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Thread: Steering Question - Inner Tie Rod

  1. #1

    Steering Question - Inner Tie Rod

    I've had some driver side noise going over bumps for some time. My LBJ's and outer tie rods were replaced a couple of years ago and everything seems tight, with one exception.

    With the front end off the ground I can get a slight amount of play when holding the wheel in the 3 and 9 o'clock positions (no popping). When I do this the steering rack itself does not appear to me moving. The 12 and 6 o'clock are solid and have no movement. The passenger side is solid in all positions. Could this be the inner tie rod?

    I found this video online and it doesn't seem all that conclusive. I'm sure both sides of my rack would droop. The only ones I feel wouldn't would be over tight grimey use-to-tune Moog inners.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg_Kr8Azbrs

    With 190,000 miles on the clock I'm sure they have some wear and I haven't touched them in over 100,000 miles. I'm just wondering if I should be looking at something else at the same time. I have a Total Chaos steering rack bushing kit on the shelf but have never installed it as the bushings have always appeared fine. Perhaps I should toss those in as well.

  2. #2
    Best way I have found to feel for inner tie rod play is to have someone hold the wheel at the 3 and 9 position while you have one hand on the outer tie rod end joint and the other on the inner tie rod end joint (you'll have to crush the boot a bit).

    Another thing I have done to my rack is the Tacoma upgrade which I am having trouble finding right now, but the upgrade is changing the guide from roller style to a bushing style guide, picks up some slack in the rack that you could feel after those 190k.

    The rack bushing kit is a no brain-er. I have done that as a just do it kind of maintenance item on all 4Runners I work on.

    I am not 100% sure of your set up, one thing I had to do on my 4Runner is replace the bushings in the strut assemblies, they are press in and can be replace if they are factory, I got lucky with my aftermarket bilstiens and found out the factory tacoma bushings fit in them.
    Avdian (Avy, Avi, Av, Eddie are some nicknames)
    Tess - 97' 4Runner "Project Something Or Another"
    Natascha - 99' GTI 2.0 N/A Auto - SOLD!!
    Swordfish - 05' Camry 2.4 Auto

  3. #3
    I've heard of guys replacing the roller bushing and some other little parts but I also read about just tightening up the assembly. I assume there is some wear after all these years but I think I'd adjust before replace.

    I'll dig out those bushing and look into installing them. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Tightening makes sense, I am not 100% clear on what the upgrade is trying to achieve. By looking at them myself, a few things I notice is the little roller really only has two contact point where it meets in the rack where as the bushing style have more surface are to apply for to it. When I pulled mine out I can tell I was just putting a band-aid on a hemorrhaging wound has there was a bunch of brass color in the little fluid that did come out. However it did give me some tightness back that I was missing. I still have the old one I will try to take a picture for reference.
    Avdian (Avy, Avi, Av, Eddie are some nicknames)
    Tess - 97' 4Runner "Project Something Or Another"
    Natascha - 99' GTI 2.0 N/A Auto - SOLD!!
    Swordfish - 05' Camry 2.4 Auto

  5. #5
    This thread has some useful information as well as pictures. It appears not all years had the roller and perhaps the roller is the upgrade.

    http://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-ge...-pictures.html

  6. #6
    Hmm conflicting info it seem. I recall there is a TSB for the Tacoma rack to go from a roller to the bushing.
    I will try to dig it up at work and see if I can find the TSB.
    Avdian (Avy, Avi, Av, Eddie are some nicknames)
    Tess - 97' 4Runner "Project Something Or Another"
    Natascha - 99' GTI 2.0 N/A Auto - SOLD!!
    Swordfish - 05' Camry 2.4 Auto

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4mike View Post
    I've had some driver side noise going over bumps for some time. My LBJ's and outer tie rods were replaced a couple of years ago and everything seems tight, with one exception.

    ...

    With 190,000 miles on the clock I'm sure they have some wear and I haven't touched them in over 100,000 miles. I'm just wondering if I should be looking at something else at the same time. I have a Total Chaos steering rack bushing kit on the shelf but have never installed it as the bushings have always appeared fine. Perhaps I should toss those in as well.
    I would check on the swaybar bushings (both on the end links and the frame mounts) for your front end clunk.


    As for the steering rack. I don't see the roller as being superior to the bushing. The bushing is going to have more contact area and wear out slower than any rotating part. It does change the wear from the roller ends to the bushing face, and consequently the rack, but I don't think we will see a worn out rack due to this bushing during the life of these trucks.
    2005 Lexus LX470 - Stock for now...

    1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6 4x4 + a bunch of goodies. Lifted, Locked, Illuminated and Armored. Winner,"Best Offroad Truck" - 2010 Pismo Jamboree. It's been upside down and still drives me to work.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Seanz0rz View Post
    I don't think we will see a worn out rack due to this bushing during the life of these trucks.
    I believe this is the consensus and why some adjust and not replace parts. If the the unit is chooched it's chooched.

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