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Steering rack bushing replacement

Discussion in '05+ Tacoma, T100, Highlander' started by raydouble, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. raydouble

    raydouble

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    Disclaimer
    Be careful when doing your own car work and always, always, use jackstands of the appropriate size and weight capacity when it involves laying under a vehicle that is raised.

    Tools/products I used:
    Jack and jackstands
    Short and/or deepwell 19mm, 21mm and 22mm sockets (6 point are recommended if you have them)
    Flex head 1/2" breaker bar + cheater extension bar if needed (I needed it)
    3" and 6" 1/2"drive extensions
    3/8" ratchet and metric sockets set
    19mm and 22mm open ended box wrenches
    Med c-clamp (at least 6" jaw opening)
    Torque wrench (up to 150ft/lb variety)
    1/2" impact wrench (not necessary, but nice)
    Razor blade or box knife
    6" angle head curved jaw slip joint pliers
    12"-24" pry bar
    Wire brushes (small and large)
    Spray lube/penetrant
    Lots and lots of rags
    Gloves
    Tools I wished I had, at the time:
    19mm flex head reversible gear wrench (would have worked great for the vertical bolt in the center)
    6 point 19mm socket
    Parts:
    Enery Suspension P/N 8.10101G
    Custom Sleeve from wheelersoffroad.com (7/8" OD x 5/32" Wall x 1.27" Long)
    Teflon grease
    Home brew puller:
    36mm socket or equivelant
    M12 x 100mm bolt and nut or equivelant (just under 4" long) - M10 or 3/8" or 7/16" bolt would also work *(remember: bolts/nuts are measured by thread size, not by head size or what wrench fits on them.)
    Misc. washers

    First things first, you are going to want to lift the front end off the ground, place jackstands under the frame rails, and remove the front tires. (You will have to loosen the front lugnuts before lifting up the front end, if you don't have access to air and an impact wrench.)

    [​IMG]

    Next remove the four bolts that hold the rear portion of the skidplate to the chassis and slid it out, should look like this...

    [​IMG]

    Right now is a great time to look for oil leaks from the front diff and transmission, and look for torn cv boots, worn components, etc.

    If you slid under the drivers or pass. side front door and look toward the front of the vehicle, this is what you should see. (Wrench sizes indicated, not bolt sizes)

    [​IMG]

    Now it's time to remove fasteners, the left side and right side is very straight forward(though, I had to use a cheater bar for the bolts on the right side) The center bolt is the hardest to access.
    Once I got it broke free, I used a 19MM box wrench to loosen it. I was just able to sneak it over the crossmember in front of the rack, not much room in there. (Here is where I wished I had a flex head 19mm gear wrench, would have saved at least 5-10 minutes)

    This is what you should see with all bolts/nuts removed and pulled out about an inch.
    Use a punch or a soft hammer to push the long bolt on the left out of it's bore and remove bracket on the right. Now you should be able to move the rack enough to have access to the center bushing.
    [​IMG]
    The bushing on the right side is split and just slips off the rack.

    I tackled the bushing on the left side next, if you peel up the bushing lip on the side you are looking at, and cut the lip of the bushing off it makes the next step easier.
    After cutting off the lip of the bushing, take your slip joint pliers and grab hold of the big washer between the rack and the crossmember and twist it, it should come right out with a little persuasion......Get it out it will look like this. Make sure you clean up the bore, this pic was before I used a small wire brush to clean up inside there.
    [​IMG]
    Next the center bushing.
    [​IMG]
    The hardest bushing to get out can be made real easy with a homemade puller. (mad props to Merkaba55)

    Gather the above mentioned home brew puller items...
    [​IMG]

    Next gather them and meet me under the rack....100mm bolt and washer (larger than the inside diameter and smaller than the outside diameter) through the top....
    [​IMG]
    Next socket to bolt and around the bushing....
    [​IMG]
    Next, nut and washers as needed....bam! one bushing puller, I just hit mine with an impact but a wrench and socket (etc) works just fine also.
    [​IMG]
    TA-DA!
    [​IMG]

    Old stuff....
    [​IMG]

    New stuff.......(the two shorter gold colored metal bushings that came with the kit where not used.....
    [​IMG]

    Time to go back together, don't forget a liberal amount of Teflon grease, no one likes squeeky bushings/suspension....

    Torque specs for reinstalling......
    [​IMG]

    Left side installed, lube up poly bushings and shove in both sides, they will be a tight fit......Make sure you put the new washer between the left rack bushing and the crossmember the new bushing doesn't have the washer built in.....
    [​IMG]

    I found a med. c-clamp to be very helpful in pushing in the metal bushings after installing the poly bushings.
    Started.....
    [​IMG]
    and installed.......
    [​IMG]

    The right side is pretty self-explanatory, grease bushing, slip over rack, install brace piece, tighten down evenly.

    This is what you should see all back together, greased and torqued to spec.
    [​IMG]

    Make sure to torque your lugnuts to 83 ft/lbs and.......
    *Important*
    Make sure you double check the torque again on all the bolts/nuts and your wheel lugnuts, after about 500 miles of use.
    ^^^^^^^^^
    I've got to say of all the repairs/mods/upgrades to my 4Runner, this one has made the most noticeable difference in how it drove, the steering wheel is no longer shook from my hand on quick, short, washboard bumps and feels like a whole new front end was put under my truck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  2. raydouble

    raydouble

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    It might be a good time to mention that this is the procedure for
    1996-2002 4Runners
    and
    1995.5-2004 Tacomas as well.

    :cheers:


    :flipoff2:
     
  3. Bighead

    Bighead Dulce Bellum Inexpertis

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    Outstanding write-up Mr. Double!! I have had the Wheeler's kit sitting in my garage for over a year waiting for me to get the sack to tackle this. How long did it end up taking you?
     
  4. raydouble

    raydouble

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    Could have been done in an hour and a half, took like two and a half with pictures and thinking about what I was going to writeup. Thanks :cheers:
     
  5. jim65wagon

    jim65wagon

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    Very nice writeup, very descriptive and helpful. It looks exactly like a first gen Tundra setup too.
     
  6. pillguy

    pillguy

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    excellent write up

    Nice job. I have been planning to tackle this for my 4runner. It has to be put on the back burner for a few months for fall wheeling and I want to try out my axle rebuild (seal failure):wrench::wrench: and see if I have brakes again.
     
  7. Montana Cruiser

    Montana Cruiser

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    I replaced mine with the Wheelers kit about a month ago and it's amazing just how different it drives .... I went ahead and got an alignment afterward as well.
     
  8. TheDurk

    TheDurk

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    I did this in March and I read everything on the net before. I wish this write-up had been up then because it is better than any of the others. Great pics. I love the puller.
     
  9. hoch

    hoch

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    Nice write up. I did the bushings last year and took me 4 hours. Wish i had this write up. I was just shooting from the hip.

    BTW, I lost faith in poly bushings. Theyre not that durable. I'm going for good old rubber bushings next time. Gotta find out who makes some, though.
     
  10. raydouble

    raydouble

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    Thanks btw :cheers:

    I know Toyota makes some........:D

    I think I will replace these polys when they wear out with more polys.....They were less than twenty bucks, I have no idea how much the stockers are but, I've got to assume they are more than that.
     
  11. PNCguy

    PNCguy

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    So how do you tell if your bushings need to be replaced? I have an '07 Sequoia and my tires are wearing poorly - they're bald on the outside edge, but seemingly okay in the middle and inside. Toyota says it could just be the tires. Big O said they couldn't do the alignment for new tires because the bushings are bad. Toyota says the bushings are fine and wouldn't impact the alignment anyway.

    I'm confused. Who's right?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  12. raydouble

    raydouble

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    If you lift the front tires of your Sequoia off the ground and grab each tire at 9 and 3 and rapidly shake back and forth while looking behind the backside of the tire, you shouldn't see the bushings on the steering rack move at all.

    I'm not sure what I would do in your situation, maybe third opinion? Is it under warranty from Toyota?
     
  13. PNCguy

    PNCguy

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    Thanks for the quick reply!

    It is debatable whether it is warranty. Technically, no. I'm only at 30k miles, but we're 6 mos beyond the 3 years.

    When it was up on the lift at Big O they turned the steering wheel and the rack moved all over the place. (Side to side that is.) When we were looking at it at Toyota, they didn't shake the wheels. They just looked at the bushings and said they weren't broken and weren't pinching out or anything, so they're okay.

    I'll take it home today and wiggle the wheels.

    Can it be aligned with bad bushings?
     
  14. raydouble

    raydouble

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    I would get them replaced, for sure. It could, but no one likes to buy tires.
    I don't know if they make energy suspension poly bushings for your rack. They might be the same as the pictures above, but I would look into them as the replacement.....plus they are a lot cheaper than the OEM rubber bushings.
    :cheers:
     
  15. PNCguy

    PNCguy

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    Yeah, no kidding. Toyota says they don't sell just the bushings. They replace the whole rack!
     
  16. fyaajster

    fyaajster

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    raydouble,
    I lost track of when you mention (Next, nut and washers as needed....bam! one bushing puller, I just hit mine with an impact but a wrench and socket (etc) works just fine also.)
    Where do you hit the impact wrench is it on the bottom or top where the bolt is reverse or forward.
    To clarify which way will the bushing come out top or bottom.

    What is the length on the bolt (Gather the above mentioned home brew puller items...)
    I know you mention it's a 100 mm bolt and washer.

    Sorry to ask these question but I'm a newbie to fixing this stuff, I'm just want to make sure so I will do it correctly.

    Thanks
     
  17. raydouble

    raydouble

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    [​IMG]

    Notice the direction of the socket, turn the nut against the bottom of the socket. The head of the bolt will pull down and pull the rubber bushing into the top of the socket.

    M12 is the thread diameter (just under 1/2 inch)
    100mm is the length (just under 4 inches)
     
  18. fyaajster

    fyaajster

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    Thank you raydouble will let you know the result once I am done.
    If I should run into any problem I will let you know.

     
  19. stayalert

    stayalert SILVER Star

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    I read about 40 pages about steering rack bushing replacement on some Tacoma forums....On a whim I decided to check mud....DAYUM! this is the best one out there!!! Thanks!
     
  20. fyaajster

    fyaajster

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    raydouble,
    Just what to say thanks for the how to guide here it is one of the best that I have seen. For me taking apart the nuts and bolts was really easy, the only issue I have was pressing the bushing back to it place. I'm so glad that I got this done my next project will be LBJ.