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anchorman

Change Steering Intermediate Shaft.

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Difficulty - Medium

Time - about 90 minutes

Tools required - 12mm socket and spanner (various extentions etc). Flat blade screwdriver. Pliers. It is easier done off ramps or over a pit and the rest of the text assumes that the sump tray has been removed.

Parts (supplied by Kingo);

45221-42080 - £143.60 inc VAT and delivery

You may also need a new clip for the bottom of the steering column boot;

90460-64003 - £6 inc VAT and delivery

These prices are of August 2012 and could change with time but it will give you a feel for the cost.

Introduction

Some RAVs suffer with a clunk when turning the steering wheel. The US guys refer to it as a "popping noise" but the ones I have come across have a definite clunk that can be heard more at low speed and curiously sometimes more going backwards. At the same time as the clunk you get the feel of it in the steering wheel. This is the car we worked on. A European diesel engined variant belonging to Bramley (access underneath may be different on the US gasoline engined variants);

IMG_0822.jpg

The problem was identified some time ago as the "steering intermediate shaft" and this called for No 1 and No 2 shaft to be replaced. These are precision parts and are not cheap. However, the latest instructions call for only the No 1 shaft to be replaced. This image shows the parts we are talking about.

TSBimage.jpg

This is the new No 1 shaft alongside the old;

IMG_0840-1.jpg

This is the clip;

IMG_0842.jpg

In the UK there have been two bulletins on this subject but the latest shows that the part number has been changed once again following a slight change to the internal dimensions of No 1 shaft. Here is that bulletin;

New steering TSB.pdf

You can see that the changes are shown as a reduced internal diameter and swing range. Quite what the swing range is, I'm not sure but it could be something that is lost in translation between Japanese and English. I can tell you that visually there is very little difference between the two parts but there is no doubt that it cures the problem. The steering on our donor car is "as quiet as the grave" with the new part fitted.

If you have already fitted one of the earlier revisions, don't feel that you have to replace it with this new part. My 2010 RAV is actually fitted with an earlier version and is not a problem. It is worth remembering that if you get a clunk within the warranty period that TGB will change the part FOC. There is no recall because the fault does not represent a safety issue. If you have the clunk but are broke or it doesn't bother you then simply leave it for another day.

Procedure

I did this off ramps out in the sunshine. There is a bit of preparation necessary before you start. It is vital that the steering wheel isn't turned while the shaft is disconnected. This is to avoid damaging the so called "clock spring" connection to the steering wheel air bag. I achieved this by using one of my big woodworking clamps fixed gently to the steering wheel and it rested under nothing more than its own weight onto the centre console (US guys will obviously be working backwards);

IMG_0829.jpg

For fine alignment the steering wheel hub was lined up with the switch cowl as shown here;

wheel.jpg

OK, now ready to start proper. Inside the car, peel back the carpet to gain access to the lower column cover. It is held on with 2 finger tight plastic nuts;

IMG_0832.jpg

The cover is split to pull back over the shaft. With that removed you can see the clamp bolt that holds No 2 shaft to No 1. Use a 12mm socket to remove the bolt. The shaft can now be slid upwards. If it is stuck, just tap a stubby screwdriver or small chisel into the slot then wriggle it up. Move the shaft to one side;

IMG_0834.jpg

The boot (described as the steering column hole cover in the bulletin) needs unclipping next. Just ease the clip in the direction of the green arrow to release the bottom then slide it in the direction of the orange arrow to unhook it from the bulkhead;

bootremove.jpg

Now from under the car, reach up to remove the clip from the rubber boot. I will show you more about the clip later but to remove it, just use a screwdriver to gently ease the outer coil outwards. It will click and relax as the tension comes off;

IMG_0828.jpg

Now push the boot upwards, all the time bending and twisting it to ease it over the No 1 shaft;

IMG_0835.jpg

I used a dab of paint to just mark the position of the shaft. I used silver when red would have been better for you to see as the flash has bleached it out. It isn't vital that you get it back on exactly the same spline but it wants to be near to line the bolts up properly;

IMG_0838.jpgI had trouble getting a socket to the bottom bolt but was able to get a spanner in to undo it. You can get your hand around the side of the subframe to help get a bit of force on it;

IMG_0839.jpg

With the bolt out you can push the shaft off the steering rack. Now we can look at the parts. The only damage I could see to the shaft was some corrosion and fretting of the spline. This doesn't tally with the TSB which talks about the inner spline but as far as I could see, it looked OK in there;

Wornshaft.jpg

Moving on to the stainless steel clip, you must fit a new one if the original is damaged. Do not be tempted to use a tie wrap or a hose clip for the sake of £6. This clip will stop water from entering the cabin if you wade the car to anywhere near the maximum of 500mm (20 inches). This special clip exerts even pressure over the whole circumference. I have seen in the past that it has outwitted some "techy's" and has been left off. Just to show you how it works I have shown how to set it. Using a pair of pliers, squeeze the clip gently on the two protrusions as shown by my trust assistant;

IMG_0844.jpg

The sections will slide in and click as you can see on this comparison. If you can't resist fiddling and set it in error just use a small screwdriver to unlatch it and then put it down before you do any more damage!!! What is important is that you fit it over the boot now as you will be really fed up if you fit the new shaft and then find you have forgotton it - it can't go on after.

IMG_0846.jpg

Start building it up. Put the No 1 shaft onto the steering rack making sure the spline is aligned with the paint mark and tighten the bolt. Next feed the boot complete with the clip over the shaft and manoeuvre down intil it engages the boss. There is a hole to help you align it. Set the clip with pliers as shown above. Go inside the car and fit the top of the boot. It hooks onto the body at the top then just pull it back until it clicks at the bottom. Now wriggle the No 2 shaft back down onto the No 1 shaft. As soon as it engages, check that the steering wheel hasn't moved. Push the shaft right down until you can feed the bolt into the hole and tighten it up. The torque for both clamp bolts is 35 Nm (25 ft/lbs). There is no way that I could get a torque wrench to the bottom one but you might if you have suitable universal socket joints. Feed the cover over the shaft and fix it finger tight with the two plastic nuts. Put the carpet back and remove the clamp from the steering wheel. Go underneath and replace the sump shield.

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Hi may i take this opportunity to thank Anchorman for helping me (Bramley) for first identifing the problem of the intermediate steering shaft ,a definite clunk when turning the steering wheel left or right at slow speeds and much worse when reversing,and then repairing the car, taking photographs along the way to help other people to repair there cars,he gave up his time to help us ,he also showed us,how great the Rav4 is, he showed us the heater system,hill start,and things i didnt even know the car had,! he is truely a genius i couldnt reccomend him highly enough,many many thanks to Don and his lovley wife for there great hospitality and kindness.This Rav4 forum is a great help, its very informative and some very knowledgeable people willing to give advice,iam glad i found it on the internet. Regards Bramley.

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Great write up Don :thumbsup:

If anybody needs the part, please PM me, prices as mentioned are a guide as this "how to" will be around for a while ;)

Kingo :thumbsup:

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I have exactly the same problem but have been told it's a steering knuckle that needs replacing? Is this the same thing?

Cheers

Gav

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Same thing Gav. Originally you had to do both sections. The top one had a universal joint that was referred to as a knuckle but now just the bottom is the standard fix and it works - cheaper too!!!

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What a truly awesome write up with stunning pics. Thanks Don.

My 2007 has this knock. Going to contact my Toyota dealer to see if they will cover the work on my extended warrany, if not will carry out the work myself. Quite look forward to doing the job to be honest, BUT need some of Don's sunshine forst

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........and obviously Bramley had prior knowledge of Anchorman's residential area, and left his Mega Krooklok thing in place.

Nobody would dare interfere with a car whose registration has "666" in it.....bad things would happen at night....

Sincere complimentarianisms on a superb helpful exercise, one I hope never to need.

Bramley.....have you still got yer radio....? Worth checking.....HE DOESN'T MEAN IT.....JUST NEEDS HELP.

Big Kev :thumbsup:

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I've got 4 radios now. The worrying thing is I've got 2 steering wheels but no cars.

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Two wheels on my wagon, and I'm still rolling along.....la la la :drunk::band:

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Excellent write up. My wife's Rav had this problem and it was fixed by Mr T at a cost of £330.

KL

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Parts ordered from Kingo (Many thanks), fitted by local garage, steering knock gone, many thanks Anchorman. :D

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Parts ordered from Kingo (Many thanks), fitted by local garage, steering knock gone, many thanks Anchorman. :D

:thumbsup:

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Any bits of pie in the new shaft???

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Are you trying to say something about our wonderful parts supplier?

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Oi...............I can hear you know! :lol:

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What's the breakdown in costs for this parts & labour? Mine's been doing it since I bought it (I knew about it and was part of my negotiation), trouble is it doesnt do it all the time so havent been too worried about it. It only does it at very slow speeds - say under 10mph - is this the norm with this problem or could I get away with having the bolts tightened? Would the knock fail an MOT - anybody know?

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Fairly sure all these questions are answered somewhere but, if you are sure you have the right knock, i.e. a clunk you can feel in the steering wheel, then maybe! Put it this way, if you have a set of ramps I would recommend that you mark the bolt heads, slacken them half a turn and then see if they will nip up past the original mark. I say this because I have studied one of these shafts after replacement and I really could not see what the problem was. I wonder if it is just a matter of clamping it tighter onto the shaft. For goodness sake, don't risk snapping the bolt - that would make it unsafe. The fault is not otherwise considered unsafe. I would urge readers to make absolutely sure that a clunk is investigated and no assumptions are made. The price is shown above.

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Cheers Don - I know this has been done to death but what I couldnt find was whether anybody just tightened the bolt as you say - tbh my problem doesnt appear to be that bad - the way to describe it is more like a kick back in the steering wheel when turning full lock left or right and when up to speed no knock at all. Which is why I was wondering whether to leave it. I might just get the garage to inspect and see if they can tighten before shelling out money to replace. And tbh I dont fancy doing this myself as it's steering related and my Mrs drives the car most of the time.

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my steering has just started knocking on my 2006 rav with 65,000 miles on the clock .so i took it to my local toyota dealer and was quoted over £600 for both shafts 1 & 2 which includes 2.5 hours labour . should it be only the one shaft that need replacing and 90 min labour .????????????

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It should if you are a novice following my tutorial but it should be 1 shaft and I could easily do that in an hour. However as the bulletin says the time allowed is 1.9 hours that is what they will charge you.

Do it a different way. Buy the shaft and the clip off Kingo then take the bulletin to a different dealer that doesn't deserve to lose your custom and tell them you are paying 1.9 hours to have it fitted.

Or you could do it yourself ;-)

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You should check out Rav4 Intermediate Steering Shaft Fix- YouTube. This video shows how to lubricate the shaft and it really works. The video shows step by step solution. The materials cost $5 and takes 5 minutes with no tools and no mechanical skills needed. Problem solved!

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I've covered this subject in detail previously. Essentially the noise arises from movement between the two splined sections and often results in stress corrosion. Lubricating the splines will give short term improvement but for a long term solution - remove the clamp bolt, apply medium strength spline retainer then refit and torque the bolt. Depending on the product used - it may be necessary to allow to cure before turning the steering wheel.

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I had this problem, on my RAV and found the use of bearing/spline lock has cured the problem.I removed the shaft to clean and check the splines ,coated with Draper bearing lock and reassembled. I found the worst part of the job ,was removing and refitting the rubber cover without damaging it.

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Excellent but I'm surprised to see the issue on an 09 car - an updated shaft was introduced into production well before then.

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