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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Had a rebuilt OEM steering rack put in on my 98 RAV4 - 192k miles.

Steering wheel is very tight now. IS it normal?
Is the rack bad?
What might be causing it?
Would it go away with some use?

My research shows that it might be a WEAK steering pump and can't keep up with the new RACK.
IS that possible? SO if I am purchasing a pump, new one costs about 350 dollars and 250 to put it in. 600 dollars total. Does that make sense?

Comments please !
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well. I have purchased a new OEM power steering pump for 350 dollars and I will spend the 600 total to get this resolved.
I have a problem. I don't like driving automatic transmissions !! My Sequoia is automatic because I have a family of 6 and hauling them in a manual transmission car is not possible cuz none is available that is in three rows of seats.

...... so I will have to maintain all my OLD cars to NEW level... cuz I ain't getting no new cars ever with auto transmissions. I hate auto transmissions !!!
.. and all new TOYOTA 4x4s are auto trans only and a stick shift Toyota 4x4 is my main passion.
 

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Yep, I'm with you regarding automatic transmissions! Unfortunately the trend generally has been towards slushboxes for some years now, probably because it's simpler for many car makers to have only one type of trans rather than two for any model line and they make more money from auto transmissions than from manuals, manufacturers save more money by not having to certify two types of transmission with the EPA, etc. Also if a car maker actually offers both types of transmission for a given model for some strange reason they generally have different final drive ratios which gives the automatics better fuel mileage and that causes problems regarding meeting CAFE requirements. The dice are loaded against manuals . . .:frown
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well.. after talking to myself here on this board for the past few days I have solved my own problem... LOL.

It turns out that I don't need a new pump.

The steering was supposed to be a little tighter and it is functioning perfectly as designed. I felt the tightness because the previous rack was just too loose. I don't really need to spend 600 dollars. Although the 350 dollar pumped has already been shipped to me and I will send it back and get a refund.

I can spend the 600 dollars on the BFG all terrain tires that I have been talking about for the 6 months but want to run my current tires to wires first.. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So after driving it for a few more days (500 mile camping trip) I feel like there is some issue.

1) Power Steering pump
2) Something stuck in the fluid path
3) Something wrong with the new rack.

Taking car to Toyota dealer on Monday to let them diagnose.
 

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This may be related, but when I had my timing belt/water pump done, the technician removed the power steering reservoir out of the way to make room and unplugged the lines during the process. Right after the vehicle was complete, I had NO power steering. No issue previously. I drove it home with stiff steering, almost manual feeling. The next morning it felt like normal but I always wonder what may have happened there. Sounds like a similar issue that you are having but on a much bigger scale.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Had my vehicle checked at the dealer. Everything checked out ok !!!

I don't need a new steering pump. I will be returning it.

Here is the final summary !!!

Old rack was loose and worn. It was leaking. As a result the steering was lighter than it was supposed to be. When the new rack was put in, it was tighter than normal which was the normal. The system/pump did take a week to get used to the new rack.
After putting about 800 miles since the new rack has been put in, I now don't feel any issues. I had ordered the pump anyway and I wanted to get it professionally checked at the Toyota dealer anyway. so I will be going to UPS and refusing the pump package which was delivered yesterday.

Anyhow, I just saved myself 600 dollars. Thank you God !
 
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