Geiger's Corner Q&A

Feb. 01, 2004 By Jack Geiger
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Spedo Cable Squeak

Question: I have a 1990 Toyota Pickup Ext. Cab. I am having a problem with my speedometer. Whenever I start moving, it starts squeaking. The noise is so annoying, and sometimes the speedometer is all over the place waving back and forth. Somehow I am supposed to get some WD-40 and put it in a little syringe and inject it into the speedometer cable, but how do you get to it?? Where is it located?? I have a 22-re engine with a 5-speed manual. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Michael Darden

Answer: This is a common problem. Over time the lubrication dries up inside the cable and the result is an annoying squeak along with a bouncing needle. Your on the right track trying to lubricate it but WD-40 is not the answer. WD-40 is great for loosening a rusted bolt but won't last long. Mac tool actually makes a special tool for lubing Toyota spedo cables but it's not a cheap. The best answer is to replace the cable with a new factory unit.

Auto Body Lift

Question: I have a 1988 4runner with an auto trans and ifs. Is there a body kit for this?


I have had many people ask me this very question and I have never seen any vendor make a body kit for auto trans equipped Toyota trucks. There are several vendors that build kits for manual transmission trucks. The difference is the hardware for the transmission. If you are really set on using a body lift, a little time with a local fabricator and you should be able to build the needed brackets.

5MPH Electric Diff Lock Warning

Question: I have a brand new 04 Tacoma Prerunner with V-6 and TRD package. My question is what is up with the manual saying "Do not exceed 5 miles per hour with differential locked"? Is this just a legality note to cover Toyota or can I play Ivan Stewart on my local dirt roads?

A displaced San Diegan in Georgia

Answer: There are two reasons for the under 5mph diff lock warning. The electric locker Toyota offers has two modes of operation.  When the locker is off, the differential is open and works just like any other normal rear end. When on, the differential is locked like a spool and both wheels are connected together. Toyota has designed the locker control system so that you can't turn it on above 5 mph. If turned on above 5mph the system just waits until the vehicle speed drops before engaging the locker. If you were to lock the rear end at higher speeds while you were turning the truck, there could be a violent engagement of the locker. This would cause the rear end of the truck to shift, and could cause the rear end to slide.

Once the rear end is locked you can drive the truck at any speed you want but keep in mind that driving at high speeds with the differential locked will cause the vehicle to handle differently and the rear end is much more likely to slide out in a turn.

Fuel Door Latch

Question: This my be the weirdest question has ever asked but hey i am a first time driver and yes a woman so go figure. My mother just bought me a used Toyota 4runner 1990. how do you open the gas tank to refuel the vehicle? i am unable to locate the switch.

Ramon Rosalio

Answer: There is a small lever on the bottom left of the dash right by the door. Just pull gently on this lever and the door will open.





Screaming Belts

Question: I have a 86 toy 4 run, I just rebuilt the engine and now there is a screaming sound when I hit 3000 rpm. We 'fixed' this by readjusting the belts. Primarily the powering steering belt. This fixed the problem for a day, now it back. Any suggestions on making this problem go away permanently?

Tage Valone

There are several things to check. Start with checking to make sure the belt is tight. If not the bolts holding the pulley may have come loose. Also check to make sure the belt is in good condition and is fitting properly into the pulleys. If you are still getting noise, remove the belt and check to see that you can turn the pulley by hand, if not the bearings in that unit may be bad and may need to be replaced.

Front Drive Vibrations

uestion: I have a 1995 4-runner. 6cyl automatic. When I put in 4WD I get a vibration through the vehicle. It does not get worse with speed just constant. Nothing sees to happen even with the vibration occurring. I have had the front hubs services and the drive train checked. No obvious damage. Any ideas?

Jack Slate

Answer:  A small amount of vibration is normal when in 4wd. If the truck has been lifted this will increase the vibration. Check to make sure the U joint & CV joint on the front drive shaft are tight and lubed.

Warped Rotors

Question: I have 1999 Tacoma PreRunner SR5 2wd, 4cyl w/ 55k on the odometer. When I am under moderate to heavy breaking, the front of the truck shakes, I have checked the rotors (has brand new pads) and they seem to be fine, but was considering having them turned anyways. The funny thing is that the steering wheels does not move when this shaking occurs. The truck stops great except for the shaking, do you have any ideas on what that might be??

Joshua Weaver

Answer: You have a set of warped rotors. Your going to need to turn or replace the rotors. Keep in mind that the front rotors provide most of the braking and heat up every time you use the brakes. Some driving tips to prevent this in the future: Slow down a bit when driving around town. Let up off the gas well before you come to a light. When driving down a long steep grade, use a lower gear and allow the motor to slow you down, giving the brakes a chance to cool. If you suspect your brakes are hot and you come to a stop, take your foot off the brake as soon as you stop to prevent uneven cooling of the rotors.

Tacoma Seat Covers

Question: I have a 1999 Toyota Tacoma with a bench seat with high back head-rests and I'm having trouble finding a seat cover that will fit that style. Where do I look?


Answer: Check out performance products. They carry lots seat covers for every factory Tacoma seat configuration.

Pickup Snorkle

Question: I have a 91 Toyota pickup and I've looked everywhere for a snorkel for it and i can't find one if you guys could point me in the right direction that would be awesome.

Dana Richardson

Answer: ARB has a snorkel to fit your truck. The part number is Part# ARB SS65HF. Expect to pay about $230. You can purchase this from just about any ARB dealer including Cruiser Outfitters Newsletter
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