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Thread: 3rd gen 4runner steering rack

  1. #1
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    Default 3rd gen 4runner steering rack



    I did a front-end inspection the other day after getting back from the Argentine Pass run, here's my findings:

    My inner tie rod-end on the drivers side has quite a bit of play, causing quite the vibration at 60mph, and the steering rack seals spew fluid any chance they get. Additionally the power steering pump is whining a bit but I'm not sure if that's due to lack of proper pressure due to blown seals or what. Needless to say they steering is pretty clapped out on the 4runner. Luckily the ball joints look to be in good shape.

    That being said, I looked into what it takes to replace the seals and inner tie-rod and it seems pretty straightforward except for one recurring theme that appeared to be a consensus to just replace the whole rack and pinion assembly. It doesn't appear to be super costly to do, just time consuming.

    Does anyone have input on steering racks on 3rd gen 4runners or similar? I'm confident I can do the work but tapping into the wealth of knowledge here and some before I embark on this project.

    Pics for clicks.
         

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    Default Re: 3rd gen 4runner steering rack



    Long overdue update:
    Huge shout-out to Jay for offering his driveway as a workspace, this was more involved than I expected!

    Got the red-carpet treatment with a tarp and clean working area (the foam pads were a definite plus over laying on concrete). Got it up on jack-stands then got to work.

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    After dousing the ball joint with penetrating oil then hammering on it, peppered with a few curse words for good measure, we reconsidered our approach. It was then that our supervisor (Jay's daughter) said we are doing it all wrong and suggested we use the ball-joint separating fork. That solved the problem but we split the boot in the process so reusing it was out of the question, thankfully the parts store had an online deal going on so we got a replacement Moog ball-joint at 25% off (sweet!). With the inner-tie-rods and boots off I blasted the exposed components with parts cleaner, the previously torn boots allowed a bit of crud to make it's way in.

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    Old tie-rod assembly was super easy to break loose with this neat "inner-tie rod" tool that I bought from Rock Auto. It's basically a U-bolt with some teeth on it that you bolt to a plate that has a 3/8 adapter, crank on it to break the tie-rod loose.

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    Newly assembled inner/outer tie-rod with shiny new boot ready for install!

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    Repeated the process on the other side but didn't need to work as hard or replace any outer tie-rod as it all came apart with relative ease. I was a little too carried away with finishing the project and forgot to take photos of the truck as we buttoned it back up. Additionally while we were at it we took off the steering rack guide and cleaned the crap out that made it's way into the system. Completely removed the front sway-bar and greased all the joints.

    Aftermath: riding pretty comfy on the highway without death-wobble and there is significant improvement offroad with the front swaybar gone, it feels like a completely different ride.

  3. The Following Member Says Thanks to rckymtnt4r For This Post:

    open_circuit (October 1st, 2018)

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    Default Re: 3rd gen 4runner steering rack



    Nice work.

    You had death wobble?

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    Default Re: 3rd gen 4runner steering rack



    Jim previously posted:
    "You had death wobble?"

    In a sense, yes. Taking the 4runner over 60mph produced a noticeable shake originating from the front-end. No longer experiencing this after replacing the inner tie-rods. I wish I took video but there was significant play in left and right inners.

  6. The Following Member Says Thanks to rckymtnt4r For This Post:

    Jim (October 1st, 2018)

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    Default Re: 3rd gen 4runner steering rack



    Always good to get things back together better than before. I don't have a sway bar on my old cj - and I fully removed it from my first jeep (YJ)....but things do drive a bit more interesting without it- especially in quick evasive/emergency maneuvers. I've never checked for my Taco but I would guess someone makes 'quick' disconnects of some sort. I've never driven my Taco on the highway without the sway bar - not sure how the IFS reacts to it, but guessing its more sensitive than a solid axle.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
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