I just thought I'd share some quick observations about Toyota's and save some grief and hassle for things that almost guaranteed to be an issue. From my 93 JZS147 to 97 JZS161 and 2000 UCF31 they've all had fairly similar issues. Even if you don't have this issue yet I assure you if you have an older car and drive it for a bit you will start having it fairly quickly unless your roads have no potholes and manhole covers.

I now try to plan maintenance around these issues, for example by replacing tierods as a set (inner and outer) and balljoints at the same time. While doing that I usually do new rotors and pads.

If you suspect that your main issue such as on the Celsior are cracked/bad bushings replace those first. One thing that is annoying is finding this out after you've replaced a bunch of parts and having to do bushings and then a second alignment.

The pattern for me is that the steering racks kind of suck (they tend to leak-sometimes auction house inspector will note this as engine leak when it is actually the rack). Things like balljoints and tierods are sure to be bad or not far from it when you get them.

93 JZS147
  • Was very jerky when changing direction on the highway and wheel shake (bad tierods and balljoints-tierods showed obvious play). Balljoints creaked when stopped/on brakes and turning wheel.

97 JZS161
  • Shaking steering wheel even after out tierods (suspect balljoints due to sounds and possibly inner tierods-tierods showed obvious play).
  • Balljoints creaked when stopped/on brakes and turning wheel.Leaking steering rack known to be bad in this series especially

2000 UCF31
  • front-end shaking and wheel shimmy (bad balljoints and tierods showing no sign of play)
  • Bad control arm bushings (front lower)
  • Leaking Steering Rack
  • Balljoints creaked when stopped/on brakes and turning wheel.
  • Steering rack from new known to be a little rough.
  • Steering would pull/jerk really hard in the area between almost full lock and full lock (this is fixed after replacing balljoints and tierods).
  • Air Suspension failed (common for any air suspension and applies to new and old Toyotas too).

Interestingly enough I'd say if you look at older vs newer models, the older has less issues for me. In all fairness Celsior is a heavier car too, my car was lowered and now has very stiff RSR coilovers on it but you can see standard cars having the same issue.