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Tilt steering wheel problem

478 Views 6 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  1stGenRon
My truck: 2006 Toyota Tundra Limited Access Cab: The truck has the factory Tilt Steering Wheel, and this morning in my driveway when I pulled the steering wheel's "lock release lever" to move the steering wheel from the top position to a lower position, it would not move. I tried several times, but with no luck. This hasn't affected the truck's actual steering capability--I can still drive the truck with no problem--but I dislike driving with the wheel in the top position and need to get the full tilt function working again. I'm hoping someone here has some pointers for me as to how to correct this problem, how difficult it is, and etc. Many thanks in advance, Ron
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Have you tried both wiggling the wheel up and down and wiggling the lever front and back simultaneously to see if it pops loose?
I spent quite a bit of time doing that, both up and down and sideways with no success. The day after posting this problem here I remembered that after I parked the truck the day before and was raising the steering wheel from the "down" position I had it in while driving, my hand slipped off the steering wheel and the wheel suddenly "shot" up to the top position and "landed" with a hard "clunk." Looking at my owner's manual later I read that there's a strong spring inside the steering column that makes raising the wheel easier on the driver, and I think that the sudden and harsh rise upward when I lost my grip may have damaged something inside the mechanism. I hope I'm wrong because Toyota is telling me that they've experienced this problem with owner's trucks in the past and it's usually caused by damage to the internal "tilt support and lever components." The good news is the parts to repair it are still available on special order. The bad news is the cost: $530 + tax. And that doesn't include the labor. Whew! Ron
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Man, that's a bummer. Good note to take it easy with my tilter.

At that price, I personally would dismantle my whole column and look at it myself. There may be a chance you can fix the one you have. Also, I've seen a few used full oem assemblies for ~$150. A lot cheaper than the dealer if you're handy, have tools, and perhaps a second vehicle to drive while you work on that one.

Yep, I hear you, but there's an air bag in the center of that steering wheel that I don't want to go near. Best leave this job to a master mechanic. But I will seek out a good used oem assembly from a Toyota/Tundra salvage yard to avoid that over-the-top price Toyota is demanding. Wish me luck!
Definitely wish you luck!

I've done some research into dismantling my column for an iffy clockspring due to my horn only intermittently working. Removing the airbag is the easy part. Then you have to remove the steering wheel (keeping close attention to orientation), then the clockspring, then you start getting to the guts of the tilt mechanism that is your problem. It is definitely somewhat of a surgical procedure.

For my horn, I just ended up wiring a secondary button on my dash that never fails.
Many thank for the tips! Ron
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