Need some help about some oil mark on tie rod boot and the following steering related project (1 Viewer)

zhloea

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Hi, My 04 LC100 has 176K, and I originally planned to change the steering rack in the next couple of weeks, because I felt my steering is a little heavy before. But after I finished my front suspension restore today ( new front wheel bearing, new LBJ, new UBJ, new OEM CV axle for both sides), I drove it for about 30 miles, the steering is much better, I don't know if it becomes normal but I bearly can tell the difference between my LC and my 12 Toyota Camry, I'd say I can live with it no problem.

Then the oil mark on both sides TRE boot becomes my only reason to change my rack, so I took a good look at them tonight again.

As the below pics shows, the oil seems not from the inside of the boot or the rack, it seems from the other place which at a higher location and drips to the boot. The reason I said this because we could see at the end of the boot, it actually pretty clean, all the oil marks gathered at the middle part of the boot and the start point from top to bottom. My LC comes with some constant power steering reservoir/hoses leaking until I tell it and fixed it a couple of months ago, so the passenger side boot oil marks very possibly come from that leaking. And this LC also comes with medium valve cover leaking untile I fixed this last month, so I can assume the driver side TRE boot oil mark comes from the valve cover leaking (most of the driver side under knees covered by oil mark which you could see from the pics).

So, if my rack is not leaking and the driving is ok, I will not have a strong reason to replace it.

Currently, the only thing I can tell about my steering system is both outer TRE and inner TRE is very loose, I tell this when I do the front suspension restore, and my steering wheel seems a little missing straight, I am planning for alignment after either a rack replacement or TREs replacement.

Based on these, do you think I should change the entire rack or only change the TREs? Or we could say it is better to change the rack at 176K for preventive purposes?

Thanks for any suggestion!


Screen Shot 2021-04-11 at 9.39.20 PM.png

Screen Shot 2021-04-11 at 9.35.44 PM.png
 

JunkCrzr89

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Tough to say if the rack is leaking or not. I agree with you that there does appear to have been leaking from above down onto the boots. I'd clean those boots off and monitor for a couple of weeks. You'll know if the seals in the rack are leaking when the fluid pools in the bottom of those boots.
 

zhloea

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Tough to say if the rack is leaking or not. I agree with you that there does appear to have been leaking from above down onto the boots. I'd clean those boots off and monitor for a couple of weeks. You'll know if the seals in the rack are leaking when the fluid pools in the bottom of those boots.
Thanks. do you think taking off the boot, swap TREs would be a good idea? since I have 555 sets in hand... would taking off the boot give me a clear overview of the leaking ?
 

JunkCrzr89

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Thanks. do you think taking off the boot, swap TREs would be a good idea? since I have 555 sets in hand... would taking off the boot give me a clear overview of the leaking ?
Yes. The fluid will be pooled in the bottom of the boot if the rack seals are leaking.
 

zhloea

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Yes. The fluid will be pooled in the bottom of the boot if the rack seals are leaking.
I think I will take off the boot and swap TREs, if there some issues come in the future, I prefer to swap the Rack in September, it becomes hot now...you know the feeling of bending ass under a car in hot weather...
 

JunkCrzr89

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I think I will take off the boot and swap TREs, if there some issues come in the future, I prefer to swap the Rack in September, it becomes hot now...you know the feeling of bending ass under a car in hot weather...
🤣 I do know the feeling! FWIW, I’ve been putting off replacing my rack for a couple years now. I replaced the inner and outer TREs, rack bushings, and then ran some AT-205 through the power steering system and that resolved 90% of my steering play and stopped the leaks.
 

zhloea

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🤣 I do know the feeling! FWIW, I’ve been putting off replacing my rack for a couple years now. I replaced the inner and outer TREs, rack bushings, and then ran some AT-205 through the power steering system and that resolved 90% of my steering play and stopped the leaks.

Sometimes I have to have a water spray bottle beside me when I rolling under the car because sweat will flow from my forehead to my eyes then make my eyes sting and blur, then I have to spray my eye with water, but at the same time, I possibly have a bottle of cleaner (or some other stuff) around me also, you know, if I chose the wrong bottle once...I got to replace the eyeball... :bang:
 
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It does look like rack out-put shafts leaks on DS. But looks can be deceiving. So stack ups clues as too heath of rack.

I would not replace TRE at this time. Wait and see if rack is leaking at out-put seals. If replacing rack, R&R TRE at that time. I would use only OEM TRE. The rack on 04LC comes with inner TRE and can be found for under $700. Inner TRE alone are ~$100 each. So really not a bad deal as you get new mounting bushing, inner TRE and boots.

I'd clean up the boots as @JunkCrzr89 suggested and all areas above/around. I find many wet boots, where oil is from above. But mostly due to PS vane pump or reservoir hose leaks. DS may be spillage from adding oil, but looks like rack out-put seal leak. Make very sure, you've no oil coming from above, by double checking your valve cover & PS hose repairs. Make sure all oil is cleaned from area.

Here's a typicality DS out-put seal leak, that been leaking for a long time. See LCA is oily from dripping.
98 LX 300K 113.JPG

Puddling in Boot, is from rack out-put seal leak, which is dipping on LCA.
98 LX 300K PS boot.JPG


I'd flush PS with Mobil 1 ATF if you've not already done so. Add 1.33oz of AT-205 into PS reservoir after flushing. After 5 hours driving time, set level on PS reservoir dead on cold max line again. Set level in the early morning on level ground, after 8 hour cold down. Recheck level every 500 miles or so, with same condition as when you set level. You'll also want outside air temp about the same as when set level. If level drops you've a leak.
Make sure screen and lower cambers are clean in reservoir.
Power steering reservoir 5-22-17 (2).JPG



Make sure in-put shaft seal not leaking. This one is dry and so good. AT-205 is very effective (8 out of 10 times) at stopping this leak.
5-25-20 (26).JPG


I've not had much luck with AT-205 and out-put seal leaks, but worth a shot. Re-clean boots after about 10 hours drive time, is helpful. But unless you pull boot and clean out, you may have puddling in boot continue to weep out. Which if your inclined, you can pull boot now and check for oil inside and then again later, if found first time.

If output leak stops, and steering wondering on HWY and inner TRE good. Consider replacing the rack mounting bushings. Wondering on HWY is a sign mounting bushing have gone bad. Assumes good alignment, tight wheel bearing, ball joint, TRE inner & outer, good tires & air pressure and alignment.

Here is one more clue that mounting bushing past useful life. Rack mounts have a metal cup. If cup turns, bushing are almost always shot. You can see if turned, by looking at cut washer (top of bushings metal cup). Here we see the cup has turned about 5 degrees.
Steering rack mount bad.jpg


I use a number of clues (above) to make decision on rack replacement.

R&R rack, is really not a big deal. Provided you don't have frozen bolts from rust or caked on mud. Many threads on this in mud.
 

zhloea

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It does look like rack out-put shafts leaks on DS. But looks can be deceiving. So stack ups clues as too heath of rack.

I would not replace TRE at this time. Wait and see if rack is leaking at out-put seals. If replacing rack, R&R TRE at that time. I would use only OEM TRE. The rack on 04LC comes with inner TRE and can be found for under $700. Inner TRE alone are ~$100 each. So really not a bad deal as you get new mounting bushing, inner TRE and boots.

I'd clean up the boots as @JunkCrzr89 suggested and all areas above/around. I find many wet boots, where oil is from above. But mostly due to PS vane pump or reservoir hose leaks. DS may be spillage from adding oil, but looks like rack out-put seal leak. Make very sure, you've no oil coming from above, by double checking your valve cover & PS hose repairs. Make sure all oil is cleaned from area.

Here's a typicality DS out-put seal leak, that been leaking for a long time. See LCA is oily from dripping.
View attachment 2644140
Puddling in Boot, is from rack out-put seal leak, which is dipping on LCA.
View attachment 2644141

I'd flush PS with Mobil 1 ATF if you've not already done so. Add 1.33oz of AT-205 into PS reservoir after flushing. After 5 hours driving time, set level on PS reservoir dead on cold max line again. Set level in the early morning on level ground, after 8 hour cold down. Recheck level every 500 miles or so, with same condition as when you set level. You'll also want outside air temp about the same as when set level. If level drops you've a leak.
Make sure screen and lower cambers are clean in reservoir.
View attachment 2644144


Make sure in-put shaft seal not leaking. This one is dry and so good. AT-205 is very effective (8 out of 10 times) at stopping this leak.
View attachment 2644145

I've not had much luck with AT-205 and out-put seal leaks, but worth a shot. Re-clean boots after about 10 hours drive time, is helpful. But unless you pull boot and clean out, you may have puddling in boot continue to weep out. Which if your inclined, you can pull boot now and check for oil inside and then again later, if found first time.

If output leak stops, and steering wondering on HWY and inner TRE good. Consider replacing the rack mounting bushings. Wondering on HWY is a sign mounting bushing have gone bad. Assumes good alignment, tight wheel bearing, ball joint, TRE inner & outer, good tires & air pressure and alignment.

Here is one more clue that mounting bushing past useful life. Rack mounts have a metal cup. If cup turns, bushing are almost always shot. You can see if turned, by looking at cut washer (top of bushings metal cup). Here we see the cup has turned about 5 degrees.
View attachment 2644137

I use a number of clues (above) to make decision on rack replacement.

R&R rack, is really not a big deal. Provided you don't have frozen bolts from rust or caked on mud. Many threads on this in mud.
Thanks for the reply! It is so true, inner TREs change also requires particular clamp piler, some new clamp, and maybe some special size wrenches, add on all these costs, a new rack include cushions and inner TREs seems a better deal, I am thinking I should return my 555 TREs and buy a new rack...
 

zhloea

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Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
350
Location
California
It does look like rack out-put shafts leaks on DS. But looks can be deceiving. So stack ups clues as too heath of rack.

I would not replace TRE at this time. Wait and see if rack is leaking at out-put seals. If replacing rack, R&R TRE at that time. I would use only OEM TRE. The rack on 04LC comes with inner TRE and can be found for under $700. Inner TRE alone are ~$100 each. So really not a bad deal as you get new mounting bushing, inner TRE and boots.

I'd clean up the boots as @JunkCrzr89 suggested and all areas above/around. I find many wet boots, where oil is from above. But mostly due to PS vane pump or reservoir hose leaks. DS may be spillage from adding oil, but looks like rack out-put seal leak. Make very sure, you've no oil coming from above, by double checking your valve cover & PS hose repairs. Make sure all oil is cleaned from area.

Here's a typicality DS out-put seal leak, that been leaking for a long time. See LCA is oily from dripping.
View attachment 2644140
Puddling in Boot, is from rack out-put seal leak, which is dipping on LCA.
View attachment 2644141

I'd flush PS with Mobil 1 ATF if you've not already done so. Add 1.33oz of AT-205 into PS reservoir after flushing. After 5 hours driving time, set level on PS reservoir dead on cold max line again. Set level in the early morning on level ground, after 8 hour cold down. Recheck level every 500 miles or so, with same condition as when you set level. You'll also want outside air temp about the same as when set level. If level drops you've a leak.
Make sure screen and lower cambers are clean in reservoir.
View attachment 2644144


Make sure in-put shaft seal not leaking. This one is dry and so good. AT-205 is very effective (8 out of 10 times) at stopping this leak.
View attachment 2644145

I've not had much luck with AT-205 and out-put seal leaks, but worth a shot. Re-clean boots after about 10 hours drive time, is helpful. But unless you pull boot and clean out, you may have puddling in boot continue to weep out. Which if your inclined, you can pull boot now and check for oil inside and then again later, if found first time.

If output leak stops, and steering wondering on HWY and inner TRE good. Consider replacing the rack mounting bushings. Wondering on HWY is a sign mounting bushing have gone bad. Assumes good alignment, tight wheel bearing, ball joint, TRE inner & outer, good tires & air pressure and alignment.

Here is one more clue that mounting bushing past useful life. Rack mounts have a metal cup. If cup turns, bushing are almost always shot. You can see if turned, by looking at cut washer (top of bushings metal cup). Here we see the cup has turned about 5 degrees.
View attachment 2644137

I use a number of clues (above) to make decision on rack replacement.

R&R rack, is really not a big deal. Provided you don't have frozen bolts from rust or caked on mud. Many threads on this in mud.

Hey man, your reply totally changed my mind, my new rack on the way, then next couple of "kicking ass" weeks coming soon~
 
Joined
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Outer TRE, do not come with rack, just inner. Very good idea to get the Toyota OEM TRE (outer), to install with new rack. Replace all stabilizer bushing and links while at it. You'll be handling like new. So sweet!

Return the 555 TRE. We use 555 ball joint, just because Toyota will not sell us ball joint. Unless we spring for the control arm w/ball joint. Toyota sell TRE, and are the best IMHO.
 

zhloea

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Messages
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Outer TRE, do not come with rack, just inner. Very good idea to get the Toyota OEM TRE (outer), to install with new rack. Replace all stabilizer bushing and links while at it. You'll be handling like new. So sweet!

Return the 555 TRE. We use 555 ball joint, just because Toyota will not sell us ball joint. Unless we spring for the control arm w/ball joint. Toyota sell TRE, and are the best IMHO.

That is very true. Toyota dealer told me that the rack for 2004-2007 model has some change, so making sure to use the TREs and Jam nuts in below list:

RH outer TRE: 45046-69205
LH outer TRE: 45047-69115
Jam-nuts: 90170-20003

And I purchased from Toyota of Georgia, cheaper than my local, free shipping and no tax. The funny thing is the part guy said he has to order this from CA then ship it to GA then ship back to me (I am in CA) for this price...
 

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