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I used marine grade wheel bearing grease in the boot (just because that was what I already had in the grease gun) with a hypodermic (sp?) needle attachment you can get at a local parts store. I pumped in a bunch - dont remember how much. maybe 10 pumps? drove a bit and it was gone for a while, so I did it again and haven't had the clunk since. I dont think you want to fill the entire boot, but enough to lubricate the splines. After road use it probably works into the shaft.
 

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Cheers for writing this article.

I went the grease route. I disconnected the shaft coming off the steering column, greased the intermediate shaft splines & put it back together. Road test checked good. Will see how long it lasts.
 

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The wife's 2006 with 78,xxx miles now has the clunk.

She doesn't even notice it or know it is even there. I might see about putting some grease in by injection or, just living with the clunk.

Depending on how bad it gets, I might get the parts and replace that shaft. I'll see in time.
 

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What are the part numbers if ordering in Australia?
It is a shame these are not self lubricating .
Is it recommended to change the male and female parts of the spline joint or just the male spline intermediate steering shaft ?

Great tutorial GUYS !

Thanks

Richard
 

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Great overview. This may be blindingly obvious, but it is essential to fully remove the bolt(s) holding the steering shaft components together else they will not separate (a safety feature I assume). Copious swearing alone won't get them apart - the bolt has to come out!
 

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replacing the top intermediate steering shaft

I noticed that the TSB requires replacement of both the upper and lower shafts; out of curiosity (and laziness, as I am a big person and don't want to crawl under the car), I purchased the aftermarket replacement upper shaft (the one with u-joints) by Dorman, from RockAuto.com ($128 US). It was both heavier and tighter fitting that the OEM that I replaced it with, with a beefy metal midsection out of machined stock rather than the tubular construction in the OEM. Once I realized the restraining bolts have to be removed entirely rather than just loosened, it was an easy R&R. However, aligning the steering wheel at 12:00 straight-on will not work, as the top retaining bolt will be trapped by another piece of metal; one has to first restrain the steering wheel at about 3:00 and then do the R&R, and both top and bottom bolts can be accessed and removed.

No "pop", no "clunk", just a nice, smooth steer at low speeds, uneven terrain. Toyota says there is no safety issue with the OEM clunker, but my daughter drives this thing, so I'm not taking chances.
 

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GOOD INFORMATION! At about 40K I started to get "The Clunk" in the steering, after reading all these posts I decided to try lubricating the Intermediate Shaft. I used a "Marine Grade Grease". I applied the grease to both ends of the spline section, and the initial result is "NO MORE CLUNKING"! I will report back to see if it is a lasting fix!
 

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So far, no clunk. I replaced only the top link with an aftermarket solution, so I did wonder if that would be sufficient. So far so good, which is nice as I had to replace all of the ignition coils on the @#$% thing.
 

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Clunk from the rear

Great write up and very nicely detailed. My 07 has the clunk which only does it when I back out of the drive way the go forward. The first time it did it i thought I hit something. Now I know how to fix it.


I have a 2012 and I have this same condition. When I back out of our driveway and then go forward, I get a clunk sound and felling from the rear of the car. Has anyone found this issue and determined how to repair?
 

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I just did this, and it worked!!! Check it out. Watch the video on YouTube, "rav4 intermediate steering shaft fix" posted by "rav fix"
 

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Hi whats the name of the oil to use some one else said we should use grease but i don't think you could put it in thanks for any help you can send hank3842
 

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$10 15 minute Clunk fix

I put up with the "clunk" for several years. Then I saw this video about injecting Rem gun oil with an hypodermic needle to get past the seal. Oh my gosh! It worked really well and the whole process can be done from under the dash without removing anything. For $10 and 15 minutes my clunk disappeared!

That was a year or so ago and it still works. Not only did the clunk disappear, but the steering is smoother. The hardest part is locating the hypodermic needle. They gave me one for free at our local Fred Meyer pharmacy.

The link to the video is: youtube dot com/watch?v=n-o2SvV1VWk.

 

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since so far as i can tell (or research) there's no safety risk with the (admittedly irritating) clunking steering what's the harm in simply 'living with it?'...(and i'm the first to admit it bugs me everytime i drive the car)...but not to the point of shelling out x dollars purely for psychological value...
Momma usually drives the RAV and she doesn't live with stuff - no tolerance for the eccentricities of an aging vehicle. So thanks for the info.
 

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Clunk safety

Momma usually drives the RAV and she doesn't live with stuff - no tolerance for the eccentricities of an aging vehicle. So thanks for the info.
The answer to whether the clunk is a safety issue may vary between individuals. For me, it was a safety issue in three respects. First, I would be anticipating the clunk when turning. Normally, this may not be a safety concern, but I do a lot of winter driving in icy conditions. My attention needs to be on feeling the response of the road, not on waiting for a clunk. Second, I usually felt a slight disruption in the smoothness of the turn. This is very slight, but again it could matter on ice. Third, the turning is noticeably easier and more delicate with the lubrication. This again helps with smooth turning and feeling the road.


Admittedly, these issues may not be safety issues for many, perhaps even most, drivers; but they are for me.
 

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It may or may not be a safety issue (only because Toyota won't admit to it as such), but:
A.) it has to do with the steering linkage, which if it fails, renders the car a lethal weapon;
B.) Not only do I, but also my daughters drive this thing
C.) I'd rather spend $100 or so, and a morning's effort being overly concerned about this. Rattley noises, squeaky doors, poor audio are all pretty minor issues and I can ignore. Somethings you just should do the right way. The same for brakes, suspension, engine controls, headlights, wipers - the stuff that keeps people out of the hospital or morgue.

My 2 cents'-
 
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