les Schwab guy didnít mention anything about flushing the alcohol out with anything. I was planning on just running a fair amount of brake fluid through it after. Im thinking about the orde Iíll do it in. I donít want to get any of the old fluid in the new calipers, so Iíll probably run alcohol through the system before replacing anything, replace the calipers and master cylinder, then push the new fluid through. I might bypass the new calipers so they wonít have alcohol going through them. The calipers I have are warrentied so Iíll get new ones.
 
  #6  
Old 04-29-2018, 10:48 AM
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Sounds like a plan.

Alcohol picks up lots of water! Brake fluid also picks up water. Water corrodes metal and if enough can boil (at a lower temp the brake fluid) when the brakes get hot to cause issues.
 
  #7  
Old 04-30-2018, 12:13 AM
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Default Update

Done with the plan. New calipers and master cylinder installed. Ran a lot of denatured alcohol through all 4. A lot of little bits of black in what came through. Very fine stuff that I am guessing is rubber. Then I ran a whole lot of new brake fluid through before a final bleed and back on the road.

Road test was good. No shaking so far. I really hope I got it.

If it shakes again, maybe my co-worker was right that itís the rack and pinion (about the only other thing I havenít replaced...

hoping for the best
 
  #8  
Old 04-30-2018, 09:34 PM
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Great job!

Perhaps the rubber was gumming up the works.

Have you checked the inner and outer tie rod ends?
 
  #9  
Old 04-30-2018, 10:16 PM
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Default Tie rods

i replaced the outer tie rods. I think the big clue was the fact that the front wheels wouldnít turn when it was in that mode. Brakes seemed most likely, so far itís driving great.
 
  #10  
Old 05-01-2018, 04:11 PM
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Great, thanks for posting back with the positive results!
 
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